NOM memo reveals strategy to “drive a wedge between blacks and gays”

By Frederick Sparks

Revealed as part of a court ordered release of documents related to a lawsuit over finance disclosure violations, a 2009 National Organization for Marriage memo spells out a strategy of racial targeting in its opposition to marriage equality.  In a section titled “Not A Civil Right Project” the memo states “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African-American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. ”  The memo also speaks to accomplishing a “sophisticated cultural objective: interrupt the attempt to equate gay with black, and sexual orientation with race.”  This is all part of an overall objective to “raise the cost of identifying with gay marriage, and also raise the attractiveness of identifying with traditional marriage.”

In  a section devoted to targeting Latino opposition to same-sex marriage, the memo queries “will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values?”  Rich irony..the same political forces who xenophobically decry the perceived resistance of Latinos to dominant culture assimilation now worry about the effects of said assimilation.

Sikivu Hutchinson wrote previously of the alliance between Black and Latino fundamentalist anti-abortion groups and the white Religious Right .     Black and Latino conservatism on social issues, largely related to high degrees of Christian religiosity, is ripe ground for political forces who otherwise couldn’t be concerned with the most pressing issues facing those communities.

NOM memo reveals strategy to “drive a wedge between blacks and gays”

16 thoughts on “NOM memo reveals strategy to “drive a wedge between blacks and gays”

    1. 1.1

      Actually, chances are good anyone who was helping NOM was a mercenary and doesn’t care. The strategy here was to try to get gay people (who they apparently think are all white) to look racist, right? This would piss off racial minorities and let white people know it’s okay to be prejudiced against gays, because it isn’t bad prejudice, like against black people. I’m not even sure who should be the most insulted. It’s like they had no idea Wanda Sykes was a prominent pro marriage equality spokesperson. It’s not like she’s the only queer of color anyone’s ever heard of either.

    1. 3.3

      I know, right? Yet this is a plausible strategy– which is a big part of why Dan Savage needs to stop being the Designated Spokesqueer about 5 years ago…

      1. Not to mention his ugly attitudes towards overweight people. While I respect him immensely for starting the It Gets Better project to fight anti-gay bullying, I hate that he thinks it’s okay to shame fat kids/adults.

    2. 3.4

      The black gay is like the unicorn or the female orgasm – a quaint children’s story but undetected by the best techniques that phrenological science has to offer.

  1. 6

    Is it really surprising that Black and Latino conservatives would join up with white conservatives and oppose civil rights for Gay Americans? I read or heard that in Israel, the only thing that will bring Jews, Christians and Muslims together is their hatred for gays.

    1. 7.1

      Since conservatism is by definition about reinforcing and perpetuating hierarchies, it’s not really surprising when rightwingers fall back on a divide-and-conquer strategy. As long as the blacks and gays are at each others’ throats (and gay blacks are running out of options for a place where life doesn’t suck), there are a lot of people who won’t notice who’s really screwing them over.

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