Pa­pers re­veal plans of foes of gay mar­riage

Group ac­cused of ‘ugly pol­i­tics’

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY CH­ERYL WETZSTEIN

Gay-rights groups are trum­pet­ing the dis­clo­sure of in­ter­nal strate­gic and fi­nan­cial doc­u­ments writ­ten three years ago by their most for­mi­da­ble op­po­nent in the gay-mar­riage bat­tle.

One of the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Mar­riage’s strate­gic plans was to “drive a wedge be­tween gays and blacks — two key Demo­cratic con­stituen­cies,” over the is­sue of gay mar­riage as a civil right, the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign said.

NOM also was amass­ing “huge cof­fers” of money to fund “phony ‘re­search,’ “even as it tried to push “the false no­tion that Amer­i­cans are un­der at­tack” from gay mar­riage, HRC said. The group fur­ther called for Pres­i­dent Obama to be ex­posed “as a so­cial rad­i­cal,” and that His­pan­ics should be en­cour­aged to adopt man-woman mar­riage as “a key badge of Latino iden­tity.”

“With the veil lifted, Amer­i­cans ev­ery­where can now see the ugly pol­i­tics that the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mar­riage” traf­fics in ev­ery day, said HRC Pres­i­dent Joe Sol­monese. HRC was first to post NOM’S 2009 ma­te­ri­als af­ter they were un­sealed in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Maine this week.

NOM Pres­i­dent Brian Brown on Tues­day stood be­hind the doc­u­ments, say­ing they prove that NOM and its al­lies “proudly bring to­gether peo­ple of dif­fer­ent races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fun­da­men­tal in­sti­tu­tion: mar­riage.”

Mr. Brown says some sec­tions of the dis­closed doc­u­ments could have been writ­ten bet­ter, “but the re­al­ity is that ev­ery­one knows what we’re say­ing is true: that the Demo­cratic Party is now wag­ing war on African-amer­i­cans who be­lieve that mar­riage is the union of a man and a woman.” As a re­sult, NOM has “sup­ported plenty of Democrats who stood up against the party” on gay mar­riage, he added.

The out­cry over the doc­u­ments is “a tem­pest in a teapot,” said NOM co-founder Mag­gie Gal­lagher.

“It must be a very slow news day . . . if an or­ga­ni­za­tional doc­u­ment that’s three years old and lays out what we were go­ing to do three years ago has be­come front-page news,” she said.

Gay-rights groups are “claim­ing we’re racist be­cause we reach out to African-amer­i­cans and Lati­nos . . . who care about the bib­li­cal un­der­stand­ing of mar­riage,” said Ms. Gal­lagher, an au­thor and syn­di­cated colum­nist.

“One of the rea­sons we’ve been suc­cess­ful in reach­ing out to the black church in Mary­land, or to spokes­peo­ple like Rev. Sen. [Ruben] Diaz in New York, is be­cause, for us, it’s not about Democrats and Repub­li­cans. It’s about work­ing with peo­ple across party lines who will sup­port mar­riage,” she said.

NOM, founded in 2007 to op­pose same- sex mar­riage in states, is in­volved in this year’s bat­tles in Maine, Mary­land, North Carolina, Min­nesota and Washington state.

The newly un­sealed NOM doc­u­ments are part of a fed­eral law­suit in which NOM and Maine state of­fi­cials are fight­ing over whether NOM has to com­ply with state cam­paign-dis­clo­sure laws.

In 2009, NOM spent about $2 mil­lion to de­feat Maine’s nascent gay-mar­riage law; Maine vot­ers chose to keep man-woman unions by a vote of 53 per­cent to 47 per­cent. Sup­port­ers of gay mar­riage in Maine have re­vived the is­sue and placed a mea­sure to le­gal­ize gay mar­riage on the Novem­ber bal­lot.

The NOM doc­u­ments do not iden­tify its in­di­vid­ual donors — a goal of gay ac­tivist and pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Fred Karger, who trig­gered the Maine law­suit in 2009 when he filed a com­plaint over NOM’S nondis­clo­sure of its donors.

How­ever, the re­lease of the 2009 NOM strat­egy and fundrais­ing doc­u­ments is “much bet­ter than who the donors are,” said Mr. Karger. NOM is “very de­vi­ous, and we’re fi­nally get­ting a glimpse of how they op­er­ate,” he said.

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