HRC Blog

NOM Can’t Catch a Break

Post submitted by Kevin Nix, Former HRC Campaign Media Director

From NOM Exposed: The National Organization for Marriage is “outraged” at yesterday’s decision by the Obama Administration to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

They can’t stand that married gay and lesbian couples may stop being denied family and medical leave, Social Security survivors’ benefits, and joint tax filing. Brian Brown, NOM’s president, banged out an over-the-top email to his membership following the  news. “This may be the most important email I’ve ever sent to you,” he wrote. He then asks his supporters to urge Congress (read: Republican leadership in the House) to step in and intervene to defend DOMA. It will be very interesting to see what, if anything, Congress does.

After all, Republican Speaker John Boehner admitted yesterday there are more pressing issues like the economy to deal with. The Administration’s decision is just another piece of bad news for NOM. The group’s been taking some punches lately. Last week a federal judge ruled Maine’s campaign finance disclosure law was constitutional. NOM had argued it didn’t have to disclose its donors  in the 2009 Maine fight over marriage equality. A state ethics investigation of NOM is ongoing. Also last week, a record-setting 750 marriage supporters turned out for a legislative hearing before the New Hampshire legislature– compared to 50—50– marriage opponents who showed up.

What was Maggie Gallagher, NOM’s chair, thinking as she, so grossly outnumbered, stepped up to that microphone to testify before the legislature? (The irony, of course, was that she was dressed in blue sitting in a sea of red. ) The fringe anti-gay group is also having trouble on the 2012 presidential primary front. As crass as it may sound, NOM is in search of the most anti-gay candidate they can find.  Their litmus test: homophobia. Yet almost none of those thinking about running for the Republican nomination are meeting this test, in NOM’s eyes. Gallagher graded the speeches of the GOP hopefuls who attended CPAC on how well each spoke of ‘traditional’ marriage.  Here’s her report card: Mitch Daniels:             D+ Newt Gingrich:           D Tim Pawlenty:             D Mitt Romney:             D Paul Ryan:                   C- Rick Santorum:         A Not good. NOM’s signature issue was either not discussed or glossed over. (But this does get us thinking… Of the known potential candidates, will NOM endorse the ideological pure candidate, Rick Santorum, or will they throw their support behind someone who appears less on the fringe?) NOM is still fighting to stop marriage equality in Rhode Island and Maryland and have stated their intentions in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. They remain the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to taking away or preventing marriage equality. But no question the events of the past weeks have knocked NOM off its game. They’re sure to recover, unless more bad news is on the way.

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