The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

Major NOM donor admits it: Fight is against ‘the gay lifestyle’

January 29, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper

Sean Fieler is one of NOM's major donors.  We know from the filings we have seen that Sean has given at least six figures to NOM.  Considering what we haven't seen, it's possible that he's given much more (a new Reuters report puts his contributions at over one million).  

In fact, Fieler is such a big NOM donor that when NOM launched a recent campaign all about its donors "fighting back" against supposed persecution, Fieler was the named leader of the effort:


Beyond just money, Sean Fieler is also the chairman of the American Principles Project, the organization that NOM co-founder Robert George started and for which NOM's other co-founder, Maggie Gallagher, currently works.  So it's fair to say that Mr. Fieler is a major cog in the overall and continued NOM machine. 

That being the case, I'm pretty shocked to see Mr. Fieler being so candid with the New York Times about why, exactly, he fights against gay people's marriages.  I say surprised because the reasoning is not, as he tells it, just about marriage and religious freedom, like NOM claims.  Instead, Fieler proudly owns his overall resistance to "the gay lifestyle™":

“The problem with gay marriage and the position David [Blankenhorn] has taken,” Mr. Fieler said, “is it promotes a very harmful myth about the gay lifestyle. It suggests that gay relationships lend themselves to monogamy, stability, health and parenting in the same way heterosexual relationships do. That’s not true.”
[New York Times]

So here we have one of NOM's major (if not most major) funders using hostile phrases like "gay lifestyle" and suggesting that marriages like mine are inherently unstable, non-monogamous, and unhealthy.  That, a view that is quite defamatory to many of us, goes *way* beyond just the marriage fight.  This is the kind of rhetoric we're used to from nakedly anti-LGBT groups like the American Family Association.  The whole point of comments like Sean's is to change America's view on gay people, not just our rights.  It's the kind of dangerous phrasing that injects fear into the gay kids who see it and think they are intrinsically unfit for the future.

Whether this is a sign of a more hostile NOM or is an uncharacteristic moment of candor remains to be seen.  Either way, when the guy who has so fully helped to keep NOM's lights on admits that his view goes beyond my ring finger and instead goes right to my core, I'm choose to believe that he means it.  And I'm going to use it.