The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM determined to make Doug Mainwaring seem like a coalition rather than an individual

February 11, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor

Every so often, NOM will post an article about a gay man opposed to marriage equality.  The latest one came this weekend, topped with a reliably nondescript headline that makes it sound as if the titular gay is just some random guy among the many anti-equality gays who are NOM's disposal:

NOM blog feed in 2012 [NOM Blog]

The truth, however, is that the gay man at the heart of these posts is most always a lone individual by the name of Doug Mainwaring.  This Doug Mainwaring is not just some random gay man but rather a Tea Party activist who has adopted opposition to marriage equality as a major (if not most major) focal point on his conservative agenda.  He is an advocate who, increasingly, seems to be working with (if not for) NOM.

When one becomes a public thinker or political activist, he or she loses lay status.  In addition to co-founding the National Capital Tea Party Patriots, Mr. Mainwaring has testified against marriage bills, placed commentary pieces in multiple publications (both mainstream and conservative), has spoken at major conservative conferences right next to prominent thought leaders like Maggie Gallagher, and done media outreach on the subject of marriage and the limitations he wants to place upon it.  This is not someone who is representative of gay men, the monolith—it's someone who is representative of Doug Mainwaring, the indivual.  He is someone who dedicates his days to fighting a fight from a certain point of view.  That is a *huge* component of the story, yet it's a component that NOM continually overlooks.  

I don't say any of this to take away Mr. Mainwaring's right to advocate, to work for NOM, or to cultivate whatever public opinion he hopes to cultivate.  I'm simply saying that Mr. Mainwaring, as in possession of a public record as he is, *must* be identified by his conserva-credentials and not just his sexual orientation.  "Conservative activist opposes gay marriage" may not serve the purpose NOM wants it to serve, but it does better serve the truth.   


*REMINDER: NOM has purchased several "gays against gay marriage" domain names