The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM keeps dropping its mask; goes after CA nondiscrimination laws, fair compliance

August 29, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper

SB 323 is a bill that simply says nonprofits that receive special tax breaks from the state of California must comply with state nondiscrimination laws, including those that protect on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  It's not an unreasonable request, considering that these special tax breaks are subsidized by the California taxpayers.  Those organizations that wish to receive these special breaks must comply with laws designed to protect the state taxpayers—all of them!  The bill has nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with nondiscrimination.  

But even though the National Organization For Marriage claims to have everything to do with marriage and nothing to do with discrimination, the organization is going to bat against this particular bill.  In an action alert in which they put gender identity in smear quotes, use loaded phrases like "homosexual agenda," and claiming that these organizations that wish to discriminate against LGBT youth simply have "a traditional view of sexual morality," NOM is once again proving that the organizational agenda does not and will not stop at just our marriage rights:

The California Legislature is at it again, this time considering legislation that would strip groups of their tax exemption if their beliefs and practices don't affirm concepts like "gender identity" and gay "marriage" and other ideas that fly in the face of the teachings of virtually every faith tradition. SB 323 was originally aimed at the Boy Scouts, falsely claiming that they engaged in discriminatory practices by supposedly not accepting homosexual members.

But the fact is that the bill would punish any type of group with traditional values, and allow only liberal groups that affirm the homosexual agenda to enjoy a tax exemption.

KEEP READING: Take Immediate Action To Stop Discrimination Against Pro-Family Groups [NOM]

It's yet another example of NOM's shift from being a basically on-message "protect marriage" group into being a full-on, multi-faceted, anti-LGBT organization.  This is a policy designed to shore up the qualifications for receiving this kind of special tax break in a state that is proud to value equality and fairness.  It's the kind of policy that a Family Research Council or an American Family Association would come out against, because both of those organizations are quite open about their drive to stop LGBT rights at every turn.  But NOM, which purports to be a nonpartisan organization with a limited goal, would've normally stayed away from this kind of thing, wanting to be seen as a pragmatic policy shop rather than a house of animus.

But that was the old NOM; this is the new NOM.  The new NOM frames gender identity as alleged, positions LGBT youth safeguards as parts of an "agenda," works with truly extreme organizations like the Illinois Family Institute, sends out branded e-blasts that frame "same-sex attractions" as "not consistent with God's law," and makes abundantly clear what kind of world it wants to foster.  Little hint: that world view extends far beyond our ring fingers.  

The new NOM is desperate to stop the chain of losses that has defined its past year, which is likely why the new NOM is testing these more extreme waters.  But while the new NOM is pinning greater hope on harsher goals, I would argue that this new candor is only helping people like me pull off the mask.  I've known for years that NOM, old or new, is more than it ever wanted to public to know.  Nowadays, they are essentially helping me show the public the true face of this, the organization to which the "traditional marriage" movement has entrusted its future.