The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM prepping ‘Next Gen for Marriage’ project

November 03, 2011, by Jeremy Hooper

I have it on good word that Thomas Peters, the young Cultural Director of the National Organization For Marriage with a penchant for “gays can change” activism, is gearing up to launch a new NOM outreach effort called “NextGen For Marriage.”  So what we might expect from the planned young people outreach?  I have a few ideas.

(1) Fake polls.  Since all credible polling puts young people drastically in favor of marriage equality, I’m sure we’ll get more polling from conservative outfits like Lawrence Research and QEV Analytics, purporting to show some stemming of a tide.  It won’t work, of course — but we’ll probably still get it.

(2) Aggressive social media promotion. We know from NOM’s failed summer money challenge, its constantly abysmal YouTube ratings (latest Marriage ADA vid has 123 dislikes and only 9 likes, as of this writing), its forums that are always majority pro-equality when left open and fair, etc., that this organization is losing the Culture War 2.0 challenge. So they’ll surely try to NextGen up a young base of support.

(3) Stories of young love. In the age of Kardashians, Thomas and company will surely try to push inspiring tales of young heterosexual love, much like NOM’s young-focused cohorts at the Ruth Institute. Which would actually be fine and even nice, if not for the complete and utter blind eye they will obviously turn to young same-sex love and marriage.

(4) Denial of inevitability. Maggie Gallagher, in particular, loves to talk about the unfulfilled promises from her youth as a way of making it seem like same-sex couples’  freedom to marry is not as inevitable as it sounds. Mostly, Maggie trumps up straw men arguments that people weren’t making as strongly as she claims they were (The Soviet Union was the way of the future, for one) to pit past apples against current, legally sound, obvious oranges. But regardless, I predict this denial of marriage equality’s inevitably to be a rally cry for NOM NextGen, considering the obvious need to change the thinking patterns of the “Glee” generation.

(5) The victimization routine on a more specific scale. Think college students who are “silenced” by inclusive professors. Or high school valedictorians who want to mention marriage in a commencement speech. Or someone like Jennifer Keeton, the grad student fighting to tell potential counseling clients that “their behavior is morally wrong and then help the client change that behavior.” NOM is all about flipping the script these days — so we should expect NOM NextGen to be of the same book, just this one filed in the young adult section.

Of course we’ll all have to wait and see what NOM NextGen actually brings, since at this point there’s not even artwork (or even purchased domain names — hint, hint) to go on. So while we all wait, I’ll be at the open bar of a same-sex wedding in the growing number of states where such are legally-binding, collecting my Next Gin.