The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM sides with general anti-LGBT animus; can never again be looked at as just a marriage group

February 04, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor

I shouldn't have been surprised.  After all, back in 2000, the National Organization For Marriage's current chairman, John Eastman, applauded the Boy Scouts for refusing to support "the currently fashionable view that homosexual conduct is just another legitimate lifestyle choice." Clearly he, someone who was working closely on this issue at the time, didn't himself find legitimacy in what he regarded as as a "lifestyle choice," so I had no real reason to assume things had changed.

However, I genuinely was surprised.  Having tracked NOM since its very first day of operation (aren't you jealous?), I'm used to this organization sticking, for the most part, to the issue of marriage.  I mean, sure, I've seen just about everyone who works for the organization go personal against LGBT welfare at some point.  From affiliate leader Jennifer Roback Morse, who rarely goes a week without saying something jaw-dropping, to Comm. Director Thomas Peters promoting a "12 step program for people with same-sex attraction" to President Brian Brown himself once telling parents to attend an "ex-gay" conference so as to "prevent their children from embracing this destructive way of life," I've surely seen a lot of signs telling me that NOM, left to its own devices, would go beyond just the stated cause of marriage.  However, bound as they are to the devices of political pragmatism and a reality where animus is what tends to collapse their cases in courts of both law and public opinion, I'm used to NOM pretty much sticking to the issue at hand when it comes to their action alerts and press releases.

That all changed this weekend.  Here is what NOM fired off to its supporters:

NOM, National Organization for Marriage

Then, after a long list of contact info, NOM closes out with this warning:

NOM, National Organization for Marriage

It is the single most anti-LGBT action in which I have ever seen NOM engage.  This, an organization that has long denied it is anti-gay and instead insisted it is a "pro-marriage" policy shop, is coming right out an admitting it: NOM does not want homosexuality being seen as normal.  NOM considers our values "alternative 'values'"  With this action, NOM is aligning itself with the most radical groups on the oppositional side, fighting against the simple inclusivity of gay parents and children.

In my eyes, this is a game changer.  NOM can never live this one down.  From here on out, we have no choice but to see NOM's fight as against the LGBT person.  Here at a time when the organization is scrambling to find its messaging, NOM made this choice to step outside its focused cause and go hardcore against this, a fair-minded policy shift that HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MARRIAGE.  NOM is wearing this undeniable animus like a merit badge, without concern or even realization for the fact that it just tied its own forward movement in knots.