The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

NOM’s Thomas Peters touts ‘mainstream’ news site; firmly plants NOM on extreme end of ‘culture war’

February 21, 2012, by Jeremy Hooper

The far-right LifeSite News is an incredibly incendiary website. Its founder and editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen, is a vocal proponent of "changing" gay people, saying Screen Shot 2012-02-21 At 9.12.01 Am"Christians care enough about those men and women who are in these destructive lifestyles to tell them that it's hurtful -- and it is hurtful." Westen has also declared that "The only way to truly win [the same-sex marriage] debate is to raise the long-ignored subject of homosexuality itself: to teach the truth that homosexual acts are perilous to the body, and especially to the soul," adding that "to fail to do this would be to fail to address the heart of the matter." Oh, and just recently he likened homosexuality to playing near a cliff, saying gay people live in realities that are "harmful to their bodies, to their emotions and also to their souls."

At this past summer's annual meeting of LifeSite staff, the keynote speaker told the workers that their battle is against "the unseen adversary, Satan, in his primary assault on mankind." This same speaker described LifeSite's opposition as "human beings who are [Satan's] agents, both knowingly and unknowingly (and I would think that probably almost all of them unknowingly cooperate with evil on this scale).” Reminder: We're the opposition.

For more on LifeSite, its advocacy, and its editorial penchant for courting true extremists like Scott Lively or citing junk science from the likes of Paul Cameron, see Box Turtle Bulletin's years of coverage on the subject. Otherwise, we could be here all day.

Let's instead move on to our more NOM-my interests.  Recently, I noted how the National Organization For Marriage, over the past year or so, has pushed LifeSite content with surprising frequency. On just the NOM blog alone, the organization has advanced LifeSite content 150+ times in the past two years. It's a choice that I described as surprising because NOM, a few years back, would've NEVER promoted such a site. The organization used to be far more pragmatic and clued-in to "culture war" criticism to ever go in that direction. So I've found myself wondering what changed. What is leading NOM, an organization that still needs to win at an ever-changing ballot box, to so rapidly alienate the cherished "movable middle" in favor of the fringe?

Today, we might have our answer. Check out this new LifeSite News promotional video at around the :48 mark:

Yup, that's right: We find NOM's blogger, Cultural Director, and "NextGen Project" head, Thomas Peters, touting the virus of a site that so proudly pushes rabidly personal propaganda against LGBT people. And not only touting the site: Thomas, who increasingly speaks for NOM at conservative forums (see this video of a recent D.C. panel) actually refers to the aggressively pro-"ex-gay" LifeSite as "mainstream reporting."

If this is NOM's next generation, then I, for one, can't wait for this newer, more transparently personal version of NOM to come of age!