The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

Six of eight candidates for NYC mayor, Sen. Schumer attend event with NOM prez as its guest of honor

August 26, 2013, by Jeremy Hooper, Guest Contributor

So this is a bit concerning. We've just learned that on April 13, six of the leading candidates for mayor of New York City—every leading contender except for top Democrats Christine Quinn (an out and married lesbian) and Bill De Blasio—attended an event in celebration of viciously anti-gay state senator Ruben Díaz and his organization, the Hispanic Ministers of New York Organization. The guest of honor at this event? None other than Diaz' ally in the fight to stop marriage equality in New York state, NOM president Brian Brown.

Andres Duque brings us the full story and translated video excerpts:

Story: NYC mayoral candidates break bread with Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage [Blabbeando]

We should note that every candidate who attended the event, with the long exception of NOM endorsee Erick Salagdao (a Democrat who's polling at around 2%), stands in support of marriage equality.  Even the two top Republicans in the race, Joe Lhota and John Catsimatidis, are on the right side of this issue.  There is little fear that rogue Democrat Ruben Díaz, a man with a penchant for both saying and recruiting bona fide animus against us, is going to sway them on this issue in a city that supports the already-legal notion in whopping numbers.  That's a given.

But still, this is really concerning.  Yes, candidates go out and look for votes.  However, this is not just your run of the mill event.  The organization Brian Brown NOM marchbehind this event is the very same organization that hosted downright offensive events designed to stop marriage equality.  You remember that Bronx event where a pastor, quite literally, cited biblical admonishments involving death?  That was a NOM / Hispanic Ministers of New York Organization event!  My afternoon attending that event (my photo from the day can be seen at left; video here) remains one of the worst days of my eleven years living in New York City.  It was *that* bad.

Yet here we have equality allies showing up to toast this event, where the head of NOM is the guest of honor?!  For the LGBT voter and our allies—which is to say the majority of NYC voters—this kind of ceremony goes well beyond politics.  Heck, this event quite literally seeks to legally divorce one of the no-show candidates (Quinn) from her wife!  That takes it off the field of acceptable debate and puts it into an entirely different arena.  

In fact, I, a married gay man and New York City voter, would argue that a good leader of a staunchly pro-equality city would follow De Blasio and Quinn's lead and not put in a positive RSVP. 


*Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously noted the date as August 13 rather than April 13.