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NOM Exposed is a campaign-style operation that tracks and challenges the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage as it tries to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country.

What drives many of NOM’s rank-and-file supporters

August 13, 2010

by Adam Bink

We get a lot of footage of NOM supporters here at, and I’m always interested to see what motivates them, and the difference in language used between NOM’s leadership and the speakers they invite versus their rank-and-file supporters. Recently we’ve seen NOM speakers citing “evidence” that physical abuse of children is much higher with same-sex couples, or citing how children growing up without a mother and father are 20 times more likely to commit violent crime, or saying that gays and lesbians have a far shorter lifespan. And generally, I would say NOM’s leadership have been tending towards that kind of Ruth Institute work- “studies” and the like.

But there is still the religious fervor that drives many people among the NOM supporter rank-and-file. Here’s Arisha and Anthony interviewing Steve Davis, a NOM supporter and anti-equality activist on Wednesday in Charleston, WV. Watch what he says about the history of the homosexual movement being violent, how people would want to marry their cats or dogs, the choice to be gay, and more.

Now, here’s Carrie Stone, Elisia Ross, and their family:

Every time I see statements from individuals like Steve contrasted with footage of couples like Carrie, Alicia and their family (the two little ones are their grandchildren), it just takes my breath away. Carrie and Alicia aren’t a violent couple. They aren’t “choosing” to “sin”. They aren’t like cats or dogs. In fact, if Steve met them without knowing they were a couple, he’d probably say two nice folks like them are going to the Kingdom of Heaven. They might even be his neighbors.

It makes me wonder if folks like Steve will ever be reached in a place where he can see in his heart that these two people are just two regular folks who want to be married like anyone else. And it makes me wonder if the rest of NOM’s supporters are like Steve- allowing their interpretation of the Bible to solely drive their view of gay and lesbian couples, blind to how they actually lead their lives in love, responsibility, and caring for one another like any other married couple. For all the studies NOM and their speakers cite, they can’t get away from the fact that much of their rank-and-file are driven by religious intolerance. That’s not what they want the face of NOM to be, but it remains clear to the rest of us.