NOM waged an aggressive campaign in favor of US House candidate Kirk Jorgensen, a conservative Republican. While NOM advocated and funded robocalls in favor of its candidate, NOM spent much of its effort going after one of Jorgensen's front-running challengers, openly gay Republican challenger Carl DeMaio, attacking him for little more than being a gay man.
On election night, Jorgensen finished a distant third with only 17.9% of the vote.
After losing in its attempt to stop pro-equality Democrat Cory Booker in his 2013 special election, NOM is trying again in 2014. In the Republican primary, NOM backed Jeffrey Bell, a Republican who actually earned his party's nomination for this same seat back in 1978 before losing the general election to his Democratic challenger.
After more than thirty years of living in Virginia (part of that time working with American Principles Project, a project of NOM cofounder Robert George), Bell returned to New Jersey and sought to face off against Booker. NOM backed him with an endorsement and get out the vote efforts; Bell won the primary.
Will he unseat Booker, delivering a "win" for NOM? Or will 1978 repeat itself? Stay tuned this autumn.
NOM spent more than $25,000 hoping to tip a June, 2014 primary race in New York's 22nd congressional district toward anti-equality conservative Claudia Tenney. NOM issued mailers and robocalls hoping to influence the low turnout race. At the end of the night, pro–marriage equality GOP Rep. Richard Hanna (one of just three House Republicans who support marraige equality) came out victorious over NOM's candidate, Claudia Tenney.
Calling it "a race to win," NOM endorsed and threw cash at robocalls on behalf of Republican hopeful for US Senate, Steve Lonegan. NOM heavily promoted Lonegan on all of its properties, hoping he could defeat pro-equality Democrat Cory Booker in this special election (for the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat).
Cory Booker easily won the seat.
NOM endorsed extremely anti-gay gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. "Victory is just hours away," NOM declared right before the election.
Pro-equality Democrat Terry McCaullife proceeded to win the election.
After a GOP primary where NOM spent most of its time attacking candidate Ron Paul for not fully backing the organization's positions, NOM moved into the general election with an early endorsement to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has signed the organization's anti-gay "marriage pledge." NOM spent over $86,000 in the days surrounding the November, 2012 election trying to get out the vote for their candidate.
Democrat Barack Obama was handily re-elected, becoming the first President to not only come out for marriage equality, but to also then achieve re-election after doing so.
NOM was a coalition partner of the so-called Protect Marriage Maine effort, raising most of the funds for the effort to stop marriage equality in the Pine Tree State. NOM's political director, Frank Schubert, was the campaign manager for the effort.
Equality won, 52.6%.
NOM was a coalition partner of the so-called Minnesota For Marriage effort, raising most of the funds for the effort to pass a same-sex marriage ban in the North Star State. NOM's political director, Frank Schubert, was the campaign manager for the effort.
Discrimination lost, 52.56%.
NOM was a coalition partner of the so-called Maryland Marriage Alliance, raising most of the funds (more than $1 million) for the effort to repeal marriage equality in the Old Line State. NOM's political director, Frank Schubert, was the campaign manager for the effort.
Equality won, 52.4%.
Additionally, NOM entered the US Senate race out of Maryland, trying to oust incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin, a strong supporter of equality, by funding anti-equality Democrat Anthony Muse in that year's Democratic primary. Cardin ultimately won with a resounding 74% of the vote.
NOM was a coalition partner of the so-called Preserve Marriage Washington effort, raising most of the funds (over $1 million) for the effort to stop marriage equality in the Evergreen State. NOM's political director, Frank Schubert, was the campaign manager for the effort.
Equality won, 53.7%.
In 2012, NOM targeted for punishment four Republican state senators who had voted for marriage equality the year before. NOM launched truly cruel campaigns comparing the Republicans to Benedict Arnold and Judas. While NOM would later claim success in this effort, the truth is that NOM did not accomplish at all what it set out to do.
-- NOM targeted Mark Grisanti, directing funds to his Conservative Party challenger Chuck Swanick instead. The pro-equality Grisanti easily defeated both Swanick and Democrat Mike Amodeo.
-- NOM targeted Stephen Saland, backing Conservative Party challenger Neil Di Carlo instead. Both lost and pro-equality Democrat Terry Gipson took the seat.
-- One of the Republicans, James Alesi, retired without seeking reelection. Democrat Ted O'Brien, a pro-equality Democrat, won the seat.
-- NOM did manage to defeat one candidate, Roy McDonald, and replace him with a less equality-supportive senator, Republican Kathy Marchione. However, even that was a nothing-burger of a "win" for NOM, as Marchione said she wouldn't press to repeal the marriage law ("this issue has passed").
All in all, NOM's work actually helped deliver a Democratic majority in the state Senate (*although Republicans retain control due to an agreement with five Independent Democrats)
NOM also entered the US Senate race out of New York, backing conservative Wendy Long over Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand easily won the race, delivering a whopping 72% (!) of the vote.
NOM backed former governor and GOP presidential candidate Tommy Thompson in his race for US Senate against openly gay Democrat Tammy Baldwin. NOM spent $18,000+ to get out the vote; Baldwin was the winner.
NOM bought $16295.85 in robocalls opposing Democratic incumbent US Senator Claire McCaskill in her race against Todd "legitimate rape" Akin. On election night, McCaskill kept her seat.
NOM spent more than $32,000 trying to get Republican Josh Mandel into the US Senate. Mandel lost to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown.
NOM directed a small sum toward electing Republican Connie Mack to the US Senate. Mack lost to Democratic incumbent Ben Nelson.
Just like in 2010, NOM worked to oust state Supreme Court justice who brought marriage equality to Iowa. This year, NOM directed low six figures to Judge David Wiggins' judicial retention. Despite NOM's costly efforts, Wiggins was retained.
To be fair, NOM had one victory in May of 2012: The organization, working with its coalition partners in North Carolina, managed to write discrimination into the Tar Heel state's constitution. NOM directed hundreds of thousands of dollars to this, a campaign for which its political director, Frank Schubert, served as manager. The discriminatory ban passed with 61% of the vote.
The very next day, President Barack Obama came out in favor of marriage equality—and changed history. Like all bans, North Carolina's is destined to fail.
NOM backed Jane Corwin, a Republican member of the New York state Assembly, in a May special election for a House seat out of NY's 26th district. Democrat Kathy Hochul won the race instead, marking the first time in forty years that a Democrat has won this seat.
Later that same year, NOM came out big time for Republican Bob Turner in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Democrat Anthony Weiner. In addition to backing Turner, NOM went after opponent David Weprin in a very crude way, accusing the pro-equality, Jewish Democrat of "defying Jewish law" for supporting marriage equality. NOM also engaged with an EXTREMELY anti-gay coalition of Orthodox rabbis in order to push for Turner over Weprin, including a rabbi who said "earthquakes are caused because of homosexuality."
In this case, NOM's candidate Turner did win the race. However, he said at the time that he wasn't planning to make an issue out of marriage, much to NOM's dismay ("The gay marriage issue is closed, it's New York state law," Turner told the Daily News. "I don't see any reason to be using this as a campaign issue.") Turner only served one term before running, unsuccessfully, for US Senate. In his Senate race, NOM backed another Republican candidate, Wendy Long, over Turner.
NOM championed Tea Party candidate Craig Huey in a special runoff election for the 36th congressional district seat that long term Democrat Jane Harman had vacated. Democrat Janice Hahn won the election by ten percentage points.
NOM entered a statewide race in Iowa in the fall of 2011, backing anti-equality Republican Cindy Golding over Democrat Liz Mathis for a state senate seat. Mathis won the seat.
The National Organization for Marriage spent at least $2.7 million pushing their nationwide anti-gay agenda during the 2010 election cycle. The outcome? It became clear that jobs and the economy, not marriage, topped voters’ concerns. In fact, LGBT issues had no or minimal influence on how or why people voted.