The National Organization for Marriage is fighting tooth and nail to slow down the inevitable, bipartisan shift toward marriage equality across the country. All other anti-gay groups in the U.S. have ceded the marriage issue to NOM, which runs aggressive statewide campaigns against marriage equality and against pro-equality candidates – from state legislators on up to President. The Pew Research Center reported NOM’s spending on advocacy in Washington, D.C. increased 161% from 2008-09 - at a time when the country is reeling from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Long expert at dismantling advancement through the ballot box -- witness California’s Prop 8 in 2008 and Maine’s Question 1 in 2009 -- NOM has increasingly taken a more aggressive approach in its fringe mission. The group’s newest chairman, John Eastman, is horribly anti-gay. And the group is calling on the GOP presidential candidates to set up a presidential commission if elected to “investigate” LGBT Americans - all the while NOM remains under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission. Here are some key points
- The American people are moving well away from NOM’s strident ideology. Support for marriage equality, according to Pew, has increased 19 points since 1996. National polls, including Gallup, AP, CNN, Washington Post/ABC News, now have a majority of Americans supporting marriage equality.
- NOM is not a grassroots organization. It is run by a few anti-gay shadow donors. Its 2010 Form 990 shows the top two contributed 69% of NOM’s funding – and the top five donors 88%. In fact, the reason why NOM does not have a federal PAC – a very unusual instrument to be lacking for a Beltway advocacy organization of its size – is that it doesn’t meet the basic indicia of a grassroots organization: members.
- NOM hides its donors. The group refuses to disclose donors to its political efforts, circumventing public disclosure laws in five states. Even Supreme Court Justice Scalia doesn’t agree with NOM’s practice of hiding its donors, putting NOM outside of the conservative mainstream of legal thought.
- NOM is currently under investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission.
- NOM is quick to say marriage has been playing an important role in recent elections. It's very difficult to make the argument. "Gay marriage" is not people's minds. as we come out of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. National and state polls – and even Republican candidates themselves—say straight up, gay marriage did not play a role in this election.
- NOM’s new chairman, Prof. John Eastman, is a bona fide extremist. Don’t let those academic credentials fool you. His anti-gay animus runs deep. Jeremy Hooper does the digging.
- NOM’s “gays are bullies” meme has been widely debunked. An infamous NOM refrain is that gay people are bullies, harassers, even vandals - allegations which federal judges and state officials have found baseless.
- NOM is not just an anti-gay marriage group. It’s on record opposing civil unions and domestic partnerships.