The primary organization fighting gay marriage in the United States aims to drive a wedge between gays and blacks and cast acceptance for same-sex marriage among Latinos as a mark of inappropriate assimilation, according to a confidential memo that was unsealed in U.S. District Court.
Those strategies were among those outlined by the National Organization for Marriage in an update to its board. The organization donated $1.9 million to Stand for Marriage Maine, a political action committee that worked toward the repeal of the state's same-sex marriage law in 2009.
The memo describes a plan for 2009-20011 to develop a media campaign centered around the objections to gay marriage by African-American spokespersons who object to equating gay marriage as a civil right.
"Provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party," the memo said.
As for the key demographic group of Latinos, the memo said that opposition to same-sex marriage should be made into a "key badge of latino identity" and a symbol of political resistance.
Glamorous young Latinos, such as celebrities, and attractive young black Democrats, should be found to promote the cause.
The memo was filed as part of a lawsuit by NOM against the state ethics commission over rules that require the disclosure of donors' identities. The memo was unsealed Monday.
NOM released a statement today saying the organization was proud of its strong record on minority partnerships and its work with African-American and Hispanic leaders.
"Gay marriage advocates have attempted to portray same-sex marriage as a civil right, but the voices of these and many other leaders have provided powerful witness that this claim is patently false," Brian Brown, NOM president, said in the statement. "Gay marriage is not a civil right, and we will continue to point this out in written materials such as those released in Maine. We proudly bring together people of difference races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage."
The information revealed in the memo was not surprising, said Matt McTighe, campaign director of Mainers United for Marriage, a political action committee formed in support of a ballot question that would legalize same sex marriage.
"To see it in black and white I hope will call more attention to the types of tactics oppornents of marriage for gays and lesbians have to rely on to scare voters," he said. "We expect they're going to continue to do it in Maine."
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