National Organization for Marriage

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a 501(c)(4) organization formed to oppose efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in state legislatures. The NOM Education Fund is separately organized as a 501(c)(3) organization. The president of NOM is Brian S. Brown.[1] The Chair of NOM's Board is Maggie Gallagher. NOM has a policy of refusing to disclose its donors to state election boards, and has sued in the courts rather than complying with existing law. Its actions on this count have prompted speculation as to the organization’s sources of funding. Gay rights activists have speculated that NOM was used in the California's battle over Proposition 8 as a front group for the Mormon Church. (Proposition 8 was a ballot initiative defining marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.) NOM has strongly denied the allegation, but the accusations have driven its fund raising further underground. After Proposition 8, the group’s president, Brian Brown, started encouraging supporters of banning gay marriage to donate to NOM as a way to support the effort while keeping their names undisclosed. In one fundraising appeal, Brown wrote, "...And unlike in California, every dollar you give to NOM’s Northeast Action Plan today is private, with no risk of harassment from gay marriage protesters."[2]

Phil Attey, executive director of a new group called Catholics for Equality, says "Why are groups like NOM hiding where they’re getting their money? If it turns out to be a front group for the conservative side of the church, Catholics have the right to know because the majority of American Catholics, and we can show you heaps of polls, don’t support that [kind of spending]."[3]

Talking points

NOM's Web site offers specific language for NOM supporters to use to oppose same-sex marriage, saying

THE MOST EFFECTIVE SINGLE SENTENCE:

Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is:

"Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us."

This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage. Some modify it to “People have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

Language to avoid at all costs: "Ban same-sex marriage." Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.”[4]

Ad campaign against same-sex marriage

In April 2009, NOM targeted New Jersey "in a $1.5 million advertising campaign." The group also ran ads in Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, the states deemed to be "the hottest battlegrounds on the issue right now." The television spots warned that supporters of same-sex marriage "want to change the way I live. ... That means wedding photographers and marriage counselors could be labeled bigots and sued if they oppose working with same-sex couples," they claimed. "It's obviously going to happen if gay marriage is the law of the land," Gallagher told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. [5]

Related Sourcewatch resources

Contact

National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, New Jersey 08542

Phone: (609) 688-0450
Fax: (888) 894-3604
Email: contact@nationformarriage.org

References

  1. National Organization for Marriage "About" Web page, accessed September 22, 2010
  2. Jesse Zwick Catholic groups have spent millions to fund anti-gay marriage Initiatives nationally, Colorado Independent, September 20, 2010
  3. Jesse Zwick Catholic groups have spent millions to fund anti-gay marriage Initiatives nationally, Colorado Independent, September 20, 2010
  4. National Organization for Marriage About, organizational Web site, accessed July 29, 2009
  5. John Reitmeyer, "Same-sex marriage opponents target N.J. in $1.5M ad campaign," The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), April 8, 2009