Racial strategy by gay marriage foes draws criticism

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:35pm EDT

A same-sex wedding cake topper is seen outside the East Los Angeles County Recorder's Office on Valentine's Day during a news event for National Freedom to Marry Week in Los Angeles, California February 14, 2012. REUTERS/David McNew

A same-sex wedding cake topper is seen outside the East Los Angeles County Recorder's Office on Valentine's Day during a news event for National Freedom to Marry Week in Los Angeles, California February 14, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David McNew

Related Topics

(Reuters) - A confidential memo saying the best way to fight same-sex marriage is to drive "a wedge between gays and blacks" and manipulate Latinos drew criticism on Wednesday in the weeks ahead of a vote to ban gay marriage in North Carolina.

The memo written by the National Organization for Marriage was made public late Monday as part of a lawsuit in Maine, where voters will consider a November referendum to legalize gay marriage.

The previously confidential memo outlined a number of strategies aimed at increasing opposition to gay marriage among Latinos and blacks as a way of undermining the argument that gay rights are equivalent to civil rights. "It's really quite appalling that they would try to divide portions of the country along racial lines," said Stuart Campbell, executive director of Equality North Carolina, a group leading opposition to a May 8 referendum on whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The memo, discussing NOM's 2008-2009 accomplishments, outlined its strategy for fighting the movement to legalize gay marriage, including one effort called ‘Not a Civil Rights Project.'

"The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies," the memo said. "Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage… provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots."

The memo also discussed efforts to reach out to Hispanics by labeling support for same-sex marriage a concession to ‘Anglo' culture and a plan to get Latino celebrities to do television ads.

"We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation," the document said. Following the memo's release, NOM issued a statement saying the group has "worked extensively with supporters of traditional marriage from every color, creed and background." Like North Carolina, Minnesota voters will consider a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Maine's referendum considers whether to allow it.

Same-sex couples can currently marry in the District of Columbia, New York, Iowa and four New England states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Gay marriage laws have also been passed in Washington, effective June 7, and Maryland, effective in January 2013.

(Editing By Barbara Goldberg and Dan Burns)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (5)
rightmind2020 wrote:
Hmmmm………one must wonder…….Reuters, being a mainstream media corporate conglomerate, having been shown to be in the Obama/Democrat/homosexual back pocket, are they telling the truth or simply lying, like liberals are wont to do? After all, they never report on how liberal organizations exploit racial/ethnic/demographic groups for their own gain. I smell hypocrisy.

Mar 28, 2012 4:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JamVee wrote:
Don’t you think that this world has quite enough wedges? They are already driven between: peoples; cultures; religions; colors; and nationality’s too! Now someone, “HOLIER THAN THOU”, wants to drive more wedges? This time, between the “hetero” and “homo” sexual populations of the entire world. It’s time to accept this, and move on with life. The constitution grants them this freedom, and now it’s our turn?

Mar 28, 2012 4:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Josorr wrote:
Homosexuals ALREADY have the same rights as heterosexuals. There is no need to pass any laws or grant them any rights. A homosexual male is already free to marry any woman that will have him, just like the rest of us. Likewise, a homosexual woman is free to marry any man that wants her, just like any other woman. In the same way, a black man has all the same rights as a white man. This is as it should be. But that doesn’t mean a black man is entitled to white skin, or that a white man is entitled to black skin. That can’t be granted. You can CALL a white man black or a black man white, but that doesn’t make it so, and it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter anyway. It just isn’t NATURAL. If a man gets a sex change, he could be CALLED a woman, but he/she will NEVER be a NATURAL woman. Only a natural man and a natural woman can make a natural woman or A natural man (baby) and THAT, is what marriage is about. A natural man and a natural woman. One of each. Live your lifestyle, make your protests, have your gay pride marches and parades, pass your laws, live out your agenda, and change our society if you must. Define marriage the way you like, and dream on. It doesn’t really matter what you do. Two men or two women can’t be married the way NATURE defines it, no matter what. Two men can’t make a baby by themselves. Neither can two women. That is just how it is. These aren’t my morals or laws set down by any human. They are laws of nature. If you are homosexual, Don’t be angry or bitter. No one did it to you. No one is stopping you from having your fun or from making commitments to one another. It is the world we are all born into.

Mar 28, 2012 6:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures