The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has gone public with a series of confidential documents which outline the National
Organization for Marriage's (NOM) multi-year plan to thwart the national campaign for marriage equality.
The documents reportedly emerged as part of an ongoing investigation by the state of Maine into NOM's illegal campaign finance practices, and reveal some of the group's racially-driven strategies:
"The strategic goal…is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women
Another passage reads:
"The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? 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."
"We have learned much about how to win the marriage battle," one document concludes. "What we need now is to find the resources to prosecute and expand this strategy to win marriage in the U.S., and expand it into a global movement."
The revelations were quickly condemned as "callous and extremist" by HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Such brutal honesty is a game changer, and this time NOM can’t spin and twist its way out of creating an imagined rift between LGBT people and African Americans or Hispanics," he said in a statement.
Echoing those sentiments was Jeremy Hooper, editor and publisher of Good As You and NOM Exposed partner: "It's hard to find joy in such divisive political games, but I'm certainly glad we know NOM's hurtful plans now before more folks are hurt."
UPDATE: NOM President Brian Brown has responded to the controversy in a statement, pointing out that his group has "worked extensively with supporters of traditional marriage from every color, creed and background." He continues:
"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. 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 different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage."
Still, ThinkProgress pointed out: "Everything in this statement confirms the strategy of using people of color as spokespeople and using the language of 'civil rights' as a catalyst for division."
Take a look at businesses which support same-sex marriage below: