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07/01/2011

NOM in '08: When we vote on legal unions, we vote to 'take away an established right'

by Jeremy Hooper

Poking around these here Intertubes, I just discovered a very interesting document that the National Organization For Marriage assembled in the build up to Proposition. Well actually, that's not true -- the bulk of it is pretty much stuff we "culture war" watchers have known (e.g. that NOM is Catholic motivated, that Bishop Cordileone was a Prop 8 mastermind, etc). However, the doc does contain this one very revelatory passage:

Why now?  If we wait, the next chance will be 2010, and we give away two key assets: the backlash and the status quo. Backlash and anger fade. More importantly, one of the reasons marriage amendments have won in 27 out of 28 states is that they only ask voters to affirm the status quo. If we wait until 2010 we will be asking voters to take away an established right—much, much more challenging.

Why is this revelatory? Well, because look what they are saying here. NOM, a group that commands supporters to never frame this conversation as if they are taking something away (1st talking point), fully admits that when they vote against same-sex marriages that have been established, they are, in fact, "[taking] away an established right." Which is significant, because NOM is now active in states like New Hampshire and Iowa and New York , in hopes of rolling back marriages that will have been in place for a number of years before they could ever possibly go before the polls. It's near certain that if/when Maggie and Brian get referenda in these states, they will once again deny that they are trying to take anything away, instead claiming they are just "protecting" marriages, faith, and families. But this document calls that bluff. This document belies whatever carefully crafted campaigns they choose to run. Their own internally-distributed words, circa the summer 2008, came right out and stated the obvious: Voting against same-sex marriages TAKE AWAY AN ESTABLISHED RIGHT!

And regardless of how they spun in back in 2008 -- amid the other big revelation here, which is that they rely upon "backlash and anger" to win -- the truth is that they took away an established right in that campaign too! Because our equality didn't need more time to cook before it became settled. It was settled. It was peaceful. It was benign. NOM took away all that and replaced it with deep division, riling up "backlash and anger" for the purposes of crude discrimination. So, so wrong.

**The full document:

CA Backgrounder

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