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05/10/2013

The conversation is changing; thanks, NOM!

by Jeremy Hooper

For years I've been saying that the National Organization For Marriage, though its bad political practices and missteps, is actually helping our side reach equality even faster than we would've had the anti-LGBT side left their movement more piecemeal. I was gearing up to write yet another piece along these same lines when I stumbled on this interesting thread on NOM's own Facebook page:

(*subject is yesterday's House passage in Minnesota)
201305101011
[NOM F'book]

Truly fascinating for a NOM geek like myself! People have really come to understand that NOM is a uniquely negative organization whose own considerable faults create equal opportunities for our side.

I seriously noticed this in the very beginning, when NOM launched its operation with a heinous billboard campaign in Massachusetts. From there we got Prop 8 and the ridiculous "Gathering Storm" campaign. Then there was the aggressive strategy of self-victimization, which was so specifically offensive (and exploitable). Of course there were the many investigations into how NOM financed and disclosed its efforts, with funding secrecy raising so many more questions about this peculiar brand. Oh, and let's not forget about the "drive a wedge between gays and blacks" thing. Perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that NOM is such a young organization. With so much ridiculousness attached to its operation, it feels like the org has been around much longer than its mere five-and-a-half years.

But while NOM has done itself no favors, I would also stress that we are winning because we did the hard work. We pushed back, we held them in account, we connected dots, we went to court, we engaged in conversation, and we genuinely exposed this organization and its considerable weaknesses. We aren't winning because they let us win; we are winning because we showed up, stood up, and played hardball against the NOM charade.

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