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07/17/2013

NOM cites five 'wins' (four of which they ultimately lost)

by Jeremy Hooper

The delusions are become more intense by the day.

Check out the following, which comes from NOM's latest fundraising blast. The "I" is president Brian Brown:

Our opponents and those in the biased media say, "It's inevitable. You can't win. Give up…"

I couldn't disagree more!

In 2008, I heard the same things when we worked on Prop 8 in California…and we WON!

In 2009, I heard the same things when we worked on Question 1 in Maine…and we WON!

In 2010, I heard the same things when we worked in Iowa to oust state Supreme Court justices…and we WON!

In 2011, I heard the same things when we worked in New York to oust legislators who flipped on marriage and betrayed their constituents…and we WON!

And last year, I heard the same things when we worked in North Carolina to pass an amendment to the state constitution protecting marriage…and we WON!

FULL PIECE: This is important…please take a minute to read… [NOM Blog]

Wow, these are the "wins" they use to disprove inevitability?! Really? Let's break 'em down.

  • Yes, they passed Prop 8. However, they did so in a very crude and overreaching way—a way that could not ultimately stand up in a court of law. That is why California now has marriage equality once again.
  • Yes, they won one round in Maine. But guess what? We won the second (and final) round! Maine has marriage equality. Right now. Today. Go to Bangor and bang it out! All NOM accomplished was forcing folks of a state to which they have no personal connection to waste money on a referendum that never needed to be. Had they just let the law go into effect in 2009, marriage equality would be in place, just as it is, but many state residents would have a little more money (not to mention goodwill) in their pockets.
  • Yes, the ousted a couple of Supreme Court justices in Iowa in the conservative sweep of 2010. So what? [a] Marriage equality is still the law in Iowa; [b] the replacement justices could very well support marriage equality as well (and there's reason to believe they do); [c] NOM failed in is 2012 attempt to oust an Iowa justice, speaking to the trend lines of this debate. Again, all NOM did in these judicial retention campaigns is waste time and money. Oh, and they also encouraged a truly dangerous idea: outside money politicizing our courts simply because the special interest group driving the fight doesn't agree with one decision.
  • Yes, they played a small role in some of the NY elections. But the truth is that the one claim they can realistically make in terms of turning a pro-equality seat to an anti-equality seat brought them a Senator, Kathy Marchione, who has publicly stated that she will not touch marriage. All of the other seats either went to pro-equality Democrats or had outcomes that were completely unrelated to NOM's efforts. What NOM really did in NY is create a state legislature that pro-equality lawmakers still very much control and a local Republican party that is thoroughly pissed off at NOM and Co. Marriage in the Empire State is completely safe and NOM has not done a darn thing to change that!

The one "win" they can count here is the final one in the list: North Carolina. Yes, they one that highly religious-motivated campaign. Yes, they put a ban into another state. Big deal. We followed up by winning four states and then gaining marriage rights in a handful of others. While we one the right side of history hated to "lose" North Carolina and fought like hell to not, there isn't an equality activist alive who would trade this one state win for what we actually did accomplish in 2012. It was an historic election year that solidified the trajectory of LGBT rights. Anyone denying this would have to spin like Tasmanian Devil's even more rambunctious cousin!

Or, you know: work for NOM.

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