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07/01/2014

NOM's clumsy new branding

by Jeremy Hooper

The silly little pro-discrimination enterprise known as the National Organization For Marriage just updated its social media branding with this image and messaging:

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 At 5.48.50 Pm
[NOM]

It's astoundingly off-message for an org. that once knew how to at least stay on-brand.

For one, the tag line is an outright admission that this organization not only wants to deny same-sex couples of marriage rights, but instead believes that we are not capable of forming families at all. This is a change. NOM used to at least pay lip service to the idea that gay people can and do form bonds; they just claimed they didn't want us to have marriages. But of course that was before NOM's truly unimaginable string of losses. I'm guessing desperate times call for more desperate (read: more overtly anti-gay) messaging.

And what about single parents? I'd reckon to say many single moms and dads consider their bond with their kids to be family-like. Why doesn't NOM?

But even worse, in terms of NOM and the conservative base it needs to please, is the idea that it takes nothing more than a man and a woman coming together to form a family. Um, hello—isn't this the organization that demands that marriage is the be-all and end-all of what makes a family?! This message makes it sound like a cohabiting man and woman are just as good. Hell, it makes it sound like even a man and woman on a blind date are further along that a gay couple of many years. No ring. No ceremony. No marriage contract. You just need a penis and a vagina, and poof—family!

Seriously, who in the K Street (or perhaps Philadelphia) office is steering this ship? I mean, we all know that the NOM masterminds' worst move was the day they got together and said, "hey, let's start this new thing called NOM." At least for a short time after that, however, they kept up some semblance of an impression of being a special interest group that knew what it was doing. Nowadays it's like NOM is the chief lobbyist for Big Fail Enterprises. For me as a happily married LGBT equality activist, it's a delicious demise to watch. But for me as a politico, it's a truly fascinating case study in how to really, really, really stink at playing this game.

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