Confidential documents made public on Monday show one of the nation’s leading anti-gay groups planned to defeat campaigns for gay marriage across the country by “fanning the hostility” between black voters and gay voters.
The documents were made public on Monday afternoon by a federal court, as part of an ongoing case challenging the financial activities National Organization for Marriage in Maine, according to the gay rights groups Human Rights campaign, which first published the report.
The documents were marked “confidential” by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which was formed to support the passage of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. NOM has gone on to campaign against laws recognizing same-sex families in some of the nations biggest fights, including efforts in Massachusetts, Maine and New York.
According to the internal documents NOM raised $3 million for California’s Prop. 8 campaign and was its “largest single contributor.”
“It is likely no overstatement to suggest that without NOM’s early leadership, the Prop. 8 campaign would have never gotten off the ground,” read the notes from the 2008-2009 board update.
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies,” reads an internal report on 2008 and 2009 campaigns, in a section titled the “Not A Civil Right Project.”
“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 as bigots,” reads the document.
The group also targeted Latino voters.
“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?” the document asks. “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.”
Colorlines.com’s Kai Wright, who has covered the intersection of racial and sexual politics for years, says that while the news is no surprise, it offer an important reminder to LGBT rights supporters:
The right has always sought to pit the majority of people against one another in order to maintain the privileges of a few. That has been plainly the case in the fight to keep LGBT in the margins, and it began long before the marriage wars. It’s a truly cautionary tale to those who support LGBT rights: ignore race at your own peril.
The report is published it its entirety below.
(h/t Buzz Feed)