- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gay-rights groups are trumpeting the disclosure of internal strategic and financial documents written three years ago by their most formidable opponent in the gay-marriage battle.

One of the National Organization of Marriage’s strategic plans was to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies,” over the issue of gay marriage as a civil right, the Human Rights Campaign said.

NOM also was amassing “huge coffers” of money to fund “phony ‘research,’ ” even as it tried to push “the false notion that Americans are under attack” from gay marriage, HRC said. The group further called for President Obama to be exposed “as a social radical,” and that Hispanics should be encouraged to adopt man-woman marriage as “a key badge of Latino identity.”

“With the veil lifted, Americans everywhere can now see the ugly politics that the National Organization for Marriage” traffics in every day, said HRC President Joe Solmonese. HRC was first to post NOM’s 2009 materials after they were unsealed in U.S. District Court in Maine this week.

NOM President Brian Brown on Tuesday stood behind the documents, saying they prove that NOM and its allies “proudly bring together people of different races, creeds and colors to fight for our most fundamental institution: marriage.”

Mr. Brown says some sections of the disclosed documents could have been written better, “but the reality is that everyone knows what we’re saying is true: that the Democratic Party is now waging war on African-Americans who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.” As a result, NOM has “supported plenty of Democrats who stood up against the party” on gay marriage, he added.

The outcry over the documents is “a tempest in a teapot,” said NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher.

“It must be a very slow news day … if an organizational document that’s three years old and lays out what we were going to do three years ago has become front-page news,” she said.

Gay-rights groups are “claiming we’re racist because we reach out to African-Americans and Latinos … who care about the biblical understanding of marriage,” said Ms. Gallagher, an author and syndicated columnist.

“One of the reasons we’ve been successful in reaching out to the black church in Maryland, or to spokespeople like Rev. Sen. [Ruben] Diaz in New York, is because, for us, it’s not about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about working with people across party lines who will support marriage,” she said.

NOM, founded in 2007 to oppose same-sex marriage in states, is involved in this year’s battles in Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota and Washington state.

The newly unsealed NOM documents are part of a federal lawsuit in which NOM and Maine state officials are fighting over whether NOM has to comply with state campaign-disclosure laws.

In 2009, NOM spent about $2 million to defeat Maine’s nascent gay-marriage law; Maine voters chose to keep man-woman unions by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent. Supporters of gay marriage in Maine have revived the issue and placed a measure to legalize gay marriage on the November ballot.

The NOM documents do not identify its individual donors - a goal of gay activist and presidential candidate Fred Karger, who triggered the Maine lawsuit in 2009 when he filed a complaint over NOM’s nondisclosure of its donors.

However, the release of the 2009 NOM strategy and fundraising documents is “much better than who the donors are,” said Mr. Karger. NOM is “very devious, and we’re finally getting a glimpse of how they operate,” he said.

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