In an editorial today, the New York Times takes note of the horrific contents of unsealed National Organization for Marriage (NOM) memos, pointing out that the contents of the memos clearly identify NOM as a purely political organization, despite its claim to be a social welfare organization.
Among the highlights are the following:
The documents brag about its “crucial” role in passage of Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage that was overturned by a federal appeals court. They describe the group’s use of “robo-calls” to scare residents in different states away from supporting marriage equality. They talk of a plan to “expose Obama as a social radical,” but the most appalling portions deal with the group’s racially and ethnically divisive strategies.
“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” says one memo.
Another stated aim is to manipulate Hispanic voters by making the exclusion of gay people from marriage “a key badge of Latino identity.”
Although I am sure that the evidence, as usual, will fail to convince those who need convincing, it should be painfully obvious that NOM consists of horrible, hateful people whose entire existence revolves around constant attempts to insure that other people are miserable and oppressed.
However, I took special note of the paragraph following the above, in which the NYT noted that House Speaker John Boehner recently appointed NOM’s co-founder, Robert George, to a U.S. commission “focused on addressing religious intolerance and extremism around the globe.” This is the same Speaker Boehner who is wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to defend the indefensible DOMA in court.
Aside from the obvious prejudice and desire to oppress and marginalize, I do wonder what’s the connection between Boehner and NOM?
Glenn Greenwald has a fascinating article up on Salon right now with all the details, including what appears to be VanderSloot’s habit of using threats of legal action against anyone who publishes articles critical of him and/or his business practices.
One of the important things to note about VanderSloot is his, and his wife’s, history of anti-gay, anti-marriage equality activism. From Greenwald’s article:
He has a history of virulent anti-gay activism, including the spearheading of a despicable billboard campaigncondemning Idaho Public Television for a documentary, entitled It’s Elementary, that was designed to provide “a window into what really happens when teachers address lesbian and gay issues with their students in age-appropriate ways” (the image on the left shows one of VanderSloot’s “homosexual lifestyle” billboards after it was defaced with the word “YES!”). VanderSloot denounced the documentary as a threat to children: “if this isn’t stopped, a lot of little kids will watch this program and create questions they’ve never had . . . little lives are going to be damaged permanently,” he said. In 2008, VanderSloot’s wife, Belinda, donated $100,000 to California’s anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8 campaign.
For anyone out there who still is under the vague impression that Mitt Romney is somehow the “moderate” Republican in the race, his close association with VanderSloot should give you pause for thought.
I highly recommend watching this entire video. Although the Proposition 8 trial in California was taped, the anti-marriage equality defendants won a court fight over the public viewing of the video tapes. But, the transcripts are publicly available. An Academy Award winning screen writer, Dustin Lance Black, dramatized the closing arguments and some of the key testimony. An all star cast, including Martin Sheen, George Clooney, Jane Lynch, Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Pitt, and a host of others, did a reading of the play last night that was live-streamed on You Tube.
For one thing, it is so damned refreshing to see lawyers be heroes. The two brilliant plaintiffs’ attorneys, Ted Olson and David Boies, did a masterful job at cross-examination and closing arguments. Just beautiful.
For another thing, it is stunning to see the utter lack of any legal basis on the side of the anti-marriage equality folks. They have nothing. No argument, no legal basis, nothing, other than a mostly religion-based prejudice.
Watch it here: