It’s an election year and the issue of same-sex marriage looms large. Yet just as pro-equality groups, such as Freedom to Marry, rally for support, anti-gay groups are gathering momentum. According to a survey by the Movement Advancement Project, the top 10 anti- gay groups spend almost three times as much as the 40 pro-equality groups in the survey.
One of the most notorious anti-gay groups is the National Organization of Marriage (NOM). Recently, in a document titled, “The National Strategy for Winning the Marriage Battle,” NOM writes, “find, equip, energize and connect African–American spokespeople for marriage…provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots.” NOM further zeros in on the Latino community by also saying, “…we must interrupt this process of (Anglo culture) assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity— a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.” This divisive strategy pits one minority group against another. According to the Human Rights Campaign’s analysis of NOM’s tax filings, the top five donors account for 88 percent of its funding. More information about this at hrc.org/nomexposed.
Other groups, such as WinShape, account for almost $2 million in anti-gay “charitable” donations in 2009 alone. WinShape is behind such groups as the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund,
Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Christian Foundation, and Focus on the Family, to name a few. The most daunting realization is that the financial hands of organizations like WinShape run deep into the pockets of not only political candidates, but also into well- known businesses, retail chains and fast-food restaurants (Want a side order of hatred with your Chick-Fil-A meal? The chain donated $2 million to anti-gay groups in 2009). These anti-equality organizations utilize stealth methods against same-sex marriage on a federal level—potential changes that would com- promise the future of marriage equality or. Always research the companies you interact with on a daily basis.
Anti-LGBT organizations are battling in all areas. The Christian Values Net- work’s (CVN) funding of anti-gay and anti-women organizations, including the Family Research Council, caused an outraged Apple customer to use Change. org as a platform, petitioning Apple to remove its iTunes store from the CVN website. Major brands, when purchased through this website, make donations to anti-gay groups such as Focus on the Family or Family Research Council, serving as a vehicle for the support of known hate groups.
In response, it is imperative that the LGBT community and straight allies stand strong, both publicly and privately, to make their voices heard in support of marriage equality.