In Maryland, NOM Plays The Race Card... Again
March 16, 2011 5:54 pm ET by Carlos Maza
This Wednesday, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) continued its effort to pit African Americans and the LGBT community against each other. In response to Kevin Naff's Washington Blade column rebuking four Maryland delegates who waivered in their support for marriage equality, the NOM blog posted the following:
...of the 4 delegates he targets, three are African-American.
We've been accused of playing the race card before. But what is the Washington Blade urging? [NOM Blog, 3/16/11]
What Naff is urging, of course, is that Maryland delegates be held accountable for backing away from their pro-equality promises - not that African-American delegates be targeted for being African-American.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time NOM has opted to play the race card in order to generate opposition to marriage equality. Earlier this month, while the LGBT community was reacting to Del. Sam Arora's marriage betrayal in Maryland, NOM's Maggie Gallagher got into some hot water for accusing pro-equality advocates of "targeting" racial minorities. On the NOM blog, she wrote:
... as someone married to an Indian-American, I find it interesting that the gay marriage machine appears to be re-focusing its attacks from Black Democrats who oppose gay marriage to an easier target: Indian-Americans.
Tiffany Alston appears now to be off the hook regardless of how she votes. [NOM Blog, 3/3/11, emphasis added]
After the Maryland bill had been scuttled, Gallagher returned to the issue of race, attempting to characterize the effort in the House as a battle between "white urban liberals" who use the "N-word" when they don't get their way and African Americans who support traditional marriage. Once again, Gallagher's comments were criticized by gay rights activists who chastised her for trying to redraw the debate over marriage equality along racial lines.
NOM's desire to gin up tension between African Americans and the LGBT community is obvious; its divide-and-conquer strategy is actually a bread-and-butter tactic of groups opposed to marriage equality. As Alvin McEwen wrote on his blog this week, anti-equality groups intentionally work to create the illusion of antagonism between African Americans and the LGBT community in order to advance their agendas:
Whether folks want to admit it or not, the African-American community is linked to the lgbt community, and not just by those who us who belong to both groups. Our oppression is sometimes similar and the folks behind it are sometimes the same entities.
The majority white-led and populated religious right groups who exploit this tug of war between the African-American and lgbt communities are quick to be the so-called protectors of the civil right movement's legacy but render themselves conveniently invisible when issues like socio-economic inequalities in minority health and education pop up. [HBHM, 3/14/11]