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NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: November 2011

December 01, 2011 3:45 pm ET by Carlos Maza

While many Americans spent the month of November preparing to spend Thanksgiving with their loved ones, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spent the month scheming up ways to demonize and smear LGBT people and their families. From Glee to the Penn State scandal, NOM never missed an opportunity to prove that its “protect marriage” agenda is largely driven by its animosity toward gays and lesbians.

Linking Homosexuality To Pedophilia

NOM couldn’t resist joining the long list of anti-gay groups and activists that used the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State to promote the myth that gay men are more likely to molest children than straight men. In a November 15 blog post, NOM’s Ruth Institute promoted an article encouraging Rush Limbaugh to “have the guts” to point out that “the sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature.” A few days later, NOM followed up with another blog post blaming the Penn State scandal on Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 Supreme Court decision that invalidated state anti-sodomy laws.

Opposing Same-Sex Parenting

As usual, NOM promoted the “traditional family” by attacking gay and lesbian parents. Dr. Jennifer Morse, president of NOM’s Ruth Institute, extended her organization’s history of race-baiting by suggesting that same-sex couples were taking children away from the African-American community to raise as their own. On November 16, NOM promoted an article which lamented the “tragedy of depriving kids of their dads” through same-sex adoption. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, NOM’s Ruth Institute promoted an article – written by a proponent of “ex-gay” therapy – condemning same-sex adoption by accusing same-sex couples of being “promiscuous,” “fragile,” and prone to disease and domestic violence.

Misinforming About Marriage Equality

When it wasn’t flip-flopping on its core talking points or accusing Democrats of producing anti-gay robocalls, NOM was busy promoting one of its classic anti-gay horror stories: same-sex marriage leads to polygamy (polyandry, group marriage, etc.).  On November 10, NOM promoted a column written by the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell in which he claimed that proponents of marriage equality cheered the idea that polygamous marriage would eventually be legalized.

NOM also promoted Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) claim that marriage equality “literally is a threat to the nation’s survival.”

On two occasions, NOM promoted the claim that marriage equality would cause an increase in teen suicides by ignoring “the primary interest government has” in encouraging men and women to “make babies” and raise their children.

Finally, NOM attempted to tie supporters of marriage equality to an Australian feminist who opposes the institution of marriage altogether. NOM president Brian Brown even tweeted:

How are some activists pushing for #SSM? By promoting the “death of #marriage” entirely...

Opposing Efforts To Support LGBT Youth

As always, NOM was strongly opposed to efforts to protect and support LGBT youth. In early November, the organization expressed its outrage over an episode of Glee which depicted two gay characters deciding to lose their virginity together. NOM’s Brown tweeted:

No #Glee for me: Show promotes #gay teen sex on prime-time broadcast television.

One NOM blogger, Ari Mendelson, got involved in a heated argument in the comments section of one of his Ruth Institute posts, eventually directing his attention to California’s recently enacted FAIR Education Act, which requires public schools to teach LGBT history to students. Mendelson wrote that the “ENTIRE STATE has had its public schools ruined by political nonsense” and asserted that teachers were being forced to “teach LGBT propaganda to their kids.”

NOM was also a strong proponent of a religious exemption to a proposed anti-bullying law in Michigan. Though critics of the exemption argue that it would gut the bill’s effectiveness, NOM’s Brown argued that the exemption was necessary to prevent “heavy-handed use of government power to repress and exclude Christian views on sex and marriage.”

Promoting “Ex-Gay” Therapy

NOM has been more vocal about its support of “ex-gay” therapy in recent months, so it wasn’t a surprise when the group rushed to the defense of Jennifer Keeton. Keeton, a graduate school counseling student, was put on academic probation after she stated that she was interested in practicing “ex-gay” therapy and telling her patients that homosexuality is morally wrong – a violation of her university’s code of ethics.

NOM warned that Keeton was being targeted for her “Christian Ethical Views,” and tagged its post as relating to “free speech” and “religious liberty.” NOM’s Brown tweeted that Keeton had been expelled for her “#Christian views on the #gay lifestyle.”

Engaging In Anti-LGBT Name-Calling And Fear Mongering

Attempting to flip the script concerning Kim Kardashian’s short-lived marriage, NOM attempted to tie her divorce to her support for marriage equality. According to NOM’s Maggie Gallagher:

Hollywood in general and Kim Kardashian in particular support gay marriage. Perhaps that makes sense, if the speed of her divorce reflects a reduced commitment to the marriage.

NOM’s Brown soon repeated Gallagher’s talking point:

Perhaps it's not surprising that someone who sees her wedding as a money-making opportunity doesn't really mean it when she vows, "until death do us part."

Funny how so many of these Hollywood celebrities support gay marriage, as Ms. Kardashian does.

Keeping with its habit of asking questions that suggest anti-gay answers, NOM asked its supporters “Does Gay Rights Include the Right to Have Sex in Public Parks?” The organization also promoted a homophobic cartoon about same-sex marriage in New York and asked “Why Did the New Yorker Reject This Gay Marriage Cover?”

NOM’s most outrageous example of anti-gay name-calling, however, was a November 17 blog post in which NOM blogger Mendelson linked to a column that called gay and lesbian activists “more loathsome” than jihadi terrorists and argued that they should fear “being spat upon by decent people.” Several days after Mendelson’s post went up, NOM’s Ruth Institute announced that he had lost his blogging privileges because his “sarcasm” had “gone over the line.” NOM’s Ruth Institute pledged to “stick to reporting on all aspects of the marriage issue in a civil way,” but the group’s track record is less-than-pristine.

Misleading Supporters To Raise Money

While NOM has never had a problem with lying to its supporters in order to raise money, the organization was called out for a particularly egregious “action alert” in November after it falsely claimed that Senate Democrats were attempting to attach a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to the 2012 Defense Authorization Act.

Apparently undeterred, NOM sent a follow-up fundraising email on November 29 warning that “an all-out war over marriage has broken out in Washington.” NOM’s Brown asked supporters to make an “urgent, generous” donation to NOM in order to prevent the passage of a bill that would repeal DOMA, despite the fact that both parties agree the bill has no chance of passing in the current Congress.


To see last month’s round-up, click here.

Previously:

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: October 2011

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: September 2011

NOM’s Month Of Anti-LGBT Misinformation: August 2011