NAACP Denounces National Organization for Marriage Memo

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com March 29 2012 11:10 AM ET

The NAACP denounced the “cynical agenda” on display in an internal strategy document that reveals how the National Organization for Marriage sought to divide gay, African-American and Latino communities over the issue of same-sex marriage.

The previously confidential document, unsealed this week by a federal judge in Maine and circulated by the Human Rights Campaign, explains in blunt detail NOM’s plan to foment tension between the minority groups and to energize clergy members opposed to same-sex marriage. NOM called its initiative the “Not a Civil Right Project.”

Benjamin Todd Jealous, the president and CEO of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, denounced the strategy in a statement released Wednesday. The organization has broadened its agenda under his tenure since 2008 to include LGBT rights with more outreach and diversified leadership ranks.

“This memo only reveals the limits of a cynical agenda,” said Jealous. “The truth is that no group, no matter how well-funded, can drive an artificial wedge between our communities. People of color understand what it is like to be the target of discrimination. No public relations strategy will make us forget that.”