Left: Fred Karger
NOM led the effort to force a vote in May of this year on a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage forever in the Tar Heel State. They won that election handily.
Maine, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland Ballots
NOM qualified two referenda on November ballots in Washington and Maryland to overturn their new marriage laws. NOM got the Minnesota constitutional amendment on the November ballot to cement that state’s anti-gay marriage law into the state constitution. In Maine we have NOM on the defensive when the LGBT community and our allies qualified our own initiative to allow marriage in the Pine Tree State. NOM gave $250,000 to each state operation so far and its fulltime political operative Frank Schubert is running all four campaigns. NOM will put in a lot more money in this final month before election day, and will do whatever has to be done to keep its win streak intact.
Presidential Marriage Pledge
Let’s not forget that NOM got six of the nine Republican Presidential candidates to sign its virulently ant-gay marriage pledge last summer. Mitt Romney was one of those signers. It calls for the passage of a federal Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in all 50 states. It also requires whichever signer wins to appoint a presidential commission to “investigate,” individuals who “harass” donors who fight for “traditional marriage.”
NOM Boycotts Businesses
This year NOM took up a new tactic and organized boycotts against any company that dares to support the freedom to marry. As soon as Starbucks endorsed marriage equality in its home state of Washington, NOM launched its “Dump Starbucks” boycott. When Minnesota-based General Foods endorsed gay marriage, NOM launched a boycott of the large cereal maker, too. After T-Mobile gave $25,000 to pass Referendum 74 in Washington State to uphold the Legislature’s recently passed gay marriage law, NOM began a boycott of the wireless phone company. NOM has even gone after two NFL players who support marriage equality asking the National Football League to sanction them. This is quite hypocritical from an organization that complains that the free speech of its million dollar donors is being threatened.
Time to Fight Back Against NOM
How many times will the LGBT community and all our allies get kicked in the gut, bullied, lied to, viciously maligned and attacked by NOM before we fight back? NOM is a powerful, very well funded, extremely influential and well organized hate group. Yet most in the LGBT community don’t even seem concerned that every day, every election NOM works tirelessly to take away our rights.
It was recently discovered that Michigan billionaire Doug DeVos gave what appeared to be the largest single family donation to NOM—$500,000 to NOM’s Educational Fund (20 times T-Mobile’s contribution to Referendum 74). The DeVos contribution accounted for almost half of NOM’s budget the year it was given. Doug DeVos and his family are the owners of Amway Corporation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Journalist Zack Ford of Think Progress discovered the massive contribution through the DeVos tax returns. Soon thereafter, Rights Equal Rights declared a global boycott of all the businesses owned by the family. This list includes its mother ship Amway along with three hotels, twenty-six car dealerships, health clubs, real estate holdings, the Orlando Magic NBA team and a variety of other businesses. Check out our web site, RightsEqualRights.com for the list of businesses under boycott and to see how you can help.
We need to fight back against equality’s single most formidable opponent as it continues its attempt to take away the rights from millions of Americans at every level of government. We need to fight back against NOM like it so effectively does against us.
FRED KARGER is the president and founder of Rights Equal Rights.