Down to the Wire for Marriage Initiatives

With marriage on the ballot in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, voters are experiencing a barrage of deceptive ads by the National Organization for Marriage as well as robo-calls recorded for NOM by Republican rising star Senator Marco Rubio. 

NOM made a last-minute plea for cash for its GOTV effort, saying “your contribution will mean the difference between God’s definition of marriage and ‘one man and one man’ as the law of the land” and warning that failure would mean persecution:

If enough Christians, marriage supporters, and people of faith get to the polls, we’ll achieve a historic victory on Tuesday.

But if we don’t turn out the vote, God’s definition of marriage will be discarded like an outdated institution. Gay marriage activists, out-of-touch politicians, and Hollywood celebrities like Brad Pitt will impose “one man and one man” marriage on all of us… and anyone who dares disagree will be ostracized, marginalized, and threatened.

NOM wasn’t alone in claiming to speak for “people of faith.” Catholic bishops have continued to be outspoken opponents of marriage equality and politicians who support it, while the Knights of Columbus funnel huge sums to NOM and anti-equality campaigns. 

Another NOM ally, Rev. Anthony Evans of the National Black Church Initiative had his own offensive message for voters: “If you are a Christian and believe in God, there is no way theologically and otherwise, that you can support same-sex marriage.” I’m not sure what Evans has in mind with the “otherwise,” but it’s clear that there are plenty of Christians, African American clergy included, who can and do support marriage equality. Pro-equality campaigns have active, visible contingents of clergy and people of faith. But of course Evans knows that—in one of the videos included in his recent email blast, he criticizes pro-equality clergy by name.

NOM is also using marriage as an attack on Obama in other states. NOM’s Brian Brown and anti-gay strategist Frank Schubert (the misleading mastermind behind NOM’s anti-equality victories nationwide) also hope that Obama’s support for marriage equality will cost him reelection, even though polls are pointing to an Obama victory. Perhaps getting a jump on post-election jockeying to place blame, Schubert wrote last week in an op-ed for The Hill newspaper arguing that it was a “strategic mistake” that Romney and his Super-PAC allies have not been emphasizing “marriage, life, and religious liberty” to swing-state voters.

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