Until this week, the Rev. Ralph A. Martino, senior pastor at First Church of Christ (Holiness) USA in Washington, D.C., had never heard of the National Organization for Marriage, the nation’s leading group fighting same-sex marriage.
But although the black pastor is also a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, Martino is determined to never work with the organization after a leak of its confidential memos this week revealed its plans to defeat marriage equality campaigns by “fanning the hostility” between blacks and gays.
“If this is the type of weaponry a group uses in order to stir up warfare and foster division, then we’re not part of that,” Martino said. “This angle creates unnecessary drama and it will backfire.”
The drama has already begun, with a range of civil rights and lesbian, gay and bisexual advocacy groups issuing statements calling the strategies racist and cynical. The memos are also sparking a difficult conversation about real tensions between black and gay rights groups, with members of both saying more dialogue is needed.
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” states one of the memos. “Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” continued the memo, part of a set of documents that emerged as a result of a Maine lawsuit and then were leaked by the Human Rights Campaign.
The memos amount to “a wake-up call,” said Michael Crawford, director of online programs for Freedom to Marry in New York, because they detail how to exploit racial tensions. Plus he noted the National Organization for Marriage seems to believe that he — as a black gay male — does not exist.
Take a look at some of the more disturbing parts of the memo
“The strategic goal…is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”
Another passage reads:
“The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity — a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”
“We have learned much about how to win the marriage battle,” one document concludes. “What we need now is to find the resources to prosecute and expand this strategy to win marriage in the U.S., and expand it into a global movement.”
Doesn’t the black community already have enough problems without having groups like this actually ORGANIZING to stir up hate?More On Bossip!