Thursday, December 13, 2012

NOM is in a hellish bind

Throughout the week, National Organization for Marriage has devoted a great deal of energy into assuring people that they are going to prevail at the Supreme Court. Just today, Brian Brown wrote "There is no constitutional right to redefine marriage and the Court's going to find that." Meanwhile, their chairman, John Eastman, was writing that the issue was settled by Baker v Nelson (it is not).

At first, I thought that they were trying to work the refs. NOM's culture, shaped in part by the notion that they are doing God's work, lends itself to sufficient arrogance to believe that they could influence the justices. They might also believe that they will be "delivered" through prayer. These are the same people who were certain that the President would not be reelected due to his support for marriage equality.

Then I considered the possibility that they were victims of believing their own bullshit. They don't see any way that they can lose. It's sort of a subset of deliverance by God. Then it hit me:

These people have a serious case of the cash shorts!

NOM's performance in the 2012 election was abysmal. We ran the table. NOM has also proved that they are incapable of influencing legislation. Brian Brown actually took credit for flipping the New Hampshire legislature to Republican control in 2010. Then, in March of this year, he got his ass kicked when that same New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 211-116 to kill a bill that would have repealed recognition of same-sex marriage. This year NOM was able to win one ballot initiative in the Bible Belt (North Carolina).

Now, the US Supreme Court has put everything on hold     possibly until June, 2013.

Donors are probably getting more than a bit reluctant to throw good money after bad.

Exactly what does NOM propose to do with donations anyway? Assuming that Illinois is the next equal marriage state, NOM has little potential to influence legislation and only that same legislature (with a three-fifths majority in both houses) can put a constitutional amendment on the ballot so that's not an option. Conditions are similar in Rhode Island except that a simple majority is required to put an amendment on the ballot leaving it up to the legislature to decide the issue of marriage equality.

Therefore, to survive National Organization for [Banning Gay] Marriage must do two things:
  1. Convince potential donors that they are still relevant and;
  2. Convince potential donors that national marriage equality is not inevitable.
I wouldn't count NOM out just yet. However, their days of getting whatever they need to suppress LGBT equality may be coming to an end. I cant make predictions too. Right now, 16% of the US population enjoys marriage equality. By this time next year, I expect that number to jump to 29%, at least.
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