Speaking of Women's Rights: 04/12

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Anti-Gay Bullies Are Losing in 2012 (So Far)

Don’t you just love it when a bully loses? That’s been happening over and over again in 2012 to the anti-gay bullies at the “National Organization for Marriage.”

The group, which goes by the clunky acronym “NOM,” spends millions of dollars (mostly from anonymous donors) to prevent civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples. Last month, the Human Rights Campaign released confidential NOM documents that show the kind of sneaky, racially divisive tactics that NOM relies upon. But in 2012 – at least so far – they’ve been losing all over the country.

Take Washington State. This winter, NOM tried to defeat Washington’s marriage equality legislation by threatening to spend $250,000 to defeat Republican senators who voted for the bill. But their threats failed miserably, with four of the Senate’s Republicans standing up for marriage equality – more than enough to pass the bill by a 28-21 margin and send it to the Governor.

A few weeks later, NOM lost their battle to stop marriage equality in Maryland. Just a year ago, the bill failed after NOM announced that it would spend $1 million to defeat legislators who supported marriage equality. But this year, enough legislators stood up to NOM, and the Maryland’s Governor signed the bill on March 1.

Then on March 21, NOM lost its effort to repeal New Hampshire’s marriage equality law, which was signed in 2009. NOM boasted that they’d “flipped” the New Hampshire Legislature in 2010 to create a veto-proof majority for repealing the law. Far from achieving a “veto proof majority,” NOM lost their repeal effort in the Republican-dominated New Hampshire House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote of 211-116.

Perhaps to divert attention from their legislative losing streak, NOM turned to a different target: Starbucks. To try to punish Starbucks for its support of marriage equality, NOM announced a boycott of the company. But this effort has been a complete flop. So far, 32,000 people have signed NOM’s “Dump Starbucks” pledge. By contrast, nearly 650,000 people have expressed their support for Starbucks’ position on the issue.

Of course, NOM isn’t going away. They are working now in North Carolina, which votes on May 8 on a constitutional amendment to prohibit marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

And here in the Northwest, NOM is trying to repeal Washington’s marriage equality law. They are currently working to get enough signatures to put Referendum 74 on the ballot. If it qualifies for the ballot, voters would have to approve Referendum 74 to prevent the law from being repealed.

But bullies lose power every time people stand up to them. Want to help continue NOM’s losing streak? Visit Washington United for Marriage’s website and take the pledge to defend Washington’s marriage equality law and approve Referendum 74.