civil rights zeroes

NOM’s Brian Brown Has a Soul Only a Mother, Maggie Gallagher Could Love

The more we know about Brian Brown, the National Organization for Marriage’s executive director and Maggie Gallagher’s shoe shiner, the less we want to know. The “smiling bigot” doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, which, fine, doesn’t mean he’s an unimportant conservative figure. It just means that having two major political gigs evidently doesn’t qualify you to be the victim of Wiki-bashing.

Here’s what Campus Progress‘ Emily Rutherford was able to dig up:

NOM is only Brown’s second political gig. Until 2008, he worked for the Family Institute of Connecticut, a non-profit advocacy organization that is now trying to overturn Connecticut’s marriage equality law, but in Brown’s day, the organization worked on opposing the distribution of condoms in public schools. FIC is very much part of the conservative establishment: It counts George, Institute for American Values president David Blankenhorn, and many other signers of the Manhattan Declaration, a pro-life and anti-marriage equality document, among the members of its advisory council. FIC is now affiliated with Focus on the Family, though it wasn’t when Brown worked there. In the 1990s, it lobbied to pass the Defense of Marriage Act. Brown’s move from Connecticut to California to work on Proposition 8 for NOM was a logical step.

After moving through the Bay Area, Princeton, N.J., Philadelphia, and regional offices in Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, and New York to fight against same-sex marriage, Brown moved to Washington, D.C. in July 2009, when NOM opened its D.C. office. NOM doesn’t list their D.C. address. In fact, when Campus Progress went to the last-known address of NOM’s D.C. office, at 1100 H Street NW, the organization wasn’t listed as occupying the building, and the security guards said they had never heard of NOM. Instead the organization prefers to use its Princeton address and phone number.

But the Princeton office is empty and phone calls always go to voicemail—Brown and NOM may have liked the sound of an address across the street from a well-regarded, secular, nonpartisan university, but they have most certainly left the regional confines of New Jersey. In the past few months, NOM hasn’t just attempted to stop the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, but has also positioned itself as an organization with a national agenda. Its overall ideological platform is much more universal than the state-by-state marriage battles which brought NOM and Brown to prominence.

And here’s what our sleuthing has turned up: He loves trampling on the grave of equality.