It’s not just Vermont residents on the receiving end of robo-calls, but folks all over New England, where marriage equality is finally moving forward. Who’s behind the calls? The National Organization for Marriage, branded a “front group” for the Mormon Church. None of this is illegal; obnoxious, maybe, but even the robo-calls fooling with loaded question into polling a certain way aren’t violating the law. But likely, funneling money through NOM allows out-of-state cash to flow into the region with ease. And they’re reaching people in high places: In Rhode Island, Gov. Donald Carcieri and his wife Sue just joined the state chapter.
The Carcieris are taking part in NOM’s ad campaign aimed at scaring folks into thinking same-sex marriage will be the death of society. But rather than admit to being a homophobe, the governor says he’s a “traditionalist,” prefers children to be raised in mom-and-dad homes, and wants the issue of gay marriage to be decided by voters, not the courts or elected officials. “In Massachusetts it was the court. In Vermont it was the legislature. I believe it should be done with citizens. Let them decide,” Carcieri says. (Who bets Carcieri would opt to let the courts decide things if a voter-approved pro-same-sex marriage effort proved successful in Rhode Island?)
So what type of tactics is NOM engaging in? Besides the robo-calls, there’s fear mongering, half-truths, and our favorite: outright lies.
In this 60-second spot (above) from the organization, you’ll hear the same rhetoric fed to California voters that helped push Prop 8 through. The Human Rights Campaign says NOM’s spot “is set to run eight times per day in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and California.”
Amusingly, they also found a series of audition videos for actors hoping to get paid to push NOM’s lies. They’re pretty painful — just like NOM’s official marriage: that equal rights for gay men and women negatively impact anyone.
Kudos to HRC for fronting EndtheLies.org, the homepage for battling misleading “truthiness” from anti-marriage equality zealots.