The National Organization for Marriage is a big loser in today’s Supreme Court decision (and a big loser, period). NOM had the predictable over-the-top reaction against the ruling, fulminating against “corrupt politicians and federal judges.” But NOM has to realize that the ruling is ultimately a death blow to the organization.
NOM had its biggest success in the period from 2008 to 2010, with the passage of Proposition 8 and successes in Maine and Iowa. Since then, it’s been downhill. The group is facing multiple challenges now. Its policy of trying to hide its donors from public scrutiny has been rejected by courts. Supporter interest is waning. Its Marriage March this spring in D.C. was a bust, with just 2,000 people turning out.
NOM’s biggest problem is financial. NOM has always relied upon a small group of wealthy donors to fund its hate campaigns. In fact, two donors account for 75% of its 2011 revenue(the last year for which tax filings are available). The Human Rights Campaign reported that the 2011 revenue was one-third less than the 2010 revenue. No wonder NOM complained that it was outspent in the four successful marriage equality ballot measures last year. It couldn’t raise money the way it used to.
And its not going to ever again.
If NOM was sophisticated and sharp, it would know how to re-create itself. But NOM has always been an amateurish group that has relied upon public opinion being on its side. Now that public opinion has shifted, it doesn’t have the intellectual chops to figure out how to remain a player. The Supreme Court ruling cut NOM off at the knees because it made marriage equality a cold, hard national fact that NOM will never be able to change.
In the short term, NOM will use the Supreme Court decision for fundraising, but it’s hard to deny that marriage equality is inevitable now. Donors are going to want to place their bets on a winning issue. This clearly is a lost cause. As is NOM. Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown will have to find a new line of work. The business they’re in was just declared bankrupt.
This is a welcome development indeed. However, these benighted folks have a history of not accepting either facts or change. I expect a great deal of hysterical ranting before they actually fade into oblivion and let’s not forget what the abortion issue has taught us. They will be back, more determined and more subversive in their attempts to make the majority accept their reality. My belief is that the media is tired of them, that the rapidity with which news travels in this day and age, and the changing of people’s beliefs will eventually defeat them. The Supreme Court’s decision has made the idea of marriage equality a fact even the most ignorant and stupid cannot deny.
The thing is, it’s hard to hold a going out of business sale when the reason you may be going out of business is that what you’re trying to sell, nobody’s buying anymore.
(Pardon a moment)
DOESN’T HE LOOK LIKE HE’S ALREADY TAKING IT UP THE @$$ IN THE PICTURE ABOVE?
Great piece. I should also point out that NOM not only relied on public opinion, but on the strength of the anti-gay movement that came long before, as evidenced by the NOM talking point “Thirty-one states have protected marriage!”, which they repeated over and over.
What NOM doesn’t tell you is that 27 of those 31 states already HAD anti-gay marriage amendments before NOM even came into existence! Its only real “victory” came in California; NOM had NOTHING to do with the amendments that passed in Florida and Arizona in 2008. They simply latched onto the coattails of those two states (and all of the others) and inserted themselves at the front of “marriage movement” to reap the financial benefits.
I couldn’t be happier that their anti-gay empire, which they indeed constructed out of borrowed bricks, is now in ruins. Their anti-IRS pandering failed miserably (two months later, still no lawsuit), their fundraising is almost nonexistent, they’ve failed in one state after another (blocking civil unions in Wyoming and tabling a vote in Illinois hardly constitute “victories”, which is about all they have to show for themselves). In short, the company has become a joke of itself.
They can continue to press forward and stage all the “Religious Freedom” and “Protect Marriage” rallies they want. But when your target audience of religious pastors and Teabaggers aren’t even showing up anymore, what’s the point?
I can’t wait until their donor list is leaked, I absolutely can’t wait to pass it to the people who I know who really want it.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what they’re going to do, epic.
@CAxlRose: California wasn’t their only one: they won Maine in 2009. Both now overturned one way or another, of course.
@2eo: Why isn’t it out yet, anyway? Didn’t they run out of ways to block?
And the groups death knell will be struck when they are finally forced to turn over their donor list exposing the Mormon and Catholic churches of engaging in pure politics and trying to hide this fact by funneling the money through the front group NOM.
@2eo: come out come out wherever you are, I can’t wait to see that list
@hyhybt: @Dionte: @Cam:
In a very surprising move, NOM actually took steps and encrypted their documents, a friend has the list and has for a while.
However it is surprisingly well encrypted.
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