This is the fourth weekly edition of “Sex, Cash & Politics,” my new weekly commentary and opinion column. It was distributed to North Carolina online and print publications on Tuesday and published nationally yesterday at Bilerico.com. Each week, the column is distributed to North Carolina media free-of-charge for use as op-eds and guest commentaries. If you like what you’re seeing, I hope you’ll contact your local paper and send them to this link — sexcashandpolitics.com/weeklycolumn — and encourage them to learn more about, subscribe to and print the weekly column.
If there’s one thing that’s clear from Christian scripture, it’s that the God of the Bible is one of hope, peace and love. Yet, so-called “Christians” who have lined up to support the anti-gay constitutional amendment on North Carolina’s ballot on May 8 would rather hold to cynicism, division and hate - values that couldn’t be more antithetical to Christ’s Gospel.
The Human Rights Campaign this week released internal documents it obtained from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM). The anti-equality group is among several supporting the statewide constitutional provision that would ultimately ban all marriage recognition for same-sex couples and further prohibit civil unions, domestic partnerships, and other relationship recognition for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
The documents expose NOM’s political strategies to pit African-Americans and Latinos against their LGBT brothers and sisters.
"The strategic goal," NOM writes, "is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks - two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize, and connect African American spokespeople for marriage; develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…"
The group continues, “The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.”
It’s surprising to see such divisive politics played out by groups like NOM, whose leaders have spent an inordinate amount of time stressing so-called Christian “family” values. Their political ploys resemble nothing akin to Christianity.
But, such anti-gay and racist politicking shouldn’t come as any surprise. Vote for Marriage NC, the referendum committee pushing for North Carolina’s proposed amendment, is no stranger to hate. After all, just last month the committee heralded appearances by Tony Perkins, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, at Charlotte’s First Baptist Church and other places of worship. Perkins’ group has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Perkins himself has close ties to white supremacists like David Duke and the Louisiana Council of Conservative Citizens, a White Nationalist hate group descended from the 1950s and 1960s-era White Citizens Councils.
The effort to defeat Amendment One has gained more traction with each passing day since the campaign’s official debut in January. The reason is simple: Fair-minded and intelligent North Carolinians know a lemon when they see one. The “Christian” values being espoused by NOM, Vote for Marriage NC, Tony Perkins, and the Family Research Council aren’t “Christian” at all. They are divisive and harmful, and gay marriage opponents are wasting no time and sparing no resources in using whatever strategies they can to influence Tar Heel voters.
On May 8, North Carolinians will decide: Stand on the side of freedom, equality and fairness - the very essence of Christ’s message of neighborly love. Or, stand with hate groups and white supremacists who use God’s name to justify their own fears and prejudices while doing damage to families and children. The choice is clear.
(Photo: Fibonacci Blue, via Flickr. Creative Commons.)