It can't be said that the existence of anti-gay organizations is related in any way to a grassroots uprising of terrified citizens trying to do anything to protect their children and their families from gay people. In fact, it's a small group of profit-driven, pseudo-religious people who stop by your town to take your money and move onto the next place they can scam. The truth is, gay issues are not really that important to the populace. They could mostly not care less. Even in the reddest district in New York state, a pro-marriage equality candidate won an election. The so-called “middle” are really very good people who are generally on our side on gay issues. At the very least, it seems that they don't care enough to vote against a candidate they like if that candidate supports gay marriage. This is not the conventional wisdom that these anti-gay groups have been spreading, but it is closer to the truth. They are not served at all by these money-seeking entities fighting to line their pocketbooks because destroying the lives of LGBT people happens to be profitable.

This reality is a problem for the scammers, so they do what they can to stoke homophobia and tell decent folks that they are just trying to “protect our children.” The reality is also that these are longtime astroturfers, and calling themselves “grassroots” doesn't change that. Brian Brown, for example, is so “grassroots” that even before he joined the corporation National Organization for Marriage, he was a “familiar figure” at the state Capitol in Connecticut for his former post at a state anti-gay organization.Who would dare tell us that he is “grassroots”? Well, the Family Research Council:

“Brian has been the foremost grass-roots leader who has been involved in the marriage debate,” says Chuck Donovan, a senior vice president at the conservative Family Research Council. “He's one of the more effective leaders out there.”

And who are they? They are a lobbying organization formed in 1983, and were part of Focus on the Family for awhile. They are a corporation that exists solely to oppose gay rights and to a lesser extent abortion. They have a decades long history of promoting writings of anti-science and homophobic writers and pretending it's serious analysis. This group is constantly in the news for its hate speech against gays and was recently even labeled a hate group. (NOM got a mention that they're being watched, but no hate group label yet.)

Not exactly the type of group you want defending your “grass roots” status.

These are lifelong businesspeople making tons of money off homophobia. Maggie Gallagher, also from NOM, is famous for receiving over $41,000 from the President of the United States for writing anti-gay columns.

What would happen to her if she couldn't make money from homophobia? What would happen to Brian Brown? The Family Research Council? All those groups would get poor and die out. And they want to make sure that doesn't happen. In short: this is not a campaign to protect your children or the sanctity of your marriage. It's not a campaign to keep gays from ruining marriage. This is a campaign to protect the Homophobia Industrial Complex (H-I-C) and nothing more.

It is a long-entrenched effort built by right-wing Christian organizations for their continued access to power and money. Republicans fear losing financial backing from the H-I-C and Democrats fear the money that's spent against them by the H-I-C. So it's here to stay. It's built into the bedrock of our government at this point – not unlike the MIC. And like the MIC, neither party is going to be terribly willing to fight – especially at the state level where the fear is immense.

When even the former president is sending his money to pay these people in exchange for a huge return you know they're entrenched. The homophobia industrial complex will stop at nothing to keep their cash flow going as long as they can. And it's easy to see what happens: right-wing, rich old Republicans who are part of these hate groups donate a ton of money to get Republicans with likeminded beliefs in office. Then, since those Republicans, now in office, receive a nice sum of campaign cash from the homophobes, they propose anti-gay legislation and say anti-gay things.

Then suddenly, we're forced to listen to the (few) people (with lots of money) who perpetuate the homophobia industrial complex take to the media to discuss oh how terrible it would be if gay people served in the military or were allowed to get married or were allowed to have employment protections. Tony Perkins from the hate group Family Research Council not only repeatedly got on TV and in several op-eds to discuss Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal, but they let him do the same for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

And even worse, this entrenchment of anti-gay bigotry-for-money feeds into the already prevalent racism in our national culture. These groups are not afraid to provoke racial resentment whenever they can.

But hey, as long as he gets paid the H-I-C does its job, right? That's all that matters in the end, really: people are making money. It's the American way. It doesn't really matter if NOM is actually five people in a van taking millions of dollars from rich contributors and pretending that they represent a massive amount of terrified Americans hiding under the covers away from the gay.



I'm 26. I'm a writer at DailyKos, DocuDharma, my own blog, and now here. I'm gay and disabled. At DailyKos I moderate the KosAbility series on Wednesdays at 5PM Eastern. I participate in the GLBT and Friends at DailyKos and in their newly launched blog.

I write about gay issues and disability issues a lot but I'm not limited to those two topics by any means.

I live in Alabama. Yes you're right, that sucks.


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