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Civil rights legend Julian Bond on NOM: gay rights are civil rights

The smokescreen of civility and concern for “protecting marriage” that National Organization for Marriage has always been bullsh*t, but the publication of its divisive, racist strategy to pit the black community against the gay community — a tactic used by anti-LGBT groups around the country, including Tami Fitzgerald’s Vote for Marriage NC has been a refreshing development.

It has presented an opportunity for advocates for LGBT equality to call NOM out for what it is — a hate organization. Dr. Julian Bond, former chairman of the NAACP, took NOM to task for its template to drive a wedge between black people and equality activists on Anderson Cooper 360.

Bond also noted this in an interview with the NYT:

“This is a community composed of many Biblical literalists,” Bond said in a recent phone interview, adding that they put a “wrong and wrong-headed” emphasis on certain Biblical references to homosexuality. ..Bond doesn’t utter the phrase “civil rights” in his ad. He discusses “what’s right and just,” along with “commitment and stable families.”

It pains him, he told me, to think that “black people of all people” might be an obstacle to ending any discrimination, including marriage discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

The fact is, that NOM’s strategy to encourage conflict is not based in reality. This week GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released statistics showing broad support for LGBT people among the blacks and Latino communities.

A 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll found 74 percent of Latinos support marriage equality or other forms of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Similarly, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in March 2012 showed support for marriage equality among African Americans at 50 percent. A Field Poll of California voters released in February 2012 found that 53 percent of Latino and 50 percent of African-American respondents approved of allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Support for the LGBT community extends beyond marriage equality. The Bendixen & Amandi International poll found that 83 percent of Latinos support housing and employment non-discrimination protections. A 2009 poll conducted by the Arcus Foundation found that 60 percent of African Americans support providing health care and pension benefits to LGBT couples.

Additional findings from 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll:

  • 74 percent of Latinos support marriage or similar legal recognitions for gay and lesbian couples
  • 80 percent of Latinos believe gay people often face discrimination
  • 83 percent of Latinos support housing and employment non-discrimination protections
  • 73 percent of Latinos support gays and lesbians serving openly in the military
  • 75 percent of Latinos support school policies to prevent harassment and bullying of students who are or are perceived to be gay
  • 68 percent of Latino Catholics believe being gay is morally acceptable and 69 percent of Latino Christians said that their religion is accepting of all people, including gay people

That’s why NOM’s treachery requires that the heat be kept on.

* Joe Solmonese: Some Questions for NOM’s Brian Brown

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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