Secret documents reveal anti-gay marriage group planned to divide gay and black voters

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Confidential documents made public in a court in the state of Maine yesterday revealed the leading opponents of same-sex marriage planned to defeat campaigns by “fanning the hostility” between black and gay voters and by casting President Obama as a radical enemy of marriage.

The documents, circulated by the LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign, were marked “confidential” and contained details of the internal strategy of the National Organisation for Marriage (NOM).

An internal report on the 2008 and 2009 campaigns, in a section titled “Not a Civil Rights Project” stated: “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key Democratic constituencies”.

It continued: “Find, equip, energise 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 document also targets Hispanic voters, who Republicans have long placed hope in as allies against gay rights: “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”.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Media Director, Kevin Nix, who has fought NOM for many years now, said: “Nothing beats hearing from the horse’s mouth exactly how callous and extremist this group really is.”

The documents also outlined NOM’s plans for the 2012 presidential election race, including a strategy that “requires defeating the pro-gay Obama agenda” and a $1 million plan in conjunction with the conservative American Principles Project to “expose Obama as a social radical.”

This section, titled Sideswiping Obama, suggested raising “side issues” – including pornography – to attack the Democrats.

The group also sought to identify “victims” of same-sex marriage, such as children raised in gay households — using a budget of $120,000 to locate “children of gay parents willing to speak on camera.”

The documents came to light in a dispute over campaign financing under Maine law, and also include detailed 2009 budget plans for the group. So far, NOM’s spokeswoman has not responded to emails seeking comments.