NOM may have inadvertantly contributed to marriage equality in Ireland

Timothy Kincaid

May 26th, 2015

Irish no couple

The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown is furious about the Irish vote for marriage equality and is childishly lashing out at Ireland’s citizens and political parties for not structuring their country’s laws in accordance with his wishes. But perhaps he should add himself to the list of whom to blame.

One of the stronger elements of the vote was the citizenry’s national identity. This was the Irish people voting in Ireland or Ireland’s laws. And there was a great deal of pride as a people that this was a collective and national decision absent foreign involvement.

But both sides of the debate accused the other as having been funded by outside sources, especially by American organizations. And while both sides denied the accusation, evidence against the No campaign was publicized shortly before the vote:

One of the no side’s strongest supporters in the US is the lavishly funded National Organisation for Marriage (NOM). In a letter to supporters around the world, it has urged evangelical Christians to visit, which is campaigning for a no vote.

“Just like in campaigns for marriage here in America,” the letter says, “slanted public opinion polls become fodder to influence and depress supporters of marriage. This is happening in Ireland. If [the no campaign] can manage to pull off a victory, it will be a tremendous boost to the cause of marriage worldwide. Please do what you can to bring awareness to their efforts.”

Foreign contributions to lobby groups during referendums in Ireland are banned. But the “please do what you can” language used by NOM hints at an effort to thwart the law.

Also hurting the No campaign’s image was the use of stock photos in their advertising, a tactic regularly employed by NOM. While the Yes campaign made a point of using real Irish supporters, the No side selected as their primary campaign image a photo of a young couple with a baby, who turned to the media to declare that not only do they not live in Ireland, they are both ardent marriage equality supporters.

The fact that NOM was associated with the No campaign served only to give that campaign some flavor as a non-Irish import. And to the extent that NOM advised the No side on it’s campaign and image, their efforts backfired.


May 26th, 2015

Hmm, haven’t we seen use of stock photos turn around and bite people on the rear before? You think they’d learn… but thankfully, they haven’t.

With that said, thanks, NOM, and keep up the good work! ;~)

Ben in Oakland

May 26th, 2015

“Please do what you can.”

Hmmmmm. sounds just like to Mormon Church in 2008.

Eric Payne

May 26th, 2015

If domestic law isn’t strong enough to reveal NOM’s financial backing (specifically in revealing their donors) despite how many court orders to do so… is anyone shocked they may have violated another country’s laws?

Eric Payne

May 26th, 2015

Now THIS is really funny, in light of possible covert funding to the “No” campaign by NOM.

Go to keep (it’s still up; I was just there). At the top of that page, click on “4 Things About The Yes Campaign.” Read “Thing” 1.

Pot. Kettle. Deep, dark ebony.

Timothy Kincaid

May 26th, 2015

Thanks Eric. Too funny.

What they don’t say is that Feeney supported the organizations over a period of years, but NOT the campaign. Which is entirely legal.

NOM requested their followers to “do all they can” for a specific campaign for a specific referendum during the campaign period. Which may not be legal at all.

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