The National Organization for Marriage has a flair for the dramatic. Their much-mocked advertisement against gay marriage featured literal clouds forming over the heads of actors portraying regular American citizens whimpering at the thought of an impending gay marriage-acalypse.
If they’d chosen a cinematic interpretation of the “D-Day” metaphor they used in emails to anti-gay marriage supporters before their big loss last week, it might feature flamboyant soldiers invading the shores of the Hamptons.
Still, gay rights supporters say that while NOM used the same type of rhetoric it had in the past, they didn’t appear to have the same type of resources to back their push. Observers say their television ad buys in the major media markets didn’t appear to come anywhere close to the purchases same-sex marriage supporters had made.
The fact that the it was the Republican legislature that allowed the bill to come up for a vote — and that several Republicans ended up voting for the measure — gave NOM a less traditional support base than it had in previous campaigns.
Sam Stein reports that promises of political support in the form of campaign donations also played a major role in the winning movement.
NOM tried their traditional methods of rallying support against marriage equality measures. Brian Brown, the president of NOM, sent emails to NOM supporters indicating their “URGENT ACTION” was needed for a “Down to the Wire” and “CRITICAL” battle in New York that would decide the “fate of marriage.”
When it was all said and done, and “D-Day” had passed, Brown pledged the fight wasn’t over yet.
“Last night we were sold out by the Republican Party in New York. Shortly before 10:30 last night, the New York Senate voted 33 to 29 in favor of same-sex marriage,” he said in an email to NOM supporters. “In response to last night’s vote, I have doubled our pledge to New York, committing at least $2 million dollars to make sure that New York Republicans understand that voting for gay marriage has consequences.”
Supporters of same-sex marriage weren’t having it.
“The win in New York was a major body blow to the National Organization for Marriage,” Kevin Nix of the Human Rights Campaign told TPM. “What they do best— whip up fears and manufacture hysteria around marriage equality—fell flat this time around. Reason prevailed. That marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples in the Empire State will soon be legal also highlights how increasingly isolated NOM is in its extreme anti-gay philosophy.”
[Ed. note: this story has been updated.]