Ben Smith reports that the National Organization for Marriage is spending $1.5 million to air the spot in an effort to turn back the tide of gay marriage, which was yesterday legalized in Vermont. The spots will air in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Iowa.
The group does not back away from the ad's argument that same-sex marriage has a direct, negative impact on non-gay people.
"The biggest argument – and the biggest lie – put forward by those who want to redefine marriage is that it's not going to have any effect on you," NOM executive director Brian Brown told Smith. He added that those who back gay marriage "are saying that it’s right for the law to treat us as evil discriminators."
As evidence, Brown pointed to the fact that Catholic charities in Massachusetts stopped handling adoptions after legislation passed in the state outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians who want to adopt.
Smith notes that states that have legalized same-sex marriage have passed exemptions and other rules to protect the autonomy of religious groups.
Julie Waters over at Pam's House Blend noted some interesting talking points at the National Organization for Marriage site:
The talking points are interesting:
But that's not all. They also have some really nice gems about Why marriage matters.
Now, mind you, many opponents of same-sex marriage will tell you that it's not about religion, but about an institution that's been part of our lives for a very long time.
But here's something interesting. Nation for Marriage thinks that you need three different versions of the explanation as to why marriage matters: Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish.
What can we learn from these different approaches to marketing based on religion?
I looked at the site and they have the catholic and protestant version in both English and Spanish.
From the NOM site:
I. THE MOST EFFECTIVE SINGLE SENTENCE:
Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is:
"Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,
they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us."
This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage. Some modify it to “People have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”
Language to avoid at all costs: "Ban same-sex marriage." Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.”
This shows that talking about this issue over time helps with public opinion. The wrong approach is to say "the issue is a distraction."