Freedom To Marry's press release from last night about the passage of an anti-gay marriage amendment in North Carolina is amazingly tone deaf. In one of the paragraphs the org has the chutzpah to tout their Win More States Fund and claims credit for Vice President Biden's mealy-mouthed support of marriage equality.
Freedom to Marry is deeply engaged in campaigns underway to defeat an anti-gay constitutional amendment in Minnesota, defend the freedom to marry law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in Washington state, and win the freedom to marry in Maine - all involving ballot-measures in November. To support the work in these states, Freedom to Marry launched the $3 million Win More States Fund, which is strategically channeling funds into grassroots organizing, television and radio spots, new media programs, and more. Freedom to Marry has also long invested in public education that creates the climate for changing hearts and minds--as reflected most recently in Vice President Biden's heartfelt explanation of how his thinking evolved to support the freedom to marry. In 2011 Freedom to Marry launched its national persuasion campaign, Why Marriage Matters, raising and spending an initial one million dollars on message development and delivery, including the creation of television spots and videos and deployment of powerful messengers and personal stories.
Keep in mind that North Carolina was deliberately left out of the Win More States Fund, in a move that outraged activists. One of the states they included, New Hampshire, had already voted to retain their marriage equality bill by the time FTM announced the project. They may be "channeling funds" into all of those activities, but they didn't help North Carolina's battle with any of that organizing, advertising, or new media programs and it's incredibly cheeky to tout what they're doing elsewhere while stiffing the state that just lost.
During the blogger and editor convening in Houston this year, FTM's Marc Solomon hinted that the group might replace New Jersey with North Carolina, but nothing ever came of it. Several sources say that Evan Wolfson, stung by the criticism of the decision, doubled down and refused to help the Tarheel state.
The sentence that stands out to me though is their claim that their "public education" campaign changed the Vice President's thinking on marriage equality. Talk about chutzpah and over reaching. I guess if you can't claim any support for North Carolina, you have to find a way to grab on to something to keep those millions of dollars flowing in.
(Shocked and disgusted man clipart via Bigstock)