Delaware’s marriage equality bill (HB75) seems close to final passage, with a floor vote scheduled in the Senate on Tuesday, May 7. The House has already passed the bill and Governor Jack Markell, who introduced it in early April, has promised to sign it into law.
National Organization for Marriage has apparently expected to lose the marriage equality debate in Delaware all along, since it has done little in the state to oppose passage of the bill. NOM’s sometimes-collaborator MassResistance reports on who has and who hasn’t been making a difference in Delaware:
According to all the pro-family people we spoke to, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) unfortunately has been only been only marginally active in this fight. They’ve done pro-marriage robo-calls, but that’s all anyone can recall. NOM has not worked directly with DFPC [Delaware Family Policy Council] on any lobbying or strategy, or contacted them at all. However, DFPC has received information and related help from Family Research Council and Alliance Defense Fund, they said. As with many pro-marriage groups, DFPC’s biggest problem has been getting sufficient funding.
Being virtually absent from the Delaware marriage debate hasn’t prevented NOM from using mention of it as a fundraising tool in over a dozen emails and blog posts since last December. Just this morning, NOM’s president Brian Brown re-posted his May 1st fundraising email which leads off with this:
Last week, the Rhode Island state legislature voted to redefine marriage. And the Delaware legislature has a similar vote pending in their state Senate.
And quickly brings the reader to this:
Click here to make an immediate donation to the National Organization for Marriage to help us give marriage the defense it both needs and deserves at this critical juncture!
But here’s the catch: there’s a caveat printed at the bottom of NOM’s fundraising emails that says “Donations may be used for political purposes such as supporting or opposing candidates. No funds will be earmarked or reserved for any political purpose.“ I’ve highlighted and marked with the orange arrow this section in the screen shot below.
As always with NOM, donor beware. Regardless of what states NOM may mention in its fundraising emails, NOM may use contributions prompted by those emails for something else entirely. For example, NOM spent $600,000 in a campaign to replace three of the Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined the unanimous 2009 ruling that the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. The result: the replacement justices are just as fair-minded as the ousted ones. Only NOM knows — and they won’t say — how much of that wasted $600,000 came from donors responding to NOM’s fundraising emails about marriage-related debates and elections happening in other states.
One wonders how — and where — the “Delaware” contributions are being used.