January 16, 2010 | by Chris Johnson
NOM robocalls attack pro-LGBT Mass. Senate candidate

The National Organization for Marriage is apparently sending out robocalls in Masschusetts smearing a pro-LGBT Democratic Senate candidate for supporting same-sex marriage and encouraging a vote for the Republican nominee in an upcoming election.

A supporter of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley recently relayed to DC Agenda a message from someone who said they received a robocall from NOM that attacks Coakley for her views on marriage and encourages a vote for Republican candidate and state Sen. Scott Brown:

Our household just got an automated call from the “National Organization for Marriage,” with a 202 area code. The auto call features a male voice, which is clearly a recording, asking if you support marriage as being only between a man and a woman. If you say “yes,” then the voice urges you to vote for Scott Brown as the only candidate with a proven record of supporting marriage as between a man and a woman. The call says that his opponent is a “radical” supporter of same-sex marriage who has opposed letting the people decide and has used taxpayer dollars to support the agenda of same-sex marriage. The call ends by asking if “we can count on you to vote for Scott Brown.” The quality of the recording is mediocre at best.

NOM didn’t immediately respond to DC Agenda’s request to confirm whether the organization was indeed sending these calls to Massachusetts residents.

It’s true that Coakley and Brown have strikingly different positions on the issue of same-sex marriage. Brown opposes same-sex marriage and in 2007 voted for an amendment that would have eliminated the right for same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts.

By comparison, Coakley supports same-sex marriage and as attorney general has been a proponent of federal recognition for married gay couples. Last year, she filed a lawsuit on behalf on the State of Massachusetts against the Defense of Marriage Act. She’s also called for the legislative repeal of DOMA.

The two candidates are in the midst of a heated race that some pundits are calling a toss-up. The election is set for Tuesday.

UPDATE: The Coakley campaign responds to the robocalls, condemning NOM for the attacks and calling on Brown to repudiate them.

“This is the usual last-minute attack by one of the biggest anti-equality organizations in the country,” said Representative Katherine Clark, Coakley Campaign Finance Committee Co-Chair.  “This just reaffirms what we already knew — Scott Brown is the favorite candidate of ultra right-wing conservatives. Marriage equality has been the law of the land in Massachusetts for nearly six years, and it’s supported by a majority of voters who know first-hand that the sky hasn’t fallen just because we have marriage equality.”

The Brown campaign hasn’t yet responded to DC Agenda’s request to comment on the issue.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

15 Comments
  • I absolutely hate getting robocalls. I am much less likely to vote for the scumbags using them. I hope this reprehensible tactic backfires on the bigots.

  • It’s time for an investigative report on Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and Professor Robert George — the three who founded the National Organization for Marriage (“NOM”).

  • NOM is not “ultra right-wing”. Far from it.

    Contrary to Coakley’s response, Brown has said that the localized imposition of SSM is now entrenched. So what would Coakley have Brown repudiate?

    The sky has not fallen in places where the man-woman criterion of marriage has been reaffirmed. It would be crazy to ask him to repudiate that obvious fact.

    And the voters of Maine were denied the opportunity to vote on the marriage issue.

    Is Coakley’s demanding that Brown “repudiate” the truth that she has opposed letting the people decide?

    Coakley favors imposing SSM nationwide. So her candidacy has taken a stance on a national issue which fairly falls within the scope of what NOM advocates nationally.

    She can’t seriously demand that the truth must be repudiated, right?

    It is misleading for her to suggest that opinion surveys decide the matter especially when the SSM campaign in MA said that majority opinion doesn’t really count anyway.

    Besides, wherever the issue has been put to a vote, the opinion surveys have underestimated the share of votes that the man-woman criterion would win. In CA the surveys were wrong by about 10%, at the end of election day. That happened just about everyplace else, too.

    So list the stuff Coakley expects Brown to repudiate from the NOM call.

  • Typo correction:

    “And the voters of Massachusetts were denied the opportunity to vote on the marriage issue.”

  • This is not an issue of whether or not to build a new highway or allocate funds to make more hospitals or orphanages.

    And the citizens of MA were also never given the opportunity to vote about whther or not heterosexual couples could retain their right to marry.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, would you prefer that your private life be left to popular vote? What if you were the lone conservative in a liberal state and your church’s property were targeted for imminent domain to build a Walmart or a Planned Parenthood? That’s a matter of public decision as well, sweetheart.

    At what point to do you people stop abusing the media and the population’s emotional paranoia to enforce your privately held personal opinions as law?

    When it comes time for YOUR families’ rights to suffer under public lawmaking gone horribly and unfairly awry, I hope indeed that you remember this particular legal battle. Because you are casting the first stone is what is garaunteed to be a tremendous backlash agianst all you think is so holy and sacred.

    You do not speak for God, and you do not speak for other Christians in this flippant discrimination.

  • “And the voters of Massachusetts were denied the opportunity to vote on the marriage issue.”

    How often are the voters given an opportunity to vote on marriage issues in general? The example that comes to my mind is miscegenation, but for some odd reason, advocates of a public vote on same-sex marriage are in no hurry to raise that example.

  • Thank you, DW.

    Apparently it’s only ok to use the law as an elitist standardizing tool when it’s backed by dogmatic smear campaigns suggesting that the minority (which I doubt is in fact a minority) in question isn’t right in the head.

    The longer we keep up the facade that heterosexuals are universally closer to ‘normal’ or emotionally ‘healthy’ (HA!), the longer their divorce rate will languish at a pathetic FIFTY PERCENT.

    Law also once prohibited blacks from voting. Should we repeal that one, too, Chairm? Or how about eliminating tax-exempt status for churches? What I saw happening in DC with the archdiocese was disgusting. Using the homeless and the under/unemployed as hostages to force an agenda is not accaptable, and it’s just a matter of time before it becomes par for teh course up in New England.

    You poeple have a lot of nerve trying to tell the rest of the population how to conduct themselves.

  • “The call says that his opponent is a “radical” supporter of same-sex marriage who has opposed letting the people decide and has used taxpayer dollars to support the agenda of same-sex marriage. The call ends by asking if “we can count on you to vote for Scott Brown.” The quality of the recording is mediocre at best.’

    I was just wondering when homosexuals stopped paying taxes? Those same tax dollars were also paid by them.
    What truly saddens me is that the big political machine preys upon peoples fears of immorality to keep discrimination in effect.
    Lets look at the big picture shall we? If same-sex is legalized how much revenue will be lost by the federal government? Married filing jointly discounts for homosexuals and social security death benefits paid to the surviving spouse are just a couple that jump immediately to mind. Then the lobbyists for big business..the nice tidy discount that applies to married people on car insurance, the medical benefit coverage, pensions and others. However, that isnt what we tell the American people, no lets appeal to their ignorance and fear and scream morality and the decline of Western culture. Please lets all be honest, its just business and the almighty dollar.

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