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LETTER TO COMMUNITY: National Black Justice Coalition condemns NOM's racially divisive anti-gay tactics

After the release of internal strategy memos of the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which call for the use of race as a means of stripping the freedom to marry from loving and committed same-sex couples, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joins the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry and others to condemn the organization's wedge-strategy.

NOM's memos detail its campaign to direct money to a handful of African American clergy in order to attack gay and lesbian couples that have made a lifelong promise to one another. The organization admits their key goal is to "drive a wedge between gays and blacks." The memo also outlines NOM's strategies for targeting Latino communities by "making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity" and "to make opposition to gay marriage an identity marker, a badge of youth rebellion to conformist assimilation to the bad side of 'Anglo' culture."

"These documents expose NOM for what it really is-a hate group determined to use African-American faith leaders as pawns to push their damaging agenda and as mouthpieces to amplify that hatred," says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Despite NOM's appalling efforts to endanger committed couples and families by elevating equality opponents of color, a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll confirmed growth in support for the freedom to marry since October 2009, with strong growth in support among African Americans by 56%.

And support from our community doesn't stop there. Numerous African American civil rights leaders, such as John Lewis, Julian Bond, and Coretta Scott King, have stood up for the freedom to marry and equality for all Americans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color.

"NOM is fighting a losing battle," Lettman-Hicks said. "With these memos made public, the black faith community must refuse to be exploited and refuse to deny their fellow brothers and sisters equal protections under the law."