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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 28 - Volume 42 Issue 48
End of the road for Freedom to Marry, NOM?
Section One
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End of the road for Freedom to Marry, NOM?

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Political rivals Freedom to Marry and NOM may be nearing the end of their existence as marriage equality is rapidly becoming a reality across the country.

Founded by Evan Wolfson in 2003, Freedom to Marry not only waged a national campaign for equality, but also funneled resources into state organizations like Washington United for Marriage - the group that won R-74 and established marriage rights in this state.

In a recent interview with the Washington Blade, Freedom to Marry's national campaign director Marc Solomon said he thought it 'highly unlikely' that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule against equality. He is also 'pretty confident' that voters would support marriage rights if they come up on the ballot, he added.

To Solomon, that means his organization will successfully put itself 'out of business.'

'We've always been set up as a campaign, and we are a campaign, and when we've won nationwide, we're finished,' Solomon told the Washington Blade.

'I want to see some of the really good people stick around in LGBT stuff, or in other progressive causes, but Freedom to Marry's done.'

Meanwhile, on the other side of the issue, an HRC report suggests NOM is rapidly losing funding, and may be on the way to bankruptcy.

HRC examined NOM's tax filings from 2013 and found that the organization's funding for the year dropped a whopping 50% from 2012, with only $5.1 million coming in this year.

Only two donors account for half of NOM's income, which indicates NOM's support base consists of a handful of wealthy people and almost no one among the general public.

The NOM Education Fund - the group's tax-exempt 'educational' wing - also dropped nearly 70% since the previous year, losing some $3.5 million in funding.

NOM ended the year (2013) more than $2.5 million in debt.

HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz predicted that NOM was locked in a downward spiral from which it would not recover.

'If I were Brian Brown, I'd be worried that my two or three mega-donors are soon going to come to terms with the fact that they'd largely be better off flushing money down the toilet,' Sainz said in a statement.

'Americans certainly aren't buying what NOM is selling, and it's only a matter of time before the trickle of money keeping the lights on at NOM HQ dries up.'

Within the last year NOM suffered what HRC calls 'crippling blows to its core purpose and mission.' The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has jumped from 15 to 33 states, with 62% of the nation's population living in states that allow equal marriage rights to Gay and Lesbian couples.

Recent poll results show that NOM's anti-Gay rhetoric is falling on deaf ears. An HRC survey of 1,200 registered voters conducted June 6-10 this year by Republican pollster Alex Lundry of TargetPoint Consulting found that the number of Americans strongly opposed to national marriage equality dropped to 28%, its lowest point ever.

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End of the road for Freedom to Marry, NOM?
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