That’s what this article in Mother Jones argues. The Mormons used to be one of the primary factors driving anti-gay efforts at the polls. It’s not hyperbole to say that if they hadn’t inserted themselves into California politics, we probably wouldn’t be awaiting a Supreme Court decision on Prop 8 in June, because it probably wouldn’t have passed in the first place. The article describes the harsh backlash the Church received, some from their own members, over their anti-gay activities. It’s important to point out that the LDS Church’s position on homosexuality hasn’t changed a bit, but they do seem to have calculated that being at the forefront of the National Political Bigot Movement hurts them more than it helps. Another interesting angle discussed is that, with the Mormons out of the picture, we’re seeing what a disorganized, ineffective mess NOM really is:
Karger, the California activist who helped call attention to the church’s Prop. 8 role, believes that without the Mormons’ money and organizing clout, the fight has been left to a handful of extremely conservative Catholic groups such as the Knights of Columbus and NOM, none of which has much in the way of grassroots organizing skills. Indeed, a whopping 90 percent of NOM’s funding comes from only about 10 individuals. According to the most recent IRS filings available, it raised nearly $3 million less in 2011 than it did in 2010, a reduction of about one-third. In 2012, according to Human Rights Campaign, gay marriage proponents in four states considering marriage bills outraised NOM by $20 million.
While NOM used the specter of legalization in Rhode Island to raise money, it had a poor showing in the state. The rabidly anti-gay group Mass Resistance complained bitterly, calling NOM “clueless and ineffective,” and noting, “NOM did no serious organizing or strategic planning. Meetings with activists would be set up, then go unattended.” That’s the sort of thing that would never happen if the LDS church had been on board.
“NOM has always been a shell group, the purpose of which was to funnel money from a shadowy handful of funders directed by the Mormon and Catholic hierarchy,” says Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “Now that the Mormon hierarchy seems to have pulled back, it exposes the weakness and lack of any real grassroots depth in the opposition.”
It’s very interesting, because it’s been apparent for a while to those who pay close attention (even before the Mormon pullback), that NOM hasn’t had grassroots enthusiasm for their movement in a long time. That’s why they’re always inflating their numbers, trying to make it look like they’re a movement of kind, sweet people who just want to “preserve marriage,” when the reality has always been that it’s just a few big name backers creating the appearance of a real groundswell movement. Now that a third of their funding is gone, we’re starting to see that the emperor has no clothes, and never did.