The National Organization for Marriage has just published a new blog post in which the anti-gay group reveals its plans for 2016. Strangely enough, none of those plans include the most likely scenario: that the organization will cease to exist.
NOM expects to spend the next two years lobbying for bills that would allow businesses to opt out of nondiscrimination laws; pushing for a federal constitutional marriage ban; and pressuring presidential candidates to oppose marriage equality.
Of these plans, the threat to undermine nondiscrimination laws, as recently happened in Indiana, is the most credible. Those "turn-away-the-gays" bills have been popping up for years and we're likely to see more after the Supreme Court rules. Passing a constitutional amendment, on the other hand, is flat-out impossible at this point, like so many of NOM's goals. And they might be able to pressure presidential candidates in 2016. But that's assuming that NOM will exist at that point.
Considering that their funding has dried up, their supporters are evaporating, and they're millions of dollars in debt, NOM may not even be worth worrying about a year from now.
The shape of NOM's future rests in part on the Supreme Court's marriage decision, due in June. Last week we had oral argument in the four marriage cases before the Supreme Court, and it went pretty much as expected: Four justices seem ready to rule in favor of marriage equality, four seem opposed, and Kennedy seems to be somewhere in between. That means the court's ultimate decision is probably going to rest with Kennedy, and he's a hard one to predict.
But one of the most promising moments came when John Bursch, the lawyer representing the states that want to keep their marriage bans, tried to claim that the dignity of married couples doesn't matter. That was probably a mistake, since affording dignity on an equal basis has always been a big deal for Kennedy -- especially in cases involving LGBTs. It possible that with that one argument, Bursch lost the case. He'll find out at the end of June just how badly he screwed up.
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