05/12/2011 06:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

National Organization for Marriage Recycling Old Lies Against Gay Marriage in New York

According to Jeremy Hooper from the blog, the National Organization for Marriage is fighting against the possibility of same-sex marriage in the state of New York by running a commercial ad it used in 2009.

The commercial claims of "dire consequences" if same-sex marriage is approved in New York.

However, one of those "dire consequences" was proven to be a lie. Starting at .07 is the following claim:

Massachusetts schools teach second graders that boys can marry other boys.

That claim is an alteration of an original claim NOM made that kindergartners were "being taught about gay marriage in Massachusetts."

In February of this year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site PolitiFact called out the National Organization for Marriage for pushing that misleading statement.

At the time, NOM was fighting the passage of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The organization sent out brochures claiming:

"Massachusetts' public schools teach kids as young as kindergartners about gay marriage. Parents have no legal right to object!"

During the investigation of this claim, PolitiFact talked to:
  • Christopher C. Plante, executive director of the Rhode Island Chapter of NOM,
  • Kris Mineau, executive director of the Massachusetts Family Institute,
  • Jonathan Considine of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,
  • the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum,
  • the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and
  • Thomas Gosnell, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts.

PolitiFact concluded that NOM's claim was inaccurate:

Bottom line: The National Organization for Marriage mailing says that Massachusetts public schools teach kindergartners about gay marriage. The wording, including the present tense verb, gives the impression this is happening now, in many schools.

But the group's only evidence is two incidents five years ago. It's possible that somewhere, in one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, other kindergartners have been taught about same-sex marriage. But NOM couldn't cite any other examples. We find its statement False.

So other than changing the grades of the children, NOM is still pushing a misleading implication that "being taught about gay marriage" is part of the Massachusetts school curriculum.

In the commercial aimed at New York, NOM also cites the story of children in California attending the gay wedding of their teacher as yet "another danger" of gay marriage. However, NOM conveniently omitted the fact that parents gave their children permission to attend this wedding.

The irony of NOM's commercial is that earlier this week, the organization announced a $500,000 ad campaign geared to stopping the passage of gay marriage in New York.

Another irony is that a person who NOM worked with in 2009 to stop gay marriage in Maine, Marc Mutty of the 'Yes on 1' campaign, is shown criticizing the usage of hyperbole regarding schools and gay marriage during documentary footage of that particular campaign:

Partial Transcript:

"You know, we say things like 'Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!' " he continues. "Well, that's not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn't, you know?"

"No," interjects a woman off-camera. "We don't say that."

"Let's look back at our ads and see what we say," Mutty persists. "And I think we use hyperbole to the point where, you know, it's like 'Geez!'