WASHINGTON, DC – On Oct. 19 the Human Rights Campaign condemned the extreme profits National Organization for Marriage (NOM) strategist Frank Schubert is making at the expense of LGBT Americans. Schubert is the man behind NOM’s misleading ads that advocate against LGBT equality. Public filings show that he has netted nearly $3 million this year for his work in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina and Washington state. The profits go to Schubert’s company, Mission Public Affairs.
Schubert collected $958,594 for his anti-equality work in North Carolina earlier this year. In the four marriage ballot states, Schubert has collected $967,567.88 in Washington; $492,680 in Maryland; $303,307.69 in Minnesota; and $200,043.46 in Maine. While these funds are likely used to pay for advertising, it’s unclear what percentage is lining Schubert’s pockets.
“Frank Schubert is making a lucrative living off of promoting discrimination against LGBT Americans,” said HRC Vice President of Communications Fred Sainz. “Let me be clear: the National Organization for Marriage is advancing an extremist agenda against LGBT people. Frank Schubert is making millions of dollars by intentionally misleading voters about NOM’s true mission. As he gets richer, hundreds of thousands of LGBT Americans face economic hardship, enormous obstacles in starting families, and an inability to marry the person they love – all because of Schubert’s lies.”
Schubert’s job is primarily to water down NOM’s extremist agenda and sell it to voters. His ads are intentionally misleading, and use scare tactics to advance falsehoods about LGBT people. For example, Schubert’s anti-equality ads often claim that marriage equality will impact what children learn in school; that marriage equality will force religious institutions to carry out ceremonies that conflict with their teachings; or that lawmakers want to circumvent the will of the people. These are falsehoods – particularly when it comes to the impact marriage equality would have on religious institutions – that are concocted to scare voters into unknowingly supporting NOM’s aggressively anti-LGBT agenda.
That agenda, according to internal NOM strategy documents obtained by HRC earlier this year, is to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks–two key Democratic constituencies.” Those same documents said of Latinos: “We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity – a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation.” In fact, Schubert’s previous public relations firm is specifically cited in the documents as the group that would produce ads and other materials with the goal of “making opposition to gay marriage an identity marker.”
This isn’t the first time Schubert has profited off of promoting discrimination – he was a key player in the campaign to pass Proposition 8, banning marriage equality for same-sex couples in California. Schubert also was behind the infamous “Princess” ad, which used scare tactics to misled voters about what marriage equality really meant.
In a recent New York Times profile, Schubert said of his anti-equality work: “This is a difficult argument, because it sounds as if we’re saying gay couples can’t have loving relationships or care for children, which is not the case.”
That assertion is false, and the public deserves to know the true nature of NOM’s work:
. Just this week, NOM promoted a video equating marriage equality to incest and pedophilia.
. NOM has come out against civil unions in the past and regularly questions the ability of LGBT people to raise children.
. NOM founder Maggie Gallagher recently implied that same-sex couples are too “volatile” to start a family.
. NOM’s leadership has said polygamy is preferable to marriage equality.
. A NOM figurehead has compared marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples to bestiality.
– Filed from press release by HRC Oct. 19, 2012