The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which released an ominous video last week detailing its fears over gay marriage, has insisted on its widely-mocked audition tapes being removed from YouTube.
The video features actors making statements such as “a storm is gathering, the clouds are dark and the wind is strong” and “I am afraid” while sounds of thunder and lightning play in the background.
The clip, along with segments of an audition reel, were shown on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC.
The audition reel was ridiculed by various websites and bloggers.
NOM used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to force YouTube and other video sites to remove the clips and replace them with a message saying: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by National Organization for Marriage.”
Speaking on her programme, Maddow remarked: “Come now, anti-gay-marriage people, I know your campaign is about how we should all be afraid of gay marriage, but now you’re scared about people talking about your stance on it?”
She added that the clips were still accessible on the MSNBC website.
Gawker.com reports that an email sent from NOM executive director Brian S Brown to one critic states the video was well received with bloggers talking about how “well-produced” it was.
Brown said: “HRC [The Human Rights Campaign] knows that we are not lying, but they are terrified – yes, terrified – that our message will get out.
“There are real consequences that will follow if we redefine marriage. And not just for same-sex couples – redefining marriage will affect all of us who believe that marriage is the union of a husband and wife.”
He ended his letter by asking for donations “because marriage is worth fighting for”.
The ad depicted a Californian doctor “torn” between his faith and his job, a Massachusetts mother “forced” to send her son to a school which actively promotes gay marriage and a Jersey Church group member who feels punished by the state for not supporting gay marriage.
They are all played by actors but the organisation insists that their concerns are based on true stories.
At the end, spokesman Damon Owens speaks of a “rainbow coalition” of people “of every creed and colour” coming together to protect marriage.
The HRC condemned the one-minute campaign, (see below) branding it as “lies”.
HRC spokesman Brad Luna said: “This ad is full of outrageous falsehoods – and they don’t even come out of the mouths of real people.
“Again and again, opponents of equality have claimed one shallow victory after another by telling lies about who we are as individuals, as loving couples and as families.
“These lies must be called out for what they are every time the right-wing seeks to derail our progress by spreading distortions and inciting fear mongering.”
The claims made in the ad were all proven false following research by the HRC and concerned anti-discrimination laws rather than gay marriage itself.