The National Organisation for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay group which opposes equal marriage across the US, has officially endorsed Mitt Romney for President this morning.

The announcement came within hours after US media reported that NOM’s website and its social media outlets were hacked, with references to the recent revelations that the organisation sought to “drive a wedge” between LGBT communities and ethnic minorities. The latter revelations were followed by further disclosures that during the previous presidential elections, Mitt Romney made a $10,000 donation to the group, though his campaign sought to do so secretively.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the gay rights organisation Human Rights Campaign discovered that two board members of NOM each donated $2,500 to the Romney campaign for 2012, and also did so in 2008. As a non-profit social welfare group, NOM cannot directly give money to candidates.

In the light of all these revelations, NOM has drawn fierce criticism from the press, with the New York Times calling on all Republican candidates to sever ties with the organisation publicly, though none of them have yet to do so. This is not surprising, as Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had all signed up to the group’s so-called marriage pledge, whereby they swore to work “aggressively” against marriage equality.

In endorsing Mr Romney, the organisation described Mr Obama as “an incumbent who has done virtually everything in his power to undermine the institution of marriage.” Brian Brown, the president of NOM further added: “We hope our endorsement will help focus social conservatives on the need to defeat President Obama.”

The endorsement is seen as somewhat ironic in view of the fact that in 2002, when Mr Romney was a candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts, he opposed equal marriage, but supported domestic partnerships, and went so far as to oppose an amendment that would have outlawed all the benefits of the latter partnerships for same-sex couples in the state.”All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation,” he had said.

Joe Solmonese, the president of Human Rights Campaign, said in a press statement: “One of the most hate-filled groups in American politics is embracing Governor Romney today… NOM has said unconscionable things about LGBT people and staunchly opposes any sort of relationship recognition for committed, loving LGBT couples — not to mention the group’s race-baiting.”

Neither Mr Romney nor his campaign have yet to comment on the organisation’s endorsement of his candidacy.