The National Organisation for Marriage has egg on its face again – after posting a ‘photo’ of a protest against same-sex marriage.

Italy is currently discussing proposals for same-sex civil unions, with PM Matteo Renzi making compromises following strong opposition from the Catholic church and rebellions from Catholic lawmakers.

The issue has sparked large public rallies in the country, both in favour of equality and against, but NOM seems to struggle to tell the difference.

The group posted a photo to its Facebook purporting to show a packed square at the ‘Family Day’ rally held in Rome last month.

It bears the caption ‘2,000,000 March for Marriage’ – but blogger JoeMyGod raised a few problems.

First, impartial estimates of the turnout in Rome were far lower than the two million figure, given two million people couldn’t physically fit inside the protest area which was mostly empty.

Secondly, the square in the picture looks nothing like the Rome protest area… and suspiciously like Milan.

And thirdly? It’s actually a picture from a rally in favour of equal marriage.

It’s unclear how exactly the group managed the mix-up, given the large number of rainbow flags and symbols visible in the crowd.

The picture appears to be from a pro-equality rally that took place in Milan on January 23.

Here’s the original, with pro-gay signs clearly visible:

The National Organisation for Marriage was the primary group leading the charge against same-sex marriage, failing to stop the momentum that led to equality in all 50 states.

The group remains active despite its financial woes, missing major fundraising targets and facing federal tax complaints.

Despite claiming to be a group that is simply opposed to equal marriage, President Brian Brown betrayed his true anti-gay beliefs in an email mourning Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away earlier this month .

In the email seen by PinkNews, Brown referred not just to rulings on same-sex marriage, but a number of cases relating to sodomy laws across the US – expressing clear support for Scalia’s dissents against decisions to strike down sodomy laws.

Brown wrote: “When the majority of his colleagues, led by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled in [LGBT discrimination case] Romer v Evans that the voters of Colorado could not prohibit the granting of special rights to homosexuals, Scalia took them to task for the abject lack of constitutional basis for the ruling.”

“He reminded the Court that just ten years earlier in [sodomy case] Bowers v. Hardwick they had ruled that there was no fundamental constitutional right for someone to engage in homosexual acts and that the constitution had not changed during the intervening decade.

“Despite this, the liberal Kennedy wing decreed that it is unconstitutional for voters to prevent special rights to be granted to gays and lesbians because doing so supposedly amounted to animus and discrimination, and that expressing moral disapproval of homosexual conduct was akin to racial and religious bigotry.

“To this, Justice Scalia chastised the majority for its utter lack of judicial basis: ‘The Court today… employs a constitutional theory heretofore unknown to frustrate Colorado’s reasonable effort to preserve traditional American moral values… but the Court today has done so, not only by inventing a novel and extravagant constitutional doctrine to take the victory away from traditional forces, but even by verbally disparaging as bigotry adherence to traditional attitudes’.”

Brown continued: “The constitutional battle over marriage and traditional American values came more clearly into focus in the case of Lawrence v Kansas, which revisited whether states could penalize people for engaging in homosexual conduct such as sodomy (which was at issue in the Bowers case years before).

“Once again, Justice Anthony Kennedy led the majority to strike down state laws penalizing sodomy, and once again Justice Scalia dissented — not because he personally favored penalties for homosexual conduct but because the US Constitution simply does not contain a fundamental right to homosexuality.

“Scalia skewered Kennedy and the majority for basing their decision not on the constitution but on the observation that the Bowers ruling had been repeatedly publicly criticized. If the existence of ongoing public criticism was the basis for constitutional law, Scalia pointed out that Roe v Wade should be overturned on the same basis.

“In his dissent in Lawrence, Justice Scalia presciently warned that the ruling would inevitably lead to gay marriage and the striking down of laws against polygamy, bigamy, adult incest and bestiality because the Court was effectively banning states from considering the morality of sexual practices as an intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual. ‘[The Lawrence] opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned’.”