Among the many things WikiLeaks discovered in the DNC email leaks, one thread in particular should worry those who appreciate religious freedom.
According to the emails, a man by the name of Mike Gehrke, vice president of a consulting firm called Benenson Strategy Group, had been in contact with the DNC communications director Luis Miranda, and deputy communications directorMark Paustenbach.
According to Gehrke, his colleague Amy Levin had been involved with a group called the “Movement Advancement Project” for a couple years, with the intent to come up with messaging and “creative executions,” in order to get around religious freedom laws.
Gehrke wanted to set up a meeting with the DNC, to give them a presentation of their work. On May 16th, it was reported that they were to meet on “Wednesday at 1pm.”
The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is an LGBT think tank that specializes in developing persuasion tactics.
From their website:
MAP’s work helps educate and persuade public audiences (such as policymakers, allied organizations and funders, media and the American public) and helps support LGBT movement audiences (including LGBT organizations and advocates, and LGBT funders).
Public Audiences By articulating the need for change and outlining solutions in a comprehensive and compelling way, MAP enables these audiences to better understand the need for change, become motivated to act, and take effective action:
- Policymakers can better understand the challenges facing LGBT Americans, feel more compelled to take action, and more effectively advocate for solutions that best achieve equality.
- Allied Organizations & Funders can gain a better sense of how LGBT issues intersect with their existing work and funding, feel more compelled to act in favor of LGBT equality, and have a better sense of how to take effective action.
- Media can better understand the issues facing LGBT Americans, feel more compelled to cover LGBT issues in ways that build public understanding, and better articulate what needs to happen to achieve equality.
- The American Public can better understand the challenges facing LGBT Americans, become more supportive of LGBT people and issues, and take greater action to achieve equality and end social stigma.
As you can see, policymakers are at the top of the list. And who better to work to change Religious Freedom Laws?
The Movement Advancement Project has received specific grants targeting religious exemptions. In 2014, the Arcus Foundation gave $100,000 to the Gill Foundation to support the project’s “research and messaging on religious exemptions.” The Evelyn & Walter Hass Haas Jr. Fund made $100,000 grant to the Gill Foundation in 2014 to support the project’s work, including “research to develop messaging around gay rights and ‘religious liberty’ issues.”
While it may come as no surprise that Democrats are trying to undermine our religious liberty, this email leak shows us that the people they’re getting in bed with to do so aren’t small time.