African-American leaders are speaking out against the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) race strategy to defeat gay marriage.

Gay rights advocate the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Monday posted four of NOM's internal strategic memos from 2009, which were unsealed in the course of NOM's ongoing legal challenge to Maine's campaign reporting laws.

The memos have caused an uproar for stating the “strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks – two key democratic constituencies.”

Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), criticized the group.

“It confirmed a suspicion that some evil hand was behind this,” Bond told The Hill.

Referring to last year's failed attempt to legalize gay marriage in Maryland, which Bond said was largely due to opposition from black religious leaders and politicians, he said: “I would not be surprised to find this group and its filthy hand in crafting this situation.”

(The law was approved during this year's legislative session; however opponents are looking to repeal it through a referendum.)

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous called the attempt to create a wedge as “artificial.”

“This memo only reveals the limits of a cynical agenda,” Jealous said in a statement. “The truth is that no group, no matter how well-funded, can drive an artificial wedge between our communities. People of color understand what it is like to be the target of discrimination. No public relations strategy will make us forget that.”

Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, had harsher words for the group, calling NOM a “hate group.”

“These documents expose NOM for what it really is – a hate group determined to use African American faith leaders as pawns to push their damaging agenda and as mouthpieces to amplify that hatred,” Lettman-Hicks said in a statement. “NOM is fighting a losing battle. With these memos made public, the black faith community must refuse to be exploited and refuse to deny their fellow brothers and sisters equal protections under the law.”

NOM President Brian Brown told The Hill that it has a diverse group of supporters.

“This was an organization memo with many authors. Perhaps it was inarticulate in the way it laid it out,” he said. “Great for them that they're highlighting a 2009 memo that actually depicts the reality that Democrats are trying to hijack the civil rights movement.”