Dear Marriage Supporter,
"No rational basis."
Those are the words our opponents throw around about laws that recognize marriage for what it has always been, the union of one man and one woman. They are repeated often in academia, and tragically have been picked up by judges who have cavalierly invalidated vote after vote enacting marriage amendments in blue states and red.
Our opponents in academia and the elite circles of influence and power chuckle and chortle as this rush to redefine marriage heads to the US Supreme Court, where they have convinced themselves they are "destined" to prevail because, well, they can't think of any "rational basis" why they wouldn't.
Of course, the truth of marriage is that there is not only a rational basis for states to protect marriage by enacting laws and state constitutional amendments, but there are principled and persuasive reasons for them to do so.
NOM is at the forefront of fighting for marriage in the courts, legislative bodies, Congress and the court of public opinion. If it weren't for us, it's fair to say that there would be no group left in America with its main and principle purpose being to fight for the preservation of marriage. Will you help us today with a gift of $25, $50, or $100?
You are familiar with our work that attracts public attention, such as the tremendously successful March for Marriage, and our important project to boycott Chase Bank for their inexcusable attempt to gather private information about whether individual employees consider themselves to be an "ally" of the LGBT community. But you may not be familiar with efforts of marriage leaders to fight for marriage in the belly of the beast — in academia and among the powerful and influential.
Professor Robert George is one of our nation's most prominent scholars and intellectual leaders. A distinguished professor at Princeton and, like me, a graduate of Oxford, he currently serves as Chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He also was a co-founder of NOM, served as our Chairman, and continues to be a valued member of our Board of Directors.
Professor George has been a champion for marriage for many years, and continues to be so. In fact, he is in the midst of a brilliant debate on the website Public Discourse where he is delivering a stellar and principled defense of marriage as a historic institution that "did not originate in the book of Genesis, and is not rooted in animus." Rather, he describes eloquently:
The judgment that marriage is the committed sexual union of man and woman, sealed in coitus and inherently oriented to procreation and domestic life, is shared by the common and civil law traditions as well as the Jewish and Christian faiths (among other religious and philosophical traditions). Its core is found in the teaching of philosophers ranging from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Xenophanes, Musonius Rufus, and Plutarch in antiquity to Kant, Anscombe, and Gandhi in the modern period.
Professor George makes the critical point in his presentation that the question of how marriage should be defined cannot be answered until we confront the issue of, "What is marriage?":
What is marriage—considered not just as a word or legal status, but as a form of relationship with a distinctive value and set of shaping norms, which law has reason to facilitate and even promote? After all, to know whether marriage policies violate equality—whether they fail to treat like relationships alike—we must know what makes a type of bond a marriage and distinguishes marriages from other types of companionship or relationship.
In thoroughly dismantling the arguments of his adversary, Professor George not only eloquently articulates a coherent "rational basis" for preserving traditional marriage laws, but establishes how such laws should be promoted in the interests of the common good of society:
There is something distinctive (and even intrinsically valuable) about the particular form of sexual partnership—historically known as "marriage"—that brings together a man and woman as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children born of their union, conferring on those children the blessing of being reared in the stable bond of the man and woman whose love brought them life.
NOM will continue to work in the public square, in academia, with legislators and judges, encouraging young people and scholars, and challenging the elite and powerful all in defense of marriage. But we cannot be effective if we don't have the resources to engage our opponents across the breadth of the battlefield.
Brian S. Brown