Dear Marriage Supporter,
Yesterday, an article in the Washington Examiner reported on a proposed change by the U.S. Census Bureau that most major media outlets will likely ignore.
According to the article, "If the Census Bureau has its way, the government will no longer monitor statistical trends about marriage."
The piece rightly notes that demographic data about marriage and family is important in structuring policy about social welfare programs and the like. However, if the Census Bureau drops the marriage questions from its questionnaire, the article explains, "the government soon may have no idea how marriage is changing in America and how it is linked to the well-being of children and adults."
According to the Census Bureau itself, at least five questions about marital status are "slated for removal from the questionnaire" unless the public and other government agencies come up with "revised or additional justification for these questions."
There is something very significant about a federal agency suggesting, for all intents and purposes, that marriage is less important to public policy at the same time as federal judges all over the country are imposing a radical redefinition of this fundamental institution on voters in state after state.
One might almost wonder if this isn't part of an effort to put marriage "out of sight and out of mind" in order to avoid addressing tough questions about the consequences of redefining marriage.
A few years hence, if marriage remains redefined in as many states as it is today, and people begin raising concerns about the effects of this new marriage policy on things like economic growth or the welfare of children, politicians and government agencies will have an easy evasive maneuver if these changes to the Census are implemented: "We don't have any data on that."
It is ironic that the same federal administration that has made it a priority to redefine marriage and family, saying it was important for—among other things—economics and public welfare, is now moving to drop data-gathering mechanisms related precisely to the economic and public welfare implications of marriage and family!
Or maybe it isn't ironic or mere coincidence at all, but part of a strategy? It does seem significant, after all, that this news should only begin to draw attention the week before Christmas, when the public is distracted and government activity is in sort of a lull. Late December is famously a time for government "taking out the trash" — dropping news stories about which they don't want too much public notice.
If that was the strategy, they will be disappointed in this much at least: we will be watching, and we will continue to ask tough questions about the public policy implications of marriage even if the Census refuses to continue asking them!
A Victory in Arkansas
Another news story I wanted to alert you about is a development last week that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.
Ryan T. Anderson reported on this in The Daily Signal last Thursday:
After the city council of [Fayetteville, AR] passed a "civil rights" ordinance that undermined basic civil liberties back in August, voters took to the polls to repeal the law, ordinance 119.
Among other things, the law made it a crime for citizens to engage in what the government deemed to be "discrimination" based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Concerns were raised about wedding vendors and "discrimination" based on sexual orientation, as well as bathroom policies and "discrimination" based on gender identity (particularly transgender individuals—which bathrooms must biological males who identify as women, and biological females who identify as men, be allowed to use).
One of the significances of this particular "bathroom bill" is that it is the bill which Michelle Duggar of the hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting had spoken out against, which led to a protest against the Duggars' show and a counter-protest which NOM joined.
This is a great victory for the people of Arkansas, and a sort of vindication for the Duggars and their values, which the vote demonstrates are more in line with the values of the American people than the radical agendas of elites throughout the country who are trying to redefine everything having to do with the unique and special complementarity of men and women.
This victory is also a cause for hope in this season all about that sentiment. As we move forward into 2015, we can be assured that the American people still stand for the truth about men and women and marriage, and the basic idea that children have a right to the love of their own mother and father.
If you share this hope, I'd ask you to express it today by giving a generous year-end donation to NOM today. And anything you donate now, and until the end-of-the-year, will have double the impact because of our matching gift challenge!
With your help, NOM will be able to continue and expand its mission in the New Year, of professing the truth about marriage and asking the tough questions about marriage policy that some people would rather not get asked.
We can't do it without you—and for that you have my constant gratitude.
Brian S. Brown