NOM BLOG

What We're Up Against

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I have to let you know exactly what we're up against.

Recently, the news reported that David Koch—the conservative boogeyman of the left—will be interviewed by ABC's Barbara Walters for her "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014" special scheduled to air on Sunday.

In the interview, he unequivocally states, "I'm basically a libertarian, and I'm a conservative on economic matters, and I'm a social liberal." It harkens back to a 2012 Politico article where he said, "I believe in gay marriage," pointing out that he openly supported legal abortion as a Libertarian party candidate in 1980.

Marriage Supporter, this is exactly the problem. Millionaires and billionaires are lining up in support of this radical social agenda... even on the right! And I need your help to stop it!

Won't you please click here right away to make a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 or more to help us carry out our mission of protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it?

Remember, right now your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous matching donor, DOUBLING the impact of your gift in the fight to defend marriage!

When the radical left—like Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, each bankrolled to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year—pushes this agenda, they claim people are accepting gay 'marriage' in ever increasing numbers. But what they really mean is that a bunch of hyper-wealthy social liberals are trying to push this agenda on America whether they like it or not.

NOM doesn't have a huge network of multi-millionaires out of Hollywood writing large checks like our political opposition enjoys. Instead, NOM depends mainly on the support of ordinary Americans, like you, who believe in marriage.

But right now what we NEED is for many, many more of those ordinary Americans to stand up and engage in the fight to defend marriage—especially since it is becoming increasingly apparent that the political elites and rich cronies on the 'conservative' side are just as willing to give in to the radical same-sex 'marriage' lobby as those on the left!

Please join us today by making a sacrificial contribution to support our mission of protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

NOM needs tens and hundreds of thousands of good, ordinary citizens to make the most important investment possible—an investment to secure a better future for our children and grandchildren, who deserve to live in a society that values marriage and recognizes the complementary and invaluable gifts that both a mother and a father bring to a child.

We need to mobilize a grassroots funding base capable of standing up to the millionaires bankrolling this radical marriage redefinition agenda... and I pray you will be one of them.

Please join NOM today by making a generous year end gift to help us reach our $200,000 matching gift goal.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: Even after marriage won big in the last election, the ideologues pushing this radical agenda just won't quit. Fortunately... neither will NOM! But we need your help and financial support today to ensure we reach our matching gift goal of $200,000 and can enter January in a position to take advantage of the opportunities we have to defend marriage in this pivotal new year. Please click here to make a generous donation today and join with the thousands of ordinary Americans willing to sacrifice to defend this most noble ideal and preserve future society for our children and grandchildren.



Quick Note

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Just a very quick note this morning to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to our $200,000 matching gift campaign.

In the first few days, we have raised over $10,000 online. Mail returns are coming in and will be added to the total shortly.

We're off to a strong start, but I know that so many friends and supporters reading this email have yet to join this campaign.

Won't you please consider clicking here to making a generous, end-of-the-year contribution to help NOM carry out its mission going in to this critical new year for marriage?

Anything you can give will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor, so whatever amount you do give will make a tremendous impact. Some can make a larger gift of $200, $500, $1,000 or more... while others can make a smaller gift of $25, $50, $100 or more. And some of you can sign up to be Sustaining Partners, helping NOM throughout the year as monthly contributors. Whatever your circumstances, we ask you to prayerfully consider a gift at this urgent time.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


Ten Years From Now

National Organization for Marriage

Friday, December 12, 2024

I sit silently holding the note my sixteen year old daughter brought home from school, taking in the word stamped in red — "Suspended." I look at her and know immediately what has happened, because we've been through this before. "He was in the girl's bathroom again and I told him to leave," she explains. All I can do is shake my head, realizing this is not going to end well.

You see, the individual my daughter is referring to is a fully-developed seventeen year old young man, but he has chosen to "identify" as a "she." The school says "she" is entitled to use the girl's bathroom, locker room and even shower facilities, and that those like my daughter who object to losing their privacy are harming her identity and bullying her. Bullying will not be tolerated.

Kids these days are told that they can choose their own gender. In fact, gender is no longer particularly relevant in the public schools. A few years ago the school district adopted the Ontario, Canada construct of telling students there were six genders, but recently they've gone to the Facebook model and teach that there are dozens of genders. What is relevant these days is not gender, but "gender identity."

Last year they adopted new guidelines to eliminate gender expressions like "boys" and "girls."

There used to be a Christian student group on campus where my daughter and fellow believers could discuss how to minister to students with different views on issues like human sexuality, but the school disbanded their group because it "discriminated" against students who don't believe in living godly principles.

Instead, they urged all students to join the LGBTQ group that meets on campus as a way of fostering understanding and inclusiveness. The "Q" stands for questioning one's sexuality, which the students encourage.

My daughter's teacher has a photo on her desk of her husband and wife. They're taking advantage of the recent court ruling that said there was no rational basis for limiting marriage to two people, so now someone can marry multiple people. The judges said they wanted to enhance equality, promote human dignity and encourage loving and committed relationships. All the spouses are entitled to benefits provided by the school district. A new law allows people to enter a marriage for a limited period of time, two years, and lets them end the marriage without penalty. But they also get benefits while they are together.

I read an article on my device that noted that even though marriage has been made available to any number or combination of people regardless of gender, there are fewer marriages taking place. A majority of children are now being born to unwed parents.

A new study came out the other day showing that teenage drug use, criminality, truancy and suicide were on the rise, while educational attainment is declining. More people are living in poverty than any other time in my life. The President published a video saying these facts point to the need for a massive new government program and proposed to raise taxes to pay for it.

The red "Suspended" on the paper in my fingers brings me back to the moment at hand. I look back at my daughter trying to figure out what to say, and shake my head again wondering how things got to this point, so far from the society I envisioned for her.

And then it hit me. It's because when we had the chance to do something about it when she was much younger, we didn't.

Marriage Supporter,

You might think that my depiction of the future ten years from now is outrageous, but what you probably don't realize is that much of it isn't about something that might happen in the future, but rather things that are already beginning to happen.

States and local governments across the nation are passing laws prohibiting discrimination based on "gender identity." Schools allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice is becoming common. Canadian schools do recognize six genders, while Facebook recognizes 50. Virtually every high school campus has an LGBTQ group, but Christian organizations are increasingly being eliminated. More and more children are being born out of wedlock, and those children are much more prone to experience problems in their lives, including living in poverty. While polyamorous marriages are not yet legal, courts have already moved to remove some barriers to polygamy. And the concept of short-term marriage contracts is actively being promoted in some quarters.

All of this — every bit and more — stems from the failure of our society to preserve marriage in the law and to promote a healthy marriage culture.

It is an absolute lie, and a profoundly damaging one, to say that redefining marriage doesn't affect people. ("If you don't support gay marriage, don't have one.") It affects everything and eventually everyone.

When marriage is stripped of its essential gendered nature bringing together the two complementary halves of humanity, then gender itself is stripped of meaning. The unique beauty of being female and male is discarded and devalued. The inherent right of children to experience the love of both a father and a mother is sacrificed. Marriage, as a public institution, is stripped of meaning, and thus fewer people bother with it — to profound negative social detriment, especially for children.

This is what we are fighting for when we ask you for your support. We're not fighting about words, or definitions, theologies or politics. We're fighting about reality — the reality that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and it can be nothing else, the reality that it's the foundation of civilization, and the reality that it is central to thriving families and human flourishing, especially for children.

We're in a difficult place right now with marriage, but we're still in a place where we can fight for it, and save it. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

But only if you will step up and help with a financial contribution.

I'll be honest, we at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have some real challenges. We spent everything we had to win key elections for Congress and the US Senate, and thankfully we were successful this past November. We have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us in 2015. But our resources are nearly exhausted as we approach the end of the year, and we may not be able to capitalize on all the opportunities that having a pro-marriage majority in the new Congress will provide, or be able to leverage the victories marriage has recently won in federal courts, such as the game-changing decision upholding marriage in the 6th Circuit.

Fortunately, one of our best donors has stepped forward to offer a dollar for dollar match of all contributions we receive during this holiday period, up to $200,000. If we are able to raise that $200,000 from supporters like you, then we'll have $400,000 in funds, allowing us to go into the New Year to work to strengthen the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Please help us hit our goal. Help us rewrite what the future will be ten years from now by acting today, while we have the chance, to save marriage and everything that depends on it.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: As you are busy with holiday preparations, I'm asking you to keep us in your prayers, and forefront in your mind with a significant financial gift. Whatever you give will be matched by one of our best donors, dollar for dollar.

Arkansans Voted to Repeal Bad "Civil Rights" Law

This week, the citizens of Fayetteville, AR voted to repeal a "civil rights" ordinance that had raised concerns about wedding vendors and others being targeted for harassment and punishment for declining to celebrate same-sex 'marriages,' among other worries.

Ryan Anderson at The Daily Signal explains:

Wedding_PhotographerAmong other things, the law [Ordinance 119] 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).

[...]

Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting.

And so, on Tuesday of this week, the citizens of Fayetteville rightly acted and voted to repeal Ordinance 119.

Anderson points out that this case highlights why laws such as the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, sponsored by Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho, are needed to protect citizens against such overreach by government pushing radical agendas with regard to marriage and family.

A Clear, Direct Question

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I'm writing with a very clear direct question: Will you ensure that there continues to be a strong voice in this country standing up for the truth about marriage?

Yes, we all know that the other side has spent mountains of money to get judges to impose their definition of marriage on this country.

We also know that marriage is in trouble—that judges across the country are creating opinions out of thin air in their quest to redefine marriage.

But it's also true that we just achieved two major victories together: the National Organization for Marriage was 100 percent successful in the last Congressional election in defeating targeted supporters of same-sex marriage and electing those who support the truth about marriage.

In all three Congressional contests where Republicans abandoned the truth of marriage we launched campaigns to defeat them—and we did defeat them.

More than that, NOM helped elect US Senate candidates who can be counted on to be champions for our cause including Thom Tillis, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, and others. NOM's hard-hitting TV and direct mail pieces were a critical factor in several of these races.

Supporters of the truth of marriage also won a great legal victory in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals with the first federal appeals court issuing a clear and powerful ruling that our constitution does not have hidden within it a "right" to the redefinition of marriage. Their ruling reinforced other federal court decisions in Louisiana and Puerto Rico that also represented great victories for marriage.

The other side does not want you to know how important these victories are. They want you to give up and capitulate on the truth of marriage.

So I ask you again: Will you?

We at NOM never will, but we urgently need you to keep up this fight. We've spent nearly $300,000 in the last election. Our resources are way down, and we need your help to keep up this fight.

As I recently said to NBS News, NOM is a David battling the Goliath of multi-million dollar groups like the Human Rights Campaign. But even David needed his stones to topple the giant. We need your support more than ever in this critical period to continue to be your voice for marriage on CNN, Fox, CBS, within the halls of Congress, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

The great news is that one of our most faithful donors has given us a new matching gift of $200,000!

This donor knows how critical the next few months will be in the fight over marriage. He knows that marriage will almost certainly be before the Supreme Court in 2015—and he wants to make sure that our voice will be there to let the court know that we will not accept a Roe v. Wade on marriage.

Any attempt by the federal courts, including the US Supreme Court, to redefine marriage is illegitimate.

Marriage is immutable, created by the Almighty, and cannot be redefined by judges, politicians or the media.

NOM will make sure that our highest court understands the good that marriage provides to society—uniting men and women and providing the ideal environment for any children born of their union—and that we will never acquiesce to losing marriage in order to appease the demands of a vocal special interest group.

Any gift given right now will be matched up to a total of $200,000. That's an amazing opportunity to leverage our work together.

But it means that we have to count on you to respond. If you give nothing, the cause of marriage gets nothing. If you give a significant amount, our cause will benefit greatly. Dollar-for-dollar, whatever you give will be doubled.

Perhaps you can bless us with a major gift of $1,000 or more. Or maybe something smaller such as $500, $100 or $50. Whatever it is, I prayerfully ask you to give something in response to this message. Please don't count on someone else to make a gift. It's up to you.

If you would prefer to donate by mail, simply write a check and send it to:

National Organization for Marriage
2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006

In 2015 we'll be organizing the third Annual March for Marriage; planning major media campaigns designed to communicate to legislators, judges and voters the beauty and importance of man-woman marriage; and working with the newly elected pro-marriage majorities in the US House and Senate—particularly with several of the marriage champions NOM helped elect this past November 4th—to get religious liberty and pro-marriage legislation passed.

2015 will truly be a year of opportunity for marriage. Please allow us to be your voice in this critical time with your sacrificial gift. So much is depending on your response.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

P.S. In this time of giving, let us all remember that protecting the truth about marriage is about real people, about what our children are going to be taught about the beauty of being male and female, about whether individuals and Churches will be punished for standing for God's truth. This is a chance to double our ability to defend this core truth—and protect children, churches, and individuals from the lie of same-sex marriage. Please take advantage of this opportunity by giving today.

The Most Beautiful Idea in the History of Civilization

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

A couple weeks ago, I wrote to you on my way back from the historic interreligious colloquium at the Vatican: the Humanum event that brought scholars of all creeds together to reflect on the beauty of God's design for marriage in the complementarity of men and women.

You'll find me returning to the output of this wonderful conference frequently over the weeks and months ahead, because I don't know that the full impact of this truly remarkable event has been fully felt or appreciated yet in the congregations and communities whose leaders attended.

I've already quoted several passages from one of the great speakers at the colloquium, Rev. Rick Warren. But today I want to highlight one of the most celebrated speeches given at the colloquium: the rousing address by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.

You can watch Lord Sacks' presentation here:

A full text of the speech has been published here by Aleteia; however, you really should watch and listen to the talk if you have the opportunity, as it was a great rhetorical presentation in addition to the fascinating content of the talk.

One of the aspects of Lord Sacks' talk that I most enjoyed was how he unwaveringly and unapologetically got right to the point that marriage is about the creation of new life. He says this is "the story of the most beautiful idea in the history of civilization: the idea of the love that brings new life into the world."

As he goes on to tell that story, he accomplishes a scholarly feat of concision, boiling down an entire cultural anthropology course into a single lecture. He speaks about how the human race together, and men and women separately, are evolved and adapted to the task of rearing families, and how the institution of marriage is itself part of this development.

For example, he notes how human beings' relatively larger brains – and thus larger sized craniums — combined with the fact that human beings are bipedal and stand upright meant that the gestation of human babies would be shorter than the other primates, whose pelvises are adapted for a different kind of walking and are able to allow larger babies to be born:

[H]uman babies had to be born more prematurely than any other species, and so needed parental protection for much longer. This made parenting more demanding among humans than any other species, the work of two people rather than one. Hence the very rare phenomenon among mammals of pair bonding, unlike other species where the male contribution tends to end with the act of impregnation. Among most primates, fathers don't even recognize their children let alone care for them.

Elsewhere in the animal kingdom motherhood is almost universal but fatherhood is rare. So what emerged along with the human person was the union of the biological mother and father to care for their child.

The rest of the lecture is a tour de force, detailing six other pivotal moments in the "story" of how marriage has become the mark of humanity, the means of bringing about new life and safeguarding its progress.

But from there, Rabbi Sacks turns to "what has changed" and why marriage and culture are in crisis today, and he puts it very succinctly:

I wrote a book a few years ago about religion and science and I summarized the difference between them in two sentences. "Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean." And that's a way of thinking about culture also. Does it put things together or does it take things apart?

It should go without saying that Rabbi Sacks isn't here simply making some kind of "anti-science" judgment: the whole of his speech is filled with good solid science of various disciplines, from social science to biological anthropology. He clearly has more than the average appreciation for the merits of science.

But he warns us that in the modern, scientific era there has been a cleavage in the synthesis that marriage accomplished in human history:

For a whole variety of reasons, some to do with medical developments like birth control, in vitro fertilization and other genetic interventions, some to do with moral change like the idea that we are free to do whatever we like so long as it does not harm others, some to do with a transfer of responsibilities from the individual to the state, and other and more profound changes in the culture of the West, almost everything that marriage once brought together has now been split apart. Sex has been divorced from love, love from commitment, marriage from having children, and having children from responsibility for their care.

He goes on to detail just some of the terrible consequences of this breaking apart, from poverty levels to school drop-out rates among children to development of mental/emotional disorders in adolescence for those who are deprived of stable home nurturing.

All of this, Rabbi Sacks says, is due to "one of the tragic instances of what Friedrich Hayek called ‘the fatal conceit' that somehow we know better than the wisdom of the ages, and can defy the lessons of biology and history."

That fatal conceit, in this instance, is in particular the attempt to design new norms for men and women's relations and for family life to replace the divinely ordered and humanly sensible institution of marriage. Rabbi Sacks passionately explains why this is folly and calls us to defend marriage against these attacks:

The family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love. It is where we learn the delicate choreography of relationship and how to handle the inevitable conflicts within any human group. It is where we first take the risk of giving and receiving love. It is where one generation passes on its values to the next, ensuring the continuity of a civilization. For any society, the family is the crucible of its future, and for the sake of our children's future, we must be its defenders.

The Humanum colloquium would have been a success if all that had come out of it was just this one spectacular talk! Fortunately, though, plenty more was offered. Please check out the Humanum website to watch the videos of the other speakers' presentations and to watch the beautiful Humanum documentary series.

Marriage Supporter, I hope that you will find enlightenment and encouragement in the words of a wonderful pro-marriage champion, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and that you will share his brilliant and inspiring message with your family and friends.

God bless you, and please keep NOM in mind in this season of giving and charity. Your financial support, and of course your prayers, are very much appreciated.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


Get your free book today!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you may already know, it's #GivingTuesday — a global day about giving back. So today, I'd like to give you an opportunity to get a free copy of the renowned book, What Is Marriage?, written by NOM co-founder Professor Robert P. George along with Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Gergis.

All you need to do to get this free book is donate before midnight today to the NOM Education Fund, and we'll send you your book right away in the mail!

The NOM Education Fund is dedicated to the mission of spreading the message that marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the best means of serving the needs of our whole society, especially our children.

Kids deserve to have the love of both a mom and a dad. Marriage is a good thing because it helps us promote this. But even though so many people know this instinctively, they sometimes feel they don't have the resources or the knowledge to share that message. The NOM Education Fund exists to give folks those resources and that knowledge!

But we can't do it without your help. So please make a generous gift to the NOM Education Fund today on #GivingTuesday, and—as a way of giving back—we'll send you one of the very best resources about marriage that exists, the book What Is Marriage?

But this opportunity will only last until midnight tonight, so don't delay!

Thankfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

Giving Thanks, In and Out of Season

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It was in 1789, only a couple years after the Constitution was finally ratified and enacted, that the first President of the brand new United States of America, George Washington, designated a Thursday in late November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.

The day, he wrote, was "to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." Washington also expressed gratitude to God "for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late [Revolutionary] war."

It was in the shadow of another war, one which had divided the nation, that another of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, inaugurated the tradition of an annual Thanksgiving Day. In 1863, in his landmark proclamation, the President expressed hope for the future of the country — even though it was in the midst of the bloodiest and most terrible conflict our shores have ever seen.

Lincoln recalled, through the gloom and the present strife, the many great blessings America had enjoyed and the many more to be looked forward to as a nation; and he wrote:

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

Since then, on the last Thursday of November annually, our nation has accepted this invitation from the President that saved America in its most critical hour, and celebrated Thanksgiving. Subsequent Presidents have issued their own proclamations each year to designate the observance.

It seems that the most stirring of these proclamations have been issued in hours of trial and uncertainty for the nation, circumstances that recall the first proclamation by Washington and the most famous one by Lincoln.

In 1940, with Europe toiling in the Second World War, and the question of whether America would be drawn into that war looming in everyone's minds, President Roosevelt issued a very brief—but very powerful—proclamation, that was actually a prayer. It is worth quoting in full:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail. Amen.

These utterances from our nation's past leaders, issued in times of doubt and difficulty, merit our reflection. They remind us of how our nation has remained strong through so many trials and challenges in the past, and give us hope for the future.

It is also worth reflecting, though, on why America has prospered as it has. And for that reminder, we turn to consider seemingly more ordinary things, but things that are in fact most extraordinary.

America has remained strong because at its foundation it has relied upon strong families and strong homes, men and women of character who have come together and built a lasting heritage and passed on not only material wealth to the next generation, but moral treasures as well.

We are reminded of this by the words of another President's proclamation, issued in a time of relative security and peace: the proclamation by President Reagan in 1985. In his characteristic simplicity and frankness, Reagan exhorted the nation:

Let us thank God for our families, friends, and neighbors, and for the joy of this very festival we celebrate in His name. Let every house of worship in the land and every home and every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude and praise and love on this Thanksgiving Day.

Today, on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, I want to wish you and all your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. I know you join me today in expressing gratitude to God for the gifts of marriage and family, and for the faith communities that help sustain these foundations of America's greatness. Let us never tire or waver in defending these things, and never fail to give thanks for them, in and out of season.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


We Need More Like Them

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you may have already heard, the Duggar family — stars of the hit TV Show 19 Kids and Counting — have come under attack from bullying activists and radicals simply because of the Duggars' strong pro-family witness both on and off their show.

I ask you to take a moment today to join me in showing your support for the Duggars. We need to send a message to let them know that we, the advocates of traditional marriage and family, appreciate their strong moral voice in the public square. They are an example of how strong marriages and families lie at the foundation of a healthy society. We need more celebrities like them, not fewer!

Click here to sign our petition to TLC urging them not to give in to the pressure of the radical homosexual agenda, but to stand by the Duggars and their right to express their values and beliefs without facing harassment.

Our country needs a healthier public square where people are heard respectfully, and not merely shouted down by those who disagree. This moment that the Duggars are facing is a test case for what kind of society we want: one where the values of tolerance and respect are truly practiced, or one where only those on the politically-correct side of the conversation get to be heard.

Please sign our letter of support today and stand with the Duggars!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


NOM Chairman on the 6th Circuit Decision

NOM Chairman, Professor John Eastman, was featured in a recent tele-townhall hosted by The Claremont Institute.

Listen here:

As the description says, "Dr. Eastman focuse[d] on the constitutional question: what right is at stake, if any, and how does it fit into our constitutional order? What does constitutional adjudication mean in a regime of limited government founded on the natural law and natural rights of the Declaration of Independence? Even when discussing the details of cases and precedent, we must always remind ourselves of, and have recourse to, first principles."

A Historic Gathering

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This week I was in Rome attending an amazing conference on the truth about marriage: the International Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, hosted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and several other Vatican dicasteries.

The greatest part about this event is the diverse coalition it brought together of scholars and religious leaders from every world religion: it really was an impressive and historical moment, the entire world coming together and speaking in unity the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

I would urge everyone to take some time to watch the beautiful series of videos produced for the colloquium called Humanum, which are available on YouTube:

It is also well worth the time to watch the many conference talks that were recorded.

The opening address, by Pope Francis himself, is certainly not to be missed. But I would also heartily commend the talks given by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Dr. Jacqueline Rivers, President Henry B. Eyring, and Rev. Dr. Richard Warren.

All who attended were stirred from the very beginning by Pope Francis's strong and insightful assessment of the challenges facing marriage, and also the essential gifts and qualities that marriage gives to society. Let me quote from his address at length, with my own added emphasis:

It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman. This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family...

In our day, marriage and the family are in crisis. We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Evidence is mounting that the decline of the marriage culture is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills, disproportionately affecting women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis...

It is necessary first to promote the fundamental pillars that govern a nation: its non-material goods. The family is the foundation of co-existence and a guarantee against social fragmentation. Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child's development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is "indispensable"; that it "transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple"... And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium's emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.

Let us not fall into the trap of being qualified by ideological concepts. Family is an anthropological fact — a socially and culturally related fact. We cannot qualify it with concepts of an ideological nature, that are relevant only in a single moment of history, and then pass by. We can't speak today of a conservative notion of family or a progressive notion of family: Family is family! It can't be qualified by ideological notions.

Of course, some have already tried to apply spin to the Holy Father's remarks to try to claim him for their own ideology—ironic, considering his strongest words here are against such ideological attempts. Notably, Human Rights Campaign has tried to assert that Pope Francis's remarks reflect the family can be an "evolving" institution. But I'm sure you'd agree that this is a grossly far-fetched reading of the words above!

Another great talk was given by Pastor Rick Warren, who had some truly inspiring lines which stand alone wonderfully as bits of wisdom that invite reflection:

Continually point out the benefits of marriage. [...] When a culture claims, and in Western culture we claim this, to care about children, we must point out that children who grow up with both a mother and a father grow up healthier, happier, and stronger. [...] Do you really care about kids? Then promote marriage.

The only way to always be relevant is to be eternal. Anything that is "in style" is going out of style, by its very nature. Styles go out of style. So you should never try to be stylis. No revolution lasts — including the sexual revolution... and every lie eventually crumbles under its own deception.

The dustbins of history are stuffed with the conventional wisdom of cultures that proved false, and truth is not decided by a popularity contest.

The debate over the definition of life, sex, and marriage is in reality a question of leadership: and the question is, "Who's going to lead? Will the church follow the crowd, or will the church lead the crowd?

Marriage can only be between a man and a woman. [...] We cannot cave on this issue. [...] I want to encourage you to never give up, and to never give in... It is a total myth that we must compromise and give up on Biblical truth and marriage in order to evangelize.

I hope you'll watch Pastor Warren's whole speech, and that you find it as uplifting as I did.

Indeed, I hope you'll make time to go check out all of the speeches, and the wonderful Humanum series, and are inspired and edified to continue in this fight.

I'll leave you with one last recommendation for further reading: an interview with NOM co-founder and Chairman emeritus Professor Robert P. George. In the interview, Prof. George talks about his own remarks at the Colloquium, and I think one statement in particular sums up how we all left the event feeling:

We have to resolve that we will stand for marriage and fight for however long it takes—it might be 20 years, it might be 50 years, it might be 100 years—to rebuild the marriage culture and to restore in law, where it has been displaced, a sound understanding of marriage.

As a result of this, we will draw ridicule. We will bring scorn upon ourselves, because powerful people in institutions reject our understanding of marriage. They reject what everyone understood marriage to be until yesterday. And they claim that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot, or a hater, or is motivated by irrational animus, or archaic religious beliefs. Yet we must suffer that, be willing to suffer that opprobrium, perhaps discrimination, perhaps the loss of friends, perhaps even conflict within the family, for the sake of rebuilding marriage, because so much for people depends on it, and especially for the poor.

As Pastor Warren said, "We can never cave on this issue!" With a renewed sense of why we fight, I'd like to say God bless you and thank you for your continued support of NOM and for your steadfast witness to the good and beautiful truth of marriage!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown
Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage
Brian Brown

HRC Founder Arrested on Charges of Sex Abuse of Minor

It appears so far the Human Rights Campaign has remained silent about the arrest of their founder, Terry Bean (age 66), on charges of sexual abuse of a 15 year-old boy. From The Willamette Week:

The arrest comes after a six-month investigation that began with allegations Bean secretly made video recordings of men having sex in his bedroom. As WW reported in June, Bean accused a former lover, Kiah Lawson, of attempting to extort him over the discovery of a hidden camera. In the spring, Bean sought to keep the allegations secret and tried to reach a $40,000 settlement with Lawson.

[...]

Yet the investigation—directed by the Clackamas County District Attorney's office—shifted to Bean himself and led to today’s arrest.

Bean made millions as a real estate developer and used his wealth to promote political causes, primarily gay rights. He is a founder of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading gay-rights organization and has given more than $1 million to the group.

Read more here.

Religious Leaders Flock to Rome for Interfaith Conference on Marriage

Rome, Italy – Hundreds of religious leaders and scholars visited the Vatican earlier this week for a momentous interfaith conference that celebrates the complementarity man and woman.

Pope Francis began the conference on Monday, but Deseret News reports that the gathering is significant for at least three other reasons:

It comes as thought leaders around the world increasingly recognize how a retreat from marriage is creating an unprecedented shock to social, cultural and economic institutions.

It highlights the powerful convening role of the Vatican for interfaith dialogue — a role it has cultivated since the Vatican II conference some 50 years ago.

And it marks the first time that leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will participate in a Vatican event with the pope.

Humanum Speakers

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the LDS First Presidency, spoke to the conference on Tuesday. He was accompanied by Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Bishop Gérald Caussé of the Presiding Bishopric.

The conference, officially known as Humanum: An International Interreligious Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman, will bring together presenters from 23 countries and 14 faith traditions, including Judaism, Sunni and Shi’ite Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and Sikh, in an effort to strengthen the tradition of male-female marriage for "the good of the spouses themselves and for the good of all who depend upon them."

The presenters include what a blogger called "powerful media personalities," including Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the UK and philosopher; Rick Warren, senior pastor at Saddleback Church in California and author of the best-seller "The Purpose-Driven Life"; and Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Hundreds of other observers will attend, including two Utahns, acting Sutherland Institute CEO Stanford Swim and BYU family law professor Lynn Wardle, as well as Princeton professor Robert P. George, co-author of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.”

The international and interreligious conference is an effort to support and reinvigorate marriage and family life in light of the rise of what some scholars call post-familialism.

The Numbers Rise

As reported by Time Warner Cable News in Charlotte, the number of North Carolina Magistrates who have resigned in the wake of marriage being redefined there is higher than previously reported...

CourthouseThe number of North Carolina magistrates who have resigned or retired early because of their opposition to performing same-sex marriages is higher than previously reported.

Last month, a federal judge cleared the way for same-sex marriages in North Carolina, prompting the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to direct magistrates. They are required by law to perform the wedding ceremonies, if asked.

AOC reports between that ruling on Oct. 10 and the end of the month, 16 magistrates left their jobs, but the state wouldn't release why they left.

Of course, this is only to be expected. It was as recent as 2012 that the people of North Carolina went to the polls and voted overwhelming in favor of defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Brian Brown in National Review Online: "Kansas is Right On Marriage"

In an opinion piece published this morning at National Review Online, our President Brian Brown had this to say:

It is absolutely the right of the states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The Supreme Court has never held that traditional marriage violates the Constitution. Fifty million Americans in over thirty states have voted in support of traditional marriage, and it’s time that states fight back to protect the decision of those voters.

Governor Brownback can do a great service to Kansas, and to the American people, by exercising his authority and refusing to permit local and state officials to issue marriage licenses that violate state law. If the U.S. Supreme Court objects, then it should get off the sidelines and issue an opinion on the constitutionality of state traditional marriage laws. At least until then, states should not cede their sovereignty to unaccountable federal judges.

Read the whole piece here.