NOM BLOG

DON'T LET THEM DO TO ARKANSAS WHAT THEY DID TO INDIANA!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

DON'T LET THEM DO TO ARKANSAS WHAT THEY DID TO INDIANA!

Minutes ago Arkansas passed a religious freedom bill. We know the other side is going to try to bully and intimidate Governor Hutchinson out of signing this bill. The time to act is NOW!

Support Governor Hutchinson and urge him to Not be Bullied and Sign the Law.

Also tweet out #istandwitharkansas and get onto Facebook and let everyone know your support!

It's urgently needed that you forward this message to your friends and family and ask them to take action as well. We must stand up against this pernicious assault against religious liberty.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Must Watch: Brian Brown's Lively Debate on Indiana Religious Liberty Restoration Act

News Channel 8 featured NOM's own Brian Brown today, debating Rev. Graylan Hagler of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, on the hot topic of Indiana’s religious freedom bill. You won't want to miss this one:

National Organization for Marriage Defends Indiana Legislature and Governor Mike Pence Against 'Hysteria on Hoosierland' Over Religious Liberty Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"Contrary to the claims of opponents of this legislation, it is people of faith who are being discriminated against by powerful groups intent on forcing them to support controversial issues such as same-sex 'marriage,' or risk losing their livelihood and personal assets." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

nom_logo

Washington, D.C. — Dubbing the reaction to passage of Senate Bill 101, the Religious Liberty Restoration Act, "hysteria on Hoosierland," the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today defended the Indiana Legislature and Governor Mike Pence for supporting the effort to provide needed legal protections against governmental action aimed at people of faith who exercise their religious beliefs about marriage and other important social issues.

"It's outrageous how the gay rights lobby and their allies in Hollywood and the media are drumming up hysteria on Hoosierland, by grossly misrepresenting the Religious Liberty Restoration Act, falsely describing it as a 'license to discriminate'," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "I am certain that noted legal 'experts' like Miley Cyrus have not even read a single word of the legislation, taking their cue from pro-gay marriage groups who trot out tired talking points to claim 'discrimination' when the real victims of discrimination are the individuals and small businesses who have been punished for living their faith in the workplace and compelled against their will to participate in same-sex weddings. This legislation does not exempt any person from any claim of discrimination, all it does is give someone a defense they can raise in court if they are the target of governmental action seeking to compel them to participate in something that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs."

Senate Bill 101 does not apply to actions by individuals nor does it exempt anyone from claims of discrimination. The legislation applies to actions by governmental entities. The legislation simply allows someone whom the government seeks to compel to participate in an action that violates their deeply-held religious views the ability to raise a religious liberty defense for consideration in court. Such a defense, however, may be countered by a showing of the government that the compulsory action fulfills a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of achieving that result. This type of law has existed at the federal level for over twenty years, and is the law in many other states. There is no evidence that such a law has ever resulted in discrimination against same-sex couples.

"Contrary to the claims of opponents of this legislation, it is people of faith who are being discriminated against by powerful groups intent on forcing them to support controversial issues such as same-sex 'marriage,' or risk losing their livelihood and personal assets," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Across the country whenever same-sex 'marriage' is imposed by courts, lawsuits and punishment soon follow for people of faith who cannot compromise their beliefs about the truth of marriage and do not wish to participate in a same-sex ceremony. Now state officials including Attorneys General are using the power of the state to shut down businesses and threaten their owners that they will take all their personal assets as punishment for refusing to go along with same-sex marriage. SB 101 in Indiana will at least give Hoosiers the opportunity to raise a defense in court to combat this kind of harassment and discrimination by governmental entities. We commend Governor Mike Pence and the lawmakers of Indiana who have acted to move this common-sense legislation," Brown said.

###

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Thank Governor Pence for Defending Religious Freedom!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last week, the Indiana legislature passed and Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), joining a long list of states that have passed this common sense legislation, which mirrors the federal RFRA law passed with near-unanimous support from Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Clinton.

The law simply reiterates citizens' constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion and proposes that the government only be allowed to inhibit it if they can demonstrate a compelling government interest and do so in the least restrictive means possible.

Yet, the same-sex 'marriage' lobby is running around spreading outright lies — parroted by the media — that this very limited and common sense legislation amounts to a license to discriminate and persecute homosexuals.

Governor Pence and the brave legislators of the state of Indiana are in the crosshairs of the gay 'marriage' lobby for standing up for our religious freedoms.

Please take a moment to send Governor Pence an email thanking him and his colleagues in the state legislature for their courage in defending our precious religious liberties.

RFRA, of course, does not grant anyone the right to "discriminate" or deny service to anyone. All the law does is articulate that religious freedom is a factor to be weighed in making court decisions about the common good, that the government must show good cause in restricting someone's free exercise of religion.

Please take a moment to take action and thank Governor Pence for defending our precious religious freedoms and standing up to the intolerant bullies trying to impose their radical marriage redefinition agenda on you and me.

And once you've taken action, please forward this email to family and friends using the sharing buttons below, asking them to do the same.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

PS: To learn more about the Indiana RFRA law and RFRA laws in general and what they mean for society, I recommend that you look over the following articles:

APPLE CEO fears discrimination; remember when he discriminated against Manhattan Declaration?

Law Professor who supports gay rights defends Indiana RFRA law

What you Should Know about RFRA laws

Religious freedom is not just for Christians

Ashton Kutcher and Miley Cyrus aren't good sources for religious freedom facts

8 basic facts about RFRA

What opposition to Religious Freedom really means

Finally: The text of the law itself

Why the Indiana Law that Protects Religious Liberty is Good Policy

ThinkstockPhotos-99338324In an article from The Daily Signal, The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson and Sarah Torre explain why Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is not controversial, does not promote nor permit discrimination, and above all, why it is good policy to protect citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion:

These protections for religious freedom, like the one passed in Indiana, provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests.

There are now numerous cases of photographers, florists, cake makers and farmers being forced to participate in celebrating same-sex weddings in violation of their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. These are citizens who have no problem serving gays and lesbians but do object to celebrating same-sex weddings.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

But it isn’t clear that forcing every photographer and every baker and every florist to help celebrate same-sex weddings is advancing a compelling state interest in the least-restrictive way possible. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience doesn’t infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms.

...Again, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts don’t allow individuals to do whatever they wish in the name of religion. There will be times when the government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression—to ensure public safety, for instance.

But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.

You can read the full article at The Daily Signal.

Video: Indiana Law: Bad for Business or Just Misunderstood?

Watch as Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation explains to Out Leadership's Todd Sears and reporters at CNBC that it is not the “controversial” Indiana Law that is pro-discrimination, but it is in fact the law’s opponents who are pro-discrimination.

Catholic Bishops Encourage Faithful to March for Marriage

Thanks to Marriage: Unique for a Reason for promoting the 2015 March for Marriage!

BishopBishop Malone and Archbishop Cordileone have once again invited and encouraged the Bishops and the faithful to take part in the March for Marriage on April 25, 2015, three days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of states’ preserving the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Writing to the U.S. bishops, these two Chairmen wrote, “The March will be an opportunity to stand for the good of marriage in our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of children. It complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty (www.usccb.org/pray). The anticipated decision of the Supreme Court positions itself to be the most important judicial ruling in our nation since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. The March is an important witness to a movement dedicated to building a culture of marriage and the family, and it serves to remind all people that a Supreme Court ruling will not decide the issue of marriage any more than Roe decided the issue of abortion. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this March.”

Why Apple's CEO is Wrong About Indiana's Religious Freedom Law

In a Washington Post op-ed, Apple CEO Tim Cook calls ‘religious freedom’ laws “dangerous” and pro-discrimination:

ThinkstockPhotos-124679692

A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.

...Men and women have fought and died fighting to protect our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality. We owe it to them, to each other and to our future to continue to fight with our words and our actions to make sure we protect those ideals. The days of segregation and discrimination marked by “Whites Only” signs on shop doors, water fountains and restrooms must remain deep in our past. We must never return to any semblance of that time. America must be a land of opportunity for everyone.

Tim Cook is wrong on many accounts (our Founding Fathers built America on the idea of equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome), but more importantly, Tim Cook is a hypocrite.

In a commentary piece on The Daily Signal, Ryan Anderson succinctly explains why Tim Cook is the only person in favor of discrimination in this whole debate:

ThinkstockPhotos-124679702It is Tim Cook who favors laws that discriminate against people of faith who simply ask to be left alone by government to run their businesses and their schools and their charities in accordance with their reasonable belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. It is Tim Cook who would have the government discriminate against these citizens, have the government coerce them into helping to celebrate a same-sex wedding and penalize them if they try to lead their lives in accordance with their faith.

...Indeed, Apple itself has exercised this freedom (or is the proper word, according to Cook, “discrimination”?). After all, Apple removed the Manhattan Declaration app from its App Store. Apple decided that a Christian app bearing witness to the dignity of unborn life, the nature of marriage as the union of husband and wife and the centrality of religious liberty was incompatible with its mission. So they “discriminated” against the Manhattan Declaration.

No one suggested that this should be made illegal. Even if we thought it a misguided decision, we thought Apple should be free to decide its own values and live according to them.

Tim Cook called on the nation to stand up to discrimination, and that is exactly what Ryan Anderson, Sarah Torre, Mike Pence, and many others have done: they have shown that it is not the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act that is pro-discrimination, but opponents like Tim Cook who are actually advocates of discrimination.

The full article by Ryan Anderson can be read here.

Rallying for Marriage



Dear Marriage Supporter,

As we gear up for the March for Marriage on April 25th in Washington, DC, we can see that all around the country, people are rallying in defense of marriage.

Despite the media's best efforts, the American people continue to support marriage. The 2015 March for Marriage is our best opportunity to harness this support and show the Court that the American people want their voice and votes respected and marriage preserved.

Indiana Steps Up

The state of Indiana has stepped up to the plate in defending marriage and religious freedom.

If you remember, a federal judge recently struck down Indiana's state marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. That decision will be subject to whatever Supreme Court ruling is issued this summer.

But the marriage champions in the Hoosier state wouldn't sit back and wait. They acted to defend marriage and religious liberty by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week by overwhelming majorities in the state House and Senate. Governor Pence just signed the bill yesterday.

The new legislation protects individuals who wish to live their lives and run their businesses in keeping with their sincere and deeply held religious beliefs.

I'd like to thank Governor Pence and the brave legislators of the state of Indiana for being pro-active in defending marriage and religious liberty, and urge every state in the union to follow their lead in passing similar legislation.

A Call to Action In Texas

Our friend Reverend Bill Owens and the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) helped put together a rally in Texas in defense of that state's law (also recently struck down by a federal judge and subject to the Supreme Court's ruling this summer) defending marriage in conjunction with Dr. Steve Hotze and the Conservative Republicans of Texas.

The rally was headlined by Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice and marriage champion Roy Moore, who called on other states to follow the lead of Alabama in pushing back against federal government overreach:

There is today another threat... not only in Texas and Alabama, but across our country... where state and federal judges have overruled constitutional amendments passed by the people of those states... and people just sat by and watched it out of fear of the federal government.

But nothing in the constitution of the US, nothing in the laws or precedence of the federal courts, give federal courts any authority over domestic policy and marriage in the state of Texas, in the state of Alabama, or anywhere else.

Special and heart-felt thanks to all of these heroes who are bravely standing up for the rights of states, the rights of voters, our precious religious liberties and the amazing truth, goodness and beauty of marriage.

You can see Judge Moore's full remarks here.

International Movement to Defend Marriage: Australia

And the movement in defense of marriage is gaining traction internationally as well.

Just this week, plans to advance on same-sex marriage came to a halt as debate over the posed legislation was postponed after 20,000 people emailed politicians in support of marriage.

Special thanks to Lyle Shelton of the Australian Christian Lobby for his work on this issue.

You can see Lyle speak powerfully in defense of marriage in this video interview.

Defending Marriage At The Federal Level

NOM is working with our allies to move forward several pieces of legislation at the Federal level in defense of marriage and religious liberty.

New pieces of legislation should be introduced shortly, but please don't forget about the incredibly important Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), which ensures that faith-based institutions and individuals can continue to provide services for those who need them free from fear of reprisal or punitive measures from the government for their beliefs about marriage.

If you haven't already done so, please click here to contact your elected officials asking them to support this common sense legislation.

And if you have, please forward the link to family and friends and encourage them to do the same.

Our elected officials need to know that they work for we the people... and we the people must hold them accountable for their actions representing us. Please take a moment to get involved.

Why We're Marching For Marriage

As I said at the beginning of this email, the 2015 March for Marriage is our best opportunity to harness this support and show the Court that the American people want their voice and votes respected and marriage preserved.

States all across our great nation have taken steps to defend marriage only to see their votes and values callously tossed aside by radicals using any means necessary — in particular by what is amounting to judicial tyranny — to impose their radical agenda on the entire country.

But, as you can see, people are standing up and fighting back!

Marriage Supporter, won't you please join all of these marriage heroes in defending marriage by supporting the 2015 March for Marriage?

Some of you can make an immediate, tax-deductible donation to the NOM Education Fund in support of the March — which will instantly be matched, dollar-for-dollar by another generous donor. And for those who can — at any level — I'm asking you to do so to help us get the word out and bring as many people to our nation's capital as possible in this last month before the March.

But everyone reading this email can help get the word out. You can go to www.MarriageMarch.org and download fliers to put up and pass around in your community or at your Church. You can download icons that can be used online through social media vehicles like Facebook and Twitter.

And — most importantly — you can find information about how you and your friends and family can come to Washington, DC and join us in this historic March.

Marriage heroes are standing up... and I hope you will have the chance to march alongside them on April 25th!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Orthodox Christians to Gather at March for Marriage

A message from The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:

dv1350008Book your flight and plan your trip for April 25, 2015, on the National Mall in Washington D.C., for the March for Marriage. This year's March will include an Orthodox Gathering, sponsored by the group Crown Them With Glory. (More details to follow soon.)

On January 16th, 2015 of this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear four new cases on same-sex "marriage," and "rule on the power of the states to ban same-sex [so-called] marriages and to refuse to recognize such marriages performed in another state" (details here).

The March for Marriage is supported by the National Organization for Marriage who is working diligently to communicate the necessity for the defense of marriage between one man and one woman. April 25 represents the third March for Marriage in Washington D.C., and is set to take place within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the cases before them that will decide the national legal status of civil gay "marriage." It is projected that this ruling will seriously impact religious freedom in the USA.

The March is a peaceful rally, comparable to the March for Life. We invite you to make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage your priests, brothers and sisters in Christ, and leaders and members of religious communities in your area to do likewise. Come out in support of marriage between one man and one woman, modeled from our Lord's love for His Bride: the Church. With a blessing to pursue this work from a number of our bishops, many priests believe it is time we had a national pan-Orthodox Christian movement. A strong, vibrant, and clear message is needed from our Church on the matter of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, as well as an enumeration upon God-blessed sexuality and gender roles, toward the strengthening of family life. This action is necessary in order to dispel confusion which has been stirred up by our secular culture, and most egregiously, even by some of our own clergymen.

Such an effort would be blessed by God to the building up of our faith in the hearts of our Orthodox people. This is what our nation's people need to see: that the Orthodox Church has preserved its timeless teachings on the sacrament of marriage, and, as a place of refuge, the Church offers healing through Christ for us all, boldly proclaiming a blessed path toward salvation.

Source: Antiochian.org

Marriage Defenders Gather in Texas

ThinkstockPhotos-163659274On Monday afternoon, a crowd of 250 gathered at the Texas Capitol to defend marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The rally was headlined by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, a prominent champion for marriage. During his speech, Moore encouraged other lawmakers to stand up to defend the biblical definition of marriage:

“No court has any authority to redefine what God proposed in Genesis,” Moore said. “The definition of marriage, you want it by man, it doesn’t come by man, it comes from God.”

But Moore was not speaking merely to those in attendance:

Moore also called for Supreme Court of the United States Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse themselves from this summer’s arguments on same-sex marriage because they’ve officiated gay weddings.

Because he’d advised probate courts not to recognize gay marriage licenses, he said he abstained from an Alabama Supreme Court vote ordering judges to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

“I didn’t vote in my case, because I had expressed my opinion,” Moore said. “They should do the same thing.”

In addition to Moore, several other prominent political leaders spoke, including GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The Texas Observer reports:

ThinkstockPhotos-144336507Patrick said the rally, organized by the Conservative Republicans of Texas, was about two issues: supporting “traditional marriage” and defending states’ rights.

“It’s not about being anti-anyone,” Patrick said. “It’s about being for marriage between a man and a woman.”

Secondly, Patrick said, “It’s not the federal government’s business to tell Texans what to do in Texas on any issue.”

And don't forget to sign up for the 2015 March for Marriage to join us on April 25th!

Updated March for Marriage Website Launched!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

With only one month left before the 2015 March for Marriage, I'm happy to announce the launch of the 2015 March for Marriage website!

Click here to see the updated website.

This year's theme is: March for Freedom... March for Truth... March for Marriage!

The site has multiple features, including information about this year's march and downloadable promotional materials to help spread the word about the march.

Please look through the website and help us get the word out far and wide — whether you can download, print and pass around fliers at your church or in your community or post links online using email and social media — we need your help to ensure everyone who can be at the March is at the March this year.

Thank you for everything you do in defense of marriage!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

T-Minus 32 Days!

 

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The 2015 March for Marriage is set for April 25th - almost exactly one month away.

So far, we've been able to raise over $80,000 online in support of the March toward our $100,000 matching goal.

That means we have almost $20,000 left in matching funds that we need to realize!

Won't you please help us reach the full $100,000 in matching funds for the 2015 March for Marriage by making a fully tax-deductible gift to the NOM Education Fund right away?

I'll make a quick donation of $35.00

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Remember, any gift you give will be matched by another generous donor, dollar-for-dollar!

Marriage Supporter, with one month left, we're kicking our advertising and promotion plans into high gear to let people know about and bring people to the March.

Now is the time when we have to place print and online advertisements; now is the time when we have to place radio spots; now is the time when we have to mobilize an army of volunteers...

Please join us in supporting religious freedom, the truth of marriage and this historic March for Marriage.

I'll make a quick donation of $35.00

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Thank you in advance.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Victory for Religious Freedom in Indiana!

ThinkstockPhotos-466956854Here's some great news out of Indiana! The Indiana House has passed a bill with a 63-31 vote to protect the religious liberty of business owners in the state.

SB 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” will be heading back to the Senate, where a similar version has already passed. If the House’s version is found in accord with the Senate's version, the bill will head to Governor Mike Pence, who has made it clear that he will sign the bill into law.

Supporters of the law attest that the law does not allow discrimination of same-sex individuals, but rather, honors the rights of business owners who for example, may not in good conscious provide wedding services to same-sex couples.

Supporters of the law say it will keep government entities from forcing business owners - such as bakeries and florists who don't want to provide services to gay couples - from acting in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs. Gay marriage became legal in Indiana last year following an appellate court ruling.

Supporter Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, tweeted after its passage in the House on Monday that the bill was a "good, tested, protective shield for all faiths."

ThinkstockPhotos-466073636While opponents claim that SB 101 would allow for discrimination against same-sex couples, what SB 101 actually achieves is protecting individuals from suffering discrimination based on their religious beliefs. Specifically, SB 101 prevents state and local governments from "substantially burdening" citizens from being able to exercise their freedom of religion, unless the government can prove that it has compelling interest and is doing so in the least restrictive means.

Supporters of the bill explain that the measure protects people, organizations, and business owners from government intrusion.

"It's important that we allow our citizens to hold religious beliefs, maybe even those we might be appalled by, and to be able to express those," said Rep. Tom Washburne, R-Inglefield.

What is more, opponents should be aware that SB 101 is based off of a 22-year-old federal law, dubbed the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, the same act that was influential in the Hobby Lobby decision.

While this bill awaits full adoption in Indiana, nineteen other states have already adopted similar religious freedom bills, and there are several others that are considering legislation.

While the opposition will not respectfully admit defeat, bravo to the state of Indiana for recognizing the importance of religious freedom and the true right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs, both in their private and public lives. Well done, Indiana. Our founding fathers would be proud.

Please Help This Catholic School Teacher

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I've told you about Patti Jannuzzi... she was suspended from her job teaching theology at a Catholic school because she posted comments (in response to Dan Savage's attacks on Dr. Ben Carson) saying the "gay agenda" is trying to "re-engineer Western civ."

She was immediately attacked by celebrities like Susan Sarandon... and it appears that she may be soon fired.

Her family has started a defense fund, which you can donate to by clicking here.

And, if you have one, can you post on your Facebook page? And socialize this message, passing it along to as many people as possible?

Please donate to support this family, which is under assault from radical activists. The Christian community needs to come together in times like these, and I hope you will be able to assist.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown