Three marriage champions have emerged in the race for the presidency!
Two weeks ago, we got a Marriage Pledge to ten of the major announced candidates for the GOP nomination.
NOM's marriage pledge asks candidates to commit to five simple, straightforward, concrete steps to protect marriage nationally:
- To support and send to the states for ratification a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
- To do vigorously what President Obama has refused to do: defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
- To appoint to the Supreme Court, and as his or her Attorney General, only those who support the original meaning of the Constitution and who will, therefore, not invent a right to gay marriage.
- To establish a presidential commission to investigate the increasing reports of harassment and threats to supporters of traditional marriage.
- And to give back to the people of D.C. the right already guaranteed in the Charter which Congress gave them: the right to vote on marriage via the referendum process.
Today we announced the three candidates who have signed onto NOM's Marriage Pledge: Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.
For these three candidates, support for marriage is not just a matter of words. (Even Pres. Obama does that!) These candidates emerge as leaders because they are willing to walk the walk, to commit to concrete actions to support marriage.
As Politico's Ben Smith put it today, reporting on NOM's pledge, "The pledge is less meaningful for its direct consequences than for the fact that it commits the three candidates fully to the hottest front in the culture wars."
As I said in NOM's press release, "We are grateful to Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum for their courage and their leadership in standing up for marriage, and so are millions of Americans who care about protecting marriage. Marriage is an issue with an unbroken string of victories that unites Republicans, and we're pleased and honored [that] the leading candidates in the race for the GOP nomination have spoken up for marriage. We expect the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will continue to reward candidates who champion marriage."
(The offer to sign NOM's marriage pledge will be extended to Gov. Rick Perry and other major candidates not currently in the race, as and when they enter the race).
[Update - Gov. Pawlenty signed the NOM Marriage Pledge. Bravo, marriage champions!]
Marriage is an issue which unites Republicans like almost no other issue. For example, a Public Policy Polling survey released on May 4, 2011 found that just 12 percent of Republicans support gay marriage.
The major GOP candidates need to know that support for marriage is not a tough call; it's common sense. We need marriage champions who are unafraid to stand up to the mainstream media for marriage!
Thank you for the privilege I cherish of being your voice for your values, whether in Iowa, Washington D.C., or New York—from sea to shining sea.
Speaking of New York, I wanted to share with you a couple of new videos from NOM's Let the People Vote rally.
We showed this video at a recent coalition meeting in Washington D.C.—and it had people cheering from their seats:
As Maggie said at the Manhattan rally, it's really encouraging, "So many people standing up for what's right: Marriage, the union of husband and wife, and for the most important civil right of all, the right of the people to vote!"
Currents TV has another exciting video of the Let the People Vote rally in Manhattan, which NOM co-sponsored.
Finally, here's NOM's own video from the Buffalo rally: Pastor Kevin Backus explains that nobody likes a politician like Mike Grisanti who breaks his firm promise, a promise to protect marriage, given over and over again.
In other news, Congress weighed in on defending DOMA in court for the first time this week, with a brief filed by superlawyer Paul Clement on behalf of the House of Representatives. (Kudos again to Speaker John Boehner for standing strong on this!)
It's a strong, lawyerly brief, designed above all to win Justice Anthony Kennedy's vote. Bill Duncan of the Marriage Law Foundation (who often works with us here at NOM) filed this analysis up on National Review.
We are grateful for all our marriage champions, including Florida's Rep. Allen West. The conservative media went wild when Debbie Wasserman Schulz unilaterally attacked West from the floor of Congress in the debt ceiling debate.
But they've been a lot more silent about the latest despicable attack on the Congressman, a former Army Lt. Col. who won the Bronze Star and many other military honors.
The LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party in South Florida successfully got the Wilton Manor Business Association to publicly kowtow and cancel their invitation to Rep. West to come address the business group on key economic issues. Why? Because Rep. West opposed repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and supports marriage.
Now, boycotts have a place in America's free-speech tradition. Usually, though, they target a business which has done something wrong in the eyes of the boycotters. What was Wilton Manor Business Association's crime? Inviting a sitting congressman to speak on economic issues of interest to the local business community.
For that crime, the LGBT Democratic Caucus was willing to threaten to hurt local businesses, threatening to "Call on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to boycott any and all businesses who are a member of the Wilton Manors Business Association, including GLBT-owned businesses willing to put profits ahead of human rights."
How many ordinary people might lose their livelihoods? Did the LGBT Caucus care? No.
There's something new, ugly and aggressive taking place among organized gay rights activists. They want to create an America in which Rep. West is cut out of the American mainstream, punished and excluded for his views—even his views on an issue that they have already won on in Congress!
NOM's issue portfolio is marriage and religious liberty, not military policy.
But we say, whether you agree with Rep. West on DADT or not, he's earned a right by his service to our country to his point of view.
This is shameful treatment of an honorable man, and we cannot be silent and watch the story unfold.
(Check out this cartoon, by a pro-gay-marriage cartoonist, to see someone who would agree with us on that!)
We have not yet begun to fight!
Thank you for all you have made possible. As Maggie says, in the end, I promise you that truth and love will prevail.
God bless and keep you and your family.
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. When you donate to NOM, you're making sure that your voice is heard and your values are respected in the corridors of power. Whether you can give $20 or $200 (or perhaps a monthly gift of just $10), you are making a difference. The victories we've won for marriage are your victories. Your generosity can help win more battles, protecting and defending marriage for this generation and the generations to come.