Marriage Highlights from the Values Voter Summit, NOM Marriage News, October 14, 2011


NOM National Newsletter

My Dear Friends,

Let me spend a few moments reporting on events at last weekend's Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

Now in one sense this is a secondhand report. (Due to a family emergency I had to to cancel my own appearance and Maggie Gallagher stepped in for me on the panel devoted to same-sex marriage.)

But I think it's worth spending time on because of our larger mission here.

The mainstream media focused on a kerfuffle caused by a Baptist minister who introduced Gov. Rick Perry and urged born-again Christians to vote for Perry because of his religious faith.

NOM issued a press release afterwards that has a very important message. Here's the first part: "We cannot let presidential politics distract or divide us from the larger task of building a winning majority on values."

The race for the GOP nomination includes a number of fine men and women. Those of us in the marriage movement on the more Republican side of politics (we do not forget our many great friends for marriage who are Democrats, like Sen. Rev. Rubén Díaz!) are going to disagree on who the best candidate is, but we have to do so in a spirit that allows us to unite afterwards not only within one party but across party lines—to fight together to overturn gay marriage in Iowa and New Hampshire, for example.

The presidency is urgently important, but it's not the ultimate prize. Victory for the principles of the American Founding—and for God's truths about human nature!—is.

Here's what Bill Bennett had to say about the conflict:

The warm and good-humored response by the crowd to Bill Bennett's call for respect across religious differences was in itself a repudiation of the press narrative that social conservatives are intolerant of the religious differences among us.

Yes, theological differences are real and yes, they matter. We need an America tolerant enough to tolerate robust discussion of theological differences, and committed enough to religious liberty to respect our rights to explore who God is and what He requires of us—because these are the most important questions of all.

But these explorations should not, I would add, take place in a context which seems to call into question our shared rights as citizens. To God what is God's, to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar.

As I said in NOM's press release, "We can not let presidential politics divide us or distract us from the task of building a winning majority of people with shared values. In particular, members of the LDS church should not be attacked or made to feel unwelcome for their faith by the left or the right. ...People of all faiths, and no faith, are welcome to join us to fight to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife—Evangelicals, Catholics, Jews, LDS, Eastern Orthodox, African-Americans, Whites, Hispanics, we are the true diverse rainbow coalition: fighting for the rights of all Americans to vote for marriage."

We are going to continue to press all the candidates for specific commitments on what they are willing to do to protect marriage, and to protect the rights of citizens who are being defamed and harassed for their support for it.

The hatred directed at people who support marriage is becoming increasingly open.

One small sign of the times: Focus on the Family's president, Jim Daly, wrote a letter to the New York Times warning against calling every moral disagreement with gay marriage "hate."

"Hate is too big a word to be used with such little restraint," he said.

Here is how Dr. Katrina D. Foster (apparently a Lutheran minister from Long Island) responded to that civil and restrained note from Jim Daly in a column on the Huffington Post's Gay Voices site. She called her column, "Yes, Anti-LGBT Religious Groups are Hate Groups":

"As a devout, orthodox Christian and Jesus freak, I do not think using the word 'hate' to describe what Mr. Daly and the people at Focus on the Family and other organizations are trying to do is too strong. 1 John 4:20 puts it this way: 'Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters are liars.'

"Mr. Daly, you do hate gay people. You just hate to admit it." She then endorsed economic retaliation and exclusion as a good thing: "Mr. Daly may not liked to be called hateful, but he dislikes his funds to be taken away from him even more."

In the face of the wall of this kind of mindless hatred directed our way, how strongly will our candidates support us and our rights, as well as marriage?

2012 Candidates on Marriage

At the Values Voter Summit, most of the candidates explicitly said they support marriage.

Here's a rundown:

Ron Paul: nothing about marriage

Rick Perry (like Paul) didn't mention marriage specifically but he said, "The fabric of our society is not government, or individual freedom; it is the family. And the demise of the family is the demise of any great society."

Newt Gingrich: "On marriage, it should be quite clear, on issues like the Defense of Marriage Act, that we should simply say it can't be [repealed], as it simply—you—it's very clear in the Constitution." And also, "But I mean in a sense of arrogance, in a sense of imposing on the rest of us, whether it's one judge in California deciding he knows more than 8 million Californians about the definition of marriage."

Michele Bachmann: "And when we speak in defense of traditional marriage, it isn't because we want to control other people's lives. It's because we recognize the deep roots of natural law and of revealed law and other religious traditions that have united across the centuries, and in the shared belief that it was a holy God who designed marriage for man and woman as the most loving and best environment for the procreation of children." And also: "People said it would never be done, but in Minnesota I fought for seven years and persevered, and we won the issue of defining marriage as one man and one woman. And it will be on the ballot in the state of Minnesota in 2012 because, you see, with a proven fighter in the White House, we will finally win on the issue of life, on marriage, on family, on religious liberty. It's time that we score some victories for our movement."

Mitt Romney: "But we know that marriage is more than a personally rewarding social custom. It's also critical for the well-being of a civilization. That's why it's so important to preserve traditional marriage, the joining together of one man and one woman. And that's why I will appoint an attorney general who will defend the bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton, the Defense of Marriage Act."

Rick Santorum spoke for marriage and life with particular eloquence, and was rewarded with a surprise third-place finish in the straw poll: "And that means standing up and defending the institution of marriage as between one man and one woman—not backing away from it, standing up for it. And there's one candidate in this race who has gone to state after state and helped fight those battles not just for the federal marriage amendment, but understanding that the—the—what the left is trying to accomplish in marriage is what they did with abortion: pick off a few states, get the courts to say, ah, we can't have different laws on the issue such—fundamental as marriage, and then have the courts decide it. We must fight in every state to make sure that marriage remains between one man and one woman. And as president, I will do that."

Santorum, Bachmann, Romney and Perry have all signed NOM's marriage pledge, which includes a commitment to support a federal marriage amendment, to appoint pro-marriage Justices and attorney generals, and to take seriously the harassment of pro-marriage citizens in the public square.

But Herman Cain has refused to do so, and yet is emerging as a strong contender among many values voters.

Here's what Cain said at the Summit on Marriage:

Herman Cain: "I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And I would not have asked the Department of Justice to not enforce it. I would have asked the Department of Justice to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act."

Is that good enough?

I don’t think so.

Why not?

Four years ago, remember that candidate Barack Obama claimed he supported traditional marriage too. The last four years are ongoing evidence that we need to demand more from the men and women who would be our president than ritual expressions of values; we need their commitment to act.

To date, the only specific commitment Herman Cain has made is that he would be willing to defend DOMA, a law passed by huge bipartisan majorities and signed into law by Bill Clinton, in court.

Being willing to defend the laws of the country is a pretty low bar for a president.

We need to have higher aspiration than that as a movement which represents not only the majority of the American people but the vast majority of Republican voters. At NOM, on your behalf, we continue to push to hear more than that for marriage from all the candidates in this race.

Maggie stepped in for me at the Values Voter Summit panel on same-sex marriage and hit it out of the ball park:

NOM’s own Thomas Peters also spoke on a Values Voter panel with Lila Rose featuring next-generation leaders on life and marriage.

Thomas reports:

"The breakout session was well-attended, maybe 80 people, mostly NextGen types. I was speaking for many when I said we must lead, because we have more of a future to save and to fight for! And I said we must also be vigilant that our right to speak the truth about fundamental things like life and marriage is preserved. We're natural online activists so don't forget to speak up for the fundamental truths of life and marriage online!"

Those of you who do not yet know Thomas Peters, let me make a prediction: You are going to hear a lot more about him in the coming weeks and months—and about other great young men and women who are increasingly recognizing that yes, it takes courage to defend marriage as the union of husband and wife and yes, that is precisely what they are called to do.

At the Values Voter Summit, House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his commitment to defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act, saying, "If the Justice Department isn't going to defend this act passed by Congress, then we will."
God bless him!

And we should thank him! Believe me, he's hearing from those who want gay marriage. He needs to know that we appreciate his courage and his decency in stepping forward to defend marriage and democracy from Obama's lawless refusal to defend either!

Thousands of you already have in response to NOM's email alert. Thank you!

If you have not, could you take a moment to go now and thank Speaker Boehner?

In New York this week, the four Republicans senators who betrayed their constituents to vote for gay marriage are getting a very public payoff. They're getting a fundraiser, according to the New York Times, which will raise more than forty pieces of silver—a million bucks. Expect to hear a lot about in in the mainstream media.

This is part of a sophisticated plan by major GOP donors to remake the Republican Party, as the Conservative Party has been remade in Great Britain—so that voters who care about marriage have no party to represent them, and therefore no voice.

God forbid it!

Truth forbid it!

You and I know that millions of decent, loving law-abiding American believe in the core truths expressed in Genesis (and repeated by Jesus): We are made male and female.

We are called to come together in love to commit ourselves not only to each other but to the future—to the children who are counting on us to stand up for the idea and the ideal that both mothers and fathers matter to their kids.

Together we are making history happen.
Thank you again—for your friendship, your prayers, your courage and your loyalty.

It's an honor to know you and to help serve as your voice for our shared values.


Brian Brown

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage


P.S. Can you help in the fight to defend marriage? Whether you can give $20 or $200, know that you are making a difference. You are making certain that your voice and your values are heard!



  1. Caroline
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. NOM's obsession with it, is not Christ like.

  2. Ash
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    NOM is obsessed with marriage, religious liberty, and child welfare.

  3. Posted October 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Jesus most certainly did say something about marriage:

    "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,
    5 "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?"

    Matthew 19

    Jesus was always clear. He endorsed ONLY biologically correct marriage which is the marriage between a man and a woman.

    Stop trying to confuse people. Any Christian who doesn't believe that God intended that Marriage be a union between Male & Female and nothing more has not bothered to read the bible. If you don't believe the bible then why in the hell do you call yourself Christian? It is meaningless.

    Darwin if alive today would also be opposed to the idea of homosexaul marriage because it does intrinsic harm to an organism reducing its reproductive fitness drastically.

    You don't have to believe in Jesus to not approve of Homosexuality but if you do then at least be honest. Jesus was very clear.

  4. Posted October 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Jesus I think was very clear.
    Mathew 19 "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,
    5 "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?

  5. DanielJ
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    And then there is this: "But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25).

  6. DanielJ
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    And let's not forget Saint Paul, to whom Jesus appeared and who was considered the Apostle of the Gentiles (non-Jews): "God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error" (Romans 1:24-27).

    Not to mention all of the Old Testament laws regarding sexual relations. In case anyone says that they changed when Jesus came: "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them" (Matthew 5:17).

  7. DanielJ
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    There is much more as well, and anyone who claims that the Bible condones homosexuality should read a very scholarly work on the linguistic impossibility of a Biblical support for homosexuality. Even the language used makes it impossible to believe it, if read in its original dialect. Check out "The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics" by Robert A. J. Gagnon.

    Christians cannot maintain that homosexuality is acceptable. People with homosexual attractions, on the other hand, are not to be hated or condemned; rather, they are to be loved and shown compassion. Just as discipline and teaching right from wrong to children (who don't know what is good or bad unless taught) is necessary, so too is it necessary to teach people who don't know or understand the truth what it is and, even more importantly, WHY it is. If they choose to accept it, then blessed are they. However, if they reject it, it is their own "fault" and they will have to live with it. We cannot change truth just because people don't like it.

    We cannot change the fact that murder is wrong, or abusing substances, or adultery. We cannot change the fact that lying, stealing, or physically abusing others is wrong. By the same measure, we cannot change the fact that homosexual acts are wrong. Why? Because they are not good for us. It's not how we're built, in so many ways. That's why the Bible says what it says. It's not some arbitrary law to make some people feel good about themselves; it's about the true well-being of everyone, including homosexual people!

  8. Claude
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Suffice it to say that the so-called Values Voters summit featured Bryan Fisher, who spews hate toward gays (he wants us emprisoned), toward Mormons (backers of NOM), to name a couple minorities. This is sufficient to discredit the event.

  9. Jamie Ward
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Religious liberty requires that our laws treat gay couples the same as straight couples. Our laws should not purposefully spruce gay couples of recognition of their marriages.

  10. Jamie Ward
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    ... Exclude gay couples of recognition of their marriages.

  11. Louis E.
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Secular concern for the public welfare requires policies unambigously pressuring "gay couples" to break up and making clear that only opposite-sex relationships serve a purpose useful to human society.Our laws must recognize the requirement that the partners be of opposite sex be the absolute sine qua non of what a marriage IS.

  12. Claude
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Louis gratuitously states that same sex couples serve no purpose in human society.... because he says so.

    If his argument is that the only value of humans is through procreation in a married state, he himself seems to define himself as useless. He is not married, and does not intend to marry as long as his jurisdiction recognizes ssm.

    What smug self-sufficient sophistry.

  13. Louis E.
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    My argument is not that we are required to marry persons of the opposite sex,merely that we avoid same-sex sexual relationships.Shame does not arise from being single,but from willfully gratifying same-sex attraction.

  14. Claude
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Same sex attraction exists in the human species and has gratified itself since the beginning of recorded history, and exists in hundreds of other species in nature.

    Same sex couples can coexist with opposite sex couples without harm to either, or to the thriving of the species. This is not a matter of our existence, but of the equal recognition of our natural relationships before the law.

  15. Claude
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    We remain a minority, and thus pose no threat to the predominance of heterosexual relationships and the continuation of the human species. We can continue to coexist, as we have since recorded history, without endangering the future of humankind... simply with a more enlighted society recognizing and protecting our relationships, through marriage if we wish, before the law.

  16. Louis E.
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Same-sex attraction does not "gratify itself",any more than alcoholism lays its hand on a whiskey bottle.Persons selfishly deluding themselves that an attraction being same-sex does not render it unworthy to be gratified bear blame for gratifying it.There is no equality between right and wrong and no excuse for claiming that there should be.Enlightenment involves recognizing same-sex sexual relationships as things one needs protection FROM,not OF.

  17. Randy E King
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Revenge, lust, envy, and spite exists in the human species as well Claud. Do you propose we institutionalize these depravities as well?

  18. Johnny
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Everyone says same sex situations can co-exist but as we are seeing, that is far from true because it is never enough for them. Now they have passed SB48 in California in order to teach "gay history", now they are allowing gay marriage in the military. The homosexuals activists have tried to destroy anyone who does not accept men marrying men and women marrying women. Mind you, the CDC and the health department have identified men on men sex as the leading spreader of AIDS but did that stop the NY goverment from forcing it on us? And did the CDC and the Health Department even speak up? Not a word. People have allowed themselves to be cowed by the vicious and violent hate tactics of the gay community and it says to me, you have obviously forgotten that God is in charge, not them.

  19. Claude
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Johnny, you may believe that God is in charge, but you can't impose that belief to others who do not share your religion. You claim freedom of religion for yourself, but deny it to others.

    Keep religion in your home and in your Church. Leave it out of government and secular society.

    The highest prevalence of AIDS in the world is through heterosexuals in Africa. What does AIDS have to do with the recognition of committed relationships before the law... if anything, the recognition of stable committed relationships could slow down the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

  20. Louis E.
    Posted October 15, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Claude,secular society must discourage all forms of same-sex sexual relationship regardless of anyone's religious beliefs.The more "stable" and "committed" anyone is to the innately indefensible practice of same-sex sex the worse it is.

  21. Little man
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:14 am | Permalink

    Caroline: Your argument is incorrect. Jesus did not say anything about "homosexuals" because the term did not exist in his culture. Jesus does include same-sex intercourse (the act) in his vice list. You can say you don't believe the Gospels; you can say you don't believe the Bible as an historical record; but according to the best record, Jesus did say something about same-sex intercourse (which defines self-professed homosexuals, but not so-called lesbians). There's only one instance, but there it is. Sorry to disappoint you (you almost had a tight case):

    1. The Genesis texts (1:27, 2:24) are not just descriptive; they are normative and prescriptive according to Jesus. He uses them as the basis for marriage before talking about divorce.

    2. Jesus' teaching on divorce closed any loop-holes in the Mosaic Law. A man could not divorce his wife for any reason except sexual immorality (Mat 5:32, Mat 19:9).

    3. Jesus uses the Greek word porneia in his vice list of things that defile a man, which would include incest, bestiality, same-sex intercourse, and adultery, (i.e. any illicit sex, that is sex outside of marriage), Mark 7:21, Mat 15:19. Adultery is listed separately to porneia. That does mean that a wife can divorce her husband if he had sex with another man.

    5. Jesus was a second temple Jew and homosexuality would not be an issue because they (the Jews) already knew the Law of Moses. Jesus does deal with issues of adultery and divorce, which would be an issue in his day. It is only with Paul's ministry to the Gentiles (e.g. Romans, Corinthians) that same-sex intercourse needs to be dealt with.


    Take it or leave it.

  22. Little man
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Here goes Claude again, falling against his own argument: "simply with a more enlighted [sic] society recognizing and protecting our [same-sex] relationships", just because he says so :) Yes, we recognize your same-sex relationships - as friendships. But that is not marriage.

  23. Little man
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    Claude, are you serious? "Keep religion in your home and in your Church. Leave it out of government and secular society." Hey, we are part of secular society, whether you want it or not. We don't need your opinion on the matter. You don't define what secular is. We vote that into law.

  24. John B.
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Why does anything the bible says or does not say about homosexuality or marriage has anything to do with this discussion in the first place? We're talking about the law and about civil marriage, which is defined and regulated by the state. Our laws regarding marriage or anything else in civil society do not come from the bible, or from any other religious text or set of beliefs. Heck, the first commandment, and the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, are mutually exclusive. Meanwhile the religious right in this country continues to look for leadership to men who are multiply divorced and remarried, in flagrant violation of one of the most important commandments that came from the lips of Jesus himself.

  25. Louis E.
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I'm neither religious nor "conservative",but do not blind myself to the harm done to the public good by any legal accommodation of the deplorable practice of forming or maintaining same-sex sexual relationships.The general welfare requires an unambiguous public policy of pressure to end all such relationships.

  26. Little man
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    John B.: I've just enumerated Jesus' grounds for divorce. Don't throw the first stone. We are not to judge. God is the judge.

  27. Posted October 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Is it fair to compare Herman Cain to Barack Obama regarding the Defense of Marriage Act? There is a huge difference between these two men. Barack is devoutly pro-abortion. Cain is pro-life. Traditional marriage creates life, whereas gender-segregated marriage can never produce life.
    I hope we can take Cain at his word that he is pro-marriage.

  28. John B.
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Little man, have you not been paying attention to what Maggie et al. have been saying all along? Have you not read the comments Louis E. has posted in virtually every thread on this blog, including this one? Everything NOM and its supporters say and do is judging gay people and their relationships to be inferior and not deserving of legal recognition or protection, and using that judgment to try to legally impose their religiously based beliefs on those of us who do not share them in purely civil matters.

  29. Louis E.
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    John B,the relationships are inferior.That doesn't say anything about the people.I am not religious nor are my beliefs religiously based.