My Dear Friends,
So Prince Andrew gets a handsome Hollywood payoff. No, I'm not talking about the second son of Queen Elizabeth, but about Andrew the son of Mario Cuomo. He's flying from his throne in Albany to a fundraiser in Hollywood next week to hear the golden chink-chink-chink of cash raised by his decision to arm-twist the legislature into passing gay marriage, without a vote of the people.
Don't take my word for it. "Gov Cuomo set to cash in on gay-marriage success with LA fundraiser," says the New York Post:
"Gov. Cuomo will be heading to Hollywood next week to take a bow for his successful role in passing same-sex marriage—and he'll bring home a fistful of campaign cash from grateful glitterati.
"Cuomo is scheduled to jet to Los Angeles next Friday for a fund-raiser co-hosted by big Hollywood names including Rob and Michele Reiner, Steve Bing, Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams, Candy Spelling, Darren Star, Chris Albrecht, Kevin Huvane, Vanessa Williams and Laura and Casey Wasserman."
The event is hosted in the Bel Air home of "White House decorator and interior designer Michael S. Smith and his partner, HBO executive James Costos" for a price of $12,500 per person for dinner and $1,000 per person for cocktails.
(Just in case you'd like to see what a Hollywood glitterati payoff preparatory to a presidential bid looks like, Smith and Costos hosted a fundraiser at their home in June for Michelle Obama, and one guest thoughtfully posted photos on her blog. But I kind of prefer the mug shot of White House decorator—and Cuomo host—Michael S. Smith, posing as a British country squire in his Bel Air home.)
According to the NY Post, Cuomo is now the "national darling" of rich gay donors whose "deep pockets" may "pave the way" for a Cuomo run for the White House.
Okay, so at least now we know why Andrew Cuomo did it.
A guy living with his girlfriend in the governor's mansion naturally thinks it's no big deal to twist arms and break rules and ride roughshod over voters in his rush to redefine marriage—not when he can cash in on the proceeds and ride that gravy train to the White House in 2016.
In case you think I'm being too hard on the guy, read this opinion from a New York judge who this week ruled that New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms' lawsuit—alleging the gay marriage bill was passed illegally—was allowed to proceed.
Judge Wiggins's opinion of Cuomo's behavior was blistering.
First, he noted he was powerless to stop Cuomo from ramming through legislation without the normal three-day period for public review of the language, because the Senate had voted to accept Cuomo's explanation for the "emergency" which required violating normal Senate rules, an explanation the judge called "disingenuous."
"The review of such concept-altering legislation for three days after generations of existing definitions would not so damage same-sex couples as to necessitate any avoidance of rules meant to ensure full review and discussion prior to any vote," Wiggins wrote in his decision, dated Nov. 18 but sent Monday night to lawyers in the case.
The Buffalo News reported that "the judge harshly slapped Cuomo" for pushing the bill without offering the text three days in advance.
This was not a minor tactic on Gov. Cuomo's part. By misusing the "necessity" clause Andrew Cuomo prevented—by deliberation and design—any review of the religious liberty clauses by independent scholars or legal experts to see what effect they might have. In other words, the GOP senators who voted for this bill (along with the Democrats) had no real clue what the bill did and did not do.
As Maggie recalled when she and I were reminiscing about the night of June 24: "I remember this vividly. The text of the bill was released late on a Friday afternoon. I scrambled hard to find a legal scholar who could review it before the vote scheduled for a few hours later. The expert I found just a few minutes before the vote told me he could not actually tell how much religious liberty protection the bill would provide, because New York law is complex and interwoven."
There wasn't possibly time, in other words, for ANYONE to know what they were voting for.
But Judge Wiggins didn't stop there in his Cuomo slapdown:
"It is ironic that much of the state's [legal] brief passionately spews sanctimonious verbiage on the separation of powers in the governmental branches, and clear arm-twisting by the Executive on the Legislative permeates this entire process," Wiggins wrote.
He said that the private meeting between senators and Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg may well have violated the state's open meetings law, and allowed that part of the lawsuit to continue.
Lying, arm-twisting, rule-breaking, spinning. That's not me talking, it's a judge.
And now Cuomo's rewarded by Hollywood tinsel.
As my friend Rev. Jason McGuire told the press, "In the end, the process is not right. Something has to change."
Something has to change. Not only among Democrats who care more about Hollywood's values than yours, but among Republicans who sold out marriage to cash in on big-buck Manhattan fundraisers hosted by Mayor Bloomberg.
Thanks to each of you who responded to our alert on the Defense of Marriage Act. Now that thousands of American voters have written to their senators, the odds that the Senate will take up a repeal of DOMA have gone way down. We will continue monitoring the situation and reporting to you—whose government this is—what your representatives are doing on behalf of the values you and I hold dear.
Kudos to Rep. Steve Drazkowski in Minnesota, who publicly countered the simply ludicrous idea that a vote for the marriage amendment will interfere with economic development in that state:
"To the contrary, the facts show that states with a marriage protection amendment are our top performing economic states. For example, eight of the top 10 'best states for business,' according to a survey of 556 CEOs by Chief Executive Magazine, have a state marriage amendment in their constitution.
"Nor will the amendment hurt our economy. According to a new study by the Social Trends Institute, marriage and family have a tremendous effect on the economy—and government and corporations should take bold steps to encourage each if they want to remain economically fit."
(For more data take a look at Maggie Gallagher's take on the NOM blog last March.)
Bottom line: If your state's leaders are trying to push gay marriage as an economic development plan—you are in trouble.
The good news is that gay marriage advocates are getting pretty desperate for winning arguments if they are pushing laughable stuff like this in Minnesota and elsewhere.
Let me close with a small and telling bit of good news. A leading Democratic polling firm asked the people of Pennsylvania whether they they thought gay marriage should be "legal or illegal."
Now I've told you before why I think this is misleading wording designed to confuse voters and pump up support for gay marriage. "Illegal" suggests we are going to go out and throw Adam and Steve in jail in they have a commitment ceremony, which nobody I know is proposing or supporting.
But in spite of efforts to "pump up" the pro-gay-marriage vote in the swing state of Pennsylvania with deceptive wording, the latest poll shows that the people of Pennsylvania overwhelmingly reject same-sex marriage, 52 percent to 36 percent. Experience shows that the 12 percent who say they are "undecided" would probably vote for a marriage amendment if they got the chance.
That's why advocates of gay marriage are once again in court trying to do an end run around the voices and values of you and me and the majority of the American people.
Kudos to Michael Geer and the Pennsylvania Family Institute for standing up for marriage in that state.
Together, working with good people in every state, we are going to win this fight!
Thank you for all that you've done to make our victories possible.
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. Will you stand with us to defend marriage today? Whether you can give $15 or $150, your donations to NOM help to build the future—by protecting the truth about marriage for your children, your grandchildren, and this great country.