NOM BLOG

The Week Marriage Became a National Issue, NOM Marriage News, January 12, 2011

 

NOM National Newsletter

My Dear Friends,

This is the week that marriage and religious liberty became national issues.

I don't know if you watched the New Hampshire debates over the weekend. I did.

And I saw two things:

For the first time, the mainstream media has decided to echo and push the idea that support for marriage makes you a bigot.

And I also saw major political figures magnificently rebut these attacks.

As you know, the National Organization for Marriage launched a Marriage Pledge last summer, asking major candidates to commit—to sign their name on paper—to five specific things:

  • To support a federal marriage amendment
  • To defend DOMA vigorously in court
  • To appoint judges who will not impose gay marriage on all 50 states
  • To investigate the increasing reports of threats to the liberty of traditional marriage supporters
  • To restore to the people of D.C. their right to vote for marriage.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Perry all agreed to be marriage champions.

(Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman refused.)

Because we adopted the Marriage Pledge as a strategy for identifying marriage champions, NOM will not be making an endorsement.

Instead, we've sought to become the voice for all marriage voters, and to make sure marriage remains a visible issue in this campaign, as in this country.

And wow, this week our marriage champions were magnificent!

ABC News's George Stephanopolous and Diane Sawyer tried to "grill" the candidates on their supposed bigotry on gay rights, and the same questions came up at the debate on NBC as well.

Here are Romney and Santorum responding on NBC.

 

And here's an extended exchange on marriage.

 

But I want to call your attention to something important which happened this week: The same-sex marriage attack on religious liberty became a campaign issue.

I have to give credit to Newt Gingrich for first bringing up the issue, receiving wild audience applause, and to Gov. Romney, who quickly stepped in to validate and affirm Gingrich's critique from his Massachusetts experience.

Gingrich jumped in to point out media bias: "You don't hear the opposite question asked: Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won't accept gay couples? ...Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and bigotry of the Administration? The bigotry question goes both ways... and none of it gets covered by the media."

(He's right about that. That's why we launched our new Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, to bring you the news the media is not covering. More on that in a second.)

Romney stepped in to strongly affirm that Gingrich was right about what happened in Massachusetts. "This decision about what we call marriage has consequences," Gov. Romney said. "...Calling it marriage creates a whole host of problems for family, for the law, for the practice of religion, for education. Let me say this: 3000 years of human history shouldn't be discarded so quickly."

Kudos to both men for braving the media firestorm, and to Rick Santorum for bravely defending marriage as well.

Here's one last video you'll just enjoy: Newt Gingrich the next morning, beating back a CNN anchor who tries to embarrass him on his position:

 

Do you know who else just jumped in to validate our concerns about marriage and religious liberty?

The US Catholic Bishops just released this morning an important letter from an interfaith group of religious leaders from the "Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, and Pentecostal communities" calling on people of good will to reject efforts to equate traditional views on sex and marriage with racial bigotry.

These leaders point out that the real danger is not that clergy will be forced to perform same-sex marriage: "While we cannot rule out this possibility entirely, we believe that the First Amendment creates a very high bar to such attempts."

Instead, they point out, "the most urgent peril is this: forcing or pressuring both individuals and religious organizations—throughout their operations, well beyond religious ceremonies—to treat same-sex sexual conduct as the moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct."

Can we really create an America where people who believe sex should be confined to the union of husband and wife are treated like racial bigots?

These leaders say the answer is yes, and the threat is "urgent":

"In short, the refusal of these religious organizations to treat same-sex sexual relationship as if it were a marriage marked them and their members as bigots, subjecting them to the full arsenal of government punishments and pressures reserved for racists."

 

They conclude with this call: "Therefore, we encourage all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined."

For an example of the future Human Rights Campaign is working hard to create for religious people and our institutions, look no further than the state of Washington. There, Mary Margaret Haugen, a Democratic state senator who told her constituents that gay marriage would not happen in that state without a vote of the people, met with this over-the-top response from an angry pro-gay-marriage activist, according to news reports:

"One constituent likened denial of marriage rights to gays and lesbians to racial apartheid in South Africa. 'I saw apartheid, I was in South Africa and I can tell you this is different,' Haugen shot back. She recalled the 'necklacing' practice in which victims were stuffed in a tire which was then set afire."

Let's get real here!

No major spokesman or leader in America wants to hurt gay people, or deny them the civil rights we all share.

The right to redefine marriage is a made-up right, it's not real; it has no roots in our constitution, our history, our traditions, or common sense.

Being denied the right to call a same-sex relationship a marriage is not like what happened to South Africans, or African-Americans.

A movement which makes this argument is rooting itself in wishful self-aggrandizing fantasies which will backfire in the end.

The great thing about working for marriage is that it is an issue that transcends the usual political divides—of creed, of race, and of party.

Democratic leaders are stepping forward on the local level to stand proudly for marriage and we are very grateful to them for their courage!

Another such hero is Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, a lifelong Democrat, who firmly announced he opposes same-sex marriage and predicts the people of Maryland will reject it if the legislature tries to pass it.

 

And, of course, this week another strong voice made one of his most powerful statements on the need to protect marriage.

According to Reuters, Pope Benedict told diplomats from nearly 180 countries that the education of children needed proper "settings" and that "pride of place goes to the family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman."

"This is not a simple social convention, but rather the fundamental cell of every society. Consequently, policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself," he said.

Wow.

We have fights bursting out all over in the next few weeks. Gay-marriage activists are trying to block the GOP from reversing gay marriage in New Hampshire, and push through gay marriage bills quickly in New Jersey, Washington state, and Maryland, and possibly Maine. They are laying the groundwork for a fight to push gay marriage in Illinois. We have a chance to pass a marriage amendment in Minnesota in November.

The fight is heating up all over this country, in states and on the national level:

Are we going to discard 3000 years of human history, and redefine our country's Biblical traditions on sex and marriage as the equivalent of bigotry?

Or are we going to fight for marriage—and win?

Thank you for all the victories you've made possible in this good fight.

How bad can things get if we do not show courage now?

NOM's Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance just released this incredibly moving—and yet chilling—video interviewing Eunice and Owen Johns, a black Pentecostal married couple in Great Britain whose own government told them they were not fit to foster a child unless they were willing to advocate for gay sex.

Mrs. Johns is especially tender and moving, about how much she wanted to love a child, any child—gay, straight, black or white.

The empty spare room in their modest home filled with love is a distressing example of how far government may go, in some cases, in condemning traditional Christian views on sex and marriage as bigotry and discrimination.

It's an outrage because just as with Catholic Charities and other religious adoption agencies, the true victims are some of our most vulnerable children in need of care.

Pray for me and for everyone on the front lines of this great and good fight.

Blessings,

Brian Brown

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

 

P.S. Our fight for marriage is your fight! When you donate to NOM, you're making sure that your voice is heard. The year ahead will bring many challenges, and many new opportunities. Why not take this time to help ensure that marriage is protected—in the new year, and in the generations to come?

Donate Now

Contributions or gifts to the National Organization for Marriage, a 501(c)(4) organization, are not tax-deductible. The National Organization for Marriage does not accept contributions from business corporations, labor unions, foreign nationals, or federal contractors; however, it may accept contributions from federally registered political action committees. Donations may be used for political purposes such as supporting or opposing candidates. No funds will be earmarked or reserved for any political purpose.

This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.

13 Comments

  1. Zack
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow...this has gotten me riled up.

  2. Robert Taylor
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Clergy should definitely not be forced to perform gay marriages in violation of their religious beliefs and their Constitutional rights. There are plenty of gay churches out there that can do that.
    It won't be a true marriage in God's eyes as we know that God is not present in those Churches as the congregations are living in sin and God does not answer the prayers of sinners.
    The Presbyterian Church has ordained gay ministers so they can also perform the ceremony. Remember, the Bible says that those that condone and support sinful lifestyles no matter what that may be are also guilty of the same sin.
    God does love everyone, even sinners. He just hates the sin and any true Born Again Christian does likewise. This is in no way bigotry no matter how much they try to push that term. Marriage is and always will be between a man and a woman.

  3. catholicpup
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    NOM, since you claim to be so concerned about children, how about speaking up for all the children who have been raped by priests?

    Y'all are becoming real irrelevant real fast, so enjoy what's left of your day in the sun.

  4. M. Jones
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Irrelevant? Not so fast, NOM has not lost a state yet where the meaning of marriage has been put to the vote of the people. I see two more states added to the list this year. Perhaps SS"m" is becoming irrelevant, real fast.

  5. Teri Simpkins
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Same-sex marriage has never been relevant to anyone other than those who want them. The only reason you're all talking about them is because you're religious bigots.

  6. Teri Simpkins
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Amazing that the first post of mine that goes through in several days is this one. NOM-fail on their commenting system. And now I'm positive this comment won't go through.

  7. Skooter McGoo
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Marriage licenses are issued by the state, not the church. No religion is necessary for a marriage to be legal or recognized. "Traditional" marriage of the Bible gave men the license to have as many wives as they wanted, that is the fact NOM doesn't want to admit because it would invalidate their "one man, one woman theme to make money.
    But Abi­jah grew mighty. And he took four­teen wives and had twenty-two sons and six­teen daugh­ters. The Sec­ond Book of Chron­i­cles 13:21
    Abra­ham took another wife, whose name was Ketu­rah. The Book of Gen­e­sis 25:1
    Ashur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah; The First Book of Chron­i­cles 4:5
    When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daugh­ter of Beeri the Hit­tite to be his wife, and Base­math the daugh­ter of Elon the Hit­tite. The Book of Gen­e­sis 26:34
    Now Gideon had sev­enty sons, his own off­spring, for he had many wives. The Book of Judges 8:30
    No condemnation of any of these Biblical men having more than one wife, but then again, facts are not what NOM seeks to further their money making religion based discrimination.

  8. Louis E.
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Teri,anyone demanding that a same-sex relationship be treated as if of much worth as a marriage makes stopping this relevant to everyone.I'm not religious and standards of conduct are not bigotry...opposite-sex relationships must be guaranteed particular status in recognition of their unique importance to human society.

  9. Son of Adam
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Polygamy is a tool used throughout history to oppress and subjugate women. It not only degrades women to the status of material objects, but promotes pedophilia as well. Why else do you hear news stories of men as old as 40 who have married several young girls in their early teens, or even younger than that, each time the feds bust a polygamous cult? Beleive me, that institution had been left behind in the stone age for a reason.

    Man/woman marraige, however, has both genders equally represented and can both be considered equal partners in each marital unit. It was the basis of helping to establish equal rights for women in this country, something you never see in any country that promotes polygamy.

    This is just one of several secular reasons for establishing marriage as being between a man and a woman, none of which has anything to do with bigotry and hate.

  10. sylvatica
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Running out of money Brian? Shouldn't have wasted it on Newt.

  11. chris from CO
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    That clip you showed of the Jones I really feel for their situation. Unless the state had all gay children to adopt out they should not have been drilled over this. You all may know my partner and I have 3 children that we love very much, and in return they love us that is the foundation of strong families. The Jones appears to be a strong loving family, a suitable home for children, they should not have been treated that way. Not to mention what is the chances of this topic being brought up in their home anyways. They were in my opinion treated unfairley. Even though I strongly oppose their point of view.

  12. Little man
    Posted January 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    If people of the Black experience (African-Americans and all in-between mixes) vote for NObama only because he is 1/2 Black, genetically, is that a form of -racism-? Or, are they after reverse-discrimination from the administration?

  13. Lefty
    Posted January 14, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Another day, another unprovoked bout of racial Tourette's from Little man.