Dear Marriage Supporter,
On Tuesday I was in Des Moines, Iowa, where a huge rally took place to try to push Democratic Senate leader Mike Gronstal to permit a marriage amendment to come up for a vote.
Family Leader, along with NOM and CatholicVote.org, hosted the rally—called the "LUV Iowa rally"—(LUV=Let Us Vote!) at the Capitol.
Family Leader has up a photo of me, along with a crowded room of Iowans wearing red shirts who came to say, "Marriage matters and let the people vote!"
It was an amazing and energizing experience—especially meeting the young people. A teenager, maybe 14 or 15 years old came up to me. He had brown hair, brown glasses, and a red LUV-Iowa shirt on.
"I just want you to know how excited I am and so thankful to be here today. This is very important—we have to let people know how important protecting marriage is! Thank you!" he told me.
This teenage boy said it was a message for me, but really his thanks is for you—you are the people who make what NOM does possible.
In New York on Tuesday there was a special election for the seat of flip-flopping state Senator Carl Krueger. This was a race that was supposed to be easy for the Democrats. A shoo-in for Lew Fidler.
"Most people from the get-go thought Fidler's a shoo-in," Community Board 15 chair Theresa Scavo admitted to the New York Daily News.
"It's a bad omen," said Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island). "We should not be having to compete for races in Brooklyn. It's the most Democratic county in the state."
From Capital New York:
"On paper, the race wasn't supposed to be this close. Fidler is a three-term Democratic councilman and Storobin is a 33-year-old attorney and first-time candidate for public office. According to the state Board of Elections, the district has 89,670 registered Democrats, compared to 26,994 Republicans."
This district is one of the most Democratic in the state of New York—-and yet as I write Republican pro-marriage newcomer David Storobin appears to have beaten Democrat Lew Fidler.
It's close. Very close. Storobin is leading by less than 200 votes, with absentee ballots yet to be counted.
But already the political establishment is rocking—and there is no way to deny that Fidler's support for gay marriage hurt him badly here.
"This is one community where these kinds of concerns, whether they're real concerns or exploited concerns, they apparently have some legs," admitted Bob Liff, a Democratic political consultant.
NOM invested in robocalls and advertisements, especially in the heavily orthodox Jewish sections, making sure voters knew that Lew Fidler supports gay marriage.
As I told the press, "One thing is certain—supporting same-sex marriage is a loser. This election marks the second consecutive one where a supporter of same-sex marriage was defeated. We have avenged Carl Kruger's despicable vote for same-sex marriage."
In a historic partnership, NOM teamed with the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn in support of Storobin. We spent more than $25,000 on independent expenditures and ads which ran in every major Orthodox Jewish publication in the area, an automated call within the district from Rabbi Eliyahu Brog of Mirrer Yeshiva, and a direct-mail piece.
I have to express particular appreciation to Joseph Hayon, president of the Brooklyn Tea Party, for Hayon's outstanding grassroots leadership during Storobin’s campaign.
This is really a historic occasion for us at NOM and for our country. Marriage is bringing together, across lines of race, creed and party, some extraordinary people.
It helped enormously that Storobin never ran from the issue, never downplaying the "social issues," as so many pundits observed. Brooklyn Republicans watched Bob Turner's surprise victory, they are watching the troubles of the pro-gay-marriage Republicans in New York, and they are learning—or relearning—some important lessons.
The "social issues" are what originally turned Reagan Democrats into Republicans, and the same thing is happening in the most Democratic place in America!
Politicker covered the election-night party for Storobin:
Mr. Storobin's campaign was seen as a longshot, but he had heavy support from the local and state Republican Party, which was betting a campaign focused on Mr. Fidler’s liberal positions on social issues, specifically gay marriage...
"The truth is, the representatives in Albany let us down, they let us down. They were bought off on this issue by a very strong lobby," Rabbi Isaac Levi said. "We're going to take corrective action, we're going to go out against all these State Assemblymen in our area of Brooklyn that voted for gay marriage. They're going to face primaries or elections and they're going to rue the day that they ever voted for gay marriage."
Republican City Councilman Dan Halloran chimed in:
"I think we need to start sending messages. Respect for God is part of the American tradition, however you choose to see God. I think a lot of people feel that we've moved so far towards a secular state that we've forgotten that this is one nation founded under God."
While New York Republicans are beginning to acknowledge support for same-sex marriage is a loser, it is with a heavy heart that I must report that New Hampshire Republicans, who swept control of the legislature in 2010 in part on a promise to repeal the same-sex marriage bill rammed through by the Democrats (with a major flip-flop from their governor), just sided with Democrats to defeat a measure that would repeal same-sex marriage, by a vote of 211 to 116.
There is a major push behind the scenes from inside the Republican Party to accept and promote same-sex marriage. We saw this pattern first in New York state, where Republicans took control of the legislature and yet agreed to bring up a same-sex marriage bill. Four Republican defectors provided the key margin for victory.
I do not yet know all the facts, but I do know one thing:
Republicans (or Democrats) who betray the core values of their constituents will face consequences.
Ask Mark Grisanti.
Meanwhile, as I was flying to Iowa, Maggie Gallagher and Jonathan Baker (head of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project) were flying to Seattle for the annual board meeting of Starbucks. In late January Starbucks announced it was endorsing gay marriage in the state of Washington. An executive, claiming to be speaking for the company, announced that henceforth gay marriage is "core" to Starbucks values.
We went to the opera house of Seattle with a genuine question: Is promoting gay marriage really the policy of the whole corporation?
We wanted to know, before taking action, because I find the tactics of our opponents really reprehensible. They have been willing to target whole business enterprises if any one individual partner exercises his or her personal right to donate or to speak for marriage.
Businesses can only work well when people of diverse views come together to work for the good of the company—in this case: making a great cup of coffee!
But when Jonathan Baker asked Howard Schultz the question, he said, in essence, yes: The decision to promote gay marriage was the policy of the corporation.
Schultz seemed nervous when asked by another shareholder how this is possibly prudent, how it is in the best interests of the shareholder, especially overseas in countries where same-sex marriage is unthinkable.
Schultz nervously replied that since Starbucks endorsed gay marriage in the state of Washington in late January, he hadn't had any negative reactions.
So after the meeting we launched DumpStarbucks.com.
We are asking thousands of Americans—including you!—to reach out to Starbucks. Go to the website above and you can call your local Starbucks. Call the corporate headquarters, and let them know that millions of their customers—decent, law-abiding, loving people—do not support gay marriage.
If you haven't yet gone to DumpStarbucks.com can you please do so? And spread the word to a friend or family member: Let Howard Schultz know that endorsing gay marriage is not good for business! As of this writing, over 3,000 of you have already taken action!
Already the news of our engagement with Starbucks is spreading:
- "Anti-gay marriage group wants Starbucks boycott" — Associated Press, USA Today, Etc.
- "National Organization for Marriage to Launch 'Dump Starbucks' Campaign" — FoxNews
- "Dump Starbucks" — RealClearPolitics
A company built on conscience ought to respect the consciences of all its customers, employees, and vendors. Corporate America needs to know: We are here, we buy coffee, we believe in marriage, get used to it!
NOM's protest against Starbucks is not just a national one—it's an international protest, because we are going to reach out to customers in the areas where Starbucks is seeking to expand: to China and the Middle East.
Why do we fight so hard?
I get asked that question a lot. With seven children, these kind of multi-state battles against a seemingly implacable foe are never easy.
NOM's Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance just released another video that reminds us why we fight—because it reminds us what kind of America many advocates of gay marriage are seeking.
We interviewed former GOP candidate for governor of Minnesota Tom Emmer, whose teaching position at Hamline University was stripped from him when faculty learned he opposed same-sex marriage.
Take a few moments and hear Tom Emmer's story:
More and more Americans are recognizing gay marriage is a crucible—a test of our courage to speak and to act for the values we hold dear.
Thank you for being one of those Americans.
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.