Dear Marriage Supporter,
"Gay marriage has backfired on the Democratic Party."
With those words one of my personal heroes, New York State Sen Rev. Rubén Díaz (a Democrat from the Bronx) opened his press release titled, "What you should know."
"You should know that since Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed for gay marriage in the State of New York and convinced the Democratic Party in the Assembly and the Senate to follow his lead to legalize gay marriage, the Democratic Party in New York City has not won a single victory.
"Starting with the defeat of David Weprin by Bob Turner for the Congressional seat vacated by Anthony Weiner, and most recently with the embarrassing defeat of Lew Fidler by David Storobin for the Senate seat vacated by Carl Kruger, the Democratic Party lost. In each special election, the Democratic candidate was expected to win handily given the composition of registered democrats in each district, and given the low turnout expected in special elections."
Gay marriage hurt Democrats in each of these races, he points out, and there is no way to spin it:
"For a time, the Democratic Party was key in New York City politics, and it was virtually impossible for a Republican to win a seat in the State legislature in New York City. That was before gay marriage. ...This has shown to be destructive for the Democratic Party and I hope that elected officials in other states are paying attention."
Of course the Democrats were not alone in bringing gay marriage to New York. Republican majority leader Dean Skelos volunteered to bring the bill up for a vote—he did not have to. And four Republicans provided the crucial margin of difference.
Sen Rev. Díaz goes on to point to the other side of the aisle:
"Now we can all wait and see what happens to the future of the four Republicans who supported gay marriage when it was forced to the floor of the Senate for a vote, because the way I see things, The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and its Executive Director, Brian Brown has been active and instrumental in contributing and supporting with financial resources those individuals who run against gay marriage supporters. So far, Brian Brown has been very effective and it might happen, that the four Republicans, might lose their Senate seats solely because of their vote on gay marriage."
NOM is not a partisan organization or a stalking horse for either party. We are a movement of people of every race, creed, color—and party—willing to stand up for marriage.
Sen. Rev. Díaz happened to speak out the same week that the mainstream media decided to pick up on a story that the National Organization for Marriage is playing racial politics "dividing gays and blacks."
It's a media brouhaha based on language in a three-year-old in-house document that was released by the Maine courts describing a number of NOM projects for 2009 and 2010.
Let me be the first to say that the tone of the language in that document as quoted by the press is inapt. Here's something I know from the bottom of my soul: It would be enormously arrogant for anyone at NOM to believe that we can make or provoke African-American or Latino leaders do anything. The Black and Hispanic Democrats who stand up for marriage do so on principle—and get hit with a wave of vituperative attacks like nothing I have ever seen. We did not cause it, nor can we claim credit for these men and women's courage in standing up in defense of our most fundamental institution: marriage.
To Joe Solmonese and the Human Rights Campaign and Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry I would say: This is your movement. You are its leaders. Only you can hope to change the vicious attacks being made on Black and Hispanic Democrats (or white Republicans for that matter!) who don't agree with you on gay marriage.
We had another small example of the kind of vituperation gay-marriage advocates are generating when a woman wrote a letter to her local newspaper in Syracuse politely supporting our DumpStarbucks.com campaign:
I have just learned that the Starbucks Corp. has begun a public campaign to rewrite our marriage laws and to recognize same-sex marriage. I was shocked to hear of a major corporation willing to alienate such a large portion of their constituents in favor of a political agenda.
I have decided that I will no longer buy my coffee at Starbucks—there are plenty of community coffeehouses that both support my values and need my business. ...
It's time to dump the Starbucks habit, at least for my family. And I invite others to join me by learning more at DumpStarbucks.com.
On the newspaper's website, an advocate of gay marriage threatened to go after her job as a result:
"As a gay man I actually have to question your ability to provide fair and balanced judgement and therefore treatment to gay people in your job as a nurse. For this reason I am sending a letter to Crouse Hospital detailing this and asking that they look into it."
Now you and I know he's probably just spinning hot air. But the NOM Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance was launched to give a voice to people who have actually lost their jobs because they oppose gay marriage.
But another blogger on the site noticed how unusual and ugly that kind of attack is:
"Someone is going to go to their employer and put their job at risk, because they have a belief that differs? Are we in second grade? Talk about hatred, discrimination and lack of respect for the feelings of others! If one can't have, or does not possess, the attributes they demand of others, what does that make, or say about, them? There are plenty of people, in life and on this site, that disagree, wholeheartedly, with many of the things I believe and post. ... Never, ever, have I dreamed of, or been tempted to, curtail their right to their opinion, their ability to state that opinion or 'go after' their employment, their families or any other personal aspect of their lives."
It would be wrong for anyone to try to generate that kind of hatred against good people who disagree on important moral issues like same-sex marriage Right, Joe? Right, Evan?
This is your movement, Human Rights Campaign. The ugliness it is generating is not consistent with the civil rights movement you claim to want to represent.
The underlying narrative of the MSM attacks on NOM generated by this document's release is absurd: The guts of the "Not a Civil Right Project" was to reach out across lines of race, creed and party to work with great heroes like Sen. Rev. Díaz, Bishop George McKinney and other pastors at the Church of God in Christ (the largest black Pentecostal denomination), Bishop Harry Jackson, and other leaders in the black and Hispanic churches.
Moreover, we at NOM are not the only people who have noticed this split over gay marriage in the Democratic Party. The Atlantic reports that Pres. Obama refuses to endorse gay marriage because of the strong opposition to gay marriage among African Americans:
"The conventional wisdom has been that supporting gay marriage would alienate blue-collar whites, and that's been the main reason he's [Pres. Obama has] been hesitant to come out in favor before the general election. But in this case, it's a crucial element of his own base that's preventing the president from taking bolder steps to advance a cause that he seems to believe in, but hasn't publicly embraced."
According to The Capitol Tonight, Albany political elites have reportedly responded to the political fallout of gay marriage vote by trying to limit the power of Orthodox Jews—by splitting up Ramapo Jews into multiple districts to dilute their influence, and taking black churches out of the Buffalo district of GOP marriage-betrayer Mark Grisanti:
The black churches that used to be represented by WNY Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti are none too pleased that they've been drawn out of his new district—a move seen as done in part to insulated him against backlash for his "yes" vote on same-sex marriage, and also to make his district less Democrat-dominated.
As for the kind of hatred directed against African-Americans who oppose same-sex marriage? Don't believe us. Believe the Washington Post, which published a front page story on Feb. 23, "Black Pastors Take Heat for Not Viewing Same-Sex Marriage As a Civil Rights Matter."
"All of a sudden, they are bigots and haters—they who stood tall against discrimination. ...They are black men, successful ministers, leaders of their community. ...Sometimes, the pastors say, the name-calling and the anger sting."
This is your movement, guys, only you can change its tone.
Meanwhile, in just a few weeks people of every race, creed and color will come together to decide the future of marriage in North Carolina. If you want to know why we stand up to the attacks, it's because I know we are speaking for so many good people like you.
Here's a few of many voters in North Carolina, talking about why they will vote yes on the Marriage Amendment.
Last week we launched our Dump Starbucks campaign, and boy have you responded!
As I write this Thursday morning, 23,585 people have signed the petition, promising to dump Starbucks. (The neat thing about the website is that if you put in your zip code, it will pull up for you the number of the local Starbucks so you can also call and make your voice heard.)
If you haven't done so yet, can you please take just 30 seconds, go to DumpStarbucks.com, and add your name to the petition? My goal for this week is to get to 25,000 signatures. We are so close—can you help?
Rich white guys like Mayor Bloomberg, Tim Gill and Howard Schultz are determined to push gay marriage on us "whether we like or not!" Here's your chance to fight back!
We are in this for the long haul. We know the left is far more organized online. This is our chance to not only speak back to Starbucks but build the infrastructure we need to make sure your voice is heard.
Next week, and for weeks thereafter, we'll have important news on widening the reach of the Dump Starbucks protest campaign. Thanks to the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, CatholicVote.org, and every other group—and person!—who has promoted Dump Starbucks.com on their blogs or in their newsletter. Shane Vander Hart, an influential Iowa blogger at Caffeinated Thoughts, for example, wrote this:
...Starbucks has claimed to be "post politics and post partisan" nevertheless decided to jump into the political fray back in January in order as a corporation throw its support behind same sex marriage legislation in Washington State. They are obviously free to do that, and we are free to demonstrate our disapproval. It seems to be a odd business decision to make a decision that will alienate roughly half of your customer base.
And yet they did. Voluntarily and apparently enthusiastically. ...
If the CEO, Howard Schultz, decided to just personally get involved that's a completely different thing, but they decided as a corporation to get involved—shareholders, employees, and customers who believe differently be damned.
Until they shift back into a neutral position, while I'll miss my French Roast Coffee Beans and Café Americanos, I can get my coffee elsewhere.
Here's how Christian Broadcast News reported it.
And here's the head of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project, Jonathan Baker, in an interview with the Christian Post.
The debate over gay marriage in Great Britain, which is being promoted by the once-Conservative party there, has brought some interesting new voices into this fray.
Brendan O'Neill is a self-described libertarian and humanist who once wrote for a Marxist publication.
I want to leave you with this thought from his incredibly insightful essay, "Why Gay Marriage Is a Very Bad Idea":
"The reason the gay-marriage issue can feel like it came from nowhere, and is now everywhere, is because it is an entirely top-down, elite-driven thing. The true driving force behind it is not any real or publicly manifested hunger amongst homosexual couples to get wed, far less a broader public appetite for the reform of the institution of marriage; rather it is the need of the political and media class for an issue through which to signify its values and advertise its superiority. Gay marriage is not a real issue—it is a cultural signifier, like wearing a pink ribbon to show you care about breast cancer."
A new morality is being created and fobbed off on the American people, complete with "enforcers" to "stigmatize" good people who disagree. At the end of his press release, Sen. Rev Díaz said "Ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, friends and foes: Fasten your seat belts, because I am afraid that it's going to be a very bumpy ride."
Thank you for being there with NOM, every step of the way.
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.