FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2012
Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray (703-683-5004)
"Retreating from the debate is not a path we or our followers will ever travel."—Brian Brown, NOM president—
Washington, D.C.— Reacting to an op-ed written by family advocate David Blankenhorn and published online today by the New York Times, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said that Blankenhorn's decision to "accept" gay marriage even while maintaining his beliefs that traditional marriage is a unique public good is likely a result of continual vilification, but is not a path for Americans to follow.
"David Blankenhorn has suffered extraordinary vilification and abuse as a result of his writings in support of marriage as the union of husband and wife and his testimony in defense of California's Proposition 8," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Still, even in announcing today that he feels he personally has come to ‘accept' same-sex marriage, without supporting or condoning it, he expressly stands by every word he said in those writings and that testimony. He says his view of what marriage truly is, and of its indispensable social role, has not changed. I am certain that the commitment of the tens of millions of Americans who are working hard to maintain marriage as God designed it won't change, either."
Blankenhorn said in his article that he was stepping aside from the gay marriage fight to focus on other issues in part because of acceptance of gay marriage by elites. Last May he publicly opposed the North Carolina marriage amendment, but voters overwhelmingly passed it by a 61-39% margin.
"It is sad when a powerful and compelling voice goes silent—especially when the topic is one as important as marriage, and where the silence is not motivated by a change of view about the nature of marriage but rather a seeming succumbing to the continual pressure of the cultural elite," Brown said. "Yet retreating from the debate is not a path we or our followers will ever travel, for retreat will surely lead to defeat. We intend to fight on, and fight harder, for the truth—that marriage is the unique union of a man and a woman."
NOM also took issue with Blankenhorn's statement in the article that many Americans oppose same-sex marriage out of "animus" for gays and lesbians.
"It is very unfortunate that he seemed to suggest in his op ed that many people who hold a view of marriage identical to his own hold it for dishonorable reasons," Brown said. "That's not fair or true, and he shouldn't have said it. Still, we appreciate that he continues to stand by his past writings and testimony."
NOM's president said that Blankenhorn's new position would ripple throughout elite society and the media, but is not likely to have a material impact on the outcome of the debate.
"The American people know in their heart what marriage is, and they have expressed that in the form of over 70 million votes cast in 32 consecutive state elections to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Brown said. "I don't expect that Mr. Blankenhorn's change of views will have any more impact in the national debate than they did in North Carolina where voters overwhelmingly supported a marriage protection amendment despite opposition from Mr. Blankenhorn."
To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), email@example.com, or Anath Hartmann, firstname.lastname@example.org, at 703-683-5004.
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