Dear Marriage Supporter,
Today is primary election day in New York State.
It's a time of choosing.
Gay marriage passed in New York State by the vote of four Republican senators: Sen. James Alesi, Sen. Roy McDonald, Sen. Stephen Saland, and Sen. Mark Grisanti.
These four GOP senators who betrayed marriage believed the Human Rights Campaign sponsored lie: "no one has ever lost a seat voting for gay marriage." They counted on voters to have short memories for betrayal, to accept a done deal, to "move on."
Sen. James Alesi was the first to discover that this is not true. He announced his retirement from the Senate. One down, three to go.
It's very hard to beat incumbents in New York State politics. These four men who betrayed their voters on marriage were counting on that. They were counting on all the pro-gay marriage money they were promised to protect them for their failure to respect and protect their own constituents' values.
They chose the money over the voters, and the money rolled in.
The New York Times this week reports that Sen. Roy McDonald, for example, has raised an astonishing $926,000 while his gutsy underdog pro-marriage challenger Kathy Marchione has raised $180,000.
But voters matter more than money. If a candidate has enough money to get their message out, the voters get the chance to choose.
How little respect these four Republicans had for their own constituents' values has come through loud and clear from the voice of Sen. McDonald himself, who bluntly told The New York Times—a few days before the election—"I'm not in a party of a bunch of right-wing nitwits. It's Abraham Lincoln. It's everybody's included. And I feel that's very important."
"Right-wing nitwits." That's what he thinks of those of us who believe that God made marriage the union of husband and wife for a reason: so children can know the love and care of their mother and father. Sen. McDonald, let me remind you: Bluntness is one thing. Despising your constituents is quite another.
And as The New York Times noted, "The race has national implications:"
...gay-rights advocates, who have showered Mr. McDonald with campaign contributions, fear that his defeat would discourage Republican legislators in other statehouses from bucking their party to support same-sex marriage.
"The more that the advocates for this are able to tell Republicans that you can do this and live, then the greater success they're going to have," said Robert J. Bellafiore, a communications consultant and former press secretary for Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican. "But it's hard to convince somebody to take their first bungee jump if all they see at the bottom of the jump is a bunch of splattered bodies."
The Albany elites and the pro-gay marriage donors have done everything they can to protect these four Republican betrayers from the voters: showered them with silver, and redrafted district lines to favor their re-election.
We do not yet know what will happen in New York in these other three races, but look at how far we've come!
Just this April, The New York Times was pretending the pro-gay marriage votes by these Republicans was a ho-hummer, "But if the experience of New York's Republican dissenters teaches us anything, it is how quickly the political tide is turning, how quickly the 'untraditional' is becoming normal."
This week, they had to admit the vote for gay marriage is a really big problem for these Republicans.
Mr. McDonald, "expressed frustration that some Republicans seemed more eager to make the primary about same-sex marriage than, say, chronic unemployment. At a debate on Tuesday night at Russell Sage College in Troy...the audience was at its most boisterous when [gay marriage] was discussed."
As I told The New York Times, "Regardless of what happens, it is an utter lie to say, 'Vote for gay marriage; it won't have any effect.' ...I don't think any observer on the left or the right can say that's the case."
And that's a victory that you helped make happen through your support of the NOM NY–PAC. NOM PACNY is deeply involved in making clear to voters which candidates stand by their values and which despise them and betray their constituents.
In a backward tribute to NOM's key role in these races, an anonymous, pro-gay marriage organization is funding the ultimate dirty trick: a mailer purporting to be from the "National Order for Marriage" accusing Kevin Stocker, who is running against Sen. Mark Grisanti, of supporting same-sex marriage, a blatant lie.
Through it all we will continue to work, but we never work alone.
I recently had the honor of attending the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa.
"This is a time for heroes," I told them.
One of the great heroes for marriage in New York is Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long.
The Wall Street Journal reported today, as New Yorkers are going to the polls, "State Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long is making good on his promise to challenge Republican Sens. Mark Grisanti of Erie County, Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie, and Roy McDonald of Saratoga County."
I thought you might enjoy seeing one of the mailers the Conservative Party is sending out against Sen. Mark Grisanti:
It's not just Republicans. NOM PACNY is deeply involved in two New York State Senate Democratic primaries too.
NOM is a non-partisan organization. We work with people in both parties to defeat those who betray the values of the people they are elected to represent, and to support those who defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
State Sen. Shirley Hunter, a Queens Democrat, voted against gay marriage in 2009 and campaigned for re-election as an opponent of gay marriage—only to turn around and vote for the gay marriage bill in 2011. She is now in a tight race for re-election, and faces a state indictment for misusing funds. Her challenger in the Democrat primary (whom we've supported) is James Sanders.
Perhaps the most interesting race in the New York State Senate primaries is a total longshot. A charismatic young Dominican-American named Manny Tavarez is challenging incumbent State Senator Gustavo Rivera in the Democratic primary. Tavarez is one of those rare politicians who doesn't hide his values. Manny Tavarez's website (under "family values") proudly and unequivocally states he's pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.
So another New York marriage hero, Sen. Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr., has, with NOM PACNY's help, cut radio ads for Univision endorsing Tavarez. NOM PACNY is also helping Sen. Rev. Diaz spread his message of support for Tavarez through phone calls in the district.
Like I said, it's a longshot. But if Tavarez comes close, watch as a new star for the pro-marriage Democrats in New York is born.
In New Hampshire, where incumbents almost never lose, two Republicans who betrayed marriage went down to defeat. A special round of congratulations is due to pro-marriage GOP gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne who will face pro-gay marriage Maggie Hassen in November.
Before I let you go, here are a few bits of news that you will find encouraging.
First, a new poll shows that Minnesotans are for marriage! In a new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 50 percent of Minnesotans favor an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, while 43 percent oppose the amendment and 8 percent are undecided. (Historically most of those undecided voters break for marriage.)
Interestingly even younger people in Minnesota favor the marriage amendment, by an only slightly smaller margin of 48 percent to 42 percent.
Secondly, Forbes just covered a new bit of research on how consumers have reacted to companies that endorse same-sex marriage. Republicans have come to view these companies more negatively, on average, than Democrats. No surprise there. However, the big news (which you could never guess from the deceptively worded headline in Forbes), being pro-gay marriage hurts the branding of companies amongst Democrats as well!
Corporations take note: Voluntarily wading into hot-button social issues that implicitly denounce the values of their customers is not only bad morals, it's bad for business.
One final shout out: NFL champion Burgess Owens just urged voters to drop President Obama over his support for gay marriage.
It's an extraordinary act of courage for a great athlete, you can watch him here:
A time for choosing is upon us. It's a time for heroes. Thanks to every one of you who've contributed to these victories: whether its time, treasure or your fervent prayers for our country.
Never forget, my fellow heroes: With God, all things are possible.
Cumulative donations of more than $99 to NOM PAC NY are reported to the State of New York as required by law.