Dear Marriage Supporter,
Here I am on C-Span's prestigious Washington Journal, talking about the March 26 March for Marriage, taking our case to the very steps of the Supreme Court!
On the 26th, as we are marching outside the Court, demanding justice for marriage and for democracy, inside the Justices of our highest court will hear jousting from lawyers on both sides.
Myriad Defenses for Marriage at the Court
Ryan Anderson over at the Heritage Foundation has done a good job highlighting and providing links to the more than 50 amicus briefs for marriage now before the Court.
A sampling from Ryan's roundup:
Former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese argues that same-sex and opposite-sex relationships are not similarly situated:
Given the near-universal view, across different societies and different times, that a principal, if not the principal, purpose of marriage is the channeling of the unique procreative abilities of opposite-sex relationships into a societally beneficial institution, it is clear that same-sex and opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated with respect to that fundamental purpose.
A group of international jurists and academics points out that "same-sex marriage is not required by international human rights norms."
The Attorneys General for 20 states filed a joint brief defending the rational basis of their states' marriage laws.
A group of historians and other professors explain: "While the procedures and incidents of marriage have varied over time and across cultures, its primary form and legal meaning have remained remarkably constant. ... Marriage as an opposite-sex institution is a universal phenomenon."
A team of social science professors (including Mark Regnerus, the researcher behind the now-famous New Family Structures Study) present the compelling scientific data on family structure and child wellbeing.
Indeed, the only studies that were based on large, random, representative samples tended to reveal ... significant differences in the outcomes of children raised by parents in a same-sex relationship and those raised by a married biological mother and father. What is clear is that much more study must be done on these questions. But there is no dispute that a biological mother and father provide, on average, an effective and proven environment for raising children. And it is reasonable to conclude that a mother and father function as a complementary parenting unit and that each tends to contribute something unique and beneficial to child development.
Two other briefs were filed by gay or same-sex attracted Americans, asking the Court to uphold Prop 8, while The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty argues that when courts create rights to same-sex marriage they create new hazards for religious liberty.
Our own brief from the National Organization for Marriage in the Proposition 8 case was filed by our Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance (and we filed a separate brief in the DOMA case as well!). The Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance brief urges the court not to contribute to a climate of intimidation by falsely and wrongly labeling good people irrational, bigots, or worse:
Despite the chilling effect of political reprisals and other acts of hostility, many people in this country continue to demonstrate great civic courage in endeavoring to preserve marriage as a vital social institution that promotes the public interest in strengthening the unique relationship between mothers, fathers, and children. This perseverance, often in the face of great hostility, testifies to their good will and honest belief that society benefits from strengthening marriage rather than redefining it in a way that would divorce it from its roots in human biology and the needs of children. Those views are worthy of reflection and the people who hold them are worthy of respect.
.... [T]he Court should reject any argument made in this case that support for marriage as one man and one woman is irrational, bigoted, or worse.
Redefining Marriage 12 Votes Short in Illinois
In Illinois, they expected gay marriage to pass this week. Instead, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan had to go the press and confess the bill is "12 votes short of passage," which the Chicago Tribune described as "a signal that same-sex marriage could face a tough road to approval this spring."
This is nothing short of miraculous, given Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanual's deep connections to the White House. But Black pastors in Chicago are speaking up for God's word and demanding that politicians who represent them respect their voices and values.
One pastor spoke at a news conference of a new coalition of Black Illinois pastors.
His words (starting around the 5:00 mark) were ringing:
As a coalition, we say enough is enough. We say marriage is between a man and a woman and we also say it is that it is not the government's responsibility, it is not the state's responsibility and it is not the mayor's responsibility to try and redefine what marriage really is....
We want to make sure we send a message to our elected officials, that as a collective community, if you want to shove this legislation down our throats as your constituents, then we will not allow you to speak in our churches, you will not be invited to our churches [...] when you are running for office, because we as a community are incensed that you would allow the dollars from special interests groups to sway your opinion and go against the very core of our families.
Notably, he responded squarely to a criticism people often make: "People always say the problems in the African American community is their families... their husbands and fathers are not there."
In answer, he said: "Then help us first get our first work right. Help us first with all your resources and the billions being spent in order to promote the same-sex marriage agenda and use it to help us correct our communities. Take that money and help us to correct our social ill. But don't take money from those trying to categorically undo the Bible and then shove it down our throats as a civil rights violation, because it is not."
The conclusion is ringing:
So we want for our elected officials going from the top of this nation all the way down to our local legislative bodies to realize that we do have a backbone, we do have a voice, we do have an opinion and we do have a God. We will serve that God until the day we die, we will preserve the sanctity of marriage and we will also preserve the truths of His word until the day that we die."
God bless him and his fellow men of the cloth for their courage. These are strong Democrats standing up to the Chicago machine politics, on behalf of God's truth about marriage.
Another Example of What the Reality of Marriage Redefinition Looks Like
The voices of some young dissenters are beginning to creep into the public debate; sometimes you have to read them sideways.
Janis Hetherington was one of the first British lesbian mothers to be artificially inseminated. You can read her story and see her photo here.
According to The Independent, "[Janis' story] is a story of courage, custody battles—and refusal to conform."
But real life is messier than that. After giving birth to a boy named Nick, Ms. Hetherington lost her partner to an early death, and then decided to battle her partner's family for custody of Lisa, her partner's daughter from a previous relationship.
The reporter is not very interested in how that felt for the children, but she does note that Lisa is not speaking to Janis or to the other woman (named Barbara) who helped raise her from the age of 5 or 6.
Nick, Janis's son, is writing a movie based on his mom's life which started out when she was 15 with a lesbian relationship with a 25 year old woman (what we would now call pedophilia); included time spent in a brothel; until finally Janis 'reincarnated' herself to the point that the reporter (not me) says, "she resembles a country gent about to go hunting."
Nick says about his life with his mom and her partner from the age of 2: "It doesn't matter what sort of environment you grow up in, straight, bi- or transgender, but that family has to be strong and if it's not strong it will be sh*** and, certainly growing up, ours was not strong."
Despite those early hurdles, Nick says they are now close. "I now have that unity [with my mother] and my sister has found that unity with her own family."
Not every family is perfect. Even children blessed with a married mom and dad experience hardship and heartache. Forgiveness is the heart of family life. But oh what a tangled web we weave when we pretend the ideal does not exist or is not important!
Some New Pro-Marriage Voices on the Scene
Here is an 11-year-old(!), Gracie Evans, testifying before the Minnesota state legislature against same sex marriage. She had a question for the legislators: "I want to ask you this question: which parent do I not need: my Mom or my Dad?" [emphasis added].
She asks the question twice and looks around the room in vain for an answer. Out of the mouths of babes, my friends, out of the mouths of babes!
For those of us who are Catholic, and for many others as well, this week was exciting for another reason. For the first time in modern history a non-European will sit in St. Peter's chair as bishop of Rome and head of the Catholic Church.
Many of you are writing to ask me if the new Pope had expressed any views on marriage. The answer is yes: as Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he said this about treating same-sex unions as marriages on June 22, 2010:
I write this letter to each one of you in the four Monasteries of Buenos Aires.... The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have with a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy.
He ends by urging those in the monasteries, "Let us recall what God himself told his people in a time of great anguish: 'this war is not yours, but God's', that [these words] may succour, defend, and accompany us in this war...."
What can I say to that but, Amen!
God bless you and thank you. The fights thicken, and it is your courage, your prayers, and your contributions in a hundred thousand ways that keep me going.
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.