Dear Marriage Supporter,
The news this week is tough. I'm not going to sugar coat it.
In Rhode Island, all five Republican state senators joined the Democrats in the state senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill. It now goes back to the House which had previously passed a gay marriage bill and the governor has promised to sign it.
The Rhode Island bill does not create a new category of marriage for same-sex couples. Rather, it completely redefines marriage for all people in Rhode Island.
Some religious liberty protections were added for churches. But as Scott Spear, a NOM Rhode Island Advisory Board member, told the press, "It won't be long before gay 'marriage' activists start pressing hard their new found rights on the faithful in Rhode Island. In Vermont, Christian innkeepers were sued. It was Christian florists in Washington state. Elsewhere photographers, bakers, event venue operators, notary publics, justices of the peace and town clerks have all been targeted for punishment if they do not agree to go along with gay 'marriage' in violation of their deeply-held beliefs."
Targeting The Children
All true. But the people I'm most concerned about are the children in Rhode Island, who for the first time will be educated by this new law to believe that the rights of adults to marry any person they love trump a child's right to a loving mom and dad.
Sometimes that education will be direct: In Red Hook, New York, parents last week were outraged to find that 13 and 14 year old girls were asked in their public school to pretend to be lesbian couples and ask each other for kisses in a school anti-bullying assembly. When parents objected, their school told them basically to stuff it!
Same-sex marriage is not just an attempt to help ordinary gay people live their private lives as they choose—it is part of a push for an aggressive new public norm that affects us all.
Continuing The State Fights
For the politicians who refused to let the people of Rhode Island vote on marriage, this is not over!
In Delaware, another blue state, a gay marriage bill passed the house, as expected, although by an unexpectedly tight margin. The fight now goes to the senate to hold the line for marriage.
If you have a moment, please click here to use NOM's Advocacy Center to send messages to your elected officials, letting them know that you support marriage:
We intend to make sure that every Rhode Islander knows how their policymakers voted on this critical issue. We will hold the politicians accountable for their votes.
Republicans, especially, will have to answer for abandoning marriage—a core position of the GOP platform. In New York, when the dust cleared, 3 out of the 4 Republican state senators who betrayed their constituents and voted for gay marriage were no longer in office.
And we should also point out that there were some heroic marriage champions who stood up from the Democratic side of the aisle. In particular, I'd like to thank Senator Harold M. Metts, D-Providence/Slater, who testified:
I am puzzled as to why those who seek tolerance and now acceptance are so intolerant of others' religious beliefs and rights.
I was not intimidated over the years by being called a religious bigot, or some of the phone calls I received this week... the last time I checked, this is America and we are all entitled to our opinions.
Many from my community take exception to the attempts of the gay rights activists to hitch their wagon to the civil rights movement as it pertains to African Americans. I can change my sexual preference tonight if I want to, but I can't change my color.
What people do in the privacy of their bedrooms can never compare to what African Americans went through in slavery... Our people were treated like animals, they were exploited... raped. Families were split up... There [were] lynchings. There [were] castrations. And I could go on and on. Again, for many form my community, there is no grounds for the comparison.
International Organization for Marriage
Meanwhile, despite massive ongoing grassroots protests from the French people, the French parliament voted to redefine marriage. As I told the press "Even though the same-sex marriage policy being foisted on an unwilling public is profoundly unwise and anti-family, no citizen should ever express their disapproval through violent means. We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence by anyone on either side of this debate."
NOM will continue to work with our friends in France to defend marriage.
Specifically, NOM is working with the Collectif Famille Mariage (CFM), a charter member of the International Organization for Marriage (IOM). CFM—along with a wide coalition of pro-marriage organizations—is imploring France's Constitutional Council to carefully study and limit the scope of this law, which has been rushed through the Senate and the National Assembly.
In Brussels, Belgium at a panel discussion about free speech, Archbishop Andre Leonard was abruptly assaulted by four protestors who said his "homophobia" was the reason. They squirted him with water bottles shaped like the Virgin Mary, according to the Global Post.
The story notes: "[T]he archbishop himself remained composed and apparently at prayer throughout."
The picture above shows Archbishop Leonard picking up and kissing one of the bottles following the disruption.
So Much For Tolerance
Our friends at FRC released video footage of domestic terrorist Floyd Corkins' FBI interview, where he acknowledges that he used the Southern Poverty Law Center's "anti-gay hate list" to target his intended victims.
SPLC still has the target list up, as I write this, despite its use to target decent, loving, law-abiding Americans who work in mainstream organizations.
Still Not "Inevitable"
Meanwhile in Illinois, gay marriage advocates are still scrambling to find the last few votes to ram a gay marriage bill through that blue state legislature.
Opposition from downstate Illinois Democrats is one reason. But the biggest obstacle? As a NBC Chicago columnist puts it, "The toughest votes? Black lawmakers who are under pressure from the African-American Clergy Coalition to vote no. . . .a black legislator trying to move up to alderman, county board, state senate or Congress would be denied a Sunday appearance at a conservative black church. That's a valuable endorsement in the black community, so that may be enough to make a politician hesitate before pressing 'yes.'"
And in Minnesota, polls are showing the public is rather shocked to find a gay marriage bill being pushed through the state legislature... apparently they believed the ads opponents to the state marriage amendment ran suggesting a constitutional amendment was not necessary!
A Star Tribune poll in February found just 38 percent of Minnesotans support the gay marriage bill. And as our friends at Minnesota for Marriage pointed out, the further one moves away from Minneapolis, the more the support drops.
While 57 percent of people in Hennepin and Ramsey counties support same-sex marriage, only 19 percent of those in what they call "outstate" Minnesota do.
Greater Minnesota is "very, very much opposed to the metro area's attempt to force gay marriage on the rest of the state," Autumn Leva of Minnesotans for Marriage told the press.
I promise you one thing: we here at NOM will never stop fighting for marriage, working with good people of all races, creeds and colors in every state of these wonderful United States.
In the tough times the sunshine patriots run. But you can count on us standing up to the forces seeking to undermine marriage everywhere across this great land! And now as part of a new international movement for marriage!
Together we are making a difference!
One final request for this week: I'd like to ask for your prayers for Pastor Jim Garlow of San Diego's Skyline Church whose beloved wife Carol passed away this week after battling cancer bravely for many years.
In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to the Carol Garlow Memorial Fund which supports a transitional home to help troubled adults become godly men and women.
Jim is a friend of mine and a hero of mine for standing up for marriage in the great Prop 8 battle. Carol was a great woman, a loving and much loved, wife, mother, Christian prayer warrior, and benefactor to her congregation and community. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Jim, old friend, my heart goes out to you. May God comfort you and your family in this season of loss.
Thank you for standing for marriage. And thank you for your prayers for me and my family and for all those on the front lines of this great and noble fight for God's first institution.
What He has created, we will not abandon.