NOM Responds to RNC Chairman Debate

"We are grateful that all five candidates. . .unequivocally supported the GOP platform which supports our marriage tradition and opposes same-sex marriage"

- Brian Brown, President of NOM

WASHINGTON - Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) reacted to the RNC chairman debate today sponsored by the Daily Caller, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Susan B. Anthony List:

"We are grateful that all five candidates were asked their position on same-sex marriage and all five unequivocally supported the GOP platform which supports our marriage tradition and opposes same-sex marriage."

NOM's Chairman, Maggie Gallagher was also in attendance and scored the candidates answer on the marriage question.

"The RNC Chairmanship is not just a spokesperson contest. I (and NOM) fully recognize the importance of technical and fundraising competence in the decision-making of the Republican National Committee Members, and my evaluation below is not intended to be comprehensive. This scorecard only evaluates candidates' answer on the marriage question."

The question, asked of RNC Chairman candidates by SBA List president Marjorie Dannensfelser on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, was:

"The traditional definition of marriage unites over 80 percent of Republicans. While certain Republican elites try to portray this large majority as being on the wrong side of history. Regardless of how you see your role as Chairperson, you are almost certain to be put in a position to defend traditional marriage by a member of the media. What is your best 30 second case for the defense of marriage between one man and one woman?"

NOM's Scorecard:

Michael Steele: B+

Steele called marriage "foundational to who we are as a people" and an important "ideal for family life."

"There are lots of debates about the definition of family and everyone has a different way of defining it but as a party we have said we support this ideal." When he speaks about marriage he tends to be more eloquent than the average person.

Rience Priebus: A-

Priebus was the only one who spoke to the combined issues of judicial activism, the natural basis of marriage, and the social ideal it represents for children:

"I don't believe judges can rewrite the constitution and redraft what marriage is. There is a sanctity to marriage and I agree with Michael that it is foundational in our lives, I believe children should grow up with a father and a mother if possible. Certainly we support single parents if possible. I don't believe anyone should be denied dignity, everyone should be loved, I believe that marriage should be between one woman and on man."

Ann Wagner: B.

Ann Wagner is a strong supporter of traditional marriage, highlighting her work in Missouri support the state marriage amendment. But her answer was less than ideal because rather than defending traditional marriage as a public idea, she relied on her personal life: "I live my marriage beliefs I've been faithfully and happily married for 24 years, we have 3 beautiful children, I live my family traditional values and my sanctity of marriage as I consider it a true sacrament a bond between a man and a woman taken before God and others."

We know supporters of gay marriage who could say the same.

Saul Anuzis: A-

Anuzis like Ann Wagner, has a strong record of support for marriage in his state (Michigan). He argued that marriage as a natural institution, religious but not only religious--, and noted that U.S. support for marriage is part of American exceptionalism, something that distinguishes America from Europe and much of the rest of the world.

"I think very straightforwardly marriage is both a religious and a cultural institution that has existed for over 2000 years. I think it is a natural aspect of life, and I think that marriage is between a man and a woman; and I think the family unit is very important, and actually I think that our both belief in our kind of activity to promote marriage and promote the nuclear traditional family is an important distinction that we have in America versus almost every other country in the world. [Marriage] is a religious and cultural institution that is worth protecting and worth fighting for."

Maria Cino: C-

Maria's answer was the shortest and the least content-filled. She said (and this is her total quote): "I believe in traditional marriage, that's been a big part of my faith and my family upbringing and I support the Republican platform."

We appreciate her support for marriage, but wish she could articulate a reason.

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, or Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of the Board, please contact Mary Beth Hutchins, [email protected] at 703-683-5004 ext. 105 or Elizabeth Ray, [email protected] at 703-683-5004 ext. 130.