Dear Marriage Supporter,
Over eighty years ago, the influential psychologist Sigmund Freud wrote his seminal work which would come to be known in the English translation as Civilization and Its Discontents.
No one familiar with the book could deny its influence on our culture or the fact that it has shaped the mindset regarding sexual ethics that informs many members of the movement to redefine marriage.
In one of its most often quoted lines, Freud posits that "what decides the purpose of life is simply the program of the pleasure principle." Certainly it is unquestionable that much of our culture's confusion regarding marriage is due to following that precise train of thought — the pleasure principle.
Redefining Marriage And Its Consequences
The push to redefine marriage is about substituting the desires of adults for the needs of children.
The push to redefine marriage is about substituting an imagined 'right' for same-sex couples to 'marry' and privileging it over the fundamental rights of free speech and religious conscience guaranteed under the constitution.
The push to redefine marriage is about making it an institution that achieves the goals of the pleasure principle rather than one that meets the needs of the public interest.
But we who are content with what civilization has passed down to us in the institution of marriage — the union of one man and one woman, serving the good of both the spouses and of children who deserve both a mom and a dad — know that we must defend this sacred design with all our strength. And this is because we know the consequences of turning away from the common sense truth about what marriage is in its essence.
NOM's good friend Ryan T. Anderson co-wrote an excellent article this week at NRO with his Heritage colleague Leslie Ford, highlighting some of these consequences which we've already seen around our nation.
They open their piece with an important question which all of us need to take more deeply into consideration [emphasis added]:
For years now, a central argument of those in favor of same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love how they choose. But does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships?
They go on to explain why this issue is so timely and critical:
A growing number of incidents show that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual orientation have created a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage. Now comes government coercion and discrimination. Laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.
Under the newer laws, family businesses — especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry — have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony that they viewed as a violation of their religious beliefs.
The authors' essential thesis is one with which, sadly, we can no longer take it for granted that everyone will agree. They state simply that "[a]ll Americans should remain free in the public square to act in accordance with their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty" [emphasis added].
Since this basic principle is no longer universally recognized or acknowledged, we the people need to stand up and demand that our first amendment freedoms are secured against the aggressive and hostile genderless marriage regime.
Fighting For Our Rights
Several bills making their way through state and federal legislatures right now are doing just that.
The first bill is Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act which has successfully passed through the legislature and awaits a signature from the Governor.
This bill will protect business owners who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman from being forced to violate their conscience and their religious convictions by participating in same-sex nuptial ceremonies.
Another bill very similar to the one in Arizona is stuck in the Kansas legislature. While it was passed overwhelmingly by the Kansas House, Senate President Susan Wagel has refused to allow the bill to be heard or voted on in committee, meaning it may never even get to the floor for a debate and consideration!
These bills, although at the state level, are important pieces of legislation because of their contribution to the larger cultural debate regarding the place that individuals' beliefs and values have in the public square.
Increasingly, Christians and other people of faith are being told that their values have no place in civil discourse... that they should keep their beliefs to themselves and only talk about them in their homes or houses of worship! According the New Mexico Supreme Court, this silencing is the 'price of citizenship.'
This threat to believers' first amendment rights will only increase if the Obama administration gets its way and succeeds in coercing the states to adopt same-sex 'marriage' over the will of the people.
That is, after all, what the federal government has been attempting to do lately, through vehicles like the IRS, the military, and the Department of Justice.
Fortunately, at the federal level there is critical legislation that would put a halt to this coercion from inside the Beltway: the State Marriage Defense Act has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Randy Weber (R-TX) and in the Senate by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
This legislation would restrict the federal government to using the definition of marriage from the state a couple resides in rather than the state where their 'wedding' was celebrated. This would prevent the widespread and lawless action of the Obama government in recognizing 'marriages' in some states and forcing it upon other states through administrative channels.
In short, it would restore to the states the power that they have always had under the Constitution, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Section 2), and which was reaffirmed again by the Supreme Court last summer in Windsor: to define and regulate marriage as they see fit.
These pieces of legislation moving through the state and federal system are critical to protecting our first amendment rights of association, speech, and religion. These are the most fundamental rights we have and the drive to redefine marriage threatens them all. I hope you take the time today to act and support each one of these bills.
As always, it is a privilege to stand with each one of you in the defense of marriage and the faith communities that support it — and now too as we fight to protect our most cherished liberties.
Brian S. Brown