NOM BLOG

Marriage and Religious Freedom

 


Dear Marriage Supporter,

The past few weeks have been a phenomenal shot in the arm for those of us who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The March for Marriage followed by the oral arguments at the Supreme Court demonstrated incontrovertibly that the will and ability to defend marriage in America is both alive and strong.

I commented last week on the oral arguments in the Supreme Court case focusing on the definition of marriage. I touched briefly upon the answer of the Solicitor General of the United States, Donald Verrilli, to Justice Alito when the justice asked him about how changing the definition of marriage would impact the freedom of religious institutions to operate in accordance with their beliefs that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Justice Alito asked Verrilli whether a religious school that believed marriage was the union of husband and wife would lose their non-profit tax status.

He gave the chilling reply that, "It's certainly going to be an issue. I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice Alito. It is going to be an issue."

It's going to be an issue.

Pause for a moment and reflect on this. Here we have a top lawyer in the Obama Administration admitting that things like tax-exempt status for religious institutions are fair game if the definition of marriage is changed.

He's not saying "it could be an issue."

He's not saying "it might become an issue."

No. It IS going to be an issue.

And just how would it become an issue? By the Obama Administration acting unilaterally or in response to some bogus claim of "discrimination" to begin to revoke the tax exemptions of religious charities, schools and other nonprofits. So when a top Obama lawyers says it will be an issue, you can take him at his word.

The Obama Administration's War on Religion

Susan Stamper Brown recently noted that senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett "praised President Obama for his huge part in accelerating the gay marriage cause heard by the Supreme Court of the United States last week."

At a reception hosted by the same-sex 'marriage' lobbyist group Freedom to Marry, she said that "the arc of the moral universe bent a little faster than even we thought it would."

Ms. Brown rightly notes that "the 'moral arc' regarding gay marriage cannot be bent without harmful consequence, but you'd never know that listening to Ms. Jarrett."

Isn't it ironic that the Obama administration now claims to be advancing a "moral arc." I don't know what the source of the administration's moral compass might be — it certainly doesn't seem connected to the views of marriage held by virtually every religion since the dawn of time — but I somehow suspect that the "arc" will continue to bend inexorably toward punishing those of us who hold to the age-old truth that marriage is one man and one woman, ordained by God, to bring the two halves of humanity together and to provide an ideal environment for children.

Protecting The Right To Support Marriage

None of us knows how the US Supreme Court will decide the marriage issue. If they follow the Constitution, they should leave it with the states to decide as they have since the nation was founded, and that would restore traditional marriage in all those states where judges imposed same-sex 'marriage.' But whatever one's position on the definition of marriage, surely we ought to all be able to agree on this:

Nobody should be forced to abandon their beliefs about marriage.

That is why the Congress must move immediately to enact the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (MARFA) which provides that no individual, business, minister or religious organization can be punished by the federal government for refusing to participate in the celebration of a same-sex wedding. Specifically, the law prohibits an "adverse action" by the federal government including the denial or revocation of tax exempt status, because a person, business or group believes that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.

What MARFA ensures is that people are not forced by the government to abandon their views of marriage and prevents the government from discriminating against people who hold conventional views on marriage and sexuality. Not only must Congress pass this important legislation, but states should do so as well to prevent citizen abuse and discrimination by officials like Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson who is suing a 70 year old Christian grandmother because her religious views precluded her from arranging flowers for a same-sex 'wedding.' There are plenty of florists who would happily provide flowers for a gay wedding; the government does not need to destroy a Christian grandmother because she prefers not to participate.

Please contact your state representatives to urge the introduction of MARFA in your state, and ask your member of Congress to co-sponsor the legislation. MARFA is expected to be introduced in Congress any day now.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS: The next few months will be pivotal and we have just thrown everything we had into the fight — between the March for Marriage, the Supreme Court fight and our tireless efforts to communicate the truth of marriage through the media — our coffers are empty. It's imperative that the justices and the media hear from us loudly and regularly on behalf of the American people that we expect them to uphold our votes for marriage and the right of voters and legislators to preserve marriage. They need to know that any decision purporting to redefine marriage will be seen as judicial activism and be considered illegitimate.

We've come so far, but the next two months is critical to the fight. Won't you please recommit to the fight to defend marriage at this pivotal juncture by making a generous donation to NOM today?