Dear Friends of Marriage,
Something fascinating just happened in Iowa: The president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP just refused to endorse Iowa's Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, instead throwing his support to one of the six GOP candidates for governor.
Why? Keith Ratliff, who is a black Democrat, said same-sex marriage was an "important factor": "There's no doubt about it, it's an important factor," he told the press.
Keith Ratliff is also the pastor of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, and has been an outspoken critic of the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in April imposing gay marriage--and now of the Governor's and other leading Democrats' refusal to put a marriage amendment on the ballot. Why are Democratic leaders in Iowa so determined to keep the right to define marriage out of the hands of the people of Iowa? It will be a long-hard fight, but we believe in the end Iowa can and will join the 30 other states that have constitutionally protected the people's right to define marriage as one man and one woman.
In New York state, African-American state senators like State Sen. Ruben Diaz (like Ratliff, an ordained minister) have emerged as crucial roadblocks on the path to imposing same-sex marriage. In New Jersey, NOM has launched a new quarter-million radio ad designed to let parents know what gay marriage in New Jersey will mean for them and their children and grandchildren. Listen here. We need your help, today, to keep these ads on the air!
Thank the Lord for these great men and women, for their profiles in courage on marriage. We need more men and women of principle like New York State Senator Shirley Huntley from Queens, who told the New York Times, "If they gave me a million dollars, tax free, I just wouldn't vote for it."
On the other hand, there are people like Sarah Schulman, an English professor at New York's City University, with a very different view. She has written a new book, Ties that Bind, that pushes a new next step in the gay-marriage agenda: "Homophobia should be identified as a sickness, with families court-ordered into treatment programs." How did I hear about such a wacky idea? In an Oct. 14 column published by the perfectly respectable publication Inside Higher Ed. The author, Scott McLemee (whose summary of Sarah's thought I am quoting), believes in the "new civil rights movement." He doesn't go so far as Sarah and say that government should be used to force dissenters into therapy, though. His solution to persistent disagreement with gay marriage? "Traumatize 'em right back!"
Wow. Are these now the choices in so-called respectable so-called civil rights circles? Either forced therapeutic re-education by government or else cultural traumatization and marginalization of people who disagree? Nice movement you have there, guys.
I know that many, many gay-marriage advocates don't think this way. But this is a top-down movement driven by leaders who have seldom been very honest with the American people about what their ultimate aims are: to use the law to reshape the culture so that decent, loving, honorable, peaceful people who believe that marriage means a husband and wife get traumatized as bigots.
Fight back! When you speak out for marriage, when you vote for marriage, and when you donate to NOM, you're sending a message: We will not be intimidated.
Elder Dallin Oakes, one of the Quorum of the Twelve of the LDS Church, released to the press a copy of what the LDS church described as a major address on religious freedom, a speech Elder Oakes is making at Brigham Young-Idaho campus.
The AP, in covering the speech, for the first time to my knowledge acknowledged the widespread campaign of harassment and intimidation that took place against Prop 8 activists and donors--at least the disgraceful un-American focus on punishing a religious minority for peacefully exercising their core civil rights to vote, organize, and donate to protect marriage. That's worth noting.
"After the measure prevailed, its opponents focused much of their ire on Mormons, organizing boycotts of businesses with LDS ties and protests at Mormon worship places. While some demonstrations were peaceful, in others church windows were shattered and slurs were hurled at the church's founding fathers," the AP reporter wrote. The economic attacks that led people to lose their jobs and their businesses, the fearmongering that included hate mail directed to people's homes, and even a handful of reports of physical attacks? Those have not yet been noticed by the AP.
These attacks were not anti-religious as such, Elder Oaks says, and he is right. Anti-Mormon bigotry was only part of a larger attack on all Americans who dared to speak up for marriage.
"Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights," Oaks said. "The supporters of Proposition 8 were exercising their constitutional right to defend the institution of marriage ...."
"There are civil rights involved in this--the right to speak your mind, to participate in the election," Oaks later told the AP. "But you don't have a civil right to win an election or retaliate against those who prevail."
Amen to that! At NOM we know we are the true rainbow coalition--people of every race, creed and color coming together in love to stand up for truth.
Thanks to all of you who have shown such grace under fire, such a firm commitment to stand up speak God's truth in love to all of our fellow citizens. Government did not make marriage, God did. And He knew what he was doing.
Please pray for America's leaders, and for all our fellow Americans of every faith community who must now stand up not just for marriage, but for the core civil rights that make democracy itself.
God bless you,
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
PS: Whether you can give $15 or $150--or even, if God has given you the means, more--know that every dollar makes a difference in the ongoing fight to protect marriage in this country. Thank you so much for all you do!
NOM Featured Interview
Brian Brown on CBN
October 12, 2009
"NAACP President Backs Vander Plaats, Calls Marriage Issue 'Important Factor'"
Des Moines Register
October 12, 2009
Keith Ratliff, president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP, endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats today, citing the Sioux City businessman's position on the same-sex marriage debate as "an important factor."
"New Civil Rights Movement"
Inside Higher Ed
October 14, 2009
A less sanguine view comes across in Sarah Schulman's Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, a recent title from the New Press. The author is a novelist and playwright who is professor of English at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. It is a short and angry book. Unlike many another volume of social criticism by an academic, it does not mediate or diffuse that anger through carefully rehearsed stagings of the author's theoretical affiliations. She just gets right down to it.
NOM in the News
"Maine Gay Marriage Campaigns Report Donations"
October 14, 2009
Supporters of Maine's gay marriage law said Tuesday they've collected $2.7 million for their campaign against a ballot proposal to repeal it, more than double the amount the measure's supporters said they raised.
"Marriage Debate at Constitution Center"
Philadelphia Gay News
October 15, 2009
The National Constitution Center will host "A Right to Marry? Same-sex Marriage and the Constitution," a panel discussion on the issue with leading advocates and opponents of marriage equality, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the center, 522 Arch St.
Joining the discussion will be marriage-equality supporters attorney David Boies, who is currently spearheading a legal effort to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage; openly gay author Keith Boykin; and marriage-equality opponents Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage; and Glenn T. Stanton, director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family.
"Question 1: Nation Watches as Maine Voters Contemplate Who Can Marry"
Bangor Daily News
October 10, 2009
On Nov. 3, Maine will either make history as the first state where voters grant same-sex couples the right to marry or join the ranks of the dozens of other states where "traditional marriage" has prevailed at the polls.
"Maine in Spotlight"
October 11, 2009
Maine is at the center of a divisive national debate that touches on religion, family, children and sexuality, political scientists say.
And it's all about gay marriage.
"Maine Anti-Gay Measure Facing Defeat"
October 14, 2009
Buried in this poll on Maine political attitudes is a question on the Nov. 3 same-sex marriage referendum that does not auger well for gay marriage opponents. Question 1, which would roll back legal gay marriage in the state, is trailing 52-43. Catholic voters support the measure, but only by a seven-point margin. Last month, Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage told me that she was confident that the question would pass.
"Trailing 2-to-1 in Donations, Opponents of 'Gay Marriage' in Maine Issue Plea"
October 14, 2009
With three weeks left before Election Day, an expected tight race in Maine could turn into a landmark victory for "gay marriage" backers Nov. 3 thanks to a more than 2-to-1 fundraising advantage revealed Tuesday.