Dear Marriage Supporter,
Great news! Former Solicitor General Paul Clement will lead the House's defense of DOMA!
As I said in our press release (which got picked up by the LA Times, CNN, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, the Baptist Press, the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Politico, among others), "At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court! Paul Clement is a genuinely distinguished lawyer, a former Solicitor General of the United States, who we are confident will win this case."
Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA will fail.
What is a Solicitor General, you might ask? Well, he's the guy at the Justice Department who argues cases before the Supreme Court. In his seven years of service at Justice (longer than any Solicitor General since the 19th century), Clement has argued more than 50 cases before the Supreme Court. He has won a gazillion awards, including the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, as well as the ranking "Supreme Performer" in American Lawyer magazine's 2007 "Top Litigators Under 45."
As one legal eagle I consulted put it: "Paul Clement's the best; Boehner could not have made a better choice."
As Maggie said in her syndicated column, Speaker Boehner this week hit a "home run, or two"–the second being the demand that the cost of this litigation be deducted from the Department of Justice's budget, after Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama refused to defend DOMA.
NOM's Chairman Maggie Gallagher testified before Congress last Friday at the DOMA hearing called by Rep. Trent Franks.
Here's Rep. Franks's able opening statement:
"... [N]ever has a President refused to defend a law of such public importance, on a legal theory so far beyond any court precedent, for such transparently political reasons."
Rep. Jerry Nadler, who represents the People's Republic of Manhattan, on the other hand, responded by saying he can't believe anyone will defend "this immoral and abhorrent law." Um, marriage as one man and one woman is immoral and abhorrent, Rep. Nadler? Is that the House Dems' new view?
Just before testifying (you can read her testimony here), Maggie was accosted by a similarly angry gay marriage advocate who wanted to get an "ambush" interview and engage in a little fire and brimstone moral condemnation of Maggie for standing up for marriage.
Now, folks don't usually publish "ambush videos" made by the other side on their own website or newsletter, but I think Maggie did such a wonderful, graceful job of responding to this one angry dude that I want you to see it and judge for yourself:
Certainly one person in this video looks a little on the hating side, but I don't think it's Maggie! Will gay marriage strengthen marriage or hurt marriage? Well, the Netherlands, the first country ever to adopt gay marriage, did so exactly ten years ago. So happy birthday to same-sex marriage; now, after ten years, how is Dutch marriage doing?
"Dutch Gays don't take advantage of opportunity to marry," as a Global Post headline put it.
After a decade, just 20 percent of gay Dutch couples have married (compared to 80 percent of opposite-sex couples). The story reports that Vera Bergkamp, head of a Dutch gay rights organization, "sees three main reasons for the lack of nuptial enthusiasm among gay couples: less pressure from family and friends, fewer gay couples marrying to have children than their straight counterparts, and a more individualist, less family-orientated mindset among many homosexuals."
What proportion of all gay people (not just same-sex couples) have ended up legally tying the knot?
About 15,000 homosexual couples have entered legal marriages. An estimated 2 percent of 13 million Dutch adults are gay or lesbian, or about 260,000 people. Assuming that every single person who married in the Netherlands was in fact a Dutch resident (not likely in places like Amsterdam), at best around 10 percent of gay and lesbian people have chosen to marry. In other words, a full ten years after gay marriage became law, 9 out of 10 gay people have rejected same-sex marriage personally.
What about marriage itself in the Netherlands?
Marriage is not doing very well, sadly: Ten years after same-sex marriage, Dutch men and women are much less likely to get married, stay married, or to have their children inside of marriage. See for example here and here (PDF).
Out of wedlock births are way, way up. In 2000, 25 percent of Dutch births were out of wedlock; by 2008, 41 percent were.
Of course we can't prove that gay marriage caused the decline of marriage–it may well be a symptom of a society embarking on the rejection of marriage as a key social institution for children. On the other hand, the so-called "conservative case for marriage" touted by Jonathan Rauch and Andrew Sullivan (that gay marriage will somehow help strengthen and revive marriage) has clearly just gone down in flames!
(Speaking of going down in flames, did you see the latest outrageous claim Ted Olson is making in court in the Prop 8 litigation? The formerly conservative lawyer known as Ted Olson is now actually saying the Constitution requires televising trials!)
My last short litigation note: The Village Voice is reporting that Miss California pageant director Keith Lewis is telling some whoppers:
"Well, now we're being sued by NOM," [Keith Lewis] informed me, meaning the National Organization for Marriage group that Carrie had been a spokesperson for.
The suit has something to do with NOM accusing the pageant of releasing damaging (i.e. true) info about Carrie, as opposed to the press having dug it up by itself.
"Huh?" I screeched. "NOM is suing you? But NOM fired Carrie too!"
Just for the record: No, NOM is not suing Keith Lewis. (But then NOM never fired Carrie either, because she never worked for us.)
Let me close by asking for your help.
The battle for New York is on!
Remember last time in 2009, when gay groups promised their supporters on the day of the vote that they had won? Instead, the New York state senate decisively rejected gay marriage, by a lopsided vote of 38 to 24.
Well, this time gay groups are sparing no expense and pulling no punches, desperate to avoid a repeat humiliation. Four gay marriage groups came together to announce a $1 million campaign, as well as a coordinated lobbying effort.
There is no good or urgent reason that New Yorkers have to watch their government get distracted from urgent economic, budget and yes, corruption issues to fight about gay marriage.
Is the New York Times publishing headlines about how Dems are wasting time on social issues, rather than focusing on the core concerns of voters? Oh, of course not.
(Speaking of distraction, watch the way Rhode Island's Democratic Speaker Gordon Fox responded to Minority Leader Bob Watson's demand to stop letting gay marriage distract the legislature from the budget.
(Yes, he literally pulled the plug on Rep. Watson rather than have to explain to Rhode Island voters, for whom passing a gay marriage bill is pretty low down the list of priorities, why he's continuing to make it his priority.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who clearly wants to be president some day and thus wants to please an important part of the national base of donors for his party, just as clearly has no problem spending time and political muscle on an issue way down the list of New Yorkers' priorities.
But thank God for Democratic State Sen. Rev. Rubén Díaz (D-Bronx), who came out swinging against Cuomo's misplaced priorities:
"I am deeply offended that during this Holy Week, which is a most sacred time to millions of New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo is working hard to mobilize elected officials to legalize homosexual marriage in New York.
We all know that Governor Andrew Cuomo's Budget, which was done in haste to beat the clock, will cause tremendous suffering to countless New Yorkers–especially Black and Hispanic communities. ... Now Governor Cuomo is targeting communities of faith in an effort to redefine marriage. ...I must ask, if Governor Cuomo is ethically allowed to use public resources during these serious financial times to raise funds (by having his staff raise money) and to use his staff (who are paid for with tax dollars) and his office (for weekly meetings) to promote a radical agenda, then shouldn't we all be able to use our offices and staffs to raise resources for issues that matter to us?
I implore my colleagues in New York's government and my fellow religious leaders in New York State to oppose Governor Cuomo's blatant and shameful attack on New York's people of faith. I encourage all New Yorkers of faith to raise your voices in prayer and in action to prevent Governor Cuomo from redefining marriage." Together you and I have won victory after victory the press and the pundits said was impossible.
We are not giving up on New York.
But the battle is going to be tough, so please pray for Sen. Díaz, and for all who stand on the front lines of this fight for God's truth about marriage. Pass this letter on to a friend.
And above all, if you live in New York–or know anyone who does–stay tuned for marching orders!
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
PS: You can defend marriage for your children, and your grandchildren! Whether you can give $20 or $200, know that you are helping us to make sure that your voice is heard in the corridors of power. With your help, we can fight and win!