Dear Friends of Marriage,
I have some very good news to announce for you today: NOM has a new president.
Today, the board of NOM announced that we are promoting Brian Brown, who you all know as NOM's capable and charismatic executive director, to the position of President of NOM.
This move is in part a recognition of Brian Brown's incredible record of achievement for the past three years in shepherding NOM's growth, and in part a recognition of the increasing political profile we hope to build for NOM in 2010 and beyond.
NOM began as an idea of mine: America needed a large, national activist organization for marriage, one that is set up to take a hands-one approach to marriage battles wherever they occur, in states or at the federal level, in pushing for marriage amendments, or blocking gay marriage bills, and that could work deep in blue states where few social conservative organizations exist. We needed an organization that was fast on its feet, quick to spot needs and also to recognize opportunities, with a relentless mission focus and willingness to try new things, and also a clear commitment to develop feedback to learn from our experience-from victories about what works, and from less than victories about what more needs to be done. We needed, I was convinced, new models for political engagement among social conservatives on the marriage issue.
NOM became a reality when I found Brian Brown, a brilliant young pro-family activist with a record of achievement in building an organization to fight battles deep in blue states (in his case Connecticut), a passion for marriage, and an amazing dedication. Brian and his wife and then five children left Hartford and moved to Princeton New Jersey, quitting a secure organization for an unknown idea that he too recognized was needed. Six months later, Brian and his family moved again, to southern California to help get Prop 8 on the ballot. This year, he moved his family to Washington D.C. to open up NOM's new national office.
Brian has not only "overseen" -- he has instigated and created (under God) NOM's incredible growth in less than three years: from one donor to 35,000, from no activists to over 500,000, from zero public profile to the recent public acknowledgment by the Washington Post that NOM has emerged as the "pre-eminent national organization fighting the legalization of same-sex marriage." In less than three years, NOM has compiled an incredible record of victories (forging coalitions and working with many others who also deserve the credit, we never forget): putting Prop 8 on the ballot in California, overturning gay marriage in Maine, blocking gay marriage bills in New York and New Jersey, fighting in court to protect marriage activists from legal harassment, helping turn "scozzfava" into a verb. (To "scozzfava" a politician is to inform GOP primary voters that he or she is pro-gay marriage).
One of the truly great honors of fighting to protect marriage is the amazing people you get to meet all around this country. People who stand up to hatred, stand up with unfailing decency and civility-but with a relentless and unfailing courage to stand for the truth about the good.
That is Brian Brown. I'm so proud to be able to announce his well-earned promotion, and to thank God, and you-- our key, dear and valued friends and supporters, for all that we've accomplished together.
Never fear, I'm not going anywhere: I'll remain on the Executive Committee of NOM and also work directly on cultural and strategic projects. (I am also writing a book for Oxford University press with Prof. John Corvino called "Debating Same-sex Marriage).
There's a whole lot of work for a whole lot of us to do! NOM is making waves coast to coast, from California to New Hampshire and in the great heartland in between! Stay tuned for more of Brian and NOM's excellent adventures.
With God's help, and yours, as Brian likes to say "truth and love will prevail."