Great news from New York! And Minnesota! And Rhode Island!
Last week NOM launched a Spanish-language radio ad featuring State Senator and Reverend Rubén Díaz and his call for a "March for Dignity" to defend marriage this Sunday in the Bronx.
Here's the ad with English subtitles:
This week Rev. Díaz asked me if I would march with him on Sunday, and boy am I honored to say "yes"!
Brian to the Bronx for Marriage on Sunday! You can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/NOMtweets and I'll come back with photos, video and a full report!
And this week NOM launched our own TV ad, "Consequences":
It's having an effect: Capital Confidential, a blog of the Albany Times-Union noticed, "It seemed like every commercial break in last night's broadcast of Capital Tonight contained this ad, released yesterday by the National Organization of Marriage."
And we announced a new pledge: $1.5 million for marriage in New York, including $500,000 for our current media buy and voter outreach and $1 million for the next election, to make sure citizens know how their representatives voted.
Here's what the Associated Press said: "Opponents of gay marriage in New York got national funding Tuesday as lobbyists, clergy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators head for a six-week legalization showdown with global implications.
"The $1.5 million pledged by the Washington-based National Organization for Marriage comes with the organization's expertise after recent success against same-sex marriage bills in Maryland, Rhode Island and in a New York congressional primary."
In the press release, I pointed out that we had defeated every Republican who voted for gay marriage we had ever targeted. More good news: A new Marist poll released yesterday shows the majority of New Yorkers oppose gay marriage, 53% to 46%; and it is New Yorkers of color who are leading the way, since 63% of them oppose gay marriage.
Plus, the poll shows 76% of New York Republicans think marriage should be only between one man and one woman.
I think we can keep NOM's record of unseating pro-gay-marriage Republicans intact if we need to in New York! Rev. Jason Maguire and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom's "Mayday for Marriage" bus tour is crisscrossing the state to rally the troops. Andrew Cuomo is also crisscrossing the state, trying to rally New Yorkers to pressure their legislators to pass his top three priorities: "legalization of same-sex marriage, ethics reform and a property tax cap," reports the New York Daily News. "This is a battle for the control of government," Cuomo said to a crowd of about 300 people at Onondaga Community College.
Well yes, Gov. Cuomo, it is--and when it comes to marriage you are on the wrong side of that battle!
This is sad for New Yorkers, because they need a governor who's totally focused on taming the budget and reviving the economy, not winning media accolades while alienating voters with his priorities. (I'm guessing the media is not going to release a poll, as they frequently did when the federal marriage amendment was the issue, asking voters what their top three priorities are and see how many New Yorkers say "gay marriage.")
That was Sen. Díaz's point in his sharp public criticism of Gov. Cuomo's priorities. Díaz is a liberal Democrat from the Bronx, and his constituents have other priorities: "It is a shame that Governor Andrew Cuomo is using his efforts and the resources of the governor's office to push for homosexual marriage instead of saving New York's rent control and rent stabilization laws," Sen. Díaz said. "Governor Cuomo, please help New York's poor and needy people... instead of pushing for gay marriage!" Republican senators' constituents probably have different priorities that Sen. Díaz's, but in neither case is gay marriage high among them.
It is amazing to me how out-of-touch "star" politicians can be sometimes. If you only read the New York Times and talk to the Human Rights Campaign, you might believe opposition to gay marriage has crumbled. You might really imagine that you can rally people to your cause by making gay marriage the marquee issue. This fantasy is soon going to meet the reality, however.
For Gov. Cuomo it looks like already has. Breaking news from New York: Gov. Cuomo now says there may not be a floor vote on gay marriage at all. According to the AP: "'We want to pass a bill,' Cuomo said Wednesday. 'We don't want to bring up a bill in the Senate that would fail.'
"He said he won't put the bill to a vote "for the sake of a vote." That was the argument in 2009 by many optimistic advocates who thought bringing the issue to the floor would at least help the effort's momentum, and would force lawmakers to vote their conscience over politics. The surprising defeat in the Senate turned out to be a setback for gay marriage advocates nationwide."
I have so much more I could write to you about.
In Minnesota, a marriage amendment just passed the Senate by a vote of 38 to 27. Gay-marriage advocates are admitting it will likely pass the House too, giving the people of Minnesota a chance to decide the future of marriage in November 2012.
One Minnesotan wrote to the Star Tribune about the nasty, negative and sometime mean language many gay-marriage advocates are using there. "William Lemire writes to the Star Tribune:
I have heard many opponents of the marriage amendment accusing supporters (like me) of bigotry and mean-spiritedness. These accusations are not true; they are not intellectually honest; they are not just, and they do not productively advance the dialogue on this important debate."
He goes on to add:
"Is it genuine bigotry to believe that a child needs a father and a mother? Is it mean-spirited to believe that the legal institution of marriage is far more about children's and society's ultimate needs than it is about the emotions and desires of the wedded adults?
"Whatever our viewpoint, let's commit ourselves to a public debate worthy of honorable men and women nobly participating in a government of the people. To that end, let's allow those same honorable men and women to vote on the marriage amendment in November 2012."
Amen to that!
Kudos to the Minnesota Family Council, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, and the thousands of Minnesotans who wrote, phoned, and emailed to make sure their voices were heard! Thank you. You make impossible victories possible, over and over again.
Rhode Island had hearings on the civil unions bill being pushed by Speaker Gordon Fox after the gay marriage bill had to be pulled for lack of votes.
Our own Chris Plante was there and reported on the surreal event:
"No witnesses signed up to testify in favor of House Bill 6103. Many Committee members remarked that they received 1,000's of communications against this bill and none in favor. Nonetheless, bill sponsor Representative Petrarca stated he did not care that no one was in support of the bill. MERI Board President, Martha Holt, declared that she would be the first to volunteer to challenge the proposed civil unions legislation in court. GLAD attorney Karen Lowey agreed that court action is 'on the table.'"
NOM Rhode Island opposed the bill because it would invite the courts to strike down marriage, and creates serious risks to religious people, organizations, and small business owners.
Rhode Island's Hispanic Ministerial Alliance delivered 2000-plus signatures against the bill. On NOM's blog we posted this: "Breaking News from AP: Civil Unions Bill Flops in Rhode Island."
From the AP:
"A political compromise calling for the creation of civil unions in Rhode Island has drawn nothing but opposition during a public hearing in the Statehouse. ...
"Civil unions would grant the same state rights given to married couples in Rhode Island. The proposal was introduced after legislative leaders said gay marriage legislation lacked the votes to pass.
"The committee could decide as early as next week whether to advance the bill to the full House for consideration."
Many of you wrote to me to point out that Fox News's expert in psychiatry, Dr. Keith Ablow, wrote a column accusing marriage of being a source of suffering for the "vast majority" of married people, and a leading cause of depression.
Our own Maggie Gallagher went to war (her pen is her sword) against the incredible ignorance that column displayed:
Dr. Ablow further asserts, "without a doubt" (and also without evidence), that marriage is "one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation," and points to marriage's status as a legal union as a key cause. Because the law makes it harder to leave a marriage, marriage deprives men and women of what he calls "the joy of being 'chosen' on a daily basis." If marriage had no legal status, he states, marriages would feel "less confining."
Dr. Ablow has impressive credentials. His website calls him "one of America's leading psychiatrists," and an assistant professor at Tufts Medical School.
But when it comes to marriage, mental health and relationship quality, Dr. Ablow is blowing hot air.
You would never know from Dr. Ablow's column that an enormous quantity of social science has gone into investigating the relationships between marriage and mental health, especially depression, and also into comparing relationship quality between cohabiting couples and married couples.
To sum up a large body of research, there is considerable evidence that marriage protects against depression, especially for mothers, and also that married people have higher relationship quality, on average, compared to cohabitors.
Maggie v. Dr. Keith, in the ring here.
I think she beat him pretty bad, don't you?
Finally, good news from San Diego. The Ruth Institute is hosting a conference, "It Takes a Family to Raise a Village!", for young adults aged 18-30. You don't have to be a student to learn about marriage in beautiful San Diego.
If you're interested, you can get more information, and find the online application here.
Now I have to get back to work. Will we win in New York?
I love the smell of victory in the afternoon.
God bless you and thank you again for your courage and your decency in standing up for God's truth about marriage.
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. Your support makes these victories possible! Please consider what you can give to defend marriage across this nation. Remember that every dollar makes a difference, and helps us make your voice heard in the halls of power!