Dear Friends of Marriage,
What if they held a pro-gay-marriage protest and nobody came?
The news from Maine this week echoes the news from California last week, when petition gatherers failed to collect enough petition to put a measure overturning Prop 8 on the ballot: The "base" for gay marriage has had enough, for now.
According to the Associated Press, "The Maine Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Civil Rights March was to begin on May 28 and finish two days later with a rally at Augusta's Capitol Park.
"A notice posted on a website dedicated to the march ... said there was not 'enough participation from grassroots organizers on the ground within Maine itself to give it a life of its own.'"
More good news from Maine: The Maine "Human Rights" Commission appears to be backing away--for now--from issuing new guidelines that, as Maggie put it in her column "The New Human Rights Explosion," "give every person in Maine the right to express his or her gender at will, eliminating the right of schools or colleges to establish some standard for who counts as a transgendered person."
It's hard to imagine what they were thinking. Maggie says it was something like, "Transsexual is so last century. Why insist on surgical reassignment of gender? Why not just embrace the new gender fluidity? In Maine, basic human rights include the right to get up in the morning and decide what gender you feel like expressing that day. Government, in this view, has no business keeping the boys out of the girls' bathroom, or even the showers in the girls' locker rooms." (It would also, incidentally, end girls' and women's sports teams).
NOM's mission is marriage and we stay focused on our core mission. But I'm raising this case to point out how radical now the ideas that "human rights" establishment are beginning to take seriously. Why do we care so much about marriage? Why does God care so much about marriage, for that matter? As Pastor Jim Garlow reminds us, why does the Bible begin with a marriage and end with a wedding?
The great core insights of Genesis are not theological niceties. They represent the common sense and the common wisdom of humanity: We are created male and female. Men and women are made for each other. Our bodies are not accidents; they have meaning. Our sexual impulses are not just senseless appetites--they are a great call to give ourselves to each other, and to the children our love makes together.
Each of these core ideas is now under relentless attack. At the heart of gay rights advocacy is a great paradox its proponents almost never admit or face. This is a movement which makes it increasingly clear that gender is something in our heads; our bodies are irrelevant; gender is just a desire and desire trumps objective reality. Nothing is essentialist or real but human fantasy, want, desire. Except--the great except--orientation. Sexual orientation is the one thing so fixed and essential that all great institutions of society must be remade.
This is why the conflict today is so deep and so real and so important. Is Christianity itself a form of bigotry? Or can common sense and human reason support the great ideas on which our own and virtually every other human civilization was based?
Every step of the way, we are seeing an increasing determination on the part of gay-marriage advocates to use powerful levers of society to actualize their fantasy that orientation is like race, and therefore that disagreement about sexual ethics can be compared to hatred and bigotry.
We saw that most clearly in the Prop 8 trial, when Ted Olson and David Boies actually caused Christian teachings (Baptist and Catholic) to be read into the trial record as evidence of bigotry and hatred. We are seeing it right now from California, in the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez case argued before the Supreme Court this week, which is about whether a public university can penalize a student religious group for refusing to accept as leaders people who disagree with Christian moral teachings on sex and marriage.
Class networks of power are being used to repress, marginalize and intimidate those of us who stand for these great truths about sex and marriage. Which is why I am so grateful for each one of you who has chosen to stand with us for marriage.
I want to end by thanking you for the many warm and kind emails I received in response to Maggie's announcement that I am taking over as President of NOM. Maggie's praise was so over the top, it was a little embarrassing for a guy like me. (One gay website said, "Gallagher makes the new guy sound like the best replacement since Dick Sargent took over for Dick York in Bewitched.")
Of course no one replaces Maggie, and as she said, she's not going anywhere. I promise you that each day all of us here at NOM will do our best to live up to the honor of representing you and our shared values on marriage.
Working with you and others, we will continue to make speaking truth in love our goal--not to mention building the power to fight back!
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
PS: NOM works to ensure that your voice is heard in the corridors of power! But we can't do that without your help. Whether you can spare $15, $25 or, if God has given you the means, $250, know that every contribution counts. Every dollar makes a difference! Your generous contributions help us be the voice for your values.
NOM Featured Article
"Brian Brown Takes Helm of National Organization for Marriage"
USA Today/LifeSite News
April 19, 2010
After just three years of existence, one of the forefront organizations for defending the natural institution of marriage is announcing a changing of the guard. Maggie Gallagher, president and co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, has announced that she is stepping down as president and placing the organization in the hands of NOM executive director Brian Brown.
NOM in the News
"Gallagher, Cordileone, And Niensdedt: A Televised Forum"
Two opponents of gay marriage are drawing controversy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. About two hundred students and gay rights advocates marched on the University campus. They protested outside a Marriage and Family Life Forum held by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. About three hundred people attended the forum to hear well-known gay marriage opponents, Maggie Gallagher and Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, California. They're known for their work on Proposition 8 in California to end gay marriage.
"Providence College Hosts Marriage Debate"
April 21, 2010
The 90-minute event dubbed "Marriage on trial: Should the law limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman?" featured Gerard V. Bradley from the University of Notre Dame Law School and William N. Eskridge of the Yale School of Law.
"Gallagher Steps Down as National Organization for Marriage President"
Religion News Service
April 21, 2010
Maggie Gallagher, the outspoken president of the National Organization for Marriage, has stepped down as president of the group that has helped lead the charge against same-sex marriage for the last three years.
Also available here.
"Despite Detrimental Redefinitions, Economist Remains Optimistic About Future of Marriage"
University of Dallas press release
April 20, 2010
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse is "quite hopeful about the future of marriage in America," although she thinks that many obstacles lie in its path. On Friday night, Morse gave a talk entitled "The Institution Formerly Known as Marriage: An Economist's Lament." In addition to being the Senior Research Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, Morse is the "foundress and president" of the Ruth Institute. The Ruth Institute is a nonprofit, interfaith organization whose mission is to promote marriage, particularly among college students.