Dear Marriage Supporter,
On Sunday, I locked arms with Sen. Rev. Rubén Díaz and marched through the streets of the Bronx.
It was like nothing I've ever done or seen before: thousands of people, of every race, creed and color, but heavily Latino, with balloons, salsa music, and Bibles, determined that their voice will be heard in New York!
The festive atmosphere and the warm response of the people in the Bronx made it seem like, well, a ticker-tape parade, if the Bronx had ticker-tape parades.
As we marched, people waved to us from the their apartments buildings, signaling, with thumbs up and high fives, their agreement with the message of the march for dignity—we march in love to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife.
On the steps of the courthouse our thousands met a tiny counter-protest—a few dozen at most—but one of them was Rev. Díaz's granddaughter, who wishes to marry a woman.
I urged the crowd not to be silenced, but to stand for marriage.
One of the most touching moments came when Rev. Díaz called his granddaughter up to our side of the podium and kissed her.
She told reporters that she respected her grandfather even though she disagrees with him.
The only TV news station to cover what the Daily News called a "massive" rally on our side was New York 1—but they captured the touching exchange.
Respect, and love, in the midst of serious and important moral disagreement. That's the way this good fight should be fought!
The powers that be are unleashing an all-out push for gay marriage in New York which is like nothing we've ever seen before.
When Gov. Cuomo decided to barnstorm the state, raising public pressure on legislators, he declared that gay marriage was one of the top three issues he was trying to push this session. The New York Times editorialized that legislators should be "shunned" if they do not pass gay marriage (with a scarlet "M" maybe?).
This week, Mayor Bloomberg went to Albany to lobby and declared that passing gay marriage was the most important issue facing New York.
I'm scratching my head thinking, huh? Do these powerful pols really think that will play outside a small narrow circle? (Call it Manhattan!)
New York's economy is in the tank, housing prices continue to fall, taxes are rising, schools are failing, there's no budget in sight, and state pols keep getting locked up for stealing from the people's purse—but the most important issue facing New York is passing same-sex marriage?
Mayor Bloomberg also promised to support any GOP senator who voted for gay marriage in the next election—and of course that means big bucks.
The irony is that while Gov. Cuomo says he makes "ethics reform" one of his other top issues, we're watching spectacularly wealthy men try to pressure legislators to vote for something their constituents don't want.
The signs show that despite this incredible pressure, it's not (yet) working.
The blog City Hall News reported this week: "By the end of yesterday, none of the missing votes [for gay marriage] had yet materialized. And with only 14 days left in the legislative session, one Democratic Senate insider acknowledged that passing a gay marriage bill may not end up viewed with the same time pressure as renewing rent regulations, which must be completed by June 15."
Not a single Republican in the senate has come forward to say they will vote for gay marriage. Dean Skelos, the GOP senate majority leader, is backtracking from an earlier promise to put gay marriage to a vote—saying this week that he will caucus first with his conference before deciding whether to vote on the bill.
This is the same bill that died 38-24 just two years ago, remember.
Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long's announcement that the Conservative Party will not endorse any Republican who votes for gay marriage helped. As the New York Times reported in a profile this morning of Long and his influence: "'He's a man of his word, and his handshake is one of the last handshakes completely trusted in New York politics,' said Bruce N. Gyory, a Democratic political consultant and adjunct professor of political science at the University at Albany. 'And when he makes a threat, it counts.'"
The Conservative Party released this print ad this week, to remind squishy Republicans what happens to Republicans who vote for gay marriage:
NOM has pledged $1 million to inform voters about any Republican senators who votes for a spokesman for gay marriage (and to help brave Dems who oppose gay marriage too!).
We can't possibly match Bloomberg's money but we don't have to. All we need is enough money to get our message out.
As Maggie told the New York Times in this May 18 story, "The Republican base is incredibly united on this issue. . . .It's a really bad idea to be for gay marriage if you're a Republican, and I don't think Mayor Bloomberg's money is going to change that."
It's a tough fight, and it will go down to the wire.
Meanwhile, we're momentarily expecting good news from the formerly blue state of Minnesota. And in North Carolina, 3500 people rallied to demand the same right to vote for marriage. Kudos to Bill Brook and the North Carolina Family Policy council, Tony Perkins of FRC and all the good people who came together for that impressive rally.
Let me close with some words of encouragement. Over at Patheos, Maggie Gallagher responded to a Christian who wanted to give up on the fight for "civil marriage":
"Once we decide to give up on the public fight on marriage, what's next? What's next is shaming, punishing, and economically harming those who speak up for the biblical view of marriage—as the fates of Peter Vidmar and Damian Goddard have recently illustrated. What's next is the use of government, through the public schools and other avenues, to teach that the biblical view of marriage is discredited bigotry. See 'Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want to Indoctrinate Kids' for evidence."
She goes on, "Gentlemen may cry truce, truce, but there is no truce. Those who decide to submit or withdraw or to mute themselves and their beliefs, under the heat now being generated against those who stand, will find it hard to find a principled place, later on down the very short road, on which to stand."
Maggie's always eloquent, but I also resonate to the gruffer wisdom of Mike Long, who explained to the New York Times:
"I can't go around life making everything a deal breaker. But there are certain things that you have to stand for. If we don't stand for this, then why are we in business?"
Thank you for helping us make victory possible, in His name,
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. Every victory we win is really your victory, because we rely on your support. With every dollar you donate we help make your voice heard so that your values are upheld. Whether you can give $20 or $200, or perhaps a monthly donation of just $10, you can contribute to these great victories for marriage!