NOM BLOG

Category Archives: Civility

"A climate of intolerance and intimidation"

Almost from the start of the debate over redefining marriage, experts on both sides have warned of the coming conflict over religious liberty.

IntimidationWhat were once hypothetical conflicts have now become very real, as people of faith—those who believe that God designed marriage as the union of one man and one woman—have repeatedly been the ones forced to compromise and violate their consciences in the name of same-sex marriage.

Ryan T. Anderson and Leslie Ford of the Heritage Foundation write today in the National Review Online about the present state of these conflicts and the growing governmental coercion demanding that people of faith step back from the public square:

A growing number of incidents show that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual orientation have created a climate of intolerance and intimidation for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage. Now comes government coercion and discrimination. Laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

[...]

Under the newer laws, family businesses — especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry — have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony that they viewed as a violation of their religious beliefs. [READ MORE.]

America must stand up against this coercive attack on our First Amendment right of the free exercise of our religion. This basic American principle does not simply apply to what happens in our houses of worship – it is fundamental to how people of faith carry themselves every day as they are parents, employees, business owners, and civil servants.

Hollywood's "New Blacklist"

HollywoodIn case you missed it, at National Review Online on December 23rd, John O'Sullivan wrote of "The New Blacklist" in Hollywood, giving a name to the elephant in the room to which the Duck Dynasty dust-up has called attention.

O'Sullivan explains:

[W]hat GLAAD has been operating is a classic blacklist operation.

Its object is not to persuade those who disagree with it over the morality of same-sex relationships to change their minds. Nor is it principally intended to prevent such views being expressed publicly (though that is one of its purposes). Its main purpose is to drive those who hold such views out of their professions and to deprive them of their livelihoods unless they recant, promise not to offend in future, and remain within the boundaries of acceptable opinion laid down by the blacklist operators. And if that is done, it should make anyone think twice or three times before using his freedom of speech to express similar views.

Read the rest here.

"I Hope You Rot in Hell": Vicious Attacks from Human Rights Commissioner Exposed

Even after 49-year old Scott Raasch was found to have sent a series of explosive, threatening emails to Rev. Cary Gordon over Gordon's support of natural marriage, he still thinks he should keep his role on the Human Rights Commission, claiming he can act impartially.

Does this sound 'impartial' to you?

Iowa Human Rights Commissioner Scott Raasch EmailIn angry emails, Raasch wrote, “You will get what’s coming to you sooner or later. I hope you rot in hell," adding, “I think there are many people that deserve to burn in hell … including you and your entire family.”

Raasch also wrote, “Now be a good little bigot and go break some more laws.”

Raasch has since apologized to Gordon and insists he would hold no bias against people of faith in his role at the Human Rights Commission.

Gordon, of Cornerstone World Outreach Church, has accepted the apology but still thinks Raasch should step down from his role on the Commission.

“As a commissioner, you are expected to defend me against anti-religious discrimination,” Gordon said. “Why not do the honorable thing,” he added, “and tender your resignation to the council so that no one in our community has to worry about whether or not you are out to get them with power?” -Charisma News

PA Family Institute's McGinley: Defend Marriage, For the Kids' Sake

Brandon McGinley, Field Director for the Pennsylvania Family Institute, writes in the Pennsylvania Patriot-News:

Single parenthood is on the rise. Fatherlessness, in particular, abounds. Out-of-wedlock childbearing occurs at levels that previous generations of reformers, such as Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, would find incomprehensible. Divorce rates have declined from a recent peak, but are still at unprecedented levels.

Family OutdoorsWho is most harmed by these realities? Common sense and social science agree: It’s the children. Children who grow up without the particular gifts and influences only a father can provide; children to whom mom and dad never truly commit because mom and dad have never truly committed to one another; children who feel like pawns in a legal chess match—these are the victims of the social pathologies that ail our families.

And yet on July 9, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania filed suit to eliminate the legal framework that teaches that moms and dads joined by a public commitment are the best way to bring children into our society. The suit aims to end Pennsylvania’s definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

In removing sexual complementarity from the legal definition of marriage we remove from our society the final institutional suggestion that it is best to conceive, to bear, and to raise children within a permanent bond between biological mother and father.

The law is a teacher, and the law will teach that neither moms nor dads are essential to raising children, and therefore that neither moms nor dads have any special duties to children. The law will teach that marriage is about the desires of adults, not the good of children.

Anderson: Calling and Witness, Holiness and Truth in the Fight to Protect Marriage

These remarks were delivered by Ryan Anderson on Thursday June 11, 2013 in Laguna Nigel at the closing banquet of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Academy:

Ryan AndersonThank you, Alliance Defending Freedom, for your heroic work defending life, marriage, and liberty. During the past year it has been a blessing to work together on marriage. It’s been a source of encouragement. Thank you Austin Nimocks, Kellie Fiedorek, and Greg Scott for your friendship over the past year.

And what a year it’s been.

I was hired by The Heritage Foundation to do work on ethics and economics. It’s what my dissertation—which I still need to write—is about. But then the President “evolved.” And the Supreme Court granted cert. And I had this co-authored book coming out on marriage. A book that was supposed to be my last word on the topic—so I could write that unwritten dissertation—and move on to other issues.

But God had other plans.

In the past year Austin, Kellie and I have briefed over 50 members of Congress, hundreds of congressional staffers, and another couple hundred coalition partners in DC. This was the first time I ever spoke to a member of Congress. There were other “firsts.” During this past year I’ve lectured on college campuses for the first time. I’ve gone on TV for the first time. I’ve been called uneducated and un-American for the first time.

I learned something from these experiences: that the argument for marriage hasn’t been heard and rejected; it simply hasn’t been heard. Thanks to invitations from Blackstone Fellows and Federalist Society chapters, I’ve debated marriage at a couple dozen colleges and law schools. On almost every campus I visited, including elite law schools like Stanford and NYU, students came up to me afterwards to say that they had never heard a rational case for marriage. The Lefties would tell me that they respected the argument—and frequently weren’t sure why it was wrong, even when they continued to insist that it was wrong. (First Things)

Anderson: Civility, Bullying and Same-Sex Marriage

Ryan Anderson asks the question "Will government discriminate against those who believe marriage is the union of a man and woman?":

ObamaFourteen months ago, President Obama was a bigot. Now he is simply wrong. That's what you have to believe to agree with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's majority opinion for the Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act.

Kennedy writes that the only reason Congress had for passing DOMA -- which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law -- was to "disparage," "injure," "degrade," "demean" and "humiliate" gay and lesbian Americans.

So in 2008 when the American people elected a president opposed to redefining marriage, they elected a bigot. Got it?

When President Obama "evolved" on the issue just over a year ago, he insisted that the debate about marriage was legitimate one. He said there are people of goodwill on both sides. (Kansas City Star)

DeMint: Do Traditional Marriage Supporters Deserve to Be Treated with Dignity?

Jim DeMint, President of Heritage, writes:

Some people can’t seem to understand why anyone would support marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Indeed, Justice Anthony Kennedy argued last week that the only reason Congress had for passing the Defense of Marriage Act was to “disparage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” others. Justice Kennedy says we’re denying dignity to people in same-sex relationships.

154066523But it is his ruling that denies dignity to those who don’t think a same-sex relationship is a marriage. His ruling denies dignity to the millions of Americans and their elected officials who have voted to pass laws that tell the truth about marriage.

The rhetoric from the Court attacking the goodwill of the majority of Americans—who know marriage is the union of a man and a woman—is not helpful. The marriage debate will continue, and all Americans need to be civil and respectful.

...It is outrageous to suggest that 342 Members of the House, 85 Senators, and President Bill Clinton were all acting on the basis of anti-gay bias in 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted. As Chief Justice Roberts says in his dissent, “I would not tar the political branches with bigotry.”

Indeed, as Heritage has argued repeatedly, there are valid reasons to oppose the redefinition of marriage—which those House Members, Senators, and President Clinton took into account. Marriage matters for children, civil society, and limited government, because children deserve a mother and a father, and when this doesn’t happen, social costs run high.

Citizens and their elected representatives have the constitutional authority to make policy that recognizes marriage as the union of a man and a woman. States will lead the way even as we work to restore clear marriage policy at the federal level. And in the states, support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman remains strong.

Justice Scalia's Blistering Dissent in Defense of the People and Civility

Key parts of Justice Scalia's dissent to the majority opinion on the Defense of Marriage Act (written by Justice Kennedy) are worth reading and pondering:

Justice Scalia

"...to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority's judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to "disparage," "injure," "degrade," "demean," and "humiliate" our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

... In the majority's telling, this story is black-and-white: Hate your neighbor or come along with us. The truth is more complicated. It is hard to admit that one's political opponents are not monsters, especially in a struggle like this one, and the challenge in the end proves more than today's Court can handle. Too bad. A reminder that disagreement over something so fundamental as marriage can still be politically legitimate would have been a fit task for what in earlier times was called the judicial temperament. We might have covered ourselves with honor today, by promising all sides of this debate that it was theirs to settle and that we would respect their resolution. We might have let the People decide.

But that the majority will not do. Some will rejoice in today's decision, and some will despair at it; that is the nature of a controversy that matters so much to so many. But the Court has cheated both sides, robbing the winners of an honest victory, and the losers of the peace that comes from a fair defeat. We owed both of them better. I dissent."

Read his full opinion here as a PDF -- Justice Scalia's dissent begins on page 35.

LTE: Rhode Island’s Elected Officials Gave in to Bullying

Marla Parker writes to The Westerly Sun:

The SunThis is in response to the April 22 letter to The Sun by Chris Irwin in which she charges the National Organization for Marriage and the Rev. Raymond Suriani with “bullying.” I ask “who’s bullying whom?”

It is Ms. Irwin’s baseless complaint to the IRS against the Rev. Suriani that constitutes bullying.

She contacted the IRS alleging that the Rev. Suriani engaged in political lobbying when he reminded his parishioners of church teaching on homosexuality and marriage, and encouraged them to exercise their right as American citizens by contacting their senator, whose duty is to represent them and their views at the Statehouse.

This harassment leveled against the Rev. Suriani is a typical intimidation tactic designed to silence all those who disagree with the gay agenda, and it is just the tip of the iceberg. In Sweden and Canada, ministers were jailed for quoting from the Bible and preaching against homosexual behavior once marriage was redefined there.

The redefinition of marriage impacts personal lives well beyond same-sex couples. One’s choice of a partner does not concern me, but when they come to our legislatures and courts and force the rest of us to recognize and accept their relationship as identical to that of a man and a woman, it affects everyone.

SSM Advocates Brazenly Jeopardize Immigration Reform

POLITICO reports on a proposed amendment to the bi-partisan immigration reform bill so long in the making which could end up killing the bill altogether:

The most serious threat to bipartisan immigration reform doesn't involve border security or guest workers or even the path to citizenship.

It’s about gay rights.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), an outspoken defender of traditional marriage, warned that " if that issue is injected into this bill, the bill will fail and the coalition that helped put it together will fall apart."

Faith groups that have been involved in crafting the legislation are also worried about the negative impacts of this cavalier move which, if viewed unvarnished, is nothing but another attempt to surreptitiously undermine the Defense of Marriage Act:

"We strongly would oppose the provision and it could could force us to reconsider our support for the bill," said Kevin Appleby, director of the Catholic Bishops’ Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs. "It immediately makes the bill a partisan bill and the bipartisan effort could begin to unravel."

And Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, issued a statement against the proposed amendment saying, in part: "We hope that President Obama and Democrats in Congress are not willing to sacrifice the legalization of millions of undocumented immigrants for the sake of appeasing the gay lobby."

“Femen” Activists Disrupt Event, Assault Archbishop

Here is the story from globalpost:

The four protesters leapt out of their seats at a debate on blasphemy and freedom of expression held at the Brussels' Free University (ULB) campus Tuesday evening, baring their breasts and squirting water at Archbishop Andre Leonard as they accused him of homophobia.

The story notes:

[T]he archbishop himself remained composed and apparently at prayer throughout.

The women used water bottles made for blessed holy water, shaped like Catholic statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The picture to the left shows Archbishop Leonard picking up and kissing one of the bottles following the disruption.

Gay Marriage: About the Children Whether We Like It or Not

Thomas Crown in RedState:

Two of the more interesting (where “interesting” is a euphemism for “horrifying”) aspects of the debate over gay “marriage” are inexorably intertwined: the decision by the movement’s backers to pretend that there is no strong connection between marriage and children (this is overwhelmingly done by those who do not have children) and a separate but related track to “get government out of marriage,” which is treated as some sort of tactical decision to, er, divorce government from its ability to decide who may marry and when.

The former is overwhelmingly done by libertarians who have taken the curious position that the failure by the state to expand a right is the same as the affirmative denial of that right, and by liberals who do not understand what rights actually are. The latter is a position taken by libertarians who believe the state’s role in marriage reaching back centuries is part of the nanny state, and conservatives who either legitimately want to preserve marriage from the barbarians or who like sounding good to their more left-wing friends.

Yet it is in the confluence of these two fantasies that the lie of both is exposed. I think it is helpful, as we embark on destroying yet another social institution and just assuming something else will pop up in its place, to understand what we are doing and what its likeliest consequences are.

These consequences, of course, somehow involve children.

School Cancels Santorum Speech Over Marriage Views

The new "tolerance" -- simply blocking pro-marriage figures from sharing their views on any topic:

A Michigan high school canceled a speech by former Sen. Rick Santorum after teachers became outraged over his opposition to gay marriage and threatened to stage protests and a possible work stoppage.

Santorum had been invited to deliver a upcoming speech on leadership by the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Gross Pointe South High School. But the speech was canceled on Monday after the school district’s superintendent heard from angry teachers.

“It’s a sad day when liberal educators are allowed to influence young minds – extending free speech rights only to those who share their liberal views,” Santorum said in a statement posted on Patriot Voices. “This has nothing to do with the content of a speech, but rather the context of my convictions.” (FoxNews Nation)

CNN, MSNBC Refuse to Interview Gay Son After He Refuses to Bash Father

The Blaze reports on the media bias against those who hold traditional views of marriage -- as we know all too well:

During an interview Sunday, Rep. Matt Salmon's (R-Ariz.) gay sontold KPNX-TV that CNN and MSNBC cancelled interviews with him after he told them he would not bash his father for his stance againstgay marriage.

Matt R. Salmon told KPNX-TV that he is disappointed that his father has not changed his position on gay marriage, however, he still enjoys a good relationship with him and supports him. He also said his father is not a "bigot."

"People want controversy," Salmon said.

Accused of canceling the interviews are MSNBC's "The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell" and CNN's "Piers Morgan Live."

The younger Salmon said MSNBC cancelled his scheduled interview because "they had intended to be critical of him and" he was unwilling to do so. Additionally, he claimed CNN was "very gung ho" about doing an interview but then became disinterested when he reiterated he wouldn't attack his dad.

Pastor on FoxNews: Gay Marriage Opponents Are The Oppressed Ones

This week Megyn Kelly interviewed a panel of pastors on FoxNews about their views on marriage and how the debate needs to change: