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Category Archives: Civility

2016 March for Marriage Set for June 25 in Washington, DC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 8, 2016
Contact: Joseph Grabowski (202) 457-8060 x-110 | [email protected]


March Will Protest Supreme Court Gay ‘Marriage’ Decision and Obama Transgender Decrees; Call on Congress to Enact Legal Protections

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Washington, D.C. – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced that the 2016 March for Marriage has been scheduled for Saturday, June 25th in Washington, DC. Marchers will walk from the US Capitol building to the US Supreme Court. Tens of thousands of people have attended previous marches in support of traditional marriage.

“The Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling redefining marriage will go down as one of the most infamous, illegitimate rulings in the Court’s history, along the lines of their decision in Dred Scott to sanction slavery,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “The narrow 5-4 majority ignored precedent and invented a constitutional ‘right’ to gay ‘marriage’ so that these activist judges could impose their own values on the nation. In the process, they stripped over 50 million voters and countless legislators in states across America of their sovereign right to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Supporters of marriage are urged to attend the March from all across the country. More information including a route map and schedule is available at www.marriagemarch.org.

Brown noted that it didn’t take long following the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage for LGBT activists and their chief ally President Obama to push the next element of their agenda – transgender bathroom rules. “The LGBT extremists and the Obama administration are attempting to defy human nature itself and declare that gender can be self-directed and chosen based on ‘identity,’” Brown said. “Obama is fighting to ensure that when someone chooses to declare an identity different from reality, such as a man claiming to be a woman, all of society will be expected to bow in compliance and succumb to every demand, including allowing men into private facilities like restrooms and showers reserved for girls and women. It’s outrageous and it must be stopped.”

NOM is also a strong supporter of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) to provide legal protections for supporters of marriage, protecting them against governmental discrimination. The proposal (HR 2802/S.1598) has 170 sponsors and co-sponsors in the House and 38 in the Senate, but has not been scheduled for a hearing. Encouraging support for this measure is another goal of the March for Marriage this year.

“It’s time that Congress pass the First Amendment Defense Act so that people of faith do not have to worry about choosing between protecting their livelihood and upholding their beliefs about marriage,” Brown concluded.

# # #

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, please contact:
Joseph Grabowski, [email protected], (202) 457-8060 x-110.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

University Student Expelled For Opposing Gay 'Marriage'

In a shocking story out of the UK, a university postgraduate student on a path to become a social worker was expelled for posting on his personal Facebook page his opposition to gay 'marriage.' The "fitness to practise" panel at Sheffield University told student Felix Ngole, a committed Christian, that his post, "may have caused offense to some individuals" and that his publicly stated views would jeopardize his ability to operate as a social worker. They promptly demanded he turn in his student ID card.

Triggered by a single complaint, Sheffield University's action effectively closes Christian students out of the social work profession and is the latest in an ongoing effort to marginalize supporters of traditional marriage. Apparently realizing the totalitarian nature of their action and the fact that it is illegal, the university went to length to explain that it's position was not based on Ngole's views per se, but the fact that he expressed them! This is little comfort to the hundreds of millions of Christians across the globe who fervently believe that marriage is what God said it was - the union of one man and one woman.

If stating views that cause "offense to some individuals" is the standard for fitness to enter the social worker profession, then presumably those who support same-sex 'marriage' are not eligible to be social worker either since there are so many people, likely a majority, who believe in traditional marriage. Of course no action has ever been taken by Sheffield University or anyone else against anyone for expressing support for redefining marriage, showing the university's position to be nothing but a smokescreen to punish a view of marriage that is not politically correct.

Ngole promises that litigation will follow. Please keep him in your prayers.

Is the Trump Campaign Anti-Christian?

While presidential candidate Donald Trump has made a major push to attract the support of Christians, including speaking at Liberty University where he picked up the endorsement of its president, Jerry Falwell, Jr, Trump’s press spokesperson has been engaging in virulent anti-Christian, anti-Catholic rhetoric.

Trump spokesperson Katrina Piersen recently tweeted an insult to Catholics, mocking the Catholic Church’s theology that the church was founded by Jesus Christ. “I bet they believe that too. #sad.”

Her anti-Catholic rant drew a rebuke from The Catholic League, the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, which demanded an apology from Piersen and a clarification from candidate Trump that he will not tolerate anti-Catholic rhetoric in his campaign.

This is not the first time that Piersen has gone after Christians. Even as her boss worked to curry favor with Christian leaders and groups as part of his efforts to win in Iowa and nationally, Trump’s spokesperson has made her disdain for Christians plain. The Daily Caller news organization has uncovered a string of anti-Christian tweets from Piersen. In one, she said “There are no such things as Christians. Just people who call themselves Christians.” She also claimed that Christians are, “First to name call and First to judge.” Later, she criticized all people of faith, not just Christians, as “religious types” who are “unable to handle the truth.” She also criticized “most religious people” as hypocrites who follow a practice of “Do as I say not what I do” and condemned Christians saying that it’s, “always the Christians that are married or too old to party that tell how [you]should be living your life. As if they were [saints].”

As of this writing, Donald Trump has not commented on whether he agrees with Katrina Piersen’s characterizations of Christians and Catholics, nor has he apologized to people of faith for her comments. Piersen remains his official campaign spokesperson.

YouTube Names NOM Video Among Best for "Fair Use"

The YouTube website has named a video produced by NOM, "No Offense," as among four of the best examples of creators applying the "Fair Use" doctrine. "Fair Use" affords content creators the ability to use short segments of copyrighted material without permission for purposes of commentary, criticism, parody and news reporting, among other uses.

NOM produced the "No Offense" video in 2009 to highlight the outrageous treatment given to Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean. Prejean was asked by gay blogger Perez Hilton about gay 'marriage.' She responded that, 'no offense to anyone' but she believed marriage was between one man and one woman. Perez went on to ridicule her with vulgar insults and highly offensive language. The video served to educate people about the attempts by gay activists to silence supporters of marriage.

Until now, YouTube has operated a highly criticized approach to copyright claims, essentially taking down videos whenever a claim of copyright violation is made. Thus, copyright claims become a weapon in public debate where these claims prevent the public from seeing videos that discuss critical issues. In contrast, commercial advertising stations rarely take down material employing a "fair use" of copyrighted material, and certainly never without giving the creator an opportunity for input.

YouTube has now pledged to help video creators defend against improper take down demands when the creator has properly applied the "Fair Use" doctrine in the use of copyrighted material. Our video is an example to creators of how to fairly use copyrighted material.

This situation with YouTube is but one example of how hard NOM has to fight to get our position on marriage out into the public domain. Opponents of marriage continue to wish to silence us and other believers in the truth of marriage. We are pleased that YouTube has recognized our work as among the best to utilize copyrighted material in commentary and criticism.

Why Kim Davis Is Such A Threat To Liberals

Rachel Lu at The Federalist brilliantly takes to task the cartoonish and misleading nature of the press coverage of the Kim Davis situation by the liberal media:

Image via USA Today/Ty Wright/Getty Images

Image via USA TODAY/Ty Wright/Getty Images

The incarceration and subsequent release of Kim Davis has been a sensation in the liberal press. Virtually every liberal outlet participated in the feeding frenzy.

This is easy to understand. If we don’t slam the lid on this religious-freedom business, Christians might find some loophole they can exploit to go on practicing their religion outside of church. Once you open the door to “conscience objections,” religious people start coming out of the woodwork.

Without some strenuous efforts at media spin, these figures might easily win public approval. Most Americans, after all, say they support religious freedom. Most likely they won’t warm to the idea that Christians should be bludgeoned into submission when a minor legal accommodation could enable them to adhere to their religious beliefs with minimal inconvenience to anyone.

For a left-wing pundit, however, accommodation isn’t the name of this game. What fun is their Supreme Court victory if they don’t get to stick it to the anti-marriage-equality bigots? For the sake of the liberal morality narrative, Davis has to go down. To sell that to the public, she must be dismissed as a right-wing crank.

. . .

Conservatives know that the government is not God. Left-wing pundits have made much of Davis’ declaration that she is following God’s will. In their minds, this is crazy-talk, akin to listening to Little Green Men. Quite a few have tried to make this into the Right’s Kermit Gosnell moment, with Mark Joseph Stern going so far as to declare that Davis is “the monster conservatives created” who will undermine voters’ enthusiasm for religious freedom.

. . .

When Davis was elected, she had no problem doing her job. Post-Obergefell, she is now expected to do something she considers to be morally wrong. No court or politician actually has the authority to contravene the natural order, making wrong actions right. That is her point, and it is perfectly fair, although we all understand how liberal pundits occasionally get confused about the difference between “government” and “God.”

The law of the land is not just a rule book. It’s more accurate to understand it as an organic tradition, which already has many precedents for exactly the kind of problem that arises here: dealing with good-faith conflicts between legal norms and sincere moral or religious beliefs. So, in a sense, it is the law itself that gives us good reasons to look for ways to accommodate people like Davis, whose free exercise of religion is burdened by revisions to current laws.

Liberals, we get that you aren’t big fans of tradition. But maybe you could try to remind yourselves now and then that we aren’t reinventing the wheel every time interests conflict? Many people think they are being principled when they suggest that Davis should quit her job if she feels unable to discharge her duties. But that’s not how these sorts of cases have been handled in the past. Both the Federal Civil Rights Act and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which Kentucky has passed) provide a legal framework for seeking accommodations for employees who are unable to execute specific duties for reasons of conscience.

It turns out, then, that our legal tradition gives us good reason to seek an accommodation for Davis, and, happily, such a fix could easily be provided along the lines of North Carolina’s already-existing model.

"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."