Be sure to listen to the full interview below! For more information, feel free to explore the myriad of offerings from Urban Family Communications.
Be sure to listen to the full interview below! For more information, feel free to explore the myriad of offerings from Urban Family Communications.
With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of state marriage laws on Tuesday, April 28th, supporters of natural marriage plan to gather in Washington, D.C. on April 25th to rally and pray for the Court. Saturday's "March for Marriage" will begin at noon in front of the U.S. Capitol and finish at the steps of the Supreme Court. Schedule, map, and speakers can all be viewed here.
For the past two years, state and federal courts have dealt with the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, mostly choosing to ignore the limits of the holding and instead imposing judicial redefinitions of marriage on states where voters have previously chosen to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman. (FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has written previously regarding Windsor's narrow outcome). This spring, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct the course of lower courts and reaffirm its previous declarations that marriage policy "[b]y history and tradition" has been "treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States."
Given the profound costs to the rule of law, federalism, and First Amendment freedoms that will result from a judicial redefinition of marriage imposed on all fifty states, the Supreme Court would be wise to leave to the democratic process a policy question nowhere answered in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, when polled earlier this year by WPA Opinion Research, that's precisely the outcome 61% of Americans said they wanted to see. Saturday's March for Marriage will offer thousands of Americans the public opportunity to remind the country and the Court that marriage has profound public importance and deserves the careful definition and debate that can only occur in the democratic process.
We have often seen same-sex marriage activists trying to force their pro-SSM agenda onto as many people as possible through business, education, the courts, and the media, but a recent GLAAD report shows some more unsettling results.
The report indicates that the number of films and TV shows featuring LGBT characters (and often, same-sex marriage) has risen to an all time high, over-representing true statistics by nearly 500%. But what is even more concerning is that GLAAD says this is still not enough: they want even more leading roles for LGBT characters, more racial diversity, and voiced discontent with the occasional “less-than-positive portrayals of the homosexual lifestyle by some filmmakers.”
The article also explains, in part, how GLAAD “measured” their data:
To produce its 2015 “Studio Responsibility Index,” homosexual advocacy group GLAAD analyzed the film releases of seven major film studios and their affiliates and found that out of 161 movies released in 2014, 25 featured characters with non-traditional sexual preferences such as homosexuality or bisexuality – a total of 15.5 percent. The major film studios were more likely to feature gay characters – nearly 18 percent of their films did so, compared to just 11 percent of those released by their smaller, “indie”-style affiliates.
Considering a recent Gallup poll found that only 3.4 percent of the U.S. population identifies as homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the number of films featuring homosexual characters would seem to be inordinately large.
GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis announced that studios should "continue increasing the number and profile of positive portrayals of homosexuals at American cinemas in order to change the 'hearts and minds'" of those who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife.
“Only when they make those changes and catch up to other, more consistently inclusive media portrayals will we be able to say that America’s film industry is a full partner in accelerating acceptance,” Ellis said.
“Studies have repeatedly shown that in absence of someone knowing an LGBT person in real life, programs and films with LGBT characters can help foster understanding and acceptance,” Ellis continued.
Understanding and acceptance are noble goals indeed, but is this really Ellis' goal? Advocacy groups like GLAAD have a history of utilizing mass outlets like Hollywood and the film industry for the sole purpose of forcing their beliefs on everyone, and then attacking those who don't conform.
No big screen film can ever change a fundamental truth: that family begins with marriage between one man and one woman, and children deserve both their mother and father.
Pope Francis, who is renowned for his humility and compassion for all, has recently spoken out again in defense of sexual complementarity within the family. The Pope had strong words for advocates of gender theory, radical feminism, as well as any attempts to deny the crucial and beautiful differences between males and females:
...Man and woman are the image and likeness of God. This tells us that not only is man taken in himself the image of God, not only is woman taken in herself the image of God, but also man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between man and woman is not for opposition, or for subordination, but for communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God.
Experience teaches us: to know himself well and to grow harmoniously, the human being needs reciprocity between man and woman. When this does not happen, we see the consequences. We are made to listen to and help one another. We can say that without reciprocal enrichment in this relationship — in thought and in action, in affections and in work, also in faith – the two cannot understand in depth what it means to be man and woman.
Modern and contemporary culture has opened new opportunities, new freedoms and new depths for the enrichment of the understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much skepticism. For instance, I wonder if the so-called gender theory is not also an expression of a frustration and resignation, which aims to eliminate the sexual difference because it no longer knows how to face it. Yes, we risk taking a step backward. The removal of the difference, in fact, is the problem, not the solution.
Aleteia has made the full text of the Pope’s catechesis available here.
Less than a month after we launched our Dump Angie initiative, 2,290 former Angie's List members have canceled their accounts following the company's attack on the rights of Christians and other faiths, and an additional 4,938 have written the company with their disapproval, saying they would not be using Angie's List in the future. Thank you to all who have made the Dump Angie pledge!
In addition to thousands of marriage supporters taking action, now a second victory has emerged from our Dump Angie petition: Bill Oesterie has “surprised” everyone by voluntarily stepping down from his position as CEO of the company. Having co-founded the subscription service in 1995, Oesterie is leaving at one of the company’s rockiest times, due to its decision to withhold business from Indiana after the state passed a bill protecting the religious freedom rights of its citizens.
What Oesterie quickly learned was that discrimination against Christians is still, in fact, discrimination, and that does not sit well with the American people. However it seems that Oesterie does not want to publicly let on that the reaction to his stance against religious freedom influenced this latest decision:
Oesterle's public reasons for leaving the company are to "re-enter politics" -- although the last several weeks would suggest he never left them. Feeling the pain of a boycott, the pinch of another downward year (the Indianapolis Star says the business "relies heavily on investor money to stay afloat"), and a public decision to put his company at odds with the First Amendment almost certainly contributed to the sudden departure. Still, Oesterle says, his goal is to reverse the "shellacking" Indiana took in the RFRA debate.
"I can maybe do some things to help resolve some of the state's issues." His position as CEO, he explained, is "incompatible" with his political involvement -- a view that was no doubt reinforced courtesy of former subscribers. Even when Governor Mike Pence (R-Ind.) watered down the language protecting the freedom of belief, Oesterle complained that he didn't go far enough. "I abhor discrimination, I just do. I certainly support religious freedom... right up to the point that [it] discriminates against somebody else and actively does so." Like so many faux religious liberty supporters, he wants to protect everyone of discrimination but the true victims: men and women of faith.
Whether Oesterie or the media will admit it, it was the men and women who believe in their religious freedom rights who showed Oesterie the real effects of attacking the first amendment. Oesterie is one of many who have learned the hard way that marriage defenders are not submissive: they are refusing to compromise on something as important as marriage and family.
This is a great victory for religious freedom, and there are many more to come!
“How are heterosexuals harmed by same-sex marriage?” “Why don’t you want two people of the same gender who love each other to be married?” “Same-sex parents are just as good as heterosexual parents.”
Many of those advocating to redefine marriage have sought to turn marriage and parenthood into a political cause. But the truth of the matter is that marriage and parenthood are anything but political. Rather, they are universal truths that are ontologically, sociologically, and not to mention, spiritually based.
Already, we see an increasing number of adults who were once raised in same-sex households speaking out about the void in their lives. These courageous individuals are giving a face to the powerful social research findings uncovered by researchers such as Mark Regnerus and others.
As more and more same-sex couples assert their "right" to children, the voices of the children themselves are becoming more prominent. Here are excerpts from two of them who are speaking out on why children will always want and always need a mom and a dad:
In an open letter published on Public Discourse, Katy Faust writes to Justice Kennedy, explaining not only how same-sex marriage hurts children, but how it encourages an alternative form of parenting that denies a child their right to biological parents. She writes:
While it’s true that parents will be missing from a child’s life for many different reasons, redefining marriage will change marriage as a whole and thus parenting for many kids. Because the government’s interest in marriage is children, and the historic basis for marriage has been a procreative relationship, this new genderless definition which excludes a mother or father actually encourages “one or both biological parents to be missing from a child’s life.”
She goes on to laud the UN for recognizing the right of a child “to know and be cared for by his or her parents”:
We should follow the lead of the UN and prioritize the rights of children, who have an inherent right to their parents. Adults have the right to choose to enter into a partnership that cannot produce children, and government should not prevent such a decision. But as a society, our laws must uphold and encourage the family structure that best protects children’s rights.
Another woman recently shared her story with The Christian Institute:
A woman raised by two mothers has admitted the experience was “damaging and confusing”, and has warned of the potential for “irreparable, long-term damage to a child”.
Hetty Baynes Russell, 58, said her unconventional parental setup fostered “a life of confusion and a lack of emotional security”, which landed her in therapy for many years, “trying to make sense of it all”.
"Far from being a healthy, nurturing state of affairs, this arrangement — where I was caught in a destructive, triangular battle for my mother’s affection with another woman, while forced to watch helplessly as my father was emasculated and airbrushed from our lives — was simultaneously damaging and confusing”.
As same-sex marriage proponents continue to push hard for marriage redefinition, they falsely claim that they are "on the right side of history.” However, as these voices and many others are telling us, factual history will never be on their side: history shows us that marriage is and has always been between a man and woman. Our ancestral identity, and the very fact that we are here today is a testimony to the natural union of a man and a woman. These children raised in same-sex households understand the cost of redefining marriage. Let's listen to them: the real voices from the same-sex marriage movement.
When we talk about the effects of same-sex marriage, we always come back to our two highest values–faith and family. It seems so obvious that the destruction of traditional marriage is yet another blow to the black family, with untold harm for our children. And yet, there are some who still don’t understand the importance of this issue. ~CAAP
Even those who can't make it to Washington D.C. on April 25th will be supporting the March for Marriage from thousands of miles away!
ARV Tea Party is sponsoring a March for Marriage set in Russellville, Arkansas. Beginning at 3 pm, the group will march to the Pope Country Courthouse to show their support for traditional marriage. Once everyone arrives at the courthouse, Diane Owens, from the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) will be the featured speaker.
For those in Arkansas who can’t make it to the DC March, you can visit the event’s Facebook page here and check out out CAAP’s website for more information on their work. As demonstrated in the video below, CAAP shows their amazing support for the true definition of marriage every day!
SAVE THE DATE: March for Marriage
Saturday, April 25th
Book your flight and plan your trip to join us that morning on the National Mall in D.C. for the March for Marriage, and the proceeding Orthodox Gathering
April 25th represents the third March for Marriage in Washington D.C., and is set to take place within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the cases before them that will decide the national legal status of civil gay "marriage." It is projected that this ruling will seriously impact religious freedom in the USA.
The march is a peaceful rally and quite comparable to the March for Life. We invite you to make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage your priests, brothers and sisters in Christ, and leaders and members of religious communities in your area, to do likewise. Come out in support of marriage between one man and one woman, modeled from our Lord's love for His Bride: the Church. With a blessing to pursue this work from a number of our bishops, many priests believe it is time we had a national pan-Orthodox Christian movement. A strong, vibrant, and clear message is needed from our Church on the matter of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, as well as an enumeration upon God blessed sexuality and gender roles, toward the strengthening of family life.
Be sure to visit Crown Them with Glory's full March for Marriage section here, and thanks to all marchers for standing with us to defend the invaluable union of one man and one woman in marriage.
Fr. John Parker joins Ancient Faith Radio to talk about the position of the Orthodox Church on same-sex marriage, as well as the upcoming March for Marriage on April 25th in Washington DC. For more information about the Orthodox participation in the March, visit the Crown Them With Glory website.
There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. ~Homer
Marriage supporters from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have generously provided many bus options for this year’s March for Marriage on April 25th in Washington, D.C.
Below you can find bus info, which is also available via PhillyCatholicLife.org:
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Life and Family is sending a bus from the counties of the Archdiocese to attend the Marriage March in Washington, D.C.
The day begins at 11:30 am and concludes at 2:00 pm. Archdiocesan buses will aim to arrive at 11 :00 am for the rally. Please see the list of bus locations below.
A seat on a bus costs $15 per person. To reserve seats on a bus, please contact the bus captain directly. Mail your payment to the parish in an envelope marked “Attn: March for Marriage”. Checks should be made out to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Seating is limited, reserve your seats soon!
Not able to attend? Please consider making a donation to help pay for the buses.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Marriage March Bus Locations
Cathedral Basilica SS. Peter & Paul
18th St. and Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Bus Captain: Arleen, [email protected]
St. Andrew Parish
81 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940
Bus Captain: Peggy, [email protected]
SS Simon and Jude Parish
8 Cavanaugh Court
West Chester, PA 19382
Bus Captain: Marty, [email protected]
St. Pius X Parish
220 Lawrence Road
Broomall, PA 19008
Bus Captain: John, [email protected]
Sincerest thanks to our fellow marriage defenders in PA. We look forward to marching with you in defense of freedom, truth, and marriage on April 25th in Washington, D.C.
See you at the March for Marriage!
In a letter to the Antiochian Archdiocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph encourages his members to participate in the upcoming March for Marriage on April 25th in Washington D.C. We here at NOM greatly appreciate the letter of encouragement, because it so eloquently describes why this year’s march is so critical.
The march is a peaceful rally and quite comparable to the March for Life. We ask that you would make every effort to attend the rally, and encourage others to do likewise. A strong, vibrant, and clear message is needed from our Church on the matter of the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, as well as an enumeration upon God blessed sexuality and gender roles, toward the strengthening of family life. This action is necessary in order to dispel confusion which has been stirred up by our secular culture. Such an effort would be blessed by God to the building up of our faith in the hearts of our Orthodox people. This is what our nation's people need to see.
April 25th is an important date for the March for Marriage because it will fall within days of when the Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the cases before them that will decide the national legal status of civil same-sex "marriage." We are clearly on the cusp of a historic Supreme Court decision that could mark a powerful affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman, upon which all major civilizations have flourished – or, it can initiate a direction which the Holy Orthodox Church can never embrace.
It is exactly as Archbishop Joseph described: this march is critical. Attendance at this march will send a resonating message to our political leaders, letting them know that we, the people, want marriage to remain as it has always been: a unique union between one man and one woman.
Read the full letter here.
It is encouraging to see Americans stand up to support people of faith who have the courage to defend marriage in the public square:
A Washington florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding and was subsequently fined by a state court after she cited her Christian belief in traditional marriage as her reason for not participating in a gay marriage ceremony, has garnered over $102,000 in donations from supporters who've contributed to her on a crowd funding page.
Baronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers, has received donations from people across the nation thanks to a gofundme.com page set up in February. Her story received attention when she refused to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding. Stutzman was fined $1,001 in March for her refusal to serve the couple. She said that she would continue to practice her religious beliefs, as was her right.
The crowdfunding page supporting Stutzman has now passed $150,000!
This comes on the heels of over $840,000 in contributions flooding into Indiana to support the owners of Memories Pizza. After speaking out that they would turn down a hypothetical same-sex ‘wedding’ because it violates their religious beliefs, Memories Pizza was viciously attacked by same-sex marriage advocates.
With American liberties are under attack, the support being shown by the American people for these individuals is a testimony to the moral conscious and courage of our nation.
We hope that all those who contributed to support these courageous individuals will join us in Washington, D.C. on April 25th to participate in the 2015 March for Marriage. (Remember that you can also show your support by participating in the virtual march!)
Dear Marriage Supporter,
I wrote to you last week to tell you about the fight for religious liberty in the state of Indiana.
Under intense pressure from the media, corporations and the gay 'marriage' lobby, Indiana eventually rolled back their religious protection law with a "fix" to the legislation that isn't a fix at all, but a capitulation to the gay 'marriage' lobby at the expense of religious liberty.
While we are disappointed in Governor Mike Pence and the Republican-led Legislature for not having the courage of their convictions, it was big business that threw the rights of people of faith under the bus. Companies like Angie's List took the lead in these efforts, demonstrating an unbelievably intolerant and hostile position toward the freedom of religion and people of faith.
Well, apparently, they aren't even satisfied with this "fix."
Angie's List CEO Bill Oesterle said on television late last week: "Our position is that this 'fix' is insufficient. There was no repeal of RFRA and no end to discrimination of homosexuals in Indiana."
Of course, it's patently false that discrimination against homosexuals is legal in Indiana.
More to the point... it's leading people away from the truth: that people of faith are the ones being discriminated against and their religious freedom to live and run their businesses in keeping with their faith is under violent and extreme assault!
Marriage Supporter, we have to send the business community and especially Angie's List a message: threaten religious freedom at your own risk! We are calling on Americans to Dump Angie!
Please take a moment to take action today:
1. If you haven't done so already, please go to www.DumpAngie.com and sign our petition — whether you have an account on Angie's List or not. And if you have an Angie's List account, we're asking that you cancel it and let the company know that you are doing so because they oppose religious liberty (detailed instructions on how to do this are at the end of this email).
2. Forward this email to family and friends using the buttons below (or by simply forwarding them this email).
PS: As I mentioned yesterday, we have received an extension of our matching gift through April 25 along with a pledge of $50,000 additional dollars in matching funds. That means anything you give will continue to be matched dollar-for-dollar by another generous donor up until the 2015 March for Marriage. The timing couldn't be better, as we are getting flooded with requests to help fund buses to allow people to attend the march — particularly from Churches serving minority communities in less affluent areas of the country. Won't you please help these communities out by making a donation today to help us subsidize bus transportation to bring hundreds and thousands of additional marriage supporters to the March?
In Alabama, fellow marriage defenders are working hard to protect marriage as the unique bond between one man and one woman. In the upcoming months, they are offering some wonderful opportunities for all to let their state leaders know what they, the people of Alabama, are fighting for the biblical, natural, and traditional definition of marriage.
Read on to learn more about the events in Alabama, and be sure to check out their website: AlabamaforMarriage.com
Alabama! Be a voice for truth: Marriage = One Man + One Woman
During the month of May, join thousands of believers at events across Alabama,
and in Montgomery on June 6th, to send a united message to elected officials,
the Supreme Court and to the world: Alabama is for Marriage.
Across our nation, we hear news about Christian florists, bakeries, and now, a pizzeria being forced to close after turning down business pertaining to same-sex wedding ceremonies. And what has ensued is an affront to America's liberty laws: Christians are being slammed with lawsuits under the pretense of “discrimination” when in reality, it is the LGBT activists who champion and practice discrimination.
Fr. John Zuhisdorf suggests that Christians utilize a different tactic. When a same-sex couple approaches a Christian business owner for a same-sex wedding ceremony, Fr. Zuhisdorf suggests that Christian business owners accept the business, but donate every dollar of the profits to support pro-marriage and religious liberty causes.
In his blog post, Fr. Zuhisdorf explains:
Tell them that the food and services will be just fine. And then inform them that all of the money that they pay for the services will be donated to a traditional pro-family lobby. If it is something like catering, where your employees have to be there to provide services, tell them that all your people will smile, be professional, and everyone of them will be wearing crucifixes and have the Holy Family embroidered on their uniforms. Then show them pictures of your uniforms. When the truck pulls up, speakers will be playing Immaculate Mary. Show them the truck and play the music.
“Oh, you would be offended by that? I’m so sorry. You approached us because we are Christians. Right? We are happy to provide services for you and we are grateful that you chose to come to our Christian catering business. We just want to be of help.”
Then tell them that you will take out an ad in the paper to let everyone know what you did with their money, thanking them by name for their business so that you could make the contribution.
I suspect this approach, if adopted far and wide, would put an end to attacks on Christian businesses.
It certainly is an interesting approach, and if practiced, would undoubtedly generate many more news stories. As our nation battles to protect religious liberty, it is not a bad idea to have multiple tactics at the ready. Business is business, but marriage is the foundation of our society. Ultimately, when it comes to marriage, there can be no compromise.