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Category Archives: Marriage

ICYMI: New Heritage Research Piece Explains Why the Analogy between Same-sex Marriage and Interracial Marriage is a False One

From Ryan Anderson, on The Foundry blog at Heritage:

Bride and GroomIs opposition to same-sex marriage at all like opposition to interracial marriage? One refrain in debates over marriage policy is that laws designating marriage as exclusively the union of male and female are today’s equivalent of bans on interracial marriage. Some further argue that protecting the freedom to speak and act publicly on the basis of a religious belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman amounts to the kind of laws that enforced race-based segregation.

These claims are wrong on several counts, as I explain in a new Backgrounder Report... “Marriage, Reason, and Religious Liberty: Much Ado About Sex, Nothing to Do with Race.

You can read Ryan's full blog piece here, or read the larger report here.

Pope: "The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman."

From CNSNews:

Pope FrancisDuring his General Audience speech at St. Peter’s Square on Apr. 2, before a crowd estimated at 45,000, Pope Francis first cited Genesis, saying, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. … Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."

"The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together," said the Pope. "God’s covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful."

"When a man and a woman celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony, God as it were 'is mirrored' in them; He impresses in them his own features and the indelible character of his love," said Pope Francis. "Marriage is the icon of God's love for us."

Read more here.

"The post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline"

In a brilliant piece by Mollie Hemingway at The Federalistshe draws upon the thinking of Czech leader Vaclav Havel (who once observed that "the post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline") to comment upon the recent dust-up at Mozilla over Brendan Eich's views on marriage.

Hemingway's piece is entitled "The Rise of the Same-sex Marriage Dissidents," and you should read the entire thing today. Here's a snippet:

Havel-FirefoxTo explain how dissent works, Havel introduced the manager of a hypothetical fruit-and-vegetable shop who places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” He’s not actually enthusiastic about the sign’s message. It’s just one of the things that people in a post-totalitarian system do even if they “never think about” what it means. He does it because everyone does it. It’s what you do to get along in life and live “in harmony with society.” (For our purposes, you can imagine that slogan is a red equal sign that you put up on your Facebook page.)

[...]

Did we mindlessly put up red equal signs when we hadn’t even thought about what marriage is? Did we rush to fit in by telling others we supported same-sex marriage? Did we even go so far as to characterize as “bigots” or as “Hitlers” those who held views about the importance of natural marriage?

[...]

In the greengrocer scenario, Havel notes that if the text of the sign read “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,” he might be embarrassed and ashamed to put it up. The dissidents are the ones who, by refusing to put the sign up, or refusing to recant, shine a huge light on the system, including the ones who go along to get along. All of a sudden those Facebook signs, those reflexive statements, those cries of “Bigot!” look less like shows of strength and more like shows of weakness.

If you haven't yet followed NOM's call-to-action over the Eich controversy, please take some time to do so today.

"Notre Dame, you have a voice..."

A group of plucky students at Notre Dame made news this week with a petition to the University officials "to take up the defense of marriage at this pivotal moment in the national discussion surrounding this foundational institution."

Notre DameThe Cardinal Newman Society provides more details:

The petition was created by members of the newly formed Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), made up of undergraduate and graduate students at the University...

[...]

A co-founder of the group, Tiernan Kane, told The Cardinal Newman Society that he believes the university should take the lead on marriage.

"The Catholic Church's teaching on marriage, which is universally intelligible to human reason, is informed by a tradition of philosophical reflection that reaches back at least as far as Plato," [Kane] said. "As the nation's premier Catholic university, Notre Dame has the ability, and thus the responsibility, to contribute to--indeed, to lead--public discourse about marriage."

[...]

Senior Michael Bradley, a co-founder of the group, told The Cardinal Newman Society that the administration has been "entirely mute on marriage" while publicly supporting the Dream Act and other contested political issues.  [Bradley] said, "Notre Dame, you have a voice, and it would mean a lot in defense of Church teaching."

Bravo to these brave young men and women!

GOP Chair Priebus: "There should be no confusion about where we stand."

In a small impromptu presser at CPAC this past weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus reiterated the Republican Party's official commitment to the value of marriage.

Via LifeSiteNews.com:

Priebus also said that the GOP is “a party that believes marriage ought to be between one man and one woman. That's our party platform, and it's a position I've never backed away from. What I have said, though, is that we need to treat each other with grace, dignity, and respect. And that's not code language. It comes out of the New Testament. And so there should be no confusion about where we stand, and so that's where we are.”

This isn't the first time Chairman Priebus has unabashedly reaffirmed this commitment. We know that that isn't always easy to do, and so NOM wants Mr. Priebus to know that his steadfast advocacy for marriage is appreciated. Please, if you haven't already done so, click here to send a note of thanks and support to Chairman Priebus for continuing to lead the Republican party in its pro-marriage commitment.

Priebus Quote

"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.

Virginia's Two Catholic Bishops issue Op-Ed on Attorney General Herring

In an op-ed piece penned for The Virginia-Pilot, the heads of the Diocese of Richmond and Arlington, Bishops Francis DiLorenzo and Paul Loverde, issue a joint call to action, writing that they "call upon the attorney general to honor the oath he took, as [they] call upon all Virginians to defend marriage."

The hard-hitting and powerful piece is worth reading in full; here is just a snippet:

VAbishopsWhile declining to defend the state constitution without even appointing outside counsel is unusual enough for the state's top attorney, his decision to actively challenge the state's definition of marriage - a definition he voted for when serving as a state senator - is shocking and reckless.

Much has been written already about the responsibility attorneys general have to defend state laws, whether they agree with those laws or not. We join many others in calling on Herring to do the job he was elected to perform.

But what is at stake here far surpasses the issue of the attorney general's role and integrity. Most fundamentally, what is at stake is the preservation of the family, the fundamental and foundational unit of society.

Though long-recognized in church and civil law, marriage did not originate in church or state but in nature. Long before nations or organized religions, the institution of marriage existed as the union of one man and one woman.

Marriage has been shown throughout history to be civilization's irreplaceable building block, benefitting children and society at large. No religion, government or individual has the right or legitimate authority to alter the original design of marriage. Likewise, neither the attorney general nor the courts have the authority to impose a new definition of marriage on society.

We applaud these heroic Bishops for standing up in defense of marriage in Virginia!

Utah's Court Filing on Marriage "All About Kids"

In The Salt Lake Tribune, Brooke Adams does a fairly good job presenting the essential arguments in the State of Utah's court filing in support of the marriage amendment which is under legal scrutiny by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The headline of the article is its weakest point, declaring "State makes it all about kids in brief against same-sex marriage." 

Baby_Wedding_RingsWe would say, rather, two things: (1) the State is recognizing that marriage is all about the kids, simply observing marriage as a given phenomenon and institution, preexisting any state -- whereas, on the other hand, it is the marriage redefinition side of the debate that seeks to "make" marriage about something which it is not; and (2) the brief should not therefore be said to be "against same-sex marriage," but instead to be for marriage --  marriage as it has come down to us through history and tradition.

Nevertheless, as we said at the outset, the article does do a rather fair job outlining the most salient points of the State's brief:

Utah has chosen a definition of marriage that is "principally a child-centered institution, one focused first and foremost on the welfare of children rather than the emotional interests of adults," the state said. "And by reinforcing that understanding, the state gently encourages parents to routinely sacrifice their own interests to the legitimate needs and interests of their children."

That definition is not designed to demean other family structures "any more than giving an ‘A’ to some students demeans others," the state said.

You should read the entire article, which has ample additional quotations from the filing.

Governor Pence expresses support for restoring the original version of HJR3

From the IndyStar:

Mike-PenceGov. Mike Pence prefers the original version of the same-sex marriage ban, the one that included a second sentence prohibiting civil unions, his office said Friday.

The House removed the civil union ban this week before sending the controversial measure to the Senate for consideration. If the proposal is approved as altered, it would delay a voter referendum on the issue until at least 2016, when the governor's race is on the ballot.

News of Pence's view on the deleted second sentence was first reported Friday by WISH-TV (Channel 8).

When asked by WISH whether he wanted the second sentence restored, Pence said: "Let me say I support traditional marriage, and I expressed support for the resolution that the legislature passed during the (2011) session and considered at the outset of this session. But I want to be very respectful of the legislative process."

Read more here.

Celebrate National Marriage Week - February 7 - 14

Once again, National Marriage Week (February 7-14) is fast approaching!

National Marriage Week 2014Chuck Stetson's "Let's Strengthen Marriage" in the past few years has initiated a national campaign to encourage many diverse groups to launch individual and simultaneous efforts, as well as some collaborative, in order to raise the issue of marriage and its defense to the national agenda.

National Marriage Week is:

a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children. Together we can make more impact than working alone. Please join with others to host special events, launch a marriage class or home group, or place local advertising or news stories during National Marriage Week USA.

You can see a listing of events all across the country leading up to National Marriage Week here.

Planning to Watch the State of the Union Tonight? Watch with NOM!

If you're planning on watching the State of the Union address tonight, you should know that we at NOM will be keeping a close eye on what the President has to say, and we'll be on Twitter (@NOMupdate) to cover any mentions of the President's radical agenda relating to marriage. If you're like us, and are sick and tired of the President stumping for a small but noisy (and well-funded) lobby of activists, then you might want to keep an eye on @NOMupdate on Twitter tonight.

twitter.com/NOMUpdateWhat does a mention in the State of the Union really mean? POLITICO's Jennifer Epstein explains:

[M]any D.C. insiders aren’t listening for soaring narratives. They’re just hoping for Obama to make even the briefest mention of their pet project.

A State of the Union plug is the ultimate currency for government agencies, congressional allies and advocacy groups eager for an edge. Even a few words about an issue in the president’s biggest speech of the year can mean the difference between funding a new program and budget cutbacks, or between getting a bill through Congress and watching it die on the vine [emphasis added].

So it is worth paying attention to whether certain lobby's wishes will be met with a nod as a select pet project of the Commander-in-Chief:

Gay rights groups would like to hear Obama announce that he will sign an executive order protecting LGBT people who work for federal contractors or, at the very least, signal that he will more aggressively push Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

(If you're unfamiliar with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and why it is bad law, we have written on the subject before.)

It is worth keeping an eye out, then, for how the State of the Union will highlight President Obama's radical agenda to redefine marriage and try to put a little wind into the sails of those who share his progressive vision for a genderless  distortion of the meaning of the family.

But you should also keep an eye on the #SOTU hashtag and on the @NOMupdate Twitter feed for our live commentary!

Get Married at the Grammys - but Do the Grammys Get Marriage?

GrammysIn what even Slate is calling a "bizarre" spectacle, last night the Grammys featured a group 'wedding' involving 30-some couples, heterosexual and homosexual alike, officiated by Queen Latifah.

According to a New York Times ArtsBeat article before the show aired, "the producers behind the program... [were] hoping that the biggest show-stopper of the night [would] be a much more solemn event." It is perhaps nonetheless rather telling that the broadcast of the wedding didn't occur until after 11 PM, perhaps the producers hedging their bets on that show-stopping solemnity. It also perhaps strains the meaning of the word "solemn" too much to assign it as a modifier to an event involving Madonna in a cowboy hat.


But apart from this spectacle which, at least to some folks' sensibilities, might be taken as an unseemly trivialization of the gravity of marriage, those of us who missed the Grammys missed out on another testament to the nuptial mystery - or, at least, that's what Alyssa Rosenberg at the utlra-liberal ThinkProgress alleges.

beyonce and jayzIn her piece, Rosenberg is responding to a charge in New York Times by Ross Douthat that "liberalism itself has undercut the two-parent family — through the liberal-dominated culture industry’s permissive, reductive attitudes toward sex."

Rosenberg rejects this charge, holding up as evidence for her contrary position - wait for it - the Grammy performance of Beyonce and Jay-Z doing a song called "Drunk in Love."

It is a song which Rosenberg herself calls "raunchy, fun and even silly" [emphasis added]. In the performance, Beyonce was adorned (according to The Hollywood Reporter) in "Saint Laurent black tights, custom bra, La Perla collar body and Nichole de Carle body suit, complete with wavy wet hair" and performed while "expertly twirling in a chair."

Rosenberg concludes of the performance, "If marriage is a product that conservatives desperately want to sell, the smartest thing they could do right now is to hire Beyoncé and Jay-Z as a product spokescouple."

But as we won't be quoting any of the raunchy song's lyrics nor linking to video of the performance, it must suffice to say that we politely decline Rosenberg's suggestion.

For our part, we think that neither of the 'performances' last night are an ideal starting place for a proper understanding of marriage.

What Makes a Parent? A Kansas Court Case Reveals How Far We've Fallen from the Ideal Answer

A terribly sad and maddening story out of Kansas today reveals just how absurdly astray the fruits of the sexual revolution have taken us with respect to understanding the nature of marriage and family.

The story involves a man named William Marotta, and reads like a script of a satire but is all too sadly real.

Here is the basic timeline of the situation, according to the coverage from CNN:

  • In 2009, a lesbian couple from Topeka, Kansas posted an ad on Craiglist(!) seeking a sperm donor.
  • Marotta (who is married!) responded and "donated [his] genetic material" to the women free of charge.
  • The couple then performed an artificial insemination procedure at home(!) and one of the women conceived and gave birth to a baby girl.
  • Now - with the child only 4 years old - the couple have separated and one of the women has had to quit work citing medical reasons.
  • The state, therefore, is stepping in and ordering Marotta to pay child support for the four-year old girl.
  • Marotta is protesting this order in court, saying of the little girl, "I'm not her parent."

Young GirlReading the story, it is particularly horrifying that the child's interests and roles aren't given primary attention, or really any attention at all. Her rights, her needs, her future are all merely the "frame" of the story, relegated to being treated as nothing more than a source of inconvenience in the lives of these three adults.

The relevance of this story to the issue of same-sex 'marriage' is obvious: The drive to redefine marriage is born of a culture which makes marriage and parenting about the desires of adults rather than the rights and welfare of children. This story gives a snapshot of that culture.

For these three adults, having a child wasn't the serious and heavily weighed decision of commitment that it should be. Marotta himself says he responded to the Craigslist ad  (and let's pause momentarily again over that detail) because he was "intrigued" - fathering a daughter was a lark for him. And as for the couple who so quickly separated... one can only wonder whether they were truly prepared for the gravity of parenthood, when part of the process involved soliciting sperm from a random stranger met on the internet!

This is why marriage matters: Marriage encapsulates a set of norms and expectations which civilize men, protect women, and serve the needs of children. Abandon these norms, and "parenting" becomes a soap-opera story about adults' goals and achievements, where children are merely part of the supporting cast.

Virginia's Catholic Bishops Say Herring Should "Do the Job He Was Elected to Perform"

In a joint statement issued by the two Catholic dioceses of Virginia, the Bishops of Arlington and Richmond "expressed extreme disappointment" with Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's decision to abandon the defense of Virginia's marriage law in court and instead join the radical attack against it.

The statement read:

VAbishopsVirginia voters put this provision in the Constitution, and no politician should be able to reverse the people's decision. We call on the Attorney General to do the job he was elected to perform, which is to defend the state laws he agrees with, as well as those state laws with which he personally disagrees. We will continue to defend marriage between a man and a woman, an institution whose original design predates all governments and religions. The Government of the Commonwealth of Virginia should preserve and defend this original design because the constituent majority that supported the constitutional amendment understands the unique benefit that marriage between a man and a woman provides to individual families and society at large.

Click here to view the release from the Diocese of Arlington or to see media contact information.

LaSavlia: "I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been."

Early last week, one of the founders of GOProud, Jimmy LaSalvia, made headlines with his announcement that he is leaving the GOP due (among other things) to its "tolerance of bigotry."

A few things are striking in LaSalvia's remarks (posted to his blog), however, and deserve to be looked at more closely.

The two main reasons claimed by LaSalvia for his departure from the GOP are summarized in this quotation [emphasis added]:

I am every bit as conservative as I’ve always been, but I just can’t bring myself to carry the Republican label any longer. You see, I just don’t agree with the big-government ‘conservatives’ who run the party now.

The other reason I am leaving is the tolerance of bigotry in the GOP.

Jimmy LaSalviaFirst, it should be noted that LaSalvia doesn't cite examples or give any evidence of this supposed "tolerance of bigotry," but in context and on background it can easily be inferred that he is speaking about those who oppose the radical redefinition of marriage.

LaSalvia here is simply parroting the dishonest and ugly smears of the radical same-sex 'marriage' movement, of which he has long been a member, saying that those who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and who put children's best interest at the center and pivot of the question, are bigots and haters - a claim which is as false as it is offensive.


But perhaps more surprising for its sheer nonsensicalness and illogicality is LaSalvia's claims that he is "every bit as conservative" as always and that he opposes big government.

First, regarding his claim of opposing big government: this is simply untenable. As NOM's good friend Ryan T. Anderson has saliently observed:

Same-sex marriage rejects the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman and the social reality that children need both a mother and a father.

Once marriage is removed from this basis in biology, its arbitrary and shapeless new form will be bound to lead precisely to growth in government! Anderson again [emphasis added]:

[I]f marriage has no form and serves no essential purpose, how would society protect the needs of children — the prime victims of our nonmarital sexual culture — without government growing more intrusive and more expensive?

FamilyAnderson here is following logical reasoning to point to a likely and probably socio-economic result of experimenting with the norms of marriage.

But we can offer a further and even more emphatic counterpoint to LaSalvia's groundless claim to the title "conservative" simply by looking at the brief history of marriage redefinition.

The same-sex 'marriage' movement has already, in plain fact, utilized the mechanisms of intrusive "big government" in the furtherance of its agenda: from judicial activism to invasive laws that target speech and thought on the basis of ideology; from state-sponsored indoctrination programs masquerading as "curricula" to politically-motivated choices with respect to the appointment of federal judges and ambassadors and others. We needn't even mention the recent appalling interference by the federal Department of Justice in the sovereign affairs of the State of Utah!


Finally, there is a very simple - but nonetheless quite meaningful and profound - argument against LaSalvia's self-asserted credibility as a "conservative." Redefining marriage is an inherently radical proposition. It creates for government a fictive power utterly unimagined by our Founders, one which would have been completely unseemly to them: the power to redefine the laws of Nature itself. The Founders would never have ventured to be so bold - and a good thing, too, or else in place of the great nation they built they'd have constructed instead a doomed modern Tower of Babel.

LaSalvia says he is "every bit as conservative as he's always been," and we must give benefit of the doubt to the strict meaning of those words. But all that suggests is that LaSalvia was never much of a conservative to begin with, because he certainly isn't embracing conservative positions now.