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Category Archives: Marriage

Pope Francis: Marriage Shows "The Reciprocity of Differences"

In Rome on Sunday, Pope Francis presided over the marriage of 20 couples at Saint Peter's Basilica. In his remarks during the celebration, the Holy Father spoke beautifully about the meaning of marriage and family. From The National Catholic Register [emphasis added]:

Pope FrancisMarriage, [the Pope said]... is about "man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man."

"Here we see the reciprocity of differences," he said.

[...]

"It is impossible to quantify the strength and depth of humanity contained in a family," he said, as demonstrated through the "mutual help, educational support, relationships developing as family members mature, the sharing of joys and difficulties."

"Families are the first place in which we are formed as persons and, at the same time, the ‘bricks’ for the building up of society."

Read more here.

National Organization for Marriage Says Louisiana Marriage Decision Proves That It Is Perfectly Legal For States to Define Marriage As The Union of One Man and One Woman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"This is a great win for the cause of marriage, coming as it does on the heels of other pro-marriage court victories, that puts the lie to the claim that it is inevitable the US Supreme Court will redefine marriage. To the contrary, we believe they will leave this issue with the states." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today praised federal court Judge Martin Feldman for ruling today that the US Constitution does not preclude the state of Louisiana from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and that voters made a rational decision in doing so when they adopted the state's marriage amendment. Feldman becomes the third federal judge to have ruled that traditional marriage laws are not unconstitutional, and the first since the US Supreme Court issued their decision invalidating a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. A state judge in Tennessee has also ruled that the US constitution does not prohibit states from defining marriage a one man and one woman.

"Here we see the house of cards collapsing that supported the myth that redefining marriage is inevitable," said Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. "This decision by Judge Feldman in Louisiana is a great win for the cause of marriage, coming as it does on the heels of other pro-marriage court victories, that puts the lie to the claim that it is inevitable the US Supreme Court will redefine marriage. To the contrary, we believe they will leave this issue with the states."

In his ruling issued today, Judge Feldman wrote that "Louisiana's definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and the limitation on recognition of same-sex marriages permitted by law in other states ... do not infringe the guarantees of the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution... The defendants have shown that Louisiana's decision to neither permit nor recognize same-sex marriage, formed in the arena of the democratic process, is supported by a rational basis."

"Judge Feldman has authored a powerful opinion that points the US Supreme Court in the direction of upholding state marriage laws and constitutional amendments," Brown said. "He finds what should be obvious to everyone, that states have a legitimate concern in 'linking marriage to children with intact families.' It is perfectly appropriate for voters to determine if they wish to decide for themselves whether they wish to redefine this age-old institution that has served society so well. Overwhelmingly, voters have rejected redefining marriage, and we expect the US Supreme Court to do so as well."

Feldman becomes the third federal judge to uphold traditional marriage laws, joining judges in Nevada and Hawaii. Last month a judge in Tennessee ruled that the US Constitution does not prohibit Tennessee from adopting a marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

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. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Two Roads

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

A couple of court cases have attracted some interest this week, and they provide an interesting contrast highlighting why we are both concerned about the future of marriage in America, but also optimistic in the long run.

Oregon

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied NOM's motion this week to intervene to defend the state's marriage amendment in court.

Because the state Attorney General and Governor both abandoned their sworn duty to defend the law, NOM was left as the sole entity willing to publicly defend the statute on behalf of our members within the state of Oregon. We filed the appeal on behalf of our supporters, who did not wish to be named publicly, fearing reprisal.

There is well-established precedent for this under the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of NAACP v. Alabama allowing membership organizations to pursue the interests of their members when there are substantial hurdles to the members litigating in their own name, such as the real threats of harassment and violence that have been manifested elsewhere in the country around the marriage issue.

Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit did not agree and denied our motion, saying that we lacked legal standing.

Which raises the question: in America today, who DOES represent the interests of the voters? Elected officials who have sworn oaths of office to do so are refusing to do so when the issue is perceived to run counter to the popular culture. And when that happens, what can the voters do?

It's a serious crisis begun by the Supreme Court's decision last summer that the defendants of Proposition 8 didn't have legal standing which is now calling into question the entire validity and purpose of the referendum process — the truest form of democracy in our great Republic.

Of course, the legal process isn't necessarily over, and NOM will be exploring whether to file a petition for rehearing en banc with the full Ninth Circuit or whether we will seek review in the Supreme Court itself.

Because, right now, the sovereign act of the people of Oregon — voting in 2006 to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman — went entirely undefended by the elected officials of Oregon, an abdication of duty that resulted in the long-standing understanding of marriage in Oregon being rewritten by a single federal court judge.

The policy fight over the definition of marriage is something that should ultimately be resolved by the people, not unelected judges. For now, Oregonians have been denied their voice on that important policy issue, and that is truly regrettable.

North Dakota

In contrast to Oregon, we have the example of the leaders in North Dakota. Like so many other states, North Dakota's marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman is under attack in federal court.

But the actions of the Governor and Attorney General in defense of the law have been exemplary to this point. They recently filed a response to the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment in the case that outlines — brilliantly — so many of the critical and compelling arguments in defense of marriage.

Among many other critically important points, they make a few that I would like to highlight here:

The case involves two conflicting marriage institutions that cannot coexist.

As I mentioned in my email on Wednesday, they point out that "this case involves two mutually exclusive and profoundly different marriage institutions, marriage institutions that serve separate, distinct, and conflicting societal purposes."

In fact, in making the argument, they cite the minority opinion of Justice Alito in the Windsor case of last summer — an opinion that cites NOM co-founder Robert P. George's book, What Is Marriage? in making precisely that point!

They correctly point out that "North Dakota can have only one social institution denominated 'marriage.' It cannot simultaneously provide the historically proven valuable social benefits of man-woman marriage and the asserted benefits of the new genderless marriage. One necessarily displaces or precludes the other."

The States have the power to define marriage.

It should be obvious, but in light of the blatant activism of federal judges recently, it must be pointed out. So they do: "In cases spanning three centuries, the Supreme Court has emphasized that '[t]he whole subject of the domestic relations of husband and wife, parent and child, belongs to the laws of the states, and not to the laws of the United States.'"

Furthermore, nothing in federal constitutional law requires North Dakota to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The media likes to say that last year, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in the Windsor case. But that's simply not true — only ONE of the FOUR sections of DOMA was struck down — the section that dealt with the federal government's recognition of marriage. The other three sections are still the law of the land — including Section Two, which clearly says states do NOT have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Perhaps most importantly, they point out that:

North Dakota marriage law does not violate either the Due Process Clause or the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

The defendants point out that "[t]he due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a charter for restructuring [marriage] by judicial legislation." (see Supreme Court case, Baker v. Nelson).

In fact, they further point out that "Windsor also makes no mention of Baker and certainly does not inform lower courts that they are no longer bound by Baker. Windsor dealt with the constitutionality of a federal law defining marriage, not a state law" [emphasis added].

I realize that this is quite a bit technical, but I wanted to let you see that marriage can and IS receiving a phenomenal defense in court.

As cases like the one in North Dakota make their way up to the Supreme Court in the coming months, rest assured that NOM will be doing everything we can to support the defense of marriage in the courts and throughout society. If you are able this Labor Day weekend, could you please consider making a generous contribution to support our efforts to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it?

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Why I Think We'll Win

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Although it has been a mild summer, things are heating up in the fight to defend marriage.

In just a few months, we will be facing a potential turning point in the political arena, as NOM will be working with many other groups to retake the United States Senate and hold politicians accountable to you, the voters, for their policy positions related to the institution of marriage.

And a few short months after that, NOM will be leading the charge to make a national statement that will be heard around the country and the world as the United States Supreme Court likely hears arguments in a case that could well become the Roe v Wade of marriage.

But here's the thing about that potential case: this time around, we have a very good chance to WIN!

Won't you please help NOM gear up for the November elections and pending litigation with a generous donation of $35, $50, $100 or even $500 right away?

Why do I think we have a very good chance of winning at the Supreme Court?

I'll refer your attention to the recent legal filings in North Dakota by the Governor and Attorney General and their powerful and compelling legal arguments in defense of marriage.

In their briefs, they point out that "this case involves two mutually exclusive and profoundly different marriage institutions, marriage institutions that serve separate, distinct, and conflicting societal purposes."

They go on to note that:

The man-woman marriage institution has uniquely provided valuable social benefits necessary to the well-being and stability of society and the development of individuals, especially children. In particular, the man-woman marriage institution's norms and other public meanings have helped a greater portion of children know and be raised by their mother and father.

Toward the end of the twentieth century, however, various individuals and groups began a campaign to use the force of law to replace the man-woman marriage (traditional marriage) institution with an institution that would still be called "marriage" but would have a very different core meaning: the union of any two persons without regard to gender (genderless marriage). This civil action is an important part of that campaign.

North Dakota can have only one social institution denominated "marriage." It cannot simultaneously provide the historically proven valuable social benefits of man-woman marriage and the asserted benefits of the new genderless marriage. One necessarily displaces or precludes the other.

This is exactly correct. Redefining marriage to include homosexual couples isn't simply adding a parallel institution that won't alter or interact with marriage — it fundamentally changes marriage and makes it an inherently genderless institution.

And that genderless institution is what will be pushed in government policy; in schools; indeed, through all mechanisms of government.

As the brief also points out, same-sex 'marriage' is based on two fundamentally flawed propositions: "First, that there is a fundamental right to marry someone of the same sex. Second, that sexual orientation is a class meriting heightened scrutiny. Both of these propositions have been rejected by the Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals."

Legal precedence is on our side. Reason is on our side. History is on our side. And the vast majority of citizens in America and across the world are on our side.

All we must do now is mobilize them to ensure that the individuals in control of the levers of power in the government and society recognize and respect that fact.

Won't you please click here right away to make a generous donation of $35, $50, $100 or even $500 to help NOM fight to defend marriage and the faith communities that sustain it?

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: I'll have a lot more to say about these legal cases involving marriage making their way up to the Supreme Court in the days ahead. But I wanted to let you see how powerful and compelling the arguments supporting marriage are; and I wanted to show you that those arguments are being ably advanced in the courts. I feel very good about the legal appeals underway and am optimistic about our chances to win at the Supreme Court in the months ahead.

And NOM will be doing everything we can to assist in these pending victories by mobilizing tens of thousands of Americans to rally in defense of marriage, sending politicians and judges around the country a powerful and unequivocal message: marriage is the union of one man and one woman! Please consider partnering with us today by making a financial investment in NOM today.

Couple With "Amazing Love" for One Another Die Four Hours Apart, Holding Hands

Here's a bittersweet tale that should nonetheless brighten your Friday with its wonderful witness to Married Joy:

A couple married for 62 years recently died four hours apart while lying next to each other.  The story of their lifelong love has quickly gone viral.

KERO-TV reported that Don and Maxine Simpson traveled the world, adopted two boys, and participated in many different activities together.  According to their relatives:

“Gram woke up and saw him, and held hands and they knew that they were next to each other,” said Sloan.

CoupleBut what no one knew is how they would leave this world.

“I knew in my heart this is what’s supposed to happen. Grandma and grandpa are supposed to be together and grandma and grandpa are going to die together,” she said.

And that’s exactly what happened.

“I could hear on the monitor, she took her last breath and I came to check. She had passed,” said Sloan.

Maxine was gone.

“I walked them out with her body, walked back in to check on grandpa and he quit breathing as soon as her body left the room.  He left with her, and they passed four hours apart from each other,” she said.

The man, that married the love of his life more than 60 years ago, was only hours behind in death.

Godspeed to them in their final journey together and may they be reunited in the life to come!

We DO Need Fathers

In a recent Rolling Stone interview, pop icon Katy Perry remarked about fatherhood, “I don't need a dude.  It's 2014!  We are living in the future; we don't need anything.  I’m not anti-men. I love men. But there is an option if someone doesn’t present himself.”

D.C. McAllister responded at The Federalist with a very fine article:

Father-DaughterSociologist David Popenoe, a pioneer in the field of research into fatherhood, says, “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.”

That means it’s not just the fact that he provides money so there is reduced stress in the home, and it doesn’t mean just any “dude” can step in and replace him. There is a real and organic relationship between a father and a child that is irreplaceable and essential in the development of the child.

Williams wrote in an article at the Wall Street Journal that “when fatherless young people are encouraged to write about their lives, they tell heartbreaking stories about feeling like ‘throwaway people.’ In the privacy of the written page, their hard, emotional shells crack open to reveal the uncertainty that comes from not knowing if their father has any interest in them.”

Study after study has shown that children with fathers in the home are better off in school, commit less crime, have more stable relationships, and are less likely to be involved with drugs or engage in other deviant behavior. Girls, in particular, exhibit higher self-esteem and are less likely to have out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

[...]

Studies have shown that fatherless children are more insecure, more likely to experience depression, and more inclined to exhibit disruptive behavior. “Boys with involved fathers have fewer school behavior problems,” and “girls have stronger self-esteem.” In other words, “fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children.”

[...]

A dad isn’t just some dude to dismiss. Children need him. They will always need him; from infancy to adulthood, he is the cornerstone of their lives... if the statistics are to be believed, then the truth is that growing up without a dad is no fairytale.

Read the whole piece.

National Organization for Marriage Calls for Supreme Court Stay of Decision Striking Down Virginia's Marriage Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 14, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


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Washington, D.C. — The following statement may be attributed to Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage:

"We urge the Supreme Court to grant Prince William County Clerk Michèle McQuigg's request for a stay of the decision in Bostic v. Schaefer while the matter is appealed. The 4th Circuit has wrongly rejected the request for a stay, and now it lies with the Justices in Washington to ensure that this case can be appealed in an orderly and reasonable fashion without the spectacle of premature same-sex ‘marriages’ filling the news as an affront to the people of Virginia who voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. As the Court stayed a similar decision in the case coming out of Utah, we urge them to find the same good reasons for staying the present decision, maintaining the dignity and credibility of the judicial process and giving the people of Virginia the respect they deserve to defend their vote for marriage before our highest court."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

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. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

NOM Praises Judge for Showing Deference to Voters and Upholding Tennessee Marriage Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"This important decision has largely been ignored in the media because it undercuts the narrative that same-sex marriage is inevitable. But it isn't." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today praised a state judge in Tennessee who ruled last week that the Tennessee state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman does not violate the federal constitution. He is the first judge to uphold the constitutionality of a state marriage amendment since the US Supreme Court issued their 2013 opinion striking down a section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

"It is refreshing to find a judge who is willing to apply the federal constitution as it is and not reinterpret the constitution so as to redefine marriage," said Brian S. Brown, NOM's president. "Judge Russell Simmons is exactly correct when he says that there is nothing about the US Supreme Court's Windsor decision that would invalidate the right of Tennessee voters to define marriage as one man and one woman or require the state to recognize a same-sex ceremony performed in another state."

The Tennessee case involved two gay men who 'married' in Iowa four years ago and now wish to force Tennessee to grant them a divorce. But Judge Simmons wrote in his ruling, "neither the Federal Government nor another state should be allowed to dictate to Tennessee what has traditionally been a state's responsibility."

A number of federal judges in recent months have misinterpreted the US Supreme Court's ruling in the Windsor case, which held that a section of DOMA was unconstitutional because it interfered with the right of New York to redefine marriage. The Court's majority held that regulating marriage has historically been a responsibility of the states and the federal government cannot substitute its judgment for that of the states.

"This important decision has largely been ignored in the media because it undercuts the narrative that same-sex marriage is inevitable. But it isn't," said Brown. "NOM is confident that when this issue reaches the US Supreme Court, likely within a few months, that the constitutionality of marriage amendments and statutes defining marriage as one man and one woman will be upheld."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

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. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Bishop Rozanski: "Family" is "the Basis of Society"

Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, will be installed tomorrow as the ninth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.  A Western Massachusetts news site posted a curiously-written article about the new bishop, a vocal marriage supporter.

Mitchell T. RozanskiThe article wasted no time in criticizing the sex abuse scandals of the 1990s and then went on to imply that Pope Francis somehow holds a different view on marriage than the official position of the Catholic Church:

Last September, Francis, in an interview, said abortion, contraception and gay marriage had become an "obsessed" focus in the Church. Last July, he also said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge."

However, Church teaching that married love is between a man and a woman, for the purpose of reproduction, as ordered by nature, that itself was ordered by God, is not likely to be modified, no matter the pastoral approach to it.

Notice how the article implies that Pope Francis's comments signify a break in Church teaching.

In reality, Pope Francis's "who am I to judge" comment was a continuation of what the Catholic Church has always taught--that those who are attracted to the same sex are called to chastity and should not be subjected to unjust discrimination.  Also notice how the article omitted the portion of the pope's quote denouncing the formation of a "gay lobby."  To include that would be an admission that Pope Francis isn't the radical doctrine reformer many want him to be (so would including anything about Pope Francis's opposition to redefining marriage when he was Cardinal Bergoglio).

The article did, however, include very wonderful comments from Bishop Rozanski on the importance of family - although it was evident that the author of the piece did not take kindly to these observations:

What we offer as Catholics is to strengthen the family as the basis of society. When there is a solid family life, there is less likelihood of crime, there is less likelihood of drug use. The children grow up with a solid foundation. And that is a foundation they can take all through their lives.  And, as a Church, what we are saying is that God made us male and female, and that the institution of marriage is so crucial. It is a sacrament of the Church, if the sacrament is well lived, then the children and future generations will benefit.

Bishop Rozanski is absolutely correct.  When children grow up with a married mother and father, they are much less likely to experience poverty, juvenile delinquency, or drop out of school.

The bishop's defense of marriage is rooted in love for all members of the human family and concern for the welfare of children and society as a whole.  His charitable, truthful comments about the family as the basis of society should inspire Catholics and non-Catholics alike, even if they do upset liberals in the media and those who wish to turn Church against itself by unfairly twisting the words of the Pope and other leaders.

ICYMI: Slovakia Amends Constitution to Protect Marriage

SlovakiaThe Slovakia National Council voted June 4 to define marriage as the unique bond between one man and one woman in its Constitution. The amendment states, "it will be impossible for the rights and duties associated with marriage to be conferred in any way other than a legally recognised union between a man and a woman."

One hundred and two lawmakers supported the marriage amendment and 18 voted against it.

This should put to rest some of the silly claims that we've lost the marriage fight in the United States and abroad.  Slovakia's newest Constitutional amendment is evidence of the support that marriage enjoys.

Croatian voters similarly protected the definition of marriage back in 2013.

Video: How Ryan Anderson Responded to a Gay Man Who Wants to Redefine Marriage

The Daily Signal has highlighted two great videos of marriage champion Ryan Anderson.  In the first video, Anderson charitably responds to a gay man's questions about marriage. Anderson explained how redefining marriage ultimately makes marriage dissolve:

In the second video, Anderson discussed the differences in the law's interest in contracts and in marriage:

 

Polygamy the Key to Happy Relationships?

Readers of the NOM blog know that the push to redefine marriage has far-reaching consequences.  Redefining marriage renders the institution meaningless.  Once marriage is no longer the lifelong union of one man and one woman, there is no logical conclusion as to why three or four consenting adults can't "marry."  After all, if marriage is solely based on adults' emotions, why must it be limited to two people?  Why deny a "throuple" or "quartet" the right to "marriage equality"?Polygamy

A recent article in The Atlantic  profiled "polyamorous" couples who reject "mono-normativity."  Some of them have children who are aware of their polygamous relationships; others live together as "triads."

According to the featured polyamorists--who, by the way, were all interviewed using pseudonyms or their first names only--having different partners satisfies different needs and the more partners to whom they become close, the more fulfilled they are.

Leah Libresco, writing for The American Conservative, responded to some of the claims in this article, particularly the assumption that one's spouse or partner must fulfill 100 percent of expectations.  Libresco argues that expecting one's spouse to be "perfect" or fulfill unrealistic ideals is a destructive mindset with which to approach marriage:

Monogamy isn’t premised on the idea that one person can ever be everything to a partner. When a marriage fails to fulfill “the full smorgasbord” it’s not a sign that anything’s wrong. An expectation that a partner (or full set of them) is meant to be a perfect complement is destructive to romantic and platonic relationships.

[...]

If the friends of these marital perfectionists are rarely given the chance to excel, their spouses are only ever given the chance to fail. Expecting a romantic partner to be fully satisfactory doesn’t just damage existing marriages, it can preempt them. A person who assumes that their spouse should fit seamlessly into his or her life may pass up several good partners while waiting for the perfect one.

In the meantime, they’ll be missing out on the best part of marriage—the presence of a partner in the ongoing project of becoming better versions of yourself.

Self-sacrifice, as well as commitment to one's spouse and children, make marriages stronger--not polygamy or "polyamory."

6 Couples Married 50 Years Apiece Share Wisdom, Advice

More than 50 years ago, six Michigan couples married--and they have been friends ever since.  Each couple wed within weeks of the others back in 1963, meaning they have been married for a combined 300 years.  The couples have all remained friends over the years, participating first in each other's weddings and eventually each other's children's weddings.

This past Valentine's Day, the couples shared advice for others seeking lasting love:

Married Couple“You have to be able to joke about the bad times,” said Lorna Roka, 70, of St. Charles. She and Bob Roka, now 72, married June 15, 1963.

[...]

“After 50 years, you pretty much say what you want to say. It doesn’t matter,” said Tom Metiva, 73. "You have to remember four words: Yes, dear, you're right. I have a hard time saying all four of them together, sometimes."

Nikki Blakeslee, 70, said she and her husband Gary, 71, have found a way to laugh every day. They live in Hemlock and were the last friends to marry that year, on Nov. 30, 1963...

“It’s just a matter of give and take,” Nikki Blakeslee said. “We’ve kept each other probably on an even keel. It seems to have worked for 50 years.”

She echoed the same advice as the others.

“Gary and I laughed every day, and we never go to bed mad. We have had little major arguments in our lifetime,” she said.

“When one is mad, the other person tries to make them come out of it. We always try to have laughter in our day. We have a lot of things in common. We do things together that we love.”

Before the group's female friends married their now-husbands, some of them graduated from nursing school together in 1962.  The women played in a card club together for nearly 30 years.  Two of the men, Bob Roka and Jim Mueller, have been friends since elementary school.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, only six percent of couples had been married for 50 years or longer.  The story of these friends is stirring and advice from these faithful couples, now in their 70s, is certainly worth heeding!

"The Implications of Redefining Marriage are Staggering..."

The consequences of redefining marriage are formidable and grave, Michael Brown recently wrote at Charisma News.  Brown pointed out some of the absurdities of California's new law deleting the "biased" and "outdated" terms "husband" and "wife" from the state's marriage law.  The terms have been replaced with "spouse."

Women cannot be fathers and men cannot be mothers, Brown wrote.  He argued that marriage cannot be redefined unless words that are foundational to our existence are rendered meaningless:

Allow me to make some very simple statements...

Note to California: A woman cannot be a father and a man cannot be a mother.

California-FamilyFurther note to California: The terms "husband and wife" are neither discriminatory nor outdated.

Further, further note to California: Your social experiment will fail.

I do not deny that there are same-sex couples who love each other deeply and who are committed to each other long-term, and I do not deny that there are same-sex couples who are absolutely devoted to their children.

I am simply pointing out that their union cannot rightly be called "marriage" (regardless of what the courts might say) without rendering foundational words and concepts meaningless, a sure recipe for cultural chaos.

To repeat: The implications of redefining marriage are staggering, and those of us who love and cherish marriage and family need to redouble our efforts and renew our courage to stand up for what is right and what is best, making a fresh determination to swim against the current flood tide of semantic and social confusion.

True marriage and family will prevail in the end.

The "cultural chaos" to which Brown referred is what has brought about intolerance and bigotry toward those who believe in marriage between one man and one woman.

When It Comes to Parents, It Isn't "The More The Merrier"

Blogging for the Ruth Institute, Jennifer Johnson recounted her experience of growing up with five parents.  The piece responds to claims by Masha Gessen, a prominent LGBT activist who was recently honored by the state department, who has famously celebrated her own unorthodox family as the shape of things to come:

I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.

Johnson's mother and father divorced when she was about three.  Her mother remarried once and her dad remarried twice, so she has experienced what life is like with five parents--a mother, a father, two stepmothers and a step-father.  Johnson's experience shows that growing up in such a structure is not as rosy of a picture as LGBT activists paint or something to be approached casually:

Child Custody

In this day and age children can already have five parents. That’s how badly marriage has deteriorated already. The main difference between what Gessen advocates and my experience is that my step parents were not legal parents; she advocates for all of the adults in her situation to be legal parents.

Having more than two legal parents will be a nightmare for a child...adding additional legal parents will create more disruption for children’s daily lives, more chaos, more confusion, less unity. And why are we doing this? So that adults can have the sexual partners they want.

Masha Gessen had a mom and a dad, so it appears that she benefitted from the socially conservative family structure--it appears she was not raised under the family structure she advocates... Since I lived under the family structure they advocate, I will sometimes ask [activists]: would you trade childhoods with me? They either say no or they don’t reply.

If what I had is so great, then why don’t they want it as children? Here’s my conclusion: they want it as adults but not as children. They want the benefits of the socially conservative family structure when they are children. But as adults, they want sexual freedom, or at least they want to appear “open minded” and “tolerant” about others sexual choices, even at the expense of children, even though they themselves would never want to live under what they advocate. It’s a bizarre sort of a “win-win” for them, I guess.

It’s very painful for me to have conversations with these people. They don’t understand what they advocate, and they don’t seem to want to understand.

Johnson's experience shows such structures have a profoundly negative impact on children--putting the desires of adults over the needs of children does a giant disservice to the young, vulnerable children involved.

Advocates of redefining marriage can push junk science through the liberal media and claim that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, but when push comes to shove, science and common sense demonstrate otherwise.  Children like Johnson who were raised in unstable environments rarely wish the same on anyone else.

Is it just and fair for adults to put the well-being of children on the backburner so that adult desires can trump everything else?

Johnson also asked readers:

Imagine having each of your parents completely ignore the other half of you, the other half of your family, as if it did not even exist. Meanwhile, imagine each parent pouring their energy into their new families and creating a unified home for their new children. These experiences give you the definite impression of being something leftover, something not quite part of them.

Johnson's experiences say a lot about redefining marriage: it hurts children and even advocates of redefining marriage are glad that they benefitted from being raised by both a mother and a father.

Gessen has also advocated for the abolition of marriage altogether, saying:

...it is a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist... The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change, and again, I don’t think it should exist.