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"Gender Neutral" Restrooms at Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Divinity School tweeted a photo this week of its new “gender-neutral” restroom signs, which promote a new third symbol alongside the traditional male and female gender icons.

Harvard Divinity School SignBustle.com elaborates:

Harvard Divinity College is only the latest in a growing number of universities to embrace gender-neutral bathrooms over the past several years. According to a recent article by the Huffington Post, more than 150 schools across the United States have installed all-gender restrooms in at least some of their facilities. And it’s not just colleges getting in on the trend. Offices, city-owned buildings, and other workplaces are all working to make their bathrooms more gender neutral.

Labeled an "all gender restroom", the sign displays the standard male and female figures, a handicapped symbol, and a male/female hybrid figure. Underneath is written: “Anyone can use this restroom, regardless of gender identity or expression.”

It is unclear as to why the standard unisex indicators were not used, nor if it is a private one-stall bathroom or a community bathroom.

Brian Brown on FoxNews Special Report

NOM's President Brian Brown was featured in a segment of FoxNews' Special Report, saying that the right of the people of individual states "to vote on key issues and resolve them for themselves" is likely to be upheld by the Supreme Court when they take up the issue of marriage again.

Watch the clip here:

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It has long been clear that same-sex marriage activists don't want a fair and even-sided debate. They don't want honest public discourse that hears both sides. They want instead the enforcement of double standards that work to bolster their own side while silencing any opposition.

To take one instance: the oft-repeated call to a standard of "live and let live" is not really meant to apply equally, to everyone. It isn't meant to apply to people of faith, or those who believe in traditional marriage. No, such people are supposed to be harassed and harried for their views at every opportunity. Their businesses should be targeted with nuisance lawsuits, and ultimately they should be forced out of public life altogether unless they wholly embrace the ideology of so-called "marriage equality."

Imagine a game—say a football game—where the sides were deliberately matched unevenly. A game with two sets of rules: one for them, and one for us, their opponents. A game fixed by the referees, with penalty flags thrown only against the "wrong" side.

That's the game the same-sex marriage lobby wants to play. And this week, the metaphor is particularly apt and relevant, because the activists and bullies have lately been trying to enforce their uneven rules and mismatched penalties on the structure of the NFL.

Picking the Winners and the Losers

Last Wednesday, the sports world celebrated the annual ESPY awards, a ceremony meant, according to Wikipedia, to honor "excellence in sports performance and achievements."

During the awards this year, Michael Sam—hailed as the first openly gay NFL player—was given the Arthur Ashe Award for courage in the face of adversity. But one wonders if the narrative of adversity Sam has faced is more fiction than fact.

The media was nearly univocal in its praise for Sam's "bravery" in announcing his sexual preferences before getting drafted, after all. Perhaps the "adversity" they had in mind was the challenge of scheduling his play with the team around the laudatory Oprah Winfrey Network documentary he's meant to star in?

The documentary had to be postponed, according to CBS Sports:

With the backlash that occurred when the new show was announced earlier this week, this shouldn't be a huge surprise. Particularly since it makes little sense for a seventh-round draft pick who has an uphill battle to make the team to continue on with a project that might alienate his employers and/or his colleagues.

The Rams apparently didn't know about the documentary before they drafted him with the No. 249 pick... Reportedly, some of his Sam's new teammates were upset about the plans for the show.

I'm sure some of the more imaginative gay activists would suggest all kinds of reasons why his teammates were upset; but it seems most probable that they simply didn't think having part-time jobs on the side represented a full commitment to a football organization.

In any case, Sam's reception of this award should be noted, because I'll be returning to the point later.

What is clear from the outset, though, is that Sam has been picked as a "winner" by the media and others—hailed as akin to Jackie Robinson for "breaking through a barrier" of animus and discrimination. He has been said to symbolize a turning point for the NFL. The world of football, we are now told, is a place of considerably greater tolerance and acceptance of diversity than what it was.

Well, tell that to David Tyree.

Tyree, once a celebrated wide receiver for the New York Giants, was featured in a Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance video in June 2011 because of the backlash he received after expressing publicly his view that marriage is the union of a man and a woman—a view that stems from Tyree's deeply held religious convictions. Tyree is one of several players in the NFL who have been willing to step up and express such views in the public square.

This week, Tyree is in the news again, after having been named to a new position with the Giants organization. But what has been the reaction of those who most vocally celebrated the "new" culture of "tolerance" and "acceptance" in the NFL—such as the Human Rights Campaign? Here's what one HRC spokesman had to say:

His misinformed and dangerous statements put his judgment into question, on and off the field," said Fred Sainz, a spokesman for the HRC. "Why would the New York Giants organization want a guy like this working for them?

Don't waste too much time puzzling over how Tyree's belief in Biblical marriage "put[s] his judgment into question, on and off the field." I guess to people like Fred Sainz, the skill to run a successful screen pass is incumbent upon one's ability to ignore the unique and complementary assets husbands and wives bring to the enterprises of starting a family and raising children.

No, don't waste too much time thinking about it: because it's a ruse. It's a ploy by HRC to distract less attentive readers from the essential fact that when HRC preaches "tolerance," they're really talking about a one-way street of acceptance.

They're proffering a rulebook with two sets of guidelines: one for them, and one for everyone else. All views should be treated equally, says HRC—but some views should be treated more equally than others.

The bottom line is that Tyree has been picked as a "loser" because of his views, just as Sam has been picked as a "winner." Their performance on the field, it seems, is of less importance to all the football fans at HRC and in the media.

Raising the False (Penalty) Flag

Another NFL spotlight this week has focused on former Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy. Dungy was reported as saying about Michael Sam as a draft pick: "I wouldn't have taken him, not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it."

Of course, cries of bigotry and persecution rang from the rooftops in response to that remark.

But what, after all, was Dungy really talking about? He said in a statement intended to clarify things that he meant Sam's sexual orientation could be an unwelcome "distraction." But that only caused an even greater uproar.

Since then, Dungy has said in a follow-up interview:

Well, gay marriage and who should be on a football team have nothing to do with each other... [On the Indianapolis Colts] [n]ot everybody... was a Christian. Not everybody believed what I did. Not everybody had the same views. To equate this to gay marriage to me, is really silly.

Yet that is precisely what people have sought to make it about, as silly as it is—and that's why I'm constrained to mention it here.

Because, you see, what has happened with Dungy is another example of the gross double-standard same-sex marriage activists want to apply to every aspect of public life.

Remember I said I'd return to the matter of Michael Sam's award last week? Well, consider things this way: Sam has been awarded a high honor in the NFL without having set foot on the field during a game of regulation play. He has also already faced an awkward scheduling difficulty because of a proposed documentary offer he accepted before committing to the NFL, which presented potential conflicts with his team obligations.

The point is that it is evident that Sam's orientation has already been a distraction from football. If you turned on ESPN over the last few days hoping for news of football, you would not have seen so much about pass completion statistics and running yard averages relevant to the upcoming season. You'd have seen instead a whole lot of talking about the drama of gay rights.

Is Tony Dungy a "bigot" for saying that he personally would rather not deal with any such and just do what he got into his career to do, which is win football games?

A Glimpse at the Playbook

Marriage Supporter, what is happening in the NFL is not an isolated phenomenon, but a sign of the larger cultural conflict of which NOM is on the front lines. This is why we need your help to continue the work that we do, and why I ask you so often to provide that assistance. Would you consider sparing a donation to NOM today?

Still not convinced about how wide-spread the effects of redefining marriage are becoming?

Consider a final case.

A New York Times columnist named Josh Barro on Wednesday tweeted the following:

Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly.

A minute later he followed up with a second tweet:

We don't even need to change everybody's mind. Making people too embarrassed to express their anti-gay views is valuable progress.

Needless to say, debate quickly erupted on Twitter. But Barro stuck with it, late that night issuing a tweet comparing social conservatives to segregationists in the 1970s!

Finally, on Thursday morning, the good folks at the Media Research Center's NewsBusters asked Barro a direct question; and his reply is illuminating:

NB: Honest question for @jbarro: should the 'traditional marriage' opinion be stamped out ruthlessly?

Barro: @newsbusters I think it should be rendered unsuitable for polite company, like advocacy of segregation.

Rarely do we see such open frankness from those who favor redefining marriage. Here, in plain terms, is the page from the playbook that HRC and others have been enacting in their harassment of David Tyree and Tony Dungy over the past week:

The goal is to make "traditional marriage," or the very mention of it, "unsuitable for polite company, like advocacy of segregation."

Well, Marriage Supporter, I call foul on that play. And I know you will, too.

So, I ask you to please continue standing with NOM and speaking up on behalf of marriage—regardless of how many elite intolerant bigots in the media find it to be "unsuitable for polite company." Because if their company is considered "polite," then I'd hate to see what impolite company looks like.

Meanwhile, NOM will continue running both a strong offense and defense, trying to advance back down the field toward our goal: a mom and a dad for every child, and a culture that recognizes the great and beautiful good of marriage between one man and one woman.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

Alabama Legislators Call for U.S. Constitution to Be Amended to Define and Protect Marriage

The Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that a resolution sponsored by Alabama State Representative Richard Laird passed the Alabama House, calling for an Article V convention to amend the Constitution of the United States:

Alabama FlagThe resolution, sponsored by Rep. Richard Laird, I-Roanoke, quotes a 2006 amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex unions, and calls marriage “a sacred covenant, solemnized between a man and a woman.” The resolution also cites several court cases, including five from the 19th century. It goes on to say that the U.S. Supreme Court “officially severed its respect for marriage” last year, when it struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevented the recognition of same-sex spouses under federal laws.

Laird’s resolution calls for an Article V convention, which would require 34 states to ask Congress to call a convention to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. According to the resolution, the convention would specifically propose an amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and bar legal recognition of any other form of marriage.

Read more here.

"Dumb Starbucks"? Couldn't Have Said It Better Ourselves

A new coffee shop in California is creating quite a buzz using some novel branding. Behold, Dumb Starbucks.


We did a bit of a double-take when we saw the first reports about the new cafe because of the close rhyme of its name with our own Dump Starbucks campaign.

Dump StarbucksWhile it probably isn't what the founders of the new shop had in mind, we think it's fair to call a company dumb when it suggests that anyone who doesn't agree with its radical agenda to support redefining marriage should take their business across the street.

That is why, after all, we have maintained our call for all marriage supporters worldwide to do just that: Dump Starbucks for its corporate intolerance toward those who hold the basic and common sense belief in marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to instead buy their coffee elsewhere. Maybe those marriage supporters in California will want to give Dumb Starbucks a try instead? Send us your pics if you do!

Three Dozen Lawmakers Applaud NOM's Efforts to Find the Truth about the IRS; Vow to Continue Fighting to Hold Obama Adminstration Accountable

Three dozen members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to the National Organization for Marriage's chairman, Dr. John Eastman, cheering NOM's litigation against the IRS's unlawful disclosure of confidential tax forms filed by the organization.

Congressional Letter to NOM on IRS Case

The letter, dated November 21st, expresses support for NOM's efforts to find the truth. The Congressional members also pledged to continue their work to hold the IRS accountable:

While it is up to the court to determine the outcome of your case, unfortunately your allegation are not unique or even unexpected given the Obama Administration's well-documented practice of using federal agencies to target conservative groups.

[...]

We applaud you in your effort to find the truth about what happened to your donor lists as we in Congress continue fighting to hold the Obama Administration for these abuses of American citizens' constitutional rights.

NOM is very grateful to these Representatives and encouraged by their interest and support! Click here to read the letter in full and to find out if your Representative signed!

The Ruth Institute

The National Organization for Marriage Education Fund is happy to announce that the Ruth Institute will be running as an independent organization effective November 1, 2013. The Ruth Institute has operated as a project of NOM's Education Fund over the last three years. NOM is proud of the great work that the Ruth Institute is doing and is happy that its work has grown to the point where it will operate independently.

"The Vocation to Form One Flesh"

From LifeSiteNews.com:

Pope FrancisPope Francis urged youth today to have the “courage” to get married and have children despite a culture that emphasizes “individual rights” over family.

The pope made the remarks in Assisi during an energetic question and answer session with a number of young people.

[...]

The pope pointed out that marriage is a "real vocation, just like priesthood and religious life are. Two Christians who marry each other have recognized in their love story the Lord's call, the vocation to form one flesh, one life from the two, male and female" [emphasis added].

Read more here.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

The famous line from founding father John Adams comes to mind with the publication of yet another study - published in a peer reviewed academic journal - that demonstrates the negative outcomes for children when they are denied the love of either a mother or a father. Maggie Gallagher reports on the study over at NRO:

Just-the-FactsUsing Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples.

So once again science confirms the truth about the importance of marriage that the wisdom of the ages and common sense have always told us: marriage matters because kids need and deserve a mom and a dad. Redefining marriage, though, means that kids as a norm will be denied at least one of these parents' vital role in their lives - and there are consequences, whether we like it or not. Facts are stubborn things.

The IRS Is Having a Tough News Day

In addition to the important announcement today that NOM has filed suit against the IRS, two other stories are drawing heat for the Government agency today:

IRS-HRCAs part of the shutdown of the Federal government, the National Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) - which describes itself as "Your Voice at the IRS" - has shuttered its doors, and this has potential ominous consequences for citizens. Forbes reports:

Shutting down TAS could have some serious consequences, according to [the service's head, Nina Olsen]. With our voice at the IRS cut off, “the government can harm the taxpayer with impunity and the taxpayer has no redress”.... According to Olson, the advocate service routinely handles cases from distraught taxpayers who threaten suicide if their disputes with the IRS cannot be resolved expeditiously, as well as cases in which a lien on property ties up funds a taxpayer needs for lifesaving medical help. Apparently, the entire lien process has not been shut down.

You can read the full story here.

And if anyone knows the importance of having an avenue of redress when it comes to dealing with the IRS, it's the subject of the other story worth noting today: Dr. Ben Carson.

According to The Washington Times:

Just months after he gave a speech earlier this year that challenged America’s leadership in President Obama’s presence, Dr. Ben Carson was targeted by IRS agents who requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit without finding any wrongdoing.

“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS,” Dr. Carson said in an interview Thursday.... “But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion.”

Go read more about Dr. Carson's situation, and let's hope that this powerful agency finally faces appropriate scrutiny and is held accountable to the American people.

"The IRS Needs to Pay" - NOM to File Suit Today

At The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports that "The National Organization for Marriage will sue the IRS on Thursday, saying it has evidence that someone within the agency leaked the organization’s private donor list to its political enemies in 2012 but that nobody has been held responsible" [emphasis added].

IRS

Dinan spoke to attorney Cleta Mitchell of ActRight Legal Foundation which is handling NOM's case. She said:

Somebody did this deliberately and it was planned, and we need to know who it was. The IRS needs to pay. Ultimately, the IRS is responsible for the damages.

Dinan also quotes NOM's chairman, Dr. John Eastman, explaining how the fact that the leaked documents had internal IRS markings on that that had been hidden makes for a compelling case:

It suggests to me that this thing was deliberate and at high levels — head of the division, a political appointee, somebody. And darn it, we’re going to find out who did it, and we’re going to wrap it up with a bow and send it over to the Justice Department and keep the pressure on.

You can read Dinan's entire piece here.


And don't forget that you can hear John Eastman and Cleta Mitchell both speaking today at The Heritage Foundation as part of their ongoing series, Preserve the Constitution.

The event will be live-streamed from 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT, and you can sign up for an email reminder here.

Oh, and the topic of the event? "Political Speech and the IRS: Protecting the First Amendment." Surely, this one is not to be missed!

House Oversight to Investigate "Apparently Politically Driven Leak"

At NRO's The Corner, Eliana Johnson reports that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), will be investigating the politically-motivated targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S., and particularly the leak of NOM's confidential tax documents to Human Rights Campaign:

Issa and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan notified Treasury Department inspector general Russell George and Internal Revenue Service acting administrator Danny Werfel in letters dated September 26 that the National Organization for Marriage, the conservative group founded in opposition to the legalization of gay marriage, and a handful of tea-party groups have signed waivers allowing senior stafff on the committee to access their tax return information. “With the authority granted by these waivers,” they write, “we request that you produce all documents and communications referring or relating” to the applications and their review within the agency.

Johnson quotes a statement from Representative Issa that explains the scope of the investigation. According to Issa, "This information will give us a better sense of why these groups faced delays, what questions they were asked, and what sort of communications were occurring within the IRS in regards to the inappropriate delays and the apparently politically driven leak."

We look forward to the Committee's findings.

"Serial, Frivolous Case Filer" Targets NOM

What's the best way to weaken and silence those you disagree with? Intimidation and threats, of course. At least that's what some same-sex marriage activists believe. "Serial, frivolous case filer" Fred Karger is well aware of the important work that NOM has done, and continues to do, to protect marriage across the nation. He also knows there are millions of Americans who support our mission. Now he's making his agenda clear:

A homosexual activist is attempting to weaken the National Organization for Marriage and eat away at its donor list.

Fred-Karger“This same gentleman, an openly gay activist who fancies himself president of the United States one day, has filed similar complaints in Maine and California,” says [NOM regional director Chris Plante]. “And at no time has NOM been found guilty of any wrongdoing.”

“It's an effort to silence people who would stand for marriage in the public square,” says Plante, “who would criticize and critique our politicians and judges who redefine marriage against the will of the people.

The complaint stems from NOM's successful work to oust three activist Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized homosexual marriage from the bench.

“I spoke with the gentleman who filed the complaint and he was quite honest,” Plante tells OneNewsNow. “He said, My effort is to dry up your funding stream and silence your voice. And he knows that by forcing NOM to reveal donors, which we do not have to do under the law, will certainly scare people from donating.” -One News Now

Pastors Outraged Over DC Mayor's "Strike at the Fabric of the Faith Community"

Award-winning gospel recording artist and pastor Donnie McClurkin was uninvited from a Martin Luther King Memorial concert this past weekend in Washington, DC. Why? Local pastors, and McClurkin himself, insist that DC Mayor Vincent Gray heeded the demands of gay rights activists, informing McClurkin the night before the event that he was "not welcomed and uninvited":

Pastor Donnie McClurkinDonnie McClurkin, award-winning and internationally celebrated gospel recording artist and Christian minister, has claimed that he was uninvited from a MLK Memorial concert on Saturday in Washington, D.C. because Mayor Vincent C. Gray heeded the demands of gay rights activists who wanted him dropped from the event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. McClurkin has previously shared that he believes God delivered him from the "sin of homosexuality" and that people with unwanted same-sex attractions can change.

McClurkin, pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.J., stated in a Socialcam video: "The mayor of D.C. uninvited me from a concert that I was supposed to headline today in the Washington (National) Mall commemorating...this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. I was asked not to attend although I'm considered the headliner of the concert, and advertisements had been circulated and the churches as well as the community are prepared to come out by the tens of thousands into the Washington Mall (area)."

The New Jersey minister went on to reveal that he had received a phone call while on his way to the airport the night before the event and was told that he was "not welcomed and uninvited," according to promoters who had reportedly received word from Mayor Gray's office.

The Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity have released a statement to the press in response to Mayor Vincent Gray's actions:

Press Statement - Donnie McClurkin's Civil Rights Infringement 081113

NOM Regional Director Christopher Plante on Relevant Radio

Chris PlanteOur own Chris Plante, Regional Director for NOM-Rhode Island, appeared on the Drew Mariani Show today to discuss attacks on marriage and our religious liberties, and also how we can continue to build a strong marriage culture for the future.

The segment begins around the 33:00 mark: