NOM BLOG

Category Archives: Religious Liberty

Bobby Jindal Knows Exactly What Marriage Is

While the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding marriage exemplifies that the majority of the justices do not understand the cultural significance, biological requirements, or historical reasoning of marriage, Bobby Jindal assures everyone that he is not “evolving” on marriage:

Bobby-JindalGOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal says he will not change his stance on marriage.

The Louisiana governor made that clear when he sat down for an interview with The Daily Signal earlier this year in Baton Rouge.

“My faith teaches me that marriage is between a man and a woman. I’m not changing,” Jindal says. “I know it’s politically fashionable to evolve. I’m not evolving and it doesn’t matter to me what the polls say…that is one of those issues that I’m not going to change on.”

Jindal has called the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage an “all-out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians.”

While Jindal says his state will comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, he has also stated that court clerks and state workers can’t be forced to support the ruling if they have religious objections.

Jindal says he will continue to push for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman.

Original article and video can be found via The Daily Signal.

The Next Target in the Same-sex Marriage War

Now that the Supreme Court has failed the American people and are forcing states to accept same-sex marriage, what is the next target of same-sex marriage proponents? Dominic Lynch has the answer: after Obergefell, churches are next.

ThinkstockPhotos-122468669Chief Justice Roberts's Obergefell dissent lays the stakes on the table:

Today's decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is -- unlike the right imagined by the majority -- actually spelled out in the Constitution. Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority's decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to "advocate" and "teach" their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to "exercise" religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.

How do we get from "marriage equality" to churches forced into performing weddings that violate their teachings? Lawsuits.

Imagine a same sex couple who consider themselves deeply Catholic want to get married at the Catholic church of their choice. They approach the pastor and he declines to officiate the wedding or be a party to it. The spurned couple might then file a non-discrimination lawsuit against the pastor and his parish making the simple argument that because same-sex marriage is a right protected under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, a parish cannot discriminate in who it weds and who it doesn't.

The religious liberty protections of the First Amendment can only hold up so long when put under the scrutiny that drove Burwell. Play some mental gymnastics a la Roberts and suddenly a centuries-old protection of religious liberty fades away. "Prohibiting" could be construed to mean "Congress can't prohibit except when..." And "free exercise" could take a similar meaning: "Churches can practice their faith freely except when..." It's not a far stretch to suggest this can happen. If Burwell happened, this can happen.

Advocates of same sex marriage have avoided discussing religious liberty protections outside of some editorials that scoff at the idea that the free exercise of religion would ever be threatened by the gay marriage movement. Ultimately, our society is one step away from the previously unthinkable stage of government-coerced marriages in churches.

Unless Congress, governors, and state legislatures act immediately, government-coerced weddings are a matter of when, not if.

We Must Fight On!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last week's US Supreme Court ruling on marriage is an illegitimate decision and a gross example of legislating from the bench!

Plain and simple, what the small majority (5/4) of the justices has done is simply invent a constitutional right to same-sex 'marriage' out of thin air, and invalidated the decision of over 50 million voters and their elected officials in the process. It is the worst exercise of judicial activism I've ever seen.

Justice John Roberts called it "an act of will, not legal judgment" and he properly compared it to other illegitimate Court decisions of history, specifically the Dred Scott decision that determined that African Americans were the mere property of their "masters."

But despite this terrible blow, we will fight on. We will not give up! And we will not accept this decision to be "the last word" about marriage in America.

We have a lot of work ahead to reverse this illegitimate decision, and we have a plan ready to launch. But we urgently need your financial help today to carry the fight forward. Please make an emergency contribution of $50, $100 or $500 or more.

Help Us Fight On

Not only has the Court's majority thrown the legal definition of marriage aside, they have put in the crosshairs every American that believes in the truth of marriage. We are already seeing examples of discrimination and possible persecution against those of us that believe in marriage as between one man and one woman. Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas all worry aloud — rightly so — that it will not be long before cases will be brought involving punishment of people and groups by the government for not agreeing to go along with the new orthodoxy of marriage.

The Obama Administration can be expected to be at the forefront of this punishment and persecution as they become a tool of gay activists to crush any dissenting view of marriage. Already a top Obama lawyer has hinted that Christian schools and other nonprofit and charitable groups that refuse to go along might lose their tax-exempt status.

But it won't stop there. Soon, any lever of power the government can wield will be used to force compliance — whether that be the tax code, revocation of government contracts, new provisions in employment law, denial of access to services and benefits, etc. — whatever the federal government has at its disposal to force individuals and organizations to comply will be utilized.

That is why a major part of our plan going forward is to push for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in Congress. This critical legislation will provide some measure of protection against governmental discrimination and punishment for people who continue to hold to the truth of marriage as one man and one woman.

But advancing this legislation in Congress will not be easy. We will need substantial resources to battle the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who will work hand in hand with President Obama to force compliance with this new ruling.

We are asking for your immediate financial contribution today to fight to protect marriage supporters by getting Congress to pass the First Amendment Defense Act. Our plan calls for investing more than $150,000 in this effort over the next several months. We urgently need your help to reach this goal.

But it is not enough to only pass FADA at the federal level; we must advance it in every state in the nation. Thus, our plan includes working with allies at the state level to support state-based versions of the First Amendment Defense Act. We will work to pass this legislation through state Legislatures, and we will look to put it on the ballot directly in many states.

We need your financial help for this cause. Will you consider making a gift of $100 today so that we can get started? Of course, it that is too much, please give what you are able. And if you can give more than that, it would be a great blessing.

Help Us Fight On

It's also clear from last week’s ruling that we need to replace some of these justices. Thankfully, several are expected to retire soon and that is why it is critical that we elect a pro-marriage champion as President. NOM is already leading to accomplish this by issuing The People's Marriage Pledge to give voice to the millions of Americans who believe, as we do, that marriage must be protected.

Our national action plan includes making substantial investments of resources to promote The People's Marriage Pledge, and to engage in independent communications to educate voters about which candidates are true marriage champions. We cannot afford to have another presidential nominee who only gives lip service to the cause of marriage — we need a champion who will act! That's why we must raise substantial resources to accomplish this task.

If you believe that our next President of the United States must be a champion for true marriage, then we ask you to donate today so that we can make this a reality in the future.

There are other elements of our plan to go forward, and I will discuss these in future communications. For now, rest assured that NOM is in this fight for the long haul, and we trust you will be there with us.

These are dark days, but we are not defeated. Indeed, we have been reenergized and are more determined than ever to reverse this injustice and restore God's institution of marriage to its proper place in American law and culture.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Our opponents are now counting on you to give up, and so is a majority of the US Supreme Court. Remember it was Justice Ginsburg who violated judicial ethics to comment publicly that the American people will easily accept this illegitimate decision. Please act today to prove her wrong! Your contribution of $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 or more will be an investment in the next phase of this struggle and allow us to begin to fight back and ultimately reverse this terrible decision.


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"SCOTUS is Not the Final Word on Marriage"

NOM President and co-founder Brian Brown discusses the future of marriage today in the Washington Examiner:

Words in FamilyThis not the first time that the Court has relied on its own conception of liberty to justify a decision. One of the best examples of this phenomenon was the Dred Scott v. Sandford case in which a majority of the Supreme Court ruled that restrictions on slavery were unconstitutional because of the implied right of slaveholders. African Americans were thus not people entitled to the rights of citizens, but instead property subject to the will of their masters.

In terms of its legal reasoning, the marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges, is the Dred Scott decision of our time. It is illegitimate and completing lacking in constitutional authority. It is the product of unaccountable judges legislating from the bench, usurping the role of elected officials and voters and imposing a social policy on the nation because they think they know best.

And like Dred Scott, America need not accept it as the final word, the "law of the land" or even a decision worthy of respect.

...The decision last week is by no means the final word concerning the definition of marriage. NOM is committed to overturning this ruling and containing its effects.

This is only the beginning of the next phase in the struggle to protect marriage. Read on to learn about three major steps that NOM is taking to reverse this unjust ruling. We will not rest until the injustice of this decision is undone and marriage is restored to our nation's laws as it exists in reality — the union of one man and one woman.

 

Kentucky Clerks Object to Same-sex Marriage Ruling

A group of court clerks in Kentucky have halted issuing all marriage licenses, following the Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that is forcing all states to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

ThinkstockPhotos-86527346In order to not be considered “discriminatory,” several clerks in Kentucky have simply stopped issuing any marriage licenses. As Casey County Clerk Casey Davis said, “my religious convictions will not allow me to in good conscience issue same-sex marriage licenses, and I don't want to be discriminatory toward them, or anyone else, so I choose not issue a marriage license, period."

Naturally, resistance to the imposition of same-sex marriage is not to be tolerated by same-sex marriage proponents:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky said its lawyers would be willing to represent same-sex couples who are refused a marriage license in Kentucky.

"It's our contention that government officials' personal objections are insufficient to justify refusing to do what they have been elected by the people to do, in terms of issuing these marriage licenses," said Bill Sharp, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Kentucky. Sharp declined to say whether any couples have called the ACLU to say they have been denied a license.

Davis, the Casey County clerk, noted that state law allows for any resident over age 18 to seek a marriage license in any county of Kentucky.

"So I don't see that I have to be the one that issues it," Davis said.

Even though the clerks are merely invoking their religious liberties, same-sex marriage proponents are not allowing this quiet rebellion to go unchallenged. As AOL reported:

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, a gay-rights advocacy organization, said the clerks could face lawsuits over their refusal to issue marriage licenses.

"If these county clerks don't abide by the law of the land ... they will be sued and they will waste taxpayer time and dollars on a frivolous and self-righteous pursuit that ultimately will be fruitless," Hartman said.

Hartman said his group would refer callers who can't get a marriage license to the ACLU of Kentucky.

These Kentucky clerks are absolute heroes. All American citizens are encouraged to stand up for marriage, especially through actions such as these. While the opposing side may well attempt to invoke violent attacks against us, those who support marriage as the union between one man and one woman have the benefit of truth on their side.

The road is certainly not easy, but the fight to protect marriage is without a doubt, a fight worth fighting.

Thank you to all who continue to stand strong in the face of adversity and continue to proclaim the truth: marriage is the union between one man and one woman, and ONLY one man and one woman.

Listen to KQED Radio’s Forum Featuring NOM’s President, Brian Brown!

From KQED.org:

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage nationwide. Gay men and women "ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion. "The Constitution grants them that right." San Franciscans waving rainbow flags outside City Hall tearfully hugged each other after hearing the news, which came right before the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade weekend. We discuss the 5-4 decision and what this means for the country.

Support the First Amendment Defense Act Today!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you know, a 5-4 ruling of the US Supreme Court has resulted in marriage being redefined, with genderless 'marriage’ now being imposed on every state in the nation. This is a terrible decision that entirely lacks constitutional authority.

NOM is committed to working to reverse this decision over time. But until that happens, we need to minimize the damage that is going to be caused to individuals, churches and other organizations that support marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Please act today to support the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) today by completing this Action Alert. FADA will prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings.

This common-sense and urgently-need bill has become "must pass" legislation in light of the US Supreme Court decision. I urge you to contact your US Senators and Members of Congress to ask them to support this legislation.

Take Action Today to Support the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) (S. 1598, H.R. 2802)

It is imperative that we convince the leaders of Congress to move FADA to a vote at the earliest possible moment. Those on the left will be ready to denounce the effort as "discrimination," but the real discrimination on the marriage issue has been felt by those who stand for the truth of marriage. People have lost their jobs, been fined, put out of business, forced to abandon their charitable missions, and threatened by government officials with financial ruin, all for expressing support for marriage in the public square.

We will be in a heated battle to secure passage of the First Amendment Defense Act, which is why we need to raise $150,000 for a strong communications and advocacy campaign. Please consider making an immediate financial contribution to help protect supporters of marriage from being punished and discriminated against.

We need to build a groundswell of public support for FADA. That groundswell starts with you. Please take the simple step of completing this Action Alert to ask your elected representatives to support this most important legislation prohibiting discrimination against supporters of true marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


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All Eyes on the Supreme Court



Dear Marriage Supporter,

The US Supreme Court decision on marriage will come down either tomorrow or Monday. Of course, no matter what the Court does decide, they cannot ever change the truth of marriage. Marriage is not a political institution that can be reshaped to suit a popular ideology. It is an institution with a unique meaning and purpose — to bring the two halves of humanity together to give children the best opportunity to experience the love of both their mother and father. Every civilization since the dawn of time has recognized that this is a universal, foundational truth. Hopefully a majority of Supreme Court justices will as well.

If you live near Washington, DC, please try to come to the steps of the Court to be with us when the decision is rendered. I will be there myself. Plan on arriving Friday morning by 9am. Decisions are issued starting at 10am.

If the decision does not come down on Friday, there will be rally at the Court on Monday morning beginning at 9:00am. Again, the decision will be released at 10:00am eastern time. Please join me there.

Bait & Switch

As we have written about frequently, so much of the movement in support of same-sex 'marriage' has been contrived, the result of deliberate attempts to manipulate public opinion. Polls are constructed in such a way to show outsized support for redefining marriage; the media writes at least five times the number of stories favoring gay 'marriage' than they do stories featuring opposition to it; and the public is constantly bombarded with pro-gay characters on television and in the movies.

The Weekly Standard published an excellent article this week about the "Bait & Switch" approach used by same-sex 'marriage' advocates. Now that these advocates believe they have won the public relations battle with polls showing a majority of Americans are on their side, they are stepping back from their previous assertions — including the view that gays and lesbians are 'born that way' and that redefining marriage won't actually change marriage — because they no longer serve their purposes. If you have a few minutes, it's worth reading the article.

The People's Marriage Pledge

As we've discussed many times, one of the most important things we can do to protect marriage, especially if the Supreme Court decision goes against us, is to elect a strong pro-marriage champion as President of the United States. NOM's Presidential Marriage Pledge asks the candidates to commit to take specific actions as president to protect marriage. The pledge has been distributed to all the Republican candidates for president, and we will begin reporting in the next couple of weeks on who has agreed to sign.

In the meantime, you can act today to advance the cause of marriage in the presidential contest by signing The People's Marriage Pledge. As a signer, you are serving notice that you will only support a candidate who pledges to stand with us to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Unfortunately, many Republican candidates have wealthy donors and consultants whispering in their ears that they should stay away from "divisive" social issues generally, and marriage in particular. By signing The People's Marriage Pledge, you will help us counter the influence of these GOP insiders by showing that the American people at the grassroots level demand a candidate who stands with them in support of marriage.

Support the First Amendment Defense Act

The First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) is critical legislation pending in Congress that will protect people who believe in the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman from being discriminated against by government. The legislation is authored in the US Senate by Sen. Mike Lee and in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador.

If you have not yet contacted your federal representatives urging them to support this critical legislation, please do so today. NOM is working hard with other allies to push this legislation so that people and organizations who support true marriage are not subjected to adverse actions by the government. No person or group should be forced to embrace same-sex 'marriage' or risk being punished if they refuse.

Rally in Rome

You likely didn't read much about this in the media here in the US (because it runs contrary to the narrative they want to advance that "everyone" is now on board with redefining marriage) but there was a huge outpouring of opposition to gay unions recently in Rome, where Italy's Prime Minister is advancing a civil union measure and also advocates the teaching of "gender theory" in schools.

The square where the rally was held holds 300,000 people, and news media representatives say the crowd far exceeded the capacity of the square. Rally organizers estimate that 1 million people attended to show their support for traditional marriage and the natural family.

Backers want us to believe that the movement to redefine marriage enjoys worldwide support and that if we fail to embrace it here in America we will somehow be out of step with other countries. But the truth is that only 19 nations — less than 10% of countries in the world — allow for genderless marriage, and almost all of those are in the west. The rest of the world continues to support protecting marriage because they realize that marriage serves immense societal purposes, and does not exist simply to satisfy the political demands of powerful activists.

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever

No matter what the US Supreme Court decides, our work in defense of marriage is far from over. Indeed, what we do will take on even great importance as we move into this next "post-Supreme Court" phase of the battle. If we win the Court case, marriage will be on the ballot in countless states as advocates attempt to convince voters to redefine marriage. And if we lose, we have an ambitious game plan ready to mitigate the damage in the short term, and work to reverse the ruling over the longer term.

Please help us continue to fight for the truth of marriage as God designed it

We will be in a new era of the marriage battle by the time you receive our next newsletter. Let us resolve together that no matter what the Court decides, we will never accept an illegitimate decision and we will always fight for what we know to be good and right — that marriage was ordained by God, that it is one man and one woman, and that it is a powerful public good for children, families, and for society as a whole.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


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It's Crunch Time!



Dear Marriage Supporter,

By this time next week, we will know whether or not the Supreme Court believes our federal constitution prohibits states from defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It seems absurd — the very idea that traditional marriage could be unconstitutional is beyond rational comprehension. But that is the situation that federal judges have created and what the US Supreme Court is considering.

You already know that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has done everything possible to demonstrate the illegitimacy of this position and argue that the true definition of marriage must be preserved. We have been a powerful voice for the over 50 million Americans who directly, and through their elected officials, have cast ballots defining marriage in the law as it has existed in reality — one man, one woman.

But regardless of how the Supreme Court justices rule, we know our battle won't be over. The Court can issue their opinion but that doesn't mean they have the final say. The sovereign power of this nation rests with us — the People — and not unelected judges. And we exert that power through the people we elect to high office, and through the laws we pass directly at the ballot box.

Win or lose this case, NOM has a plan. But we need your financial assistance today if we are going to be able to implement it.

There are at least two critical elements in what we need to do:

  1. It is imperative that America has a president who is a champion for marriage — not a puppet of special interest groups or small but extremely vocal segments of our society.
  2. It's critical that the First Amendment Defense Act be passed to protect all people from discrimination and punishment simply because they believe in the truth of marriage as one man and one woman.

Can you please take a stand with us at this critical time and offer your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more. I am counting on you to be there for us now that it is crunch time. Please make an immediate gift to help us defend marriage.

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Just this week we asked every declared presidential candidate to sign the Presidential Marriage Pledge. We know that our nation needs a leader who will take very specific actions to protect marriage and protect people who believe in marriage — like you and me — from being targeted for retaliation by government. It's not enough to just talk — we need a champion who will deliver when elected. We simply cannot have another administration that, like the last seven disastrous years, has actively sought to redefine marriage at every opportunity and then take action against those who oppose it!

We are working tirelessly in this fight because the outcome is so essential for America's future. But it is going to take more than NOM to have an impact — it requires you!

If you believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, I ask you to do two things . . . today, to influence the future of America:

  1. Sign the People's Marriage Pledge. You can read it and sign it here. We must be able to tell the 2016 presidential candidates that there are literally millions of Americans who only support candidates who support marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

    Let's face it — the loudest voices are the ones heard and listened to. We MUST raise our voices in such number that candidates can't help but hear — and know there is so much support for marriage in America that they, too, must take a stand. We absolutely must tell every presidential candidate that Americans do care about marriage.

  2. Make a donation to NOM today. We are your presence in Washington and around the country, the voice of the silent majority. We have laid it all on the line for this great cause, and we are counting for you to sustain us during this critical time. Thank God we have many supporters like you because we can't do it alone. I have to confess, sometimes it is exhausting and discouraging when we see so many wealthy and powerful forces arrayed against us — billionaires, huge corporations, Hollywood and the media. We have only truth — and you — on our side.

    Many of you have sent us wonderful messages of encouragement and have kept us in your prayers, for which we are extremely grateful. Many have reminded us of the biblical scene when David defeated Goliath, and that is an apt comparison. But let's also be frank — even David had a stone with which to load his sling. The plain truth is that battling for marriage costs money.

So please take a stand with us at this critical time in our nation's history by offering your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more. We will put your gift to immediate use defending marriage on both the state and national level.

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Let me recap what I urgently need you to do right now....

First, sign the People's Marriage Pledge here. Read it over carefully. I believe you will immediately see that this is something you must sign because you fervently believe that Americans must not allow the Supreme Court to overthrow marriage and force all of us to conform or even risk retaliation for our beliefs. This will only take you a few minutes — but its impact may be felt for years, even decades, to come.

Secondly, make a donation today so NOM can continue to fight for marriage in our nation's capitol, in statehouses, in court and in the court of public opinion. You may think your one voice isn't heard or it doesn't matter. That's wrong! When your voice is combined with millions of other voices through NOM's unceasing efforts, you can help change what seems inevitable and restore marriage as the union between one man and one woman.

It's your donations that help NOM broadcast your voice

America needs to return to its roots and recognize that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. And NOM needs you right now — now that it is crunch time — if we are going to have the impact that makes that a reality.

We can do it — if we work together and never underestimate the power of voices united for marriage.

Join the movement. Sign the petition. And give today. Do it for marriage, and for America.

As people of conviction, we must not do anything less.

Please offer your best gift today of $50, $100, or even $500 or more. I am counting on you.

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. Nothing worth fighting for has ever been easy. Nothing worth believing in has ever been without challenges. Nothing worth preserving has ever succeeded without an investment of resources to stave off those who want to abolish it.

That's why NOM will continue to fight the battle for marriage. No decision by the Supreme Court will change that conviction. Please show that you, too, will not give up by both signing the People's Marriage Pledge and making your best donation to NOM today.

Thank you.

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Jim Garlow: Marriage Leaders and Capitulators

A courageous defender of marriage and longtime friend of NOM, Jim Garlow, senior pastor at Skyline Church in San Diego, California, offers his insightful analysis on the impending Supreme Court ruling, and challenges us to think about whether we, the people, will decide to do what is right, or what is easy:

[M]y concern is less with prognosticating on what the court might do, but rather on the reaction of the Christian community to the presumed attempted destruction of marriage, specifically from its leaders. What should we expect?

It appears to me that there are some who suffer from “Tony Campolo Syndrome.” That is, they are on the verge of “stepping over” – coming out of the “one-man-one-woman marriage closet” – and a bit eager to embrace so-called same-sex “marriage.”

Why will several prominent Christian “leaders” do this? It will not be because they can biblically defend it. They cannot.

It will because – now how do I say this nicely? – they are cowardly. You see, it is now culturally chic – oh, so very cool – to affirm so called same-sex “marriage.” By doing so, one appears so “with it,” so “relevant.” And it make you appear – notice, only appear – to be so kind and grace giving.

I fully expect several high-profile pastors and Christian leaders – based on the “rumblings” – to use the Supreme Court decision as an excuse –a casuistry – to violate Scripture. The phrasing that will be used will be very similar and even more boring. Even more tragic, it will be deceptive.

One phrase that will be used repeatedly is “that ship has sailed.” It seems to ease their conscience that they can now fit in culturally with the radical homosexual agenda and not have to suffer from any of the barbs, jabs and bullying hurled at those who stand with Scripture.

. . .

While it is true that that “the ship may have sailed,” that ship will sink! It is the proverbial Titanic. (The problem is it will try to take so many of us down with it – even though we’ve been warning of the “iceberg” for some time!)

And those who stand for truth – those with titanium scriptural backbones – will face entirely new challenges in defending biblical marriage.

Christian leaders will be divided into two categories: Neville Chamberlains, that is, the compromisers, and Winston Churchills, the courageous champions.

For those whose World War II history is slipping, Neville Chamberlain compromised and set up Hitler to kill tens of millions of people. Winston Churchill knew what had to be done against Hitler, and did it.

The Chamberlain cowardly “Christian leaders” will assert that “it’s all over. There’s nothing we can do. It has been decided.”

The Churchillian ABC (Authentically Biblically Christian) leaders will rise up and say, “never give up!”

Why will they do this? Because they are dinosauric and cannot get with the times? No!

Because they have figured out that there are some things worth continuing to fight for and, if necessary, die for. Yes, it will take a long time. But one-man-one-woman marriage is such a no-brainer, it will eventually win out.

You can read Garlow’s full article at WND.com.

The Marriage Pledge: A Litmus Test

The Washington Post joins a number of other major national media in covering NOM’s Presidential Marriage Pledge launched last week. As the article notes, every major Republican candidate in 2012 signed NOM’s presidential pledge, including nominee Mitt Romney. NOM expects the Presidential Marriage Pledge to play a significant role in ensuring that marriage is a top-tier issue in the campaign, and will work to ensure that the Republican nominee is a strong marriage champion.

ThinkstockPhotos-78479938With a field of almost 20 candidates, the undercards are looking for every opportunity to stand out. Though attitudes have shifted rapidly, social conservatives who oppose same-sex unions retain the power to decide who wins Iowa’s caucuses and South Carolina’s primary. The National Organization for Marriage is determined to make support for a Constitutional amendment overturning the SCOTUS decision a litmus test. Last week, it began publicly prodding 2016 candidates to sign a pledge that they will do everything possible to “overturn” an “illegitimate” decision.

Almost all of the 2012 candidates signed the NOM “marriage pledge,” including Mitt Romney. But the atmosphere has changed substantially. The donor class is more powerful than ever because of Citizens United, and most major donors either back same-sex marriage or feel pretty agnostic about social issues. The most credible candidates also worry about turning off independents and younger voters in a general election: a CNN poll last month found that 63 percent of Americans believe gays and lesbians have a Constitutional right to marry. This will incline contenders like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich to say that they respect the rule of law, despite whatever their personal beliefs may be. On the other side, Ted Cruz introduced a constitutional amendment in April that would let states re-ban gay marriage. Bobby Jindal supports such an amendment; Scott Walker suggested openness to considering such an approach, but he’s also said the courts settled the issue in his home state of Wisconsin.

Full article can be found via The Washington Post.

NOM Update: Support the 1st Amendment Defense Act



Dear Marriage Supporter,

A vital piece of legislation was just introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), and NOM urges you to ask your elected officials to support it just as we are.

This critical bill — the First Amendment Defense Act or FADA — has a simple purpose: "To prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage." Could anything be more American than that? This country was birthed by a desire for freedom, to be able to think, worship and live according to personal choice — not fearing government interference or worse for refusing to go along with the status quo on issues of morality.

Can you please take a stand with us at this critical time and offer your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more. We will put your gift to immediate use defending marriage on both the state and national level.

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The first amendment of our beloved Constitution — which this legislation is striving to defend — says very simply:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Can you believe that there are people who actually want to deny first amendment rights to those of us who support marriage as God designed it, the union of one man and one woman?

Believe me — it's true! And that's why NOM is fighting every day to protect the very rights that you and I cherish. And that's why we are doing all we can to ensure that FADA, this important legislation before our Congress right now, is passed into law.

Please stand with us now at this critical time with your gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more.

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Not a week goes by when we don't see someone who supports true marriage be targeted for harassment or punishment. It's not only gay activists who are targeting marriage supporters, sometimes it's the government itself. The Attorney General of Washington state is suing a 70 year old Christian grandmother because she did not want to be forced to use her talents as a florist for a same-sex 'wedding' because doing so violated her deeply held beliefs about marriage. The AG has threatened to take all of her personal assets as punishment. Concern is growing across our nation that individuals and organizations that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman will increasingly be vulnerable to government retaliation. Indeed, a top lawyer for President Obama told the US Supreme Court that they may begin to revoke the tax exempt status of groups like Christian schools who do not embrace same-sex 'marriage' should the Court decide to impose a redefinition of marriage on the entire nation. And this despite the fact that more than 8 in 10 Americans who believe that our government should leave people free to follow their religious or moral beliefs about marriage as they live their daily lives and run their businesses.

Gay and lesbian activists are fond of playing the "victim card" but the reality is that supporters of marriage are the real victims, targeted by activists simply for refusing to endorse same-sex marriage. These people have been driven from their jobs, fired, sued, suspended and ostracized. Add to that the potential for government to join in the punishment of marriage supporters, and the need for the FADA legislation becomes crystal clear. Every citizen who supports marriage must feel comfortable living out their religious or moral beliefs in public without fear of discrimination or retaliation. And that is exactly what the First Amendment Defense Act will protect. Congress must uphold our Nation's acceptance of people and entities that affirm traditional marriage.

So, we are doubling our efforts at NOM, doing all we can to help Senator Lee and Representative Labrador move their vital legislation through the Senate and the House of Representatives. On your behalf, we will always defend the right of all citizens to live out their religious or moral beliefs without fear of discrimination or even prosecution. There's no question that we are standing behind FADA — and we urge you to do so, as well.

And at the same time, NOM is taking action on every front possible to ensure marriage is not illegitimately redefined by the courts. We have not let up one iota in that battle. Can you please stand with us at this critical time and offer your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more.

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America has always been a country that encouraged freedom of speech, religion and thought. Yet now, some of our more vocal citizens won't rest until we all think just like they do and only say things they would say. I can't speak for you, but that angers me — it's tearing away one of the very things that makes our country "the land of the free."

There's no question in my mind — the next few weeks are critical, and will help shape the months and years ahead — especially given the presidential election that will lay the course for our nation for at least four years.

NOM is fighting every day on your behalf. We cannot change the status quo without the strong backing of Americans who share our beliefs. We must speak with a strong and powerful voice — and your support helps make that possible.

Please help us fight the battle and push forward to victory — for you and me, and for our nation.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. NOM is on the job every day, fighting for what you — and millions more Americans — believe. Thank you for continuing to help NOM face down each new challenge with strength and unity of voice. Your generous support truly matters as we stand firmly for marriage and for the First Amendment Defense Act.

Another Christian Business Forced to Close Down

As reported by The Daily Signal, another Christian family-run business has had to close due to a “discrimination” complaint brought against them by a same-sex couple. This is yet another example of the real tragedy happening in our nation: people who believe in the truth of marriage and simply want to be left alone to practice their beliefs in the public square are instead targeted for persecution and punishment, with the power of government used as a club to advance the cause of ‘same-sex marriage.'

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This time, the victims are Richard and Betty Odgaard, the owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa, which they bought and turned into a bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue. Members of the Mennonite faith, the couple had a successful business until they were asked to rent the facility for a same-sex ‘wedding.’ Because their deeply held religious beliefs preclude their participation in something that violates their faith, they declined to be involved. Within 24 hours a complaint was filed with a government agency. After the couple was forced to settle and pay a $5,000 fine, they had to stop participating in wedding celebrations altogether in order not to have to participate in gay ‘weddings’ that violate their faith. But portrayed as bigots, the damage to their reputation was done and the couple is shutting their doors.

The proposed First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would prevent this type of government sanction at the federal level, thus leaving the same-sex couple free to find another ‘wedding’ venue and the Mennonite couple free to not participate. NOM urges state legislatures to move forward with state-based versions of FADA.

From The Daily Signal:

On August 3, 2013, a gay couple from Des Moines asked to rent Görtz Haus for their wedding.

Because of their Mennonite faith, the Odgaards told the couple they could not host their wedding.

Within 24 hours, the couple filed a discrimination complaint through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

“We knew that the business was going to be in trouble almost immediately,” Richard, 69, said. “We had to get rid of the wedding business to avoid another complaint and possibly a higher penalty.”

The Odgaards never admitted to any discrimination, but agreed to a $5,000 settlement.

They also returned two non-refundable deposits for couples who, after hearing media reports, didn’t want to use their space for their weddings anymore.

“It was just the right thing to do,” Richard said.

. . .

The case was the first of its kind in Iowa, but it didn’t receive the same sort of media attention as the bakers in Oregon, the photographers in New Mexico or the farmers in New York.

The couple says that’s because pending litigation prevented them from being able to speak out, further isolating them from their community.

“We didn’t get the Chick-fil-A response,” Richard half-heartedly joked.

The Odgaards don’t blame the gay community for shutting them down, but rather, the state of Iowa.

“I think if people in Iowa would have had a chance to vote on this, it would have never have been this way. People in Iowa are pretty conservative,” Betty said.

“With the discrimination laws and the legality of same-sex marriage in this state, now you have to prove that you didn’t discriminate,” added Richard.

The Odgaards also feel they never got their day in court, and had the case turned out differently, they might not have been driven out of business.

“This was all administrative judgement,” Richard said. “The [gay couple] had a platform to file their case and we didn’t get our day in court with a jury of our peers.”

For the full article, please visit The Daily Signal.

Congress is Stepping Up to Support Marriage and Religious Freedom



Dear Marriage Supporter,

The Congress is about to take major action to protect Americans who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and we must act immediately to support them.

Senator Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador announced yesterday that they have introduced the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) to safeguard "individuals and institutions who promote traditional marriage from government retaliation."

Please complete this Action Alert to show your support for this critical legislation.

Sign the Action Alert!

It's so encouraging to see leaders of the Congress step forward to protect the rights of all Americans to speak out in support of marriage in the public square, especially when we are just a couple of weeks away from when the US Supreme Court might issue a ruling imposing same-sex 'marriage' on the entire nation.

You may remember that I wrote to you a few days ago to assure you that NOM had a plan to preserve marriage no matter what the US Supreme Court might rule. Well, support for the First Amendment Defense Act is a critical element in our plan. And we are counting on you to act immediately to lend your voice to those demanding that Congress pass this urgently-needed legislation today.

You see, the legal environment at the moment is that the best we can hope for right now is that the US Supreme Court decides that there is no federal constitutional right to redefine marriage. That is exactly what they should decide in the case before them.

But even if the majority of justices do decide the right way, such a ruling will still leave a number of states where marriage has tragically been redefined by legislative action or by popular vote.

And if the Supreme Court goes in the wrong direction, then every state in the union will be forced to live under a false view of marriage.

So you see, no matter what the Supreme Court decides it's imperative that the First Amendment Defense Act become law.

Please complete this Action Alert to your elected representatives and ask them to support the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802).

Sign the Action Alert!

The critically important legislation protects Americans who believe in the truth of marriage against actions by the federal government to punish or marginalize them. Specifically, the legislation would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings.

This is not just some theoretical concern. In the marriage case before the Supreme Court, the lawyer for President Obama explicitly said that if the Court imposes same-sex marriage, a religious college might lose their tax exempt status if they do not allow gay couples who are 'married' to live together on campus, even though such a living arrangement is completely contrary to the beliefs of the school.

The American people are conflicted on this issue of same-sex 'marriage' but they are strongly with us on this legislation. The truth is that people believe that if same-sex 'marriage' is imposed on the nation, it would be wrong to force every single individual or group to go along with it.

The First Amendment Defense Act is very modest, but you can count on the left and gay activists to attempt to portray it as a "license to discriminate." Baloney! The only discrimination that is happening in America today when it comes to gay 'marriage' is the rampant discrimination being leveled at people of faith who support the truth of marriage as one man and one woman.

We will have a whole lot more to say about this critically important legislation in the coming days and weeks, but for now let me close with a heartfelt request that you act immediately to sign this Action Alert asking your federal representatives to support the First Amendment Defense Act.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Securing passage of this urgent legislation will be difficult. NOM will need to engage in a number of activities to promote the legislation and convince lawmakers to support it. Please consider making a financial contribution to NOM today to help us in our advocacy efforts.

Senator Mike Lee: Defender of Marriage and Religious Liberty

Senator Mike Lee of Utah has become a champion for marriage and religious liberty. Last week, he gave an important speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center where he laid out the history and importance of religious liberty – noting that our constitution does not merely call for religious “tolerance” where diverse viewpoints are allowed, but it requires religious “liberty” and the freedom to live your life according to those beliefs.

He also discussed how the guarantee of religious liberty is being increasingly violated in various ways, including by radical anti-marriage activists who insist that supporters of marriage as uniquely between one man and one woman be punished and marginalized. Sen. Lee will be introducing legislation very soon to protect the right of Americans to be free of government harassment and punishment, legislation that will be a high priority for NOM.

Here are excerpts from his speech, courtesy of The Federalist:

Image credit: Republican60

Image credit: Republican60

We all know – and indeed, many of us are – individuals who have personally benefited from America’s commitment to religious liberty. But those benefits extend far, far beyond individual pilgrims’ progress. Every great social reform movement in American history – from abolition and Civil Rights, to the struggles for women’s equality and labor rights, to the pro-life movement today – has grown out of individual Americans’ religious convictions, and their constitutionally protected right to live them out. All Americans of all faiths – and those of none – have benefited equally from our nation’s unique commitment to religious liberty.

Religious liberty as it has been lived in America is not an accident of history, or a quirk of the law. It is nothing less than a culture-defining human achievement.

Yet recent events suggest it could be losing ground. The great American commitment to religious liberty and diversity may still be universally successful, but it is no longer universally shared. This turn toward intolerance, tragically, has been catalyzed by the campaign for legal recognition of gay marriages.

Like many Americans, I personally do not believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional requirement, or a federal prerogative, or even good policy for that matter. But today, those of us who hold these views cannot deny that our arguments are no longer winning the public debate.

Sometimes in a democracy, the other side wins.

Yet today, at the very moment this campaign appears to be on the brink of success – having appealed to the country with the principles of justice, tolerance, and equality – many within that movement find themselves tempted to abandon the principles and the people that have made them successful.

Most advocates of marriage equality are no more radical than most advocates of traditional marriage – just as most followers of Jesus are no more radical than most followers of Moses, Mohammed, and the Buddha.

. . .

We should never lose sight of the fact that the marriage equality movement is succeeding not by focusing on marriage, but by focusing on equality. Political conservatives and religious traditionalists may not like how the gay marriage debate is going. But it is no small thing that the gay marriage movement has succeeded in recent years only by adopting our principles – of tolerance, diversity, and equal opportunity.

It is those principles – not the parties currently enjoying their political resonance – that hold the high ground in this debate. And because those of us who believe in religious freedom hold those principles in our hearts – and not just in our political quiver – that high ground remains open to us.

The opportunity exists now – and it will expand if the Court rules as most expect it to – for Americans of good-will to come together to reinforce religious liberty, and to further protect and enrich the free space it inhabits.

To read the full text, please visit The Federalist.