Monthly Archives: January 2010

NOM Marriage News: January 29, 2010

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

The defense rested in the Prop 8 trial this week. The same week, as it happens, a new government study came out which examined how family structure affects child abuse.
The study, released by the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is called "Fourth National Incident Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4)."
Ted Olson and David Boies have claimed that Science Says there is no evidence that kids need a mom and dad. That's just the rednecks confusing the research, which only says two adults in a family are better than one. The only reason people think a mom and dad are special is, well, because they hate gay folks.
Well, stay with me a second. This new study did not just compare married parents to single parents. Instead it compared married biological parents to four other family structures: solo parents, cohabiting parents, other married parents, and children living with no parents at all. Read More »

New Study: Married Biological Parents Best

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

A new government study just came out that looks at child abuse. 

Question: What kind of family structure best protects children from child abuse?

Answer: Married biological parents. (see page 5-25).

All the other family structures studied (which does not include same-sex parent families probably because these are such a small part of the population), but does include solo parents, other married parents (remarried primarily), single parents living with a partner, cohabiting parents, and no parents. 

The big gap is between the intact married biological family and every other family form. Children living with both their mom and dad united by marriage have  one-third the rate of serious child abuse, compared to children in any other family structure. 

Here's my question for Ted and David as they strive to prove that Science Says same-sex unions are just like opposite-sex ones, when it comes to children.

Perhaps you are right. Perhaps alone of all the family structures science has ever studied, children living with same-sex couples do just as well as children in intact married families.  (Perhaps that is true even though your own expert witness admits there is no research on gay male families and child outcomes, and there is no nationally representative study that follows children raised from birth to adulthood by same-sex outcomes and compares how they do to children in other family forms ).


But does this study, which is one of hundreds with similar results favoring the natural family give  Ted Olson and David Boies pause late at night as they assert the scientific irrationality of respect for the natural family at all I wonder?  Ted and David, I'm wondering: not even a little bit?

Letter to Court Regarding Televised Trials

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

NOM filed this letter regarding Rule 77-3:

January 27, 2010 

Hon. Phyllis Hamilton
Chair of the Rules Committee
United States Courthouse
1301 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612

Re: Local Rule 77-3

Dear Judge Walker,

My objection to televising high-profile trials is not theoretical.  It emerges directly from the experience of the attempt to televise the trial for Proposition 8.  Two-thirds of the expert witnesses-people who had been willing to sit for deposition, to prepare testimony, to fly to Sacramento to testify-dropped out under the prospect of having their faces and names televised.  I understand their reluctance, because I know (personally) the kind of hatred and threats that adopting a high-profile position against gay marriage now generate.  Many people I know who had a low profile-donors of a few hundred dollars or less-unexpectedly faced a tidal wave of hate that has impacted their personal and professional lives. People I know have been attacked on the street for holding up a "Yes on 8" sign, received death threats, and lost their jobs. Read More »

This isn't really a trial update.

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

While David Blankenhorn is on the hand try to explain to David Boies the nature of marriage as a cross-cultural virtually universal human social institution, I was at Colorado University at Boulder, at the invitation of the St. Thomas Aquinas Center for Catholic Thought, debating same-sex marriage with Jonathan Rauch.

The Catholic News Agency's account (which strikes me a reasonably accurate for a quick summary), says in part:

"Gallagher rested her defense of marriage on a question of truth. She said the parties to the debate were using the same words to mean different things. "The first question for me is: Are same-sex unions 'marriages'?"

I then went on to say:

"I'm against discrimination, I'm against hatred, I'm in favor of marriage equality, but I don't think same-sex marriage is marriage. Therefore I think it is wrong for the government to insist, through the use of law, that we all believe that same-sex unions are marriages."

NOM Marriage News: January 22, 2010

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

Senator Scott Brown!

Any time you wonder whether miracles can happen, just mutter that phrase under your breath: Senator Scott Brown!

A political earthquake just happened in Massachusetts. Yes, it's about the economy. Yes, it's about voter dissatisfaction with the current health-care bill. And yes, it's a victory for marriage, electing a senator who voted for a state marriage amendment and who pledged to uphold DOMA over a candidate who has led the charge to get the Supreme Court to gut DOMA--the one federal law that protects marriage as the union of husband and wife. (You can see from the articles in "NOM in the News" that our efforts to get marriage voters to the polls in Massachusetts did not go unnoticed!) Pres. Obama is also going to have a much harder time delivering on his promise to overturn DOMA after this 41st vote! Read More »

Huge Marriage Victory! Scott Brown Wins Senate Seat in MA!

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

Last night the impossible happened. George Stephanopoulos called it the "Upset of the Century."

Just three weeks ago, Scott Brown trailed Martha Coakley in the race for U.S. Senate by more than 20 percentage points. Yet last night Massachusetts voters sent a powerful message to Washington, giving Scott Brown a dramatic 52%-48% victory.

And the news you won't hear anywhere else?

Thanks to your efforts, last night marks the fourth consecutive major upset victory for marriage in the Northeast! Read More »

Putting Christianity on Trial

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

What do Olson and Boies think they are doing? Watching accounts of this trial unfold this week  I had a big "aha" moment. It's now clear:    Ted and David think they are conducting the Scopes trial!  

When this trial began I told you: gay marriage activists were putting 7 million Californians on trial.  (Ed Whelan over at National Review has a brilliant series "Judge Walker's Witch Hunt" . . . explaining how intellectually absurd it is to conduct a "trial" into the subjective motivations of 7 million voters, constitutionally speaking.). But this week it got worse:  They are clearly putting Christianity itself on trial.  Why else have an expert read statements of Catholic and Southern Baptist doctrines into the record?

And why put a Stanford Prof. named Gary Segura on the stand to testify ""religion is the chief obstacle for gays' and lesbians' political progress."

Could the zero-sum nature of the game be any clear?  Rights for gays and lesbians, in their minds, depends on invalidating the voting rights of religious people when it comes to gay marriage, because their votes are influenced by their religion--i.e. bigotry.  

Here's their brilliant legal strategy: Ted and David want  the Supreme Court to rule that Catholicism and Southern Baptism and related Christian denominations are bigotry.  

(That's why their next move is to subpoena --i.e. drag into court against their will--two San Diego Christian pastors who emerged as leaders in the Prop 8 fight, Pastor Jim Garlow and Pastor Miles MacPherson.  Why should participating in democracy give somebody a right to drag you to Sacramento to court?)  

I know many  gay people do not agree with this anti-religion strategy. And I also know  many gay rights activists  are getting increasingly worried about the legal strategy and tactics employed by these two  legal eagles may backfire.  (See the Jan. 17 Los Angeles Times story, "Gay Marriage Supporters fear Supreme Court's Ruling was an Omen," and also Dale Carpenter's comment about the "bad start" for pro-gay marriage advocates.)

Ted Olson and David Boies think they can persuade the Supreme Court that Science with a capital "S" proves the voters are wrong about the natural family.  Then they want to pit Science with a capital "S" against "Big Religion," 

I bet Ted and David lay awake late at night think "Hey!, maybe someday someone will make a movie about us!"

Oh wait, somebody is.

Frustrated by the fact that Supreme Court intervened to block the televising of this trial, according to the gay press one gay marriage advocate is planning to film daily "re-enactments" of the trial, based on anti-Prop 8 bloggers accounts, and post them on you tube.  No, I am not making that up.

MARRIAGE ALERT: Indiana Marriage Amendment Hearing Tomorrow!

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the Indiana Marriage Amendment tomorrow (Wednesday 1/20/10) at 9am in the Senate chambers.

Help put the Indiana marriage amendment on the ballot! 

Click here to send a message to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urging them to support SJR 13.

Then make plans to attend tomorrow's hearing. Plan to arrive by 8:30am and go to the Senate gallery on the 4th floor of the Capitol. Click here for a map showing parking around the Capitol.

Read More »

San Diego Mayor Sanders: The Reason Prop 8 Happened

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders testified today in the Prop 8 trial, in favor of misusing the Consittution to overturn the rights of 7 million Californian voters.  

Here's the interesting thing most people don't know.  San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is the reason Prop 8 got on the ballot.

He gave moving testimony in court today about how much he loves his lesbian daughter.  Sure.  But he ran for office promising the people of San Diego he opposed gay marriage.  And then, he signed a city council resolution trying to overturn Prop 22 instead of meeting his obligations, living up to his promises.  And he used his daughter as an excuse.  That's wrong.  Politicians are not elected to advance the views and values of their families.

The National Organization for Marriage, which has been credited by gay rights activists as one of the main reasons Prop 8 qualified for the ballot, got involved because Mayor Sander betrayed his campaign vows.  I was asked to fly to San Diego in October of 2007 by a group of San Diego Catholics upset about the Mayor's betrayal.  That meeting lead directly to NOM's decision to try to raise a million dollars in January of 2008  to help Protect Marriage get this on the ballot.  The rest is history. Thank-you Mayor Sanders.

Vote for Scott Brown in MA Senate Race!

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

Tomorrow's special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts could be a game-changer when it comes to protecting marriage in Washington, DC!

The need is simple:

If you live in Massachusetts or know anyone who does, please do whatever you can to help get people to the polls to help Scott Brown pull off an amazing upset in the race for U.S. Senate!

Read More »

End of Week one: Gay Marriage Advocates Rebuked

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

What happened to the dynamite duo of Ted Olson and David Boies?  After the first week of this trial the shine is off their allegedly invincible legal skills.

First loss, as Brian Brown wrote:

"Once again the Supreme Court has stepped in to protect marriage supporters from potential harassment and intimidation, this time by squashing the effort by Judge Vaughn Walker to break all the rules in order to televise this trial.

That's two strikes against Judge Walker, by the way; even the liberal Ninth Circuit couldn't stomach Judge Walker's earlier ruling allowing an unlimited fishing expedition into the private campaign strategy communications of Protect Marriage. 

And it also makes the second time that Justice Anthony Kennedy has stepped forward to try to protect at least the process, to create a more even playing field for supporters of marriage. You will remember it was Justice Kennedy who granted an emergency stay that prevented the release of the names of thousands of Washingtonians who signed a petition overturning an "all-but-marriage" bill, after some gay-marriage advocates said they would try to replicate the effort in California to post these names on the internet.

Justice Kennedy joined four other justices to keep Judge Walker from hastily lifting the TV ban in order to televise the Prop 8 trial: "The balance of equities favors applicants. While applicants have demonstrated the threat of harm they face if the trial is broadcast, respondents have not alleged any harm if the trial is not broadcast."

Brian continues, "The trial, which gay marriage advocates had hoped would be some kind of cultural zeitgeist-shifting moment, is turning out to be a bit of a dud from their point of view. . . The hotshot team of Olson and Boies, misled by their own intellectual arrogance, which includes a profound lack of respect for the views of those Americans who disagree with them (including 7 million Californians who voted for Prop 8), appears off to a not-so-hot start. Harvard Prof. Nancy Cott says procreation--the creation of new life in the only kind of union where that child can reliably know and be known by, love and be loved by her own mom and dad--is no longer really a purpose of marriage (although she has to admit that it once was, at least sort of). Marriage is now about adults and our relationships. Once again, gay-marriage advocates are only reinforcing what we've been telling you: You can't support both the idea that "children need a mom and dad" and "gay marriage." Gay marriage ends one marriage tradition and irrevocably marks the beginning of using the law to reinforce a radically different idea about marriage. . . .

The obvious truth, repeated over and over again in the legal history of marriage in the U.S., is that the government thought marriage mattered because marital unions produce and protect children. They do this in two ways: First, by creating faithful, exclusive, enduring sexual unions that create the best context fo conceiving children. And second, by preventing (if the man and woman are faithful) the default harms of unregulated opposite-sex union: many fatherless children, many overburdened mothers, many men disconnected from family life.

This is the argument that Ted Olson told Newsweek "cannot be taken seriously." Good luck with that, Ted. Seven million Californians took it very seriously, and so do the majority of state courts that have considered it, several international human rights courts, and of course every major faith tradition.

On Christianity and marriage, San Francisco attorney Therese Stewart worked hard to establish that Catholics' and Baptists' views on marriage and sex are illegitimate bigotry. She actually had Yale Prof. George Chauncey read into the record official statements by the Vatican and by the Southern Baptist Convention. I had to laugh to keep from crying. This is the city that in an official resolution condemned the Catholic Church and urged a sitting Catholic archbishop to "defy" his own faith and side with the City Council's on gay adoption. Could gay-marriage advocates try any harder to fuel the perception that a victory for gay marriage requires the defeat of religious liberty, tolerance, and civility for Christianity and other traditional faiths?

I don't really think this is the way to win Justice Kennedy's heart. We'll see."

NOM Marriage News: January 15, 2010

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

This is an exciting week for marriage!

I'm excited by the Senate race in Massachusetts, for example--more on that in a second.

But first, a great victory: Once again the Supreme Court has stepped in to protect marriage supporters from potential harassment and intimidation, this time by squashing the effort by Judge Vaughn Walker to break all the rules in order to televise this trial. Read More »

San Francisco Attorney Says Catholics/Baptists Unwelcome

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

San Francisco Attorney Theresa Stewart examined gay historian and Yale Prof. George Chauncey on religious groups's vviews on marriage.  The unseemly suggestion is that it is perfectly valid for voters to base their views on reading Prof. Chauncey's books, but that the great historic faith traditions views on sex and marriage somehow represent illegitimate hatred and bigotry.  Is this really where gay marriage advocates wnat to go?  Validating every religious persons fears about what gay marriage means for religious freedom? 

(This is a pro-gay marriage liveblog of the testimony, here:

Maybe this is a good argument in court.  San Francisco by the way is a government that passed an extraordinary resolution condeming the Catholic Church and urging church people to defy their leaders. (  I cannot think of a more direct attempt by the state to impose on the church than to have a government body tell religious people to defy their faith.  This is what tolerance looks like, these days.

National Marriage Week USA Webinar

NOM Marriage News.

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Dear Friends of Marriage,

I thought you'd want to know about an online webinar being hosted tomorrow with Chuck Colson and a number of nationally known pastors, in advance of this year's Marriage Week USA.

The webinar begins at noon ET, and to register, you can go to Please see below for details. Read More »

Ted Olson Says Gay Marriage Not a Fundamental Right!

Marriage Watch / Maggie Gallagher

Well, no that's not exactly what the "conservative" lawyer fighting to overturn Prop 8 and impose gay marriage said. But when the judge asked him, "If California would simply get out of the marriage business and classify everyone as a domestic partnership, would that solve the problem?"  Ted Olson said yes, that would resolve the constitutional issues, although it would not be politically feasible.

I don't know if he or anyone else recognizes what this statement of Ted Olson's means: the government has no obligation to recognize anyone's marriage as a marriage. What happens to the fundamental right to marriage-or gay marriage--then?  

A distinguished Harvard Prof. Nancy Cott  testified today, according to the LA Times, that "procreation has never been the central purpose of marriage in the United States. Professor Nancy Cott, who has written a book about the history of marriage in the United States, noted that George Washington, the father of the nation, was sterile. Procreation was one of the purposes of marriage but not 'the central or defining purpose,' Cott testifed. The larger purpose was to create stable households, she said."

Okay, so why weren't sisters allowed to wed?  Can't they create stable households?   I mean family members of all kinds live together, and raise children.  Why weren't/aren't these considered marriages? 

People thought there was something kind of central, important, and worth noticing about unions of male and female: they make babies. We need marital unions, in a way we don't need other kinds of relationship, however worthy or unworthy they may be. 

I mean even at Harvard, back in the day, they could see that.   And back in the day, they thought it mattered.

Nothing about the history, the structure, of marriage in the United States makes sense if you extract the reality that sexual unions make new life, were known to do so (even if not in every case) and were valued both for the good marital unions uniquely  produced (children united in families with their mothers and fathers) and the evils they avoided (fatherless children).