Monthly Archives: May 2012

NOM Congratulates David Storobin on Victory in New York Senate Race

Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray (703-683-5004)

"Once again, this shows that supporting same-sex marriage is a losing
proposition."—NOM President, Brian Brown—

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today congratulated David Storobin on the unofficial announcement of his victory in the 27th Senate District race in New York. NOM supported Storobin and campaigned aggressively for his election, including running advertisements on his behalf.

"The election of David Storobin, a strong pro-marriage supporter, over same-sex marriage supporter Lew Fidler is another example that support for same-sex marriage is a losing proposition," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "When same-sex marriage was passed last year over the objections of the people of New York, we vowed to hold politicians accountable. Our support of David Storobin over Lew Fidler is an example of that. We congratulate Senator-elect Storobin on his victory."

NOM has vowed to spend $2 million on New York elections to oppose those politicians like Fidler who support same-sex marriage, and to gain the right of voters to vote on the definition of marriage. Storobin replaces the disgraced Senator Carl Kruger, who betrayed voters by supporting gay marriage just months before his indictment on bribery charges.

"I hope that the elite and the media are paying attention to what has happened since same-sex marriage was imposed in New York," Brown said. "Pro-marriage Congressman Bob Turner was elected to a House seat that was held by Democrats for decades. Pro-marriage David Storobin has been elected in a heavily Democratic seat replacing a gay marriage backer. Republican James Alesi was forced to retire from the Senate after his vote for same-sex marriage. Mark Grisanti faces both a primary and general election challenge and is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to salvage his reputation after voting for gay marriage. Senator Roy McDonald is in deep political trouble and has lost critical support over his vote in favor of gay marriage. By the time all is said and done, those politicians responsible for passing same-sex marriage will be gone and NOM will still be there working with pro-marriage legislators to restore marriage in New York."


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Anath Hartmann, [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

A Different "Evolution" on Marriage, NOM Marriage News

NOM National Newsletter

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This week the Maryland Marriage Alliance had to do something to keep the fight against gay marriage going in Maryland. They had to turn in over 18,000 valid signatures just to sustain the efforts to get a vote to repeal gay marriage to the people. Well guess what? Standing on the steps outside the Maryland Secretary of State's office, Pastor Derek McCoy turned in over 113,000 petition signatures.

Here's McCoy in a video explaining the significance of this huge accomplishment:

The fight for marriage continues to create an unprecedented coalition of people of all faiths and colors. In Washington State the press reported this week a surge of requests for petitions from Muslim Americans who want to repeal gay marriage.

(For an interesting essay on Islamic opposition to gay marriage, check out The Public Discourse)

New York City Jews, along with others, played a key role in another undersung victory this week. David Storobin, a Republican, emerged as the winner in the 27th State Senate district special election by 27 votes (yet another recount is in play).

The victory is largely symbolic because, by the time the automatic recount is undertaken and certified, the seat will have been redistricted out of existence. But we're talking about a Republican winning a Senate seat in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 5 to 1. Lew Fidler lost in a colossal upset because he endorsed gay marriage.

Unprecedented and amazing things are happening by the grace of God!

The most amazing thing is the powerful moral leadership of the Black church. We see it happening in Maryland.

We see it even in the halls of Washington, D.C. The Daily Caller sent a reporter to a meeting of black church leaders with the Congressional Black Caucus.

Is gay marriage a civil right, she asked?

Here's the video of their responses: No, gay marriage is not a civil right.

I'm also proud to bring you some original video footage—never before seen—of a historic press conference organized by the Coalition of African-American Pastors that took place on May 17 in Memphis, Tennessee. Leaders of the black church, many of whom marched for in the civil rights movement, called on Pres. Obama to "evolve again" on gay marriage.

Rev. Bill Owens, who organized the conference is NOM's liaison to the African-American churches.

In the minds of the hard left "evolution" works in only one direction: towards gay marriage.

But there is no reason to accept the inevitability or the permanence of this politicized innovation in marriage.

A convert to Catholicism, a scientist now home raising her kids, blogged about her own personal "evolution" on the marriage issue—in exactly the opposite direction.

Like Obama, I have also evolved on the marriage debate. I suspect a lot of people journeyed a similar path, and even more so, I suspect a lot more people are evolving now. Here's how I went from not really caring to wide-eyed activism.

"Let's Be Diverse" Stage: It was cool and sophisticated to hang out with "gay" people, and people made sure others knew they hung out with "gay" people to appear diverse and tolerant. As a single, liberal, non-religious, bicep-pumping, hair-tossing mom and career woman (career woman before mom) I had plenty of "gay" friends. They seemed to love my approval, and well, I loved theirs... We were crazy and fabulous together!

"Ambivalent" Stage: I realized my priorities were—not right. This whole message in society seemed to be that adults can do whatever they want, that they could follow any desire and frown at anyone who criticized them. It wasn't about children; but about adults and their desires. At some point a grown-up senses he or she needs to act grown up, however, and demanding your way is childish. There are reasons not to make certain choices. As my priorities changed and I focused more on raising my kids, I still knew "gay" couples and my kids played with their kids. I honestly did not care one squash about "gay rights" or "gay marriage" though. If that's what they wanted, fine. I was too busy with my own life trying to align my priorities and figure out how to be a responsible parent.

"Leave Me Alone" Stage: As I converted to Catholicism, I began to understand the teaching of the Church regarding Marriage, and how children are gifts who ought to raised by parents committed to loving them unconditionally... Even as I realized the beauty of Marriage, I still didn't really care if two men or two women wanted to call themselves married. Rather libertarian in my views, I thought perhaps government should just stay out of marriage altogether and leave that personal part of life alone.

"Imposing?" Stage: I discovered social media and began to identify myself as a Catholic wife and mother. Immediately, to my shock, I got called names I'd never been called in all my life, even when I explained my views about government leaving people alone. I got called "misogynist" and "homophobe" and "bigot" and "seeyounexttuesday" and people jumped from the abyss of the internet to tell me how much they despised me. I began to realize that the issue isn't really so much about two same-sex people having the liberty to live however they want and to call themselves whatever they want, but the issue was far more politically driven and weighty. Whether I wanted to or not, I had to approve and people were going to use the government to impose approval on me and my family, or silence us. Tolerance wasn't enough. I had flashbacks to the behaviors of people I met in the "Let's Be Diverse" stage.

"I Must Stand" Stage: It is worth noting that even then, I still knew same-sex couples whom I considered friendly acquaintances. They respected my faith and my family, and they knew where I stood; there was trust. However, the hostility and tyrannical behavior of the "gay rights" activists was remarkably disturbing. Not only do they want to silence anyone who doesn't approve, they want to harm them too. I grew resentful until I realized that anger wasn't helpful, so I grew attentive and dedicated. I saw the slow creep of social change they pushed for—to make marriage meaningless—and I saw that it was not healthy for society, not good for the future of our children because it isn't about the children. I saw the lies that a Godless society tells young people in greater clarity than ever before, and I saw how that message is destructive. Then I posted my frustration, and hell broke loose. I realized that I owe it to my children to defend the truth without compromise in my country and my world. Even more, I owe it to God who gave me those children.

Many people are going through some version of these stages, this evolution, this dawning recognition of the biggest of the Big Lies: gay marriage is not going to affect you, so why should you care?

The first, very human response to the organized flood of hatred directed at you when you stand up for marriage is to flinch, to duck, to try to find some way to get out of the heat.

Like this Catholic blogger, it's important for us not to confuse gay people generally with the organized gay marriage movement. Many of our friends and fellow citizens who are homosexual are just ordinary, law-biding, (if misguided on marriage) people of good will. We can disagree with each other without hatred or insults, and we do!

But the gay marriage movement's leadership, at this point in history, is dominated by ideological hard leftists who want, as this Catholic mother has discovered, to impose a new morality on America. A new morality that stigmatizes and represses traditional Christian understandings of sex, gender, and marriage. The result is not diversity or pluralism or respect for our civil right to disagree, but an angry insistence on public affirmation of the goodness of gay unions as marriage whether we like it or not.

And as more Americans are recognizing this, two things are happening simultaneously: the mushy middle is flinching—getting scared to express its views; and the polling is becoming seriously unreliable on the marriage question.

This is a problem.

In this sense the strategy of hurling charges of hatred and bigotry at supporters of our marriage tradition is "working." That's probably why they keep doing it, in addition to the normal human satisfaction of the primal urge to hate those with whom we disagree—an urge only kept in check by people of any ideology by consistent, civilized, moral discipline!

At the same time, we see more and more examples of this strategy backfiring: the people most committed to the Biblical understanding of marriage are recognizing, like never before, that they—we—are being called to stand. We are called to stand up in truth, with love, in defense of marriage.

I'd like to close with another such testimony, from David French, an evangelical who wrote an "Open Letter to Young 'Post-Partisan' Evangelicals" about his own evolution, rather similar to our Catholic mom's.

It's an amazing letter. I'm going to quote him at length because really it's that important:

David begins by noting,

It's that time again—the time when the younger evangelical generation surveys our damaged nation, observes the terrible reputation of leading evangelical 'culture warriors' in the pop culture and with their peers, and says, 'You guys blew it. It's time for a new approach, for a post-partisan approach. We're not in anyone's political pocket. We're not focused on politics at all.' ... Young, post-partisan evangelicals, this letter is for you.

"Dear fed-up idealists," David French writes, "I used to be you. I know that's hard to believe. After all, I'm pretty darn partisan. I'm a religious liberties lawyer, a pro-life activist, the founder of Evangelicals for Mitt, and the most recent winner of the American Conservative Union's Ronald Reagan Award. I serve my country in uniform in the Army Reserves and am a veteran of the Iraq War. In other words, for a lot of you out there, I'm less role model than cautionary tale. I'm the guy you're trying not to be—the guy you think is destroying our Christian witness. Heck, I'm the guy that even I used to hate."

He describes his own evolution from a post-partisan evangelical to a culture warrior.

Step 1 he says was "Despising my elders."

We called ourselves 'Solomon's Colonnade' after the temple area where Jesus delivered one of his many stinging rebukes to the religious leaders of the day. There were only a few of us, friends from college, but we were determined to upend the silly, partisan hypocrisy of the religious right. I blame Bono, really. I attended a U2 concert during the 1987 'Joshua Tree' tour, and was enthralled as Bono (a real rock star!) not [only] spoke openly about his love for Jesus, he wound up his rousing mini-sermon with a passionate condemnation of the televangelists who were then dominating public religious life. His words were both shocking and exhilarating: 'Here's my message to the televangelists: get the f**k off my TV screen!'

Shortly after law school, while reflecting on the latest media-reported "outrage" from Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson or James Dobson, I remember emailing my friends something like this: 'There has to be a revolution in American Christianity. The old guard has to go, and we have to put Jesus at the center of all we do. I don't have to lead the revolution, but at least let me drive the tank.' How those words would come to haunt my conscience...

Step 2 he calls "Encountering Life," real life.

I was living my dream. Sure, I was still pro-life (I co-founded Harvard Law School's only pro-life student group), but you couldn't categorize me! I had also written a then widely-read op-ed arguing that gay marriage was 'inevitable' and that the state had forfeited any legal grounds for denying gay couples the 'right' to marry. No labels for me!

But he says, "I soon realized that my nonpartisanship had a steep price. I could be pro-life, but not too pro-life. You see, if you're too pro-life; if you talk about [it] too much, then you can't be post-partisan. One political party is completely dedicated to legal protection of abortion on demand. The other political party is completely dedicated to repealing Roe v. Wade. If you talk too much about abortion, others will define you, and if you're defined how can you be independent?

'No problem,' my hip inner voice said. Pro-life is really whole life. Anti-poverty programs, environmental advocacy—that's all 'pro-life' in the broad sense, right? Can't I be pro-life and maintain my independence?' But my rational inner voice quickly rebelled. If I'm 'whole life' without talking about unborn children then I'm functionally pro-abortion, but if I'm 'whole life' and bring unborn children into that conversation in any meaningful way, then I'm right back where I started....

So I was pro-life. Firmly. Actively.

I clung, however, to my marriage position—with even greater ferocity. But my rational voice rebelled once again against my hip inner voice. Didn't no-fault divorce fly directly in the face of biblical marriage? Weren't legal regimes that were focused entirely around adult self-actualization having measurable and devastating effects on our culture? Why then would we continue down the path of marriage as a legally recognized means of adult self-actualization rather than marriage as a legally-protected institution of cultural preservation?

Finally like our Catholic blogger mom he saw through hard experience that gay marriage is not just about letting gay people live as they want.

Then, as a lawyer, I saw the catastrophic effects that normalization of same-sex relationships was having on religious liberty. And I realized I was wrong.

He realized something else: Christians are not obsessed with politics. The vast majority of Christian time and effort is in helping the poor and the sick around the world.

In 2011, I researched the budgets of the leading culture war organizations and compared them to the leading Christian anti-poverty organizations. Here's what I found:

How do those numbers stack up with leading Christian anti-poverty charities? Let's look at just three: World Vision, Compassion International, and Samaritan's Purse. Their total annual gross receipts (again, according to most recently available Form 990s) exceed $2.1 billion. The smallest of the three organizations (Samaritan's Purse) has larger gross receipts than every major "pro-family" culture war organization in the United States combined. World Vision, the largest, not only takes in more than $1 billion per year, it also has more than 1,400 employees and 43,000 volunteers.

In other words, Christians are overwhelmingly focused with their money and their time on the poor, not on culture war issues. Then why are Christians portrayed differently? Because the media is obsessed with the sexual revolution and demonizes dissent....

Anyone who believes that Christians are in control of their own public image does not understand how public perceptions are created in this country. No one is in total control of their own image and reputation.

We do not create the caricature we are subjected to it, in other words.

The final stage for David French was Step 3: "Becoming my elders."

I'll never forget the day I met James Dobson. I was preparing to appear on a Focus on the Family broadcast highlighting a number of my cases on behalf of Christian students. In a very real way that broadcast would cement my transition (not that anyone cared about that but me) from 'post-partisan' to firmly, completely 'religious right.' I was joining Focus and many others in their long fight against cultural and legal trends that result in millions of aborted babies, millions of broken families, persistent poverty, and increasing inequality.

Of course they're not perfect. Of course I'm not perfect. Of course I'm in fact deeply flawed. But so are relief workers at World Vision. So is the pastor you may admire so much. So were each one of Jesus's disciples and apostles. As we fight the culture war, we're going to make mistakes, we're not going to agree with each other, and sometimes I still get deeply frustrated at my own side. But I no longer believe the lie that there is a path for Christians through this culture that everyone will love—or even most people will love. I no longer believe the lie that American Christians are 'too political' and if we only spoke less about abortion we'd be more respected (the mainline denominations have taken that path for two generations, and they continue to lose members and cultural influence).

He ends with this remarkable call for these young people to evolve again.

So, 'post-partisan' Christians, please ponder this: First, as the price for your new path, are you willing to forego any effective voice at all for unborn children? Are you willing to keep silent when the secular world demands your silence? After all, that is the true price of non-partisanship—silence.... Follow Jesus, yes, but don't think for a moment that will improve your image, and don't be surprised if He takes you down much the same path He took the generation before you.

As for me, my fight for faithfulness to the Bible and for marriage will take me soon to Seattle, Washington.

A few weeks ago, in this very newsletter to you all, I issued a challenge to Dan Savage, after watching him insult the Bible and Christians who believe in it to a conference of high school student journalists. (Warning: offensive and profane language used in the video.)

Pick on someone your own size, I told Dan. Don't prove you can make 14-year-old girls cry by your over the top rhetoric and your ignorance of what the Biblical understanding of sex and marriage means.

Any time, any place, I told him, I'll be there.

Dan Savage responded with an invitation to his house for dinner, with New York Times columnist Mark Oppenheimer for a moderator and a film crew to cover.

This week, I accepted that invitation!

Dan—I accept and will look forward to debating you at your dining room table. As I said in my challenge to you, anytime, any place.

While I appreciate the invitation that you have extended to my wife, she will not be able to attend. She is a full-time mom with seven beautiful children and an eighth on the way.

I have no objection to Mark Oppenheimer from the New York Times covering the discussion, nor to you hiring your own video crew to film the event, provided that I am able to hire my own video crew to be sure there is no creative editing of the discussion.

Not that a New York Times reporter would slant the news, mind you!

This will be fun!

The fight continues. For truth, for justice, for an America in which the ideal for a child—a mom and dad united in marriage—is upheld and respected, not stigmatized as hatred or bigotry.

More and more of us now know: we must stand for these truths.

Thank you for being one of those decent, loving law-abiding Americans who do stand.

Thank you for all the victories you have made possible.

God bless you and your family: Please pray for all those on the front lines of this great fight.

First Circuit Ruling Makes US Supreme Court Ruling on Definition of Marriage Likely


Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray (703-683-5004)

"Liberal judges on the federal courts are resorting to making up legal standards to redefine marriage. The Supreme Court is going to need to resolve this issue once and for all." —Brian Brown, NOM president—

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today sharply criticized a federal appeals court ruling finding that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, accusing the justices of 'making up' arguments to justify redefining marriage. NOM said the ruling makes it highly likely that the US Supreme Court will step in to determine whether there is a rational basis for defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"Liberal federal judges in Massachusetts and California have resorted to making up legal standards in order to justify redefining marriage," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "They realize the legal precedent doesn't allow them to redefine marriage, so they are making up new standards to justify imposing their values on the rest of the nation. It is clear that the US Supreme Court is going to have to resolve this issue once and for all."

In the Massachusetts challenge to DOMA, the First District Court of Appeals acknowledged that DOMA would survive constitutional challenge if they applied the traditional "rational basis" test to the claims. They also acknowledged that they lacked the legal authority to declare sexual orientation to be a "suspect class" and thus impose a heightened standard of scrutiny to a review of DOMA. Instead, they relied on cases totally unrelated to marriage and found they could impose "intensified scrutiny" on DOMA and require that the law be justified "with special clarity."

"It's obvious that the federal courts on both coasts are intent on imposing their liberal, elitist views of marriage on the American people," said Brown. "They dismiss the centuries-old understanding of marriage as a critical social institution that exists for the benefit of couples and their children, and which has served society well for thousands of years. Instead, they want their own politically-correct views to be imposed, and they are making up new law to do so. It's time for the US Supreme Court to step in and establish once and for all that preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman is not only completely constitutional, it is profoundly in the public good."


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Anath Hartmann, [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

William Duncan on 1st Circuit Appeals Court Finding DOMA Unconstitutional

The Associated Press covers the news. We will have a press release issued shortly.

In the meantime, William Duncan comments at National Review:

This morning a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued an opinion holding the Federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The court rejected the implausible argument of the trial court that that principles of federalism prevented Congress from defining terms used in federal law. It also declined the invitation to treat a law that considers the category of “sexual orientation” as equivalent to race (i.e. by employing strict or intermediate scrutiny judicial review). The court very clearly says that under the normal approach the courts would use to determine whether Congress had a “rational basis” in passing a law, DOMA would be upheld.

... So, why is DOMA unconstitutional? The court concludes that there is a new legal standard that has been emerging in the law whereby the U.S. Supreme Court has “intensified scrutiny of purported justifications where minorities are subject to discrepant treatment and have limited the permissible justifications.”

... To recap: Three judges on a federal appeals court purported to apply two amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Tenth and Fourteenth, to Congress’ definition of marriage which forecloses same-sex marriage for federal-law purposes. The panel said the law did not exceed Congress’ power and would be valid under any analysis used between the time of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) and 1973. The panel said, however, that since 1973 the implications of a handful of U.S. Supreme Court decisions have newly invested the federal courts with a power to second-guess Congress’s purposes. In this case, these three judges decided Congress’s rationales for preserving in law what has been the overwhelming norm of marriage (probably unanimous) for millennia just didn’t measure up.

PA Democrat Who Switched to GOP: Obama's SSM Support Was the Last Straw

The Daily Caller on a remarkable act of political courage:

The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows.

Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.

During a press conference last week, Nardelli cited President Obama’s recent announcement in support of gay marriage as a central reason for her defection, endorsed Mitt Romney for president and changed her party registration to Republican, The Altoona Mirror reported.

“As the Democratic Party has taken the stand for same-sex marriage, then I must make a stand on my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them,” Nardelli, a pro-life Democrat for more than 40 years, said at the Blair County Courthouse.

According to Politics PA, Nardelli continued to point to her Catholic faith as a major motivator in her letter of resignation to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

Nardelli also conducted an interview on Monday with the National Catholic Register.

Video: Black Church Leaders Say Gay Marriage Not a Civil Right

From The DC:

The Daily Caller attended a meeting Wednesday morning held by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Conference of National Black Churches.

At the event, TheDC asked attendees if they thought it was fair to compare the fight to legalize same sex marriage with the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

Video: Black Church & Civil Rights Leaders Convene Press Conference Opposing President on Gay Marriage

We've reported on this story before -- now see the video:

Sign the pledge here:

AP: 150+ Maine Churches to Launch Massive Pro-Marriage Fundraising Campaign on Father’s Day

The Associated Press:

Scores of Maine churches will pass the collection plate a second time at Sunday services on Father‘s Day to kick off a fundraising campaign for the lead opposition group to November’s ballot question asking voters to legalize same-sex marriages.

Between 150 and 200 churches are expected to raise money for the Protect Marriage Maine political action committee, said Carroll Conley Jr., executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine evangelical organization and a member of the PAC. Conley is also trying to drum up support for the Maine campaign from religious leaders from around the country.

... Father’s Day, June 17, seemed an appropriate time to kick off this year‘s fundraising campaign because of the day’s focus on family, Conley said. Additional collection-plate offerings at churches are expected in the months ahead.

“The messaging we‘re using is that those who are seeking to redefine marriage in Maine believe there’s no difference between moms and dads,” Conley told The Associated Press. “We believe those differences are relevant. We don’t think the differences in the genders are societally imposed roles, and we believe that children benefit when they‘re in that ideal environment where there’s a mom and dad.”

Protect Marriage Maine has been in contact with about 800 churches across the state and expects 150 to 200 to participate in the Father’s Day collections, Conley said. They include Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Nazarene, Church of God, Wesleyan, Evangelical Free, Advent Christian and other denominations.

Video: Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance Announces They Have Double the Needed Signatures

Derek McCoy of the Maryland Marriage Alliance announces the coalition has collected more than double the needed amount of signatures to place the same-sex marriage law on the ballot in the November 2012 election:

Maggie Gallagher to Give 4th Annual Cultura Vitae Lecture in Minnesota This Weekend

Do you live near St.Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota? NOM's co-founder Maggie Gallagher will be giving a public lecture this weekend so mark your calendars!

Chesterton Academy 4th Annual Cultura Vitae Lecture
“Defending Marriage in an Age of Confusion”
Maggie Gallagher
Saturday, June 2, 2012 | 10:30 AM

Church of the Holy Childhood
1435 Midway Parkway, St. Paul, MN

10:00 AM – Doors Open; Coffee and Rolls
10:30 AM – Cultura Vitae Lecture

More info here.

NJ Teacher Accused of Anti-Gay Facebook Posts May Retire to Avoid Charges

The New Jersey Star-Ledger:

The Union Township High School teacher who created a firestorm last year after allegedly posting anti-gay comments on her Facebook page, wants to retire on a disability pension rather than face tenure charges.

Jenye "Viki" Knox, 50, a tenured special education teacher who has taught in Union since 2000, wrote on her personal Facebook page that homosexuality is a "perverted spirit" and "unnatural immoral behavior," according to charges of unbecoming conduct brought by her district. She also criticized other teachers on Facebook for putting up a "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender" bulletin board in the high school and for proposing a school gay-straight alliance, according to the charges.

The tenure charge case was to begin Tuesday before a state Administrative Law Judge, but Knox filed a motion earlier this month asking that it be delayed while she seeks a disability pension due to both a back injury and "psychological grounds." She did not elaborate. A judge Wednesday agreed to list the case as inactive for three months.

"If I can retire then there is no need for me to go through this unpleasant experience," Knox wrote in court documents.

David Cameron Backing Down on SSM After Major Rebellion Among Conservative MPs

The UK Telegraph:

David Cameron is set to give his MPs a free vote on whether gay couples should be allowed to marry, after a major rebellion by his own ministers.

Downing Street initially suggested that the Cabinet and junior ministers could be required to support the plans when new laws allowing same-sex marriage are debated in the Commons.

However, after a series of senior government figures expressed their dismay at the development, Number 10 sources pledged to allow MPs to vote with their consciences.

Gerald Howarth, a defence minister, welcomed the decision, saying last night that it was “absolutely right and proper” for MPs to be allowed a free vote.

... senior Conservatives privately believe the policy is a Liberal Democrat-inspired distraction from more urgent tasks, such as addressing unemployment and securing the economic recovery.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, opposed the introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples.

In a letter to a constituent last week, Mr Paterson said he supported other measures taken to increase the rights of homosexuals in Britain and around the world.

However, he said after “having considered this matter carefully” he had “come to the decision not to support gay marriage”.

Other ministers who have signalled their concerns over the issue in recent weeks include Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, Tim Loughton, the children’s minister, and Mr Howarth.

Civil Unions the New Gateway Drug to Gay Marriage Via the Courts?

Two state supreme courts (California and Connecticut) have ruled that passing civil unions is evidence of bias and discrimination against gay people -- the rational for striking down marriage laws and imposing gay marriage. A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit agreed.

This is sad, because many people would like to provide legal protections for gay couples while protecting marriage as the union of husband and wife.

Will Illinois courts rule out civil unions as well?

The gay and lesbian civil rights movement in Illinois has long worked on forging a legislative path to marriage equality, buoyed last year by the passage of a law allowing same-sex civil unions.

But with uncertainty about a gay marriage bill moving through Springfield any time soon — the House bill introduced this year was pulled midway through the session — advocates are opening up a new path.

The gay rights group Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois each plan to file a lawsuit Wednesday against the clerk of Cook County, claiming that not issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the Illinois Constitution.

Activists say they will continue to press lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage. But these lawsuits mean that the judicial system, and possibly the Illinois Supreme Court, will play a role as well. -- Chicago Tribune

URGENT! Only 6 Hours Left!

Dump Starbucks

Dear Marriage Supporter:

We need your help! With just six hours left, we still need to raise more than $30,000 to reach our goal of $50,000 by midnight.

But I'm confident we can make it!

Some of you have already given $1,000, or $500, or $100. Some have given $15 or $20. I know that someone reading this email can make a tax-deductible gift of $10,000 or more to support the DumpStarbucks campaign.

Whatever the amount, will you please make a generous, tax-deductible donation right away to help us reach our goal of raising $50,000?

Support Dump Starbucks!

We are at a critical moment in corporate America. The Human Rights Campaign and their allies have been carefully cultivating corporate support for years. Now large corporations are beginning to actively advocate for same-sex marriage, with Starbucks leading the way.

We must stop this sort of corporate activism in its tracks! And the DumpStarbucks campaign is an important first step in exposing the intolerance and anti-diversity of America's largest coffee shop chain.

Please make a tax-deductible donation right now to help us reach our goal of raising $50,000. That money will be poured into an advertising campaign to expand our Dump Starbucks program and help us reach 100,000 petition signatures.

This is one of those moments when we have to draw a line in the sand and tell the liberal elites trying to warp society...NOT ANY MORE!

We know what marriage is.

We know that it takes a man and a woman because children deserve and need a mother and a father.

We know God's truth about marriage.

We know the threat same-sex marriage poses to religious liberty.

If Starbucks wants to enter the Culture Wars by corporately backing same-sex marriage, they need to know that they're going to lose customers...LOTS of them.

It's time to send a message to corporate had better respect the values and beliefs of millions of your potential customers!

Last Chance to Submit Pro-Marriage Petitions in Washington State!

Just a quick update for our pro-marriage friends in Washington State, if you have any outstanding signed petitions to put Referendum 74 on the ballot, please turn them into Preserve Marriage Washington right away!

Thank you!

You will be hearing more from the campaign to protect marriage in Washington State soon.

In the meantime, see their latest blog post:

"...don’t stop at 150,000.  That’s the bare minimum.  As with every campaign thousands of signatures will be unreadable or invalid for other reasons.  And we know our opponents will work tirelessly to disqualify as many as possible.

So keep piling on – 175,00…185,000…can you do 200,000 by June 6th?  We think you can.

We will continue to mail petitions to anyone who asks through this Friday and will include a return FedEx label for you to use on Monday or Tuesday to return your signatures to our office.

This also means that you have one more weekend in your faith-community to gather signatures.  Believe it or not, we get calls every day from people who are just hearing about the campaign and want to get their church, their neighborhood, or their family involved.

So let’s not stop at 150,000.  Blow that number away and shoot for the stars.