Dear Marriage Supporter,
Greetings from the great state of Florida, where marriage emerged from the platform fight with a great victory!
In the buildup to the RNC Convention in Tampa, the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud promised that a new generation of Margaret Hoover Republicans would help weaken the GOP's commitment to marriage.
This is part of a larger narrative of supposed inevitability that we always hear: "Support for gay marriage is growing everywhere."
Except when it's not.
The effort to get the GOP to retreat from marriage in Tampa was an epic fail for the seditious pro-gay marriage elites within the GOP!
The director of the Log Cabin Republicans, R. Clarke Cooper, told the Boston Globe in July that his group's goal was to convince Republicans to strike any "anti-gay language" from the platform—including any mention that marriage is a union of male and female or any other definition of marriage as a heterosexual union.
Even two weeks ago, Cooper was still holding out hope to the gay press that "progress" in eviscerating the marriage language would be made.
But in the end he and other gay marriage advocates were reduced to boasting that they were permitted to distribute literature, and calling that a victory. Well, gee! As I asked HuffPo—is that really the best they could do? I'm one of the strongest opponents of gay marriage around, and I don't oppose letting people distribute literature at Republican conventions!
And then GOProud actually boasted victory for giving what they thought was the coolest party attended by conservative luminaries in a Tampa gay bar complete with male go-go dancers. [Pictures from the event, like the one here, are floating around the internet. You can take a look and see if you think they have cause for such celebration!]
Well gee, if that's your victory, then good on you, guys!
Maybe their failure has something to do with another truth the media doesn't report: even gay people don't think gay marriage is their most urgent problem.
That's right: a new Harris interactive poll touted by GOProud shows just 6 percent of gay voters named same-sex marriage as their top issue!
Meanwhile, supporters of marriage can boast a truly substantive victory, as the platform language endorsed by the GOP—far from retreating or equivocating on marriage—is the strongest ever:
Defending Marriage Against An Activist Judiciary
A serious threat to our country's constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.
A Sacred Contract: Defense of Marriage
That is why Congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. The current Administration's open defiance of this constitutional principle—in its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts—makes a mockery of the President's inaugural oath. We commend the United States House of Representatives and State Attorneys General who have defended these laws when they have been attacked in the courts. We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their institutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so.
We owe special thanks to Phyllis Schlafly, and also to Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, for all their hard work towards this great (and underreported) victory for marriage.
If you were here with me in Tampa, you wouldn't be surprised at marriage's triumph.
Walking the floor and speaking with delegates at the Convention, it's very apparent that (again counter to the media-narrative) marriage is an issue which totally unites the heart of the GOP—much to the frustration of my old buddy Fred Karger, who's been following me around with a camera hoping to catch me in something he considers a faux pas.
I don't think Fred's going to post the conversation I had with an Indian-American from Texas, one of many who came up to me to say he reads NOM's emails and blog, and that he's praying for me in particular and for all of us in this marriage fight.
The guy's Indian. He's Christian. He's also Texan. Which means he's speaking to me from under a gigantic cowboy hat. You gotta love America!
But if the media and Fred Karger did miss it, others have noticed this great victory for marriage.
Here's Rev. Owens, NOM's liason for outreach in the black community, on Christian Broadcasting News, speaking for a coalition of black pastors to thank the GOP for ensuring at least one party still stands strong for the "common sense and biblical understanding of marriage."
Several folks have given great speeches for marriage from the podium here this week, including Sen. Rick Santorum, whose theme was that we cannot shrink government unless we strengthen marriage and the family—and that support for each and every human life is not a "social issue," but a constitutional issue, part of America's founding creed.
"Marriage is disappearing in places where dependency is the highest," Senator Santorum said. "Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children. But if America is going to succeed we must stop the assault on marriage and the family in America today."
We also owe our thanks to Gov. Mike Huckabee for supporting marriage in his convention speech—but also for having me on his radio show this week! If you missed it, have a listen here:
Most impressive this week, perhaps, was Paul Ryan's touting of Mitt Romney's strong defense of marriage, in a speech that was supposed to be all about the economy. (In his own convention speech, Romney promised: "As president, I will protect the sanctity of life. I will honor the institution of marriage. And I will guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion.") But Paul Ryan gave what was for many of us the clearest refutation of the idea the GOP is running from marriage or life because voters have changed their minds:
Mitt and I also go to different churches, but in any church the best kind of preaching is done by example, and I've been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable—not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman—he's a fine man, worthy of leading this good-hearted and optimistic country. Our faiths comes together in the same moral creed: we believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person there is hope; each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and the likeness of the Lord of life.
As Paul Ryan said, a time of choosing draws near. For marriage, as for life and religious liberty, the consequences of this election will be of unprecedented importance.
And the National Organization for Marriage will NOT be sitting on the sidelines!
This week, in a historic announcement, a group of social conservative organizations announced a new Life and Marriage Coalition, pledging to work together to make sure voters understand where the two candidates stand on the so-called "social issues" of life and marriage. In the joint press release on the Coalition's site, we explained:
[The coalition is] coordinating efforts in Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina to talk about the importance of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and supporting the sanctity of human life. Together, the groups hope to influence voters in key swing states that Barack Obama carried in 2008.
The Life and Marriage Coalition includes FRC Action, Susan B. Anthony List, the National Organization for Marriage, American Principles in Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, and Common Sense Issues. Combined efforts will include independent expenditures for radio advertisements, billboards, phone and bus tour events designed to educate and mobilize socially conservative voters in the three targeted states.
"For millions of Americans, this election is about more than the economy, it's about the direction our nation takes on foundational principles, like what constitutes marriage, and whether unborn children have a right to life," said Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage.
I'm also proud to announce this week NOM's first volley in this joint effort: a radio ad campaign in Raleigh, North Carolina, home to 40 percent of the black electorate. The ad urges black voters to tell President Obama "no more," and features the highly-respected black pastor Patrick Wooden. You can listen to it here:
It was the African American community that helped [President Obama] win here in North Carolina. But President Obama has turned his back on the values of our community with his strong endorsement of the homosexual movement. We worked hard to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment this past May. With the strong support of the African American community, the amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly. The very next day, President Obama came out for homosexual marriage. Now his campaign leaders are working to deny North Carolina's ability to define marriage, and they want to overturn our state marriage amendment altogether. Join me in saying 'no more' to President Obama.
Our own internal polling shows that radio ads on marriage are extraordinarily effective, by the way. This is probably because your average voter, outside of church, hears so little in support of the common sense view that marriage means a husband and wife. So, they notice these ads and they respond!
North Carolina is a state that swung for Obama in 2008 by just 15,000 votes, out of 4 million total votes cast! Obama needed 95 percent of the black vote to eke out that victory! And in a state with 800,000 black voters, don't you think Rev. Wooden is probably going to change a few hearts and minds with this hard-hitting message? It's more than likely—it's certain!
And this is just the beginning of something big!
For the first time in American presidential politics, the American people are being offered a clear and unequivocal choice on the issue of marriage. And NOM intends to make sure voters understand that—and that politicians supporting gay marriage understand that it is a losing proposition!
One was of helping voters understand this is to keep reminding them of the consequences for us all that gay marriage entails. In Vermont these consequences were severe for the O'Reilly family, a Roman Catholic family who ran a small bed and breakfast, the Wildflower Inn. Facing backbreaking litigation threats from a gay couple (supported by the ACLU) who had wanted to get married at the bed and breakfast (which is, after all, the O'Reilly family's home as well as their business), Mr. and Mrs. O'Reilly agreed to pay $30,000 to the lesbian couple.
Vermont gay marriage law changed the O'Reilly family's lives. They must now host gay weddings, or pay a costly price. Remember the O'Reilly family when people tell you that gay marriage is not going to affect anyone at all except gay couples. Gay marriage has consequences for us all!
And while we are on the subject of intolerance, let me give a great shout out to my friend and colleague, Peter Wolfgang, who took over the Family Institute of Connecticut when I left to help found the National Organization for Marriage. Peter has been the subject of a horrific campaign of death threats since last Thanksgiving. If you want to see for yourself what I'm talking about, he's now posted some examples on his Facebook page.
Peter has been able to do this now because the gay activist who'd been threatening him has pled guilty in federal court to the harassment and the threats. LifeSiteNews reports:
One message read: "No mercy for homophobes. I suggest you make your funeral arrangements real soon, Mr. Wolfgang."
Another said, "I sure hope somebody blows you away. Yer dead."
Sarno once asked, "Are 'family values' worth dying for, Mr. Wolfgang?"
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident," Wolfgang said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. "In fact it is part of a growing and disturbing intimidation campaign among some proponents of same-sex 'marriage.' It is clear that their pretense of 'tolerance' is over."
When I ask you to pray for all the people on the front lines of the marriage fight, now you will know why.
But we do have good news to report, too: this on the New Family Structures Study published by Professor Mark Regnerus. The University of Texas found no evidence of "scientific misconduct" by Prof. Regnerus, despite the overwrought and hysterical allegation of a gay blogger named Scott Rose. (He's now moved on to trying to get the American Sociological Association to "discipline" Regnerus for doing a study with results of which he disapproves.) You can read more about it here. And another fierce critic of the study also found no violations of standard peer review process (although he remains, one might say hysterically critical, of the study).
If you're in the mood for a kinder, gentler gay marriage debate, without these hysterical and accusatory polemics, check out Maggie Gallagher debating co-author John Corvino on C-Span's Book TV (the new Oxford University Press book, Debating Same-sex Marriage, is available for purchase!):
Meanwhile, I have to thank Frank Schubert, NOM's National Political Director, for his account of my debate with Dan Savage, which Frank called "The Smackdown in Seattle!"
The debate lasted just over an hour. Some of you have already watched it in its entirety. But I realize that not everyone has the time in their busy schedule to watch the full debate, so I went through the video and picked out about ten minutes of highlights. Please take a few minutes to watch.
What you will see is a passionate, reasoned, articulate defense of marriage, and a presentation of the profound public good it serves. You will see Brian demolish Dan Savage's arguments that the bible cannot be believed when it comes to marriage. You will see Brian make a case about the inherent nature of marriage, and how that nature cannot be altered. It is what it is and it cannot be redefined. Gay "marriage" can never exist, Brian explains, because marriage is intrinsically the union of one man and one woman.
Defending marriage is in one sense easy. The truth doesn't change. All the media narratives cannot change the nature of marriage, nor the continuing evidence that the American people remain invested (with good sense) in the idea that marriage matters because children need a mom and a dad.
I promise you that we here at NOM will remain your voice for your values. Whether Democrat or Republican, whether black or white, whether evangelical Christian, or Mormon or Orthodox Jew, we will fight together for what's right—for God's truth about marriage—and we will, by His grace, WIN!