Monthly Archives: August 2013

The First Amendment Not Only Protects Free Speech, But the Right Not to be Coerced into Speech

Dr. Frank Turek is an award-winning author and courageous marriage defender who was fired - twice! - for his beliefs. With his unique perspective, he makes a point to speak out often about the importance of our first amendment rights.

Check out Frank's latest article on New Mexican photographer Elane Huguenin, who was sued by a same-sex couple after standing strong on her marriage beliefs as well.

Frank Turek's StoryAlthough the lesbian couple that brought the complaint easily found another photographer, Elane Photography now must pay nearly $7,000 in court costs for merely exercising her First Amendment rights.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was put in place to prevent exactly what the New Mexico Supreme Court has done: using the strong arm of government to force citizens to advocate (not just tolerate) ideas and behaviors that contradict their religious or moral convictions. Forcing people to support same sex weddings or commitment ceremonies is forcing them to advocate same sex behavior.

Even the U.N. Human Rights Committee recognizes a universal human right not to be coerced into advocating any idea. (You know our country is stuck on stupid when our courts are getting human rights lessons from the U.N.!)

Now, if you justify this decision because you disagree with Elane Photography's religious or moral position, you're not thinking like an American (or a U.N. person). Imagine a homosexual videographer being forced to video a speech that a conservative makes against homosexual behavior and same sex marriage. Should that homosexual videographer be forced to do so? Of course not! Then why Elane Photography?

It is important to understand that Elane Photography was not refusing service because of the "sexual orientation" or sexual attractions of the couple. In fact, Elane Photography was happy to work with lesbian clients on other projects that did not involve advocating homosexual behavior (for example, taking professional head shots). In this case however, she declined service because she did not want to use her artistic talents to advocate sexual actions that went against her moral and religious beliefs.

Finish reading at The Christian Post.

Gov. Martinez: County Clerks Do Not Have Authority to Make Decisions on Marriage

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez finally reacted to the lawless behavior of County Clerks in New Mexico.  She'd doesn't think clerks have the authority to interpret the law; that should be left to the judges.  However, she does not need to wait on the Judiciary.  As California Attorney General stated, local officials are accountable to the top executive officials in the state.   Click here to send Governor Martinez an urgent message asking her to intervene to stop the lawlessness.

Gov. Martinez

Contact Gov. Martinez to THANK her for her strong support of marriage and continue to urge her to intervene so the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage in New Mexico can be restored.

Last Thursday, more than two dozen New Mexico legislators signed on to a lawsuit to stop the lawless County Clerk in Dona Ana County. However, the governor has still not signed on, so let's keep the pressure.

Here's a No Brainer... Every Dollar You Give Now to Save Marriage Will be DOUBLED!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last week I let you know about the many good things going on in the marriage battle around the country. Today I have even better news! An incredibly generous donor, who is confident in the marriage battle and our collective ability to prevail, has committed to a $1,000,000 matching gift! That's right, between now and the end of the year, every dollar you donate will be DOUBLED up to $1 million.

Donate Today

Your help is needed now more than ever. We have momentum, and we have the American people — a recent Fox News poll demonstrated that 56% of Americans oppose redefining marriage. But marriage and our American way of life are still under attack… and NO state or municipality is safe!

  • In New Mexico, the State Supreme Court ruled that Christian wedding photographers and other service providers MUST compromise their faith and their first amendment rights by providing services for same-sex 'marriages.'

  • In Washington State, the State Attorney General has brought suit against a Christian florist for declining to provide flowers to such a ceremony.

  • And in Vermont, Christian bed-and-breakfast owners who chose not to host a same-sex couple's ceremony have been forced to pay a hefty fine and cease hosting any weddings, depriving them of a good part of their livelihood.

And there are countless other examples around the country. This is not the America our Founding Fathers envisioned.

Donate Today

Again, in New Mexico, the outbreak of lawlessness surrounding the debate on marriage has continued, with a Dona Ana County Clerk deciding to take the law into his own hands and begin issuing illegal same-sex marriage 'licenses.'

This comes on the heels of a rogue county official in Pennsylvania who felt it was more important to 'be on the right side of history' than to uphold his oath of office and the rule of law — and in the aftermath of Governors and States' Attorneys Generals who have abandoned their sworn duties and the trust of those who elected them.

And this lawlessness goes right to the federal government, with the IRS refusing to even acknowledge that NOM was the victim of felony when someone within the IRS leaked our confidential tax return to the same-sex marriage lobbying group, Human Rights Campaign at the very time their president was a national co-chair of President Obama's reelection campaign!

Donate Today

Supporter, your generous financial support is urgently needed this very minute if we are to stop the corruption that is occurring all around us and continue to fight for the truth of marriage. We've got to organize supporters to put a halt to elected officials taking the law into their own hands and imposing same-sex marriage where it is currently prohibited.

Additionally, state marriage battles across the nation are already heating up and NOM needs your help to continue standing on the front lines against the redefinition of marriage.

In particular, we are fighting furiously in the legislatures of Illinois and New Jersey to prevent a redefinition of marriage in the closing months of this year. And just this week a new fight has erupted in Hawaii, where a pro-same-sex marriage governor is threatening to call a special session to redefine marriage in the next two weeks. In each of these locales, our opponents are amassing millions of dollars to spend against us, yet we remain hopeful that gay 'marriage' can be stopped in these places.

However, the fact is that we need your sacrificial gift right now to prevail. Through God's grace, a major donor will immediately match your donation, and we can deploy those resources where they are most needed.

In Illinois, courageous black legislators and pastors worked with us to stop same-sex 'marriage' earlier this year, but in the fall we're facing a multi-million dollar campaign to overcome their resistance.

In New Jersey, Governor Christie vetoed redefining marriage, but homosexual 'marriage' activists are vowing to try to override his veto.

In Hawaii, a special session to redefine marriage is looming, and legislators who support traditional marriage say they are only hearing from people who want to impose same-sex marriage on the state. It's imperative that we work in concert with allies to help organize the grassroots to inundate lawmakers with appeals to preserve marriage as God designed it.

Finally, as we look to next year, we expect at least three and maybe as many as SIX state initiatives to be on the ballot in November 2014.

Indiana, behind the strong leadership of Governor Mike Pence, will likely have a marriage amendment before the people of the Hoosier State, while in Oregon and Ohio homosexual 'marriage' activists will attempt to overturn existing marriage amendments already passed by the people.

We know our opponents will be committing TENS of millions of dollars to these fights.

Donate Today

I won't lie to you. We have a lot of work cut out for us, and we'll need as many resources as we can muster to succeed. Sometimes I feel like the Israelites from the Old Testament, when their rag tag army was arrayed against the vast power of the Philistines and their giant warrior, Goliath. Of course we know how that confrontation ended, and we can win a similar victory for marriage if only you will help us fill our pouch with stones. That's why it's so crucial to take advantage of this very special opportunity between now and the end of the year, as a generous donor who believes we'll deliver a victory for the truth of marriage and is inviting you to join us in the battle.

Please make a sacrificial gift today knowing that every dollar you can spare will be DOUBLED.

And please forward this email, or share it on Facebook and Twitter, to as many family and friends as possible. Ask them to join you and our generous benefactor in this special opportunity to double your money for marriage.


Brian S. Brown

Hawaiian Bishop Makes Urgent Appeal for Marriage

Hawaii House Democrats are planning to meet this week in a special session to discuss a bill that could redefine marriage for the state. But Hawaiian faith leaders are fighting back. Bishop Silva from the Diocese of Honolulu issued a memorandum to all parishioners this past Sunday, clarifying Church teaching and asking people of faith to mobilize into action.



Read Bishop Silva's urgent letter on the redefinition of marriage in Hawaii HERE.

State and County Officials Defying New Mexico’s Marriage Law

One News Now reports on the lawlessness taking place in New Mexico, and our action alert to keep the pressure on Governor Martinez.

NOM is asking New Mexico residents to press Governor Susana Martinez (R) to intervene and defend marriage as between one man and one woman. Attorney General King – who plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor next year and very likely run against Martinez – also declined to step in when Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins began issuing same-gender marriage licenses last Wednesday.

“The good news out of that is that over two dozen state legislators have now decided to intervene and take the county clerk to court to stop this lawlessness,” Plante explains. “And no matter what you think about the marriage issue, we all ought to be concerned about the rule of law in our country.”


Governor Martinez has been a strong supporter of traditional marriage and she needs to hear from youUrge her to intervene in order to restore the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage in New Mexico.

Churches Change Bylaws to Protect Themselves from Lawsuits

By now, you've probably heard about the same-sex couple attempting to force the Church of England into performing a same-sex wedding for them. Even though the couple can get married elsewhere, perhaps at a church that would have no problem holding a ceremony, one of the men complained that he was "still not getting what he wanted". Okaaay.

Now churches across the nation are moving to protect themselves against potential lawsuits from same-sex couples. AP:

Church PewsWorried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman.

Critics say the changes are unnecessary, but some churches fear that it's only a matter of time before one of them is sued.

Kevin Snider is an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense group that specializes in conservative Christian issues. His organization released a model marriage policy a few years ago in response to a statewide gay marriage fight in California. Snider said some religious leaders have been threatened with lawsuits for declining to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

Dean Inserra, head pastor of the 1,000-member City Church Tallahassee, based in Florida, said he does not want to be alarmist, but his church is looking into how best to address the issue.

Inserra said he already has had to say no to gay friends who wanted him to perform a wedding ceremony.

Eric Rassbach [an attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty] said it was important for churches to get their beliefs in writing before a dispute arises, otherwise it can look to a court as if something was done after the fact as an attempt to cover up hostility to gays.

Redefining Marriage and the Concept of Freedom

In his column today, First Things editor R.R. Reno discusses the concepts of freedom and discipline. And why same-sex marriage is intimately tied to both.’s very palpable here in New York and entirely accepted and affirmed by the well-educated twenty-somethings who flock here—it’s not surprising that we see people cherishing compensatory freedoms. The hard-working twenty-somethings have tattoos, dye their hair weird colors, and want to organize their intimate lives without rigid limits and invasive rules.

Rainbow FlagRedefining marriage becomes an obvious imperative, but not because of abstract claims about equality. It’s a powerful institution that disciplines us, not only sexually, but in many other intimate ways as well. Today many, perhaps most, want this power to serve our freedom. Thus our new cultural ideal, which is by no means limited to gays and lesbians: marriage is the creation of the love of individuals, not an institution with rigid roles and rules.

Same-sex marriage, gay adoption, sexual freedom? We’re under tremendous pressure to affirm these goals because the top level of society is turning in on itself. As is always the case when society isn’t facing external threats or internal chaos, the powerful seek greater freedom, because they’re the ones in the best position to take advantage of it.

True, the Left wants a finely woven safety net for those who use their freedoms unwisely, while the Right tends to go the other direction, arguing that people need to suffer the consequences of their choices so that they’ll make better choices in the future. But the political and policy differences operate mostly on the surface. At a deeper level our leadership class is consolidating around a generally libertarian outlook that accepts and affirms ways in which the authority of the marketplace and its ministering disciplines have superseded the older authorities.

Same sex marriage is the issue today because our culture is now dominated by people for whom freedom is (conveniently for them) the solution to most problems. People don’t have jobs? Answer: more freedom. Terrorists want to kill us? Answer: more freedom. People are unhappy in their intimate lives? Answer: more freedom.

Read the full article over at First Things.

Demand Chairman Camp Subpoena IRS Perpetrators

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The IRS is back in the news this week, with liberal media pundits trying to downplay charges of political targeting based on alleged new evidence that left-leaning groups were impacted along with conservatives. This new spin might be used to try to convince federal legislators to stop digging into what went on at the IRS during the last election cycle. We can't let that happen.

We need you, no matter where you are, to contact Chairman Dave Camp of the Ways and Means Committee. The Ways and Means Committee has held hearings on the IRS scandal but has not used all their power to resolve this issue. Please call AND email Chairman Camp urging him to make sure this powerful committee subpoenas and puts under oath critical players in this criminal investigation.

Remember, NOM's story with the IRS has always been markedly different from various other accounts of inappropriate political targeting and harassment reported by non-profit groups. NOM and its supporters were the victims of a felony at the hands of the IRS! And yet we still don't have answers as to who was involved and whether justice will be served.

That's why I need you to take this important step today: Email and call Congressman Dave Camp right now, urging him to use the full leverage of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee its subpoena powers to get to the bottom of this outrageous scandal!

No matter what the 'new evidence' touted by the mainstream media may mean for the broader IRS scandal, it certainly doesn't explain away these troubling facts:

  • In March 2012, someone at the IRS leaked the National Organization for Marriage's confidential tax return to the same-sex marriage lobbying group, Human Rights Campaign — and NOM has evidence to prove it.
  • After the leak, the HRC used this document (2008 Form 990 Schedule B) to harass NOM and the dozens of major donors named on the confidential release.
  • At the time of the incident, HRC President Joe Solomnese was serving as a national co-chair to reelect President Barack Obama.
  • To date, the IRS, the DOJ, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) have all failed to bring charges against the individual or individuals who perpetrated this crime, and NOM's frequent demands for information on the investigation have been consistently ignored.

There's no spin cycle that can remove the stain of scandal here. We need answers, and we need them now!

That's why Chairman Camp needs to hear from you right away. Insist that House Ways and Means subpoena Joe Solomnese and other HRC staff for questions about their knowledge of or role in this crime, and demand that IRS officials make a full disclosure of what their internal investigations have revealed.

And this matter is so important that, after you have taken time to email Chairman Camp's office, I'd ask you to pick up a phone and place a call as well. The number for Chairman Camp's office is 989-631-2552.

Remember, NOM's story is not simply about political targeting and inappropriate scrutiny — that would be bad enough! But we were victims of a felony disclosure of confidential documents to a political group known for its aggressive harassment of our organization and its supporters. That sort of thing simply cannot be allowed happen in an agency as far-reaching and powerful as the IRS without serious consequences.

So please email Congressman Camp today, and give his office a call at 989-631-2552. Demand that House Ways and Means get to the bottom of this matter, subpoena those involved, and bring justice to those who broke the law.


Brian S. Brown

Opposition Rises in Response to Lawlessness in New Mexico

More than two dozen GOP legislators are moving to stop clerks in Doña Ana County from illegally issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Flag of New MexicoSanta Fe New Mexican:

Republican Sen. William Sharer of Farmington said a lawsuit will be filed, potentially by the end of the week, seeking a court order to stop County Clerk Lynn Ellins.

“It has to do with a county clerk cannot make law. That is the Legislature’s job,” said Sharer, who sponsored a constitutional amendment in 2011 to define marriage as between a man and woman.

He said more than two dozen GOP lawmakers have agreed to join the lawsuit. It likely will be filed with the state Supreme Court, but Sharer said lawyers were trying to decide the best legal strategy.

Contact Gov. Martinez to thank her for her strong support of marriage and urge her to intervene in its legal defense in New Mexico.

Cardinal Wuerl: “Truth is Never Discrimination”

Never be afraid to speak the truth about marriage. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington wrote on his blog last week:

Cardinal_Wuerl"As state after state considers changing its laws on the definition of marriage, all of us have had to think about the nature of love, the meaning of marriage and the teaching of the Gospel.

“In the debate over the nature of marriage, even the White House chose to use words like ‘discrimination’ to describe the position of people of good faith who simply disagree with the President’s stance.” And in states where the legal definition of marriage has been challenged in the legislature and/or the courts, “words like ‘bigotry,’ ‘discrimination’ and ‘hatred’ have been bandied about with nothing more to support them than the actual fact that some people think that the definition of marriage really and truly is between a man and a woman.

“Too often the people who claim to be able to read the minds of other people and thus can denounce them as bigots are prepared to say in the next breath not only are your opinions not welcome, but neither are you any longer.” -Marriage: Unique for a Reason

85% of Americans Say Christian Photographer Has Right to Refuse Same-Sex Ceremony

We've heard a lot of stories recently about people of faith being forced to compromise their religious beliefs over same-sex marriage (bakery owners in Oregon, a florist in Washington state, innkeepers in Vermont...). But a new Rasmussen poll shows the vast majority of Americans are highly opposed to business owners being penalized or sued for running their business according to their own personal beliefs and values.

In fact, just 8% of the population answered "no" when asked the question "Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. If asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, should that wedding photographer have the right to say no?"

Wedding PhotographerMore Republicans (96 percent) than Democrats (77 percent) agreed with the photographer's right to deny a gay wedding request. Ninety-seven percent of evangelical Christians and 92 percent of weekly churchgoers said the same. But even 88 percent of atheists agreed that the photographer has the right to say no.

This comes four months after the latest development in the famous Willock v. Elane Photography case, where Vanessa Willock and her partner, Misti Collinsworth, sued Christian couple Elaine and Jon Huguenin for this very denial in 2006. In 2008, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found the Huguenins guilty of sexual discrimination, and the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld this ruling last May.

The Alliance Defense Fund, which defended the Huguenins and their company, Elane Photography LLC, has taken their case to the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court heard ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence's oral arguments on March 11. On Wednesday, an ADF spokesman told CP that "ADF attorneys are still waiting for the decision from the New Mexico Supreme Court." -Christian Post

Business owners and employees should never be threatened with legal action for abiding by the tenets of their faith. If you or anyone you know has been threatened, harassed, or intimidated because you believe in the truth about marriage, we want to hear your story. You are not alone.

You've Been Framed, NOM Marriage News

NOM National Newsletter

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Prof John Eastman, Chairman of our board, is one sharp legal eagle. Watch him take on and demolish the idea that the Supreme Court has authorized county clerks in Pennsylvania and other states to just hand out 'marriage' licenses to gay couples lawlessly, without even the cover of a court order.

Watch Prof. John Eastman on PBS New Hour lay down the law to James Esseks from the ACLU:

The people that are opposed to redefining the very core institution of marriage are going to continue to fight. Justice Kennedy's opinion in the Defense of Marriage Act case rests heavily on the fact that states are the primary determiners of marriage policy in our country. . . .The statutes and the state constitutional provisions that define marriage as it has been through most of human history, as a man and a woman, don't need to be changed.

All over this country people are facing the question: submit or stand up. Prof. John Eastman points out how many people are choosing to stand up and speak truth to power:

I think the other side of [the] coin is what we saw happen in Illinois. The African-American pastors rose up and they almost single-handedly stopped the redefinition of marriage bill from going through the Illinois legislature.

The new powers want you to believe that giving up is the only option. They are continually coming up with creative new strategies to suppress your rights, and the rights of millions of other Americans who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife.

Karger: "My Effort is to Silence Your Voice"

Our own Chris Plante told One News Now about a conversation he had with Fred Karger, heralded in the gay media for running around the country filing false complaints without any evidence that NOM violates campaign disclosure laws. His hope is that somewhere some minor oversight will trigger an unfair "investigation" and force NOM to reveal its donors to the public. Chris reports Karger is quite open and honest about his goal, "My effort is to dry up your funding stream and silence your voice," he said.

To "silence your voice"—that's what the Fred Kargers of the world want. To silence the voice of traditional believers across the board.

And so the "creative" strategies multiply, because if you can redefine marriage you can redefine election laws too, right?

We have a word for the political extortion dynamic (now unfolding under Obamacare) of a government passing broad regulations and then granting special exemptions to favored businesses (those who donate and help elect politicians): crony capitalism.

We need a new word for the aggressive new attempt to apply that Chicago way to nonprofits.

Laws are enforced unequally with favored groups getting exemptions that political groups disfavored by powerful elites do not get. This is political corruption aimed at our core rights to participate in democracy on a free and equal basis.

Political Exemptions: Your Freedom Redefined

I want to point out to you a story you would otherwise miss, about an "ethics law" championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York requiring nonprofits that do any lobbying at all to reveal their donors.

The law, passed 2 years ago, supposedly safeguards free speech by permitting the state ethics board to grant exemptions to the law for nonprofits whose donors might be endangered by being publicly revealed.

We saw how "state ethics commissions" can be influenced by politics, though, when the Maine ethics commission rejected its own staff recommendations and proceeded to open an investigation into NOM. We saw the same dynamic in Iowa, where the state ethics chairman slammed NOM by falsely describing our legal position to the media. Despite the fact that the Board has confirmed that there is no evidence pointing to any violation on NOM's part.

So now we have a state ethics commission in charge of determining who gets to participate safely in the political process in New York. And guess who is the first, and so far only, nonprofit that the commission has exempted from disclosure law? NARAL Pro-Choice New York.

That's right: government grants a politically powerful and engaged pro-abortion lobby special protections from a law passed by a Democratic governor.

Even the New York Times smells something fishy, noting:

NARAL has been so politically active: waging a campaign last year to help Democrats take control of the State Senate; spending $425,000 on lobbying this year, pushing an abortion rights measure put forth by Mr. Cuomo; and vowing to go after incumbent Republican senators next year.

Donor disclosure laws do not apply to friends of Andrew Cuomo in New York.

Our friends over at New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms are among groups applying for an exemption, but so far: stonewalled.

It's a political protection racket, posing as a disclosure law.

I have to give a shout-out to the New York Civil Liberties Union, though, because they too recognize the threat this law poses to freedom of speech and democratic process:

"People say nasty things about us or call us up all the time, and we can take that," said Arthur Eisenberg, the group's legal director. "It's the individual donors who shouldn't need to take that, and the price of their association with us, and their participation in the First Amendment activity of lobbying, should not be at the cost of their feeling secure and free from threats and retaliation."

Amen to that!

You've Been Framed

Many of you wrote to say you've read the new Public Discourse essay "Now that We are All Haters," about the power of the mainstream media and the gay rights lobby to choose the language, the stories, and the narratives around gay marriage. In particular the power of the narratives that frame those of us who stand up for marriage and the Biblical tradition as "haters" and "bigots".

I should point out (because a lot of you missed it!) this essay is by that other Brian Brown, the Princeton alum who runs Narrator, a communications consultancy that "uses neuroscience and social network theory to build powerful support communities around products and causes."

The other Brian talks about speaking to young conservatives, some of whom support gay marriage but most of whom just want to get out of the crosshairs:

The most common sentiment: even though none thought a same-sex relationship was a marriage, almost none wanted to play for a losing team whose objective was a national stranglehold on people's happiness.

Can we surrender truth to escape the power of their hatred towards us, their capacity to saturate the media with narratives libeling good, decent, loving and law-abiding people as haters?

This kind of media social punishment has a cultural effect, no doubt.

But do the American people really believe in gay marriage?

We got more evidence the answer is "no" from a surprising source: Reason Magazine, which is editorially a pro-gay marriage libertarian slant.

Reason reports on a recent Fox News poll about gay marriage that asked, "using two different word frames," whether folks support or oppose same-sex 'marriage': and the two methods yielded dramatically different results. But both put the lie to the argument that somehow redefining marriage is somehow inevitable.

The first frame asked about "changing the definition of the word marriage to also include same-sex couples", and found that Americans oppose redefining marriage by 56 percent to 39 percent.

But in the same poll Fox asked if respondents would favor "legalizing same-sex marriage." Here Americans split 46 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed with 7 percent undecided—still far short of the supposed majority other mainstream media outlets would have you believe support same-sex marriage.

Americans don't really believe gay unions are marriages. We found the same thing in our November 2012 poll of voters: 3 in 5 Americans said marriage is ONLY the union of a man and a woman.

So don't lose hope. In the end truth trumps falsehood, and the Love that created us will protect those who stand with Him and protect His creations.

That's why I admire you so much; I know it takes courage in the darkness to light a candle, to have faith, and to work hard for what is true, and good, and loving and right.

God bless you and thank you again.

It is a privilege to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this great fight for the country we love.


Brian S. Brown

National Organization for Marriage Denounces the New Mexico Supreme Court's Decision to Force People of Faith to Compromise Their Religious Beliefs

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Jen Campbell (703-683-5004)

"This decision is outrageous. While simultaneously admitting that this decision will harm the Huguenins, the court uses its full power of coercion to force them to compromise their beliefs." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today denounced the decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court to force Christian photographers to violate their beliefs by photographing a same-sex commitment ceremony or be sanctioned by the State. The ruling in Elane Photography v. Willock flies in the face of all Americans' First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

"This decision is outrageous. While simultaneously admitting that this decision will harm the Huguenins, the court uses its full power of coercion to force them to compromise their beliefs," declared Brian Brown, NOM president. "This is not what this country was founded upon; governmental coercion has no place in the public square never mind the freedom of religion supposedly enjoyed by the Huguenins."

NOM and scholars on both sides of the issue have long agreed that redefining marriage will be a direct threat to Americans' First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Increasingly, gay-'marriage' activists are using the courts to force people of faith to violate their beliefs when a myriad of other options exist for the same-sex couples in question.

"While the court calls for compromise, they got it wrong in this case," continued Brown. "The Huguenins should not have to compromise. Their beliefs are constitutionally protected. But the Willocks could easily have compromised by going to another photographer who would not have had such a conflict. Instead the Willocks forced the issue and used the power of the court to put the Huguenins in an impossible position - compromise their beliefs or give up their livelihood. There is nothing just about that."

The courts forcing people of faith into impossible positions is a growing trend. Like the Huguenins in New Mexico, Bed and Breakfast owners Mary and Jim O'Reilly in Vermont lost a similar case in 2012. As a result, the O'Reillys were fined $30,000 and ordered to stop hosting all wedding activities. Similarly in Washington State, Christian-owned Arlene's Flowers has been sued by the state for declining to serve a same-sex 'marriage' ceremony.

"People of faith should not be coerced to denying their beliefs or losing their livelihoods," concluded Brown. "There are plenty of photographers, bed and breakfast owners, or florists who would happily serve same-sex ceremonies. However, same-sex 'marriage' activists are not concerned with getting service, but instead forcing Americans of faith to compromise their beliefs and support something they know is objectively wrong."

A recent Rasmussen poll on this issue demonstrates that 85% of Americans believe that if "a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage is asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony" they have the right to say 'no.' Only 8% believe the photographer should be forced to serve the couple.


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Jen Campbell (x145), [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).

New Group Pushes to Redefine Marriage in the Hoosier State

The Indy Channel:

Indiana Capitol BuildingA coalition of businesses and activist groups has begun its push to defeat an amendment that would write Indiana's same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution.

[Freedom Indiana] Campaign Manager Megan Robertson says passing the amendment would strip gay and lesbian residents of their rights and harm Indiana's reputation. She calls the campaign against the amendment a bipartisan push.

The Republican-dominated Legislature passed the amendment in 2011, but the measure must pass a second time and be approved by voters before it's added to the state constitution.

The Indiana Legislature and Indiana voters will likely have the final say on the controversial debate next year.

New Mexico County Clerk Breaks Law; Issues Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

First Pennsylvania, now New Mexico. Another county clerk has taken it upon himself to completely ignore state law and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. ABC News:

Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins said his office had provided 35 licenses to same-sex couples compared to four or five given on an average day to heterosexual couples.

Wecome to New MexicoEllins said he had been considering issuing the licenses since June, when [New Mexico Attorney General Gary] King released a position paper saying state laws don't allow same-sex marriage.

Ellins, however, said "any further denial of marriage licenses to these couples violates the United States and New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Human Rights Act."

"I see no reason to make committed couples in Dona Ana County wait another minute to marry," he added in his statement.

Still, [King] warned that marriage licenses issued by county clerks could become invalid if the state Supreme Court later rules that same-sex marriage is not allowed.

Take action to STOP this reckless behavior in Dona Ana County. Email Governor Martinez and urge her to intervene so the rule of law and the rightful definition of marriage can be restored in New Mexico.