NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Time is Short to Stop the Bullying of Children in School Showers and Bathrooms

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Our children face enough struggles at school without having to worry about being harassed and bullied by someone of the opposite sex forcing their way into the most vulnerable areas of public schools — showers, bathrooms, changing areas and locker rooms. But that's exactly what is going to happen if a new law in California is allowed to take effect.

California lawmakers have passed what's being called the coed-bathroom law. It mandates access to all school facilities including showers and restrooms based on "gender identity" and not a student's actual sex.

The temptation some people may have is to chalk this law up to another crazy idea coming out of California. But that would be a mistake. Rather, this new law illustrates where the gay lobby is going with their never-ending crusade to strip society of all gender norms and differences.

California is the first state to pass a law like this, but several other states have had similar legislative proposals. And Massachusetts has passed something similar by way of administrative regulation.

If the law is allowed to stand in California, it could be coming to your state before you know it. That's the bad news.

The good news is that we have an excellent chance of stopping this law in its tracks and making sure it never takes effect. But time is short — we have only one week left to stop this law.

NOM California is working with allies in the Privacy For All Students coalition to qualify a referendum putting the co-ed bathroom law on the ballot. Once the referendum qualifies for the ballot, the law is suspended and does not take effect until voters can decide if they want to approve or reject the law.

Our polling shows that voters are highly likely to reject the law if it is presented to them. The challenge is obtaining the nearly 505,000 signatures we need to succeed.

If you live in California, or can forward this email to someone who does, please go to the coalition website to download a petition. Complete the petition (be sure to read the instructions) and mail it back immediately. Petitions must be received by November 6th to be processed in time to be submitted to counties on November 8th.

Please also make an immediate contribution to NOM California so that we have the resources to finish the petition drive strong. Because of the short timeframe to mount a referendum, it's necessary to supplement the volunteer effort with a paid petition drive. We must help the coalition raise $77,500 immediately to finish the paid petition portion of the qualification effort.

We are nearly out of time. Hundreds of thousands of signatures have been collected, but we need more.

If you live in California, please help us by signing the petition today. Regardless of where you live, please also make an immediate donation to NOM California so that we have the resources needed to complete the petition drive.

We are counting on you to help protect the privacy and security of our children and grandchildren and prevent them from being exposed to members of the opposite sex in school showers, bathrooms and locker rooms. Please act today.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Support Ken Cuccinelli - a True Champion for Marriage and Life

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

NOM is honored to support Virginia's Attorney General — Ken Cuccinelli — in his campaign for Governor of the Commonwealth. Cuccinelli is facing off against Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe, an ardent pro-abortion, pro-marriage-redefinitionist. The election is one week from today — on November 5th.

Many of the polls show that McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 7-8 points, but that's a close race in an election like this. It all comes down to turnout. Historically, turnout in an "off" year election consists of older, more conservative voters who can be expected to support Cuccinelli in larger numbers.

But whether Ken Cuccinelli was ahead by 7 or 8 points, or behind by 70 points, NOM would be proudly supporting him regardless. Why? Because Ken Cuccinelli is a man of principle.

Won't you please stand with NOM by supporting Ken Cuccinelli with a gift of $25, $50, $100, $500 or more today?

I've had it with politicians who tell us one thing when they are being interviewed or completing a candidate questionnaire, but then when the pressure is on can't be counted on to keep their word.

Ken Cuccinelli is a trusted leader who will stand for the truth of God's design for marriage no matter the season. He knows that children have the best opportunity to thrive when they are raised in a loving home by a mother and a father. He knows that marriage as the union of one man and one woman has served society well for thousands of years. And he respects the voices of Virginia's voters, who overwhelmingly approved the state's marriage amendment back in 2006.

Terry McAuliffe? He was against gay marriage...before he was for it. Or was he? He attacks Ken Cuccinelli for supporting true marriage, but then refuses to answer reporters' questions about his own position. All he can manage to say are platitudes such as "it's not my priority" ... "It's not something I am going to focus on" ... and, "the state constitution is not going to change on my term."

I thought we were done with "Slick Willie" back in the 90's.

I also want to commend the principled leader running alongside Cuccinelli for the office of Lieutenant Governor — E. W. Jackson. Dr. Jackson is a not only a man of faith, he's a brilliant and highly regarded conservative leader. He is a Baptist minister who studied at Harvard Divinity School, and holds a law degree from Harvard Law School. He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts. He's an accomplished author and lecturer, and has been a conservative leader for decades.

This drives the left batty, because Dr. Jackson is also African American. The left can't stomach the idea of an African American conservative, especially one who is as knowledgeable and persuasive as Dr. Jackson.

This importance of this race for governor in Virginia stretches beyond the borders of the Commonwealth itself. It will help set the political tone as we head into the crucial mid-term elections of 2014.

If Ken Cuccinelli is able to pull out a victory with our help, it will be impossible for the media to make the claim that only moderate or liberal Republicans like Chris Christie can win election. But if Cuccinelli is not successful and Christie is, the media spin will be unrelenting. We'll have months of hearing from media such as the New York Times and people like Karl Rove — who lost virtually every election he was involved with in 2012 — about how the GOP must "moderate" its views on social issues like marriage and life if Republicans are to win.

Please join us in rewarding principle and send a true conservative leader to the governor's office in Virginia. Please give generously to Ken Cuccinelli by donating online today.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Paid for by the National Organization for Marriage. Not authorized by any candidate.

What It All Means, NOM Marriage News, October 25, 2013

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This week the battle for marriage in our country has taught us quite a lot about what this fight means for us and for our country. It has also taught us a lot about the meaning of some other things we take for granted.

What Leadership Means

In New Jersey this week, we learned the meaning of leadership — or, rather, its opposite. Governor Chris Christie on Monday abandoned his principles and the people of New Jersey to the whims of an activist Judiciary when he withdrew his administration's appeal to the Supreme Court of a lower ruling that had ordered same-sex 'marriages' to begin in the Garden State.

As I noted in my comments on the decision Monday, "The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path. Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society — marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

To be fair, Christie is not responsible for redefining marriage — that was accomplished by an out-of-control judiciary. However, he is responsible for leaving the field of battle and refusing to fight a principled fight when it was most needed. By surrendering, he has guaranteed defeat in the Garden State.

But while this surrender proved to demonstrate what leadership is not, the same day provided a contrasting image of leadership worth celebrating: that, from Pennsylvania's governor, Tom Corbett.

Governor Corbett was pressured following the Christie administration's announcement to follow suit in Pennsylvania and give up the Pennsylvania government's defense of the standing law in that state that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But Corbett isn't backing down. He said that the case in New Jersey was "no precedent" for what is going on in Pennsylvania and that he would see the case there through the full process of judicial review. Thank you Governor Corbett for demonstrating what it really means to be a leader!

What Privacy Means

Recently I wrote to our California supporters to urge them to support NOM's efforts in California as part of a coalition to defend students' privacy there against a heinous law recently passed which allows any student to use the shower, bathroom or locker room of his or her choice regardless of biological sex!

We are working with the Privacy for All Students coalition supporting a ballot referendum to overturn this dangerous and invasive new law. Certainly students with gender-identity confusion shouldn't be subjected to bullying or discrimination, but California law already protects students from such discrimination and bullying. Rather than protect against bullying, the new law IS bullying! It violates student privacy and security by forcing them to share the most vulnerable areas of school with members of the opposite sex. Imagine being a high school girl forced to undress before the eyes of an opposite-sex peer, and to be told that his so-called "gender identity" entitles him to shower next to you. Worse, if you complain, you might be accused of discrimination against him!

This is an outrageous new law that is terribly conceived and horribly flawed. It just shows you how much the homosexual lobby thinks it can get away with in advancing their agenda.

Please visit www.privacyforallstudents.com today to find out how you can help us ensure every student in California has the right to his or her privacy upheld and protected by the law! If you live in California, please download a petition and return it promptly. And please consider making a contribution to help the campaign be sure they collect the signatures they need.

What Liberal Thought Means

A remarkable essay earlier this month deserves to be read and re-read by every marriage advocate in our country. It is a great resource for engaging in conversation and debate about this issue, whether at home, at school, around the water-cooler at work, or in the public square.

The essay by James Kalb was published in the Catholic World Report on October 2nd and it eviscerates the liberal thinking that has too long dominated our nation's public discourse, and undergirded the Supreme Court's decisions in June against DOMA and Proposition 8:

Liberal thought is entrenched as the basis for public discussion, and it doesn't like the idea of a network of expectations and obligations to which people are subject other than those generated by state and market. What's just, liberals believe, is for individuals to be free from all social pressure in their private lives as long as they perform their duties as employees, taxpayers, and citizens of a diverse, tolerant, and multicultural society. If people are pressured to act one way or another for some reason other than the needs of liberal institutions, that's bigotry and discrimination, and eradicating it is one of the central duties of government.

However strong and entrenched that way of thinking is, it needs to be disputed and overthrown.

Kalb explains what we lose when we trade age-old institutions like marriage, which pre-exist the state, for a modern notion of rights and privileges which the State arbitrarily creates out of thin air:

If marriage is to be something we can rely on, it can't be a sentimental celebration or optional lifestyle choice whose content depends on the orientation and goals of the parties. It has to be understood as something definite that, simply because of what it is, has intrinsic functions that are basic to human life. To be itself, it must therefore be understood as a union of man and woman that accepts the natural consequences of such a union, and there have to be distinct understandings of men, women, the relations between the two, and what they owe and have a right to expect from each other.

Be sure to read the whole wonderful piece today.

What Fatherhood Means

An article in the Washington Times this week revealed growing concern about "irresponsible fatherhood" in our country and lamented that "despite myriad efforts by fatherhood programs, too many men are ending up in multiple relationships, with multiple children from multiple mothers."

What the article failed to mention was that efforts to protect and promote fatherhood are distinctly at odds with the drive to redefine marriage. Because when marriage is redefined, so is the meaning of fatherhood. Rather than the father being a unique and irreplaceable role in the life of a child, a father becomes merely "Spouse 1" or "Spouse 2" — interchangeable and replaceable, an optional role easily replaced in an 'alternative family' model.

But we did have two shining examples of fatherhood this week, of a kind: spiritual fatherhood. Two great pastoral leaders gave shining examples of what it means to care for the 'children' given to one in ministry.

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, IL responded with a strong press statement to a planned same-sex 'marriage' protest at his Cathedral on Tuesday — part of a larger effort of lobbying by same-sex 'marriage' activists in Illinois who are beginning to see the writing on the wall that gay 'marriage' advocates simply don't have the votes to redefine marriage in this fall session.

In response to plans by a group named the Rainbow Sash Movement to disrupt the Cathedral's religious services on Tuesday, Paprocki announced:

People wearing a rainbow sash or who otherwise identify themselves as affiliated with the Rainbow Sash Movement will not be admitted into the cathedral and anyone who gets up to pray for same-sex marriage in the cathedral will be asked to leave.

Of course, our cathedral and parish churches are always open to everyone who wishes to repent their sins and ask for God's forgiveness.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, another spiritual leader has taken a strong stand in the face of plans to undermine true marriage there.

I've told you before about plans by the Richmond City Council to use a same-sex 'marriage' ordinance as a political power play. Well, the members preparing the ordinance are still at it; and that attracted a strong response from a local pastor, Bishop Daryl Husband, Sr. of Mount Olivet Church in Richmond.

Writing at the blog of the Coalition for African American Pastors, Bishop Husband had this to say about the ordinance:

Today I urge the people of Richmond to stand up to our City Council and tell them that the people of Virginia have already spoken on marriage — loudly and clearly. We believe that this vital institution — the bedrock of our society — is solely the union of a man and a woman. This arrangement has served all civilization well for countless ages, and in our day is the best means we have of ensuring every child the opportunity to have both a mother and father. Tell your Councilmember to scrap this terrible proposal, Ordinance 2013-154, and to stop playing politics and get back to work for the people of Richmond.

Bravo to these brave men for standing up for marriage and leading their congregations to do the same!

What Marriage in America Means

Finally, from Hawaii comes an important reminder of something that we here at NOM have always maintained to be crucial for the fate of marriage in the United States. On this important issue, the people should decide!

A coalition called Let the People Decide, of which NOM is a very proud partner, has begun running some wonderful ads in Hawaii and I want to share one with you today. It's especially touching because it reflects the great cultural heritage and richness of Hawaii which some of us perhaps have experienced in visits to the beautiful state. And thus it reminds us, too, that marriage is a universal value that every heritage and every culture has treasured and honored throughout history. Hawaiians are asking for their right to do the same — and I pray that they are afforded that right!

Thank you for continuing to stand strong for marriage and for our treasured freedoms. It is my honor to stand with you.

Bathroom Backlash

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Let me start by thanking all of you who responded to our request to support the referendum to overturn California's incredible new co-ed bathroom law.

And then let me gently persuade any of you who have not signed a referendum petition and made a donation to help this effort.

I know it sounds like the end of a "slippery slope" scenario: "If we don't do this or that, then we will have boys in the girls' locker rooms". But it is true.

California's legislature approved it and Governor Brown signed it into law. It will take effect on January 1, 2014. Starting on that day, any boy can claim to identify as a girl and start using the girls' bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. And girls can claim to identify as boys and use the boys' facilities.

It will be an absolute right. There is no check or safeguard to assure that the claim of gender identity is sincere. But let me be clear, even if there were safeguards to assure that the claim of gender identity is sincere, I would still object to forcing boys and girls to share bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.

Why?

Because nakedness trumps sincerity. I do not want a naked boy in front of a young girl in the shower or bathroom even if he sincerely identifies as a girl.

We should have compassion for students that are uncomfortable with their sexuality or believe that biology has betrayed them. But we have to also have compassion for all of the other students whose privacy will be denied and who will be uncomfortable when these facilities are no longer sexually separate.

How can we possibly be so committed to relieving the discomfort of a handful of students but totally ignore the discomfort and privacy concerns of the 99%+ of other students?

How can we claim that this will decrease bullying, when forcing boys and girls to share bathrooms IS bullying?

Thankfully Californians are having a bathroom backlash.

There is a plan to stop this law from being implemented and allow the voters to reject it. But that plan depends on you and me.

NOM California has joined the coalition of Privacy For All Students to qualify a referendum to overturn this law. I am asking all supporters of true marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and anybody with common sense, to take a stand for privacy and safety by supporting this referendum.

If you have not done so, please visit the PFAS web site at www.privacyforallstudents.com. There you can download a petition, sign and return it in the mail. You can also get church resources and other information for collecting signatures.

Please also make an immediate donation to NOM California to help us cover the costs of this referendum effort. To gather the almost 505,000 valid voter signatures required to qualify the referendum, it is necessary to have paid signature gatherers collect a portion of these signatures. It is an expensive process and we need your immediate help. Your donation to NOM California will be used to help us support the petition drive.

Remember, time is short. All signatures must be submitted to the PFAS office by November 6 so PFAS can process and have these delivered to each county by November 8.

Your signature on the petition and financial support is needed right away. Please do not delay.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Christie Surrender Provides an Object Lesson in (Lack of) Leadership

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This past Monday was a sad day for New Jersey and the nation as we watched Governor Chris Christie surrender on marriage. His backing down also provides an important object lesson in leadership (or lack of it) and gives us a great opportunity to contrast what happened in New Jersey with what's going on elsewhere: what happens when people fight for the truth of marriage.

Please help us today to continue the principled fight for the truth of marriage and make sure that elected officials defend God's design for marriage, not abandon it.

To be sure, the blame for the imposition of same-sex 'marriage' in New Jersey belongs with an activist judiciary that once again imposed their values on the citizenry. Still, the failure of the courts to act responsibly and grant a stay of the ruling imposing same-sex ‘marriage' is no excuse for Governor Christie throwing in the towel and dropping the appeal of the underlying issue.

Because of his failure of leadership, there's now little chance in the short term to restore true marriage in the state. In fact, now that he's abandoned the fight, it's highly likely that next month the Legislature will override Christie's earlier veto of legislation redefining marriage.

Christie's decision will have many consequences — for New Jersey and for his own career. It won't be long before people of faith in New Jersey begin to feel the consequences that have been demonstrated in other states. We'll see individuals sued, fined and persecuted. Small businesses put out of business. Students punished. Church groups will be targeted. Charities may have to close if their views are not in alignment with a redefined version of marriage. These things, and more, are becoming commonplace in any state that redefines marriage.

Governor Christie can also forget any idea he might have had of securing the Republican nomination for president. Already provoking suspicion for his embrace of President Obama and for the legislation he signed to prohibit parents from seeking certain types of counseling for their children with same-sex attraction, Governor Christie surrendering on marriage will be seen as the final act of betrayal. Conservatives and people of faith who make up the core of the GOP will never forgive his failure to lead on marriage when leadership was needed most.

So in surrendering in the face of difficulty, Christie not only ensured that marriage would be redefined in New Jersey, he mortally wounded his own political career.

Contrast that to what is happening in states like Illinois, Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

All year same-sex 'marriage' activists have been claiming they have the votes to redefine marriage in Illinois. They've had President Obama, Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, legislative leaders and union activists all on their side. Yet this past May when the bill was on the line, its prime sponsor declined to bring it up for a vote, finally forced to acknowledge he didn't have the votes he'd been claiming.

In response, homosexual advocacy groups announced a multi-million dollar campaign to push the issue in a fall legislative session that began this week. Activists loudly claimed they'd have the votes this time. And now? The bill's author is acknowledging that he still doesn't have the votes, and likely will not bring it to the floor for consideration.

How did this happen?

First, principled legislators refused to cave to pressure and instead fought for what is right and true. African American pastors, in particular, got engaged and worked with their congregations to make it clear to legislators that a vote for same-sex ‘marriage' would be unacceptable.

Second, the pro-family movement became engaged and fought a fierce battle. NOM has been at the forefront of the effort, working with groups like the African American Clergy Coalition, Coalition of African American Pastors, Illinois Family Institute, Illinois Family PAC, Illinois Catholic Conference and others.

Third, legislators of both parties began to worry that if they voted to redefine marriage, they'd face primary opponents who would use the issue to remove them from office.

You see, exercising leadership works. It coalesces allies, motivates people to get off the sidelines, and demonstrates that you have the courage to fight for principle.

Will you help NOM continue to work to lead the marriage movement in America? Elected officials, pastors and activists across the country are turning to NOM for help and direction. Please give us the support we need to continue to show leadership in this critically important battle.

What's happened in Illinois is not an isolated example.

In Pennsylvania, the state's law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman has been under attack from the left. The state Attorney General announced that she would not defend it. Meanwhile, a local government official — a County Register of Wills — was openly flaunting the law, declaring that he'd ‘marry' same-sex couples regardless of what the law provided.

NOM sprang into action and organized supporters across the state to contact Governor Tom Corbett and call on him to step in and defend marriage in court, and demanded that he file legal action against the local official who was illegally issuing same-sex ‘marriage' licenses. Thousands of people responded to our call to action, and Governor Corbett listened. The Governor is now actively defending the lawsuit challenging marriage, and he's won a court order against the Montgomery County Register of Wills ordering him to cease his illegal conduct.

Most wonderful of all, the other day when Chris Christie surrendered on marriage, a couple of Pennsylvania legislators went to Governor Corbett and asked him to do the same thing. To his credit, Governor Corbett refused, and continues to stand strong for the truth of marriage. That's what leadership looks like.

Please help NOM continue to organize the grassroots to hold elected officials accountable, praising people like Governor Tom Corbett who stand on principle and condemning those like Chris Christie who abandon the fight in the face of pressure.

We can only be effective if we have your financial support. Those funds give us the ability to write directly to constituents, call them on the phone, email them, sponsor rallies, air advertisements, and undertake a range of other activities to educate and mobilize the strong majority of Americans who agree with us on marriage.

Let me also tell you about leadership in Hawaii. Like Illinois, Hawaii has a super majority of Democratic legislators in both houses of the Legislature, and a Democrat governor. Governor Neil Abercrombie wants to redefine marriage, and he's called a special session of the Legislature for next week to attempt to do so. Like the author of the bill in Illinois, Abercrombie claims he's got the votes to succeed, even though he refuses to say who they are.

NOM is working with allies in Hawaii to preserve marriage and demand that the citizens be given the right to vote on this critical issue. A large coalition of allies has been formed called the Let The People Decide coalition. It includes NOM, the Hawaii Family Advocates, Hawaii Family Forum, a diverse mix of pastors and church groups, and many others.

For the past several weeks, marriage supporters have been attending legislative constituent meetings, calling their representatives and standing on countless street corners during rush hour, waving signs to show their support for marriage. Pastors have preached about the importance of preserving marriage, and people are responding in droves.

This past Monday, NOM launched a major statewide television advertisement campaign designed to educate and mobilize marriage supporters throughout the islands. We're also phoning tens of thousands of marriage supporters in Hawaii to urge them to contact their state representatives. We've had to virtually empty our coffers to take these steps, but we are determined to do everything possible to prevail.

It's called leadership.

And it's working. Thousands of constituents have contacted their legislators to demand the right to decide the marriage issue, just as voters in nearly three dozen other states have done. A poll released this week showed that 70% of Hawaii voters believe that they should decide the issue, not legislators meeting in special session.

Will we be successful in Hawaii, one of the most Democratic states in the country? We'll see. But one thing is for sure — surrender always fails.

So that's the contrast. In New Jersey, the courts attempt to impose their skewed views of marriage and a governor surrenders the fight, even while claiming to still be on our side. His surrender eliminates any chance of prevailing. But in states like Illinois, Pennsylvania and Hawaii, people of principle exert leadership, refusing to buckle to political pressure — and achieve remarkable success.

We believe in leadership, and we believe in you. Please help us continue to fight for what is good and right — the truth of God's design of marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Sometimes There's Only One Right Word

The French writer Gustave Flaubert famously spent weeks sometimes pondering a single word looking for just the right one - what he called "le mot juste."

flaubert

Flaubert recognized that sometimes there really is only one perfect term to describe the essence of a particular thing. Well, there is one perfect word to describe our culture's dissonant approach to marriage and family, and that word is incoherent.

An article in yesterday's Washington Times reports that there is a growing concern about "irresponsible fatherhood" in our society: "Despite myriad efforts by fatherhood programs, too many men are ending up in multiple relationships, with multiple children from multiple mothers."

An expert quoted in the article suggests that men need to "advised... to 'slow down,' 'prepare for fatherhood,' realize that a mother and child are 'a package' and 'take time' to select a loving partner and future mother."

Erasing the First Amendment

But these efforts to address a very real concern are incoherent in a cultural context where powerful forces are pushing a radical agenda to redefine marriage and thereby necessarily redefine the roles of parents, making 'fatherhood' an expendable option and devaluing the unique services that men and women each provide in raising children.

To preserve and promote fatherhood requires first that we preserve and promote the true definition of marriage. Marriage is like a key-word for a cipher which, when you get it wrong, causes all the connected code-words to fall apart too. Fatherhood depends on the meaning of the unique and special union of one man and one woman.  And for that union, le mot juste is "marriage."

"The age of liberation from sexual roles and standards has also been an age of ever greater inequality."

A wonderful article from earlier this month in The Catholic World Report deserves to be read, studied, and shared by anyone who engages in conversation and debate over the definition of marriage.

The remarkable piece by James Kalb lays out in a compelling way how the standard for public discourse today - "the view that recently led the Supreme Court to treat restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples as an expression of intent to harm same-sex couples" - needs to be attacked and shifted to more solid ground [emphasis added]:

Pink-Blue-TowelsLiberal thought is entrenched as the basis for public discussion, and it doesn’t like the idea of a network of expectations and obligations to which people are subject other than those generated by state and market. What’s just, liberals believe, is for individuals to be free from all social pressure in their private lives as long as they perform their duties as employees, taxpayers, and citizens of a diverse, tolerant, and multicultural society. If people are pressured to act one way or another for some reason other than the needs of liberal institutions, that’s bigotry and discrimination, and eradicating it is one of the central duties of government.

However strong and entrenched that way of thinking is, it needs to be disputed and overthrown.

Kalb also explains in very clear terms the importance of the definition of marriage and why it matters so deeply:

Man-Woman-ChildIf marriage is to be something we can rely on, it can’t be a sentimental celebration or optional lifestyle choice whose content depends on the orientation and goals of the parties. It has to be understood as something definite that, simply because of what it is, has intrinsic functions that are basic to human life. To be itself, it must therefore be understood as a union of man and woman that accepts the natural consequences of such a union, and there have to be distinct understandings of men, women, the relations between the two, and what they owe and have a right to expect from each other.

Take some time to read and re-read the entire essay today.

Thousands Rally to Defend Marriage in Illinois

The Illinois Family Institute's Defend Marriage Lobby Day is happening right now in Springfield. If you're near the Capitol in Illinois and are able to attend, go stand up for marriage with the brave folks in this video from a local news channel:

FOX 13 News

The Tragedy of Inaction

Well known author and speaker Eric Metaxas continues to call the Church to action in the 21st century, urging people of faith and the Church itself to stand in the public square declaring its beliefs - not just in general, but on ‘hot button’ issues like same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion.

Church and StateChronicling some of his work, Charisma Magazine writer Joy Allmond, notes, “Before we can take on our role as the church in areas like social justice activism and preserving society, we must be aware of our current freedoms and our position in regard to the state.”

Quoting Metaxas, she continues, “There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the separation of church and state. The church is to be protected from the state. Not the reverse," …"People have divorced faith from public life, mostly because of this misunderstanding.”

Allmond expands on this costly misunderstanding, as she explains,

“We have also confused the terms freedom of worship with freedom of religion. So, what is the difference?

Freedom of religion allows us to take our faith into the public square as we leave our corporate worship settings. “The founders have said that we can and should do that,” adds Metaxas. “That means we can exercise our faith freely in the workplace, or wherever we are.”

Freedom of worship allows us to worship within the confines of the church building. However, that freedom is not valid outside of that church building. Furthermore, that means that whatever views you have on the hot-button social issues, such as abortion or same-sex marriage must be kept within the walls your home or your church building.

“They have freedom of worship in China, and they had it in Germany in the 1930s. Today, that is we have—freedom of worship. So today, we are slowly privatizing our faith because of this great misunderstanding,” says Metaxas. “Once we leave our homes or our churches, we are expected to accept the secular humanist view of everything.” (Read More)

In America people of faith have been blessed with the right to the free exercise of their religion, not just worship.  One day we will be held to account for our stewardship of this blessing.  Let be found to have been faithful – standing for God’s truth not just in our churches but in the public square, the halls of power, and across the back fence with our neighbors.

National Organization for Marriage Sharply Criticizes Activist Judiciary For Redefining Marriage In New Jersey and Christie For Abandoning Voters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"An activist judiciary has once again imposed its views and ignored the rights of voters. Regrettably, Governor Christie's decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

nom_logo

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today sharply criticized the courts of New Jersey for orchestrating the redefinition of marriage, and also criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing an appeal of the court ruling imposing same-sex marriage and thus abandoning the right of voters to determine the definition of marriage. NOM pledged to continue to fight for the right of New Jerseyans to define marriage, and suggested that Christie's decision will end any chance of him winning the GOP nomination for president.

"There's no question that the courts of New Jersey are responsible for the imposition of same-sex marriage in that state, and we sharply criticize them for redefining our most important social institution with no regard to the wishes of voters or even elected officials," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "The refusal of the New Jersey Supreme Court to order a stay of the same-sex 'marriage' ruling was wrong, and the latest example of an activist judiciary running amok, substituting their views for those of the people of the state. Still, we are extremely disappointed in Governor Chris Christie for withdrawing the state's appeal of the underlying decision, effectively throwing in the towel on marriage. The mark of a leader is to walk a principled walk no matter the difficulty of the path. Chris Christie has failed the test, abandoning both voters and the core institution of society - marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

A superior court judge had imposed same-sex marriage in New Jersey in a ruling in September, with same-sex 'marriages' set to begin today. Christie's administration appealed the decision and sought a stay to preserve the status-quo until the merit of the case is heard next year. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied the request for the stay, and today Christie dropped his appeal of the underlying decision imposing same-sex marriage.

"It's a sad day for the voters of New Jersey," said Brown. "An activist judiciary has once again imposed its views and ignored the rights of voters. We will continue to fight for the right of New Jersey voters to determine the definition of marriage. Regrettably, Governor Christie's decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions. As far as we are concerned, it's a disqualifying failure. His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), eray@crcpublicrelations.com, or Matille Thebolt (x143), mthebolt@crcpublicrelations.com, 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).

Statement from the National Organization for Marriage on the New Jersey Supreme Court Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


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"It is extremely disappointing that the New Jersey Supreme Court has allowed the ruling of an activist judge to stand pending its appeal through the court system." — Brian Brown, NOM President —

Washington, D.C.—The following should be attributed to Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

 It is extremely disappointing that the New Jersey Supreme Court has allowed the ruling of an activist judge to stand pending its appeal through the court system. The definition of marriage is something that should be decided by the people of New Jersey themselves, not by any judge or court. New Jerseyans should have the right to vote on this issue just as voters in nearly three dozen other states have done. In addition, the decision to allow same-sex ‘marriage’ to proceed even while the law is being tested in court is unfair both to the voters of the state and to same-sex couples themselves. If the state Supreme Court were to uphold marriage as they should do, then the validity of the ‘marriages’ that will be performed starting next week will be called into question. Further, the decision opens the door to a possible federal court ruling similar to what occurred in California in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal which held that once a state grants same-sex ‘marriage’ rights it can never take them away. All in all, today’s ruling is another sad chapter in watching our courts usurp the rights of voters to determine issues like this for themselves.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), eray@crcpublicrelations.com, or Matille Thebolt (x143), mthebolt@crcpublicrelations.com, 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).

 

You Are the Future, NOM Marriage News

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I want to begin today by sharing with you the video of the panel I participated in last week at the Values Voter Summit on The Future of Marriage with the wonderful Ryan Anderson and Jennifer Marshall from The Heritage Foundation.

The Future of Marriage Begins With YOU

Here's what I had to say about the future of marriage:

This, I believe, is the future of marriage: that if those of us who know the truth about marriage are willing to speak lovingly but boldly the truth that we know in our hearts — that we know through reason, that we know through faith — then ultimately others who in their hearts know this truth... will come back to this truth.

This is written on the human heart — that there's something different about moms and dads, that kids deserve both mothers and fathers — this is written on our hearts. And what we need are people who are willing to stand up — regardless of the names they're called, regardless of the threats that come, regardless of whether supporters of redefining marriage take their 990s and post their names on the internet or whatever else.

What little are we being asked to do! — if we look back at those before us who stood up for the truth, Christians and others through the Civil Rights Movement before! All we're being asked to do is to stand up for the truth... what we know is true in our hearts.... And some of us are never, ever going to be ashamed of that or refuse to stand up to defend it.

This notion was a theme of sorts at the Values Voter Summit: that what we need is for ordinary citizens, individuals like you and I, to stand up bravely and speak the truth without fear or shame.

Jennifer Marshall developed upon the same theme in her response to a question from Tony Perkins. She was asked what she would offer to inspire people to have that courage needed to continue standing up in defense of marriage.

Jennifer drew attention to a joint publication from NOM, The Heritage Foundation, FRC, Focus on the Family, and Alliance Defending Freedom, the booklet What You Need to Know about Marriage:

This is just one example of the kinds of ways that we have been really honing our message and trying to make it accessible for everybody. We did this booklet so that you could take it, digest it, and have these conversations, over the water cooler at work, with your family... we need to really be talking about the case for marriage, and we all need to be equipped with it.

You can get a link to download your own copy of this important resource by visiting this website.

The same theme of citizen activism came up during a Congressional Town Hall at the Summit, when Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Tx.) gave this stirring advice:

What can you do? Listen, folks: if you haven't written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper at least once every six months (and I'd recommend once a month!) then you're not helping like you could. If you're not calling into the newspaper and complaining about leftist articles they've done, and especially opinions they do; if you haven't called your television stations and complained about things, you're not doing what you can do. And when you let your voice be heard, Congress always follows. [...]

The truism has always been consistent, that democracy ensures that people are governed no better than they deserve.... We need to be about deserving better leaders.

Great advice! And I'd encourage everyone to follow it, especially those of you in those states where marriage is currently under attack.

Where Your Voice Needs to be Heard

An article in Crisis Magazine last week by Stephen Beale highlighted just some of the threats to marriage that we're seeing around the nation, and you should really check it out. You might be surprised to find attacks to religious liberty happening right in your backyard in your home state, and think of ways that you might be able to help.

Beale details "at least 11 instances of wedding vendors and venues facing some form of recrimination — threats, boycotts, protests, and the intervention of state or judicial authorities — because they denied services for gay nuptials because of their faith."

He explains clearly how these are linked to the push to redefine marriage:

Such fundamental clashes are linked to the spreading legalization of same-sex marriage. Of the 11 total cases cited above, three occurred within two years of their state legalizing same-sex marriage. A fourth came four years afterwards. Four others were in states that did not have same-sex marriage but had granted some legal recognition to same-sex unions, such as domestic partnerships or civil unions. "When you start recognizing same-sex marriage, these cases are going to start coming up," said Jim Campbell, an Alliance for Defense attorney [sic].

But Beale ends with his own reflection on the future that gives the same spirit of advice we saw coming up time and again at the Values Voter Summit. The advice comes from a Catholic Bishop to his diocese; but it's food for thought for all supporters of marriage in our nation who won't willingly be silenced:

As Christians in the United State wonder on what these cases might mean for them, they would do well to reflect on a letter that a bishop recently issued to his diocese, after losing that state's battle over marriage. The letter is addressed by Bishop Thomas Tobin to Rhode Island Catholics, but his words speak to Christians across the country: "Without a doubt this is a time of challenge, even disappointment for many of us, but it is also an opportunity to be steadfast and courageous, and to renew our commitment to Christ and His Church. As our Lord Jesus Christ told us, ‘In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world' (Jn 16:33)."

We can welcome this "opportunity to be steadfast and courageous" in various ways, but it starts with being willing to stand up and to defend the truth about marriage without counting the cost.

The Future of Marriage is Bright

It's also good to be reminded that the victory has already been won in the end, because sometimes we see only glimmers of hope and victory for long periods of time when we're in the trenches of these cultural battles. One such glimmer did come this week, though, out of Illinois.

The Illinois Review reports that the proposed bill to redefine marriage in the Land of Lincoln continues to face an uphill battle, and this time because of fundraising shortcomings from those pushing the radical legislation:

Equality Illinois vowed to raise $500,000 to renew the fight this fall. Half of the money was to be earmarked for a "re-education campaign" while the other $250,000 was to fund re-election challenges to lawmakers who would have voted "no" on gay marriage, and to protect those that were planning to vote "yes".

But as David Ormsby reports, despite all the "rhetorical swagger" and "political chest thumping," the organization has fallen far short of its political fundraising goal — raising only $25,421 in the third quarter.

The fact is that the people of Illinois simply do not want marriage redefined and undermined — least of all when the legislature there has so many better things to do with the people's time and resources. It's good to see this fact bearing consequences for the disastrous bill that a noisy minority are still trying to ram through the legislature.

Let's take encouragement where we can, and continue together to stand up bravely for the value of marriage and for the liberties we hold so dear, like freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

The future of marriage is ours to make: what will you do today to ensure that future is bright?

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

A Learning Opportunity

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

OK, sometimes late is better than never.

If you have the opportunity this evening, you are invited to Princeton University to hear Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, on the consequences of redefining marriage. He is the co-author of What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.

The lecture will take place in McCosh Hall, Room 50 at 7:30 PM on the Princeton Campus, and is hosted by the University's Anscombe and American Whig-Cliosophic Societies. Click here for more details on the event.

What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense is one of the best resources for understanding and helping explain to others the unique and critical institution of marriage. I urge anyone who is able: Please make the effort to hear this enlightening lecture.

Across the country, but critically in New Jersey, each one of us who believes marriage to be the union of one man and one woman need to be able to give a reasoned defense of our position — across the back fence, with our families at dinner, or in the public square. This special opportunity will help you do just that.

I hope you can make it.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Crisis Magazine - The Persecution of Christians

ChristianityIn the aptly named Crisis Magazine, Stephen Beale has begun to chronicle the persecution of Christians as they take public stands through their businesses against the redefinition of marriage.  NOM has chronicled many of these for you, but the article is a timely reminder of the growing threat to our free exercise of religion as marriage is redefined.  Beale quotes, Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of The Thomas Moore Law Center:

These cases represent a new battlefield in the clash between the freedoms of Christians and the “radical homosexual agenda”…Despite their relatively small numbers, radical homosexuals wield enormous power. They dominate our cultural elite, Hollywood, television, the mainstream news media, public schools, academia, and a significant portion of the judiciary…As a result of their power, homosexual activists are able to intimidate and silence opposition.

Read more here.

What Can One Person Do?

One of the questions NOM always gets is, “What can one person do to make a difference?”  Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert got the same question at last weekend’s Values Voter Summit hosted by the Family Research Council.  Watch and listen to his simple 90-second response: