NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It's been a tough year for those of us who labor to preserve true marriage, but I am still thankful for so many things.

First, I am thankful for the struggle that we're in the midst of experiencing. Though we've suffered some losses, they have been hard-fought and close. I'm thankful for all those who stood with us in the state battles in Delaware, Rhode Island, Illinois and Hawaii. These were all very difficult states for us, yet with your help we waged a principled battle throughout.

I'm grateful to the many talented lawyers who represented us before the courts, especially to those who waged the battle before the US Supreme Court. And I am thankful to the justices who heard and considered our arguments, even if they too often were in the minority.

I'm grateful for those elected officials who defied the stereotypes, especially those Democrats who withstood immense party and political pressure to stand for the truth of marriage, such as those who agreed with us in Delaware and Rhode Island, and the extraordinary outpouring of support from Democrats in Hawaii, who stood along with their Republican colleagues to fight for the principle that marriage is more than a public recognition of loving relationships and instead is our best social structure to connect children to mothers and fathers. You don't read much in the mainstream press about all the Democrats who support preserving marriage, but they are out there in every state and in large numbers.

I'm thankful for the African American leaders we worked with in Illinois who stood firm for the truth of marriage and made it known that legislators who betrayed marriage would be held accountable. Their principled opposition to redefining marriage was a powerful antidote to the false narrative that somehow redefining marriage is a civil right.

I am grateful to all those elected officials who were willing to listen to the stories of those who have been denied their religious freedom for honoring their belief in true marriage. Many legislators opposed redefining marriage because of the concern for the impact on others — including the first openly-gay legislator, Rep. Jo Jordan in Hawaii, to vote against redefining marriage.

Candidly, I'm grateful that we have our toughest states behind us. For most of the past two years, we've been working in territory where the political deck has been stacked against us from the outset. Thankfully, the battle moves now to states where we are much stronger politically, such as Ohio and Indiana.

I'm thankful for our founding fathers who had the courage to leave their homeland to seek a life based on freedom, liberty and limited government. These men and women braved a new world by taking the unprecedented step of setting a nation upon a radical foundation that rights come not from government, but from God Almighty. A country whose constitution deems rights to be inalienable, not bestowed by a benevolent King; a government where citizens are not regarded as subjects, but as sovereign.

I'm thankful that the Creator of the universe saw fit to bless me with a life in the freest nation on earth, and at a time when I have the opportunity to fight for one of His most precious institutions, without which no civil society can long endure.

I am thankful for my many friends who laugh with (and sometimes at) me, play with me, challenge me and pray for me. Friends like our talented and beloved Communications Director, Tom Peters and his lovely wife Natalie. Thomas' continuing recovery from a tragic diving accident inspires me as a tribute both to the power of devoted yet difficult work, and to the infinite power of God's grace to hear and answer prayer.

I am thankful for the incredible gift of family, and for the uniqueness and specialness of each of my seven children — and especially for their loving mother, my beautiful wife, Susan. We are all made in the image of God. This truth applies equally to those we hold close, and to those who oppose us on the field of battle. We are reminded that we have opponents, not enemies. We pray that God will bless each of us and our respective families and encourage us along a path to holiness.

And finally, I am thankful for you. You have allowed me and NOM into your home. You've spent time considering the issues we've raised and you've responded with your encouragement, support and prayers. I am blessed to walk along side you on this incredible journey to defend God's institution of marriage, and the faith communities that sustain it.

May God richly bless you and yours during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Pope Francis on "Cultural Challenges" to the Gospel

Yesterday, the Vatican released the first major document penned solely by Pope Francis during his reign. The document (known as an "apostolic exhortation") takes its title (Gaudium Evangelii) from the "incipit" or first words of the exhortation in its official language. The phrase translate as "The Joy of the Gospel."

Pope FrancisIn one section of the lengthy work, the Holy Father reflects on specific "cultural challenges" confronting the mission of Christians in the modern age. Confronting these challenges, Pope Francis writes, is one of the ways Christians "evangelize" in today's world [emphasis added]:

We also evangelize when we attempt to confront the various challenges which can arise. On occasion these may take the form of veritable attacks on religious freedom or new persecutions directed against Christians; in some countries these have reached alarming levels of hatred and violence. In many places, the problem is more that of widespread indifference and relativism, linked to disillusionment and the crisis of ideologies which has come about as a reaction to anything which might appear totalitarian. This not only harms the Church but the fabric of society as a whole. We should recognize how in a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions.

Francis goes on to expound on how this "widespread indifference and relativism" relates to our notions of marriage and family [emphasis added]:

In the prevailing culture, priority is given to the outward, the immediate, the visible, the quick, the superficial and the provisional. What is real gives way to appearances. In many countries globalization has meant a hastened deterioration of their own cultural roots and the invasion of ways of thinking and acting proper to other cultures which are economically advanced but ethically debilitated. This fact has been brought up by bishops from various continents in different Synods. The African bishops, for example... pointed out years ago that there have been frequent attempts to make the African countries “parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel...." [...] By the same token, the bishops of Asia “underlined the external influences being brought to bear on Asian cultures. New patterns of behaviour are emerging as a result of over-exposure to the mass media… As a result, the negative aspects of the media and entertainment industries are threatening traditional values, and in particular the sacredness of marriage and the stability of the family."

FamilyFinally, Francis speaks directly of the "crisis" facing the family in the attacks brought against it around the world, and he does so in words clearly implicating attempts to redefine marriage:

The family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children. Marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of mere emotional satisfaction that can be constructed in any way or modified at will. But the indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple....

You can read the entire monumental document online.

Myths vs. History

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

When history looks back on the 2012-2013 legislative year, I believe it will be remembered as the year Americans realized the same-sex marriage movement for what it truly is: a bullying behemoth that puts the very foundations of our democracy at stake.

Right now, living through it all, it's been a somewhat discouraging year for believers in true marriage. We've seen a few narrow losses in some close, hard-fought battles. In some ways, the deck was stacked against us in these states — all of which were deep blue and controlled by Democrats, most with super majorities.

But the "low hanging fruit" for the other side is gone. Now we have the chance to make sure the wave of same-sex marriage momentum crests and rolls back. That story is ours to write: this is your time, along with countless other pro-marriage Americans, to make history.

Click here to make a contribution to NOM of $50, $100, or even $500 so that the coming year will be the year in which together we make history. With your help, 2014 will be known as the year when pro-marriage Americans stemmed the tide and when the flood waters of marriage redefinition receded.

From the earliest days of the marriage battle in our country, the other side has claimed to be "on the right side of history" and said that their movement enjoyed the momentum of public sentiment so that same-sex marriage in America was "inevitable."

They said this despite majorities in state after state standing up in favor of marriage between one man and one woman at the ballot box. It wasn't until 2012 that they had a single election victory to bolster their "inevitability" myth. But one year of slight victories does not make a myth reality. Next year we'll show that history — and not myths — is what finally matters. And history is on our side!

It isn't foolish optimism to hope that we will muster the resources and strength to regain momentum for our movement in the year 2014. We have some very winnable battles coming up in states like Ohio and Indiana where it will all come down to whether our message can be heard by the voters. That's why your help is so crucial.

But also in recent days we've been given signs of how our opponents' "inevitability" myth is just that — a myth. For example, we've seen huge interest in the news lately about the debate happening in the Cheney family over the value of marriage. We've known that the debate over marriage is far from "closed," whatever same-sex marriage activists would have us believe: and here we see proof that that debate is very much alive in America, in homes and workplaces, around the dinner table and the water cooler.

And we've also seen more and more people waking up to how brazen the radical same-sex marriage movement is in their approach to this debate. They don't want debate at all: they want to silence the opposition.

They want to shut us up, to ignore the arguments, and stampede toward their goal. Every day, more Americans are realizing that same-sex marriage works by way of bullying and ignorance; and as they realize this, they know that that's not the way debates in America are supposed to work.

Marriage supporter, we can win the debate over marriage — with your help! We have the best arguments and the best science on our side, but we don't have Hollywood and the media in our pocket. We need your support today. Your gift of $50, $100, or even $500 will help us make sure that the American people hear our pro-marriage message over the bullying shouts of our opponents.

Make no mistake: we still have to fight hard to ensure that people continue waking up to how arrogant the same-sex 'marriage' bullies have grown with their small wave of victories over the past year. But they've made some mistakes that might be their undoing.

Like many other radical progressive movements, the same-sex 'marriage' lobby has been far too aggressive in exploiting the powers of Big Government and excluding the common people from the process of political determination. And that tactic is going to backfire.

The majority of Americans won't go willingly along with a movement that finds friendship with a corrupt IRS... with politically ambitious activist judges... with local officials who break their oaths of office... with city councils who target and persecute people of faith... with legislatures who sell out their constituents... and with a President who pushes that slim minority's radical agenda while crucial programs (including even his own "signature" legislative achievement) unravel at the seams!

No, the American people are waking up to see the same-sex marriage movement for the radical, bullying, anti-democratic and even anti-American behemoth that it is. And we're going to work hard to wake more and more of them up to the fact — with your help!

Please lend us a hand today with your generous gift of $50, $100, or even $500 which will go directly to helping craft our messages for 2014 as we prepare to engage more and more of the American people with the truth about marriage, the truth about what's at stake in this debate, and the truth about what our opponents are all about — and what we can expect to see if they get their way!

Thank you for standing fast and firm in defense of marriage with us through some tough times this past year. And thank you in advance for standing with us through the battles ahead which, together, we will turn into victories!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Members of Congress Commend National Organization for Marriage For Suing Internal Revenue Service over Illegal Release of Its Tax Return

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"We are grateful to these leaders of the House for stepping forward to express their support of our efforts to hold lawbreakers within the IRS accountable for their crimes."  —Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — Three dozen members of the United States House of Representatives have signed a letter to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) praising it for filing a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service for illegally leaking its confidential tax return including a list of its top donors. The confidential tax data ended up in the possession of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) whose president was a national co-chair of President Obama's reelection committee.

"We applaud you in your effort to find the truth about what happened to your donor lists as we in Congress continue fighting to hold the Obama Administration accountable for these abuses of American citizens' constitutional rights," the letter said. The letter was signed by 36 members of the US House of Representatives including Republican Study Committee Chairman, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Values Action Team Co-Chair, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA).

"We are grateful to these leaders of the House for stepping forward to express their support of our efforts to hold lawbreakers within the IRS accountable for their crimes," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "No group should have to worry that its confidential tax return information including donor information will be leaked by the IRS and end up in the hands of its arch political opponents."

The leaking of NOM's tax return and confidential donor information has been investigated by the federal government, but the Obama Administration refuses to provide the public with any accounting of what they have found, claiming that the law protects the identity of the individuals involved in the criminal act of leaking the information in the first instance. Releasing taxpayer tax returns is a felony under federal law. Several committees of the US House have examined the matter, including the Committee on Ways & Means and the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform.

"The Obama Administration has adopted a Nixonian approach of delay, denial and obstruction to keep under wraps the truth about who was involved in this crime," said John Eastman, NOM's Chairman. "Our lawsuit is intended to get all the facts to the American people so they can hold people accountable. The public is entitled to know how this crime unfolded and whether anyone at the White House, Obama Reelection Committee or the HRC had any role in this disturbing event."

Eastman testified about the issue before the Ways & Means Committee and was the recipient of the Congressional letter.

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [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).

"One of the most articulate, steadfast, and intrepid defenders of marriage"

Paprocki

CatholicVote blogger John White has compiled a list of "12 Must-Read Quotes from Bishop Paprocki's Same-Sex Marriage Exorcism" homily.

The Bishop made national headlines last week with a special prayer service coinciding with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's signing into law of the recently-passed bill redefining marriage in his state.

As White notes, the "entire homily is worth reading," but the quotations featured by White give a good idea of why he can justly call Paprocki "one of the most articulate, steadfast, and intrepid defenders of marriage in the Catholic Church in America."

Check it out!

Obamacare's Marriage Penalties

At The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry blog, Chris Jacobs writes of "How Obamacare Discourages Work and Marriage."

Jacobs explains that " the law perpetuates some of the country’s worst trends that trap people in poverty. It includes disincentives for individuals to marry and for Americans of low and modest incomes to work."

The two marriage penalties included in Obamacare, "one for families with low and moderate incomes and another for families with higher incomes," are revealed by Jacobs by use of a concrete illustration:

PenalizedA 50-year-old non-smoker making $35,000 per year would qualify for a sizable insurance subsidy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s insurance subsidy calculator. The individual’s premium would be capped at 9.5 percent of income, resulting in an insurance subsidy of $2,065 paid by the federal government.

However, if this 50-year-old is married to another 50-year-old who also makes $35,000 per year, the couple would receive no insurance subsidy at all. This couple would incur a marriage penalty of $4,130 in one year—equal to the $2,065 that each individual could have received if they were not married.

Click here to read Jacobs' full article.

Three Dozen Lawmakers Applaud NOM's Efforts to Find the Truth about the IRS; Vow to Continue Fighting to Hold Obama Adminstration Accountable

Three dozen members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to the National Organization for Marriage's chairman, Dr. John Eastman, cheering NOM's litigation against the IRS's unlawful disclosure of confidential tax forms filed by the organization.

Congressional Letter to NOM on IRS Case

The letter, dated November 21st, expresses support for NOM's efforts to find the truth. The Congressional members also pledged to continue their work to hold the IRS accountable:

While it is up to the court to determine the outcome of your case, unfortunately your allegation are not unique or even unexpected given the Obama Administration's well-documented practice of using federal agencies to target conservative groups.

[...]

We applaud you in your effort to find the truth about what happened to your donor lists as we in Congress continue fighting to hold the Obama Administration for these abuses of American citizens' constitutional rights.

NOM is very grateful to these Representatives and encouraged by their interest and support! Click here to read the letter in full and to find out if your Representative signed!

Cardinal George of Illinois lawmakers who quoted the Pope: "Less than intellectually honest"

In a letter to the Archdiocese of Chicago dated November 11 and recently made available on the Archdiocese's website, Cardinal Francis George, the Archbishop of Chicago, lamented the recent passage of a law in Illinois redefining marriage.

In particular, the Cardinal (echoing a very similar sentiment to one recently expressed by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone) condemned the use of Pope Francis's words by Chicago politicians lobbying for the passage of the inaptly named "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" [emphasis added]:

One of the consequences for our religion is already evident in the misuse of Pope Francis’ words, spoken last summer, about our attitude toward an individual gay person who has asked God for forgiveness. The Pope was not speaking about approving gay marriage. To use his words against his teaching, as they were used on the floor of the State House of Representatives on November 5, is less than intellectually honest.

The Cardinal also warned of the likely fallout for people of faith of the newly minted law:

[T]here will be consequences for the Church and society that will become clearer as the law is used to sue for discrimination. The law has made some gays and lesbians happy, and that is not a bad thing in itself. The law, however, is bad law because it will contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society.

You can read the letter at the Archdiocese's website.

A New Test for Our Nation, NOM Marriage News

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This week, our nation commemorated the 150th anniversary of one of the most poignant political utterances in American history: what has come to be known as "The Gettysburg Address" — the dedication speech offered by President Lincoln on the occasion of establishing a national cemetery at the famous battlefield site.

Nine months prior to that occasion, Lincoln had signed a legal enactment which shaped American history much more significantly and fundamentally than his words at Gettysburg: that is, the Emancipation Proclamation.

But with that document having been signed, throughout 1863 the "other cause" of the Civil War took on more and more prominence: namely, the task of preserving the Union. And it was with that new focus in mind that Lincoln delivered his stirring speech in November at Gettysburg. It was a speech which he imagined "the world [would] little note, nor long remember" — which just goes to show how even the best and brightest can sometimes be wrong when it comes to predicting the future!

I've been reflecting on Lincoln's words this week. It is striking how he recognized that the Civil War (still raging at the time he delivered his remarks) was a "test" for America, "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

And from that moment of testing, Lincoln recognized a "great task remaining" for Americans — a task to which he "dedicated" the nation with "increased devotion." The task he recognized rings in the memorable and often quoted final words of the speech: "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

"A New Birth of Freedom"

They say that too often people don't value something until it's in danger of being taken away. But the flip-side of this is the blessing of renewed appreciation for the things we hold dear when we face the task of defending them from attack.

While it is a sad and worrisome thing to witness how the definition of marriage has come under attack for over a decade now, this has also made more people reflect on the meaning of this ancient institution that we always took for granted.

One recent remarkable reflection of this sort comes from a gay journalist in Ireland who wrote a very strong piece about why he opposes same-sex marriage:

Same Sex Marriage [sic] is not some warm fluffy equality bunny, it's a bare-faced state power grab. The state gets to entirely remake marriage, not as the man/woman/child model we've inherited from 10,000 years of history and across all cultures but as an anything-goes irrelevant partnership agreement between adults.

Only a man and a woman have children despite every fantasy the gender-busters want us to believe. Every child has a right to that natural life. Same sex marriage asks us to ignore reality and children's rights to a mother and father. Marriage will be made irrelevant because this re-make says that, for the first time, children and parenthood has no natural place in marriage. If you have children, the kindly, benevolent state will set your relationship with them.

If you don't want a gay marriage don't get one? Everyone gets one because, in the eyes of the state, marriage will be about adults, not about a man and a woman committing to making and raising children.

Another call for renewed value of our freedoms has come in the wake of the recent cancellation of a pro-family symposium by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk in response to pressure from bullying by the extremist gay activist organization, Human Rights Campaign. (The symposium was graciously hosted instead by House Speaker John Boehner.)

Managing Director Larry Jacob of the World Congress of Families (which was organizing the symposium) responded with this powerful appeal in an interview with Christian Newswire [emphases added]:

It is shocking that a United States Senator would bow to pressure from these militants and refuse to facilitate the discussion of vital issues affecting children, family, life, and the economy. Groups like HRC have set themselves up as arbiters of what may or may not be discussed at public forums. Instead of meeting us in the marketplace of ideas, they take the low road of smears and intimidation, seeking to foreclose the healthy debate that's vital to a democracy.

The Congress is part of the United States government, and — as such — should be open to all points of view. What other groups would HRC like to keep from exercising their First Amendment rights in this regard — the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, most African-American churches, all of which disagree with the sexual radicals on one or more family issues?

Let's face it. Rationality has never been one of HRC's strong suits. And it's debatable whether they care much about the constitution — or other laws, like (oh, I don't know) laws protecting taxpayer confidentiality.

The World Congress of Families and others (including NOM) are encouraging folks to call Senator Kirk's offices and let him know how outrageous it is that he would shut his door to groups based on libelous smears from HRC. Click here to find information on how to contact Senator Kirk.

Yes, these attacks on marriage and on the First Amendment are very sad to witness. But perhaps for us it is a continuation of the "remaining task" noted by Lincoln 150 years ago. Maybe we're part of "a new birth of freedom" as many of us learn for the first time the full value and worth of many freedoms and values that we've long taken for granted. I imagine that you, like me, can at least consider yourself blessed for the opportunity to stand and fight in defense of marriage and our religious freedoms like many noble members of generations past in "this nation, under God."

"Of the People, by the People, for the People..."

The other part of the "remaining task" highlighted by Lincoln seems as pertinent as ever today, as well. It isn't hyperbole to say that we've witnessed a scandalous undermining of our very system of government in some of the ways that same-sex marriage has been foisted on the people of states around the nation.

Whether it be activist judges ruling imperially from the bench, or bought-and-paid for legislators selling out their constituents, or ballot initiatives tainted by multi-million dollar misinformation campaigns or obfuscation in the wording of a measure (such as claims that a redefinition of marriage will somehow strengthen religious liberty when the opposite is true), we've seen anything but "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" in the ways marriage redefinition has been achieved.

Will government of THE PEOPLE and the ideal of democracy "perish from the earth"? Well, not if we can help it!

In 2014, NOM will be gearing up for state battles where finally we're back on a level playing field — well, at least as far as politics are concerned. You see, the same-sex marriage movement has now picked all of the low-hanging fruit after targeting states like Illinois and Hawaii where both the legislature and governorship were already at the Left's beck and call.

Now, the battleground will be shifting to states like Indiana and Ohio. And these are states we can win.

How? We can win by "government of the people, by the people, for the people" — by letting the people decide on marriage!

But as I said above, a lesson that same-sex 'marriage' teaches us all is that we can't take things for granted. And even though until 2012 every state that had allowed the people to vote on marriage always swung in our favor, we suffered losses at the ballot box in that year for the first time. And why? Because we simply couldn't compete with our opponents' media machines due to a huge funding deficit.

I remember hearing that people in Minnesota, after the legislature there redefined marriage, were shocked that it had happened — even though some of these same people voted just months prior against an amendment to protect marriage! The campaign in support of the proposed Marriage Amendment that NOM supported with our allies in Minnesota warned voters that without the amendment, marriage could be redefined by politicians and judges at the first opportunity. And if it was redefined, there would be real consequences to Minnesotans. But our messages were overrun by our opponents who outspent us by $7 million. Months later, marriage was redefined just as we predicted it would be.

They'd bought the other side's lies that defeating the amendment was about preserving the status quo and not "writing discrimination into the constitution." By a slim majority, voters decided to not enact the amendment, believing they were voting to maintain the status quo that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Now that marriage has been redefined, they realize that it's they — the majority of voters who believe in marriage as one man and one woman — who are the victims of discrimination.

So today I'm asking you to help us with the "remaining task before us." Help us win in 2014 by donating to NOM today so that we can fight — and win — for marriage. Help us educate the people of these states on the importance of marriage, and then let them decide the matter wisely and well.

Thank you for all you do in defense of marriage and the other values and freedoms we all hold so dear. We're on the right side of history, and history remembers worthy words and actions even when their value isn't recognized in their own time. Stay strong, and may God continue to bless our cause and to bless our great nation.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P.S. My good friend, Rick Santorum recently emailed me with some interesting news. You may know that (among other activities), he is working with EchoLight Studios to promote good, family friendly movies. They are releasing a new Christmas movie, The Christmas Candle, tomorrow, November 22 in theaters nationwide.

One of the most enjoyable ways we can fight for God's truth is by supporting products that enforce and share our values. If you want to go see an uplifting Christmas film the whole family can enjoy, please click here to see where The Christmas Candle is playing in your area.

US Catholic Bishop's Marriage Committee Chairman Condemns Politicians for "Manipulating" Pope's Words

From Catholic World Report:

Pope FrancisIn response to the Illinois legislature’s approval of a measure legalizing same-sex marriage in that state, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, called the move “a serious injustice.”

He also criticized those who used the words of Pope Francis in defending their support for the redefinition of marriage. Pointing to the Holy Father’s opposition to same-sex marriage legislation in his home country of Argentina as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cordileone said, “It is therefore disgraceful that some legislators would manipulate the words of Pope Francis to suggest that he would support marriage redefinition.”

Read the rest here.

Or read the full statement from Abp. Cordileone on the USCCB's website.

As Illinois Same-Sex 'Marriage' is Signed into Law, Legal and Religious Leaders Speak Out

Yesterday, Governor Quinn of Illinois signed the deceptively named "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" into law. This prompted reactions from religious and legal leaders who warned of the bill's ill effects which will soon be seen.

Peter Breen, Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society, explained that the bill's name belies its real legal effects:

IllinoisThe bill is called the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. But this act is neither free nor fair for people of religious convictions. [...] Because the general assembly left out specific protections for individuals, businesses, religious organizations, and religious charities, we will have to discover the boundaries of this act through litigation.

Breen's remarks were reported by The Illinois Review, which also quoted the President of the Thomas More Society, Tom Brejcha:

The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom. [...] This affects believer[s] in myriad ways—how they live out their faith, how they educate their children, and how they operate their businesses.

Brejcha here was quoting the words 'the price of citizenship' from an August decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court against Elane Photography, a commercial photo studio whose owners, Jon and Elaine Huguenin, had been taken to court for declining to provide services for same-sex unions.

While The Huguenin's maintained that participating in such ceremonies would violate their religious convictions, the Court maintained that they were "compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives."

In the concurring opinion to the majority decision, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson went on to say chillingly:

[T]here is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life. In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship [emphasis added].


Meanwhile, yesterday in Illinois, the Catholic Bishop of Springfield, the Most Reverend Thomas J. Paprocki, also spoke out against the new law during a prayer service at the Cathedral [emphases added]:

Flag-Church[A] major deception or distortion of marriage is the view that it is not ultimately about generating life, but rather is mainly about a romantic relationship designed for individual (not even mutual) fulfillment. That distorted understanding cuts across opposite-sex marriage and same-sex marriage proponents in our culture. We are all summoned to reflect more deeply on the truth of marriage.

It is also a deception to say that there will be no adverse effects on children being brought up in the household of a same-sex couple.

The division brought about by the Devil due to same-sex marriage may be seen in the way our society, our families and our friendships have become so divided and polarized over this issue.

The diversion of the Devil in same-sex marriage may be seen in the fact that so much of our time, energy and resources are being spent in addressing this issue, when there are more pressing needs facing our state and our Church.

The work of discouragement by the Devil in same-sex marriage is apparent in the message being conveyed to defenders of traditional marriage that the universal redefinition of marriage is unstoppable, so we might as well just stop trying. But the legalization of abortion on demand forty years ago did not silence those who believe that abortion is contrary to God's law. On the contrary, Roe v. Wade only heightened the need for more concerted efforts to protect all human life from conception to natural death. So, too, the legal redefinition of civil marriage does not put an end to the need for discourse and action to defend natural marriage in accord with God's plan, but only serves to heighten the need for greater efforts in this regard.

You can read more of the Bishop's words at the Diocese's website.

Our Move

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The ball is in our court.

Same-sex 'marriage' activists have launched an unprecedented assault on marriage over the past 12 months. And in that time, we've seen some terrible losses for this cherished institution.

But the truth is that these radicals targeted the most liberal of states —
states like Illinois and Hawaii where the political situation was set up
perfectly for them — and they barely eked out some incredibly narrow
victories
despite pouring tens of millions of dollars into their campaigns.

Well, guess what? They've run out of easy targets.

There are no remaining states where Democrats control both legislative houses and the governorship, except in West Virginia which is a very socially conservative state. And we have marriage amendments in place in 30 states to preserve marriage.

Here is where the false narrative of "inevitability" ends — but only with your help!

Please click here right away to make a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 if God has given you the means, and help us turn the tide and take back marriage in America!

The fight for marriage goes on — but in the coming year, the fight turns to states like Ohio and Indiana — states in which we have a decided advantage!

In these states THE PEOPLE will decide at the ballot box — not activist judges or legislators who betray the majority. We can win these contests — if we have the resources to get our message out.

The only time marriage lost at the ballot box was in 2012, where in four very liberal states we were outspent four-to-one. After those losses, NOM vowed to do everything in our power to make sure never to go into battle again outspent by those kinds of margins. We can only fulfill that vow if marriage champions like you determine to give generously to these winnable fights.

And if you give today, you can take advantage of our incredible million dollar challenge grant, graciously put forth by one of our most dedicated supporters. Every dollar you donate today will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, DOUBLING the impact of your gift in the fight to defend marriage!

Won't you please make a generous donation to NOM of $25, $50, $100, $500, or even $1,000 right away to ensure that we have the resources we need to take back the momentum in the fight to defend marriage?

We can halt the temporary momentum same-sex 'marriage' activists have built up with their extremely narrow victories in hyper-liberal states... but only if we have the resources to fight! Your donation will help turn the tide and put the momentum back on the side of marriage!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P. S. We only have a few weeks left in our matching gift campaign, so please click here to make a gift today. Only you can ensure that we have the resources we need to defend marriage and religious liberty throughout the country!

National Organization for Marriage Dismisses Frivolous Human Rights Campaign Complaint Over Its Federal Tax Return; Blasts Group That Violated Federal Law By Illegally Publishing Tax Return

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


"NOM fully complies with federal law concerning public availability of its Form 990 tax return. It's the HRC that has ignored federal law by publishing an illegally obtained copy of our 2008 tax return." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today dismissed as frivolous and ironic a complaint made by the misnamed Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which falsely accused NOM of failing to disclose its 2012 federal tax return. The HRC previously published an illegally obtained copy of NOM's 2008 tax return, leaked by the IRS in violation of federal criminal law. The illegal release of NOM's tax return is the subject of the current Congressional investigation of the IRS Scandal and is also the subject of civil litigation filed by NOM against the IRS.

"NOM fully complies with federal law regarding the public availability of our Form 990 tax return. Our 2012 Form 990 was mailed to the IRS on November 15th as required by law. It is available for public inspection on the NOM website," said Brian Brown, NOM's President. "This frivolous complaint by the HRC is extremely ironic given the fact that HRC published on its website the private information from NOM's 2008 Form 990, which is a felony under federal law and which is the subject of current Congressional investigations. NOM has also filed a federal lawsuit against the IRS to find out who in the IRS illegally released to the HRC our confidential donor information."

The HRC received and published online NOM's 2008 Schedule B list of donors, a document that has been established was illegally released by the IRS. The Obama Administration has refused to identify the criminal within the IRS responsible for leaking NOM's return. Various US House committees continue to conduct investigations into the issue and NOM has filed civil litigation in an effort to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

"We are looking forward to discovery in our lawsuit to find out which IRS employee(s) were responsible for illegally releasing our confidential donor information, and whether anyone outside the IRS played a role in the conspiracy to commit this felony," said Brown. "The HRC can file whatever frivolous complaints they want, but we're focused like a laser beam on holding those people responsible for this crime accountable."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [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).

Anderson: "The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage"

The first submission to this week's symposium at The Intercollegiate Review is a reprint of a great essay by What is Marriage? co-author and Heritage fellow Ryan T. Anderson, "The Social Costs of Abandoning the Meaning of Marriage."

Married Couple HandsAnderson points out why the question of how we define marriage is a social issue which cuts across differences of religion or philosophy: it's just good common sense.

Whatever one thinks about the morality of sexually open marriages, multi-partner marriages, and by-design-temporary marriages, the social costs will run high. The marital norms of monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanency make a difference for society.

Concern about the direction of our society's norms about marriage as reflected in law are accessible to anyone who cares about the social welfare and about the role of government, Anderson explains, because "[a]fter all, law affects culture. Culture affects beliefs. Beliefs affect actions. The law teaches, and it will shape not just a handful of marriages but the public understanding of what marriage is."

Redefining marriage to say that men and women are interchangeable, that "monogamish" relationships work just as well as monogamous relationships, that "throuples" are the same as couples, and that "wedlease" is preferable to wedlock will only lead to more broken homes, more broken hearts, and more intrusive government.

Click here to read the rest.

Symposium on "Sex and the Polis" Hosted at the Intercollegiate Review

The indefatigable Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is hosting a symposium beginning this week at their online publication, The Intercollegiate Review, which our readers may want to follow.

Man Woman SculptureThe symposium is entitled "Sex and the Polis: Perspectives on Marriage, Family, and Sexual Ethics," and the Review's Associate Editor Christopher Fisher explains its "mission" is "to better understand what effect these cultural trends in sexual ethics have on relationships, families, and the pursuit of the common good."

Fisher elaborates:

Our culture’s understanding of sexual ethics is largely defined by a seismic shift in the modern conception of marriage and family. This includes a rising tendency to delay marriage and children until later in life (or not have children at all, as evidenced by our lowest-ever birthrates); an acceptance and even expectation of pornography as an appropriate means of sexual gratification outside and inside of marriage; an equal expectation that all "normal" young adults will engage in pre-marital sex; openness to homosexuality and gay marriage; and a secular, non-sacramental definition of marriage and reproduction.

[...]

Yet most teachers, school administrators, students, health "experts," pundits, and even parents fail to see what effect sexual standards have on our culture and behavior, or the vast array of costly social problems caused by this breakdown.

One of Fisher's most compelling points is that these social costs lead ineluctably to a growth in government: "Smart libertarians ought to pay attention to the many ways that libertinism encourages the breakneck growth of the state."

Read his entire essay here, and keep an eye on The Intercollegiate Review for future submissions, including the opener by none other than NOM's good friend Ryan Anderson.