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.
Brian S. Brown