NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: January 2014

In Indy, a Tight Race Headed into a Yellow Flag

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you know, the fight to get HJR3, Indiana's Marriage Protection Amendment, onto the ballot in 2014 has reached a crucial juncture this week as the matter has passed into the hands of the Senate. You and your fellow Hoosier citizens must take action today and in the days ahead to make sure your elected officials know that you demand your right to vote on this amendment this November.

It's a tight race to get this amendment passed right now, and the caution flags are waving. There are certain key Senators we've identified as needing to hear from Hoosier voters right away.

Click here for information on how to take action and to see a list of these key Senators. Together, let's work to make sure HJR3 is restored to its original form and passed during this critical legislative session.

Meanwhile, let me catch you up on some other marriage news around the nation.

Utah Standing for Marriage

I was honored, on Tuesday, to be able to join hundreds of pro-marriage supporters at the Salt Lake City Capitol Rotunda for a wonderful rally supporting Utah's marriage amendment.

The turnout was great, and I take my hat off to the organizers who did such a fantastic job pulling the event together. But even more so, I owe high praise to the many wonderful Utah citizens I saw there who came out to express their pro-marriage views and who did so with such positivity, kindness, and dignity.

In his "State of the State" address the following day, Governor Gary Herbert stressed how important those elements are to a healthy public discourse, saying that he wished for Utah to "be a model of how to work through honest disagreements with civility and respect."

Well, of course Governor Herbert is right, and I can honestly say from what I saw on Tuesday that pro-marriage Utahans are already fulfilling that wish. Here are some pictures I took with my phone at the event and tweeted. (By the way, if you don't already, you can follow me on Twitter here.)

Unfortunately, the Governor's wish for civility and respect hasn't yet been totally achieved. In the midst of the rally there was one same-sex 'marriage' protestor who decided that the fitting way to express himself was with a sign showing a Cross with a "no sign" over it.

Sadly, this kind of bigotry and intolerance toward Christians and other people of faith is something I encounter rather frequently as I travel throughout the country.

Nevertheless, in spite of that unfortunate example, the rally was a heartwarming and inspiring event overall. The people of Utah know that in addition to marriage there are other matters at stake in the legal battle over their marriage amendment — especially in light of the federal interference in the matter from Attorney General Holder who is trying to undermine Utah's own government.

What's at stake, as Governor Herbert also expressed in his address, is Utah's state sovereignty. As Governor Herbert said:

James Madison, the father of our Constitution, said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite."

Unfortunately, our nation has strayed from what our founding fathers intended. Whether the issue is marriage, Medicaid or management of our public lands, our right to find Utah solutions to Utah issues is being hindered by federal overreach.

In Utah, we understand state sovereignty, and we will do everything in our power to represent the will of the people while respecting the democratic and judicial processes.

Fortunately, in addition to the great and wonderful folks in Utah, other brave men and women are standing up to protect states' sovereignty as well, especially as regards the issue of marriage.

One such brave leader is Representative Randy Weber of Texas, whose recently-introduced bill, the State Marriage Defense Act, is back in the news this week.

The States of the Union

Congressman Weber's bill has garnered nearly 40 co-sponsors, and in addition to NOM's endorsement enjoys support from Family Research Council, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America, and others!

The latest article on the bill quotes NOM's friend, Ryan Anderson, explaining the bill this way:

[The law would protect] the sovereign authority of states to recognize marriage as they see fit. It does not say what marriage has to be defined as in any particular state. I do think the Justice Department's decision to ignore the Utah law highlights the need for this law.

And, as the same article notes, there are other recent events that underscore why this law is important, such as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's recent egregious refusal to defend — and decision instead to join in attacking — that state's marriage amendment! (On the basis of which decision, NOM believes Herring should be impeached. And we're not the only ones.)

If you haven't done so yet, please take time to contact Congress today using this action center and express your support for Representative Weber's "State Marriage Defense Act."

This issue couldn't be more timely.

The same night I was in Utah rallying with the citizens there for their state sovereignty and the rights of voters, President Obama took the podium in front of Congress to deliver his State of the Union address. And the main resounding theme of that address was what might be referred to as the "pen and the phone" theme (referring to a talking point the White House had been parroting for weeks leading up to the address).

The President is willing to "use his pen and his phone" to make his agenda move, with or without Congress: to use executive powers to force by fiat the pet policies he wants to push on the nation.

Think about that, and consider: we've all seen how same-sex 'marriage' is one of those pet policies for this President (who even invited as one of his honored guests a gay athlete simply because he had "come out" last year). Therefore, we should not take it lightly that the President is expressing his willingness and desire to be even more imperious and even more overreaching in his authority for the remainder of his term!

So please contact Congress right away and urge support for Representative Weber's "State Marriage Defense Act," to protect against overreaching by the Federal government and to help ensure the rights of states and their voters to define marriage according to their values!

Thank you, as always, for continuing to stand in defense of marriage even when it is such a fast and furious affair. Together, we can run this race strong to the finish.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P.S.: A big thanks to everyone who responded so quickly to yesterday's 24 hour opportunity of a $5,000 matching campaign! Hundreds of you responded, giving what you could, and your $5, $15, and $25 gifts made a big difference — we made our goal. With the matching gift secured, this means $10,000 to help the cause of marriage at this critical time. I can't thank you enough!

Fast and Furious

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It's been another busy week in the fight to preserve marriage. There have been some fast and furious developments in the efforts to pass Indiana's marriage amendment (HJR3). And nationwide, citizens and civic leaders alike have been standing up to defend the principle of states' sovereignty against the perilous danger posed to it by the movement to redefine marriage.

First, let me catch you up on Indiana.

Indianapolis' Other Speedway

The developments in the Indiana legislature this week have been fast and furious, and our allies on the ground report changing indications by the hour. It's safe to say that the battle there has reached a crucial juncture this week.

The Indiana House of Representatives passed HJR3, but not before stripping a critical piece of the amendment language from the resolution.

Now the matter is headed into the Senate, and the matter is not as simple as just "passing HJR3." We are working to send the message to the Indiana Senate that yes — they must pass HJR3... but... they must pass it in its original form, with the language removed by the House restored to its proper place.

This way, the measure will return to the House for a vote on the original, unaltered resolution, and we can hope to pass HJR3 so that Hoosier voters can voice their values about marriage at the ballot box in November 2014.

If you know anyone who lives in Indiana, please share this critical action alert with them so that we can get as many grassroots activists as possible calling the Senate to urge support and passage of HJR3!

We need ordinary citizens to stand up in unison and in force to voice their support for marriage, and to demand their rights be respected and upheld by their elected officials!

Which, by the way, was exactly what I was privileged to witness first-hand in Utah earlier this week...

Utah Standing for Marriage

I was honored, on Tuesday, to be able to join hundreds of pro-marriage supporters at the Salt Lake City Capitol Rotunda for a wonderful rally supporting Utah's marriage amendment.

The turnout was great, and I take my hat off to the organizers who did such a fantastic job pulling the event together. But even more so, I owe high praise to the many wonderful Utah citizens I saw there who came out to express their pro-marriage views and who did so with such positivity, kindness, and dignity.

In his "State of the State" address the following day, Governor Gary Herbert stressed how important those elements are to a healthy public discourse, saying that he wished for Utah to "be a model of how to work through honest disagreements with civility and respect."

Well, of course Governor Herbert is right, and I can honestly say from what I saw on Tuesday that pro-marriage Utahans are already fulfilling that wish. Here are some pictures I took with my phone at the event and tweeted. (By the way, if you don't already, you can follow me on Twitter here.)

Unfortunately, the Governor's wish for civility and respect hasn't yet been totally achieved. In the midst of the rally there was one same-sex 'marriage' protestor who decided that the fitting way to express himself was with a sign showing a Cross with a "no sign" over it.

Sadly, this kind of bigotry and intolerance toward Christians and other people of faith is something I encounter rather frequently as I travel throughout the country.

Nevertheless, in spite of that unfortunate example, the rally was a heartwarming and inspiring event overall. The people of Utah know that in addition to marriage there are other matters at stake in the legal battle over their marriage amendment — especially in light of the federal interference in the matter from Attorney General Holder who is trying to undermine Utah's own government.

What's at stake, as Governor Herbert also expressed in his address, is Utah's state sovereignty. As Governor Herbert said:

James Madison, the father of our Constitution, said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite."

Unfortunately, our nation has strayed from what our founding fathers intended. Whether the issue is marriage, Medicaid or management of our public lands, our right to find Utah solutions to Utah issues is being hindered by federal overreach.

In Utah, we understand state sovereignty, and we will do everything in our power to represent the will of the people while respecting the democratic and judicial processes.

Fortunately, in addition to the great and wonderful folks in Utah, other brave men and women are standing up to protect states' sovereignty as well, especially as regards the issue of marriage.

One such brave leader is Representative Randy Weber of Texas, whose recently-introduced bill, the State Marriage Defense Act, is back in the news this week.

The States of the Union

Congressman Weber's bill has garnered nearly 40 co-sponsors, and in addition to NOM's endorsement enjoys support from Family Research Council, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America, and others!

The latest article on the bill quotes NOM's friend, Ryan Anderson, explaining the bill this way:

[The law would protect] the sovereign authority of states to recognize marriage as they see fit. It does not say what marriage has to be defined as in any particular state. I do think the Justice Department's decision to ignore the Utah law highlights the need for this law.

And, as the same article notes, there are other recent events that underscore why this law is important, such as Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's recent egregious refusal to defend — and decision instead to join in attacking — that state's marriage amendment! (On the basis of which decision, NOM believes Herring should be impeached. And we're not the only ones.)

If you haven't done so yet, please take time to contact Congress today using this action center and express your support for Representative Weber's "State Marriage Defense Act."

This issue couldn't be more timely.

The same night I was in Utah rallying with the citizens there for their state sovereignty and the rights of voters, President Obama took the podium in front of Congress to deliver his State of the Union address. And the main resounding theme of that address was what might be referred to as the "pen and the phone" theme (referring to a talking point the White House had been parroting for weeks leading up to the address).

The President is willing to "use his pen and his phone" to make his agenda move, with or without Congress: to use executive powers to force by fiat the pet policies he wants to push on the nation.

Think about that, and consider: we've all seen how same-sex 'marriage' is one of those pet policies for this President (who even invited as one of his honored guests a gay athlete simply because he had "come out" last year). Therefore, we should not take it lightly that the President is expressing his willingness and desire to be even more imperious and even more overreaching in his authority for the remainder of his term!

So please contact Congress right away and urge support for Representative Weber's "State Marriage Defense Act," to protect against overreaching by the Federal government and to help ensure the rights of states and their voters to define marriage according to their values!

Thank you, as always, for continuing to stand in defense of marriage even when it is such a fast and furious affair. Together, we can run this race strong to the finish.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P.S.: A big thanks to everyone who responded so quickly to yesterday's 24 hour opportunity of a $5,000 matching campaign! Hundreds of you responded, giving what you could, and your $5, $15, and $25 gifts made a big difference — we made our goal. With the matching gift secured, this means $10,000 to help the cause of marriage at this critical time. I can't thank you enough!

P.P.S.: It will soon be time to celebrate National Marriage Week! Click here to find out more about this great event — part of Chuck Stetson's "Let's Strengthen Marriage" campaign — and to find out how you can participate or help.

State's Rights and the Defense of Marriage

The battle to defend marriage, and the faith communities that sustain it, is increasingly coming down to one’s view of the Constitution and particularly what the Founding Fathers intended as the balance between state’s rights and the powers of the federal government.  Activist judges and an overreaching Obama administration continue to attempt to curtail the right of states to define marriage as they see fit.

Judicial ActivismHowever, Jennifer Hickey of Newsmax wrote yesterday reminding each of us that protection of state’s rights continues to gain supporters in the US House of Representatives.  She reports on Congressman Weber’s (R-TX) “State Marriage Defense Act” and the growing number of co-sponsors the bill has.

Congressman Weber introduced the bill so that,

If state law recognizes two people as married, federal law will recognize them as married; if state law does not recognize them as married, federal law will not recognize them as married.

"We do not want to apply Massachusetts law in Texas, any more than Massachusetts wants Texas law applied there," U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, who in January introduced the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014, told Newsmax.

The Texas Republican's legislation currently has 38 co-sponsors and is supported by the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Concerned Women for America, and Heritage Action.

The congressman acted in the wake of widespread confusion among states on how to react to the Supreme Court's decision last year to strike down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Weber said his bill would "provide clarity to federal agencies seeking to determine who qualifies as a spouse for the purpose of federal law.

Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX)

"This legislation is not about denying anyone the right to marry, but it is a states' rights issue with the goal of helping to clarify the confusion among federal and state agencies."

Ryan Anderson of The Heritage Foundation told Newsmax, “[T]hat Weber's bill protects ‘the sovereign authority of states to recognize marriage as they see fit. It does not say what marriage has to be defined as in any particular state. I do think the Justice Department's decision to ignore the Utah law highlights the need for this law.’”

The State Marriage Defense Act will "restore proper legal order to the scene and correct the administration's unlawful practice," Notre Dame law professor Gerald Bradleywrote, saying that federal agencies "have no inherent legal authority to define marriage. Neither does the president or his attorney general, so long as Congress has exercised its paramount authority to do so."

To urge your Congressman to support the State Marriage Defense Act, follow this link and send her or him an email.

Celebrate National Marriage Week - February 7 - 14

Once again, National Marriage Week (February 7-14) is fast approaching!

National Marriage Week 2014Chuck Stetson's "Let's Strengthen Marriage" in the past few years has initiated a national campaign to encourage many diverse groups to launch individual and simultaneous efforts, as well as some collaborative, in order to raise the issue of marriage and its defense to the national agenda.

National Marriage Week is:

a collaborative campaign to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children. Together we can make more impact than working alone. Please join with others to host special events, launch a marriage class or home group, or place local advertising or news stories during National Marriage Week USA.

You can see a listing of events all across the country leading up to National Marriage Week here.

Time for a Full Court Press, Hoosiers

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The Senate needs to hear from you on HJR3, the Indiana Marriage Amendment, today!

The situation in Indianapolis is very serious and very critical. The proposed marriage amendment, HJR3, has been placed in jeopardy by the House of Representative's reckless irresponsibility and their failure to serve their constituents.

Now, the Senate has a chance to undo the damage done by the House:

  • The Senate must restore the removed 'second sentence' to HJR3 which the House stripped from the measure.

  • The Senate must then pass the original version of HJR3, which would move the amendment one crucial step closer to being on the ballot in November 2014.

That is why it is so critical for the Senate to hear from you today. Please click here to let your Senator know that the people of Indiana are watching, and that Hoosiers demand their right to vote on HJR3 this November. Tell your Senator to restore the original version of the bill and pass it so that it can go to a popular vote in November 2014!

But after you've contacted your Senator today, there's more we need you to do. I'm asking you to please call as many of the Senators listed below as possible and urge them to restore the original form of HJR3 and pass it back to the House.

You can download and print this call sheet to keep track of your efforts.

When calling these Senators' offices, you will probably be speaking to an aide. Be sure to tell them:

  1. The people of Indiana should be allowed to vote on HJR3 in 2014! Over 80% of those asked want to vote this November.

  2. The Senate should restore the original language of HJR3 and pass the same version of the resolution that the legislature passed in 2011.

  3. You'd like to know how the Senator will be voting.

We need to make as much of a stir in Indianapolis as possible in support of the original form of HJR3. The majority of Indianans want to vote on this measure, but their voice is being drowned out by the noisiness of a small, well-funded lobby with ties to Big Business and Hollywood.

So please make sure to call the Senators below — as many as possible, as soon as possible. But you should also click here when you have time and send a very quick email to your own Senator urging him or her support for the original form of HJR3 and for the right of Indiana's voters.

Finally, I'd ask that you please help spread the word. Use these buttons either to share this email with your friends and family in Indiana or to help get the word out on Facebook and Twitter.

Share This   Facebook This   Tweet This   Email This   Share on LinkedIn

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown


Frank Mrvan317-232-9400
Jim Arnold317-232-9400
Richard Young317-232-9400
Lindel Hume317-232-9400
Ed Charbonneau317-232-9494
Ryan Mishler317-232-0930
Susan Glick317-232-9493
Tom Wyss317-232-9807
David Long317-232-9416
Randy Head317-232-9488
Travis Holdman317-232-9807
Ron Alting317-232-9517
Phil Boots317-234-9054
Doug Eckerty317-232-9466
Allen Paul317-232-9541
Mike Crider317-232-9493
Jim Merritt317-232-9533
Pat Miller317-232-9489
Brent Waltz317-234-9425
Jean Leising317-234-9054
Johnny Nugent317-232-9541
Jim Smith317-234-9426
Ron Grooms317-234-9425
Vanetta Becker317-232-9494

Did Freedom To Marry Mean to Say This?

In any case, we think they said what they mean.

We're talking about a tweet from the truth-bending same-sex 'marriage' activist group touting a new (bogus*) poll that claims new majorities favoring redefining marriage. [*They only released the result of a single question, so we have no idea what information came before or after that might have conditioned respondents; we also know nothing of the nature of the sample.]

But the bit that got us was that phrase, "even in non-marriage states."


 

In what states? So much for same-sex 'marriage' being merely about 'equality' and not about fundamentally redefining the very essence of marriage: now states that uphold the institution of marriage as it has been known and affirmed since the beginning of civilization - as the union of one man and one woman - are "non-marriage states."

According to Freedom to Marry, the only true marriage, we guess,  is the very recent and unprecedented figment of marriage as a genderless civil contract between two persons (that is, for now), and distinguished by... well, who-knows-what other criteria?

Needless to say, we put no confidence in the new poll they're touting, but we can imagine what would be the results of a poll asking the questions implied by this tweet:

"Do you agree that your state, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, can be called a 'non-marriage' state?"

"Do you agree that we've 'moved forward' if only those states that have redefined marriage into a genderless institution can be called 'marriage' states?"

Well, do you?


And, while we're asking questions, here's a couple for Freedom to Marry:

If they are really so confident that they have such support (claiming 59% support in central states like Ohio and Indiana) then why don’t they agree to bring it on and let the people vote in places like Indiana, which seeks to put a marriage amendment on the ballot for 2014?

And if they really believe they have support, then why are they telling local activists who want a public vote this November to repeal the Ohio amendment that they are not sure the time is right in 2014?

Our view is this – bring it on! We know that the American people support marriage as the union of one man and one woman and we look forward to advancing the cause of marriage in Indiana and defending it in Ohio should activists there qualify their repeal effort.

California's Catholic Bishops on the Connections between Being Pro-life and Pro-Marriage

On Saturday, tens of thousands turned out for the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, a public demonstration organized around the anniversary of the fateful 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, and a West Coast complement to the annual March for Life in Washington, DC.

Two Catholic leaders in California took the occasion to underscore the connections between the pro-life movement and the pro-marriage movement. The National Catholic Register reports:

[San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone] credited an older generation of pro-life activists with helping to change the nation’s view of abortion and demonstrating "heroic virtue" during past decades when those who challenged the legalization of abortion were stigmatized. Now, he warned the students at the cathedral, they must help enlighten their own peers about the central role of marriage as the sanctuary of life.

"The pro-life movement is about more than saving the life of the baby," said Archbishop Cordileone.

"It’s especially about connecting that baby to where he or she came from: the mother and the father. …There is no other institution that does that."

Archbishop Cordileone is the U.S. bishops’ point man on the defense and promotion of marriage, and he emerged as a national leader on the issue after spearheading the successful campaign to place Proposition 8 on the 2008 ballot for California voters.

CABishops

The Catholic Bishop of Oakland, CA reiterated the same points:

Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, Calif., ... acknowledged the importance of offering an integrated vision of human life that "made a clear connection between life, children, parenting and marriage. That connection is not immediately apparent to young people today."

[...]

"It was good that Archbishop Cordileone praised young people for their pro-life stance and also asked them to consider the larger message of marriage as the place where children are conceived and raised," said Bishop Barber.

Read the full story here.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert Pledges to Continue Defending Marriage and Urges Civility and Respect

In his State of the State address on Wednesday evening, Governor Herbert mentioned the ongoing legal context over Utah's marriage amendment (Amendment 3), while also condemning how Utah's state sovereignty is being "hindered by federal overreach."

Our second challenge is asserting our rightful role as a sovereign state.

James Madison, the father of our Constitution, said: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite."

Unfortunately, our nation has strayed from what our founding fathers intended. Whether the issue is marriage, Medicaid or management of our public lands, our right to find Utah solutions to Utah issues is being hindered by federal overreach.

In Utah, we understand state sovereignty, and we will do everything in our power to represent the will of the people while respecting the democratic and judicial processes. Let me be clear that while I support traditional marriage and will continue to defend Amendment 3, there is no place in our society for hatred and bigotry.

Most importantly, let us all remember that although these issues may be controversial, they need not be contentious. As this important issue works its way through the courts, let Utah be a model of how to work through honest disagreements with civility and respect.

Bravo to Governor Herbert, and we here at NOM agree entirely that this debate must be kept free of all manner of acrimony and animosity, bigotry and intolerance.

A 24 Hour Opportunity

National Organization for Marriage

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Right now, we have a donor who will match every online donation made in the next 24 hours, up to $5,000.

That means your gift right now will DOUBLE in value and we will be able to invest the resources we need to push for the people's right to vote at this critical time.

For example, the Indiana legislature is in the process of voting on HJR3, the proposed amendment to protect marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.

But two days ago, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a version of the bill that stripped a crucial part of the resolution.

NOM has been working for years trying to get this bill passed, which would allow Hoosiers their right to vote on marriage.

So I'm writing to you today because I need your help! Please click here to make an immediate, emergency donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or more to help us intervene wherever and whenever necessary to protect marriage and ensure that the people have the final say — not unelected judges or politicians beholden to lobbyists.

We must take advantage of this tremendous but time-sensitive opportunity... a dollar-for-dollar match being offered only during the next 24 hours.

In Indiana we must put pressure on the Senate and House to pass HJR3 as it was originally passed in 2011 to ensure that it gets on the ballot this year. The people of Indiana have waited long enough to protect marriage from activist judges. They deserve the right to vote once and for all on the definition of marriage and enshrine it in their state's constitution.

I need your help!

Won't you please make an immediate, generous and time-sensitive donation right away so that we have the resources we need to ensure that the people — not judges or politicians — have the final say on marriage? Remember, your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000 — but only if it's made IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

PS: This opportunity is both urgent and important. We can't abandon marriage and the people of Indiana in their time of need. Please consider making an immediate donation to NOM to ensure that we can take full advantage of this matching gift opportunity in the next 24 hours and defend our most sacred institution of marriage.

Sometimes Satire Says Something Best

Listen

A recent episode of a satire podcast from CBC/Radio-Canada does a great job of showing, by means of a fictitious and ridiculous imagined situation, the serious flaws in some real current trends regarding our society's understanding of human nature.

Just a reminder: this piece is satire. The show, This is Thatexplains itself thus: "This Is That is a current affairs program that doesn't just talk about the issues, it fabricates them" [emphasis added]. Even so, the fabricated issue here is not very far removed from some of the lunacy promoted in real life by progressives and those in favor of radically redefining marriage and family.

Hats off to a well done comedy piece with an important critical angle.

Who's Making a Bad Analogy?

This morning, we posted about the President's choice of honored guests to sit in the First Lady's box at the State of the Union address.

Some of our opponents have provide feedback that our post created a bad analogy. But it is the President himself who is making the bad analogy.

The tradition of honoring special guests to the State of the Union with a seat in the FLOTUS box goes back to the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. CNN reports:

In 1982, Lenny Skutnik, a government employee, became the first person to be invited to the presidential box as a guest of the President and the first lady at the State of the Union address.

Skutnik was picked by President Ronald Reagan just days after he dove into the icy Potomac River to rescue a passenger from a deadly airline crash in January 1982.

Reagan used Skutnik's heroism to make a point about the American spirit.

Since then, CNN explains, "each guest is selected to illustrate a point a President hopes to make during the annual speech to Congress. [...] Imagery of wounded soldiers, brave children, or everyday Americans who have achieved, endured or, like Skutnik, acted selflessly is used to strengthen the narrative."

This year's guests will feature "survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma."

But CNN itself, in its coverage leading up to the State of the Union earlier tonight, was talking about the headliner of the crowd of special guests: Jason Collins, whose "coming out" last year as a gay man in the NBA is heralded as an act of heroism. This lone act has earned him a spot of honor next to where past heroes have sat, and where even this year other exemplars of the American Spirit will be featured.

So we simply draw a comparison - diving into a frozen river to save lives compared to coming out as gay in today’s gay affirming culture: One is heroic; the other represents the bad analogy.

Planning to Watch the State of the Union Tonight? Watch with NOM!

If you're planning on watching the State of the Union address tonight, you should know that we at NOM will be keeping a close eye on what the President has to say, and we'll be on Twitter (@NOMupdate) to cover any mentions of the President's radical agenda relating to marriage. If you're like us, and are sick and tired of the President stumping for a small but noisy (and well-funded) lobby of activists, then you might want to keep an eye on @NOMupdate on Twitter tonight.

twitter.com/NOMUpdateWhat does a mention in the State of the Union really mean? POLITICO's Jennifer Epstein explains:

[M]any D.C. insiders aren’t listening for soaring narratives. They’re just hoping for Obama to make even the briefest mention of their pet project.

A State of the Union plug is the ultimate currency for government agencies, congressional allies and advocacy groups eager for an edge. Even a few words about an issue in the president’s biggest speech of the year can mean the difference between funding a new program and budget cutbacks, or between getting a bill through Congress and watching it die on the vine [emphasis added].

So it is worth paying attention to whether certain lobby's wishes will be met with a nod as a select pet project of the Commander-in-Chief:

Gay rights groups would like to hear Obama announce that he will sign an executive order protecting LGBT people who work for federal contractors or, at the very least, signal that he will more aggressively push Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

(If you're unfamiliar with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and why it is bad law, we have written on the subject before.)

It is worth keeping an eye out, then, for how the State of the Union will highlight President Obama's radical agenda to redefine marriage and try to put a little wind into the sails of those who share his progressive vision for a genderless  distortion of the meaning of the family.

But you should also keep an eye on the #SOTU hashtag and on the @NOMupdate Twitter feed for our live commentary!

A Quick Guessing Game

Professional athletes are looked up to by many young people in America as heroes and role models. Sadly, sometimes they do not live up to the responsibility that comes with their fame to be good examples and upright, admirable citizens.

So when an athletic star does exemplify the kinds of values we want our children to emulate, it is good to celebrate that individual and honor him or her.

Well, the President is singling out an athlete for special recognition at the State of the Union address this evening.

Albert Pujols

We might have expected the President would invite one of the following, but shockingly it is none of these who will be so honored - despite their impressive roster of good deeds:

  • Albert Pujols, the Dominican-born MLB pitcher and a devout Christian, is the founder and chairman of the Pujols Family Foundation, a charity benefiting people with Down syndrome and whose mission statement is "to live and share our commitment to faith, family and others."
  • Larry Fitzgerald, an NFL wide receiver, founded The First Down Fund which has built an impressive resume of charitable giving and special projects, including providing summer youth programming for urban youth in America and helping to fund research for childhood illnesses.
  • Eli Manning, (who hardly needs an introduction as to his professional talents), is less known for his having raised $2.5 mil. for the University of Mississippi's Medical Center's Children's Hospital and many other charitable contributions.
  • Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw, a Cy Young Award winner and three-time All Star in the National League has been inducted into the Baseball Humanitarians Hall of Fame, donates significant portions of his paychecks to causes in Africa and helped build a successful orphanage in Zambia.
  • Steve Smith, the NFL wide receiver, is the NFL ambassador to a charity called Samaritan's Feet, which gives shoes to homeless people, and he has personally participated in the charity's practice of washing their aid recipients' feet, a beautiful ritual imbued with Biblical meaning.
  • Jeremy Affeldt, the San Francisco Giant's pitcher, has worked for years preventing sex trafficking of young women around the world with an initiative called the NotForSale campaign.
  • Tim Tebow, the NFL player most known for his public manifestations of his Christian faith, practices what he preaches, having built a $3 mil. hospital in the Philippines, in addition to hostin regular charity events and participating in Make-a-Wish programs.

No, instead of any of these, the President has chosen to bestow such honor and admiration on  Jason Collins - and presumably solely for his coming out last year as the first openly gay player in the NBA.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 11.09.24 AMFor what it’s worth, in today’s gay-affirming culture - where being gay or lesbian is celebrated constantly in the entertainment world and highlighted seemingly daily in the news - we don’t think that “coming out” is particularly heroic.

We assume that Jason Collins has done some fine things as a person to better society and help those in need. We’d be more interested in learning of those efforts than in having his sexuality shoved at us by the man that Newsweek dubbed, “the first gay President."

The Soul of the Republican Party

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

You probably don't follow the inner workings of politics in detail. But there is a critical internal struggle underway in Washington and across the country for the soul of the Republican Party.

This political struggle will have an impact on whether we can preserve marriage in America, and what kind of leaders we send to Washington and state capitols to fight for marriage and other issues we care about.

On the positive side, this is the first year that the national Republican National Committee Chairman has ever marched in the March for Life in Washington. That is such a powerful march, bringing together hundreds of thousands of activists from across the country to make a statement in support of one of the cornerstone issues of the Republican party. Before Reince Prebius joined us this year, no GOP Chairman has officially lent the party's support to the seminal national demonstration in support of life. Instead, they did what the mainstream media does — ignored the uprising from the grassroots. So Chairman Prebius deserves our thanks for supporting the grassroots in support of life.

But there are two sides to this struggle for the soul of the Republican party, and I am concerned about what many Republican officials are doing to urge the party distance itself from issues like marriage and life. Some in the leadership of the GOP are even actively supporting candidates who will go to Washington to fight against everything that we hold dear.

Candidates like Carl DeMaio in the 52nd Congressional District in California.

Who is Carl DeMaio? you might ask. DeMaio is a liberal who happens to have an "R" after his name. What does he believe in? Abortion on demand. Gun control. Redefining marriage. Medical marijuana. Force the Republican Party to abandon social issues and focus national policies on what big corporations want.

DeMaio isn't the first RINO to run for the US House of Representatives, but it sure is disappointing to see so many establishment Republican leaders in Washington line up to help him. They are so desperate to be seen as "tolerant" and "inclusive" in supporting a homosexual candidate like DeMaio that they are willing to abandon any semblance of principle.

But think about the message they are sending: If a guy like Carl DeMaio can win as a Republican, then what the heck does being a Republican mean?

It is particularly disappointing to see GOP leaders support a candidate like Carl DeMaio because there is such a better alternative — true conservative Kirk Jorgensen.

Please help Kirk Jorgensen fight the RINO machine in Washington. He needs us to step up today.

Kirk is a former Marine who has served honorably and with distinction — risking his life in service to our nation. As a Marine officer, Jorgensen was recognized with numerous awards and honors for his service. He led human intelligence, counterintelligence and force protection missions to thwart terrorism, espionage and sabotage against the United States and allied forces around the world. He also graduated from elite Central Intelligence Agency training with the highest accreditation and was deployed to the Balkans where he facilitated the search and apprehension of persons indicted for war crimes and genocide. Later, he served numerous missions in Iraq. Returning home after 10 years of active duty service with six deployments, Jorgensen joined the private sector as a technology and management consultant, but in 2008, he was recalled to active duty to serve as a Navy/Coast Guard Intelligence and Operations Officer in the Persian Gulf.

But Kirk Jorgensen is more than a military hero. He's a loving husband and a devoted father. And he is a proud, true conservative. He will be a champion for marriage and all the other issues we care about. From economic security, to repealing Obamacare, to reducing the national debt and ending deficit spending, to protecting our constitutional right to bear arms and to protecting the unborn, Kirk Jorgensen is advancing ideas that can move America onto a path toward security, prosperity and respect for the values of hard-working American families.

I'm asking you to take action today to support Kirk Jorgensen — not only because he is deserving of support in his own right, but to send a message to GOP "leaders" in Washington that we in the grassroots are not going to sit by and watch them redefine the soul of the Republican party by advancing candidates like Carl DeMaio who want to redefine marriage, enact gun control, promote abortion and promote marijuana use. Please make a generous contribution to help Kirk win election and become a proud, trusted conservative leader in Washington.

The choice in California's 52nd Congressional District is much greater than RINO DeMaio vs. conservative Jorgensen. It's a proxy for the future of the Republican Party itself, and the struggle for conservatism in our nation's capital.

I have to be honest with you — if Carl DeMaio is elected, we will risk losing the party of conservative ideas. There will be a slew of liberal Republicans on future ballots who will be advanced by Washington insiders who don't much care about what elected officials believe. They care about gaining and maintaining power. In the process, we will lose a powerful institution that has stood for the truth of marriage and life — the Republican Party.

We simply cannot sit this race out. Let's elect a true conservative — Kirk Jorgensen — and send a message to GOP insiders in Washington that we will not tolerate liberal RINOs like Carl DeMaio who seek to advance themselves by tearing down our most important social institutions like marriage.

Please act today and give your most generous contribution to Kirk Jorgensen, a proven pro-marriage leader and a true American hero. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Brian S. Brown

National Organization for Marriage Condemns Indiana House for Altering HJR3 and Insulting the Voters of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


“The House today failed in its obligations to the people of Indiana and insulted voters’ intelligence by tinkering with the language of HJR3. Those who voted for this change implied that the voters cannot be trusted to discern and decide the matter for themselves. The Senate should restore the removed statement when given the opportunity, and undo this offense to the people of Indiana." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today condemned the Indiana House’s altering of the language of HJR3, when the House voted to remove one of the resolution’s key components. The organization’s President, Brian Brown, called on the Indiana Senate to restore the statement to the measure.

“The House today failed in its obligations to the people of Indiana and insulted voters’ intelligence by tinkering with the language of HJR3. Those who voted for this change implied that the voters cannot be trusted to discern and decide the matter for themselves,” said Brown. “It was grossly insulting to hear lawmakers from the floor effectively saying that Hoosiers were not intelligent enough to understand the measure unless its clarifying second statement was removed. The Senate should restore the removed statement when given the opportunity and undo this offense to the people of Indiana. They deserve the right to vote on this measure in its entirety, as they have expected to be able to do since its first passage in 2011.”

Brown argued that the House’s removal of the second sentence of HJR3 would weaken the measure substantially. “Without this statement, the proposed amendment is left significantly more vulnerable to future attacks by the judiciary, as has happened in other states. That is why it is so crucial that the Senate use its power to restore the needed language to the measure.”

Brown said his organization would be monitoring the progress of HJR3 closely though the Senate’s proceedings, and calling on its supporters in Indiana to contact their legislators to make their views on HJR3 heard.

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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).