NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: December 2014

We're so close to our goal

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

We're coming down to the wire, marriage supporter. I have to ask again.

Will you make a tax-deductible gift of at least $25 to help us protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it? Your gift will be doubled thanks to our matching gift.

We've won some tremendous victories, but our greatest challenge lies ahead. We need to finish this year strong if we're going to have our best chance of winning at the Supreme Court in 2015.

Your support at this time of year is critical. Every dollar will help get our message in the headlines, on the airwaves and in the field. We must show the Supreme Court that America believes in marriage.

Please make your tax-deductible gift of $25 or more before the end of the year, and it will be doubled:

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

We're counting on you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

The Top Headlines of 2014

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It is always good at the end of a year to take a look back and reflect on some of the highlights. There has been a lot of movement in the battle over the definition of marriage this past year, and it seems like every one of the 52 weeks of 2014 brought another development—some good, some bad.

I was interested in what marriage news stories from 2014 garnered the most attention, and so this week I had our staff research what were the most accessed items on the NOMblog this year. The results, I think, provide a useful snapshot of what this past year has meant in the fight to preserve and defend marriage—and they also serve as a good indicator of what the new year may bring!

So here are five of the top headlines of 2014 as determined by you, our readers:

On November 6th, news came down that the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had ruled to uphold the traditional marriage laws of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The press release that NOM issued and posted to our blog quickly became one of the top-read items of the year.

The majority opinion by Justice Jeffrey Sutton was a pivotal moment for marriage in 2014, as it developed a split in the Circuit Courts that makes it very likely the Supreme Court will review the issue of marriage in the new year.

The opinion is noteworthy because of the solid argument it provides for why marriage rationally should be protected and upheld in law, but also for the way in which the decision takes to task other federal courts that have violated the democratic process by cutting short a lively public policy debate about marriage.

"Process and structure matter greatly in American government," Justice Sutton wrote. "Indeed, they may be the most reliable, liberty assuring guarantees of our system of government, requiring us to take seriously the route the United States Constitution contemplates for making such a fundamental change to such a fundamental social institution."

In August, Professor Mark Regnerus published a blockbuster study about how support for same-sex ‘marriage' among Christians is linked to an abandonment of other moral and ethical norms traditionally held by people of faith.

The study showed that even among church-going Christians, support for redefining marriage was associated with such unorthodox views as these:

  • Viewing pornography is OK
  • Premarital co-habitation is good
  • No-string-attached sex is OK
  • Marital infidelity is sometimes OK
  • It is OK for 3+ adults to live in a sexual relationship
  • Abortion rights are a positive thing

The study served as a wake-up call for Christians and others who were made to realize that redefining marriage is part of a broader social agenda and not a "live and let live" proposition.

In October, the Supreme Court made news by declining to take several cases from lower courts asking its review of decisions overturning State marriage amendments in several circuits.

NOM's press release condemning the move expressed what I am sure were the frustrations of many that day, and that is probably why this became one of the top-read stories of 2014.

The court erred in allowing the lower court rulings to stand, effectively countenancing the disenfranchisement of so many millions of voters across the country. But in the press release we predicted—rightly—that the then-pending case before the 6th Circuit would eventually go in our favor, and the Supreme Court would be forced to look at this matter again.

Sure enough, as we've already seen, the 6th Circuit did rule in favor of marriage and citizens' rights to act to protect it, and now that case and several others are scheduled for consideration by the Supreme Court in early January. We will know soon in the new year whether the Supreme Court will accept those cases and schedule them for hearing.

In the meantime, though, the Supreme Court's inaction in October did serve as an important reminder to us and to the American people that we need to engage the political process to try to take back our rightful constitutional powers from a tyrannical judiciary. We called on Americans to get out the vote in November and elect pro-marriage candidates in response to the October debacle at the Supreme Court—and the voters did just that! Which leads us to number two on our list...

"In red states and blue, candidates who supported marriage as the union of one man and one woman won election and those who didn't were rejected by voters. The Republican Party should take note that their nominees who favored gay 'marriage' were opposed by NOM and they were resoundingly defeated."

This paragraph was part of the press statement we released following the mid-term elections, and despite pundits calling this cycle a "wave election" reacting to an unpopular president, it is clear that our readers knew there was more to the story, as this climbed to the second-most accessed news item of the year on our site.

The "wave election" theory simply didn't fit the facts. The rising tide didn't raise the boats for Monica Wehby, or Carl DiMaio, or Richard Tisei—three Republican candidates whose support for redefining marriage and for abortion-on-demand brought them defeat on election day. NOM had vociferously opposed these candidates, and the voters weren't fooled by their claims to "conservatism."

NOM also greatly aided in the successful election of US Senate Candidates Thom Tillis (NC) and Tom Cotton (AR) whose advocacy for marriage was most certainly a component in their winning hotly-contested seats in office. We funded a statewide television buy in each race, helping it make the difference, especially in the Tillis race, which was the closest in the nation.

Reflecting upon the elections reminds us that our work in 2015 will include a vigorous legislative agenda to defend marriage and religious liberty and try to reign in an out-of-control judiciary that has too long gone unchecked. I am honored to give voice to your values in Washington, DC and to work on your behalf to hold the newly-elected Congress accountable to the pro-marriage constituency across America.

But the affairs of Washington, DC matter to us mostly because at the end of the day the chickens come home to roost: the politics and policy matters on the national stage ultimately make their effects felt closer to home. "All politics is local," as they say. And that's probably what propelled the final story in this wrap-up to number one on the list. It was far and away the most-accessed story on our blog this year, with twice as many views as the nearest competitor...

The heart-rending story of Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" in Oregon, clearly resonated with our readers. The couple were not only forced out of business due to legal action brought by a lesbian couple whose wedding celebrations they declined to take part in, but they were also saddled with a $150,000 fine for supposedly violating Oregon's public accommodations law!

Amidst their trials, though, the Kleins served as an inspiration and an example of the courage we need to face the radical same-sex ‘marriage' agenda and its hostility and intolerance. The couple's appearance at Values Voter Summit was a highlight of the event, and gave a sympathetic face to those who suffer discrimination and bullying due to their pro-marriage values.

On their Facebook page, they posted this eloquent paragraph, a bit of wisdom that many more in our society need to understand and take to heart:

Our culture has accepted 2 huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. Second is that to love someone means that you must agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

Recalling the Kleins' struggle mustn't get us down or discourage us, though. Indeed, when we look back on this year, their story may well be part of a story about how 2014 was the year Christians and others began to stand up and say "enough is enough."

We rang in the new year of 2014 celebrating the reinstatement of Phil Robertson to the hit A&E reality show Duck Dynasty after the network had removed him for publicly expressing his Biblically-based values. We have seen, more recently, an outpouring of support for the Duggars of 19 Kids and Counting after they were targeted by bullying activists for their own faith-based beliefs.

And when activists helped persuade the World Vision ministry to announce that they would welcome same-sex "spouses" among their ministry, a huge outcry from the grassroots resulted in a near-immediate reversal of course, and an apology to faithful Christians for having made such a mistake by stepping away from a core belief. The lesson from the World Vision episode is not that a renowned ministry was led astray in an attempt to accommodate the culture, but that they were so forcefully called to account by a Christian community that continues to embrace the truth of marriage.

Most heartening of all to recall is the huge groundswell of support for the "Houston 5"—the pastors who stood up to the Houston mayor when she tried to subpoena their internal church communications as part of a campaign of intimidation and harassment. Once again, the reaction from the grassroots forced the mayor to completely capitulate and abandon her ill-advised attack on these pastors.

We live in a time when those who wish to redefine marriage and their sycophants in the media miss no opportunity to tell us that the battle is essentially over, that history is on their side and that the views of the citizens have changed. This is a future that these activists hope for, but it is decidedly not the future they will encounter. The reason we know this is because whenever they put their version of the future to the test, it is rejected by the American people.

I am encouraged by the victories and the bright moments of the past twelve months as we head into 2015, because they remind me that the cause of marriage is still very much alive, and we have good reason to hope for even more successes in the new year!

With that reminder then, please accept my wishes for a happy and blessed new year for you and your family, and my thanks for continuing to work with NOM to defend marriage and family in 2015!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

P.S.: If you did not have an opportunity to make your year-end gift to NOM, please do so today. It will still be counted towards the matching gift, giving us a nice boost to start 2015.


Conservative Panel Appointed to Hear Gay Marriage Cases in 5th Circuit

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals today announced on their website the justices selected to hear the appeals of lower court rulings on gay marriage cases from Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The panel consists of Judges Patrick Higginbotham of Dallas, Jerry Smith of Houston and James Graves Jr. of Jackson, Miss. Higginbotham and Smith are conservative judges appointed to the bench by President Reagan, while Graves is an Obama appointee. Marriage supporters tell NOM they are encouraged by the panel.

GavelThe panel will hear an appeal next week from state officials in Texas and Mississippi where lower federal court judges overturned state marriage amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The same panel will hear an appeal from gay couples in Louisiana who were rebuffed by a federal judge in their attempt to redefine marriage in that state.

The 5th Circuit is one of the most conservative in the country. If they vote to uphold traditional marriage laws, as many observers expect, they will join the 6th Circuit which issued a similar ruling this past October. The US Supreme Court is now considering taking the 6th Circuit case, something that NOM has called upon them to do. The first opportunity for the SCOTUS justices to take the case will be in their conference scheduled for January 9th.

Merry Christmas!

Year End Gift Giving

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Christmas is right around the corner.

As you dash about in the next couple of days, finishing your decorating and Christmas shopping, travelling, or just relaxing with family, I would ask that you consider including NOM in your gift giving.

You can click here to make an immediate gift of $35, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, or more to help support NOM in its mission of protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

Please help us meet the challenge and take advantage of our $200,000 matching gift. Every dollar you give will be matched dollar-for-dollar by another generous donor.

I've told you before about what an enormously importantly year 2015 will be... with the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of marriage and creating a split-decision on the Circuit Court level, the Supreme Court will have to take up a case to decide the constitutionality of laws defending marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

We have a limited window of opportunity to make our case for marriage... but what a window it is!

Working with newly elected marriage champions and pro-marriage majorities in the United States Congress... launching a dedicated media blitz in the DC metro area... hosting the third annual March for Marriage in Washington, DC... 2015 will be the chance we have to make the case for marriage BEFORE the Supreme Court deliberates and decides!

How much our pro-life allies would give if they had the opportunity to rally public opinion before the Supreme Court issued the Roe opinion!

Won't you please stand with NOM today by making a generous donation to ensure that there continues to be a strong voice in this country standing up for the truth about marriage?

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

A Reflection

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. It's a time of family and celebration. And it's a time of reflection — looking back at the past year and looking forward to the new.

Recently, reflecting on the story of the birth of Christ, I realized something...

When Jesus came into the world, it was with nothing. No money. They had to move to a new city. His father, Joseph, had to start a new business. They didn't even have a home to stay in as he came into our world.

But the one thing God did give him — seemingly the one thing God thought His only begotten Son could NOT do without — was a loving mother and father to care for and protect Him.

It underscores the foundational importance of the mission that NOM has undertaken – to defend marriage and work to ensure that every child in our society, as much as it is possible, enjoys the love of his mother and father.

We are winding down our year-end, $200,000 matching gift campaign. To date we have raised almost $60,000 toward our goal.

If you haven't yet made a gift that will be matched dollar-for-dollar, please prayerfully consider making a generous contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500, or even a major gift of $1,000 or more to help NOM close the year on firm financial footing so we can provide marriage with the best defense possible in this pivotal coming year.

We tend to think of Christ magically moving from an infant to an adult, with only scant glimpses of him as a teen. But the reality is that in assuming the human form, Jesus experienced the unique contributions of a father and a mother in his life. For years, Jesus learned how to live, act, feel, work, care and love by absorbing the unique gifts of his father and his mother, who represent the two halves of humanity.

The Holy Family is the perfect example for the human family — a man and a woman coming together in love for each other, and to provide the ideal environment for any children born of their union. That is what marriage is, and the story of Christmas perfectly models it for us.

This is why marriage is worth fighting for. So, please, even if you have already made a gift recently to support this cause, kindly consider giving again, knowing that your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor.

And, whether you have given or not, please consider asking friends and family to contribute to this campaign using the buttons below, investing in the best possible Christmas gift — that of fighting for a better future for our children and grandchildren by trying to reestablish a strong marriage culture in America.

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Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

Important Questions Need to be Asked

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Yesterday, an article in the Washington Examiner reported on a proposed change by the U.S. Census Bureau that most major media outlets will likely ignore.

According to the article, "If the Census Bureau has its way, the government will no longer monitor statistical trends about marriage."

The piece rightly notes that demographic data about marriage and family is important in structuring policy about social welfare programs and the like. However, if the Census Bureau drops the marriage questions from its questionnaire, the article explains, "the government soon may have no idea how marriage is changing in America and how it is linked to the well-being of children and adults."

According to the Census Bureau itself, at least five questions about marital status are "slated for removal from the questionnaire" unless the public and other government agencies come up with "revised or additional justification for these questions."

There is something very significant about a federal agency suggesting, for all intents and purposes, that marriage is less important to public policy at the same time as federal judges all over the country are imposing a radical redefinition of this fundamental institution on voters in state after state.

One might almost wonder if this isn't part of an effort to put marriage "out of sight and out of mind" in order to avoid addressing tough questions about the consequences of redefining marriage.

A few years hence, if marriage remains redefined in as many states as it is today, and people begin raising concerns about the effects of this new marriage policy on things like economic growth or the welfare of children, politicians and government agencies will have an easy evasive maneuver if these changes to the Census are implemented: "We don't have any data on that."

It is ironic that the same federal administration that has made it a priority to redefine marriage and family, saying it was important for—among other things—economics and public welfare, is now moving to drop data-gathering mechanisms related precisely to the economic and public welfare implications of marriage and family!

Or maybe it isn't ironic or mere coincidence at all, but part of a strategy? It does seem significant, after all, that this news should only begin to draw attention the week before Christmas, when the public is distracted and government activity is in sort of a lull. Late December is famously a time for government "taking out the trash" — dropping news stories about which they don't want too much public notice.

If that was the strategy, they will be disappointed in this much at least: we will be watching, and we will continue to ask tough questions about the public policy implications of marriage even if the Census refuses to continue asking them!

A Victory in Arkansas

Another news story I wanted to alert you about is a development last week that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves.

Ryan T. Anderson reported on this in The Daily Signal last Thursday:

After the city council of [Fayetteville, AR] passed a "civil rights" ordinance that undermined basic civil liberties back in August, voters took to the polls to repeal the law, ordinance 119.

Among other things, the law made it a crime for citizens to engage in what the government deemed to be "discrimination" based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Concerns were raised about wedding vendors and "discrimination" based on sexual orientation, as well as bathroom policies and "discrimination" based on gender identity (particularly transgender individuals—which bathrooms must biological males who identify as women, and biological females who identify as men, be allowed to use).

One of the significances of this particular "bathroom bill" is that it is the bill which Michelle Duggar of the hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting had spoken out against, which led to a protest against the Duggars' show and a counter-protest which NOM joined.

This is a great victory for the people of Arkansas, and a sort of vindication for the Duggars and their values, which the vote demonstrates are more in line with the values of the American people than the radical agendas of elites throughout the country who are trying to redefine everything having to do with the unique and special complementarity of men and women.

This victory is also a cause for hope in this season all about that sentiment. As we move forward into 2015, we can be assured that the American people still stand for the truth about men and women and marriage, and the basic idea that children have a right to the love of their own mother and father.

If you share this hope, I'd ask you to express it today by giving a generous year-end donation to NOM today. And anything you donate now, and until the end-of-the-year, will have double the impact because of our matching gift challenge!

With your help, NOM will be able to continue and expand its mission in the New Year, of professing the truth about marriage and asking the tough questions about marriage policy that some people would rather not get asked.

We can't do it without you—and for that you have my constant gratitude.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


What We're Up Against

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I have to let you know exactly what we're up against.

Recently, the news reported that David Koch—the conservative boogeyman of the left—will be interviewed by ABC's Barbara Walters for her "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014" special scheduled to air on Sunday.

In the interview, he unequivocally states, "I'm basically a libertarian, and I'm a conservative on economic matters, and I'm a social liberal." It harkens back to a 2012 Politico article where he said, "I believe in gay marriage," pointing out that he openly supported legal abortion as a Libertarian party candidate in 1980.

Marriage Supporter, this is exactly the problem. Millionaires and billionaires are lining up in support of this radical social agenda... even on the right! And I need your help to stop it!

Won't you please click here right away to make a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 or more to help us carry out our mission of protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it?

Remember, right now your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous matching donor, DOUBLING the impact of your gift in the fight to defend marriage!

When the radical left—like Human Rights Campaign and Freedom to Marry, each bankrolled to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year—pushes this agenda, they claim people are accepting gay 'marriage' in ever increasing numbers. But what they really mean is that a bunch of hyper-wealthy social liberals are trying to push this agenda on America whether they like it or not.

NOM doesn't have a huge network of multi-millionaires out of Hollywood writing large checks like our political opposition enjoys. Instead, NOM depends mainly on the support of ordinary Americans, like you, who believe in marriage.

But right now what we NEED is for many, many more of those ordinary Americans to stand up and engage in the fight to defend marriage—especially since it is becoming increasingly apparent that the political elites and rich cronies on the 'conservative' side are just as willing to give in to the radical same-sex 'marriage' lobby as those on the left!

Please join us today by making a sacrificial contribution to support our mission of protecting marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

NOM needs tens and hundreds of thousands of good, ordinary citizens to make the most important investment possible—an investment to secure a better future for our children and grandchildren, who deserve to live in a society that values marriage and recognizes the complementary and invaluable gifts that both a mother and a father bring to a child.

We need to mobilize a grassroots funding base capable of standing up to the millionaires bankrolling this radical marriage redefinition agenda... and I pray you will be one of them.

Please join NOM today by making a generous year end gift to help us reach our $200,000 matching gift goal.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: Even after marriage won big in the last election, the ideologues pushing this radical agenda just won't quit. Fortunately... neither will NOM! But we need your help and financial support today to ensure we reach our matching gift goal of $200,000 and can enter January in a position to take advantage of the opportunities we have to defend marriage in this pivotal new year. Please click here to make a generous donation today and join with the thousands of ordinary Americans willing to sacrifice to defend this most noble ideal and preserve future society for our children and grandchildren.



Quick Note

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Just a very quick note this morning to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to our $200,000 matching gift campaign.

In the first few days, we have raised over $10,000 online. Mail returns are coming in and will be added to the total shortly.

We're off to a strong start, but I know that so many friends and supporters reading this email have yet to join this campaign.

Won't you please consider clicking here to making a generous, end-of-the-year contribution to help NOM carry out its mission going in to this critical new year for marriage?

Anything you can give will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous donor, so whatever amount you do give will make a tremendous impact. Some can make a larger gift of $200, $500, $1,000 or more... while others can make a smaller gift of $25, $50, $100 or more. And some of you can sign up to be Sustaining Partners, helping NOM throughout the year as monthly contributors. Whatever your circumstances, we ask you to prayerfully consider a gift at this urgent time.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


Ten Years From Now

National Organization for Marriage

Friday, December 12, 2024

I sit silently holding the note my sixteen year old daughter brought home from school, taking in the word stamped in red — "Suspended." I look at her and know immediately what has happened, because we've been through this before. "He was in the girl's bathroom again and I told him to leave," she explains. All I can do is shake my head, realizing this is not going to end well.

You see, the individual my daughter is referring to is a fully-developed seventeen year old young man, but he has chosen to "identify" as a "she." The school says "she" is entitled to use the girl's bathroom, locker room and even shower facilities, and that those like my daughter who object to losing their privacy are harming her identity and bullying her. Bullying will not be tolerated.

Kids these days are told that they can choose their own gender. In fact, gender is no longer particularly relevant in the public schools. A few years ago the school district adopted the Ontario, Canada construct of telling students there were six genders, but recently they've gone to the Facebook model and teach that there are dozens of genders. What is relevant these days is not gender, but "gender identity."

Last year they adopted new guidelines to eliminate gender expressions like "boys" and "girls."

There used to be a Christian student group on campus where my daughter and fellow believers could discuss how to minister to students with different views on issues like human sexuality, but the school disbanded their group because it "discriminated" against students who don't believe in living godly principles.

Instead, they urged all students to join the LGBTQ group that meets on campus as a way of fostering understanding and inclusiveness. The "Q" stands for questioning one's sexuality, which the students encourage.

My daughter's teacher has a photo on her desk of her husband and wife. They're taking advantage of the recent court ruling that said there was no rational basis for limiting marriage to two people, so now someone can marry multiple people. The judges said they wanted to enhance equality, promote human dignity and encourage loving and committed relationships. All the spouses are entitled to benefits provided by the school district. A new law allows people to enter a marriage for a limited period of time, two years, and lets them end the marriage without penalty. But they also get benefits while they are together.

I read an article on my device that noted that even though marriage has been made available to any number or combination of people regardless of gender, there are fewer marriages taking place. A majority of children are now being born to unwed parents.

A new study came out the other day showing that teenage drug use, criminality, truancy and suicide were on the rise, while educational attainment is declining. More people are living in poverty than any other time in my life. The President published a video saying these facts point to the need for a massive new government program and proposed to raise taxes to pay for it.

The red "Suspended" on the paper in my fingers brings me back to the moment at hand. I look back at my daughter trying to figure out what to say, and shake my head again wondering how things got to this point, so far from the society I envisioned for her.

And then it hit me. It's because when we had the chance to do something about it when she was much younger, we didn't.

Marriage Supporter,

You might think that my depiction of the future ten years from now is outrageous, but what you probably don't realize is that much of it isn't about something that might happen in the future, but rather things that are already beginning to happen.

States and local governments across the nation are passing laws prohibiting discrimination based on "gender identity." Schools allowing students to use the bathroom of their choice is becoming common. Canadian schools do recognize six genders, while Facebook recognizes 50. Virtually every high school campus has an LGBTQ group, but Christian organizations are increasingly being eliminated. More and more children are being born out of wedlock, and those children are much more prone to experience problems in their lives, including living in poverty. While polyamorous marriages are not yet legal, courts have already moved to remove some barriers to polygamy. And the concept of short-term marriage contracts is actively being promoted in some quarters.

All of this — every bit and more — stems from the failure of our society to preserve marriage in the law and to promote a healthy marriage culture.

It is an absolute lie, and a profoundly damaging one, to say that redefining marriage doesn't affect people. ("If you don't support gay marriage, don't have one.") It affects everything and eventually everyone.

When marriage is stripped of its essential gendered nature bringing together the two complementary halves of humanity, then gender itself is stripped of meaning. The unique beauty of being female and male is discarded and devalued. The inherent right of children to experience the love of both a father and a mother is sacrificed. Marriage, as a public institution, is stripped of meaning, and thus fewer people bother with it — to profound negative social detriment, especially for children.

This is what we are fighting for when we ask you for your support. We're not fighting about words, or definitions, theologies or politics. We're fighting about reality — the reality that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and it can be nothing else, the reality that it's the foundation of civilization, and the reality that it is central to thriving families and human flourishing, especially for children.

We're in a difficult place right now with marriage, but we're still in a place where we can fight for it, and save it. It won't be easy, but it can be done.

But only if you will step up and help with a financial contribution.

I'll be honest, we at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have some real challenges. We spent everything we had to win key elections for Congress and the US Senate, and thankfully we were successful this past November. We have a lot of great opportunities ahead of us in 2015. But our resources are nearly exhausted as we approach the end of the year, and we may not be able to capitalize on all the opportunities that having a pro-marriage majority in the new Congress will provide, or be able to leverage the victories marriage has recently won in federal courts, such as the game-changing decision upholding marriage in the 6th Circuit.

Fortunately, one of our best donors has stepped forward to offer a dollar for dollar match of all contributions we receive during this holiday period, up to $200,000. If we are able to raise that $200,000 from supporters like you, then we'll have $400,000 in funds, allowing us to go into the New Year to work to strengthen the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Please help us hit our goal. Help us rewrite what the future will be ten years from now by acting today, while we have the chance, to save marriage and everything that depends on it.

Thank you.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

PS: As you are busy with holiday preparations, I'm asking you to keep us in your prayers, and forefront in your mind with a significant financial gift. Whatever you give will be matched by one of our best donors, dollar for dollar.

Arkansans Voted to Repeal Bad "Civil Rights" Law

This week, the citizens of Fayetteville, AR voted to repeal a "civil rights" ordinance that had raised concerns about wedding vendors and others being targeted for harassment and punishment for declining to celebrate same-sex 'marriages,' among other worries.

Ryan Anderson at The Daily Signal explains:

Wedding_PhotographerAmong other things, the law [Ordinance 119] made it a crime for citizens to engage in what the government deemed to be “discrimination” based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Concerns were raised about wedding vendors and “discrimination” based on sexual orientation, as well as bathroom policies and “discrimination” based on gender identity (particularly transgender individuals—which bathrooms must biological males who identify as women, and biological females who identify as men, be allowed to use).

[...]

Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The government should be prohibited from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation or contracting.

And so, on Tuesday of this week, the citizens of Fayetteville rightly acted and voted to repeal Ordinance 119.

Anderson points out that this case highlights why laws such as the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, sponsored by Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho, are needed to protect citizens against such overreach by government pushing radical agendas with regard to marriage and family.

A Clear, Direct Question

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I'm writing with a very clear direct question: Will you ensure that there continues to be a strong voice in this country standing up for the truth about marriage?

Yes, we all know that the other side has spent mountains of money to get judges to impose their definition of marriage on this country.

We also know that marriage is in trouble—that judges across the country are creating opinions out of thin air in their quest to redefine marriage.

But it's also true that we just achieved two major victories together: the National Organization for Marriage was 100 percent successful in the last Congressional election in defeating targeted supporters of same-sex marriage and electing those who support the truth about marriage.

In all three Congressional contests where Republicans abandoned the truth of marriage we launched campaigns to defeat them—and we did defeat them.

More than that, NOM helped elect US Senate candidates who can be counted on to be champions for our cause including Thom Tillis, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, and others. NOM's hard-hitting TV and direct mail pieces were a critical factor in several of these races.

Supporters of the truth of marriage also won a great legal victory in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals with the first federal appeals court issuing a clear and powerful ruling that our constitution does not have hidden within it a "right" to the redefinition of marriage. Their ruling reinforced other federal court decisions in Louisiana and Puerto Rico that also represented great victories for marriage.

The other side does not want you to know how important these victories are. They want you to give up and capitulate on the truth of marriage.

So I ask you again: Will you?

We at NOM never will, but we urgently need you to keep up this fight. We've spent nearly $300,000 in the last election. Our resources are way down, and we need your help to keep up this fight.

As I recently said to NBS News, NOM is a David battling the Goliath of multi-million dollar groups like the Human Rights Campaign. But even David needed his stones to topple the giant. We need your support more than ever in this critical period to continue to be your voice for marriage on CNN, Fox, CBS, within the halls of Congress, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion.

The great news is that one of our most faithful donors has given us a new matching gift of $200,000!

This donor knows how critical the next few months will be in the fight over marriage. He knows that marriage will almost certainly be before the Supreme Court in 2015—and he wants to make sure that our voice will be there to let the court know that we will not accept a Roe v. Wade on marriage.

Any attempt by the federal courts, including the US Supreme Court, to redefine marriage is illegitimate.

Marriage is immutable, created by the Almighty, and cannot be redefined by judges, politicians or the media.

NOM will make sure that our highest court understands the good that marriage provides to society—uniting men and women and providing the ideal environment for any children born of their union—and that we will never acquiesce to losing marriage in order to appease the demands of a vocal special interest group.

Any gift given right now will be matched up to a total of $200,000. That's an amazing opportunity to leverage our work together.

But it means that we have to count on you to respond. If you give nothing, the cause of marriage gets nothing. If you give a significant amount, our cause will benefit greatly. Dollar-for-dollar, whatever you give will be doubled.

Perhaps you can bless us with a major gift of $1,000 or more. Or maybe something smaller such as $500, $100 or $50. Whatever it is, I prayerfully ask you to give something in response to this message. Please don't count on someone else to make a gift. It's up to you.

If you would prefer to donate by mail, simply write a check and send it to:

National Organization for Marriage
2029 K Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006

In 2015 we'll be organizing the third Annual March for Marriage; planning major media campaigns designed to communicate to legislators, judges and voters the beauty and importance of man-woman marriage; and working with the newly elected pro-marriage majorities in the US House and Senate—particularly with several of the marriage champions NOM helped elect this past November 4th—to get religious liberty and pro-marriage legislation passed.

2015 will truly be a year of opportunity for marriage. Please allow us to be your voice in this critical time with your sacrificial gift. So much is depending on your response.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown

P.S. In this time of giving, let us all remember that protecting the truth about marriage is about real people, about what our children are going to be taught about the beauty of being male and female, about whether individuals and Churches will be punished for standing for God's truth. This is a chance to double our ability to defend this core truth—and protect children, churches, and individuals from the lie of same-sex marriage. Please take advantage of this opportunity by giving today.

The Most Beautiful Idea in the History of Civilization

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

A couple weeks ago, I wrote to you on my way back from the historic interreligious colloquium at the Vatican: the Humanum event that brought scholars of all creeds together to reflect on the beauty of God's design for marriage in the complementarity of men and women.

You'll find me returning to the output of this wonderful conference frequently over the weeks and months ahead, because I don't know that the full impact of this truly remarkable event has been fully felt or appreciated yet in the congregations and communities whose leaders attended.

I've already quoted several passages from one of the great speakers at the colloquium, Rev. Rick Warren. But today I want to highlight one of the most celebrated speeches given at the colloquium: the rousing address by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth.

You can watch Lord Sacks' presentation here:

A full text of the speech has been published here by Aleteia; however, you really should watch and listen to the talk if you have the opportunity, as it was a great rhetorical presentation in addition to the fascinating content of the talk.

One of the aspects of Lord Sacks' talk that I most enjoyed was how he unwaveringly and unapologetically got right to the point that marriage is about the creation of new life. He says this is "the story of the most beautiful idea in the history of civilization: the idea of the love that brings new life into the world."

As he goes on to tell that story, he accomplishes a scholarly feat of concision, boiling down an entire cultural anthropology course into a single lecture. He speaks about how the human race together, and men and women separately, are evolved and adapted to the task of rearing families, and how the institution of marriage is itself part of this development.

For example, he notes how human beings' relatively larger brains – and thus larger sized craniums — combined with the fact that human beings are bipedal and stand upright meant that the gestation of human babies would be shorter than the other primates, whose pelvises are adapted for a different kind of walking and are able to allow larger babies to be born:

[H]uman babies had to be born more prematurely than any other species, and so needed parental protection for much longer. This made parenting more demanding among humans than any other species, the work of two people rather than one. Hence the very rare phenomenon among mammals of pair bonding, unlike other species where the male contribution tends to end with the act of impregnation. Among most primates, fathers don't even recognize their children let alone care for them.

Elsewhere in the animal kingdom motherhood is almost universal but fatherhood is rare. So what emerged along with the human person was the union of the biological mother and father to care for their child.

The rest of the lecture is a tour de force, detailing six other pivotal moments in the "story" of how marriage has become the mark of humanity, the means of bringing about new life and safeguarding its progress.

But from there, Rabbi Sacks turns to "what has changed" and why marriage and culture are in crisis today, and he puts it very succinctly:

I wrote a book a few years ago about religion and science and I summarized the difference between them in two sentences. "Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean." And that's a way of thinking about culture also. Does it put things together or does it take things apart?

It should go without saying that Rabbi Sacks isn't here simply making some kind of "anti-science" judgment: the whole of his speech is filled with good solid science of various disciplines, from social science to biological anthropology. He clearly has more than the average appreciation for the merits of science.

But he warns us that in the modern, scientific era there has been a cleavage in the synthesis that marriage accomplished in human history:

For a whole variety of reasons, some to do with medical developments like birth control, in vitro fertilization and other genetic interventions, some to do with moral change like the idea that we are free to do whatever we like so long as it does not harm others, some to do with a transfer of responsibilities from the individual to the state, and other and more profound changes in the culture of the West, almost everything that marriage once brought together has now been split apart. Sex has been divorced from love, love from commitment, marriage from having children, and having children from responsibility for their care.

He goes on to detail just some of the terrible consequences of this breaking apart, from poverty levels to school drop-out rates among children to development of mental/emotional disorders in adolescence for those who are deprived of stable home nurturing.

All of this, Rabbi Sacks says, is due to "one of the tragic instances of what Friedrich Hayek called ‘the fatal conceit' that somehow we know better than the wisdom of the ages, and can defy the lessons of biology and history."

That fatal conceit, in this instance, is in particular the attempt to design new norms for men and women's relations and for family life to replace the divinely ordered and humanly sensible institution of marriage. Rabbi Sacks passionately explains why this is folly and calls us to defend marriage against these attacks:

The family, man, woman, and child, is not one lifestyle choice among many. It is the best means we have yet discovered for nurturing future generations and enabling children to grow in a matrix of stability and love. It is where we learn the delicate choreography of relationship and how to handle the inevitable conflicts within any human group. It is where we first take the risk of giving and receiving love. It is where one generation passes on its values to the next, ensuring the continuity of a civilization. For any society, the family is the crucible of its future, and for the sake of our children's future, we must be its defenders.

The Humanum colloquium would have been a success if all that had come out of it was just this one spectacular talk! Fortunately, though, plenty more was offered. Please check out the Humanum website to watch the videos of the other speakers' presentations and to watch the beautiful Humanum documentary series.

Marriage Supporter, I hope that you will find enlightenment and encouragement in the words of a wonderful pro-marriage champion, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and that you will share his brilliant and inspiring message with your family and friends.

God bless you, and please keep NOM in mind in this season of giving and charity. Your financial support, and of course your prayers, are very much appreciated.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown


Get your free book today!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As you may already know, it's #GivingTuesday — a global day about giving back. So today, I'd like to give you an opportunity to get a free copy of the renowned book, What Is Marriage?, written by NOM co-founder Professor Robert P. George along with Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Gergis.

All you need to do to get this free book is donate before midnight today to the NOM Education Fund, and we'll send you your book right away in the mail!

The NOM Education Fund is dedicated to the mission of spreading the message that marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the best means of serving the needs of our whole society, especially our children.

Kids deserve to have the love of both a mom and a dad. Marriage is a good thing because it helps us promote this. But even though so many people know this instinctively, they sometimes feel they don't have the resources or the knowledge to share that message. The NOM Education Fund exists to give folks those resources and that knowledge!

But we can't do it without your help. So please make a generous gift to the NOM Education Fund today on #GivingTuesday, and—as a way of giving back—we'll send you one of the very best resources about marriage that exists, the book What Is Marriage?

But this opportunity will only last until midnight tonight, so don't delay!

Thankfully,

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
President
National Organization for Marriage

Brian Brown