NOM BLOG

NOM Update: Support the 1st Amendment Defense Act



Dear Marriage Supporter,

A vital piece of legislation was just introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), and NOM urges you to ask your elected officials to support it just as we are.

This critical bill — the First Amendment Defense Act or FADA — has a simple purpose: "To prevent discriminatory treatment of any person on the basis of views held with respect to marriage." Could anything be more American than that? This country was birthed by a desire for freedom, to be able to think, worship and live according to personal choice — not fearing government interference or worse for refusing to go along with the status quo on issues of morality.

Can you please take a stand with us at this critical time and offer your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more. We will put your gift to immediate use defending marriage on both the state and national level.

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The first amendment of our beloved Constitution — which this legislation is striving to defend — says very simply:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Can you believe that there are people who actually want to deny first amendment rights to those of us who support marriage as God designed it, the union of one man and one woman?

Believe me — it's true! And that's why NOM is fighting every day to protect the very rights that you and I cherish. And that's why we are doing all we can to ensure that FADA, this important legislation before our Congress right now, is passed into law.

Please stand with us now at this critical time with your gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more.

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Not a week goes by when we don't see someone who supports true marriage be targeted for harassment or punishment. It's not only gay activists who are targeting marriage supporters, sometimes it's the government itself. The Attorney General of Washington state is suing a 70 year old Christian grandmother because she did not want to be forced to use her talents as a florist for a same-sex 'wedding' because doing so violated her deeply held beliefs about marriage. The AG has threatened to take all of her personal assets as punishment. Concern is growing across our nation that individuals and organizations that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman will increasingly be vulnerable to government retaliation. Indeed, a top lawyer for President Obama told the US Supreme Court that they may begin to revoke the tax exempt status of groups like Christian schools who do not embrace same-sex 'marriage' should the Court decide to impose a redefinition of marriage on the entire nation. And this despite the fact that more than 8 in 10 Americans who believe that our government should leave people free to follow their religious or moral beliefs about marriage as they live their daily lives and run their businesses.

Gay and lesbian activists are fond of playing the "victim card" but the reality is that supporters of marriage are the real victims, targeted by activists simply for refusing to endorse same-sex marriage. These people have been driven from their jobs, fired, sued, suspended and ostracized. Add to that the potential for government to join in the punishment of marriage supporters, and the need for the FADA legislation becomes crystal clear. Every citizen who supports marriage must feel comfortable living out their religious or moral beliefs in public without fear of discrimination or retaliation. And that is exactly what the First Amendment Defense Act will protect. Congress must uphold our Nation's acceptance of people and entities that affirm traditional marriage.

So, we are doubling our efforts at NOM, doing all we can to help Senator Lee and Representative Labrador move their vital legislation through the Senate and the House of Representatives. On your behalf, we will always defend the right of all citizens to live out their religious or moral beliefs without fear of discrimination or even prosecution. There's no question that we are standing behind FADA — and we urge you to do so, as well.

And at the same time, NOM is taking action on every front possible to ensure marriage is not illegitimately redefined by the courts. We have not let up one iota in that battle. Can you please stand with us at this critical time and offer your best gift of $50, $100, or even $500 or more.

I'll make a quick donation of $50.00

I'll make a quick donation of $100.00

I'll make a quick donation of $250.00

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America has always been a country that encouraged freedom of speech, religion and thought. Yet now, some of our more vocal citizens won't rest until we all think just like they do and only say things they would say. I can't speak for you, but that angers me — it's tearing away one of the very things that makes our country "the land of the free."

There's no question in my mind — the next few weeks are critical, and will help shape the months and years ahead — especially given the presidential election that will lay the course for our nation for at least four years.

NOM is fighting every day on your behalf. We cannot change the status quo without the strong backing of Americans who share our beliefs. We must speak with a strong and powerful voice — and your support helps make that possible.

Please help us fight the battle and push forward to victory — for you and me, and for our nation.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. NOM is on the job every day, fighting for what you — and millions more Americans — believe. Thank you for continuing to help NOM face down each new challenge with strength and unity of voice. Your generous support truly matters as we stand firmly for marriage and for the First Amendment Defense Act.

The Slippery Slope of Same-sex Marriage

In an article on National Review, Ed Whelan comments on the powerful piece written by Jonathan Last for the Weekly Standard:

ThinkstockPhotos-465539699For those who haven’t been paying attention, Last shows that “the same-sex marriage movement is interested in a great deal more than just the freedom to form marital unions”:

It is also interested, quite keenly, in punishing dissenters. But the ambitions of the movement go further than that, even. It’s about revisiting legal notions of freedom of speech and association, constitutional protections for religious freedom, and cultural norms concerning the family.

Last asks: “Remember when proponents of same-sex marriage mocked people who suggested that creating a right to same-sex ‘marriage’ might weaken the institution of marriage itself?” He points out that candid gay activists acknowledge that non-monogamy is rampant in gay marriages and that the marriage redefinition they are seeking will undermine the norm of marital monogamy . . ."

You can read Ed Whelan’s full commentary via National Review.

Another Christian Business Forced to Close Down

As reported by The Daily Signal, another Christian family-run business has had to close due to a “discrimination” complaint brought against them by a same-sex couple. This is yet another example of the real tragedy happening in our nation: people who believe in the truth of marriage and simply want to be left alone to practice their beliefs in the public square are instead targeted for persecution and punishment, with the power of government used as a club to advance the cause of ‘same-sex marriage.'

ThinkstockPhotos-92244618

This time, the victims are Richard and Betty Odgaard, the owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa, which they bought and turned into a bistro, flower shop, art gallery and wedding venue. Members of the Mennonite faith, the couple had a successful business until they were asked to rent the facility for a same-sex ‘wedding.’ Because their deeply held religious beliefs preclude their participation in something that violates their faith, they declined to be involved. Within 24 hours a complaint was filed with a government agency. After the couple was forced to settle and pay a $5,000 fine, they had to stop participating in wedding celebrations altogether in order not to have to participate in gay ‘weddings’ that violate their faith. But portrayed as bigots, the damage to their reputation was done and the couple is shutting their doors.

The proposed First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) would prevent this type of government sanction at the federal level, thus leaving the same-sex couple free to find another ‘wedding’ venue and the Mennonite couple free to not participate. NOM urges state legislatures to move forward with state-based versions of FADA.

From The Daily Signal:

On August 3, 2013, a gay couple from Des Moines asked to rent Görtz Haus for their wedding.

Because of their Mennonite faith, the Odgaards told the couple they could not host their wedding.

Within 24 hours, the couple filed a discrimination complaint through the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

“We knew that the business was going to be in trouble almost immediately,” Richard, 69, said. “We had to get rid of the wedding business to avoid another complaint and possibly a higher penalty.”

The Odgaards never admitted to any discrimination, but agreed to a $5,000 settlement.

They also returned two non-refundable deposits for couples who, after hearing media reports, didn’t want to use their space for their weddings anymore.

“It was just the right thing to do,” Richard said.

. . .

The case was the first of its kind in Iowa, but it didn’t receive the same sort of media attention as the bakers in Oregon, the photographers in New Mexico or the farmers in New York.

The couple says that’s because pending litigation prevented them from being able to speak out, further isolating them from their community.

“We didn’t get the Chick-fil-A response,” Richard half-heartedly joked.

The Odgaards don’t blame the gay community for shutting them down, but rather, the state of Iowa.

“I think if people in Iowa would have had a chance to vote on this, it would have never have been this way. People in Iowa are pretty conservative,” Betty said.

“With the discrimination laws and the legality of same-sex marriage in this state, now you have to prove that you didn’t discriminate,” added Richard.

The Odgaards also feel they never got their day in court, and had the case turned out differently, they might not have been driven out of business.

“This was all administrative judgement,” Richard said. “The [gay couple] had a platform to file their case and we didn’t get our day in court with a jury of our peers.”

For the full article, please visit The Daily Signal.

Congress is Stepping Up to Support Marriage and Religious Freedom



Dear Marriage Supporter,

The Congress is about to take major action to protect Americans who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and we must act immediately to support them.

Senator Mike Lee and Rep. Raul Labrador announced yesterday that they have introduced the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802) to safeguard "individuals and institutions who promote traditional marriage from government retaliation."

Please complete this Action Alert to show your support for this critical legislation.

Sign the Action Alert!

It's so encouraging to see leaders of the Congress step forward to protect the rights of all Americans to speak out in support of marriage in the public square, especially when we are just a couple of weeks away from when the US Supreme Court might issue a ruling imposing same-sex 'marriage' on the entire nation.

You may remember that I wrote to you a few days ago to assure you that NOM had a plan to preserve marriage no matter what the US Supreme Court might rule. Well, support for the First Amendment Defense Act is a critical element in our plan. And we are counting on you to act immediately to lend your voice to those demanding that Congress pass this urgently-needed legislation today.

You see, the legal environment at the moment is that the best we can hope for right now is that the US Supreme Court decides that there is no federal constitutional right to redefine marriage. That is exactly what they should decide in the case before them.

But even if the majority of justices do decide the right way, such a ruling will still leave a number of states where marriage has tragically been redefined by legislative action or by popular vote.

And if the Supreme Court goes in the wrong direction, then every state in the union will be forced to live under a false view of marriage.

So you see, no matter what the Supreme Court decides it's imperative that the First Amendment Defense Act become law.

Please complete this Action Alert to your elected representatives and ask them to support the First Amendment Defense Act (S. 1598, H.R. 2802).

Sign the Action Alert!

The critically important legislation protects Americans who believe in the truth of marriage against actions by the federal government to punish or marginalize them. Specifically, the legislation would prevent any federal agency from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license, or certification to an individual, association, or business based on their belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. For example, the bill would prohibit the IRS from stripping a church of its tax exemption for refusing to officiate same-sex weddings.

This is not just some theoretical concern. In the marriage case before the Supreme Court, the lawyer for President Obama explicitly said that if the Court imposes same-sex marriage, a religious college might lose their tax exempt status if they do not allow gay couples who are 'married' to live together on campus, even though such a living arrangement is completely contrary to the beliefs of the school.

The American people are conflicted on this issue of same-sex 'marriage' but they are strongly with us on this legislation. The truth is that people believe that if same-sex 'marriage' is imposed on the nation, it would be wrong to force every single individual or group to go along with it.

The First Amendment Defense Act is very modest, but you can count on the left and gay activists to attempt to portray it as a "license to discriminate." Baloney! The only discrimination that is happening in America today when it comes to gay 'marriage' is the rampant discrimination being leveled at people of faith who support the truth of marriage as one man and one woman.

We will have a whole lot more to say about this critically important legislation in the coming days and weeks, but for now let me close with a heartfelt request that you act immediately to sign this Action Alert asking your federal representatives to support the First Amendment Defense Act.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Securing passage of this urgent legislation will be difficult. NOM will need to engage in a number of activities to promote the legislation and convince lawmakers to support it. Please consider making a financial contribution to NOM today to help us in our advocacy efforts.

We Seek a Champion

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I've got big news to announce: NOM has just issued our 2016 Presidential Pledge to all the Republican candidates running for President of the United States.

As you may recall, the NOM Presidential Pledge was extremely influential in the 2012 Republican primary process. Not only did every major Republican candidate sign our pledge, including eventual nominee Mitt Romney, but it forced all the candidates to address the marriage issue during the course of their campaigns for the presidency. NOM spent more than a quarter million dollars promoting our pledge.

We expect our 2016 pledge to play an extremely important role in the selection of the eventual Republican nominee, and we will invest heavily in promoting it. You see, NOM's pledge doesn't just ask the candidates to make some generic statements in support of preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman; it asks them to take specific actions when elected, letting the American people know exactly how they will govern concerning marriage when they are elected.

Let's not kid ourselves. The situation we face in terms of preserving marriage is grave. Federal judges in at least twenty states have acted to redefine marriage, substituting their values for those of the American people. They have ignored the judgement of countless elected officials and over 50 million voters who have cast ballots declaring that marriage must remain the union of one man and one woman. And now, the US Supreme Court is on the precipice of possibly issuing a Roe v Wade type ruling on marriage, one that might impose genderless marriage on every state of our nation.

That is why it is so important that we elect a president in 2016 who is a pro-marriage champion. There is no more important person in the world to promote traditional marriage than the President of the United States. Not only does he have a bully pulpit and the loudest microphone on the planet, but he will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least two new justices to the United States Supreme Court.

Make no mistake about it: NOM's top priority is to elect a marriage champion as president.

Sign The People's Marriage Pledge

In order to ensure that a true champion for marriage emerges from the primary process next year, we've done more than just issue a Presidential Pledge to the candidates. We've launched an extremely exciting new project to involve the American people in pledging their own support for preserving marriage by declaring they will only support a candidate for president (and other federal offices), who is committed to taking concrete action supporting marriage.

Here is what The People's Marriage Pledge declares:

I pledge that I will only support a candidate for President of the United States who has pledged to take specific actions to protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This includes:

  • Supporting a federal marriage amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
  • Opposing and working to overturn any Supreme Court ruling that illegitimately finds a constitutional “right” to redefine marriage.
  • Nominating to the US Supreme Court and federal bench judges who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, and appointing an attorney general similarly committed.
  • Conducting a review of regulatory, administrative and executive actions taken by the Obama Administration that have the effect of undermining marriage and work to restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Consistent with this, prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities.
  • Supporting federal legislation that recognizes the right of organizations and individuals to act in the public square consistent with their beliefs about marriage without fear of retaliation from the federal government.
  • Directing the Department of Justice to investigate, document and publicize cases of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage and to propose new protections, if needed.
  • I also pledge to support only those candidates for federal office who have taken positions consistent with the above policies.

Will you sign The People's Marriage Pledge? This is an absolutely critical step in ensuring that the next President of the United States is a true champion for marriage.

Sign The People's Marriage Pledge

Just think about what a disaster Barack Obama has been as president. This is a guy who lied through his teeth in 2008 when he claimed to be a supporter of traditional marriage. We've since seen the real Barack Obama — a man who is totally beholden to gay activists and who has completely embraced their agenda.

It's important enough to have a pro-marriage president if only to reverse the disastrous policies of the Obama administration, including pressing same-sex 'marriage' at every instance and even making support for it a decision point on whether America will offer a foreign nation aid. But with the real likelihood that the next president will end up appointing several new justices to the US Supreme Court, this becomes a potentially life and death matter for marriage.

You see, no matter what the US Supreme Court decides on marriage later this month, it will almost certainly be a 5-4 decision. So you can see how appointing two new justices to the court gives the next president the ability to either cement a ruling, or reverse it.

By signing The People's Marriage Pledge, you will become a critical ambassador in the presidential contest for the truth of marriage. You will have the opportunity to influence whatever candidate you prefer to sign NOM's Presidential Pledge, which mirrors exactly the elements contained in the pledge that you have signed.

Please don't delay — sign The People's Marriage Pledge immediately. Then forward it to all your friends, family and contacts and ask them to do so as well.

This is a great opportunity to go on offense and to shape the course of the marriage movement going forward. Please sign The People's Marriage Pledge today.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Please don't set this email aside thinking that you will come back to it to sign The People's Marriage Pledge. Far too often good intentions like that amount to nothing. Sign The People's Marriage Pledge right now.

Sign Today

One more thing: it costs us a great deal of money to undertake a project like this, advancing The Presidential Marriage Pledge to the candidates running for president, and giving the American people the ability to ensure we have a pro-marriage champion become elected president next fall. Please consider making a much needed financial gift to NOM today.

Donate Today

National Organization For Marriage Issues Presidential Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2015
Contact: Paul Bothwell (202) 457-8060 x-105 [email protected]

America's only group dedicated exclusively to preserving marriage calls on presidential candidates to commit to take specific actions if elected.


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Washington, DC — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced that it has issued a presidential pledge (www.marriagepledge.com) calling on every Republican candidate to commit to take five specific actions to preserve marriage should they be elected. In 2012, every major Republican presidential candidate signed NOM's presidential pledge including the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney.

"With the US Supreme Court set to issue their opinion on whether the US Constitution somehow prohibits states from defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, it is imperative that we have a presidential candidate who is a champion for marriage, " said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "After eight disastrous years of the Obama administration that has sought to redefine marriage at every turn, and with the potential of a Roe type of decision concerning marriage, America's best option to preserve marriage is to have a president who will lead and take concrete actions to protect marriage. That is what we expect of the next president, and what we ask the candidates to pledge to the American people."

NOM's presidential pledge asks candidates to commit to take the following actions:

  1. Support a federal constitutional amendment that protects marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
  2. Oppose and work to overturn any Supreme Court decision that illegitimately finds a constitutional "right" to the redefinition of marriage, including nominating judges and an attorney general who are committed to applying the original meaning of the Constitution.
  3. Conduct a review of regulatory, administrative and executive actions taken by the Obama administration that have the effect of undermining marriage and work to restore our policies to be consistent with the proper understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
  4. Support the First Amendment Defense Act and other legislation that recognizes the right of organizations and individuals to act in the public square consistent with their beliefs about marriage without fear of retaliation from the federal government.
  5. Direct the Department of Justice to investigate, document and publicize cases of Americans who have been harassed for exercising key civil rights to organize, to speak, to donate or to vote for marriage.
  6. "There is no more important task we can take to help preserve marriage in America than to elect a president who will be a leader and a doer, not just a talker," said Brown. "NOM plans to play a significant role in advancing a pro-marriage champion in the early primary and caucus states and we look forward to the candidates embracing our pledge."

    To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, please contact Paul Bothwell, [email protected], (202) 457-8060 x-105.

    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.

NOM Issues Presidential Pledge

NOM Marriage Pledge

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has today issued our 2016 Presidential Pledge, calling on all Republican candidates to pledge to take five specific actions to protect marriage if they are elected. This pledge will help give candidates the opportunity to show they are true champions for marriage and not merely providing lip service. In 2012, every major candidate signed NOM’s presidential pledge.

CNN has the breaking news story:

Candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination will be urged Thursday to sign a pledge promising to support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The National Organization for Marriage's request comes as the nation waits to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will rule this month to legalize same sex marriage across the country.

"Republicans need to not just give lip service to marriage," Brian Brown, president of the organization, told CNN in an interview. "By signing the pledge they are committing to concrete steps to protect marriage."

Among other things, an advance copy of the five-point pledge provided to CNN calls on candidates to support a constitutional amendment.

. . .

"Our hope is that as many candidates as possible sign, but at the end of the day what we want is a champion for marriage, someone who will stand up and do what is necessary to protect it," Brown said. "So whether we end up having four candidates or 15 we are going to support he candidates that stand up and sign the pledge."

We will never stop defending marriage, and we will support the presidential candidates who are courageous enough to stand up for marriage, as it has always been defined in our nation, and how it always will be defined by nature, by truth, and by the family as the union of one man and one woman.

What About the Children Who Want a Mom and a Dad?

Ryan Anderson, a long time friend of NOM and a formidable defender of marriage, calls attention to an important group that many media outlets overlook - children, raised by same-sex couples, who want a mom and a dad:

ThinkstockPhotos-494373553The New York Times ran an article this weekend profiling and quoting many children of gay and lesbian parents under the headline “What Could Gay Marriage Mean for the Kids?”

Noticeably absent were any children who, while loving their two moms or two dads, yearned for both a mom and dad.

In my new book, “The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom,” I devote a chapter to highlighting the stories of children of gays and lesbians who have spoken out about how redefining marriage has social costs. Their basic story is the same: Same-sex marriage denies children like them a relationship with either a mother or a father—denies them their mother or their father.

Worse yet, people claiming marriage must be redefined as a matter of justice are telling children that the hurt they feel isn’t a legitimate response to objective reality but the result of their own misguided feelings. This is nothing less than victim shaming.

Although the loss suffered by these child victims is real and traumatic, their existence is never acknowledged by The New York Times.

. . .

Redefining marriage redefines parenting. So a legal system that redefines marriage changes a society’s culture and the values it promotes—as well as the expectations of its citizens. A society that redefines marriage, writes Barwick, “promotes and normalizes a family structure that necessarily denies us something precious and foundational. It denies us something we need and long for, while at the same time tells us that we don’t need what we naturally crave. That we will be okay. But we’re not. We’re hurting.”

Redefining marriage will stigmatize the children of same-sex couples, because they will not be allowed to give voice to their experience of lacking a mom or a dad.

For the full article, please visit The Daily Signal.

"Shall We Cancel Father’s Day?"

Father Robert McTeigue, a professor of philosophy at Ave Maria University, asked that provocative question after an email he receive brought into focus the state of the family in our culture, and why marriage must be protected in order to solidify the family:

ThinkstockPhotos-177876724There was a time when if you wanted to annoy someone, you could just say, “Merry Christmas!” Now it seems that if you want to get people really upset, you can say, “Happy Father’s Day!”

I say this because of a message I recently received from someone close to me: “Rant for today. I want to publicly thank my husband for being one of the most loving, compassionate and dedicated fathers I know. Today I helped out in the oldest of my two daughters’ first grade class while the kids were making cards and filling out questionnaires about their dads for Father's Day. Out of 29 kids about 7 could do it without help or getting upset. The poor teacher had to go through questions like ‘Well, how often do you see your dad? Is there an uncle who helps? Well, does your mom have a friend? Is it a man?’ As I helped the kids fill out the sheets there were SO many who obviously had poor relationships with their dads, if any at all. So many children wouldn't check the box for ‘Dad hugs me’ or ‘Dad plays with me.’ 3 of the kids were shaking and teary eyed. I am overwhelmed with sadness. My husband doesn't have a 9-5 job. I've seen this man come home to have supper with his family, put the girls to bed, go BACK to work and then get up after a few hours to have breakfast with us and take them to school. He's left meetings to go to a reading of the children’s book, ‘Stone Soup’. He's seen the movie ‘Frozen’ 700 times. He's had bows in his hair, glitter on his nails and has made cardboard armor. I got on my knees in gratitude.

ThinkstockPhotos-474323365Men, please understand how important you are. Kids NEED BOTH of their parents!! Be loving! Be involved!! I was heartbroken. When I told my husband he cried too. I did not expect that so many cultures have inactive dads. One mom said to me ‘Well shame on the school for bringing out an activity that would be hurtful to the kids’ and I said ‘NO! Shame on US for allowing our culture to have broken families!’ I'm gonna go squeeze my kids and write my husband a love note. Rant done.”

Rather than an awkward silence, we need to have an honest, thoughtful, lively and prolonged conversation about men, fatherhood, the needs of children to have both a mother and a father (Pope Francis said that children have a right to both), and the ill effects of growing up without a father . . . “

For the full article, please visit Aleteia.

Pope Francis: Children Need a Mom and a Dad

Last Sunday, June 14, 2015, Pope Francis stressed the importance of children having both a mom and a dad, further emphasizing that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman:

ThinkstockPhotos-154331985Addressing around 25,000 followers from the Diocese of Rome, the pope said the differences between men and women are fundamental and “an integral part of being human.”

The pontiff likened a long-lasting marriage to a good wine, in which a husband and wife make the most of their gender differences.

“They’re not scared of the differences!” the pope said. “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other.”

Heterosexual marriages not only ensured couples’ happiness, the pontiff said, but were deemed essential for good parenting.

“Children mature seeing their father and mother like this; their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference,” Francis said.

Full article is available via Religion News Service

There is a Fundamental Marriage Right

In a recent article from The Public Discourse, Adam MacLeod, author of Property and Practical Reason, explains that there is not only a fundamental right to marriage, but that we, as Americans, have the responsibility to preserve it:

ThinkstockPhotos-168759151Adam Seagrave recently argued that there is no fundamental right to marry. He criticized Supreme Court decisions to the contrary on Lockean grounds. Fundamental rights are rooted in self-ownership, Seagrave argues, and are therefore inherently individual rights. The right to marry is not an individual right, is relatively new, and is inconsistent with America’s political tradition.

Whether or not Locke would approve of it, there is a fundamental marriage right. It is ancient, not recent. And it secures the integrity of the natural family. Seagrave’s resistance to the Court’s expansive substantive due process doctrine, which secures what Justice Brandeis called “conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness,” is laudable. But his proposal to dispose of the Court’s marriage jurisprudence would throw the baby—and the baby’s mother and father—out with the bathwater.

Like the rights to life, liberty, and property, which Seagrave affirms, the right of marriage is a so-called negative right—a liberty secured against outside interference by a perimeter of claim rights. It correlates with the duty of those outside the natural family, including the state, to abstain from interfering with marital and parental rights and duties, absent an adjudication of divorce, neglect, or abuse.

. . .

Nothing is more fundamental to our legal edifice than the ancient liberty of the natural family. The new right of “same-sex marriage” will undermine the rational bases for many of our positive laws governing marriage. But it cannot undermine the fundamental liberty of the biological family, because it cannot eliminate the natural rights and duties in which that liberty is grounded. We should preserve the fundamental marriage right for the sake of our communities and the rule of law.

Full article can be accessed by visiting The Public Discourse.

Senator Mike Lee: Defender of Marriage and Religious Liberty

Senator Mike Lee of Utah has become a champion for marriage and religious liberty. Last week, he gave an important speech at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center where he laid out the history and importance of religious liberty – noting that our constitution does not merely call for religious “tolerance” where diverse viewpoints are allowed, but it requires religious “liberty” and the freedom to live your life according to those beliefs.

He also discussed how the guarantee of religious liberty is being increasingly violated in various ways, including by radical anti-marriage activists who insist that supporters of marriage as uniquely between one man and one woman be punished and marginalized. Sen. Lee will be introducing legislation very soon to protect the right of Americans to be free of government harassment and punishment, legislation that will be a high priority for NOM.

Here are excerpts from his speech, courtesy of The Federalist:

Image credit: Republican60

Image credit: Republican60

We all know – and indeed, many of us are – individuals who have personally benefited from America’s commitment to religious liberty. But those benefits extend far, far beyond individual pilgrims’ progress. Every great social reform movement in American history – from abolition and Civil Rights, to the struggles for women’s equality and labor rights, to the pro-life movement today – has grown out of individual Americans’ religious convictions, and their constitutionally protected right to live them out. All Americans of all faiths – and those of none – have benefited equally from our nation’s unique commitment to religious liberty.

Religious liberty as it has been lived in America is not an accident of history, or a quirk of the law. It is nothing less than a culture-defining human achievement.

Yet recent events suggest it could be losing ground. The great American commitment to religious liberty and diversity may still be universally successful, but it is no longer universally shared. This turn toward intolerance, tragically, has been catalyzed by the campaign for legal recognition of gay marriages.

Like many Americans, I personally do not believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional requirement, or a federal prerogative, or even good policy for that matter. But today, those of us who hold these views cannot deny that our arguments are no longer winning the public debate.

Sometimes in a democracy, the other side wins.

Yet today, at the very moment this campaign appears to be on the brink of success – having appealed to the country with the principles of justice, tolerance, and equality – many within that movement find themselves tempted to abandon the principles and the people that have made them successful.

Most advocates of marriage equality are no more radical than most advocates of traditional marriage – just as most followers of Jesus are no more radical than most followers of Moses, Mohammed, and the Buddha.

. . .

We should never lose sight of the fact that the marriage equality movement is succeeding not by focusing on marriage, but by focusing on equality. Political conservatives and religious traditionalists may not like how the gay marriage debate is going. But it is no small thing that the gay marriage movement has succeeded in recent years only by adopting our principles – of tolerance, diversity, and equal opportunity.

It is those principles – not the parties currently enjoying their political resonance – that hold the high ground in this debate. And because those of us who believe in religious freedom hold those principles in our hearts – and not just in our political quiver – that high ground remains open to us.

The opportunity exists now – and it will expand if the Court rules as most expect it to – for Americans of good-will to come together to reinforce religious liberty, and to further protect and enrich the free space it inhabits.

To read the full text, please visit The Federalist.

Our Chairman Debates...and Delivers



Dear Marriage Supporter,

NOM's brilliant Chairman, Dr. John Eastman, delivered a stirring and powerful defense of marriage in a debate last week at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The debate was hosted by the group Intelligence Squared before an uber-liberal audience and was structured in such a way as to ensure that the "results" were pre-ordained: the position in support of same-sex 'marriage' would be declared the winner. Still, the exercise was quite illuminating as it replicated in many ways the debate that has occurred throughout the courts and before the US Supreme Court. Our side presented cogent arguments based on the constitution while those seeking to redefine marriage relied primarily on emotional appeals.

Dr. Eastman was joined by marriage scholar Sherif Girgis, co-author (with NOM's founding co-chair Professor Robert George) of the book, "What is Marriage? Man and Woman, A Defense" in a debate with two supporters of same-sex marriage.

It was a spirited discussion, but Dr. Eastman and Mr. Girgis clearly dominated, presenting cogent and persuasive arguments that the constitution of our nation does not prohibit traditional marriage laws. Their opponents made emotional and political arguments, waxing poetic about why, in their view, gay 'marriage' is the right position for Americans to embrace.

The issue that was debated was this statement: "The Equal Protection Clause Does Not Require States To License Same-sex Marriages." I encourage you to watch the entire debate. Dr. Eastman's remarks begin at approximately the 30 minute, 30 second mark of the broadcast.

Our opponents' position relies virtually entirely on emotion and political correctness. Evan Wolfson, head of the activist group Freedom to Marry made an entirely emotional argument throughout his remarks. He began his presentation with the claim (a false one) that over 60% of the American people support the "freedom to marry" for gay couples. Yet what does a political poll (even one falsely presented) have to do with what the constitution requires when it comes to defining marriage? No matter! This misperception of what the polling shows formed the basis of Wolfson's closing argument as well. In between he talked about his own same-sex 'marriage' as well as attending the gay 'wedding' of his sister. His argument was joined by one from Professor Kenji Yoshino of NYU School of Law who talked about his own marriage to a man, with whom he is raising two children. Professor Yoshino even pressed Dr. Eastman on several occasions to say whether he felt that gay sex was morally inferior to married heterosexual sex — as if that had anything to do with the constitutional issues involved in the marriage question. It was a classic attempt of the liberal left to paint supporters of traditional marriage as appearing to be unkind or, worse, 'hateful bigots' motivated by animus. Such an ad hominem line of attack is what debaters pursue when they have lost the argument on principle, as Wolfson and Yoshino did.

Even though the outcome of the audience vote was predetermined from the outset, it is still worth 90 minutes of your time to see how vacuous the arguments are from those who would abandon the institution of marriage which has existed since the very creation of humanity simply because they can produce some bogus polling data that suggests that they've fooled a majority of Americans into supporting the concept. Contrast this against the principled, reasoned arguments presented by Dr. Eastman and Mr. Girgis and you can see, in a nutshell, the issue presented to the US Supreme Court.

NOM Honors COGIC Leaders

Recently I had the great honor of presenting two distinguished awards to leaders of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) at their 65th annual Women's International Convention/Crusade in Minneapolis. Over 10,000 people were in attendance as I presented Bishop Charles Blake the "Outstanding Leadership Award" for his principled stand for faith, family and God's definition of marriage. Bishop Blake is the Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of COGIC. I also presented the "Mother for Marriage and Family" award to Mother Willie Mae Rivers, General Supervisor of the COGIC Department of Women. This award recognizes her great commitment to God's truth of marriage, her twelve children and women of faith around the world.

NOM Names Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers to Board of Directors

It is with great honor that I share the exciting news that Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers has joined NOM's Board of Directors. Dr. Rivers is the distinguished Director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church Studies at Harvard University. She is a highly-sought after speaker and lecturer and a strong defender of God's truth of marriage.

In a recent presentation at the Humanum Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman sponsored by the Vatican, Dr. Rivers told the gathered leaders of many of the world's religions, "Across the United States and Europe, sexual partnerships between persons of the same sex [and] of the same gender are being legally recognized as marriage, thus abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic partnerships or domestic companionship. The unavoidable message is a profoundly false and damaging one — that children do not need a mother and a father in a permanent and complementary bond... In the United States, those who promote what they call marriage equality have unjustly appropriated the language and mantle of the black struggle in the United States — the Civil Rights Movement. But there can be no equivalence between blacks' experience of slavery and oppression and the circumstances of homosexuals."

NOM was prominently represented at the Humanum Colloquium and hosted a dinner for friends and supporters. We look forward to working with Dr. Rivers to advance the cause of marriage and to deepen our relationship with people of faith of all colors.

Is the game rigged?

One of the foundational principles of the American judicial system is that those who judge a fellow citizen do so solely by impartially applying the facts of a given case to the law. It should not matter whether the participants are black or white, young or old, male or female — or support or oppose gay 'marriage.' Justice should be blind to such external factors. In fact, the very symbol representing our judicial system is a blindfolded Lady Justice holding a scale to balance the evidence.

But increasingly it appears that the judicial system is not unbiased when it comes to issues involving same-sex 'marriage.' In fact, there are deeply troubling signs of bias and possible corruption that cast grave doubt on whether the system has been rigged against supporters of true marriage.

The latest exposition of this, thanks to a great piece of investigative journalism by The Daily Signal news site, involves revelations that the government of Oregon's actions taken to punish a Christian couple who declined to bake a cake celebrating a gay 'wedding' may have been the improper result of extensive communication and collaboration between the pro-gay 'marriage' group Basic Rights Oregon and the government agency that charged Melissa and Aaron Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, with discrimination. The actions targeting this Christian couple effectively forced them out of business and a judge for the agency (the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry) has recommended that they be fined $135,000 for exercising their first amendment right to decline to participate in something they do not support.

The Daily Signal expose uncovered internal documents revealing an extensive series of meetings between the gay 'marriage' group and the government agency that raise serious questions about whether the agency was using the case against the Klein's to promote the agenda of Basic Rights Oregon. At the time, the gay 'marriage' group was attempting to qualify a measure to the ballot to repeal Oregon's Marriage Amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and also was supporting a federal court challenge seeking to overturn the amendment. The Commissioner in charge of the case, including deciding whether to accept the $135,000 fine recommendation, held meetings with the advocacy organization and issued statements critical of the Klein's. Moreover, he himself has donated money to attend various functions sponsored by Basic Rights Oregon.

Attorneys for the Klein's have filed motions asking for this matter to be investigated.

It's Up To Us To Share The Truth

Our mission at NOM to preserve marriage and the faith traditions that sustain it will not cease when the US Supreme Court issues their ruling later this month no matter what they decide. If anything our work will become more important in the wake of this ruling.

If you would like to become a better-informed individual about the issues surrounding preserving marriage, please check our blog daily. We post a great deal of content that will educate and inform you.

And if you are able, please make a financial donation to help us continue our work fighting for the truth of marriage. Our work continues day in and day out, in good times and in bad, no matter the obstacles or challenges. With your support and prayers, we will continue to fight the good fight — and we will prevail!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


They're fighting with all their might - We Must Fight Harder!

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Over the next 16 months, hundreds of millions of dollars are going to pour into campaign war chests of the men and women vying for the American presidency. Many of them are going to use that money to paint a picture of themselves that they think the American people will respond to. That's politics as usual, unfortunately. But let me speak bluntly: the cause of marriage needs a president who will be a champion, not someone who will only "talk the talk," or worse, work to actively undermine this most important institution that is the foundation of our society.

You see, no matter what the US Supreme Court decides later this month, after eight disastrous years of Barack Obama as president, we need someone who will boldly and honorably support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We need the next president to use the "bully pulpit" to rally the American people. We need legislation enacted to protect people from harassment and punishment simply for speaking out in support of marriage. We need a president who will take the issue of religious liberty seriously. And if, God forbid, the Supreme Court illegitimately decides to concoct a constitutional "right" to same-sex marriage, we need a president who is committed to working with us to reverse such a decision, including committing to appoint pro-marriage justices to the Supreme Court.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) urgently needs to expand our membership base to mobilize Americans across the country to ensure that the next president is a pro-marriage champion. Over 50 million Americans have voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and these people need a group to be their voice. We are that voice.

Make sure your voice is heard. Become a Member Now!

NOM members are a community of courageous men and women who are standing firm in the face of loud, strident activism from the left that cares more about fulfilling the sexual desires of adults than they do about what is best for children and society. Our members come from every walk of life, many religious traditions, small towns and major cities — anywhere Americans can be found, NOM's members are there!

We have 50,000 dues paying members today, but we must increase that to 100,000 by December 31. Why? Because a strong membership makes our voice that much louder and more important when we are defending marriage. And when it comes to being able to influence the outcome of a presidential contest, the more members we have, the more effective we can be. Starting in January, the presidential nominating process will move very rapidly. We won't have time to recruit new members then — we will need to be mobilizing them in state after state to make a difference.

We know that informed members are able to help us take our pro-marriage message to every corner of America, so we make sure you have resources. As a member, you'll receive a copy of the book, "What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense," co-authored by Robert P. George, PhD., NOM's co-founder and a highly-influential professor at Princeton where he is the Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

Claim your membership gifts today. Donate Today!

Additionally, you'll receive a membership card, weekly email updates, our newsletter and a bumper sticker — all for a membership donation of just $35 or more.

Each new member that joins NOM allows us to increase our efforts to advocate for the truth of marriage. You will help us fight for marriage in the halls of power, in the courts and in the court of public opinion. You will help us organize massive public defenses of marriage like our March for Marriage that brought over 15,000 people to our nation's capitol just a few weeks ago. Wherever and whenever activists attempt to undermine the truth of marriage, you will help us be there to defend what God created and what has served our nation so well — marriage, the union of one man and one woman.

Join the growing movement for marriage! Become a member right now!

It takes courage to stand up against a loud, vocal group of elites from academia, corporate boardrooms, Hollywood and the media that insists that they alone know what is best for our beloved country. That claims to represent all of us. That demands we forsake the truth of marriage, a core institution of our society.

You may have felt you are alone in your conviction that marriage is — and must remain — a union of one man and one woman. But when you join NOM today, you will become part of a vibrant movement of Americans who are standing together to protect our cherished and deeply held institution of marriage.

Stand for Truth. Stand for Freedom. Stand for Marriage. Become a member today and help us fight for a tomorrow where the truth of marriage still stands firm.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. Don't forget that your membership of just $35 will be acknowledged with your own copy of "What is Marriage?" as well as a membership card, weekly email updates, newsletters and a bumper sticker.

Please don't let the only voices heard in America be those who oppose marriage. Join NOM today by giving the most generous gift you can and help us fight every day for the truth of marriage. Thank you.

Same-sex Marriage Is Not Mandated By the 14th Amendment

The core issue being examined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case that seeks to impose same-sex ‘marriage’ on the nation, is whether the U.S. Constitution requires that marriage laws be gender-neutral. Two constitutional scholars examine this issue, and in a powerful and thoughtful piece, conclude that the case for redefining marriage is “pathetically weak”:

The opinion by Judge Sutton of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — upholding traditional marriage against five challenges in four states — begins with a remarkable observation that should have resolved the case in that once sentence, but did not. Judge Sutton points out that “[n]obody in this case ... argues that the people who adopted the Fourteenth Amendment understood it to require the States to change the definition of marriage.” DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F.3d 388, 403 (6th Cir. 2014) (emphasis added).

ThinkstockPhotos-78811350Laymen logically deduce that if the Fourteenth Amendment as written had nothing to do with same-sex marriage, that’s the end of the matter. After all, Justice Douglas succinctly described the Amendment in his autobiography: “The Fourteenth Amendment was passed to give blacks first-class citizenship.”

But for those lawyers who want unelected judges to set the public policy of our nation, it simply doesn’t matter what the Framers intended. And neither does it matter to many judges who are all too willing to give effect to their own political views. Discovering the “authorial intent” of the Framers is only a small part of their concern — a step they sometimes skip over entirely.

Recently, Justice Alito observed that “[s]ame-sex marriage presents a highly emotional ... question ... but not a difficult question of constitutional law.” [United States v. Windsor, 570 US, 133 S.Ct. 2675, 2714 (2013) (Alito, J., dissenting)]:

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to enter into a same-sex marriage. Indeed, no provision of the Constitution speaks to the issue. It is beyond dispute that the right to same-sex marriage is not deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition. [Id. at 2714-15.]

Therefore, Justice Alito explained that challengers to traditional marriage:

seek ... not the protection of a deeply rooted right but the recognition of a very new right, and they seek this innovation not from a legislative body elected by the people, but from unelected judges. [Id. at 2715.]

If we are now considering a new right, one could legitimately ask when and where did this new right come from.

You can read the full article via Aleteia.