NOM BLOG

Gay British Critics on Redefining Marriage: "A Disastrous Miscalculation"

The Christian Institute reports:

London, UKSame-sex marriage"fundamentally changes" the definition of the institution and only a few homosexual "protesters" even wanted the change, two gay commentators have said.

Art critic Brian Sewell and newspaper columnist Andrew Pierce made their comments as the first same-sex weddings in the UK took place on Saturday.

The article continues:

[Sewell] commented that British society is “rooted” in Christianity, and that most homosexuals "are happy to respect the deeply held belief of sincere, thoughtful and informed Christians" who support marriage between one man and one woman.

[...]

Pierce said... the introduction of same-sex marriage was "politically, a disastrous miscalculation".

He commented that politicians "offended millions of people by arrogantly redefining the meaning of the relationship between a man and a woman that has been the bedrock of society for thousands of years.

"They also placed the Church in an invidious position by suggesting it had a moral duty to perform gay marriage ceremonies when vast numbers of clergy and ordinary church-goers are opposed to them."

Read the full article.

Thank World Vision for Standing for Marriage!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

This week, World Vision, under pressure from radical gay activists, indicated that it would be changing its policies to allow the hiring of individuals engaged in homosexual 'marriages,' despite the organization's core commitment to engaging staff that bear witness to Christian values — including the value of the sanctity of marriage between a husband and wife.

Very quickly, though, the organization's leadership changed course and decided instead to stand up to the same-sex 'marriage' bullies and to stand by its guiding principles and the values of its many supporters: on Wednesday the board voted unanimously to continue to "stand on the traditional belief on the authority of Scripture."

Immediately following the decision, World Vision's President, Richard Stearns, wrote to supporters saying, "We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness." He went on, saying:

In our board's effort to unite around the church's shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.'s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith ... We also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian Partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.

World Vision needs and deserves our thanks! Click here to send a note of appreciation to World Vision's leadership for standing firmly behind the Christian value of marriage as the union of husband and wife.

The National Organization for Marriage is joining together with The Manhattan Declaration and Christian Union, along with many other pro-family organizations, to support World Vision for its courage in the face of what must be intense pressure from the same-sex 'marriage' lobby. We know too well how intolerant and vicious the activists out to redefine marriage and family can be.

This is why it is so important, when an organization like World Vision stands up bravely against such pressures, to express our admiration and thanks. Won't you join me today in encouraging World Vision to remain firm in its commitment to marriage and its foundational Christian beliefs?

We also want to spread the word about this momentous demonstration of courage and commitment, using all means available.

Along with the Manhattan Declaration and Christian Union, we have launched a Facebook page called World Vision Standing for Marriage, and we are encouraging everyone to like this page and to share it with their friends.

Please visit the page today, and post a word of encouragement and support.

Standing up for marriage can be difficult in today's world, as you and I very well know. That is why it is so important to stand together with those who have the courage of their convictions to speak up boldly for marriage as God designed it.

Let us all pray for one another and for World Vision as we stand together to witness before our culture to the immense good of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Is President Obama Using the Crisis in Crimea to Punish Russian Christians?

A recent LifeSiteNews article by Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D. should have Christians the world over very worried about the actions of President Obama and his Administration.  In America we have seen his very active efforts to impose genderless marriage on all the states and the Department of Justice’s actions against our First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.  However, now Mr. Obama has taken his attack on the Christian view of marriage across the globe.

ObamaAs part of the sanctions the Obama Administration has imposed on Russia for their adventurism in Crimea, the White House published a list of Russian officials impacted by the sanctions.  However, there is one name on the list that has many people scratching their heads - Yelena Mizulina, chair of the Russian Duma’s Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Affairs, and a staunch defender of the Christian view of marriage.

The official White House press release, titled “Fact Sheet: Ukraine-Related Sanctions,” states that the sanctions are a “response to the Russian government’s actions contributing to the crisis in Ukraine.”  Yet in the description of the alleged crimes of the sanctioned Russian individuals, Ms. Mizulina is simply described as being sanctioned  “for her status as a State Duma Deputy."

"President Obama is using the economic sanctions against Yelena Mizulina to send a very clear message to Russian Christians," Fr. Maxim Obukhov, the father of the Russian pro-life movement, told LifeSiteNews. "There is much talk about a cold war, but President Obama has openly declared war upon Christians who oppose the culture of death both at home and abroad."

National Organization for Marriage Expresses Gratitude for World Vision’s Reaffirmation of the Sanctity of Marriage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 26, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"Today's reversal is cause for celebration and congratulation. World Vision has listened to their supporters and congregations worldwide and chosen to stand by the Christian truth of marriage in spite of what must be immense pressure from the radical same-sex 'marriage' lobby." — Brian Brown, NOM President —

nom_logo

Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage today expressed gratitude to World Vision's Leadership and Board for reaffirming the sanctity of marriage and the pivotal importance of marriage to Christian tradition and life.

"The Christian view of marriage clearly holds that it is the union of one man and one woman," said Brian Brown, NOM President. "It was for this reason that many were dismayed earlier this week by the news that World Vision was compromising its stance upon this Biblical value by a new policy that would recognize the validity of 'marriage' between same-sex persons. Today's reversal is cause for celebration and congratulation. World Vision has listened to their supporters and congregations worldwide and chosen to stand by the Christian truth of marriage in spite of what must be immense pressure from the radical same-sex 'marriage' lobby."

World Vision's website explains that the organization will "bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. We will maintain our identity as Christian while being sensitive to the diverse contexts in which we express that identity." Brown identified this as the crux of the tension that erupted earlier in the week.

"World Vision expects those it engages as staff to live by the Christian principles and teachings to which the organization was founded to bear witness," Brown explained. "This is why so many people were upset by the organization's proposal to begin hiring staff who had participated in same-sex 'marriages.' The truth of the Christian message is that love for all and respect for God's will in marriage are not exclusive propositions: they can, indeed they must, coincide. True love for all of God's children means recognizing and holding sacred God's plan for the human family."

The National Organization for Marriage is joining with Christian Union and The Manhattan Declaration in encouraging their supporters to visit http://www.facebook.com/WorldVisionStandingforMarriage and express appreciation for the Board's decision.

###

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Michigan's Catholic Bishops: Judge's decision "strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature"

The Catholic bishops of the seven archdioceses and dioceses of Michigan released a statement Friday responding to the decision by federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman finding Michigan's Marriage Amendment unconstitutional - a decision they called "most regrettable."

Bishop CassockThe statement is posted on the site of the Michigan Catholic Conference, and reads in part:

Today’s decision from federal district court Judge Bernard Friedman to redefine the institution of marriage by declaring Michigan’s Marriage Amendment unconstitutional strikes at the very essence of family, community and human nature. In effect, this decision advances a misunderstanding of marriage, and mistakenly proposes that marriage is an emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the dictates of culture and the wants of adults.

[...]

Going forward, we, the Catholic bishops of this state, working through the Michigan Catholic Conference, will collaborate with those who are upholding Michigan’s Marriage Amendment and adoption statute and will assist to the greatest extent possible efforts to appeal Judge Friedman’s most regrettable ruling.

Read the full statement here.

Three Ways to Get Involved

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I've been asked by some people why I'm leading the effort to have another March for Marriage this year. They wonder why it is important, and what this event means for the marriage movement.

I have explained to them that the essential purpose behind the March for Marriage is to send a clear and vital message to marriage advocates nationwide, and particularly to the many young people around our nation who may sometimes feel rather alone in holding on to the values of marriage and family passed down to them in their upbringing.

That message is: Countless millions of your fellow citizens SHARE your values! Take heart and stand with them!

While much of the talk and effort in the marriage movement naturally focuses on our leaders occupying the halls of power and the ivory towers shaping public opinion from within the media and the academy, here in America we believe in the strength of the ordinary citizen to change society for the better.

The greatest political storm flutters only a fringe of humanity, but an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children will literally alter the destiny of nations. — GK Chesterton

As a result, I firmly believe that the greatest asset in the marriage fight is you — you, your family, and the many individuals, families, and organizations that share your values.

The path to victory for marriage and for the protection of kids' rights to both a mother and a father does not begin on Wall Street or Pennsylvania Avenue, but on Main Street. What we need in this movement — now more than ever — is for the American people to rally behind this good and noble cause. And in order to do that marriage supporters everywhere need to be encouraged and supported to stand up and speak out on behalf of marriage by the knowledge that they are not alone. The March for Marriage is our way of giving them that encouragement and support.

The 2014 March for Marriage is just about three months away — June 19 — and just as NOM is busy planning for this great event, it is important for you today to consider how you can become engaged and help make this milestone a success.

So please allow me to share with you three ideas of ways you can get involved today.

Spread the Word!

Next Wednesday, March 26th, NOM and our coalition partners for the March for Marriage are going to take to social media and try to generate some buzz so that people can become informed about the March and begin planning to attend or to support the effort in some other way.

We're #Marching4Marriage on June 19th, and we're going to let the world know why!

Next Wednesday is the anniversary of the fateful hearing in the case of Perry v. Hollingsworth — the Proposition 8 case. On that day, the voices and values of the voters of California were put on trial before the Supreme Court. And unfortunately, when the decision came down, those voices and values were silenced by the activist judges of lower courts.

It is an outrage to think how, in California and elsewhere, citizens have had their will ignored and overturned by self-interested elites in league with a powerful lobby funneling big money from Hollywood into their campaign coffers.

And as these pro-marriage voters have been relegated to second-class citizenship status behind a privileged and protected class of bullies, insult has been added to the injury: not only have they been told to shut up and get out of the way, but they've been called names while being shoved to the sidelines — they've been called bigots and haters and worse.

Bakers, photographers, florists, and others have been dragged into court and told that sacrificing their beliefs and betraying their consciences is "the price of citizenship.” Kids in schools have had to hear their parents' values insulted and smeared by intolerant ideologues, and have been sent to the principal's office for exercising their rights of free speech. Military chaplains have seen a culture of intimidation and fear built up around their office, and the attention they pay to the men and women they serve has been divided by the need to watch over their shoulder for the lurking P.C. police.

All of these things and more add to the litany of reasons we're #Marching4Marriage:

  • We're #Marching4Marriage because kids deserve a mom and a dad.

  • We're #Marching4Marriage because citizens' values demand a voice.

  • We're #Marching4Marriage because it's not bigotry to acknowledge biological fact.

  • We're #Marching4Marriage because running a business shouldn't mean shutting the door on your beliefs.

  • We're #Marching4Marriage because marriage is the very foundation on which our society stands.

How about you? What reasons could you add?

Join us next Wednesday, and share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter! Follow the hashtag #Marching4Marriage, and use that hashtag to let us know why you're marching for marriage, too!

Your help in spreading the word is vital to this effort. So please share the news about this event and let's make sure everyone knows why we're #Marching4Marriage on June 19th!

Become a Bus Captain!

A second way you can start planning to be involved in the March is by planning and facilitating a bus to bring people to the March.

If you want more information on how to do this, it's as simple as clicking this link and sending us an email. We'll get back to you with some materials that should help you plan and promote your effort.

This information will include specific schedule and location information and a host of other details you'll need to successfully organize a trip!

But in the meantime, I want to help demystify what might seem to you to be too big a task. Remember, don't be discouraged — you can do it!

Here are some ideas that will help get your mind on the right track:

  • Think of bus-trips you've been on in the past: how did they do it? Do you know the organizers? Can they help put you in touch with a good reliable bus company?

  • Ask local churches or schools, the kinds of folks that probably have experience planning trips, and see if they can give you some tips and advice.

  • Consider contacting your travel agent for some guidance.

  • If you're a do-it-yourself type, make sure to search for multiple bus companies and get competing quotes — and always be sure to read the reviews!

Once you've found a bus you might want to use, you need to fill it and fund it! So...

  • Talk to a local group or church you're involved with and ask if you can post a sign-up sheet or give out some fliers; and see if anyone else involved is interested in helping you coordinate!

  • Ask the church or group if there's an opportunity to help underwrite the cost of the bus, or at least help fundraise.

  • Try to find out if a local religious radio station or publication or some local faithful business leaders would consider helping you promote your bus or even help sponsor it to save on costs.

  • Consider starting an online group — maybe on Facebook (click to find out how) to help keep track of everything.

Remember: as I said above, I know this can seem like a big task. But you can do it! I hope you'll consider taking the bull by the horns and becoming a leader in your community for this important cause!

Take Advantage of Lobby Day!

On the day of the March, we're also providing a chance for those able to stay in town a couple extra hours to visit with their elected officials and their staff to speak about marriage. The National Marriage Lobby Day will start at about 2:30 in the afternoon on the 19th after the March itself is wrapped up.

If you want more information about Lobby Day, send us an email with your full address information so we can figure out who you'd be meeting with and we will get back to you with more details about this exciting opportunity.

Remember, we'll need your full name, street address, city, state, and zip code to help begin planning for your attendance at Lobby Day. Your cell phone number would be very helpful as well,
particularly during Lobby Day itself.

If you can't make it to D.C. for the March, you can also request a lobbying packet that you can use locally in your area — just send us an email with the request!

I hope you'll consider taking part in this exciting new initiative!

Please generously consider these three ways of being involved in helping the March for Marriage to be a great success.

This is our best way of showing the American people that the marriage movement is still vibrant in our country, and that those who stand in defense of the simple common-sense wisdom that marriage is the union of one man and one woman are not going away.

I hope, in particular, that you'll join us next Wednesday, on March 26th, in telling the world via social media why we're #Marching4Marriage again this year! Which reminds me...

There is one reason that I did not mention above about why I'm marching for marriage, and I would be remiss if I didn't add it here: it's you.

I'm #Marching4Marriage because it is quite frankly my honor and privilege to stand with you and countless others like you around our nation: good, courageous patriots who have remained strong in this most important cultural and political battle.

I am deeply grateful for that honor, and I look forward to Marching with you.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

National Marriage Lobby Day!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I wrote you a few weeks back letting you know that on June 19, 2014 NOM will be hosting the second annual March for Marriage in Washington, DC. And, this year, we have added an extremely exciting component to the day: Marriage Lobby Day!

In the afternoon following the March, starting at 2:30, we are organizing the opportunity for Marchers from all around the country to meet with their Senator, Representative or their staff!

Won't you please support Marriage Lobby Day on June 19th and all of NOM's lobbying efforts to give voice to your values in defense of marriage by making a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 today?

Last year's tremendously successful March brought thousands of marriage champions to the nation's capitol the day the Supreme Court was hearing arguments in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases. We sent a clear message to the powers that be in Washington that Americans believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and that children deserve both a mom and a dad. The voices and presence of several thousand marriage champions echoed through the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court that day.

This year, potentially thousands of marriage supporters from all over the country will have the chance to meet with their federal Senators and Representatives to tell them about the importance of defending marriage, religious liberty and the rule of law.

If you are planning to come to the March for Marriage and would like to participate in the Lobby Day, please respond to this email and include your full name, street address, city, state, zip code and (optionally) your cell phone to help us coordinate activities on the day of the events.

What's more... the tens of thousands of supporters who sign up to participate in our virtual march (another new component of this year's March program) will have the opportunity to request their own lobbying packet, allowing them to continue the impact of the Marriage Lobby Day throughout the summer and year.

You see, last year the Supreme Court gave us something of a split decision in the Windsor case involving DOMA. While tragically invalidating a section of DOMA that defined marriage under federal law, the Court reaffirmed that marriage is and always has been in the purview of the states to regulate and define.

This gives us a new impetus to our already vibrant defense of marriage in the states and at the federal level! And since the vast majority of states already define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, we continue to engage the battle from a position of strength!

Unfortunately, the Obama administration and federal judges across the country are doing everything in their power — including ignoring the plain words of last summer's Supreme Court decisions — to impose same-sex marriage on everyone nationwide.

The number one way marriage champions can stem this lawless onslaught is to demand that their elected representatives pass legislation that not only protects marriage and the right of states to define the institution as they deem fit, but to also protect our fundamental First Amendment rights.

Right now there are several bills before Congress that would accomplish these things, and NOM wants to make this incredible opportunity to lobby Congress on June 19th available to as many people as so desire.

Won't you please support NOM's efforts to fight back against the disregard of the Obama administration and federal judges for marriage and the values of millions of American citizens through a generous contribution to support our lobbying efforts?

The administration and its allies' reckless disregard for the voices and votes of so many millions of Americans is raising our concern over the future of marriage to a whole new level.

Fortunately, we've already received strong signals from the Supreme Court that this sort of lawlessness won't be tolerated as the entire bench moved to stay a decision striking down Utah's state marriage amendment. That decision, along with decisions by federal courts in Oklahoma, Virginia, and other states, is under appeal.

The marriage debate in America did not end last year — or this year with its sled of outrageous judicial rulings. No...the fight over marriage is still very much alive. And that is because people like you continue to be willing to take to the streets, to stand up in the public square, and to voice your values in the halls of power!

Won't you please support NOM's lobbying efforts all across the country by making a generous donation today?

The need for energetic grassroots demonstrations of support for marriage is greater today than ever.

Elected officials are accountable to their constituents, so meetings like this always make an impact... it's something we need to do more often... especially in light of judiciaries and executives at both the state and federal level abandoning their duties and oaths!

The forces arrayed against us in this fight — who will stop at nothing in advancing their agenda of imposing genderless marriage on America — are ever more emboldened. That's why we need to mobilize thousands of Americans just like you. You and I can make a critical difference in this fight!

I hope you can join me in person this summer at the March for Marriage and Marriage Lobby Day, or at least will be able to stand with us through our Virtual March and its associated activities. To receive more information as June 19th approaches, please visit www.marriagemarch.org and sign up.

And remember, if you want to participate in Lobby Day while you're in DC on the 19th for the March, reply to this email with your full contact information so we can make arrangements for you.

We're in this fight together — and together we'll make a difference! Thank you for standing up for marriage!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Calendar Reflections

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Happy Pi Day!

CNN reports, "Across the country, math geeks in museums, schools, private groups and elsewhere gather to celebrate the number pi, approximately 3.14. That's why March 14 — 3-14 — is Pi Day."

The article adds the interesting factoid that today is also, coincidentally, the anniversary of the birth of the great scientist Albert Einstein.

You probably remember from school that Pi is an "irrational" number. Reflecting on the meaning of Pi Day reminds me of other dates fast approaching, days which also mark anniversaries of things irrational. But unlike in mathematics, when it comes to philosophy and politics, irrationality is not a trait to be celebrated or enjoyed.

I'm referring to March 26 and 27, which will respectively mark the one-year anniversaries of the hearings of oral arguments by the Supreme Court in the Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. US cases, better known as the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.

On those days, irrationality prevailed over everyday common sense and ancient wisdom. The Justices decided in those two cases first that the voters of California did not have standing to defend their interests in court, and second that the federal government did not have a reasonable interest in protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

An Important Case to Watch

This year, within days of the fateful anniversaries of those two Supreme Court cases which implicated matters of religious liberties and other essential first amendment rights, the very same topics will once again be under consideration by our high court.

On Friday, March 21st, the Supreme Court will meet in conference to consider whether they will hear the case of Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock. This is an important case to watch. SCOTUSblog.com made it yesterday's "Petition of the Day."

The "issue" in the case, as reported by SCOTUSblog, is "Whether applying a state public-accommodations statute to require a photographer to create expressive images and picture-books conveying messages that conflict with her religious beliefs violates the First Amendment's ban on compelled speech."

Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing Elane Photography, provide this essential and more complete background:

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on August 22, 2013 against our clients, Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography, stating that there is a "price" to pay for their faith — and it involves "compromising" their beliefs. Our legal opponents have effectively argued that if you want to do business in this country — keep your faith out of it. Now, the New Mexico Supreme Court has further illustrated the continuing clash between religious freedom and an ongoing effort to force political correctness on American citizens.

In 2006, Elaine declined to use her artistic expression to communicate the story of a same-sex ceremony for Vanessa Willock. Willock found another photographer, but nevertheless filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, which issued an order for Elaine and Jonathan to pay $6,637 to the two women who filed the complaint.

You'll recall that I've discussed the chilling decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court with you before. We will watch closely to see whether the Supreme Court decides to take up this pivotal case; and thereafter, whether they will decide similarly that violating one's conscience and turning one's back on deeply held religious beliefs is simply "the price of citizenship." Let us hope not!

A Coincidence of Dates

A few days after meeting in Conference, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two consolidated cases focusing on the issue of religious liberty: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.

These cases will be heard on March 25th — almost a year to the day after the Supreme Court took up the question of Proposition 8 in California. Lower courts had decided, in the case of Prop 8, that the voters who had taken action to protect marriage were motivated by animus and bigotry. In effect, the lower courts had maintained that people's right to express and stand up for their deeply held beliefs — a right protected by the constitution — was the legal equivalent of racism and bigotry!

Both of the Sebelius cases this year involve Christian business owners who claim that the HHS's so-called "contraception mandate" runs afoul of their protected First Amendment rights, and impinges on their liberty to conduct business as people of faith in accord with deeply held beliefs.

The theme may sound familiar — or at least it should. Recently Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal spoke at a Reagan Foundation Forum event about the "Silent War on Religious Freedom" waging in our country. He cited cases like these going before the Supreme Court as well as cases like Elane Photography as examples of one-and-the-same trend.

We have known and warned for years that the aggressive same-sex 'marriage' lobby was intent on driving people of faith out of the public square altogether. NOM's very mission statement expresses this understanding — our mission is "to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it."

The odd coincidental near-anniversary of the question of religious liberty returning to the Supreme Court demonstrates in an emphatic way that the issue hasn't gone away — which serves to remind us that we need more than ever to stand up and demand that our rights be respected!

And that brings to mind another anniversary that will be marked this month…

Marching for Marriage

It was a year ago this month that thousands of pro-marriage supporters from every walk of life gathered on the National Mall for the first annual March for Marriage.

Well, as I've mentioned before, we're marching again this yearon June 19th, 2014!

Mark your calendars and plan to join us in Washington, DC on June 19th for this exciting event. Begin planning now so that you can come out and be part of what we hope will be an even bigger March for Marriage. Bookmark www.MarriageMarch.org and check back for updates on this summer's event, and be sure to mark your calendar today.

But I also want to invite you to take part in a social media event in just a few days. On the anniversary of last year's March — that is, on the 26th of this month — we're going to take social media by storm and let people know why we're #Marching4Marriage again this year!

Here's some ways you can participate:

  • Make a meme or graphic for Facebook explaining why you're #Marching4Marriage this June.

  • Tweet about why you'll be #Marching4Marriage.

  • Record a 7-second Vine video and tell the world why #Marching4Marriage is so important.

  • Follow the #Marching4Marriage hashtag on Facebook and Twitter, and retweet and share the posts so that we can get it trending and expand our outreach.

Be sure to share:

  • The date of the March — June 19, 2014;

  • The location — our nation's capital, Washington, DC; and,

  • The website — www.MarriageMarch.org.

The debate over marriage is still a very live and very important topic in our country, a year after the Supreme Court first took up the issue.

Concern over religious liberty and the rights of people of faith to live lives in accord with their conscience is, if anything, even more significant now in 2014.

So that's why NOM and our allies from around the country will be #Marching4Marriage this summer — and I hope sincerely that you will make plans to join us!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

GOP Chair Priebus: "There should be no confusion about where we stand."

In a small impromptu presser at CPAC this past weekend, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus reiterated the Republican Party's official commitment to the value of marriage.

Via LifeSiteNews.com:

Priebus also said that the GOP is “a party that believes marriage ought to be between one man and one woman. That's our party platform, and it's a position I've never backed away from. What I have said, though, is that we need to treat each other with grace, dignity, and respect. And that's not code language. It comes out of the New Testament. And so there should be no confusion about where we stand, and so that's where we are.”

This isn't the first time Chairman Priebus has unabashedly reaffirmed this commitment. We know that that isn't always easy to do, and so NOM wants Mr. Priebus to know that his steadfast advocacy for marriage is appreciated. Please, if you haven't already done so, click here to send a note of thanks and support to Chairman Priebus for continuing to lead the Republican party in its pro-marriage commitment.

Priebus Quote

Dr. Ben Carson at CPAC: "I will continue to defy the P.C. police"

At CPAC this past weekend, Dr. Ben Carson gave a rousing speech to those in attendance in which he defiantly declared his support for marriage despite the "P.C. police" who he says try to silence that point of view.  Here's a snippet of what he had to say [emphasis added]:

As you know, I am not a fan of political correctness; I hate political correctness. I will continue ... [applause] I will continue to defy the P.C. police [cheers] who have tried in many cases to shut me up. You know, I actually find them pretty amusing. [Laughter] You know? I mean, still believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. [Cheers and applause].

[...]

Of course, gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don't get extra rights: they don't get to redefine marriage.

Kudos to this brave leader for his continued moral leadership and his courage in standing up for the value of marriage.

Watch his full speech here:

A Major #Fail

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Despite being grammatically incorrect, our culture has officially made the verb "fail" into a noun, and the expression seems here to stay.

It pops up on social media all the time: a major political gaffe or celebrity embarrassment, for example, is labeled a major #fail, as occurred at the recent Oscar ceremony with John Travolta's unfortunate pronunciation of artist Idina Menzel's name. Well, just a few days ago we witnessed a huge #fail of much more consequence in our national public discourse on marriage and religious liberty, and that's the top headline in this week's marriage news.

Hate and Ignorance Always Go Hand-in-Hand

It's axiomatic that hatred is born of misunderstanding and ignorance. This is true of personal hatred, but it's also true of ideological enmity and the hatred of an idea.

Over the past two weeks media elites, politicians, activists, and opinion writers were climbing over one another to reach the heights of histrionics in their expression of hatred for a bill in Arizona: SB 1062, a bill that aimed to clarify the state's existing statutory religious liberty protections.

The bill was unfortunately vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday of last week, who caved to the pressures being leveraged by those screaming misinformation and lies all over the media.

National Review editor Rich Lowry penned a piece for Politico magazine entitled "Brewer's Foolish Veto" in which he notes how "[t]he bill was the subject of a truly awe-inspiring tsunami of poorly informed indignation."

Lowry goes on:

If you'll excuse a brief, boring break from the hysteria to dwell on the text of the doomed bill, it stipulated that the word "person" in the law applies to businesses and that the protections of the law apply whether or not the government is directly a party to a proceeding (e.g., a lawsuit brought on anti-discrimination grounds).

Eleven legal experts on religious freedom statutes — who represent a variety of views on gay marriage — wrote a letter to Gov. Brewer prior to her veto explaining how the bill "has been egregiously misrepresented by many of its critics."

The utter deluge of misinformation that, to use Lowry's term, "doomed" the bill in Arizona was really unprecedented. It was a picture out of Orwell's 1984, like the scene of the "Two Minutes Hate," when everyone in Oceana is forced to watch a film and express their hatred of the enemies of Big Brother — even though no one really knows why they're expected to have such hatred.

As Lowry notes, "For critics of the Arizona bill, the substance was almost an afterthought. They recoiled at the very idea that someone might have moral objections to homosexuality or gay marriage" [emphasis added].

The bill's critics seemed to have not even taken the time to read it before issuing their condemnations; or, if they did read it, they made the deliberate and conscious decision to willfully misunderstand it.

Ryan Anderson, at The Foundry blog, explains more about the major #fail of the media in approaching this bill [emphasis added]:

The headline reads "A License to Discriminate." And the New York Times editorial board goes on to claim that Arizona has just passed "noxious measures to give businesses and individuals the broad right to deny services to same-sex couples in the name of protecting religious liberty." The Times got it wrong. The proposed legislation never even mentions same-sex couples; it simply clarifies and improves existing state protections for religious liberty. And as the multitude of lawsuits against the coercive HHS mandate and the cases of photographers, florists and bakers show, we need protection for religious liberty now more than ever.

Ryan boils his argument down to very simple points that one would think could be understood even by the Twittering classes eating up drivel like the Times editorial. "What the Times dubs "discrimination" is in actuality simply liberty," Ryan writes. And, "Freedom is a two way street. [...][I]t requires allowing others to do or not do things that we might choose differently for ourselves."

Another lengthy exposition of the bill and a clearing of the air of the manifest confusions surrounding it was laudably attempted by The Christian Post, but perhaps the authors gave too much credit to the bill's critics by thinking they actually wanted to think through the matter and reason about it.

The Orwellian groupthink had too strong a hold to be penetrated by such insights. Even the well-reasoned opinions of a cadre of eminent legal scholars couldn't disabuse Governor Brewer of her misunderstanding which led her to veto the bill, when they urged her: "Whatever judgment you pass on SB 1062, you should not be misled by uninformed critics."

Misled she was, and so SB 1062 has suffered defeat. But religious liberty has suffered the real blow here: and the many bakers, photographers, florists and others who provide wedding services in Arizona woke up last week to weakened protections of their most basic first amendment rights.

Some Folks Governor Brewer Should Meet

At The Foundry, Kelsey Harris put together a special piece entitled, "Four Businesses Whose Owners Were Penalized for Their Religious Beliefs." She explained that, amidst the debate of SB 1062, it was worth taking some time to "look... back at some of the ways that religious beliefs have come under attack in the public square in recent years."

She covers the cases of Elaine Photography, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Arlene's Flowers: all examples of those who have been targeted because of their religious values and subjected to harassment by gay activists because they declined to celebrate same-sex 'weddings.'

I say "celebrate," because I think that's the most respectful way to refer to what wedding service providers do. Often, these folks are in the business they're in because they appreciate the joy weddings bring: they enjoy celebrating along with the couples they serve and celebrating the good of marriage.

These people are artists, too. Anyone who has seen one of the many TV shows about bakers knows the amazing gifts and talents involved in that form of art, and anyone who compared their wedding photo album to their own holiday shots can appreciate the huge difference.

This raises a very common sense question that isn't brought up a lot in these debates: can good art be compelled and forced under duress? And even if it could, is that what anyone would really want? Who but a dictator could enjoy a wedding cake made under duress?

Yet the same-sex 'marriage' activists who target these businesses (when surely there are other providers available to them who might not have the same religious objections) want to compel these people to use their artistic gifts and talents to celebrate 'marriages' against their consciences and in violation of deeply held beliefs! And now Governor Brewer, with her veto, has in some ways sanctioned the courts to assist these activists in compelling such people's participation!

No More #Fails Moving Forward

As the marriage movement goes forward, there are three things we need to do in order to stop these kinds of failures in public discourse:

  1. We need to focus on the faces and the stories of the people who are really affected by the fallout of marriage redefinition.

  2. We need to elect better public servants and hold them accountable, and not consent to be crowded out of the conversation.

  3. We need to educate ourselves, our friends, and our families as to the truth of the debate and not be cowed by the histrionics of the other side.

Last week in Texas a federal judge ruled that State's marriage amendment unconstitutional. The judge immediately stayed his own decision and now it will move forward for appeals. We are hopeful that this decision — along with similar results in numerous states — will be overturned on appeal. Imposing same-sex 'marriage' is wrong as a matter of law, and it is wrong as a matter of policy. Just last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that marriage has customarily been the purview of the states and the federal government must respect that judgment. Yet federal judges are grossly twisting the Court's ruling in an unprecedented show of judicial activism bent on redefining marriage to suit their own wishes. The higher courts must put a stop to this.

The federal judiciary should keep in mind stories like the ones cited above: the stories about the bakers, and photographers, and florists who are sued, fined, punished and put out of business merely for standing for the age-old understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

We ordinary citizens — marriage champions like yourself — also need to stay familiar with those stories and help to put a human face on the issue when it comes up in debate. The other side relies on smokescreens of misinformation and abstraction, as last week's events have shown.

The best tool we have to cut through that misinformation is the human touch of stories such as these that reveal the complete lack of tolerance for any views that dissent from those of our adversaries. People need to understand the stakes in defending marriage aren't just abstract ideals. People's lives and livelihoods have already suffered very real affects from the push to redefine marriage, and their stories must be told.

Finally, we need to expect more from our public servants — that they represent everyone and not just the interests of a small and powerful (and well-funded) few.

Curbing the Lawlessness

My good friend, Reverend William Owens, president and founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors, last week issued a call for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder made news for advising state attorneys general to abandon the defense of their states' marriage laws!

It's absolutely infuriating that our nation's highest law enforcement official would not only violate his own oath of office and abandon the rule of law, but that he would go so far as to urge his counterparts at the state level to follow suit!

Can you imagine what the huge outcry would be if a conservative Attorney General were to advise that certain environmental laws should no longer be defended? There would be cries from the left of a constitutional crisis! Yet because Holder is urging state officials to ignore state marriage laws that the media and the left don't like, Holder's utter lawlessness is applauded.

Reverend Owens is seeking to garner signatures for Holder's impeachment so that Congress will take notice — and I urge you to go add your signature to the petition right away!

We deserve better from our public officials — and we must demand it. The time has come to stand up and speak out.

Write a letter to the editor, call your local station's news hotline, visit your federal legislator's local district offices. Most importantly, ask your elected officials what their position on marriage is and then hold them accountable!

These are the grassroots actions we need more and more citizens to start doing so that we can turn our public discourse from a major #fail to a big #win!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Double Standard

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

You know all about how relentlessly the Obama administration has been pushing same-sex marriage — most egregiously through Eric Holder's Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Defense.

But the ridiculous double standards these actions are producing are really bothering me. I hope they're bothering you too. I hope that you'll make a donation right now to stand with NOM so we can put a stop to this!

What are some examples of what has my blood boiling?

You may have seen an article that has recently been circulating online about a story from 2012 in New Mexico, where Governor Susana Martinez was given the boot by her hair stylist. Why? As the stylist, Antonio Darden, proclaimed on a local news station, because of her support of marriage! In his own words:

Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I'd changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.

So here's the real question: where was the outrage over this!?

When a professional photographer declined to photograph a same-sex ceremony that violated her religious beliefs, she was accused of discrimination and punished by the government. Yet apparently discriminating against a supporter of true marriage — the Governor of the State, no less — is perfectly fine.

I wonder if Gary King, the state Attorney General, ever considered doing what his counterpart in Washington State is currently doing: prosecuting a floral shop that declined to be involved in a same-sex wedding? Or is discrimination simply a one-way street that doesn't apply to supporters of marriage?

What did the New Mexico Human Rights Commission do? Did they investigate the denial of service as they did with Elaine Photography when those marriage supporters didn't want to photograph a same-sex ceremony?

Did they move to protect the rights of individuals from discrimination and harassment for simply believing that marriage is the union of one man and one woman?

Of course they didn’t! It's an embarrassing double standard. And it's only going to get worse unless ordinary citizens like you and me stand up to them!

Click here right away to make an urgent donation to NOM so we can reach hundreds of thousands of Americans all across the country!

We must equip and mobilize ordinary Americans to take action and send an unequivocal message: we won't stand for this discrimination against our values and beliefs! We won't let you get away with these ridiculous double standards!

Because it's only going to get more brazen if we remain silent.

For Example, in Indiana...

This past Sunday, in Indiana, the Associated Press reported that the individual who offered "unlimited campaign funding" to the Speaker of the Indiana House if he would make the marriage amendment "go away" was former state GOP Chair Jim Kittle. Speaker Brian Bosma had previously told the media about the offer, but refrained from identifying the individual involved. No wonder. Promising money in exchange for official legislative action is a serious felony.

We don't know whether a felony had been committed in an attempt to derail the Indiana marriage amendment. What we do know is that serious, credible allegations have been raised, and an independent investigation is in order. That is exactly what we have asked state Attorney General Greg Zoeller to launch.

The situation in Indiana is only the latest example where the rule of law is seemingly sacrificed on the altar of political correctness in the endless quest to push the same-sex 'marriage' agenda. Federal and state officials ignore existing law (including state constitutional amendments) and redefine marriage to suit their own views. Officials are encouraged to openly violate marriage laws. Constitutions and statutes defining marriage are left defenseless in court. Administrative actions are taken without authorization and in defiance of US Supreme Court rulings. In short, every branch of government is being twisted by powerful special interests hell-bent on imposing same-sex 'marriage' on the country. They aren't being checked by the law, the media or even basic moral principles of fairness and justice.

Therefore, they must be checked by us!

Please click here to help NOM fight back against blatant double standards and the wave of intolerance and bigotry aimed at people of faith who simply believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman because children deserve a mom and a dad.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

National Organization for Marriage Calls On Indiana Attorney General To Investigate Reported Offer From Former State Republican Chairman Of Campaign Funding To Make Marriage Amendment 'Go Away'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


"The promise of money in exchange for official action is a serious felony that undermines the very integrity of the legislative process itself." — John Eastman, Chairman of NOM —

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Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today called on Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to investigate whether the former Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, Jim Kittle, offered the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives a bribe in exchange for making the proposed marriage amendment then pending before the House to, "go away." The Associated Press reported on March 2nd that Kittle was the individual whom Speaker Brian Bosma was referring to when he told the media that someone had offered him unlimited campaign funding to make the issue go away.

"The promise of money in exchange for official action is a serious felony that undermines the very integrity of the legislative process itself," wrote John Eastman, NOM’s Chairman and a prominent law school professor and former dean. "Any credible allegation that the legislative process may have been subjected to improper influence threatens the integrity of government and must be treated seriously."

Eastman made his comments in a letter to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, in which he asked that a formal investigation be launched to examine the matter.

When HJR3, the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, was pending before the state House of Representatives, House Speaker Brian Bosma told the media that he had been offered "unlimited campaign funding" if he would make the issue "go away." Bosma refrained from identifying the individual who made the offer, saying at the time that the individual may have violated state or federal law.

On March 2nd the Associated Press reported that the individual who reportedly made the offer to Bosma was Kittle, the former state GOP Chairman.

Eastman wrote in his letter, "Mr. Kittle is a politically sophisticated individual. Surely a person with his experience knows that an offer of money in exchange for official legislative action is a serious criminal offense. It simply strains common sense to think that he was unaware of the implications of what he was apparently proposing to the top member of the House."

Eastman made clear that NOM was not alleging that Kittle had committed a crime, but rather requesting that the serious allegations originally raised by Bosma and recently reported by the media be investigated. "To safeguard the integrity of government, the people of Indiana are entitled to a fair and transparent examination of the facts by way of an independent, official investigation of this matter," he said.

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To schedule an interview with John Eastman, Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Matille Thebolt (x143), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

The National Organization for Marriage applauds Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear for defending the rule of law and Kentucky's marriage amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2014
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)


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The following statement should be attributed to Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

Washington, D.C. — "We applaud Governor Steve Beshear's commitment to the rule of law and the people's definition of marriage. He is doing what every elected official, on every level of government across the country should do, defend the laws of the land. It is absurd that Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway is not doing what he swore to do upon taking office - defending the laws and constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the judgment of the Kentucky's citizens who voted overwhelmingly on this issue. We hope that voters hold him to account for abandoning his sworn duty."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], or Matille Thebolt, [email protected], at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

PSA for NOM Facebook Followers: Don't Feed the Trolls!

At NOM's Facebook page, we have a great community of committed fans and followers. They are dependable for liking and sharing posts, and for engaging in civil and thoughtful conversation.

trollinUnfortunately, however, we do have our fair share of trolls. If you're unfamiliar with the concept of internet trolling, this is a fun take you can read.

Now, not all trolling is bad: in fact, sometimes trolling is the most effective way to break into conversations that need shaking up and the admittance of alternative views. However, NOM's Facebook always reflects a variety of views in the comment threads and most of these are left to stay by our page administrators. The problem with our trolls isn't just the fact that they're trolls - it's that they're pretty bad at trolling, frankly.

Our Facebook fans might get frustrated sometimes at how overrun the place seems by a particular couple of the more infamous trolls. What they can't see is that it's not the same profile, but each time a different one. Our administrators work hard to try to keep a healthy discourse going on at the page, but no matter how many times we ban these violators, they just keep coming back - and unfortunately, Facebook does very little to help us protect our community standards.

Here's some screenshots taken today of the very top of our list of banned users:

TROLLS1 - Copy

And another:

TROLLS2

Aaaand another:

TROLLS3

Safe to say, whoever these people are, they probably don't have jobs. Or much of a social life.

Nevertheless, they can be very rude and very annoying for our regular fans.

So, NOM would like to give everyone participating on our page the following advice: don't feed the trolls!

GATrollThere's debate about the origin of the word "troll" as it relates to people like this on the internet. Some suggest it connotes the mythological creature who lives under a bridge and sets traps for travelers, gobbling them up when they're ensnared. Others point to the fishing term and the idea of "trolling" a line with bait to catch a fish. In either case, it involves baiting and catching. So don't take the bait!

For one thing, if you engage with a troll on the page timeline, the likelihood is that at some point that troll will be banned, and the remaining artifact will be a series of comments that make you appear like a crazy person talking to yourself.

But a more serious reason is that taking the bait and debating these trolls is precisely what they want, and it is what keeps them coming back. So, don't give them what they want! Take our advice for dealing with trolls: hide them, block them, and wait for the admins to ban them - and don't let them lure you into their traps. As you can see from the screenshots above, they obviously have way too much time on their hands. On the other hand, you certainly have better things to do with your time. So let that be your weapon against these trolls: ignore them, and let them waste their own time without stealing any of yours.