NOM BLOG

Differing Opinions Are Not Welcome at John Hopkins University

Andrew Guernsey, a political science and classics major at John Hopkins University, reports via National Review that John Hopkins has launched another attack on individuals who hold conservative beliefs. This week, JHU’s student government voted to ban any hypothetical future Chick-fil-A outlet from their campus.

The student government allegedly disagrees with the personal opinions of the fast food chain’s owner on the topic of marriage. Guernsey, president of the student group Johns Hopkins University Voice for Life, explains why the student government’s decision is so dangerous:

ThinkstockPhotos-187643976The student government’s vote went beyond merely expressing support for same-sex marriage. The Chick-fil-A ban seeks to introduce unprecedented discrimination against companies owned by religious conservatives into the university’s contracting policies, even though only a few years ago, prominent liberals like Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama had held the same views on marriage. In banning Chick-fil-A from campus for “homophobia,” the JHU student government is only a short step from similarly giving the boot to socially conservative Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, and Jewish student groups from campus, as we have seen happen at Vanderbilt University, the 23 campuses of California State University, and others throughout the country.

In a free-market economy, the company that makes the best food at the lowest price usually wins more business. At a university, the robust free market of thought similarly should allow the best ideas to win out in an unfettered debate. The Chick-fil-A ban hurts both types of free market on campus. If the argument for redefining marriage into a genderless contract for any two consenting adults is so strong, then advocates for it should not need the student government’s version of the thought police to silence dissenting voices.

Guernsey is absolutely correct: silencing dissenting voices is an affront to the American university system. JHU’s message is crystal clear: any students who disagree with their opinion are not welcome on Johns Hopkins' campus. It is no shock, but it is a shame. There are many brilliant students at JHU who should be given the opportunity to hear both sides of an argument and make the decision for themselves. While Johns Hopkins may have seemingly “silenced” potential dissenting voices, it won’t last.

Truth can never be fully silenced nor destroyed. The student government at Hopkins can spin their decisions any way they want, but sharp students like Guernsey can see exactly what their real intention is: discrimination, all in the name of “tolerance.”

What Opposing Religious Freedom Really Means

In The Federalist op-ed, Iowa pastor Christopher Neuendorf asserts: “Disagreements are a part of life. As we constantly hear, diversity is built into American culture, and that includes diversity of opinion. I can deal with that. I don’t need everyone to agree with me in order to be a functional member of society.”

With the recent outrage over state laws protecting religious freedom, Rev. Neuendorf identifies a grave concern: in denouncing RFRAs, the rights of any religious individual to exist in our society are being denounced.

ThinkstockPhotos-77872409I’m not exaggerating. I’m not indulging in hyperbole. This is what you’re saying when you post on social media that you are outraged with Indiana’s efforts to protect religious freedom: that I, your family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, fellow citizen, am no longer allowed to exist in your world. I must conform myself to your way of thinking, or face financial ruin and ostracism.

Consider what Indiana’s RFRA offered before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and his fellow lawmakers neutered it: if sued by a same-sex couple for refusing to provide goods and services that constitute helping celebrate a same-sex wedding, business owners might find protection from devastating lawsuits. Or they might not. It’s up to a judge, and of course we’ve learned not to hope for too much sympathy from our courts these days. But even the potential that a business owner might get away with such stand without facing total annihilation is intolerable to our passionate defenders of non-discrimination.

It doesn’t matter how much we protest that we’re not talking about denying goods and services to our homosexual neighbors as homosexuals. It doesn’t matter that any Christian business would graciously serve food, baked goods, flowers, or any other commodity to any homosexual person who might enter that establishment. It doesn’t matter that we’re talking only about those limited circumstances in which we are expected to become actively involved in the celebration of behavior that our conscience insists is sinful. Such protestations consistently fall on deaf ears.

Rev. Neuendorf has struck on the heart of the “new intolerance”: no one who disagrees is allowed to continue living and working in our society. This is a blatant attempt to justify silencing any opposition. But the “new intolerance” will never be able to change the truth, no matter how aggressively they attack. No matter what, the voices of the American people will still ring loud and clear, for marriage, for truth, and for freedom.

One More Day



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Thank you so much for helping us reach our matching gift challenge goal of raising $100,000!

Those funds are being put to use subsidizing 50 buses to come down to the March for Marriage on Saturday. That is 2,500 marriage supporters!

We have received an unprecedented number of requests and there is still a chance that we could add more buses... so, please, every dollar we raise in the next few days will go directly toward subsidizing additional buses.

Please help us make this year's critical March for Marriage the best yet with a generous donation today!

I'll sponsor a bus full of marriage supporters to come for the March for $2,000.

I'll sponsor half a bus to come to the March for $1,000.

I'll sponsor a quarter of a bus to come for $500.

I'll sponsor three supporters to come to the March for $120.

I'll sponsor one supporter to come to the March for $40.

I'll make a donation of another amount.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

A Country for the People Should be Decided by the People

American history is fraught with differences of opinion: Patriots and Loyalists, Conservatives and Liberals, Federalists and Anti-federalists, to name a few. However, simply because there are two sides to an issue does not provide a reason for the Supreme Court to step in and rule on that issue. As Kyle Duncan writes in an article for Public Discourse:

ThinkstockPhotos-118461784The fact that Americans have reached different conclusions about same-sex marriage is not a sign of a constitutional crisis that requires the Supreme Court to step in. On the contrary, it’s a sign that our Constitution is working the way it should. In our federal system, this issue must be resolved at the state level. To resolve it through federal judicial decree would demean the democratic process, marginalize the views of millions of Americans, and do incalculable damage to our national civic life.

The redefinition of marriage goes even beyond an attack on our society’s core institution. At stake is the role of parenting, rights under family law, and the authority of self-governance:

The step from the older to the newer version of marriage is a momentous one. As Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the Sixth Circuit, the concept of marriage as a man-woman institution is “measured in millennia, not centuries or decades,” and “until recently [it] had been adopted by all governments and major religions of the world.” In Windsor, the Supreme Court similarly observed that “marriage between a man and a woman had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization.” Thus, when state citizens decide whether to adopt same-sex marriage, one thing appears inescapably true: they are exercising their sovereign authority over the basic architecture of family law.

Only from this perspective can we see what is truly at stake in the same-sex marriage cases. The plaintiffs are not merely asking the Court to recognize a new right. Instead, they are asking the Court to declare that the Constitution removes this issue from democratic deliberation. It is often asked by proponents of same-sex marriage what “harms” would flow from judicial recognition of their claims. From the perspective of democratic self-government, those harms would be severe, unavoidable, and irreversible.

As Duncan logically articulates, marriage, self-government, and civility are all at stake. Sadly, it will take years to pick up the broken pieces of our system, the pieces that cracked when religious freedom and state rights were openly attacked. But if the Supreme Court believes that the American people will watch their right to self-governance be undermined, they are mistaken. And this weekend is just the beginning.

Incredible



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Incredible. That's what NOM's supporters are.

The outpouring of support in the past few days to help fund buses for the March for Marriage has been magnificent.

Thank you to everyone who has joined our matching gift campaign and donated... we've raised $90,000 toward out overall goal of $100,000!

Please, if you haven't yet given — or if God has blessed you with the means to give again — please consider making a generous donation to help us bring as many people to the March for Marriage as possible.

I'll sponsor a bus full of marriage supporters to come for the March for $2,000.

I'll sponsor half a bus to come to the March for $1,000.

I'll sponsor a quarter of a bus to come for $500.

I'll sponsor three supporters to come to the March for $120.

I'll sponsor one supporter to come to the March for $40.

I'll make a donation of another amount.

Everything we raise in the next 2 days will be going straight to funding more buses. If we raise an additional $100,000, we'll be bringing 50 more buses to the March!

Can you imagine the scene in Washington DC? Just picture in your mind the sight of thousands upon thousands of marriage supporters from every walk of life and conceivable background — Catholics, Evangelicals and Mormons... African-American, Latino, Asian and Caucasian... young and old... married and single — so many dedicated and passionate supporters of marriage gathering for a single purpose: to let the Supreme Court and the powerbrokers in our nation's capital know that the American people don't want marriage redefined!

Can I count on you to help make that happen?

Simply click here to make a fully tax-deductible donation of any amount in support of the March.

God bless you for defending marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Radio Interview with Brian Brown

smallwefreedoms-journal-squareLonnie Poindexter, host of The Freedom’s Journal Radio Show, recently interviewed NOM President Brian Brown about the upcoming March for Marriage.

Be sure to listen to the full interview below! For more information, feel free to explore the myriad of offerings from Urban Family Communications.

Why Should You Support the 2015 March for Marriage?

The Family Research Council, one of NOM's March for Marriage coalition partners, provides excellent insight into many of the reasons why it is so important to support the upcoming March:

ThinkstockPhotos-146835966With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of state marriage laws on Tuesday, April 28th, supporters of natural marriage plan to gather in Washington, D.C. on April 25th to rally and pray for the Court. Saturday's "March for Marriage" will begin at noon in front of the U.S. Capitol and finish at the steps of the Supreme Court. Schedule, map, and speakers can all be viewed here.

For the past two years, state and federal courts have dealt with the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, mostly choosing to ignore the limits of the holding and instead imposing judicial redefinitions of marriage on states where voters have previously chosen to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman. (FRC Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg has written previously regarding Windsor's narrow outcome). This spring, the Supreme Court has the opportunity to correct the course of lower courts and reaffirm its previous declarations that marriage policy "[b]y history and tradition" has been "treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States."

Given the profound costs to the rule of law, federalism, and First Amendment freedoms that will result from a judicial redefinition of marriage imposed on all fifty states, the Supreme Court would be wise to leave to the democratic process a policy question nowhere answered in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, when polled earlier this year by WPA Opinion Research, that's precisely the outcome 61% of Americans said they wanted to see. Saturday's March for Marriage will offer thousands of Americans the public opportunity to remind the country and the Court that marriage has profound public importance and deserves the careful definition and debate that can only occur in the democratic process.

Thank you to FRC and everyone else who is marching with us to defend marriage, freedom, and truth!

Good Fortune



Dear Marriage Supporter,

It's no secret that working at NOM to defend marriage can be stressful. But what makes it worth it is fighting a just cause and realizing that with the tribulations come many blessings.

One such blessing occurred in the past few days.

One of the challenges in organizing an event like the March for Marriage is that we have to make financial commitments for things like buses before we know how much funds we will have on hand when it comes time to pay for those buses.

This is why I have been stressing out a bit about how we were going to fund all the buses we had committed to assisting. Without those buses, many coming from low-income communities, thousands of people would be left at home and not able to stand up in defense of marriage because we simply don't have the billionaires bankrolling our operation like the proponents of same-sex marriage do.

But over the weekend, there was a tremendous outpouring of grassroots support. We're not out of the woods yet — not by a longshot — but the blessing provided by so many people standing up and digging deep to give generously was tremendously uplifting. The Lord is providing!

Well, it turns out I wasn't the only one whose spirits were buoyed...

Knowing that we have had more requests for buses than ever before — many, many more than I anticipated only a month ago — our generous matching gift donor has increased his matching gift challenge to $100,000!

That means every donation made leading up to the March will continue to be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000!

So far, we've raised $75,000 and are pushing hard over the next 48 hours to raise the remaining $25,000 we need to take advantage of the full matching gift pledge, and to ensure that we have enough funds to pay for all the buses we need.

Marriage Supporter, what I am asking you to do is to close your eyes for a few seconds and reflect on the moment at hand. Then prayerfully ask yourself, "what more can I do to help?" Take a moment to let the Holy Spirit touch your heart and guide you to an answer according to your circumstances. I am praying that you will be able to make a sacrificial gift that will help us complete the task at hand and subsidize more buses than ever before. If you and all of our marriage supporters will simply pause to pray for guidance, I know that we will be successful.

I'll sponsor a bus full of marriage supporters to come for the March for $2,000.

I'll sponsor half a bus to come to the March for $1,000.

I'll sponsor a quarter of a bus to come for $500.

I'll sponsor three supporters to come to the March for $120.

I'll sponsor one supporter to come to the March for $40.

I'll make a donation of another amount.

Thank you so much for all you do in defense of marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

ADF's Countdown to Scotus: Debate on April 23, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-178951575On Thursday, April 23,Alliance Defending Freedom's Austin Nimocks andThe Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson will be debating Roberta Kaplan, Paul Weiss, and Prof. Steve Sanders from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

This event promises to be both insightful and fascinating for anyone in the area who would like to attend.

Debate: Does the Constitution require states to recognize same-sex relationships as marriages?

When: Thursday, April 23rd, 6 p.m.

Where: O’Byrne Gallery, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Headquarters, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

For more information or to RSVP, please email [email protected] or call 202.888.7636

In addition, you can visit the event site here.

John Eastman: Just the Facts, Ma'am

More than fifty-million people have, by their votes, demonstrated that they continue to understand the profound importance of marriage. They deserve better than to have the decision to protect or redefine marriage taken out of their hands by the Supreme Court.

ThinkstockPhotos-85447250In his most recent Public Discourse article, NOM Chairman John Eastman takes Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to task  for her egregious declaration: the American people will accept a Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. Justice Ginsburg believes that this decision, which would force all states to license same-sex partners as “married,” will be accepted readily by the American people because “the change in people’s attitudes on that issue has been enormous,” according to Ginsburg.

However, Justice Ginsburg’s inappropriate comments on this subject also turned out to be simply untrue:

The numbers are staggering, though you won’t see them reported in the nation’s major newspapers. The issue has been on the ballot in thirty-nine statewide elections in thirty-five different states. The cumulative total: 51,483,777 votes in favor of retaining the man-woman definition of marriage, versus 33,015,412 votes in favor of same-sex marriage. That’s a vote margin of 60.93 percent to 39.07 percent, a landslide in American politics.

In addition to disproving Justice Ginsburg’s claim, Dr. Eastman also explains why same-sex marriage is not a constitutional right:

The petitioners’ demand that the Court “find” a right to same-sex “marriage” implicit in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment threatens to drag the Supreme Court, and the country, into another such quagmire. If the Constitution clearly compelled such a result, then it would be the “painful duty” of the Court to say so, a position recognized by the Court nearly two centuries ago in the landmark case of McCulloch v. Maryland. But the Constitution’s text does not remotely compel such a result. Without such a clear command, accepting the petitioners’ arguments would more accurately be described as a “self-inflicted wound” than the exercise of a “painful duty.”

So why is it that the Constitution’s text does not mandate same-sex marriage throughout the land? It does provide that “No State shall . . . deny to any person . . . the equal protection of the law.” Hence the “marriage equality” mantra from the proponents of same-sex marriage. That mantra may be a good debating tactic, but it is not a good legal argument, for it assumes the very thing in dispute.

The real truth is that the American people value the institution of marriage, and they are willing to fight to defend it as between one man and one woman. Regardless of Justice Ginsberg's personal opinions, Americans will not passively watch their precious rights and institutions crumble. Sorry Justice Ginsburg, but those are the facts.

You can read the full article via Public Discourse.

Only A Few Days



Friends — We've made good progress over the weekend toward our $40,000 goal (raising over $19,000 so far) but we still have a LONG way to go and only a FEW DAYS to get there!

There are thousands of people coming to Washington to stand up for the truth of marriage... but there are thousands more who wish to come, but lack resources for transportation — many of whom are from urban, minority Churches and communities.

Nobody should be denied the opportunity to march for marriage due to finances.

We must make a major push these final days to spread the word far and wide about this campaign to fund buses to bring thousands of marriage supporters to Washington DC this Saturday for the March for Marriage.

Please donate now if you haven't done so already — or make an additional donation if God has blessed you with the means.

Then reach out to everyone you can... forwarding this email to friends and family... posting the campaign link on Facebook and Twitter.

We must spread the word, asking everyone we know to join you in supporting this worthy cause.

God bless you for everything you do in defense of marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


The 2015 March for Marriage



Dear Marriage Supporter,

I just got a bit of good news that I wanted to share with you.

I just received a phone call from a lovely couple in Altoona, Pennsylvania, who have chartered a bus and gathered 30 of their friends to come to the March for Marriage next weekend! Isn't that wonderful?

In the midst of all the struggles and hardships that come with this job, it seems like God always sends me blessings like this when I most need them — and for that I am grateful.

It simply reminds me that there are countless marriage heroes all across our great nation willing to make heroic sacrifices to stand up in defense of God's truth about marriage.

Speakers and Special Guests

I am pleased to announce the following people as speakers and honored guests at this year's March:

Running Out Of Time

As I mentioned yesterday, we are running out of time to secure funding for the buses we have reserved.

We have received so many requests for assistance with funding buses to bring marriage supporters to Washington, DC for the March — the majority of which come from Churches in less affluent areas.

While the outpouring of support in the past few days has been absolutely remarkable — thank you! — we still have a tremendous need for funding to ensure that everyone who wants to come to the March to make their voice heard in defense of marriage is able to do so!

We need to raise $20,000 over the weekend to stay on track and I am praying that you will make an immediate contribution in support of the March to help us fund buses.

I'll make a quick donation of $35.00

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

I'll make a quick donation of $500.00

I'll make a larger donation...

Thank you so much for all you do in defense of marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

Defending the Sanctity of Marriage

In a guest editorial piece in the Auburn Villager, Auburn residentDennis Shannon explains the logical reasoning that compels him to oppose sanctioning same-sex “marriage”:

Opposition to same sex marriage is about protecting the rights of children to a father and a mother. The primary reason that the state has a vested interest in marriage, as I understand it, is that marriage is the social institution that provides the best environment to nourish, protect, socialize and educate children. Social scientists indicate that children who are raised by a father and mother that are married to each other have the best chance of success in life. This is not to impugn single parents who do their best for their children.

ThinkstockPhotos-57442653 (1)I oppose same sex marriage because I am for the First Amendment of the Constitution, which gives me the right to practice my faith without interference from the state. Anywhere same sex marriage is the law of the land, the first amendment right to freedom of religion becomes null and void. The perceived rights of homosexuals always seem to trump the rights of people of faith to carry out their lives in accordance with their beliefs. Parents lose their rights to the moral education of their children, bakers must participate in same sex marriage by baking cakes for the “marriage” or be forced out of business (which recently happened in Washington State), professional photographers must film a ceremony that they do not approve of or face severe fines … it goes on and on. Religious speech is being restricted in the military and officers have been punished for not endorsing homosexuality. In Canada and in Europe, pastors have been threatened with jail for “hate speech” for preaching on the Biblical view of sexuality and marriage. That can happen here as well if things continue on their current trend.

Many of the forefathers of this nation – Puritans, Quakers, Baptists, Congregationalists, Catholics, Mennonites and Jews - came to this nation to escape persecution in Europe so that they could practice their faith as they saw fit. If the Supreme Court makes same sex marriage the law of the land, we will have lost much of the freedom for which this country was founded.

Although there are many things that could be improved in Alabama, I was never more proud of my adopted state than when we voted to protect the welfare of children, parental rights and our religious liberties by voting for the Sanctity of Marriage law.

You can read his full Auburn Villager editorial here. Bravo to Mr. Shannon for speaking out in defense of marriage as between a man and a woman. Our founding fathers would applaud you!

Hollywood Is Pushing a Pro-SSM Agenda, But Where Will it Stop?

We have often seen same-sex marriage activists trying to force their pro-SSM agenda onto as many people as possible through business, education, the courts, and the media, but a recent GLAAD report shows some more unsettling results.

The report indicates that the number of films and TV shows featuring LGBT characters (and often, same-sex marriage) has risen to an all time high, over-representing true statistics by nearly 500%. But what is even more concerning is that GLAAD says this is still not enough: they want even more leading roles for LGBT characters, more racial diversity, and voiced discontent with the occasional “less-than-positive portrayals of the homosexual lifestyle by some filmmakers.”

The article also explains, in part, how GLAAD “measured” their data:

200274063-001To produce its 2015 “Studio Responsibility Index,” homosexual advocacy group GLAAD analyzed the film releases of seven major film studios and their affiliates and found that out of 161 movies released in 2014, 25 featured characters with non-traditional sexual preferences such as homosexuality or bisexuality – a total of 15.5 percent. The major film studios were more likely to feature gay characters – nearly 18 percent of their films did so, compared to just 11 percent of those released by their smaller, “indie”-style affiliates.

Considering a recent Gallup poll found that only 3.4 percent of the U.S. population identifies as homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the number of films featuring homosexual characters would seem to be inordinately large.

GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis announced that studios should "continue increasing the number and profile of positive portrayals of homosexuals at American cinemas in order to change the 'hearts and minds'" of those who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife.

“Only when they make those changes and catch up to other, more consistently inclusive media portrayals will we be able to say that America’s film industry is a full partner in accelerating acceptance,” Ellis said.

“Studies have repeatedly shown that in absence of someone knowing an LGBT person in real life, programs and films with LGBT characters can help foster understanding and acceptance,” Ellis continued.

Understanding and acceptance are noble goals indeed, but is this really Ellis' goal? Advocacy groups like GLAAD have a history of utilizing mass outlets like Hollywood and the film industry for the sole purpose of forcing their beliefs on everyone, and then attacking those who don't conform.

No big screen film can ever change a fundamental truth: that family begins with marriage between one man and one woman, and children deserve both their mother and father.

Pope Francis Speaks Out Against Gender Theory

Pope Francis, who is renowned for his humility and compassion for all, has recently spoken out again in defense of sexual complementarity within the family. The Pope had strong words for advocates of gender theory, radical feminism, as well as any attempts to deny the crucial and beautiful differences between males and females:

POTD_Pope-baby_2521172c...Man and woman are the image and likeness of God. This tells us that not only is man taken in himself the image of God, not only is woman taken in herself the image of God, but also man and woman, as a couple, are the image of God. The difference between man and woman is not for opposition, or for subordination, but for communion and procreation, always in the image and likeness of God.

Experience teaches us: to know himself well and to grow harmoniously, the human being needs reciprocity between man and woman. When this does not happen, we see the consequences. We are made to listen to and help one another. We can say that without reciprocal enrichment in this relationship — in thought and in action, in affections and in work, also in faith – the two cannot understand in depth what it means to be man and woman.

Modern and contemporary culture has opened new opportunities, new freedoms and new depths for the enrichment of the understanding of this difference. But it has also introduced many doubts and much skepticism. For instance, I wonder if the so-called gender theory is not also an expression of a frustration and resignation, which aims to eliminate the sexual difference because it no longer knows how to face it. Yes, we risk taking a step backward. The removal of the difference, in fact, is the problem, not the solution.

Aleteia has made the full text of the Pope’s catechesis available here.