Dear Marriage Supporter,
D-day in New York. I can't believe I'm saying that again.
I told you last week it was crunch time in New York. But instead of conferencing and quickly voting for gay marriage last Wednesday, New York State Senate Republicans huddled together last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—with no announcement of their game plan.
On Monday, the GOP conferenced again with no result. On Wednesday they met until close to midnight—no anouncement. As I write, they are conferencing again. Clearly the GOP is struggling with whether to do the right thing and kill the bill.
The decision for the Republicans is whether to permit a vote on the bill. Most of the NY GOP will vote against this bill. But Sen. Dean Skelos, the majority leader, has punted to his conference the question of whether to permit a vote.
Why has the gay marriage bill stalled for days in New York?
The Christian Science Monitor asked the question and answered it this way: deadlock...
New York's gay marriage law remains stuck in the Republican-controlled state Senate, where legislators are considering the law's potential impact on religious groups - and, some analysts say, their own political fortunes.
Sen. Greg Ball has insisted individuals and small businesses must be protected from the threat of litigation if they refuse to participate in gay unions. The gay legal community is strongly objecting, according to CSM:
If the marriage law expanded the exemptions to include individuals or businesses, the law would be seriously weakened, says Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation for Lambda Legal, which supports same-sex marriage.
"This would be a rollback on civil rights, setting us back decades," she says.
Meanwhile Republicans are dealing with a political quagmire. Regardless of how they vote individually, if gay marriage comes to New York, it will be the Republican Party that brings it. That headline is going to reverberate across the nation—and within New York.
Sen. Rev. Ruben Diaz and Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long published an essay in National Review Online that makes that point:
Politics is a team sport. The decision of senate Republicans to take up this bill, and thus help enable Governor Cuomo's goal to pass gay marriage, will affect the way voters across the state view the Republican party....
The last time the Republican party caved on a deeply important social issue - abortion - it destroyed the party's prospects for years. And for what? To help Andrew Cuomo run for president?
Then these two New York leaders quoted me!
As Brian Brown, president of NOM, quipped: "Selling your principles in order to get elected is wrong, selling your principles to help get the other guy get elected is just plain dumb."
Together you and I have watched how Democratic leaders respond to the concerns of their base on this issue. In state after state, they have refused to bring up and permit votes on marriage amendments that the majority in the legislature and in the state clearly support: In Iowa and West Virginia and North Carolina and elsewhere.
And we've seen in states like Wisconsin how far some Dems will go when they are in the minority to prevent votes on bills that displease the Democratic base.
The GOP base is not asking anyone to flee the state to prevent a vote—in this case the New York Republicans don't have to do that much.
As Diaz and Long wrote all they have to do is, "Kill this bill, and let the people of New York decide the future of marriage." Click here to send your own message to every member of the GOP caucus. Urge them to stand firm and support the right of all New Yorkers to vote on marriage.
A few hours may decide the fate of marriage in New York. The promised religious liberty protections are frankly unknown. No-one is sharing any language. It will not be seriously crafted and vetted by the many distinguished religious liberty experts who have written to the legislature to express their concerns (Harvard, Princeton, Stanford professors!). It will most likely be for show.
And the consequences of gay marriage for religious liberty have never been made clearer: a Washington Post columnist actually called on Democrats in New York to reject protections under the headline "Don't Cater to Bigots."
Over at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a little noticed story this week, Tom Vilsack (one of the Dems in Iowa who blocked a marriage amendment permitting the people to decide) is now presiding over a government training program that teaches that support for marriage is "heterosexism"—and he wants the Obama administration to spread this training program to every part of the government! Hard to believe but it's true, according to the Washington Times:
USDA officials have asked the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversees all federal employee policies, to impose its gay-awareness programs on all federal departments, according to an internal newsletter. The training includes a discussion of "heterosexism" and compares it to racism. It says people who view marriage as being between only one man and one woman are guilty of "heterosexism."
There is no shortage of evidence now that this is the prototype of what gay marriage is about and will bring—using the government to retrain everyone to understand Genesis's vision of marriage is bigotry.
This is why we need to act now—kill the bill and let the people of New York vote. Please help us spread the word. Now is the time to act!
Please click here to send an email to every Republican senator, urging them to kill the bill and let the people vote. Then call these seven senators whose votes will likely determine the outcome if the bill does go to a vote in the full Senate.
|Stephen Saland||(518) 455-2411|
|Andrew Lanza||(518) 455-3215|
|Mark Grisanti||(518) 455-3240|
|Greg Ball||(518) 455-3111|
|John Flanagan||(518) 455-2071|
|Joseph Addabbo||(518) 455-2322|
|Shirley Huntley||(518) 455-3531|
And if you have trouble getting through on the direct lines, call the Capitol Switchboard at (518) 455-2800 and ask for these 7 senators by name.
Thank you to the tens of thousands who have responded to our call to action. I am so proud to be able to serve you and as your voice for marriage to the powers that be.
NOM's week in the halls of power in Albany started on Monday with David Tyree, the New York Giant who broke through the media blackout on our side, by speaking up for marriage. Rev. Jason McGuire and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedom delivered 63,000 petitions against same-sex marriage, and Bishop Joe Mattera of City Action Coalition International hosted a press conference, at which he kindly invited me and Maggie—and David Tyree—to speak.
We brought cameras along so you could be there too:
(For you real political junkies, here's a link to the whole press conference and rally.)
David Tyree has encouraged so many ordinary people—especially young men and boys—who feel sometimes alone in this fight. But he has also drawn a lot of fire. When Maggie met with him last week, she told me she warned him that would happen. He was totally unfazed. "I want to identify myself totally with the Lord Jesus in every way," he said.
And that comes through in every interview with him, even in the secular media: He's come across as the kind, brave, compassionate, strong black husband and father who is totally grounded, not in things of this world.
God bless him, and we thank him, for stepping forward.
Notice how the mainstream media treats him. Here's a sample from The View:
Here's the first thing to notice about this exchange: The View does not play a single clip from David Tyree in his own voice so the viewers can see for themselves what he said. Instead Whoopi Goldberg just mischaracterizes David's words, and then attacks the straw man she just enunciated. This is bad journalism. I wouldn't criticize Whoopi's criticism so much —everyone's got an opinion—if she had just let David speak his piece first, so viewers could make their own judgments and would know what he actually thinks!
Kudos to Elizabeth Hasselbeck for defending David Tyree's right to speak (she herself supports gay marriage), but shame on The View for such a biased piece of journalism that refuses to let David's own powerful voice for marriage be heard by their viewers.
Oh well, no big deal, par for the course for the MSM on this issue.
Knowing how close the vote in new York is likely to be, and hearing the media repeat the lie that a "supermajority" of New Yorkers now support gay marriage, NOM swung into action. We sent a reputable pollster into the field this weekend and emerged with good news: In NOM's poll, 57 percent of New York voters oppose same-sex marriage, and just 1 in 4 prefer the legislature to settle the issue without a vote of the people.
Meanwhile, a new Public Opinion Strategies poll, commissioned by the Alliance Defense Fund has similar good news: 62 percent of Americans say marriage should ONLY be defined as one man and one woman. Maggie attended a briefing by the polling experts and came back with this word:
Polls are now becoming highly sensitive to how the question is asked and what other questions are asked around that marriage question. What's amazing given the virtual media blackout on putting pro-marriage spokespeople on television, is the powerful resistance and good sense demonstrated by most Americans. Gay marriage is not a civil right. Marriage is just different from other issues.
Mothers and fathers matter for children, and marriage has something to do with transmitting the whole society across the generations.
This is what Americans really think, and why the campaign to pass gay marriage now hinges on vilification, marginalization, of the majority. We must not let the campaign to silence common sense succeed.
Let me end, in the midst of this grave struggle in New York, on this happy warrior note.
Here's David Tyree, one last time, explaining why he would trade his Super Bowl ring, for the bigger prize of protecting marriage:
The NY Daily News on Tyree's outstanding commitment to marriage:
Giants 2007 Super Bowl hero David Tyree said he'd trade "The Catch" and the team's championship to keep marriage between one man and one woman.
"The catch was a gift, it's not like I'd try to do it. I couldn't do it again so that was a miracle," he said. "There's nothing worth more than [protecting marriage] right here for me."
Asked if he'd give up the Super Bowl to stop gay marriage, Tyree said: "Honestly, I probably would."
"Nothing means more to me than that my God would be honored," he said. "Being the fact that I firmly believe that God created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that that's something that should be fought for at all costs."
"So I'll lay down everything I am to preserve the honor and integrity of the God that I serve."
God bless each and every one of you that shares that commitment. It is an honor to serve you and this great cause that I treasure in my heart.
Back to the fight!
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S.: Our coffers are being drained bare by these urgent fights in deep blue states. Can you help us today with a gift of $35, $50 or even $500 or more if you are able? Together, by God's grace, we are changing the course of history!