My Dear Friends,
In a few weeks the people of Iowa will actually vote for the man or woman who will become the Republican candidate for President of the United States, and Leader of the Free World.
Wow, what a roller coaster-campaign of surprising twists and turns it's already been, with three or four different dark horses coming to prominence.
I've been reflecting with gratitude that, with the powerful exception of Ron Paul, most of the men and women who have led the field are firm defenders of marriage.
Here's Michele Bachmann, a NOM Marriage Pledge signer, defending marriage on Fox News.
Rick Santorum, a NOM Marriage Pledge signer, has been a hero of the movement.
Mitt Romney, a NOM Marriage Pledge signer, has always stood up for marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and in TV debates has demonstrated a calm comfort with speaking up for marriage and against gay marriage as a constitutional right.
(For Maggie's personal defense of Mitt from the charge that he's "flipped" on gay marriage, see her recent column: "Romney Never Flip-Flopped on Marriage.")
Newt Gingrich has supported a federal marriage amendment and has offered innovative solutions for the Supreme Court's tendency to usurp its own authority by inventing new constitutional rights on abortion and marriage.
Ron Paul's position on marriage, by contrast, is increasingly incomprehensible. One the one hand he's for "traditional marriage"; on the other hand he's for abolishing marriage as a legal status altogether. The one thing he's been clear about is that even though gay-marriage activists are now in court asking the Supreme Court to impose gay marriage on all 50 states—he won't support a federal marriage amendment. I do not understand how that is a coherent "leave it to the states" position.
In the middle of a campaign we all naturally get heated about our own preferred candidate, but to me, as a movement leader, the most important thing to remember is that in two months we will likely know who the nominee is, and then the biggest fight really begins.
Marriage is going to be a bigger factor in this campaign than in 2008 because the differences between the candidates are more clear, the starkness of the choice facing us more evident:
If President Obama is reelected then gay marriage is likely to be imposed on all 50 states by the Supreme Court. If he gets one more Supreme Court appointment then our generation's Roe v. Wade will become a reality.
Just last night the Ninth Circuit considered oral arguments in the Prop 8 case, Perry V. Schwarzenneger. Our own Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, head of the Ruth institute, was in the courtroom. You can read her live updates at Prop8case.com.
In another state fight, Evan Wolfson, one of the chief architects of the gay marriage movement, recently shocked the gay community by announcing to a gay newspaper that his group "Freedom to Marry" was refusing to join a coalition to push gay marriage in Maryland.
His reason? Wolfson knows that unlike in New York, any gay marriage bill in Maryland will have to be defended at the ballot box. The people will have a chance to vote, and right now he sees no reasonable chance of victory.
"We are deeply committed, as we have been for years, to ending exclusion from marriage in Maryland and throughout the country," Wolfson told the Washington Blade in an email.
But he added, "In Maryland, because of the likelihood that marriage legislation can be forced onto the ballot, the key question is not just passing a bill in the legislature, but defending it against an attack campaign via ballot measure."
"Freedom to Marry has made it clear to members of the coalition and to lawmakers that our goal is to win, not simply to pass a bill, if there is not sufficient groundwork and investment in a campaign to win at the ballot," he said.
Meanwhile, in nearby D.C., the gay press is admitting that claims of an economic bonanza from gay marriage were "unrealistic." According to the Washington Blade:
"...[The District of Columbia] Council testimony and media reports during consideration of the modern marriage bill touted extraordinary local economic benefits to come once gay and lesbian couples were permitted to marry in Washington.
"Unfortunately, although no commercial benefit was—or should be—required to justify the expansion of the civil right to marry, those projections have proven overstated and the level of anticipated revenue for local businesses has not materialized.
"The shortfall is due to both unrealistic economic forecasting by some marriage equality advocates and a notably lower number of same-sex marriages performed in the District than projected."
I'd add that the idea that gay marriage is good for the economy is not only unrealistic but absurd!
We hear the most fantastic arguments trotted out as excuses for redefining marriage, but of all the fantasies of this movement, the idea that gay marriage will somehow help the economy is the most absurd.
Consider the "Small Business Survival Index 2011" just released by the Small Business Exchange council.
Only six states have same-sex marriage. But of the 15 states with the worst business environment for small business (the incubator of job growth), fully five have gay marriage. All but two of the top 15 states, by contrast, have constitutional amendments defining marriage as one man and one woman—and none have gay marriage.
A movement that cared about truth would not push absurdities like this!
A group of 100 Orthodox rabbis had to push back against a similar attack on truth—the idea that an "Orthodox Jewish rabbi" could possibly perform a same-sex wedding, as the media tried to report.
"In response to a recent 'Orthodox' same-sex marriage ceremony conducted in Washington, D.C. by Rabbi Steve Greenberg—who is openly gay, and married Yoni Bock and Ron Kaplan at the 6th & I Synagogue in Washington in November—over 100 Orthodox Rabbis—among them some of the most prominent rabbinic figures in the Orthodox Jewish world, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter and Rabbi Hershel Reichman of Yeshiva University and Rabbi Elie Abadie of the Safra Synagogue—issued a statement declaring that, 'By definition, a union that is not sanctioned by Torah law is not an Orthodox wedding, and by definition a person who conducts such a ceremony is not an Orthodox rabbi.'"
The "public should not be misled into thinking that Orthodox Jewish values on this issue can change, are changing, or might someday change... any claims to the contrary are inaccurate and false."
Once you believe that by redefining words you can change reality—you do not accept any constraints on power.
"If it sounds good, say it" seems to be the rule; and the amazing thing is the way the mainstream media retells these intellectual absurdities without any pushback.
Par for the course, and part of what makes what you do by reading this newsletter, passing it onto friends, and supporting the work of NOM so important.
I'd like to end with a small post on the Minnesota Catholic Conference's "Why Marriage Matters" website, from a woman who spent ten years in an exclusive relationship with another woman. She rediscovered her faith, left that relationship, now supports the traditional understanding of marriage—and through the painful breakup process, perhaps most amazing of all, her former partner also rediscovered faith.
God works in mysterious ways but always calls each of us back towards Truth itself, to be united with love, which is who He is.
God bless you and keep you and your family always safe. Pray for all those standing up for marriage, keep love in all our hearts—and pray for those who disagree with us, that they may find a pathway to truth.
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. Will you stand with us to defend marriage today? Whether you can give $15 or $150, your donations to NOM help to build the future—by protecting the truth about marriage for your children, your grandchildren, and this great country.