Dear Friends of Marriage,
NOM's President, Maggie Gallagher, asks a pretty good question: "Why has President Obama's Justice Department abruptly attempted to sabotage the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court?"
Is there no justice for marriage?
Justice is supposed to be blind. And the Justice Department is supposed to do justice without regard to politics.
When Congress passed DOMA in 1996 with overwhelming bipartisan support, it laid out clear reasons why marriage deserves legal protection:
"At bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing."
As Maggie says, "This is not some kind of weird side argument drummed up by folks who don't like gay people. It has been at the heart of America's marriage tradition since the dawn of the Republic."
Dozens of courts have ruled that procreation is a key purpose of marriage -- long before anyone was thinking about gay marriage. A New Jersey judge in 1921 waxed pretty lyrical:
"Lord Penzance has observed that the procreation of children is one of the ends of marriage. I do not hesitate to say that it is the most important object of matrimony, for without it the human race itself would perish from the earth."
Even in liberal states like New York, Washington, and Maryland, state supreme courts have ruled: Marriage is not discrimination, because unions of husband and wife really are different, and they serve the government interest in promoting responsible procreation in a special way. It's not discrimination to treat different relationships differently. It's common sense.
But Pres. Obama's Justice department, in a nakedly political move after political protests, speaking on behalf of you and me as the government of the United States, just told a federal court of law: "The government does not contend that there are legitimate government interests in 'creating a legal structure that promotes the raising of children by both of their biological parents' or that the government's interest in 'responsible procreation' justifies Congress's decision to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman."
"I couldn't believe it," one high-powered lawyer emailed me. "I mean, it's one thing for Jerry Brown to make an argument like that to the California courts. It's another thing for the United States Justice Department to do it."
What just happened? Maggie said it better than I could: "A loud interest group that helped fund President Obama's victory succeeded this week by belligerent protests in gaining a key shift in Justice Department legal arguments. ...President Obama is sabotaging DOMA while pretending to defend it in court, in order to please a core political interest group that donated money to support his campaign."
If you have already taken action to send a message to Pres. Obama, thank you. If you haven't, fight back today! Justice for marriage today!
It's been a busy "NOM in the News" week, as you can see below. One thing I'd like to call to your attention is the huge success of NOM-Rhode Island's "Celebrate Marriage and Family Day." A handful of protestors turned out to what even the Providence Journal admits was a warm, inviting celebration of unions of husband and wife, capped by a vow renewal ceremony. As ProJo columnist Bob Kerr noted, "By all reports, the celebration in Warwick Sunday was warm and confirming. It was also a masterful piece of work by the National Organization For Marriage."
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Let me close this week with a letter NOM received from a pastor in Indiana. He was prompted to write after reading "The Carrie Effect," the cover story Maggie wrote in National Review from the frontlines of the marriage wars over the last few months.
"I just read your article on Carrie Prejean in the National Review. As a family values guy I thank you for your timely words. I was in fact beginning to feel like I was beseiged by the Borg. Your article has given me more than just fresh insight; it has given me hope that gay marriage is not inevitable. Your insight that when marriage becomes more about two adults in love than children in need our country is in big trouble has framed the argument in precisely the right way. ...
"Ms. Gallagher, I am a pastor in a main line denomination and as you can imagine, I hold a biblical world view. One piece of that biblical world view is that marriage is an institution between one man and one woman at a time. For holding this world view, the cultural elite of this nation has branded me, and others like me as a bigot, a hater and intolerant. But the other part of my biblical world view compells me to love all human beings as creatures who have been created in the image of God; as individuals of sacred worth in the sight of God. ...
"Unfortunately for all of us, the cultural elite of our nation has no interest in that part of me, or others like me however. They would rather focus on that first part of me because it allows them to hate me without knowing me; to hate without putting a real human face on the object of their hatred. I have discovered that when people hate, they can easily get around the reality that facts are stubborn things and that maybe, just maybe, those of us on this side of the debate have something important to say. In that context I would ask: 'Who indeed is the bigot?'
"To close, as I was reading your article, I was reminded of John F. Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage, which I read some twenty or thirty years ago. I remember the book quite well and was very impressed by it. If someone were to write a new Profiles in Courage today, Carrie Prejean and her story would be worthy of a very lengthy chapter."
Thank you, Reverend. I just had to share your letter because it says a lot about who we in the marriage movement are--you and me, and the thousands of others who recognize that marriage is worth fighting for.
Here's the final piece of good news: There are not just thousands of us out there. This week we announced in a press release that we have passed a HUGE milestone: 500,000 activists have joined NOM's merry band of marriage warriors. We are well on our way to building two million marriage activists.
Thank the Lord! And thank you.
Let not your hearts be troubled. I hope and pray for God's blessing on you and your family, for your courage and your decency.
Until next week!
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
P.S. In these difficult times, we appreciate your contributions even more. Even a small amount--maybe a monthly donation of as little as $5 or $10--helps us spread the word about marriage. But if you can't give money right now, you can still help us! Just continue to speak up for marriage in your community, and please keep us in your prayers.
NOM Feature of the Week
Maggie on Obama's Dishonest DOMA Dance:
Why has President Obama's Justice Department abruptly attempted to sabotage the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court?
Read the whole thing
NOM in the News
Maggie's exchange with Steve Chapman
"An Odd Silence on Gay Marriage"
August 20, 2009
But with the experiment looming, some opponents seem to be doubting their own convictions. I contacted three serious conservative thinkers who have written extensively about the dangers of allowing gay marriage and asked them to make simple, concrete predictions about measurable social indicators -- marriage rates, divorce, out-of-wedlock births, child poverty, you name it.
You would think they would react like Albert Pujols when presented with a hanging curveball. Yet none was prepared to forecast what would happen in same-sex marriage states versus other states.
"Five Predictions About Gay Marriage"
National Review Online
August 20, 2009
But the game of "gotcha" having been begun by Steve, let me make a few preliminary predictions about the short-term effects of SSM:
- In gay-marriage states, a large minority people committed to traditional notions of marriage will feel afraid to speak up for their views, lest they be punished in some way.
- Public schools will teach about gay marriage.
- Parents in public schools who object to gay marriage being taught to their children will be told with increasing public firmness that they don't belong in public schools and their views will not be accomodated in any way.
- Religous institutions will face new legal threats (especially soft litigation threats) that will cause some to close, or modify their missions, to avoid clashing with the government's official views of marriage (which will include the view that opponents are akin to racists for failing to see same-sex couples as married).
- Support for the idea "the ideal for a child is a married mother and father" will decline.
"Celebrate Marriage and Family Day in Warwick draws protests"
The Thomsens gathered at the Catholic Diocese property as part of Rhode Island's "First Annual Celebrate Marriage and Family Day," an event sponsored by the local chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage. Paul and Lori Thomsen were among more than 100 couples to renew their marriage vows flanked by a large sign that read, "Marriage = 1 man and 1 woman."
"Competition Is Sometimes Very Quiet"
August 19, 2009
By all reports, the celebration in Warwick Sunday was warm and confirming. It was also a masterful piece of work by the National Organization For Marriage. In the competitive scheme of things, it was a full court press. In the lazy days of summer, it served up the calm but clear testimony of hundreds of people that those who mess with marriage as it has always been do so at their peril.
Whether same-sex couples will choose to respond with their own marital version of dancing in the end zone is not clear at this time.
"Gay Marriage Supporters Protest RI Vow Renewals"
August 17, 2009
The rally, organized by the National Organization for Marriage's Rhode Island chapter, culminated in a ceremony for heterosexual married couples to renew their marriage vows.
"Protesting Anti-LGBT Bigotry in RI"
Socialist Worker Online
August 20, 2009
It was a beautiful summer day on August 16, despite the dark cloud cast by the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) first annual "Marriage and Family Day," a fundraiser to "celebrate marriage between one man and one women and the families that come from them."
"Obama Backs Marriage Act Repeal"
August 18, 2009
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, accused the president of breaking a campaign promise made in his televised interview with California megachurch pastor Rick Warren.
"In a high-profile interview with Rick Warren, Barack Obama convinced millions of Americans he opposed gay marriage," he said. "We are calling on the president to live up to his campaign commitment."
"Anti-Gay Group to Fight Marriage Efforts in D.C."
August 21, 2009
The National Organization for Marriage plans to use its projected 2009 budget of $6 million to, among other things, help ban same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and prevent President Barack Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress from repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, according to Brian Brown, the group's executive director.
"NOM's New HQ"
August 20, 2009
While Brown emphasizes that NOM's move to D.C. is primarily to bolster the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- the 1996 law defining marriage at the federal level as the union of one man and one woman only -- there has been some movement at the local level. Brown, for example, is the treasurer of Stand 4 Marriage D.C., the group trying to block marriage equality locally. For context, he holds similar titles in other locales.
"Religious Groups Play Major Role in Campaign to Repeal Maine Marriage Law"
August 18, 2009
Most of the money raised came from the National Organization for Marriage ($160,000,) the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland ($100,000,) the Knights of Columbus, a national Catholic fraternal organization ($50,000,) and Focus on the Family's Maine Marriage Committee ($31,000.)
"Out-of-State Donors Help Fuel Debate on Same-Sex Marriage"
Maine Sunday Telegram
August 16, 2009
Maine's same-sex marriage debate increasingly seems to be a coast-to-coast affair.
Earlier this summer, the campaign seeking to repeal Maine's new same-sex marriage law said it had retained Schubert Flint Public Affairs, the high-power firm that ran the successful effort to ban gay marriage in California.
Now it appears Sacramento, Calif.-based Schubert Flint may face some familiar foes.
"The Power of the Tiara"
August 16, 2009
In June, a CBS/New York Times poll noted a surprising dip in support for gay marriage nationally: in two months, it had dropped 9 percentage points, from 42 percent to 33 percent. Why?
According to Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage, writing in the National Review, the answer had little to do with the 2 million robocalls her group had made, or NOM's anti-gay-marriage advertising (the much-discussed and parodied "Gathering Storm"). Rather, the answer boiled down to one name: Carrie Prejean.