Dear Marriage Supporter,
The wedding industry attracts a number of devout Christians. It's natural perhaps, given the Bible describes the act of joining a man and woman in marriage, as mirroring God's presence in a special way.
Many of these Christians are now being asked, cruelly, to choose between their faith and their families' livelihoods. The latest case to emerge is in Grimes, Iowa. The Odgaards, husband and wife owners of Gortz Haus, were too honest to lie when a gay male couple showed up and tried to book their venue for their wedding ceremony. Mr. Odgaard asked if they were looking for a place for a gay wedding. When told "Yes" he said, "I can't take your money and I don't do things for free."
"It's not from an angry place," Mrs. Odgaard told the press. It's just that she is a Mennonite and she does not think it is right to personally facilitate a gay wedding. "That decision is based on our religious beliefs. We want to honor that. We want people to know that is our stand that comes from our faith, our convictions. I think we should just stand by that no matter what," said Odgaard.
Lee Stafford, one half of the same-sex couple, is having none of that religious liberty talk: "The fact is he discriminated against us based on our sexual orientation. Iowa code says if you have a public accommodation, you can't discriminate based on sexual orientation," Lee told the press. Notice how he changed the subject from "What is marriage?" to homosexuality. But in fact, it was because Mr. Stafford and his partner wanted a "wedding" that the Odgaards turned him down.
When the story broke, the social media trolls ran with the story and the haters went after the Odgaards in a big way, sending them "hateful, hurtful and threatening" emails, Mrs. Odgaard reported.
That's not the way people usually treat each other in Grimes. It's not the way anyone should be treated.
So why this torrent of hatred at someone like Mrs. Betty Odgaard?
Because the haters know that their tactics work: they are engaged in a deliberate attempt to intimidate and repress good people like Mrs. Odgaard and her husband, and to scare people like you and me from raising our voices in public. This personal hate is backed up by the iron hand of the law that is likely to punish the Odgaards for what is now in the government's eyes a crime: failing to assist in a gay wedding when asked, even if it violates your deeply held religious beliefs. In the state's view, you must accommodate gay 'weddings' if you do weddings at all.
But the stakes are so cruelly different: for the homosexual couple, it's "find another wedding venue." But for the Osgaards it's "obey the government or lose your livelihood."
This is no philosophical debate. You'll recall the Vermont couple who faced a similar situation when a homosexual couple wanted to host a wedding at their Inn. They were sued when they explained their Christian views, and were forced to pay a stiff fine and exit the wedding business altogether.
It's imperative that we let people in Iowa and around the nation know what's going on.
We need $3,755 to send a camera crew out to cover this story and other breaking stories as they develop. Can you help us make sure the faces of the victims like the Odgaards don't get buried by the mainstream media? Standing for their faith, the Odgaards are heroes who deserve our support. NOM and our Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance want to help the Odgaards tell their story. Help us make it happen.
Jennifer Thieme, the finance director at NOM's Ruth Institute, is another brave woman, one of the next generation's heroines, who is not simply going to sit back and surrender her right to speak freely about gay marriage.
A few weeks ago in "the Wonk Room," Jennifer took the "Log Cabin Republicans" to task for claiming that support for gay marriage is consistent with the principles of Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party.
But one Log Cabin Republican named Angelo objected claiming, "Contrary to Ms. Thieme's assertions, marriage equality is very much consistent with the conservative values of individuality and limited government." He concludes by claiming "equality" as a conservative principle, not only consistent with, but at the core of limited government.
You are going to hear a lot claims like this by the now well-funded "turn the GOP pro-gay marriage lobby." My!, What the kids these days don't know.
But one thing I know about Jennifer is she doesn't back down from a fight!
"The Log Cabin Republicans did not address the central point I made, which is how same sex marriage changes the status between parents and their children," Jennifer Thieme shot back, "The claims for "marriage equality" pale in comparison to the vast transfer of authority from natural families to the state."
She goes on, "Mr. Angelo criticizes my preference for biological parenthood. He doesn't offer an alternative, but the only alternative is unacceptable: to have the state assign parenthood in all cases. That's what "parent 1 and parent 2" means — the biological reality of mother and father is disregarded in favor of subjective definitions."
You don't have to agree with every single word to appreciate the larger truth: gay marriage is a radical — to the root — transformation of our fundamental principles of family law, family life, and the relationship between government and family, and between people of faith and our new government order.
Limited government is based on the idea that government does not get to redefine our reality or our rights. Remember, under the American system we recognize that rights come from the Creator, not government. Respect for marriage and the natural family as a limiting principle of government power is being replaced by a massive new intrusion of government to enforce "equality" laws.
You know who else has noticed how radical Anthony Kennedy's new America is? The polyamory lobby.
Anita Wagner Illig, a long-time polyamory spokeswoman, told Newsweek that the Supreme Court's DOMA decision was opening new doors: "A favorable outcome for marriage equality is a favorable outcome for multi-partner marriage, because the opposition cannot argue lack of precedent for legalizing marriage for other forms of non-traditional relationships."
True to form, exactly as we predicted, the polygamist movement is following the script laid down by the gay marriage activists.
Step one: Control the media image: only happy stories about happy polyamorists please.
Step two: Make oversized claims for the virtues of this way of life based on personal narratives backed by weak or shoddy scientific evidence. This February, the very first annual International Academic Polyamory Conference took place in Berkeley, California.
Step Three: Use the tragedy of family breakdown to justify breaking down some new family norms: "When I think about the number of kids with an absent parent, I think it's pretty great that my daughter has three adults in her life to give her time and attention and care. And with all the varieties of loving, blended families in the world, I fail to see why mine should be considered any differently."
Finally, put words in your child's mouth. When my daughter talks about same-sex marriage or polyamorous relationships, she always looks perplexed and says, "I don't understand why anyone is angry about people being in love and not hurting anyone." Make your child into the defender of your lifestyle and protector of your sexual minority rights. Children love their parents to death, they will be happy to repress their ambivalence and defend you.
Ah, those polyamorous "pioneers." Forging Brave New Families. Breaking down stereotypes and cultural norms. Those norms that teach us to cleave unto one wife only and give our children the stability of knowing they come from a family which respects the laws of nature and of nature's God. The norms that provide our children love and stability that come from being conceived in marriage between the mother and father who made you, welcomed you, loved you, and built a family for you.
But don't worry, the Log Cabin Republicans want you to know: Abraham Lincoln would approve of "marriage equality" as a conservative idea.
Abraham Lincoln the American hero who founded the GOP to battle what he called the twin "barbarisms" of slavery and polygamy. Wonder if young Angelo even has a clue about why the Republican Party came into existence.
The postmodern lies multiply on top of each other.
Thank you for being one of the People of truth. Together, with courage and with love, we will not abandon what God has joined.
Brian S. Brown