Dear Marriage Supporter,
"Stay out of New York City."
That is effectively the message that a City Councilman named Daniel Dromm has sent to you, me, and millions of pro-marriage Americans — including the millions who already live in the city that never sleeps. And none of us, least of all New Yorkers, can allow ourselves to remain silent about it.
Dromm sent his message by way of remarks to the Huffington Post, when he said of anyone who believes in marriage as the union of one man and one woman:
We don't need bigots coming to New York City. They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York's diverse community, including the LGBT community. [...] We don't need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves. They need to wake up and see reality.
"Not welcome here." Yes, you read that right. An individual's own privately-held beliefs, if they conflict with Mr. Drumm's radical new orthodoxy, even if those beliefs are never publicly expressed, make that person guilty of a "thought-crime" and label him or her a "bigot" that doesn't belong in the Big Apple!
What spurred Dromm's remarks? The announcement that Chick-fil-A had plans to expand its operations into New York City. Dromm is one of those intolerant few who still cling bitterly to a misremembered moment in 2012 when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was reported in the press expressing his personal belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.
In Dromm's and others' imaginations, this meant that Chick-fil-A was an "anti-gay company" and that Cathy and the many thousands who work for him deserve punishment. You may remember how, at the time, several cities mayors and councilmembers said that Chick-fil-A was unwelcome in their jurisdictions. But Dromm's recent remarks go even further: he's effectively said that anyone who believes in marriage, regardless of how privately they hold these beliefs, is a "bigot" who doesn't belong!
I shudder to think I've lived to see the day when a public official in our great nation can make such an outrageously intolerant statement and not be taken to task in every quarter for such an un-American and uncivil position. These remarks should have stirred public outcry and a flurry of media attention: but instead we hear deafening silence from the media, which is tantamount to a tacit approval.
What does this say about our media culture? When Brendan Eich was appointed as the new CEO of Mozilla, and it came to light that years before he had given a donation to Proposition 8, a few activists on Twitter expressed disapproval. But the media eagerly leapt to the task of fanning that flame and ignited a true firestorm in the press that eventually ended with Eich's being forced to step down from his position.
But when the shoe is on the other foot, we don't hear a peep from the press. Where is the national outcry over the news coming last week from Portland, Oregon, about Chauncy Childs and the new business she's trying to start?
You haven't heard of her? I'm not surprised. That's because she's not a gay activist. She's not a radical leftist trying to redefine marriage and family to suit her own personal desires. Instead, she's a pro-marriage individual who posted on her private Facebook page some expressions of her beliefs.
So you probably haven't heard how gay activists are trying to force her business closed before it even opens its doors. They've even been posting lists of vendors that trade with her small shop, Moreland Farmers Pantry, and calling for a boycott of those other businesses until they sever ties with Mrs. Childs. One local restaurant owner, a man who actually supports same-sex ‘marriage,' spoke up against the bullying targeted at Mrs. Childs — and now his restaurant has been targeted by a separate boycott!
Is this the environment we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren? An environment where belief in marriage as God designed it is made into a "thought crime" and the sole criterion by which one can be excluded from a company position, a business relationship, or even a whole city community?
Of course not. Absolutely not. But the culture isn't going to turn around on its own. We need to stand up and speak out.
Here's what you can do.
So here's what you can do today to respond to these latest outrages waged against people like you and me who believe in marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
If you live in New York, send a strong message to the City Council that Mr. Dromm's remarks should be condemned, and the City should apologize to the millions of New Yorkers that have been insulted and hurt by this display of gross intolerance.
For those of us who do not live in New York, we can make our voices heard with this summer's March for Marriage on June 19th. We are working hard to make sure we bring as many people to the Capitol as possible, to show that a groundswell of support still exists in our country for the values you and I believe in.
But of course, the March requires a great deal of resources and planning, and we can use your help. Please consider making a gift to the March for Marriage today and help us to spread the word about this event which comes at such a critical time in the public debate over marriage.
We need to show the radical activists out to redefine marriage that their tactics of intimidation and bullying won't work — that they aren't going to silence us or crowd us out of the public square. On the contrary, we're going to take to the public square even more literally, marching in the streets of our capitol against their brash attempts to curtail our rights of free speech, free assembly, and free exercise.
Thank you for standing — and Marching — with us!
Brian S. Brown