Dear Marriage Supporter,
It's a cautionary tale for the political establishment and the partisan pundits who continue, against all evidence, to push the narrative that marriage is a losing issue at the polls: "Social conservatives post wins in Indiana legislative races," the headline declared.
The Hoosier voters who took to the ballot box on Tuesday in the Indiana primary were not fooled by the spin and misinformation that surrounded the heated debate over HJR3 — the proposed Indiana Marriage Amendment — earlier this year.
The amendment resolution, you'll recall, was supported by NOM and our local allies. But it was opposed by liberal interests with money from Hollywood and Wall Street. The opposition poured a lot of effort and money into misinforming the legislature and drumming up a false narrative about what the amendment would have accomplished... and ultimately they succeeded in scaring skittish politicians into betraying their constituents — or perhaps buying them with their offer of unlimited campaign financing. The amendment was watered down and delayed to 2016 at the earliest.
At the time, NOM made it clear that we would work with our allies to hold these legislators accountable. And on Tuesday we delivered. The politicians who had betrayed the people of Indiana on marriage found out on Tuesday how much voters want representatives who will stand strong for marriage.
INDIANAPOLIS — The headlines following the primary election upsets of State Reps. Rebecca Kubacki and Kathy Heuer were along the lines of "social conservatives strike back."
The two northeastern Indiana Republicans voted to strike the second sentence of HJR-3 and then voted against the amendment itself...
And as Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute reported, "[i]t's worth noting that no supporter of the marriage amendment was defeated on that issue, despite claims by some on the other side that the bill's author, Rep. Eric Turner, or the committee chair who advanced the measure, Milo Smith, would be targeted for defeat by pro-gay activist."
And this is really no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to well done polling over the past 18 months.
Just two weeks ago you'll recall the Family Research Council and American Values announced the results of their poll showing that 82% of Republicans or right-leaning independents believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. And 75% believe politicians are wrong for abandoning marriage.
You also will recall NOM's own polling in November 2012 that showed that 60% of voters believe marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman.
And the American people continue to stand for marriage in the public square. Just yesterday in North Carolina, NC Values held a public rally commemorating the 2nd Anniversary of the passage of the North Carolina Marriage Amendment.
And next week, on May 13th the people of Virginia will rally as the court takes up the challenge to the Virginia Marriage Amendment. If you can be in Richmond to stand and pray that the court will uphold the sovereign vote of the people and God's definition of marriage — please join them.
Speaking of the courts...just like all the good news from the polls and public square, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion two weeks ago that gives much reason for optimism for marriage champions in the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.
In a case dealing with very sensitive issues regarding race relations, the majority decision authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that the Court's finding "is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.... that the courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow" [emphasis added].
Justice Kennedy's decision in the Schuette case found that Michigan's decision of a question about affirmative action by committing the issue to the voters is a sound one, and he wrote that "There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in [the Supreme] Court's precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters."
Over at NRO, Carrie Severino opined on the decision in a piece entitled "What Does Schuette Mean for Marriage?" that "Kennedy's language in today's opinion is very encouraging for those who defend the states' constitutional authority to resist federal pressure to redefine marriage."
Severino went on to explain:
[Kennedy] describes the statewide initiative allowing Michigan voters to amend the Michigan Constitution as "a basic exercise of their democratic power" and lauds the initiative system as a means "to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues."
This high regard for the initiative process was evident in Kennedy's dissent in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California's Proposition 8 that amended the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In that case, he lauded the initiative process as "establish[ing] a lawmaking process that does not depend upon state officials" to keep the power of government ultimately in the hands of the people themselves. He also praised our system of government for "allow[ing] disputes of public policy to be resolved by the political process rather than the courts" [emphasis added].
As I wrote recently, Kennedy's decision "strongly support[s] the initiative process and the sovereign right of voters to directly enact social policy the media and the elite consider to be 'controversial.'"
As the TimesHerald.com wrote this week: [Michigan] Attorney General Bill Schuette hopes the appeals court uses the same reasoning when deciding Michigan's same-sex marriage case as the U.S. Supreme Court used when upholding Michigan's voter-approved ban on affirmative action policies used by the state's universities.
In a brief filed in the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday evening, Schuette repeatedly brought up the Supreme Court's ruling that Michigan voters had the right to ban universities from using affirmative action in admissions decisions. The same should hold true for the same-sex marriage case because Michigan residents voted in 2004 to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
When you combine Kennedy's recent decision with SCOTUS' unanimous issuing of a stay in the Utah marriage case and their rationale in the DOMA ruling from last summer, there is strong reason for marriage champions to be optimistic about how the Supreme Court will rule when it takes up one or more of the many marriage cases in the next 12 months.
All of this news should put to rest the myth that the redefinition of marriage is inevitable — voters refuse to believe it and SCOTUS has potentially signaled that marriage should be left to the states — thirty-one of which have voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The March for Marriage
But marriage supporter, we need to do more and that's where this year's March for Marriage comes in. SCOTUS may have provided a hint of what's to come, but we must provide the voice that they cannot ignore — the voice of America's marriage champions marching for marriage through the streets of our nation's capital.
Do you remember the tragedy of Roe v. Wade? It's nearly impossible to forget.
How much would you sacrifice to go back in time to a few months before that fateful decision, to the summer of 1972, and mobilize the American people BEFORE the Supreme Court issued that infamous decree? Just about anything, right? Well, when it comes to marriage, we have that chance!
You see, it's 1972 for marriage.
And the March for Marriage is our chance to tell the Supreme Court, the Congress, the media, and the nation that marriage matters because every child deserves a mom AND a dad.
If you haven't already made plans to join us for this crucial event, please try to clear your schedule for June 19th and march with me and thousands of other marriage champions from around the nation as we make clear to the Court that America stands for marriage as one man and one woman.
The debate about marriage is not over yet — not by a long shot — and with your help we can make sure the Supreme Court, Congress, and the American people hear our voice — Marriage Matters Because Children Deserve a Mom and a Dad.
As always, I deeply appreciate all you have done to stand for marriage throughout the years. I hope that you will continue as we march on into the months and years to come.
Brian S. Brown
PS — All of the work that NOM is engaged in is important and it's making a difference. But it also requires us to devote substantial financial resources to be successful. If you are able, please consider making a financial contribution to support us. We would be very grateful to receive it.