Dear Marriage Supporter,
Marriage is on a roll!
In Providence yesterday, a hearing was held about two bills: one which would redefine marriage--and one sponsored by Rep. Jon Brien which would refer the question to the people of Rhode Island.
Both Maggie Gallagher and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse were there, so I had a live report.
It was jammed! The media is reporting roughly similar-sized crowds (both in Providence and Rhode Island)--so that tells you how many of our folks turned out. On “Capitol TV,” behind the witnesses testifying were a sea of blue “one man, one woman equals marriage” signs.
Congrats to Chris Plante of NOM-Rhode Island and to all the hard-working Rhode Islanders who showed up to make sure their voices are heard!
You know who didn't show up to the hearing to testify? The speaker of the House. Or the governor.
Why not? First gay speaker in Rhode Island history. A governor who says gay marriage is his economic development plan in his inaugural address (I kid you not!). Why didn't they show?
I don't know for sure, but word on the street is: They don't have the votes.
Maggie tells me it was very clear at the hearings that the reps on the Judiciary Committee are struggling. They are getting hammered with phone calls and letters from their constituents. Keep it up--you are lighting a fire!
As one young woman told Maggie in the hallways just before the hearing, “113 people should not get to decide for all of Rhode Island what marriage is. The people should have the right to vote!”
Maryland also had a great turnout for our side; thank you.
After Maggie testified in Maryland, I was so moved to get this note from a woman we have never met who drove for two hours to attend the hearing:
Greetings to Brian Brown and all of the hardworking staff at NOM:
"I am a Marylander and drove two hours with a friend yesterday to attend the SSM hearing in Annapolis. I am so glad I spent the day doing this. I've only been recently getting politically active, as I see my Christian values being torn apart by angry wolves in the marketplace of ideas. Enough, I say.
I just wanted to share my appreciation of the fine testimony Maggie Gallagher gave to the senate panel, a panel that was clearly hostile to supporters of traditional marriage. She articulated a wonderful statement about the purpose of marriage, which is not to give people access to federal benefits, or to make them feel happy, or included, but to provide the proper environment for procreating and raising the next generation. Marvelous! My quiver of arguments just had a giant arrow added to it.
I thought you might like to know, however, what was going on in another part of the building from where Maggie was. Because there were so many people attending the hearing, they opened up an overflow room on the first floor, where I sat with my friend. Unlike the actual hearing room, where no clapping, cheering, or other sound could be made, it was easy to take the temperature of the attendees in the overflow room. It was quickly apparent that many of the attendees were traditional marriage supporters: black, white, old, young.... Once traditional marriage witnesses took the stand, the excitement level in the overflow room went up several notches, and there was a lot of applause regarding the arguments being made not only by Maggie, but by Alliance Defense Fund and other pro-traditional marriage/family values groups.
Although Maryland is extremely liberal, and many government officials want to see progressive ideals instituted in this state, I was encouraged to see that this is not the slam-dunk for same-sex marriage proponents that I thought it was.
Don’t believe the mainstream media's message of despair!
“Although I realize the deck is stacked against us, I can see now that same-sex marriage will never be the law of the land here. If it gets out of committee, and if it passes the senate, and if it passes the house, there will immediately be a referendum to let us vote on it, and I suspect Marylanders are never going to vote for it. I have the first ray of hope I've felt about the issue in this state for some time.
I've been supporting NOM to the best of my ability for the last year or so, and yesterday I saw my dollars hard at work. Thank you for continuing to tirelessly stand up to defend traditional marriage. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated.”
Christine ended up on an energized and optimistic note I really want to share with you:
Thank YOU Christine, so much, and thanks to everyone from all the organizations that are working so hard to protect marriage.
These are still very close votes in Rhode Island and Maryland. We haven't won yet. Keep the pressure on!
But the good news and the momentum keeps building.
In Indiana, a state marriage amendment just passed a critical hurdle in the House Judiciary Committee. We expect a vote on the floor soon--maybe today--and we fully expect another encouraging victory for marriage. The marriage amendment has already passed the Senate several times, so we don't expect problems there.
We've helped in Indiana, but the people we really need to thank for this victory is the Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family, Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute and Micah Clark of AFA-Indiana. You guys rock! We are all in your debt and we will all be cheering your great Indiana victory for marriage!
And Wyoming is another state with a great marriage victory pending--one which has been flying under the media's radar (natch!).
Thanks to ADF, Focus, and especially WyWatch Family Action, a marriage amendment just passed the Senate 20-10--a two-thirds margin required and achieved!
On the House side, a marriage amendment passed through the House Judiciary committee by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday. A full vote is pending in the House.
A state DOMA statute protecting marriage just passed the full House too.
So many people of all races, creeds, and colors are working together to defend a great good, and a great truth: To make a marriage you need a husband and wife.
I've got to get back to work. Maggie's over covering speeches by presidential contenders at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, for how well they address why social conservatism matters to conservatism--do they speak for life and marriage?
Check it out over at the American Principles Project's getconservative.com blog. Or you can find it up on the NOM site too.
I'm grateful to God for these victories. They are your victories, in defense of His truth about marriage.
God bless you,
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. As we fight for marriage in state after state, we need your help! Please consider whether you can make a monthly gift of $5 or $10, or a one-time gift of $50 or $100, to speak out for marriage.