Dear Friends of Marriage,
The New York Times headline says simply: "New Jersey Marriage Vote Canceled."
But the truth is slowly beginning to be acknowledged: They lost. They just didn't have the votes. On Thursday the New Jersey Senate was supposed to vote on gay marriage. Gay-marriage advocates had promised their supporters that they would pass a gay marriage bill this year. It was a done deal. Gay marriage was inevitable in New Jersey, they said. Over and over again.
But a funny thing happened on the way to inevitability: you.
You and millions of other Americans, with grace, courage and dignity, decided to take a stand for marriage. And this week, once again you proved: You can make a difference!
You won! Marriage won. Truth won. Democracy won. Common sense won. Religious liberty won. The right of the people to influence their elected representatives was once more reaffirmed.
Kip Bateman, one of the Republican senators who came out against gay marriage, was very blunt about the fuss you helped create: "'I've been inundated. Hundreds and hundreds of emails, phone calls,' said Sen. Christopher 'Kip' Bateman (R-Somerset) who voted against the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 'My staff's ready to walk out. The phones ring from the time they come in to the time they walk out the door.'" (From NJ.com's piece on the vote.) But just as in New York, this was not a partisan victory. Key Democrats came together with Republicans across lines of party, race, and gender to say: Enough is enough. Gay couples have all the rights and benefits of marriage through civil unions. There is no good reason to mess around witih marriage.
Garden State Equality called off the vote, because they decided it was better not to vote than to suffer another large, lopsided public defeat, on the heels of the 38-24 blowout in the New York state senate last week.
Now let's not celebrate too prematurely: The gay marriage bill is not dead yet. We will find out over the next few days and weeks if there will be a serious effort to push the bill in the Assembly, or if the switch from the Senate to the Assembly is just a graceful way out of another lopsided vote against gay marriage like New York's. Here's what I told reporters after the announcement that the vote was being canceled: "Guess what, they don't have the votes in the Assembly either."
Ben Smith over at Politico, one of the fairest reporters in a tough biz, posted a story with the headline, "Is Gay Marriage 'Inevitable'?" We appreciate that he quotes NOM's own Maggie Gallagher saying "The events of the last few months have put a serious dent in the idea that gay marriage is inevitable." But the bulk of his story suggests that gay marriage is inevitable anyway.
Maggie took the occasion to publish a short column over at National Review's The Corner--I'm including a lengthy excerpt for you to enjoy.
Maggie's Top Eight Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Not Inevitable
1. Nothing is inevitable.
We are talking about the future here. It's weird to have "reporting" that something that has not yet happened will certainly happen. The future is never inevitable.
2. Young people are not as unanimous as most people think.
In California, the young-adults vote split 55 percent to 45 percent. Is it so hard to imagine 5 percent of those young people changing their minds as they move through the life cycle?
3. The argument from despair is bait and switch.
They are trying push the idea that gay marriage is inevitable, because they are losing the argument that gay marriage is a good idea.
4. Progressives are often wrong about the future.
Progressives told me abortion would be a dead issue by today, because young people in 1975 were so pro-choice. They told me there would be no more homemakers at all by the year 2000, because of the attitudes and values of young women in 1975. Some even told me the Soviet Union was the wave of the future. ...
5. Demography could be destiny.
Traditionalists have more children. ...Religous groups are increasingly focused on the problem of how to transmit a marriage culture to the next generation (see the USCCB's recent initiatives).
6. Change is inevitable.
Generational arguments tend to work only for one generation: Right now, it's "cool" to be pro-gay marriage. In ten years, it will be what the old folks think. Even gay people may decide, as they get used to living in a tolerant and free America, they don't want to waste all that time and energy on a symbolic social issue, anyway. ...Inevitability is a manufactured narrative, not a fundamental truth.
7. Newsflash: 18-year-olds can be wrong.
Should we really say "Hmm, whatever the 18-year-olds think, that must be inevitable," and go do that? I mean, would we reason like that on any other issue?
8. New York's highest court was right.
From Hernandez v. Robles:
"The dissenters assert confidently that 'future generations' will agree with their view of this case (dissenting op at 396). We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives. ..."
More good news from your string of hard-fought victories in Maine, New York, and now (we hope) New Jersey: Jerry Nadler just announced he's not pushing for a vote on DOMA in 2010. Now, Pres. Obama promised his supporters he'd try to repeal DOMA, so we aren't necessarily believing Rep. Nadler. But his announcement is another sign that the tide is turning, and there is a real ripple effect from the victories already achieved.
Gay-marriage netroots are increasingly looking for someone to blame. Over at Queerty, a gay website, some people are calling for a boycott of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's leading gay rights organization. Why? Because well, gay and lesbian Americans have funneled over $500 million dollars to HRC over the last 20 years and (some say) have very little to show for it legislatively. Yes, that is half a billion dollars, with a "b," that HRC has had to throw around--$43 million in the last year alone.
The piece generating this netroots commentary is called, "HRC Can't Get ENDA Passed, But It Can Get a Disagreeing Journalist Fired."
It's a story about Larry Grard, a 58-year-old reporter for the Maine Morning Sentinel, who was so upset by the press release HRC sent out the morning after our great victory in Maine, calling the Yes on One campaign a campaign of "lies and hate," that he fired off a personal email from his private account in response.
Now, we get lots of emails here at NOM. So what happened next was very telling. Instead of just brushing it off and going aobut their business, HRC decided that what they should do with their 43 million dollars this year is devote staff time to figuring out just who sent that snarky email and seeing if they could get the guy in trouble with his boss.
So Larry Grard is now fired. (His union has filed a grievance and our friend Bill Donohue has taken up the legal case.) To add to the outrage, Maine Today stepped in an abruptly canceled his wife's cooking column.
"I mean, it's small is what it is. It's just absolutely astonishing that they did that. We could not believe it," he says. "My wife, who absolutely did nothing wrong, [just] because she has the same last name as I do, they discontinued her cooking column, which was enormously popular," Grard told One News Now.
HRC maintains that it did not try to get Larry or his wife canned. So what did it hope to accomplish? Why exactly did that gargantuan organization devote time and energy to track down Larry Grard, find his boss, and then get this small-town reporter in trouble with his boss because he shot off an email disagreeing with gay marriage?
Small, low and mean--but sadly not atypical. Gay-marriage advocates are using their class power and backroom networks to try to take jobs away from people who disagree with them, from waitresses to business tycoons... and now teachers and reporters. Why is Don Mendell, a Maine high school guidance counselor, facing charges that could result in the loss of his job solely because he appeared in a TV commercial saying marriage is the union of husband and wife? Even if he is ultimately exonerated (which we trust he will be, since the people of Maine repudiated gay marriage), what kind of movement permits, encourages, or even tolerates this kind of mean-spirited attack on the livelihoods of those who disagree?
I will believe HRC didn't want this reporter fired when Joe Solomonese expresses any kind of regret for the widespread attacks on people, property and livelihoods that occurred after Prop 8. It's just that usually this stuff occurs behind the scenes. When it happens in front of the camera gay-marriage advocates try to deny their role.
Larry Grard, who news reports say suffers from chronic insomnia and prostate cancer and whose wife is diabetic, is now out of a job. Is HRC happy about that?
Or will they join with NOM today to call on the Morning Sentinel in particular and society in general to protect the jobs of both those who favored and those who opposed Question One in Maine?
No American should be afraid because they peacefully participated in the democratic process, either for or against gay marriage.
Believe me, I know that most ordinary gay people aren't to blame. Gay-marriage supporters, gay and straight, would be appalled by this kind of hardball tactic. Most ordinary Americans are much nicer than that.
But this is a powerful, well-funded political movement which increasingly believes they have a right to win, and they don't appear to have that many scruples about how.
"Be not afraid." Especially not this week, when miracles continue to happen.
God bless you and keep you safe and happy. You are in my prayers.
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
PS: NOM relies on the generous support of people like you to continue in our mission of promoting and protecting the truth about marriage. Can you help us today with $10, $20, or even $200? You can make a difference!
NOM Featured Video
Diane Williams interviews Brian Brown on ABC
December 6, 2009
"The loss for gay-rights advocates in New York state delivered a huge victory for the National Organization for Marriage...."
NOM Featured Article
"Maggie's Top Eight Reasons Why Gay Marriage Is Not Inevitable"
The Corner--National Review Online
"Is Gay Marriage 'Inevitable'?"
December 9, 2009
The same-sex marriage movement appears likely to end a banner year with a string of stinging defeats that opponents say have undermined a core proposition of the movement -- that the acceptance of gay marriage is, sooner or later, inevitable.
"About Gay Marriage and 'Inevitability'"
New York Magazine--Daily Intel
December 9, 2009
Today Politico is running a banner headline, "Gay Marriage's 'Inevitability' in Doubt." It's essentially the same as an AP story that ran Thanksgiving week. It even uses essentially the same quote from National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher: "The events of the last few months have put a serious dent in the idea that gay marriage is inevitable." Basically, Politico is swallowing the story line being put out by her and other gay-marriage foes. It's like they let her write the headline.
NOM in the News: New Jersey
"Facing Defeat, NJ Gay 'Marriage' Vote Put Off"
December 10, 2009
Supporters of "gay marriage" suffered another setback in the Northeast when a much-anticipated vote on the issue in the New Jersey Senate was cancelled, apparently due to a lack of support. ...
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes the bill, told Baptist Press, "The reason they delayed the vote was because they didn't have the votes. If they had had the votes they would have posted the bill.... It's a last-ditch effort because they knew they were going to fail in the Senate so they're going to try and prolong it and see what they can do so they don't have another loss like New York on their hands."
December 11, 2009
In what traditional marriage advocates are calling a "tremendous blow" to same-sex marriage, the New Jersey state Senate indefinitely postponed a vote on same-sex marriage legislation, which was originally slated for Thursday.
"New Jersey Gay Marriage Vote Could Shape Battles Ahead"
December 9, 2009
"If New Jersey rejects gay marriage, this is the last hope the gay marriage movement has of legislatively approving gay marriage any time in the foreseeable future," said Maggie Gallagher, head of the National Organization for Marriage. "It's an important vote."
"Two Sides Spend Big in Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey"
December 9, 2009
"This is the whole ballgame," said Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which has spent more than $600,000 in radio and TV ads and robo-calls against same-sex marriage.
"If it's signed into law, we have a long hard slog to shift the nature of the Legislature," he said. If we win this vote, this is dead for the next four years."
"Nation Watching NJ's Gay Marriage Vote"
December 9, 2009
But Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage said it was more likely states that already recognize same-sex marriage will have those laws repealed through voter referendums, and he's working in Iowa and New Hampshire to have that happen.
NOM in the News: New York and Beyond
"News of the Day"
New York Daily News--The Daily Politics
December 3, 2009
The president of the National Organization for Marriage, Maggie Gallagher, called the bill's defeat "a huge win."
"Paterson to Wait on Reintroducing Same-Sex Marriage Bill"
Lower Hudson Journal News--Politics on the Hudson
December 3, 2009
"I don't see how a loss of this magnitude -- with a quarter of the Democratic Party and all the Republicans voting against them -- produces any clear way for them to respond to this," said Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization For Marriage, who lives in Ossining, Westchester County.
"National Organization for Marriage Expands Legal Challenge"
Maine Public Broadcasting Network
December 8, 2009
The National Organization for Marriage says it hopes to influence next year's legislative and gubernatorial elections by letting voters know which candidates support or oppose gay marriage. Lawyers for NOM have filed an amended complaint in the U.S. District Court last week asking that it not be subjected to state laws requiring financial disclosures from its contributors.
"Question 1 Group Eyes Lawmakers in Next Election"
Bangor Daily News
December 10, 2009
The national group that contributed more than $1.5 million to overturn Maine's same-sex marriage law now hopes to influence next year's elections for the State House.
The National Organization for Marriage has indicated in court filings that it plans to make gay marriage an issue in the coming races for governor and legislative seats. The organization would apparently target legislators who voted in support of a same-sex marriage bill that was ultimately repealed by voters.
"NY Gay Marriage Bill Defeated By Wide Margin"
December 3, 2009
A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New York failed by a surprisingly wide margin Wednesday, chalking up another big win for traditional marriage advocates.