Dear Friends of Marriage,
If you listen to Ted Olson, the attorney enthusiastically leading the charge to trample on the civil rights of the 7 million Californians who voted for Proposition 8 by asking the Supreme Court to read gay marriage into our nation's constitution, you eventually get a sense of the movie unfolding in his head.
He's the star. This is Ted Olson's Great Adventure. Now, at least, freed from the stigma of being the Bush Administration Solicitor General, he gets to bask in media glory. He gets to be a World-Historical Figure. Ted Olson told the press, "What happens in this case won't just affect the people of California, it will affect the country. And what happens in the United States will affect the rest of the world."
Ted is right in that one. This is a worldwide battle for common sense, against a movement that wishes to strip ordinary citizens of their right to protect marriage in law, culture and society.
Maggie was interviewed for a documentary on marriage this week. The filmmaker asked her something not very many people do: "What's your end game in this fight?"
"I talked to Evan Wolfson," the filmmaker said. (Note: Evan Wolfson is one of the key architects of the court strategy for imposing gay marriage.) "And for him the answer is simple: Victory means gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. That's the end game. But I sense for you the answer is different and more complex."
He's right. Our fight against gay marriage is just one part of a larger calling to rebuild a civilization of love, that is based on marriage.
The CDC released its latest data, "Preliminary birth rates of 2008." The mainstream media headlines focused on a small piece of good news: After suddenly rising for the last two years, teen births dropped.
But the headlines covered up the really big and really sad news: Out-of-wedlock birth rates are still rising.
By the first years of this century--after welfare reform, and after a new marriage movement emphasizing the importance of marriage and fatherhood took wing--the growth in unmarried childbearing appeared to trail off. American society appeared to be learning, or re-learning, the key truth that it's better for children to be born to and raised by their own mom and dad.
And then starting in 2002, the unwed birth rates suddenly jumped up again. In the latest data, 41 percent of American children begin life outside of marriage--which means outside of a firm vow of fidelity, family and mutual caretaking, a vow taken by a mother and a father committed to being one family with their own flesh and blood.
Stopping the legal deformation of marriage is one key step, as is protecting the ordinary civil rights of voters, including religious people and communities.
But the end game for us in this fight for marriage is something quite different: transmitting a marriage culture to the next generation.
That means creating an America in which each year more children are born to and protected by their mother and father united in a loving, decent, average good-enough marriage.
In the middle of our necessary and exciting political victories, we do not forget that they are meant to serve a larger purpose.
This week the Ruth Institute (a project of NOM which your support helps make possible) announced its second annual student leadership conference, which will be held in San Diego this August. (Find out more by clicking here--and tell a student you know!) The gay marriage movement is in the business of raising the costs of speaking up for the truth about the good and isolating our potential next generation leaders on their campuses in an atmosphere meant to discourage them--and through them, us--about the possibility of creating a culture of marriage and life.
The Ruth Institute's "It Takes a Family to Raise a Village" conference aimed to "educate the next generation of marriage champions." Find out more how to help raise your own marriage champions by giving them an opportunity to apply for a conference that will teach them how marriage matters, how to live it, and how to defend it in the public square.
It's a welcome contrast to what officialdom in these same campuses is preaching. Which vision will capture the imagination and feed the hearts and mind of young people: Lifelong, life-giving marriage or "Porn Week at Yale"?
Speaking of which, Maggie wrote this week in her column about a new report, "The Social Costs of Pornography":
"The Witherspoon Institute recently gathered a groundbreaking conference of social scientists, psychiatrists, philosophers, neuroscientists and legal scholars to discuss that question, and the results have been released in a new book, 'The Social Costs of Pornography' (available at socialcostsofpornography.org)."
Prof. Mary Anne Layden, Director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania concludes, "The large body of research on pornography reveals that it functions as a teacher of, a permission-giver for, and a trigger of many negative behaviors and attitudes that can severely damage not only the users but many others, including strangers."
According to Layden, "Exposure to pornography leads men to rate their female partners as less attractive than they would have had they not been exposed and to be less satisfied with their partners' attractiveness, sexual performance, and level of affection, and expressed a greater desire for sex without emotional involvement."
She concludes, "For males, more pornography use was associated with greater acceptance of sex outside of marriage for married individuals, greater acceptance of sex before marriage, and less child-centeredness during marriage. The reduced desire for children is especially pronounced in a reduced desire for female children."
Men who use porn do not want daughters. What does that tell you about the social costs of porn?
As Maggie goes on to say, "Porn disconnects the reward system of the male sex drive from the drive to master reality. Porn is nowhere near as satisfying as a real relationship with a woman, but it is a lot easier and much less fraught with the possibility of failure or humiliation. Porn use thus is an aid to sexual failure in men, and a contributor to our ongoing failure to create a culture that connects men and women, parents and children, sex and love."
You can find out more at socialcostsofpornograpy.org.
Thank you for all you make possible. After all, with God, nothing is impossible.
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
PS: NOM relies on your donations to help build up a culture of loving marriage. Can you spare $10, $20, or even $100 today to make your voice heard?
NOM in the News
"Gay Marriage Issue Affects Calif. GOP Senate Race"
April 1, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage is spending $300,000 on television ads that liken Campbell to Boxer on taxes and gay marriage, calling them two peas in the same liberal pod.
"Senate Contest Tests GOP's 'Big Tent'"
March 31, 2010
Established in 2007 to combat same-sex marriage, NOM is headed by Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher. The two were among the most influential backers of Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that reversed the California Supreme Court decision permitting same-sex marriage, and of a 2009 ballot measure in Maine that overturned same-sex marriage in that state.
"Prop 8 Update"
April 2, 2010
Conservatives are making the issue the central focus of the upcoming California senate race, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into political advertising targeting liberal democrats in advance of the June primary. The National Organization for Marriage spent $300,000 attacking former congressman Tom Campbell, as supporter of gay marriage. The ads appear to be working; recent polls show Campbell's front-runner status is slipping.
"Two Peas in a Pod?"
California Catholic Daily
April 6, 2010
The National Organization for Marriage has taken aim at Republican senatorial hopeful Tom Campbell, airing ads in California claiming Campbell and incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, are "two peas in the same liberal pod."
"Gay Men Only?"
Jennifer Roback Morse
April 4, 2010
"Kids Do as Well with Same Sex Parents," the headlines screamed. I crossed swords with Judith Stacey, one of the authors of this most recent study, at a debate at Bowling Green State a few years ago. I asked her point blank if she believed men and women were completely interchangeable as parents. In front of that very friendly audience, she said absolutely: the gender of parents doesn't matter. And so she says now, in this new article the media loved. But midway through the article, her argument shifts from a "no difference" argument to my favorite definition of feminism: men and women are identical, except women are better. Her article ends with an intimation that I believe tells strongly against same sex marriage. Redefining marriage will create a cultural climate that will drive men out of the family, and lead to the belief that the only good man is a gay man.