Dear Marriage Supporter,
Our new Facebook page is exploding! More than 7,000 of you have "liked" our page in the last two weeks, and as I write we are at 16,383 fans. That means I need just 8,617 good, marriage-loving folks to go to:
Find and press the "like" button to meet our goal. Will you help me this week by "liking" our Facebook page?
And you can follow me on Twitter too!
Thanks so much!
The media is finally beginning to pay a little attention to the outpouring of hatred directed at good, loving, law-abiding and honorable Americans who believe that in order to make a marriage you need a husband and a wife.
Mostly, of course, they are pooh-poohing it—but before they can dismiss it, they have to at least note what is happening.
We can thank New York's Sen. Rev. Rubén Díaz not only for his staunch leadership for marriage, but for being willing to call out the press for failing to report the ugliness directed at him and his family.
On May 10th, one activist upset over the legislator's May 15th Rally to Protect Marriage wrote on Twitter that he wanted to sexually assault Díaz's daughter. And an online forum called The New Gay is organizing a "F*** Ruben Diaz Festival" in Brooklyn for June 11th.
The group called for written entries in which contestants are to "imagine a day" in Díaz's life. "Is he downtown scoring poppers? ... Is he waking up in a tangle of hard man-bodies after a raging orgy? ... Feel free to put Ruben in whatever ridiculous scenario you want," they write.
"I don't see this as a personal attack so much as one of those kind of 'laugh to keep from crying' sort of things," organizer Andrew Steinkuehler told the New York Daily News.
(I pause to say: I recognize that this kind of really ugly stuff is not coming from all or most supporters of gay marriage, much less gay people in general.)
Contrast that with the spirit displayed by Sen. Rev. Díaz himself at his rally in the Bronx.
Rick Barnes, head of the Catholic Conference in New York, was one of the few people who have stepped forward to defend Sen. Rev. Díaz.
"Where is the outrage in the media? Where is the cry for tolerance and justice for Rev. Díaz against these hate purveyors?" Barnes asked. "The answer, sadly, is that there is no outcry. Are they saving it for after something truly awful happens to this good man? Until the hate that is being incited boils over into violent behavior?"
"The entire campaign to enact same-sex marriage is conducted under a banner of acceptance, and equality and respect for others," Barnes continued. "Yet behind that banner of tolerance is another campaign—of intimidation, threats and ugliness. What at first appears to be simple juvenile behavior by a few is becoming a culture and climate of abusiveness toward those who disagree."
"Is this the future we look forward to in our state? Intolerance masquerading as tolerance, intimidation in the name of respect?" he added. "I hope not, but the wind certainly seems to be blowing in that direction."
As Americans, can we disagree, even (or especially) on deeply held and important moral issues, without hating one another?
Hatred and threats openly directed at gay people is widely (and justly) acknowledged to be a social problem.
Hatred directed at marriage supporters is culturally invisible, almost never reported by the media, and takes place with the apparent tacit approval of many powerful voices in "society." When fear leads people to decline to tell pollsters what they really think, that's celebrated by the New York Times as a sign of moral progress.
In fact, many responsible voices justify this hatred on ideological grounds. "You sow what you reap," an anonymous legislator reportedly told the New York Daily News explaining why so few voices have come to Sen. Rev. Díaz's defense.
Part of the trick is the increasing tendency of respectable voices and respectable news outlets to directly or indirectly blame marriage supporters for every suffering.
The latest example? The CDC released a report showing that teenagers who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender engage in much, much higher rates of behavior suggesting social, emotional, or psychological distress, including smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, and attempting suicide.
The media and many experts were quick to say social stigma is the main culprit. Surely it plays a role.
But buried in the same report are data from two different states, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. One has had gay marriage since 2003, and the other has had a marriage amendment since 2006.
Which do you suppose is a safer place for LGBT teens?
The answer: Wisconsin by a mile. For example, about 25 percent of Massachusetts teens who self-identify as "gay" said they had missed schools because they felt unsafe, compared to 14 percent of Wisconsin teens. More than half (50.5 percent) of Massachusetts gay teens said they felt "sad or hopeless" compared to 29 percent of Wisconsin teens. Thirty-three percent of Massachusetts gay teens attempted suicide, compared to less than 20 percent of Wisconsin teens. Massachusetts gay teens were about twice as likely as Wisconsin gay teens to commit a suicide attempt serious enough to require medical care (15 percent to 8 percent). (By contrast, heterosexual teens in both states were about equally likely to have committed a suicide attempt that required medical care: around 2 percent.)
It's hard to be a gay teen, but if you are going to be one, it's much better to live in Wisconsin, a state which passed a marriage amendment by 60 percent, than Massachusetts, a state which has gay marriage.
Why is this stark clear evidence that marriage is not responsible for gay teens' suffering never, ever considered worthy of mention in the debates over bullying?
Mind you: All these numbers are far too high. These are clearly kids who need help, each one a precious child of God.
The point I am making here is how information is being systematically presented in a biased way to foster a false view of reality in which support for marriage equals hatred against gay people and is responsible for their suffering.
Once you have cultivated this mindset, the open hatred directed against good people like Sen. Rev. Díaz is merely "righteous anger."
And it's building.
Take a look at this video produced by Tradition, Family, Property.
It's only a sign that got ripped in half, thank God—but the absolute certainty that he's entitled to behave this way displayed by the man who does this is disturbing, to say the least.
This kind of minor display of violence is a signal: For too many gay-marriage advocates, the future of marriage is not an important battle about which good people disagree. For too many of these advocates, those who oppose gay marriage are not only wrong (we all think that about people with whom we disagree)—they are bad, wicked, irrational bigots who must be silenced and stigmatized.
In a lot of ways I hesitate to even focus on this problem myself. I'm a pretty sunny kind of guy and for me, fighting the battle for marriage is awe-inspiring and even fun.
Here's Maggie at the Faith and Freedom conference in D.C. last week on a panel on the Catholic vote led by Deal Hudson, explaining three great reasons why activists and candidates should fight for marriage:
- Marriage is a necessary social institution, the way we bring men and women together to make the future happen.
- Gay marriage redefines not only marriage; it also redefines the relationship between America and the Judeo-Christian tradition. For the first time in American history, a powerful political movement is attempting to make ordinary Christian views on sex and marriage taboo in polite society and the public square.
- Winning is fun! Especially when you are told time and time again that your victories are "impossible"!
The very best part is working together in a genuine spirit of love with good people like you.
The fight for New York is now ticking down to the wire. If you live in New York, could you write a letter to the editor today standing for marriage and calling for respect for differences of opinion in New York?
NOM makes it easy.
I think we owe it to the Sen. Rev. Díazes of the world to acknowledge the heat they take in standing up for marriage.
Pray for Sen. Rev. Díaz and for all who are standing up for marriage—and, this week, please pray for our opponents too.
God bless you and keep you. This is a fight they cannot win unless we give up. And that I promise you we will never do.
Semper fi, and keep fighting the good fight!
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
P.S. Can you help us today as we seek more great victories for marriage? Whether you can give $20 or $200—or maybe a monthly donation of just $10—know that you can make a difference for our country.