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The Atlantic Wonders, “What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life?”

A Catholic priest once shared with me an insight he’d gleaned during years of preparing engaged couples for marriage. Whether the insight was his own, or something he’d picked up from reading or listening somewhere, I don’t know. I just remember the phrase and how it stuck in my mind. Increasingly, he said, he’d found that couples showed a tendency to “want to spend a lot more time and effort preparing for the wedding, which lasts a day, than they do preparing for the marriage, which lasts a lifetime. ”

It’s a pithy statement; and it rings true. As divorce rates have risen dramatically in the course of the last several decades, surely the question of preparedness for marriage must be part of any analysis of the trend. On the other end of the question is the matter of marriage being delayed for many couples until later in life, if not foregone entirely—replaced by years-long, live-in relationships with no legal (but no fewer emotional and psychological) strings attached. It’s gotten to the point that, in the rare instance of a couple getting engaged in their early twenties, the reaction of society is such that one would think the young lovers had expressed their intention to fly to and colonize one of Jupiter’s moons. 

A piece published this week at The Atlantic provides some insight into at least one aspect of how young people may be ill-prepared to enter the marriage contract, lacking the affective maturity necessary and also having wrong-headed ideas about what makes marriage the special relationship that it is. The piece, by writer Rhaina Cohen, is entitled, “What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life? ” and it details the experience of many people who have faced a particular dilemma in their romantic relationships: they are uncomfortable with the idea that such a relationship can in any way supplant or supersede their existing friendships. In the first paragraph, Cohen illustrated the case-in-point by way of quoting the experience of one young woman named Kami West, who after “a distressing experience in her mid-20s” with a boyfriend who seemed jealous of her best friend, a woman named Kate Tillotson, henceforth took pains to make sure the confusion that had distressed her would never be allowed to arise again. With her latest boyfriend, West explains, she laid it all out for him:

“‘I need you to know that [Tillotson’s] not going anywhere. She is my No. 1,'” Cohen quotes West as telling her boyfriend. Cohen goes on: “Tillotson was there before him, and, West told him, ‘she will be there after you. And if you think at any point that this isn’t going to be my No. 1, you’re wrong.'”

“She will be there after you. ” This single phrase sums up one aspect of how West’s view of her romantic relationship is out of step with conventional and traditional understandings of marriage. For, after all, if West is planning—or at least open—to marrying her boyfriend one day, then it seems odd to speak of a relationship coming “after” her relationship with her boyfriend: because marriage is a life-long commitment, ‘until death do us part.’

Cohen details the experience of many other individuals in her story in order to illustrate her point. More on these later. But first, what is that point Cohen is seeking to demonstrate? She writes [emphasis added]:

In the past few decades, Americans have broadened their image of what constitutes a legitimate romantic relationship: Courthouses now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Americans are getting married later in life than ever before, and more and more young adults are opting to share a home rather than a marriage license with a partner. Despite these transformations, what hasn’t shifted much is the expectation that a monogamous romantic relationship is the planet around which all other relationships should orbit .

By placing a friendship at the center of their lives, people such as West and Tillotson unsettle this norm. Friends of their kind sweep into territory typically reserved for romantic partners : They live in houses they purchased together, raise each other’s children, use joint credit cards, and hold medical and legal powers of attorney for each other. These friendships have many of the trappings of romantic relationships, minus the sex.

It is telling that it is Cohen herself that connects the emergence of such trends around friendship with the rise of same-sex ‘marriage.’ One of the sets of friends whose experience she covers is two gay men named Joe Rivera and John Carroll, who “met at a gay bar in Austin, Texas [where] Rivera was the emcee for a strip competition, and Carroll won the $250 cash prize.” The men live together, and Cohen describes their relationship as being “like brothers,” though Cohen quotes Carroll as describing their situation thus: “we have a little married-couple thing going on even though we’re not married.” Cohen calls this one of many typical “mixed analogies” that describes the new phenomena of intimate friendships she is investigating. She later details more about the men’s relationship, wherein she seems to make clear that their living situation is platonic and non-sexual. But at the same time, she quotes Carroll in a telling passage where he explains his view of his relationship with Rivera in contrast to “expectations” about romantic relationships and friendship more generally:

Carroll, who met his platonic partner, Joe Rivera, at a gay bar, describes [the] type of romantic relationship [where people ‘rely… on their spouses for social and emotional support’] as “one-stop shopping.” People expect to pile emotional support, sexual satisfaction, shared hobbies, intellectual stimulation, and harmonious co-parenting all into the same cart. Carroll, 52, thinks this is an impossible ask; experts share his concern.

Note how casually “sexual satisfaction” and “harmonious co-parenting” are thrown together as mere items in a list, clearly suggesting that they have nothing to do with one another and are easily extricable from one another.

Cohen is right in one respect: experts are concerned about this. But it is a different set of experts, and a different manner of concern, than what she chooses to focus on in her piece. She quotes “sexologists” and psychotherapists who all seem to think the traditional idea of all-encompassing conjugal union unhealthy and outdated; for example, a philosopher named Elizabeth Brake who “takes issue… with the special status that governments confer on romantic relationships” and the fact that “access to marriage currently hinges on (assumed) sexual activity.” All over this piece is the implicit challenge: What does marriage have to do with sex? Why should it have anything to do with sex?

This is precisely the challenge that the other experts mentioned above—the ones left outside Cohen’s research—have been preoccupied with for many years. In their 2012 book What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense , authors Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George foresaw how this problem is tied up directly with proposals to grant same-sex couples the privilege of ‘marriage.’ In a section of their book headed “Undermining Friendship,” the authors explain how changes to views about friendship and the “revisionist view” of marriage go hand-in-hand:

Revisionists cannot define marriage in terms of real bodily union or family life, so they tend to define it instead by its degree or intensity. Marriage is simply your closest relationship, offering the most of the one basic currency of intimacy: shared emotion and experience. As a federal judge recently put it in a case striking down California’s conjugal marriage law, “ ‘marriage’ is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.”

The more we absorb this assumption, the less we value deep friendship in its own right. Self-disclosure, unembarrassed reliance, self-forgetfulness, extravagant expressions of affection, and other features of companionship come to seem gauche—or even feel like unwelcome impositions—outside romance and marriage.41 We come to see friendships as mere rest stops on the way back to family life. It becomes harder to share experiences with our friend that we could just as well have shared with our spouse, without seeming to detract from our marriage.

The conjugal view, by contrast, gives marriage a definite shape, as ordered to true bodily union and thus to family life. If the revisionist view sees single people as just settling for less, the conjugal view leaves room for different forms of communion, each with its own distinctive scale and form of companionship and support. It keeps from making marriage totalizing: it clarifies what we owe our spouses in marital love; what we owe it to them not to share with others; and what we could share now with them, now with others, without any compromise of our marriage.

In short, what the authors mean is simple: if you remove sex from marriage, if you make “sexual satisfaction” and “harmonious co-parenting” mere incidental list items of things two people can do with one another that have nothing to do with a life-long conjugal union of monogamous and exclusive intimacy, then marriage is just another form of friendship : and it therefore comes into conflict with and can be pitted against friendship in general, or with this or that particular friendship in the instant.

The logical end of this is the reversal that Cohen’s piece seems to push toward, quoting figures like Carroll and Blake: why shouldn’t friends be allowed to marry? If marriage is no longer conjugal, no longer tied with procreation and parenting, is just seen as being a particularly intense friendship, why do we still narrowly view marriage as having an implicit connection to sex? But of course, perhaps the crises marriage faces with respect to divorce and so much else are bound up precisely with the increasing pervasiveness of this logic. Committing to a friendship has no essential or rational demand of exclusivity, permanence, or monogamy, those characteristic features of the conjugal union.

Kami West, in explaining her friendship with Kate Tillotson, demonstrates the topsy-turvydom that comes from mixing up these categories: her friendship is the thing that’s permanent, that will last, but her relationship with her boyfriend, even if it becomes a marriage, might be a transient reality: Tillotson “was there before him,” and she would be there “after [him]. ” In West’s case, the juxtaposition has already become complete: for her, marriage has become friendship, and her friendship is like a marriage. But when marriage and friendship are blended together in this way, the result isn’t that either institution becomes stronger: it is that we lose both . And it seems that’s what Cohen would have us do.

The post The Atlantic Wonders, “What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life?” appeared first on IFN .

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Signal Willingness to Reverse Ruling Imposing Gay ‘Marriage’

In a surprising and virtually unprecedented commentary issued on Monday, two US Supreme Court justices publicly signaled that they are willing to reverse the Court’s narrow 5-4 ruling in 2015 imposing same-sex ‘marriage’ on the nation in the Obergefell v Hodges case. In a procedural opinion issued this week in a different case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for himself and Justice Samuel Alito that the “right to same-sex marriage…is found nowhere in the text [of the Constitution].” He called it “an alteration to the Constitution” and said that the decision whether or not to change the definition of marriage should be left up to the states.

The declaration sent shock waves throughout the homosexual community. A pro-gay writer at Slate magazine minced no words about the importance of this development: “If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed [same-sex marriage] is likely doomed.”

The news was welcomed by pro-family groups such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM’s president, Brian Brown (who also is the publisher of iFamNews.com) said, “For many months, NOM has pointed out that we are approaching – if not already at – the point where the Supreme Court’s illegitimate, anti-constitutional imposition of gay ‘marriage’ on the nation in the Obergefell ruling could be reversed. Now two Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, have given voice to that very point. Make no mistake about it – the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is essential to our continuing efforts to overturn Obergefell and restore marriage to our nation’s laws.”

It would be one thing if recognition for same-sex marriage had been debated and adopted through the democratic process…it is quite another when the Court forces that choice upon society…

Justice Clarence Thomas

Here’s what went down this past Monday: In a written explanation of their decision in a procedural ruling on a case, Justice Clarence Thomas took the highly unusual step of issuing a statement on behalf of himself and Justice Alito that by improperly reading a right to same-sex ‘marriage’ into the US Constitution, the Supreme Court “threaten[s] the religious liberty of the many Americans who believe that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman.” The Obergefell decision, Justice Thomas wrote, casts people of faith as “bigots,” “demeaning to gays and lesbians,” “imposing stigma and injury” and “disrespectful to gays and lesbians.” But none of those things are true, he said. Instead, the issue of same-sex ‘marriage’ is one that properly belongs to the states, where policymakers could debate the matter including any accommodations they might wish to afford people of faith. That debate was short-circuited, Justice Thomas lamented, by the ill-advised, narrow 5-4 majority that decided Obergefell , Justice Thomas said “It would be one thing if recognition for same-sex marriage had been debated and adopted through the democratic process…[b]ut it is quite another when the Court forces that choice upon society through its creation of atextual constitutional rights and its ungenerous interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause, leaving those with religious objections in the lurch.”

It is highly unusual for Supreme Court justices to make any comments on a procedural ruling, let alone signal their desire to overturn a major decision such as Obergefell . So where do pro-family advocates stand in terms of being able to secure a majority of votes on the Court to overturn the illegitimate, anti-constitutional Obergefell ruling?

It’s always speculation to predict how a justice might vote on a future case, but here’s how things line up to me:

It takes five votes to secure a majority on the Supreme Court. So we start with Thomas + Alito = 2.

Fellow conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh both strongly believe that the Constitution should be interpreted as written and, thus, are thought to be reliable votes against the imposition of same-sex marriage. That results in Thomas + Alito + Gorsuch + Kavanaugh = 4.

Chief Justice John Roberts strongly objected to the majority ruling in Obergefell, but he can be fickle and certainly cannot be counted on to cast the deciding vote to reverse Obergefel l. So, that leaves us still at 4 votes to reverse Obergefell , with a question mark, among the current justices.

This brings us to Judge Amy Coney Barrett who has a long record of personal support for traditional marriage and has been sharply critical of Supreme Court rulings that articulate so-called “rights” that are found nowhere in the text of the Constitution. If past is prelude, then we have Thomas + Alito + Gorsuch + Kavanaugh + Barrett = 5. With Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, her deciding vote to restore marriage could well be enough to persuade Chief Justice Roberts to stick with his original opinion and vote to overturn Obergefell as well.

Add this all together and you get a formula that, regardless of Justice Roberts’ vote, would spell the end of court-imposed same-sex marriage, and return the issue to the states where over 50 million Americans have already cast ballots to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Now, there are a lot of ‘ifs’ in this scenario and admittedly it involves a good deal of speculation. Still, it seems clear to me that the issue of the imposition of same-sex ‘marriage’ on this nation is now front and center once again, a development that makes the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett all the more important for conservatives and pro-family advocates.

On this, I am in complete agreement with pro-gay advocates and leftist publications like Slate magazine.

The post U.S. Supreme Court Justices Signal Willingness to Reverse Ruling Imposing Gay ‘Marriage’ appeared first on IFN .

New Video Makes It Clear Why Amy Coney Barrett Must Be Confirmed

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a key ally of iFamNews.com, has launched a powerful new video highlighting the fact that confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court is critical for social conservatives. “All our issues are at stake,” the ad warns viewers, including marriage, life and religious liberty.

The NOM video powerfully shows how the left is reacting to the nomination of Judge Coney Barrett to underscore the importance of this battle. One leftist activist urged Democrats to take to the streets and “physically attack GOP Senators” if necessary. The activist goes on to say “THIS IS WAR!” The ad shows an angry mob surrounding Senator Rand Paul and his wife to show how real this type of threat has become. A tweet by former CNN television host Reza Aslan is shown with his warning to the country: “If they even TRY to replace [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] we burn the entire f*&%ing thing down.” Another activist wrote that if the GOP attempted to confirm President Trump’s nominee “we’re shutting this country down.” After showing a clip of Senator Kamala Harris, the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee, officiating a gay “wedding” in California, the ad urges Americans to contact their US Senators to urge the confirmation of Judge Coney Barrett.

Sources tell iFamNews.com that there may be an effort underway by social media giants to suppress distribution of the video. Many people have complained to NOM that they could not reach the video on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Readers can use the links in this article to watch the video directly.

The post New Video Makes It Clear Why Amy Coney Barrett Must Be Confirmed appeared first on IFN .

it’s going to be brutal




Dear Friend — Amy Coney Barrett is a perfect pick for the US Supreme Court. A devout Catholic, mom of seven and a gifted intellectual, she shares our beliefs on the issues most important to us – marriage, life and religious liberty. That is why the left hates her so much.

Help Us Confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett

NOM is all in for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court. Make no mistake that this battle will be brutal, but it also could be one of the most consequential efforts of our lifetimes. With Amy Barrett on the Supreme Court, we will have a solid pro-marriage, pro-life, pro-religious majority of justices. For the first time, there is a real possibility that horrific, anti-constitutional decisions of the past will be reversed. Marriage could be restored to our national laws. Roe v. Wade could be reversed. The possibilities are truly stunning.

NOM is launching two major efforts today to support the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett:

  1. We have produced a powerful new video letting Americans know what is at stake with this appointment in terms of our issues and calling on them to get involved in confirming Judge Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Please watch our video and then share it with all your friends and contacts.
  2. We are also launching a limited time 100% match of up to $10,000 in donations to the NOM Education Fund during the confirmation process. These critically-needed funds will be put to immediate use in this momentous Supreme Court confirmation battle, and are also fully tax-deductible.

WATCH OUR NEW VIDEO TODAY:

We’ve never had a bigger opportunity to advance our cause. That is why I am asking you and every faithful NOM supporter to make a sacrificial donation to help us fight for this supremely qualified judge whose confirmation could pay dividends on our issues for decades to come. Will you be with us at this historic moment?

>>> I’ll contribute $25 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $50 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $100 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $250 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $500 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $1,000 to transform the Supreme Court

>>> I’ll contribute $1,500 or more to transform the Supreme Court

The confirmation battle is already shaping up to be even more brutal than the Brett Kavanaugh fight. As our video makes clear, the left is going after her in the vilest terms, attacking her religious beliefs and even her family. They say she’s part of a cult, calling her a “Christofascist.” One activist even said on Twitter, “I hate her kids.” Another called for GOP Senators to be physically assaulted if necessary to stop her confirmation. I fully expect violent riots to erupt in major cities as we get closer to the confirmation hearings.

Help Us In This Historic Fight

As difficult as this fight is going to be, the next few weeks are among the most important we’ll face in years, maybe ever. I pray you will be with us to take advantage of this historic opportunity.

I know many of you have already contributed to NOM this year, but this opportunity is so momentous that I respectfully turn to you for help again. It is critical that we hit the ground immediately to shore up key Senate votes. Already RINO Republicans like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski have signaled that they will abandon us and refuse to confirm Judge Coney Barrett. We could be down to one or two votes that will change the course of history. Will you help us capitalize on this moment with an immediate, tax-deductible contribution?

>>> I’ll contribute $25 to change the course of history

>>> I’ll contribute $50 to change the course of history

>>> I’ll contribute $100 to change the course of history

>>> I’ll contribute $250 to change the course of history

>>> I’ll contribute $500 to change the course of history

>>>I’ll contribute $1,000 to change the course of history

>>> I’ll contribute $1,500 or more to change the course of history

The powerful video that we have produced is part of a massive grassroots movement to pressure Republican Senators to do the right thing and support President Trump’s nomination of Judge Coney Barrett. She is an extraordinary pick, with an impeccable professional background and an inspiring personal story. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell pledges a confirmation vote before the election. That means we have roughly one month to do everything in our power to mobilize NOM supporters to help confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

In addition to making a generous financial contribution to NOM to help us spread the word, there are two other things you can do today to help confirm this extraordinary nominee:

  1. Please watch our powerful new video explaining how high the stakes are in this Supreme Court confirmation battle.
  2. Please share the video by email and social media with all your friends and contacts. You can use the buttons below if you’d like.

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History is counting on us at this critical moment. I know that you will be there for us with your support, and your prayers.

Faithfully,
Brian S Brown
Brian S. Brown
President

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National Organization for Marriage
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Copyright © 2020 National Organization for Marriage.

All or part of your gift to the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution. Please check with your tax advisor. 


The Ruth Institute

The National Organization for Marriage Education Fund is happy to announce that the Ruth Institute will be running as an independent organization effective November 1, 2013. The Ruth Institute has operated as a project of NOM's Education Fund over the last three years. NOM is proud of the great work that the Ruth Institute is doing and is happy that its work has grown to the point where it will operate independently.

"The Vocation to Form One Flesh"

From LifeSiteNews.com:

Pope FrancisPope Francis urged youth today to have the “courage” to get married and have children despite a culture that emphasizes “individual rights” over family.

The pope made the remarks in Assisi during an energetic question and answer session with a number of young people.

[...]

The pope pointed out that marriage is a "real vocation, just like priesthood and religious life are. Two Christians who marry each other have recognized in their love story the Lord's call, the vocation to form one flesh, one life from the two, male and female" [emphasis added].

Read more here.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

The famous line from founding father John Adams comes to mind with the publication of yet another study - published in a peer reviewed academic journal - that demonstrates the negative outcomes for children when they are denied the love of either a mother or a father. Maggie Gallagher reports on the study over at NRO:

Just-the-FactsUsing Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples.

So once again science confirms the truth about the importance of marriage that the wisdom of the ages and common sense have always told us: marriage matters because kids need and deserve a mom and a dad. Redefining marriage, though, means that kids as a norm will be denied at least one of these parents' vital role in their lives - and there are consequences, whether we like it or not. Facts are stubborn things.

The IRS Is Having a Tough News Day

In addition to the important announcement today that NOM has filed suit against the IRS, two other stories are drawing heat for the Government agency today:

IRS-HRCAs part of the shutdown of the Federal government, the National Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) - which describes itself as "Your Voice at the IRS" - has shuttered its doors, and this has potential ominous consequences for citizens. Forbes reports:

Shutting down TAS could have some serious consequences, according to [the service's head, Nina Olsen]. With our voice at the IRS cut off, “the government can harm the taxpayer with impunity and the taxpayer has no redress”.... According to Olson, the advocate service routinely handles cases from distraught taxpayers who threaten suicide if their disputes with the IRS cannot be resolved expeditiously, as well as cases in which a lien on property ties up funds a taxpayer needs for lifesaving medical help. Apparently, the entire lien process has not been shut down.

You can read the full story here.

And if anyone knows the importance of having an avenue of redress when it comes to dealing with the IRS, it's the subject of the other story worth noting today: Dr. Ben Carson.

According to The Washington Times:

Just months after he gave a speech earlier this year that challenged America’s leadership in President Obama’s presence, Dr. Ben Carson was targeted by IRS agents who requested to review his real estate holdings and then conducted a full audit without finding any wrongdoing.

“I guess it could be a coincidence, but I never had been audited before and never really had any encounters with the IRS,” Dr. Carson said in an interview Thursday.... “But it certainly would make one suspicious because we know now the IRS has been used for political purposes and therefore actions like this come under suspicion.”

Go read more about Dr. Carson's situation, and let's hope that this powerful agency finally faces appropriate scrutiny and is held accountable to the American people.

"The IRS Needs to Pay" - NOM to File Suit Today

At The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports that "The National Organization for Marriage will sue the IRS on Thursday, saying it has evidence that someone within the agency leaked the organization’s private donor list to its political enemies in 2012 but that nobody has been held responsible" [emphasis added].

IRS

Dinan spoke to attorney Cleta Mitchell of ActRight Legal Foundation which is handling NOM's case. She said:

Somebody did this deliberately and it was planned, and we need to know who it was. The IRS needs to pay. Ultimately, the IRS is responsible for the damages.

Dinan also quotes NOM's chairman, Dr. John Eastman, explaining how the fact that the leaked documents had internal IRS markings on that that had been hidden makes for a compelling case:

It suggests to me that this thing was deliberate and at high levels — head of the division, a political appointee, somebody. And darn it, we’re going to find out who did it, and we’re going to wrap it up with a bow and send it over to the Justice Department and keep the pressure on.

You can read Dinan's entire piece here.


And don't forget that you can hear John Eastman and Cleta Mitchell both speaking today at The Heritage Foundation as part of their ongoing series, Preserve the Constitution.

The event will be live-streamed from 12:00pm - 1:00pm EDT, and you can sign up for an email reminder here.

Oh, and the topic of the event? "Political Speech and the IRS: Protecting the First Amendment." Surely, this one is not to be missed!

House Oversight to Investigate "Apparently Politically Driven Leak"

At NRO's The Corner, Eliana Johnson reports that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), will be investigating the politically-motivated targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S., and particularly the leak of NOM's confidential tax documents to Human Rights Campaign:

Issa and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan notified Treasury Department inspector general Russell George and Internal Revenue Service acting administrator Danny Werfel in letters dated September 26 that the National Organization for Marriage, the conservative group founded in opposition to the legalization of gay marriage, and a handful of tea-party groups have signed waivers allowing senior stafff on the committee to access their tax return information. “With the authority granted by these waivers,” they write, “we request that you produce all documents and communications referring or relating” to the applications and their review within the agency.

Johnson quotes a statement from Representative Issa that explains the scope of the investigation. According to Issa, "This information will give us a better sense of why these groups faced delays, what questions they were asked, and what sort of communications were occurring within the IRS in regards to the inappropriate delays and the apparently politically driven leak."

We look forward to the Committee's findings.

"Serial, Frivolous Case Filer" Targets NOM

What's the best way to weaken and silence those you disagree with? Intimidation and threats, of course. At least that's what some same-sex marriage activists believe. "Serial, frivolous case filer" Fred Karger is well aware of the important work that NOM has done, and continues to do, to protect marriage across the nation. He also knows there are millions of Americans who support our mission. Now he's making his agenda clear:

A homosexual activist is attempting to weaken the National Organization for Marriage and eat away at its donor list.

Fred-Karger“This same gentleman, an openly gay activist who fancies himself president of the United States one day, has filed similar complaints in Maine and California,” says [NOM regional director Chris Plante]. “And at no time has NOM been found guilty of any wrongdoing.”

“It's an effort to silence people who would stand for marriage in the public square,” says Plante, “who would criticize and critique our politicians and judges who redefine marriage against the will of the people.

The complaint stems from NOM's successful work to oust three activist Iowa Supreme Court justices who legalized homosexual marriage from the bench.

“I spoke with the gentleman who filed the complaint and he was quite honest,” Plante tells OneNewsNow. “He said, My effort is to dry up your funding stream and silence your voice. And he knows that by forcing NOM to reveal donors, which we do not have to do under the law, will certainly scare people from donating.” -One News Now

Pastors Outraged Over DC Mayor's "Strike at the Fabric of the Faith Community"

Award-winning gospel recording artist and pastor Donnie McClurkin was uninvited from a Martin Luther King Memorial concert this past weekend in Washington, DC. Why? Local pastors, and McClurkin himself, insist that DC Mayor Vincent Gray heeded the demands of gay rights activists, informing McClurkin the night before the event that he was "not welcomed and uninvited":

Pastor Donnie McClurkinDonnie McClurkin, award-winning and internationally celebrated gospel recording artist and Christian minister, has claimed that he was uninvited from a MLK Memorial concert on Saturday in Washington, D.C. because Mayor Vincent C. Gray heeded the demands of gay rights activists who wanted him dropped from the event marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. McClurkin has previously shared that he believes God delivered him from the "sin of homosexuality" and that people with unwanted same-sex attractions can change.

McClurkin, pastor of Perfecting Faith Church in Freeport, N.J., stated in a Socialcam video: "The mayor of D.C. uninvited me from a concert that I was supposed to headline today in the Washington (National) Mall commemorating...this 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. I was asked not to attend although I'm considered the headliner of the concert, and advertisements had been circulated and the churches as well as the community are prepared to come out by the tens of thousands into the Washington Mall (area)."

The New Jersey minister went on to reveal that he had received a phone call while on his way to the airport the night before the event and was told that he was "not welcomed and uninvited," according to promoters who had reportedly received word from Mayor Gray's office.

The Baptist Convention of the District of Columbia and Vicinity have released a statement to the press in response to Mayor Vincent Gray's actions:

Press Statement - Donnie McClurkin's Civil Rights Infringement 081113

NOM Regional Director Christopher Plante on Relevant Radio

Chris PlanteOur own Chris Plante, Regional Director for NOM-Rhode Island, appeared on the Drew Mariani Show today to discuss attacks on marriage and our religious liberties, and also how we can continue to build a strong marriage culture for the future.

The segment begins around the 33:00 mark:


National Organization for Marriage Calls for Balanced News Media Coverage for Same-Sex 'Marriage'

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Jen Campbell (703-683-5004)


"An important new study proves that the news media is overwhelmingly biased in favor of same-sex 'marriage,' leaving viewers to wonder if they are trying to shape the news rather than cover it." — Brian Brown, NOM president —

National Organization for Marriage

Washington, D.C. — Citing an independent news analysis, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today criticized the national news media for their overwhelming bias in favor of same-sex 'marriage.' According to the study released by The Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, stories with more statements supporting same-sex 'marriage' outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.

"Those of us on the front lines of defending true marriage have experienced first-hand the news media's bias in favor of redefining marriage," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "But this important new study proves that the news media is overwhelmingly biased in favor of same-sex 'marriage,' leaving viewers to wonder if they are trying to shape the news rather than cover it."

The Pew Center journalism research project studied nearly 500 news stories published from March 18 through May 12 and found that nearly half (47%) primarily focused on support for same-sex 'marriage,' while only 9% primarily focused on opposition. In contrast to the news media treatment of the issue, the Pew Center study found that comments by the public via Twitter were evenly split (31% in favor; 28% opposed), reflecting the close division of the country on whether marriage should be redefined to accommodate same-sex couples.

"This is a fascinating study that reveals the underlying bias of the media in support of redefining marriage," Brown said. "Yet despite that, the public isn't buying it at least based on reported Twitter comments. We call on editors, producers and reporters to carefully study their own coverage in light of this proven bias, and ensure that the voices of NOM and other supporters of marriage are fairly and adequately reflected in their coverage. This is especially important in covering the upcoming Supreme Court rulings expected by the end of the month, and their aftermath."

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To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], or Jen Campbell (x145), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.

IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups

This news should prompt a renewed investigation into how our confidential tax documents were released by the IRS:

IRSThe Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.

Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.

In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

...Many conservative groups complained during the election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They accused the agency of frustrating their attempts to become tax exempt by sending them lengthy, intrusive questionnaires.

The forms, which the groups made available at the time, sought information about group members' political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members. (AP)