NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Are Marriage Advocates "Asking the Wrong Question"? An Opinion and a Response

Last month, we told our readers about a symposium being hosted by The Intercollegiate Review entitled "Sex and the Polis: Perspectives on Marriage, Family, and Sexual Ethics."

QuestionsLast week's entry by Chris Damian, "Defining Marriage Isn't Defending Marriage," caught our attention for obvious reasons.

In his piece, Damian asserts,

Conservatives aren’t losing to the culture on marriage because they’re wrong. They’re losing because they’re answering the wrong question, because they’ve failed to grasp what the issue actually is.

His article goes on to grapple with a horse-and-cart problem addressing the understanding of marriage alongside the more general understanding and role of friendship and community. The phenomena implicated are difficult, to be sure, and there can be much legitimate dispute about which is the cart and which the horse and which, therefore, should come before. But unfortunately, the ultimate effect of Damian's article seems to be that the cart topples upon the horse and both are a bit the worse for wear.

For example, Damian alleges:

The rise of 'gay marriage' does not come primarily from a crisis in the understanding of what marriage is. It comes from a crisis in the understanding and practice of love, commitment, and community.

Wedding Rings

But some might respond that one of the important roles of the triadic family of husband, wife, and children is that it is the essential 'school' for any culture in how to practice love, commitment, and community.

Fortunately, the work of responding to Mr. Damian's article has been undertaken by Michael Bradley at Ethika Politika.

Bradley lays out his thesis that "[Mr. Damian's] Chris’s narrative of how  the marriage culture has reached its present point is mistaken, chiefly because he misunderstands the same 'proponents of traditional marriage' whose view he critiques in his piece, or at least, he understands that view to be narrower than it actually is."

He goes on to elucidate:

[I]n defining marriage, one recognizes and calls attention to distinctions between marital relationships and non-marital ones, including the sorts of non-marital friendships the cultural reinforcement of which Chris advocates. It is the burying of just such relational distinctions—which Chris laments later in his piece—that is constitutive of and in turn spurs the revisionist view of marriage.

This leads Bradley to get to what seems to be the chief error in Damian's reasoning: a conflation of two fundamentally different kinds of relationship. Marriage, Bradley explains, "is different in kind and not degree from non-romantic friendships."

The entire exchange is worth reading, and we commend both these authors for their admirable interest and evident acumen. You can read Damian's piece here, and then Bradley's response.

Gay Writer: "Being Against Gay Marriage Doesn't Make You a Homophobe"

Writing in The Atlantic online on Friday, Brandon Ambrosino takes to task the claim that support for traditional marriage means being "anti-gay."

SSMResponding to a piece by Paul Rauschenbush for The Huffington Post, in which Rauschenbusch leveled the anti-gay charge against New York Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Ambrosino writes:

... Raushenbush hauled out a familiar argument: “Let's just be very clear here —if you are against marriage equality you are anti-gay. Done.”

As a gay man, I found myself disappointed with this definition—that anyone with any sort of moral reservations about gay marriage is by definition anti-gay. If Raushenbush is right, then that means my parents are anti-gay, many of my religious friends (of all faiths) are anti-gay, the Pope is anti-gay, and—yes, we’ll go here—first-century, Jewish theologian Jesus is anti-gay.

Read Ambrosino's entire article here.

Amazing!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Last week I emailed you asking for your support in our year-end, $1,000,000 matching gift campaign... and I've been amazed — as I always am — at the outpouring of support!

As of this morning, we've raised $544,766 toward our goal!

My most heart-felt thanks to everyone who has supported us and helped us take advantage of this incredible opportunity!

Please, if you haven't already made a generous donation to help us reach our goal and support critical work in defense of marriage and religious liberty, please click here to do so right away!

We only have two and a half weeks left to raise the remaining $455,234 which will merit an immediate additional $455,234 according to the pledge of one generous supporter to match every gift before the end of the year dollar-for-dollar!

Your donation will help us win critical state fights in Ohio and Indiana... execute our plan to elect a pro-marriage majority to the US Senate... hold accountable politicians who sold out their constituents to same-sex ‘marriage' special interests... and educate the American public as to the true nature of marriage and the consequences of redefining it.

Won't you please join the campaign by making a generous donation right away?

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

The Home Stretch

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

As of this morning, we have raised $484,248 toward our year-end $1,000,000 matching campaign. We're almost half way there... so now is the time to ramp things up as we hit the home stretch!

I know that you support NOM... some of you for years, taking action when called upon and helping us win incredible victories for marriage. Thank you for all of your support which has enabled so much good for society by giving marriage as God designed it the defense it deserves.

But today, won't you please consider making a financial investment of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to advance our cause and help us move the needle on our campaign?

Won't you please help us reach the $500,000 mark over the weekend?

If each of you reading this email donated even $10 we'd reach our goal in no time.

Why is this critically important? Because 2014 is a year of tremendous opportunity!

A few days ago, I wrote to you about the important opportunity we have to elect a pro-marriage majority in the US Senate in the coming year.

In addition, we will have numerous state-level fights — primarily focusing on the 2014 votes likely to take place in Ohio and Indiana. As several cases on marriage make their way through the federal court system, ballot initiatives like these will take on even greater importance as they represent a chance to send a clear message to justices throughout the country: the American people stand for marriage!

We will also be targeting legislators in various states that have betrayed their constituents by voting to redefine marriage. Voters in those states will know how their representatives chose to act when marriage was put before them!

And, through our ongoing lawsuit against the IRS, we will continue to do our part in holding the Obama administration and the agencies of government accountable for the egregious and partisan abuse of their powers.

I know that many of you are going to sit down with your family in the coming days and make some difficult decisions about your year-end charitable giving. Won't you please prayerfully consider making a generous donation to NOM to support our work entering this critical election year?

Remember: there's no more perfect time to make a gift to NOM than right now. Through December 31st, a generous supporter of marriage will match every dollar given to NOM up to $1,000,000. That means your gift in support of marriage will instantly DOUBLE, ensuring that your dollars have twice the impact!

Help us hit the ground running in 2014 and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities before us!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

A Marriage Case to Watch

City Hall, Old Town AlexandriaAn article at USA Today draws attention to "A Case With All the Angles" - a legal challenge to the Virginia marriage amendment adopted by the voters of that state in 2006 by an overwhelming majority.

The article explains, "The case of Bostic v. Rainey could become the standard-bearer for the same-sex marriage movement as it emerges from last summer's victories at the Supreme Court."

Why is that?

For starters, it challenges a state constitutional amendment that's all-inclusive in its exclusions: It bans same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships, and denies recognition in Virginia for those performed legally in other states.

The purpose of the amendment, the state says in its brief at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, was "to prevent Virginia judges from changing the definition of marriage under the state Constitution as state judges had done elsewhere."

NOM will certainly be keeping an eye on this case, and you should too.

In Indiana: The CEO versus the Citizen

An exchange on the Indianapolis Star's website over the proposed marriage amendment there (HJR-6) is worth highlighting.

On November 19th, the CEO and founder of Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications, Jeff Smulyan, penned an opinion piece (called a "My View") conveying the message: "Marriage amendment moves Indiana backward."

Expressing his opposition toward the amendment, Smulyan writes:

HJR6 doesn’t move Indiana forward — it moves us backward.

The nature of business in Indiana has changed. We are no longer the manufacturing economy of the past. In order for businesses to stay competitive we must change and respond to the needs of our workforce. [...] In Indiana, we need to be on the cutting edge of issues like marriage equality to make our home attractive to the growing companies and top talent looking to locate here. We must give companies reasons to invest here, not reasons to stay away.

He ends his piece with the argument that "defeating HJR 6 is not just the right thing to do — it’s the Hoosier thing to do" [emphasis added].

Now, of course, the supposed boon to a state's economy wrought by redefining marriage is a complete and utter myth - a fact proven time after time after time after time.

But besides that - it seems a bit ironic, don't you think, to claim something something as "the Hoosier thing to do" when it means not allowing Hoosiers to decide the matter?

Well, one Hoosier thinks it is pretty ironic.

An Indianapolis citizen named John Hanagan wrote a Letter to the Editor to respond to Mr. Smulyan, and this is what he had to say [emphasis added]:

Emmis Communication CEO Jeff Smulyan’s My View on the same-sex marriage amendment added little to the debate. Smulyan’s unverifiable claim that “I know what makes Hoosiers unique” and that “defeating HJR6 is the Hoosier thing to do” have little merit. His opinion really does not matter as much to me, and other Hoosiers, as he might think.

[...]

What matters is what Hoosier voters think about the issue. Why is Smulyan... opposed to having a referendum on the matter? Let Hoosiers vote on it.

Bravo, Mr. Hanagan! We agree: LET THE PEOPLE VOTE!

And let us all learn a lesson from Mr. Hanagan in this, too: writing a letter to the editor might seem a simple thing to do, but it can make a big impact in the marriage debate. We need more ordinary citizens to stand up and speak out in defense of marriage in this simple but effective way.

Another Move for the Obama Administration on Marriage

From The Associated Press via ABC News:

Students in same-sex marriages will be treated the same as their straight married classmates when it comes to federal college loan applications, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday in a shift that reflects this year's Supreme Court ruling that broadened gay rights.

On the one hand, this isn't really "news." It's a natural progression required by the Supreme Court's decision in June to strike down part of DOMA. On the other hand, it's an opportunity for the media to keep advancing the same-sex marriage agenda by keeping it in the spotlight and giving it undue attention. Harken back to the study from this past summer showing extreme media bias in coverage. This is just another example.

How the Media Misses on Marriage and Pope Francis

Renowned religious commentator Rev. Robert Barron writes at RealClearReligion on the recent naming by TIME magazine of Pope Francis as "Person of the Year" and cautions against some mis-perceptions in the mainstream media which the TIME cover-story evinces.

Media_Journalists

Barron writes of "a tendency to distinguish radically between [the] lovely Franciscan emphasis on mercy and love for the poor and the apparently far less than lovely emphasis on doctrine so characteristic of the Papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. There is actually a good deal of dangerous silliness in this way of characterizing things" [emphasis added].

Now listen to the authors of the Time article: "In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church -- the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world -- above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors." And "his vision is of a pastoral -- and not doctrinaire -- church."

... to which Barron responds: "This is so much nonsense." 

Which is to say, the Holy Father has in no way moved away from the historical teaching of the church on key matters such as life and marriage in his renewed focus on mercy.

As NOM President Brian Brown explained yesterday in the NOM Weekly News, there are reasons to celebrate Pope Francis' being named "Person of the Year," but of course all of us here at NOM recognize that there are also many folks out there being misled by the press into making mistakes about what Pope Francis represents.

Pope Francis

In short, there is a widespread perception in the secular culture that Francis represents some kind of softening of the Catholic Church's teachings on crucial social issues, including same-sex marriage. But nothing is further from the truth - a fact pointed out before by several American Churchmen including Cardinal Francis George and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. 

Indeed, as Father Barron implies, and as Brian explained yesterday, Francis hasn't at all demonstrated a need to move away from the Church's teachings on these issues, but has in fact emphasized that the Church needs to explain the importance of one man-one woman marriage in a more effective way and gain more adherents to that truth!

Watch Live: Religious Freedom Conference in Rome

From blogger Kathy Schiffer at Patheos comes this notice [emphasis in original]:

Beginning today the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, together with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, is hosting a two-day conference in Rome to highlight Christianity’s contributions to the understanding and practice of freedom for all people.  At the conference, new findings will be presented from a two-year study by dozens of scholars concerning Christianity’s contributions to freedom.

With religious freedom an increasing area of concern worldwide - and, sadly, increasingly under siege even here in our own United States - this conference may be of interest to some of our readers.

Let Them Eat Cake, NOM Marriage News

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Since the age of the French Revolution, the phrase "Let them eat cake" has been used as a symbol of out-of-touch, tyrannical elites or aristocracies. The phrase comes from a popular anecdote that a monarch (often identified as Marie Antoinette), when told that the peasants had no bread to eat and were starving, proposed this as the solution: "Let them eat cake."

Well, ironically in our own day the phrase is once again a fitting a symbol of an out-of-touch, tyrannical government: this time in the form of a Colorado Judge who ruled that a baker in Denver must provide wedding cakes to same-sex couples... or else pay the price.

The decision from Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer in Denver, CO is like a chilling flashback for anyone concerned about the first amendment protections of freedom of religion and expression — a flashback to a similar decision earlier this year in the case of Elane Photography in New Mexico.

Before talking about this new case dealing with a business called Masterpiece Cakeshop, I want to look back on that earlier one, especially since the Colorado decision makes use of and cites the decision issued by the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Flash-back: "The Price of Citizenship"

When Christian photographers Jonathan and Elaine Huguenin declined to photograph a same-sex couple's "commitment ceremony" in 2006, the 'to-be-wed' couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission and a legal battle ensued after the Commission ruled against the photographers. The battle made it all the way up the New Mexico Supreme Court which finally brought down its ruling on August 22 of this year.

In his concurring opinion in the ruling against Elane Photography, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson wrote these chilling words [emphasis added]:

[T]here is a price, one that we all have to pay somewhere in our civic life. In the smaller, more focused world of the marketplace, of commerce, of public accommodation, the Huguenins have to channel their conduct, not their beliefs, so as to leave space for other Americans who believe something different. That compromise is part of the glue that holds us together as a nation, the tolerance that lubricates the varied moving parts of us as a people. That sense of respect we owe others, whether or not we believe as they do, illuminates this country, setting it apart from the discord that afflicts much of the rest of the world. In short, I would say to the Huguenins, with the utmost respect: it is the price of citizenship.

I would ask the Court this: what price of citizenship does the same-sex couple pay, who surely could have picked any number of capable photographers with no conscientious objection to recording their ceremony? Apparently, in the eyes of the Court, this is a one-way street. The message to people of faith, and really to all Americans, was crystal clear: your deeply held religious beliefs and convictions have no place in the public square anymore.

If you choose to run a business, sure you can still do it according to your values — but only until those values come into conflict with the values of the intelligentsia and opinion makers who happen to be running the show. At that point, the price of your citizenship is that you must be punished.

And that's a message that should trouble all Americans, both liberal and conservative alike.

Fast-forward: "Preparing a Cake is Simply Not 'Speech'"

Now here's another message that should trouble all of us, regardless of background or ideology: the message that the courts have purview to dictate to an artist how he should practice his art.

That is effectively the upshot of the first part of the decision by Colorado Judge Robert Spencer against Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakes.

The Judge dismissed Mr. Phillips' claim that being forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding would violate his freedom of speech on the grounds that "the act of preparing a cake is simply not 'speech' warranting First Amendment protection."

Had these words arisen in any other context, penned by any other judge in any other case, you can bet your bottom dollar that liberals across the nation would be having a fit! Who is this judge to tell a baker that his trade doesn't constitute artistic expression?

I challenge any same-sex marriage activist to take to their blog or to pen an op-ed doubling down on the opinion that what cake decorators and bakers do isn't a form of artistry and doesn't deserve protections as a form of expression!

And I'd be willing to bet if this case had involved a portrait painter, or a photographer, or a musician, or a florist, the judge would have ruled exactly the same way.

How's that for citizenship 'rights' in America? So that same-sex couples can redefine marriage to suit their own desires, the first amendment rights of all artists — poets and painters, florists and bakers, musicians and photographers — will be delineated by what the courts decide constitutes 'expression.'

Effectively, this judge has said to Mr. Phillips — to every baker in America — and by extension to every kind of artist in America... "It's just a stupid cake. Bake it." "It's just a stupid song. Sing it." "It's just a stupid picture. Take it." "It's just stupid art. Fake it."

We could wait and see whether the champions of freedom on the left raise their voices to cry against this attack on the first amendment. But alas, I fear we'd have to wait a long time...

Don't Wait. ACT NOW.

Instead of waiting for the first amendment to be protected by its supposed champions, therefore, We the People who are its true champions need to stand up and be heard.

You and I have the opportunity to do just that today.

How?

Write to Congress today to urge support for the "Marriage and Religious Freedom Acts" which have been introduced in both the House and the Senate. These bills will help protect churches and people of faith from the kind of judicial tyranny which is becoming such a disturbing trend in the wake of the push to redefine marriage!

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act authored by Senator Mike Lee already enjoys several Republican co-sponsors, and according to The Washington Examiner, Senator Lee says that some Democrats have expressed willingness to sign on to it as well.

In remarks to the Examiner, Lee said:

Nearly every member of Congress on both ends of the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle, will at least purport to be a strong supporter of religious liberty, and this should be an uncontroversial position to take. [...] I don't think anyone believes that the federal government ought to be making religious doctrinal decisions on behalf of churches and other religious institutions.

Lee's bill is similar in spirit to a House version introduced in September of this year by Representative Raul Labrador (R-Id.), which has a bipartisan coalition of 91 cosponsors.

NOM is very grateful to be working with advocates in both the House of Representatives and the Senate who are standing up and emphasizing the need to protect religious freedom from government overreach and targeting. By having bills in both chambers it provides a greater opportunity for debate and raises the profile of this crucially important issue.

So please click here now to thank both Senator Lee and Representative Labrador for the courageous leadership in defense of marriage and religious liberty, and to urge your members of Congress to support their legislation. These bills are especially important in the wake of the weakening of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the Supreme Court in the fateful Winsdor decision this past June. Don't delay! Contact Congress right away!

Once again, I express my own personal gratitude, as well as the gratitude of NOM and all its allies, to Senator Mike Lee, Representative Raul Labrador, and so many other heroic members of Congress who are working to ensure that the freedoms we all hold so dear are not trampled underfoot in a bullying mob's rush to redefine marriage.

Proof that Standing in the Truth Can Still Win Hearts

I'll close today by remarking on some charming and edifying news from yesterday: Pope Francis being named TIME's "Person of the Year."

An article in TIME by Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs captures well the enigma that Pope Francis has presented to many over his brief reign thus far:

These days it is bracing to hear a leader say anything that annoys anyone. Now liberals and conservatives alike face a choice as they listen to a new voice of conscience: Which matters more, that this charismatic leader is saying things they think need to be said or that he is also saying things they'd rather not hear?

This challenge of Pope Francis is elaborated upon in the profile piece TIME published along with the cover story:

Francis signals great change while giving the same answers to the uncomfortable questions. On the question of female priests:"We need to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman." Which means: no. No to abortion, because an individual life begins at conception. No to gay marriage, because the male-female bond is established by God. "The teaching of the church ... is clear," he has said, "and I am a son of the church, but [...] it is not necessary to talk about those issues all the time."

In other words, as the authors quote Pope Francis saying elsewhere: "[W]hen we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context."

This is a good reminder for all of us who work in defending true marriage. While we might seem to"talk about those issues all the time," it's only because our opponents' attacks on marriage never relent. We must never allow it to be in the way Francis criticizes: we cannot speak only about them, out of context, only criticizing the bad and never praising the good.

In fact, we've striven at NOM for years to explain that it's not a matter of being "against" or "anti" anyone or anything. Rather, we are for marriage: for the essential service it provides for the good of humanity, for the role it plays in bringing men and women together and uniting them in love to one another and to their children.

Let us take heart, then, and learn the real lesson that Pope Francis's popularity teaches all of us: the overarching importance of always presenting the truth in love. There will always be those who disagree, but disagreement must never turn to hate or malice. We love every one of God's children and all His good gifts, like the wonderful gift of marriage between husband and wife. May that spirit of love be our banner always.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

BREAKING: Australian Supreme Court Upholds Marriage

From the Associated Press:

Australia_MarriageAustralia's highest court struck down a landmark law on Thursday that had begun allowing the country's first gay marriages....

The federal government had challenged the validity of the Australian Capital Territory's law that had allowed gay marriages in the nation's capital and its surrounding area starting last Saturday.

[...]

The High Court unanimously ruled that the ACT's law could not operate concurrently with the federal Marriage Act, which was amended in 2004 to define marriage as between a man and a woman. [SOURCE]

Go read more about the decision and the case leading up to it.

Along with the ruling, the Court explained in a statement that "The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same sex couples. The Marriage Act provides that a marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman. That Act is a comprehensive and exhaustive statement of the law of marriage."

This case brings to mind the need here in America to pass a federal Marriage Protection Amendment. If you haven't already contacted your legislators urging them to support the federal Marriage Protection Amendment authored by Representative Tim Huelskamp, please do so today!

We're Striving for 51

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

We're striving for 51...

We know from watching the disastrous actions of the Obama Administration as they dismantle and redefine core pillars of society like marriage and religious liberty that elections have consequences.

When the wrong people are elected to high office, they end up doing harm to our nation and to future generations. Not only are marriage and religious liberty in jeopardy, but President Obama has racked up unprecedented debt, is in the process of nationalizing the healthcare system, and has dramatically weakened our relations with key allies like Israel, while expressing sympathy for many of our enemies.

But we can take action now, with your help, to change the direction Mr. Obama has set for our country. You see, there is a clear path forward next year to have 51 pro-family, pro-marriage members of the US Senate.

And that's the magic number now — 51.

It used to be that it took 60 votes in the US Senate to accomplish anything, but President Obama and his close ally, Senate Leader Harry Reid, have changed all that. Now the rule of 51 applies, meaning that a simple majority in the Senate can move an agenda.

Here's the good news — we can win a majority in the US Senate...but only if you will help with a contribution to our Marriage Victory Fund.

Please make a donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 today to help NOM's work to hold legislators accountable and elect pro-marriage politicians to office.

And remember that through the end of the year, your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,000,000 by a generous donor, DOUBLING the impact of your gift! Please help us take advantage of this tremendous opportunity!

Right now the Democrats under Harry Reid control 55 of the 100 US Senate seats, while the GOP controls 45 seats. Thus, the GOP needs a pick-up of six seats to take control of the US Senate. Control of the US House is expected to remain with the Republicans.

Of the 35 US Senate seats up in 2014, Democrats hold 21 seats and Republicans hold 14. None of the Republican-held seats are considered to be in serious jeopardy. However, five Democrats are retiring, and they are all possible pick-up seats for the GOP (Iowa, Michigan, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia). Moreover, a number of other very vulnerable seats are up for grabs in conservative or swing states (e.g. Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia, etc.).

That means the Republicans need to win six of the 13 most contested seats — or less than half — to get to the magic number of 51.

What would it mean if we had 51 US senators who supported marriage as the union of one man and one woman to go along with the majority of US House members we already have?

It means we would be able to move forward legislation such as the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, which was introduced in the House by Rep. Raul Labrador and is expected to be introduced in the Senate shortly. This legislation would protect people and groups who stand for marriage in the public square against government retaliation.

Folks like the Christian innkeepers in Vermont who were forced to cease providing wedding receptions because they did not want to open their inn to a same-sex wedding ceremony. Or the photographer in New Mexico who has been fined thousands of dollars because she could not in good conscience photograph a same-sex ceremony. Or the countless small business people who have been punished, sued or fined for sticking by their religious convictions concerning the truth of marriage.

Isn't reestablishing religious liberty worth contributing to our Marriage Victory Fund?

It means that we would be able to hold the IRS to account for their attacks on conservative groups and for their conspiracy of silence in going after the criminals who are responsible for illegally leaking NOM's confidential tax return, including protected information on our top donors.

It means we'd be able to stop the Obama Administration from the regulatory power grab they are deploying to ignore federal law and impose same-sex ‘marriage' wherever they can — in the military, among immigrants, etc. They are even using foreign aid as a tool to advance the homosexual agenda.

And it means that we'd have a fighting chance at advancing Rep. Tim Huelscamp's proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would preserve marriage across the country as the union of one man and one woman and strip courts of their authority to redefine marriage.

Imagine how good it would feel after being on defense for so long to be able to pass federal laws protecting marriage, to hold the IRS and the Obama Administration to account and to advance a federal marriage amendment that would make the federal courts powerless to redefine marriage ever again?

This is all within our grasp if we can hold the House and gain control of the US Senate. But that will happen only if you help us by making a year-end contribution right now to our Marriage Victory Fund.

There are strong, pro-marriage, pro-life candidates lining up to contest these emerging US Senate seats. Remember, we only need to win 6 of the 13 most competitive contests, while holding onto the current batch of GOP seats (something most experts think is very likely).

We can do this! But the candidates who represent our best chance at winning — those who are reliable on the issues of marriage, life and religious liberty — are going to need our support if they are to be victorious. You can bet your last dollar that our opponents in Hollywood, Washington DC and New York are going to do everything they can to prevail, and they'll have the mainstream media on their side every step of the way. Please, help us today to take advantage of this historic opportunity to capture the US Senate and advance a pro-marriage agenda in Congress.

Consider this fact: of the states with the 13 most competitive US Senate races, Mitt Romney carried 7. We only need to win in 6 of these 7 states!

And here's something else to consider: of the 13 most competitive states, 8 have marriage amendments in place that were overwhelmingly supported by the voters. We only need to win in 6 of these 8 pro-marriage states!

What do we need to do to get to our goal of 51 pro-marriage US Senators? Very simply, we need the money to play a significant role in making sure the right candidates win. We need to raise $3 million dollars to have the kind of impact that is necessary to prevail.

The money will be used to organize at the grassroots level, including hiring field organizers to get our supporters out to vote. It will be used to pay for TV and radio ads. And it will give us the resources we need to counter the campaign of misinformation that is sure to come from the other side (and their allies in the media).

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of waiting for the next judge to rule against us, or watching as some elected official somewhere tries to impose his or her own views on marriage regardless of what the law says. I'm ready to go on offense to fight for the truth of marriage as God designed it!

Are you?

Let's start right now by contributing to our Marriage Victory Fund, which will help us begin to fight for control of a pro-marriage US Senate next year. Please contribute today.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

P.S. Remember, we only need to win 6 of the 13 most competitive US Senate races up for election next year. Mitt Romney carried 7 of those states, and 8 of them have marriage amendments on the books that were enacted by an overwhelming majority of voters! We have a historic opportunity to control Congress and advance a pro-marriage agenda following the 2014 elections, but it all begins with raising the $3 million we need to deploy our Marriage Victory Fund. Won't you please consider making a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $500 or even $1,000 if God has given you the means, today?

Where We're At

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Just a quick note this Friday morning to give you a brief update on a few things.

We've surpassed the $400,000 mark toward our year end matching gift campaign. Thank you so much to everyone who has participated! But we still have a ways to go in the next few weeks to reach our $1,000,000 goal.

Won't you please click here right away to make a generous contribution of $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more knowing that whatever you donate will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

I wanted to stack up some numbers for you to let you know where marriage in America stands as of this moment:

  • States that currently define marriage as the union of one man and one woman: 34

  • States that have state constitutional amendments protecting that definition: 30

  • States that have redefined marriage to include homosexual couples: 16

Of those 16 states, marriage has been redefined by the courts (5 times) or by legislative action (11 times — Maine passing their law through referendum).

What do these numbers tell me?

  1. The vast majority of America and the American people overwhelmingly back marriage.

  2. Same-sex 'marriage' activists are going to be very hard pressed for victories in the future. State constitutional amendments are the highest form of protection offered at the state level, and overcoming that won't be easy.

  3. We still have several opportunities to add to our totals by passing state constitutional amendments in states favorable to our cause, like Indiana.

We've suffered some setbacks this year, no question. But in every case, activist judges or Democrat controlled legislatures and Governorships (in Rhode Island, Delaware, Illinois and Hawaii) bypassed the people and imposed same-sex 'marriage' on their states.

The only time we've lost a state by popular vote was last year when the playing field was extremely skewed by both an extremely liberal political environment and an outrageous, three to one spending advantage by those who sought to redefine marriage — approximately $32 million to $10 million (of which NOM contributed over $5.5 million...).

We can't let that happen again! Please help us take advantage of this matching gift opportunity and ensure that NOM has the resources we need to get our winning message out to the voting public. It's especially important in this coming election year that we hold the legislators who sold out their constituents on marriage accountable and send a powerful message to the political establishment across the country: Vote against marriage at the risk of your political career!

Please, won't you join us by making a year-end contribution to support NOM and our work throughout the country, knowing that your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar?

Thank you in advance for all you do to defend marriage!

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Can You Make a Better Pizza? NOM Marriage News

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Recently, I came across a news story about a relatively new company called Modamily. The name is a mash-up of the words "modern" and "family" and, according to the organization's website, this is its mission:

Modamily provides a network where members can meet other like-minded people who dream of becoming a parent. There are many ways to become a parent, and what Modamily does is help our members find someone that wants to raise a child in a similar fashion as they do.

The journalist doing the report calls Modamily "a dating site that cuts straight to the divorce."

Don't We Already Have Good Pizza?

The website promotes "co-parenting" as an alternative to the "old" way of parenting (which involves falling in love with someone and cooperating with that person to create a child).

The FAQ on the site goes to some trouble to dispel any notions of this "new" model not living up to the old standard:

[Question:] If people find a good parent match on Modamily - why just have a baby together and not also start a relationship?

[Answer:] The desire to become a parent is why men and women use Modamily, but there is nothing preventing the development of a relationship. Our primary goal is to create a community for great potential parents that removes the stress and pressures associated with feeling that in order to be a parent one must find a spouse first.

The man behind this new movement is Ivan Fatovic, who says that his work amounts to "helping people fulfill their dream of becoming a parent on their own terms" [emphasis added]. He says he thinks that "co-parenting" is "the next big thing."

[Somewhat ironically, in the same interview, Mr. Fatovic was asked, "What is the worst business idea you've heard?" His reply? "That someone decided to open another pizza or hamburger shop in NYC. We already have good pizza." But couldn't one also suggest that we already had good parenting before he decided to reinvent that old staple?]

Tellingly, this is how Modamily answers a frequently-asked-question about its clientele make-up:

  • Single men and women, gay or straight, wanting to co-parent

  • Gay male couples wishing to find an egg donor for a surrogacy arrangement, or a known donor who will also be involved in the child's life

  • Lesbian couples looking for a sperm donor — this may be an anonymous or known sperm donor who could be part of their child's life

  • Men wishing to donate their sperm

  • Women wishing to donate their eggs

  • Women wishing to be surrogates

  • Men and Women looking for medical and legal information on how to become co-parents

This makes it crystal clear: Modamily isn't about helping those who have trouble conceiving become parents, even if perhaps through unconventional means.

No. Modamily is about changing the very notion and identity of parenthood. One specialist quoted in the news story hits the nail right on the head:

Dr. Robert Fellmeth, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Institute, said there's a reason for doing things the old-fashioned way.

"I'm a 19th century romantic in saying that there is an advantage in at least trying to have the relationship between the parent[s] that's deep and meaningful and goes beyond simply the mutual desire to have a child," he said.

"The child benefits from having two parents who love each other, who are willing to sacrifice for each other," he said. "If it fails, it fails, but at least try!"

Well, with all due respect to Dr. Fellmeth, I don't think there's anything very "19th century" about the notion of spousal love blossoming into the bearing and raising of children. Like good pizza that doesn't need reinventing, this model works just as well in our own century just as it has in every century past. Indeed, I believe the beautiful triadic model of mother-father-child is a very 21st century idea!

And I know I'm not alone.

The Foundations of a Stable Country

In Taiwan, over the weekend, hundreds of thousands poured into the streets to demonstrate in favor of "Civil Law 972" which is the country's statute that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The demonstrations come in response to a proposed bill to amend the text of Law 972 and strike the words "man" and "woman" so as to effectively render marriage a genderless institution.

Leaders of both the leading political party in Taiwan as well as an opposition party voiced opposition to the hasty proposal:

President of the Control Yuan party, Wang Chien-shien, marched with the protesters, saying that while he has "respect and support for all homosexual people," he fears that amending the marriage laws will "affect the healthy marriage system and healthy families, which are the foundations of a stable country," reported The China Post.

The ruling Kuomintang party (KMT) urged in a Nov. 29 press conference for a postponement in the review of the amendment.

"The KMT do not oppose gays or lesbians and we want to treat them legally and protect their human rights as well. But we need to be more careful when it comes to our traditional virtues that concern our families," said KMT spokesperson Lin Te-fu, reported Want China Times.

So much for the myth of shifting tides of public opinion regarding the definition of marriage. And what about that other myth, the one that says a same-sex 'marriage' regime is 'inevitable'?

In the Name of the Family

Nearly 6,000 miles from Taiwan, the people of Croatia also did something remarkable to preserve marriage. In Croatia, a group called "In the Name of the Family" led an initiative to place a pro-marriage ballot measure before the voters of the small Balkan nation.

Croats went to the polls on Sunday and voted overwhelmingly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, with the measure gaining 66% of the popular vote!

One of the supporters of the initiative, a ballet dancer named Sanja Grgic, beautifully explained the rationale behind the measure: "I have nothing against gay people, I have many gay friends," she said, "but I voted in favour because I think children should grow up in a family that has a mother and a father" [SOURCE].

Kudos to Croatia!

Supporter, be encouraged by this news and remember that the redefinition of marriage and family to become genderless institutions is not at all inevitable, and it certainly hasn't carried public opinion away in any kind of landside.

On our side we have basic truth and common sense and fundamental good. We have, if you will, just plain old good pizza. Something that has stood the test of time and just plain works.
The founder of Modamily thinks opening up a new pizza shop is "the worst business idea," but I rather think he needs a clear-headed look in the mirror where he'll be confronted with a much worse idea. No child ever craved a "co-parent." No society ever thrived because of "Modamily." Societies that thrive do so because of real families, with moms and dads loving each other and raising the children produced from that love.

Together, we continue to stand in defense of that plain old good truth.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

"A dating site that cuts straight to the divorce"

That's how David Wright of ABC News describes Modamily - a site dedicated to " provid[ing] a network where members can meet other like-minded people who dream of becoming a parent. There are many ways to become a parent, and what Modamily does is help our members find someone that wants to raise a child in a similar fashion as they do."

Disconnecting Parents and ChildMore than 5,000 people have signed up on L.A.-based Modamily. Other co-parenting websites claim similar numbers, including a growing number of sites serving gays and lesbians in committed relationships who are now interested in having children.

[The HTML "title tags" used by the site - the terms that appear at the top of the browser window and also register hits with search engines - include the phrases "baby daddy" and "single want baby."]

Wright reports on Modamily for Yahoo!News, focusing on a woman named Hope who "is one of a growing number of Americans interested in exploding the old 1950s notion of the nuclear family. She's not looking for love. She wants a co-parent."

Hope already has two children, each by separate fathers, Wright explains; and now she is "shopping" online for a third mate.

Wright reveals that not everyone is crazy about the new idea of family:

Dr. Robert Fellmeth, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Institute, said there's a reason for doing things the old-fashioned way.

"I'm a 19th century romantic in saying that there is an advantage in at least trying to have the relationship between the parent[s] that's deep and meaningful and goes beyond simply the mutual desire to have a child," he said.

"The child benefits from having two parents who love each other, who are willing to sacrifice for each other," he said. "If it fails, it fails, but at least try!"

You can read or watch Wright's report here.

Copyright 2013