Monthly Archives: May 2014

Will You Stand?

Marriage Supporters, please share this brand new video trailer for the 2014 March for Marriage with your friends and family today! We are very excited to have this new and compelling piece to promote the March, and we need your help to push it out as widely as possible today.

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We’re in a historic battle, a fight for one of the great truths of civilization – that marriage as one man and one woman is an essential element of a thriving society based on strong families. It’s not only God’s design for humankind, it’s been proven throughout history to be the most beneficial relationship for men and women, for any children born of their union, and for society as a whole. How fortunate we are to be able to demonstrate our support for preserving marriage in the law!

Please forward this powerful new video out to all your friends, colleagues, neighbors and family members, and post it to all your social media accounts.


Brian S. Brown

Demand for Buses

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Thank you all who have so generously responded to our appeal to sponsor buses for this year's March for Marriage on June 19th. I am humbled by your outpouring of support to get as many marchers to this historic event as possible. We know of over 100 buses, full of marriage champions, that will be making their way to the nation's capital, and many of these folks still need help in paying their way. Your bus sponsorship donations are beginning to make this possible.

Donate for a Bus Today!

Amazingly, just yesterday I learned of even more marchers who want to charter buses for the March for Marriage.

Their commitment to take to the streets in defense of marriage and to witness to the fact that children deserve both a mom and a dad is exactly what the marriage battle needs right now. People committed to send a clear message to the Supreme Court, Congress, and the mainstream media that the fight for marriage has only just begun are the key to making a difference in this debate.

Will you give a fully tax-deductible gift today so that we can help these heroes for marriage get to Washington DC on June 19th?

Many churches and groups are able to pay the entire cost of bringing a bus, but others do not have the means to afford the full rate themselves. We need to help them in order that everybody who wishes to come is able to participate.

Just because someone is not blessed with the means doesn't mean they shouldn't have a voice just like everyone else.

At this moment, marriage needs courageous and self-sacrificing heroes to stand up and defend it. We need to send the strongest message possible to the political, academic, and media elites of our great nation: marriage is between one man and one woman because children deserve a mom and a dad!

Please consider making a generous donation right away to help us give eager and willing marriage supporters throughout America the chance to make their voices heard so their values can be respected.

Rest assured, whatever amount you are able to donate will immediately be put to use in bringing as many people as possible to the March this June!

Thank you for everything you do to defend marriage.


Brian S. Brown

P.S. The time to organize, reserve, and pay for these buses is NOW. This is a chance to make a national statement and build a movement in defense of marriage that will endure for years and decades to come. Please click here to make a generous donation to help us take advantage of this incredible opportunity and support these thousands of marriage defenders in their desire to rally in defense of marriage on June 19th.

Sentiment Trumps Reason as Judges Impose Same-Sex “Marriage”

James Matthew Wilson at Crisis Magazine has penned an excellent piece on the strange phenomenon of sentiment and emotion trumping reason as activist judges impose a redefinition of marriage on millions of people.

The modern division between reason and appetite, knowledge and sentiment, is an inheritance that Americans have accepted to their great cost. We think it beneficial, because it constrains the rational arguments conducted in the public sphere to matters knowable to anyone who can count, and it leaves us a maximal latitude to pursue feelings of happiness without having to demonstrate them as being genuinely good.

BrainThis division is not one we ought to accept. Lin’s article inadvertently suggests as much. Human beings want to be happy; because politics and ethics alike are concerned with human beings, all political and ethical questions, including those concerned with positive law, are intrinsically concerned with our happiness.


We see this in the decision itself that occasions Lin’s article. At the close of U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III’s opinion, we are instructed with the following august sentiments:

We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.

Jones appeals to our understanding of the finality or purpose, the goodness, of the American people and their laws. What Pennsylvania law “represents,” or did until he ruined it, was a rational definition of marriage. He replaced a definition that could account for itself with rational argument with one rooted entirely in sentiment: because two people of the same sex feel strongly for one another, they must be granted access to the name of marriage, even if in giving them access the word “marriage” loses all meaning except as a union of sentiments.


No one, having admitted reason’s capacity to answer such questions, could rationally conclude that homosexual acts, much less the denomination of those who engage in them on an ongoing basis as “married,” could be included in that definition. Unless, that is, we commit ourselves to the following premises: 1) We do not think that the differences between men and women have any positive value and they should be concealed or eliminated. 2) We do not think that the differences between men’s and women’s bodies should in any way determine or limit the acts in which they may properly engage. 3) We do not think the conceiving and rearing of children a normal constituent of human happiness. 4) We do not, finally, think that anything other than whatever present feelings we happen to have ought to guide our actions.

Parents Reading with SonWe cannot rationally so commit ourselves. The differences between men and women are vital, rather than incidental, to the life of the family; the specific instances of complementarity between husband and wife begin with how they respond to an infant’s cry and how they play with that same infant, and go on from there pretty much ad infinitum. Those differences are visible in their bodies and in fact their bodily difference is the condition of possibility for their having children; their bodily differences are essential to their constitution as a family. The good of a family—its purpose, whose attainment constitutes its happiness—is just that union of opposites whose goodness is intrinsically self-diffusive, self-giving and, therefore, accidental impediments notwithstanding, leads to the having and rearing of children.

...the inscription in law of homosexual couplings as “marriages” does not make them so and cannot not change in any fundamental way how most persons will pursue the happiness to which they are by nature ordered. Jones’ judgment may however help such persons, and our society as a whole, discover sooner rather than later that one cannot substitute sentiments for reason or redefine reality to conform to our wills’ desires. But, in the short term, both these things constitute obstacles; they obscure reality. They try to make many of us feel what we do not feel, and they attempt to inhibit the capacity of reason to instruct our feelings. We have good reason to feel bad about that.

Wilson hits the nail on the head with his observations about the intrinsic differences between men and women and the mutual complementarity of the sexes, which is naturally ordered toward producing and raising children.

Mere "feelings" about what marriage is do not change the truth about what marriage actually is, the union of one man and one woman; nor about its conjugal purpose, the creating and nurturing of children, who benefit from having both a mother and a father.  Feelings and emotions may be difficult to argue against, especially when they hit close to home, and when they are so powerfully aided by sympathetic forces in the media... but they do not, they cannot, change fundamental truths about this issue.

Shrinking Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Michigan

USA Today reported on May 28 that a new poll shows support for redefining marriage has dropped in Michigan.

The author notes that, "the pollster who conducted the survey says the result goes against the trend and may be a one-time change." It never seems to have occurred to the pollster to question the accuracy of previous polls or to compare the questioning employed in this poll with the earlier ones to try to analyze the difference.

154066523In any case, these poll results don't surprise us. Overwhelmingly, in the majority of cases when voters have been given the opportunity to vote on marriage, they have expressed the view that marriage should be defined as the union of one man and one woman.

The poll, done May 17-20 exclusively for the Detroit Free Press, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and our statewide media polling partners by EPIC-MRA of Lansing, found that if a vote on allowing same-sex marriage in Michigan were held today, 47% would vote yes and 46% would vote no. The remaining 7% were either undecided or refused to say.

When EPIC-MRA asked Michiganders about same-sex marriage in May 2013, 51% said they supported it and 41% said they were opposed.


The shift in the poll numbers comes as residents await a federal appellate court ruling affecting about 300 gay couples who were married in March, when it was briefly legalized in Michigan — and many more of the state's same-sex couples who would like to do so.


On March 21, U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman struck down Michigan's same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional following a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple alleging discriminatory adoption rules. Clerks in four Michigan counties opened their offices the next morning, allowing about 300 same-sex couples to marry before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed Friedman's order and halted the marriages later that day.

The case is now set for arguments before the 6th Circuit on Aug. 6 and could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Catholic bishops and a multitude of pastors in the Wolverine state support protecting the institution of marriage and respecting the votes of millions of Michigan voters.

Marriage and Witness at Notre Dame

Michael Bradley, one of the co-founders of the Notre Dame pro-marriage group Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP), wrote a piece at Public Discourse on witnessing the truth about marriage at Notre Dame.  He criticized the school's refusal to recognize SCOP's as an official university club, explaining:

NDOn April 30, the university rejected SCOP’s request to become an officially recognized student club, citing a “recommendation” by a group of student government officials who judged that “there was not a need” for SCOP’s presence on campus.

The official reason given for rejecting SCOP’s application is “redundancy,” a transparent reason for rejection that even a momentary glance through the names of some of the more than 500 recognized student clubs punctures. Additionally, when pressed to identify the groups the missions of which allegedly make SCOP’s acceptance redundant, the president of the aforementioned student government group listed several groups that don’t at all claim to advocate for child-oriented public policies.

Notre Dame’s decision to deny SCOP’s application is rooted in either culpable ignorance of SCOP’s mission and purpose or barely veiled hostility toward SCOP’s true mission and purpose.

Furthermore, the rejection letter came from the same Student Activities official who told SCOP leaders in early April that the SCOP petition was “inaccurate” and suggested that its language would make some members of the Notre Dame community feel “unwelcome.” She further intimated concerns that the petition’s authors were misquoting their sources, and took twice as long as official Student Activities Office policy standards dictate to return a request (which was filed on behalf of a recognized student group) to publicize the petition in Notre Dame’s student center.

As demonstrated by their resilience, the students of SCOP are not going to back down.  They are diligently and tenaciously standing up for marriage on campus, despite the apparent hostility of some of their peers who do not share their pro-family sentiment.  Marriage defenders can look forward to what SCOP will accomplish on campus in future years.

Marriage Debate Has High Stakes

The stakes have never been higher as advocates of redefining marriage continue to push for a radical reordering of the most basic foundation of society.

A recent article out of Oklahoma describes many of the concerns that pro-family advocates have about the push to re-define marriage, particularly as it relates to religious liberty:

 ...for opponents the damage of legalizing gay marriage is more than a paper shortage or legal procedure. Unless lawmakers carve out broad protections for those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, they see the trend of current court ruling favoring gay marriage as an erosion of freedom of expression and conscience rights.

"If same-sex marriage is established in law, it will be increasingly difficult for anyone who holds to the traditional view of conjugal marriage to maintain a witness to that truth under such a decision," said Matthew Franck, director of the Witherspoon Institute's Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution in Princeton, New Jersey. "Church-run schools, employers, adoption agencies, child-service agencies run by religious organizations — all of these institutions and private concerns will be adversely affected."

The article briefly explores the history of marriage redefinition in the United States:

coalitionavatarOn Nov. 18, 2003, Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court decided in favor of same-sex marriage in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, saying that "barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts Constitution."

The justices gave legislators 180 days to change the law, and when the solons didn't, same-sex marriage was permitted. At 12:01 a.m. May 18, 2004, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, became the first in the state and the nation, to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples...

"It was a massive mistake and a betrayal when the Supreme Judicial Court foisted same-sex marriage on the people of Massachusetts, and it remains so today," lamented Brian J. Brown, head of the National Organization for Marriage, which supports the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The Massachusetts decision "started the same sort of lawlessness that we've seen with judges (elsewhere) saying they have the right to define marriage for a state, subverting the democratic process."

Brown said the "redefinition of marriage has had consequences" beyond what proponents concluded. In Massachusetts, the state has "deconstructed gender" by referring to mothers and fathers solely by the word "parent" in official proceedings, he claimed, and in schools, "kids are now taught their parents are bigots if they support the traditional definition of marriage."

The traditional marriage advocate said when the Massachusetts Senate refused to consider a voter-signed petition calling for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman, it started a trend of elected officials in other states refusing to defend marriage laws and amendments passed by voters and/or legislatures.

In Oregon, state Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum declared three months ago there was "no rational basis" for the 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, according to the Oregonian newspaper. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael McShane ruled Brown's group "had no (legal) standing" to defend the measure in that state.

Franck noted that the state imposing a false definition of marriage on everyone has alarming consequences:

"Just look at what happened to Catholic Charities, which ceased adoption services in Massachusetts in the aftermath" of the 2003 ruling, he said. The Roman Catholic social-service agency shut down after the state required the agency to place children with same-sex married couples.

Advocates behind the push to redefine marriage have disregarded the well-being of children, who benefit from mothers and fathers shaping them in different, important ways, and demonstrate a shocking lack of tolerance for those who understand that marriage is a unique institution worth protecting.  The state's redefinition of marriage violated Massachusetts Catholic Charities' deeply-held beliefs about the nature of marriage, forcing them to close, and subsequently hurt the children who Catholic Charities would have otherwise been able to place in loving homes with mothers and fathers:

And other religiously linked institutions with admission, employment, housing or other policies prohibiting same-sex couples may face challenges, said attorney Nicholas Miller, director of the International Religious Liberty Institute at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, which is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

"States may not have as strong a religious rights lobby as there is at the federal level," Miller said. Despite the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not endorse same-sex marriage, Miller said Adventist- and Catholic-owned hospitals in California are being required to provide employee benefits to same-sex couples.

Greg Scott, a spokesman for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is litigating in several states to support traditional marriage, said the group hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will continue its view that marriage should be defined by the states, as it expressed in its 2013 ruling, U.S. vs. Windsor, which struck down the prohibition against same-sex marriage in federal law.

"We hope the Supreme Court stays consistent," Scott said. "Marriage is worth fighting for and there are a lot of people that do believe that. Perhaps a wrong decision at the Supreme Court will inspire millions of Americans to rebuild a culture of strong marriages and understand again what marriage is about."

...Lawmakers could pass exemptions protecting a quasi-religious social organization such as the Catholic-based Knights of Columbus from having to rent its banquet facilities for a same-sex marriage reception, said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a law professor at the University of Illinois and an advocate for religious exemptions to same-sex marriage laws.

"To some extent the Knights of Columbus is a religious group (and) if you say we're going to treat every kind of membership hall as a public accommodation, you're putting them at risk (in) that if they won't yield on their religious conviction, they'd have to celebrate something they can't endorse," Wilson said.

She said it should be up the legislatures to determine where to carve out protections for individuals, businesses and faith-based institutions that adhere to religious beliefs that prevent them from recognizing same-sex marriages.

We the PeopleThe final paragraphs of this article are stunning to anyone who believes religious organizations and business owners should be able to freely operate in accordance with their values:

But same-sex marriage proponents vow to fight any exceptions for public facilities or services, whether owned by a religious institution or not.

"There is a problem when organizations want to have it both ways — open to the public for a revenue stream, but asserted to be private (religiously private or otherwise) when it comes to rules that regulate commercial activity," said Jennifer C. Pizer, senior counsel and director of the Law and Policy Project at Lambda Legal in Los Angeles.

That goes for religiously affiliated social service agencies as well.

"Those services are offered pursuant to state licensure and professional ethics rules for protection of the public," she said. "If the state and/or profession includes nondiscrimination rules within the standards for those services, the religious organization has a choice: either offer licensed services to the public for a fee in conformity with the applicable standards, or don’t offer them to the public."

The notion that religious organizations must conform with arbitrary "nondiscrimination" standards seems to be more important to Pizer than the First Amendment and the rights it grants all people.

The core of society and the basic human freedom of religion are at stake as Americans work to protect marriage.  The battle to uphold marriage has never been more essential.

ICYMI: Oregon Catholic Conference Blasts Ruling to Redefine Marriage

The Oregon Catholic Conference, which represents the Archdiocese of Portland and the Diocese of Baker on issues of public policy, expressed their strong disapproval of Judge Michael McShane's ruling to redefine marriage:

Gavel in MotionThe Oregon Catholic Conference is deeply grieved by Judge Michael McShane's ruling to redefine marriage. It is a travesty of justice that marriage, as the foundation of society, received no defense in the U.S. District Court. Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, in an extreme dereliction of her sworn duty to uphold the law, refused to represent the interests and the people of Oregon. It is a sad day for democracy when one federally appointed judge can overturn, without any representation, the express will of the people of Oregon.

Despite the judge's ruling, authentic marriage remains what it has always and only been according to God's design: the loving union between one man and one woman for the mutual benefit of the two who have become one flesh and any children born of their union. Redefining marriage confuses the true purpose and meaning of marriage. An act deliberately ensuring that more children will grow up motherless or fatherless is not an act of love. The Oregon Catholic Conference will continue to uphold the true meaning of marriage and advocate for genuine marriages and families in Oregon, and it urges all people of good will to continue to reject the flawed notion that a pairing of two people of the same gender constitutes a marriage.

Statement from the National Organization for Marriage Regarding Maine Ethics Panel Ruling

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)

"The National Organization for Marriage vigorously denies that it violated any disclosure laws during the 2009 campaign opposing same-sex marriage. We worked with legal counsel to understand the law, and we followed that advice." — Brian Brown, NOM president —


Washington, D.C. — The following statement may be attributed to Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM):

"NOM vigorously denies that it violated any disclosure laws during the 2009 campaign opposing same-sex marriage. We worked with legal counsel to understand the law, and we followed that advice. The Commission staff has drawn improper inferences from the circumstances of the campaign environment that they wrongly interpret as meaning that if someone gave to NOM somehow they designated their gift to support the Maine campaign. However, we have submitted direct sworn statements from donors saying they had no such intention and any inference from the Commission staff to the contrary is false. We intend to appeal this decision in court because it is wrong as a matter of law and because the evidence supports our position, not that of the Commission staff. Moreover, we appear to be a victim of selective prosecution since major groups on the other side of this same campaign engaged in the same approach we did. In short, while we are disappointed in today's decision, we are not surprised by it and we will continue to resist the idea that somehow we failed to disclose donors to the Maine campaign. We disclosed our contributions to the Maine campaign committee, as Maine law requires. But we did not disclose our entire national donor list because those donors did not donate 'for the purpose of influencing' the Maine campaign, which is the trigger for reporting contributions that Maine law imposes."


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray,, or Matille Thebolt,, at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Push for Racial Equality Different from Marriage Redefinition

Equating redefining marriage to civil rights is a popular tactic of the other side.  Jeff Shafer of Alliance Defending Freedom argues that the principles underlying the push for racial equality are very different from the principles behind the push to redefine marriage:

May 17 marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Court ruled that the government-mandated racial segregation of public schools was unconstitutional. The Brown decision is an icon of American jurisprudence and justly holds a towering position in our legal history. Its ruling was a long overdue moral triumph, and a watershed moment in the elimination of state-enforced racial segregation.

Couple with Baby[...]

...though rhetorically strategic, it is deeply cynical for this late stage of the sexual revolution to congratulate itself by assuming the mantle of the black civil rights movement, a movement that drew its moral resources from Christian precept. The orthodox expression of Christian faith is the sworn enemy of the sexual adventurism juggernaut. The containment of sexuality within covenanted procreative marriage is central to the historic order of Christian civilization. Destroying that norm is both the goal of the sexual revolution and a prerequisite to its remaking of social order.


The ascendant public regime consecrates public chaos in remaking marriage to eliminate from its essence the relation of husband and wife, and in reducing the biological relation of mother and father to child to an incidental manufacturing feature with no necessary relational meaning or responsibility attending it.

Which brings us to the belligerence of United States v. Windsor. There, the Supreme Court invalidated the federal definition of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, discerning the law so stating to be but codified insult and meanness. Well, of course.


Perhaps predictably, prominent legal scholars have compared Windsor to Brown...But Windsor’s intentional obscurity and departure from governing standards make it notoriously difficult to explain the ruling as anything other than the Court using the occasion to confirm that a reimagined world is upon us, and the standards operable in the old model are no longer cognizable.

Not so Brown. Whatever the weaknesses in the Court’s rationale for the outcome, Brown’s ruling nevertheless was consonant with Fourteenth Amendment text and history, and with the normative implications of creation imago dei that the black civil rights movement pressed in its remonstrances. Windsor is not of that world.

Supreme Court

It is a notable feature of Windsor that the “dignity” the Court attributed to same-sex couples given marital status is a state-conferred dignity, not an inherent one. That’s a curious innovation, but it makes sense in context, for two reasons. First, the Court was aiming, for the moment, to formally restrict its ruling only to federal acknowledgment of a marital status given by state law.

Second, the “state as dignity-source” is probably a design feature of the replacement worldview, bereft as it is of any other source for human dignity. In the aftermath of God’s banishment, our flexibility to remake humanity and its fundamental relations is accompanied by the sort of drawbacks one might expect when the universe is up for grabs—such as the loss of justification for much of our legal tradition. But that may take a while to come into clear view. The transition will proceed acceptably in the short term so long as we remain haunted by the biblical anthropology from which came our treasured concepts of equality and human dignity. For a time, we’ll recite the old principles through habit, if not principle. But that won’t endure, for their public plausibility ultimately depends on a critical mass sharing fidelity to their Source.

Read the rest of Shafer's article at The Public Discourse.

National Organization for Marriage Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Stay Oregon Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)

"This case is an ugly spectacle of the state refusing to defend the sovereign act of its voters…"
 — John Eastman, NOM’s Chairman —


Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today filed a motion with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy asking him to stay the imposition of same-sex marriage in Oregon so that the group can pursue its motion to intervene in the case. Judge Michael McShane imposed same-sex marriage in a ruling last week and refused to stay his decision. Justice Kennedy, the Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, could act on NOM’s request on his own or he could refer it to the full court to decide.

“We are asking Justice Kennedy and the U.S. Supreme Court to take the step of staying the decision of Judge McShane so that NOM can pursue its request to intervene in the case in order to mount a defense of the people’s vote for marriage,” said John Eastman, NOM’s chairman and Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at The Claremont Institute. “This case is an ugly spectacle of the state refusing to defend the sovereign act of its voters to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and instead working jointly with the plaintiffs to redefine marriage.”

Oregon joins numerous other states in recent weeks where federal judges have overturned state laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and instead imposed same-sex marriage. In each of these cases, the court decision has been stayed by the trial judge or an appellate court. The U.S. Supreme Court itself ruled unanimously to stay a decision in Utah that invalidated their state marriage amendment.

“The Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that it does not want a profound social change such as redefining marriage to be made by trial judges without the Supreme Court itself deciding the issue,” Eastman said. “In Oregon, not only do we have a single trial court judge imposing his own opinion and invalidating the votes of the overwhelming majority of Oregon voters, but the case involves the state Attorney General refusing to even mount a defense of the people’s decision. This should be very troubling to Justice Kennedy."

NOM represents tens of thousands of members including many in Oregon who will suffer particular harm if the ruling is allowed to stand, including a county clerk and several members of the wedding industry who will suffer material harm if the ruling is implemented.

“NOM believes it has a strong legal right to intervene in this case in order to mount a defense of Oregon’s marriage amendment. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will allow us to defend the decision of Oregon’s electorate to define marriage as one man and one woman,” Eastman concluded.


To schedule an interview with John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray,, or Matille Thebolt,, at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Logic: What’s Missing from Public Discourse

Logic and reason show us that there is only one definition of marriage--and defending marriage means persevering against emotional arguments and ad hominem attacks.  Opponents of marriage often try to change the subject, make illogical arguments and false promises about "equality," and personally attack those who defend marriage.

Hysteria surrounding Arizona's recent religious freedom bill and increasing cultural hostility toward defenders of marriage are two examples of lack of logic from the anti-marriage crowd.


Randall B. Smith at Crisis Magazine writes: the glue that holds human discourse together.  Logic is what keeps us “on track” in a conversation and helps us to keep checking back to make sure both of us are talking about the same thing in the same respect.


It’s not just politicians who have lost the ability to argue, rather than just fight (I’m surprised there aren’t fist-fights on the floor of the Congress every day, given how they talk to one another); it’s a general malaise of the country’s intellect and spirit.  A quick glance at the “comments” section of any on-line site will quickly reveal the severity of the problem.  Most people just don’t know how to make arguments.  They seem to think that merely disagreeing (and sounding disagreeable) is the same as arguing, but it’s not, any more than throwing a soccer ball at someone’s head is the same as playing soccer.


There are many sorts of logical fallacies, and we’d all benefit from remembering them when we read or listen to the news...


These are technical logical fallacies, of which there are many.  But there are other sorts of errors one can commit as well.  One common one is to mistake wit for argument, and then to mistake snarkiness for wit.

One of the problems in America today is that everyone thinks he’s a wit, and that wittiness is a fit substitute for logic.  It’s not.  If you doubt it, try watching John Stewart or Stephen Colbert for a week.  What these two men repeatedly prove is that any and every thoughtful person in America can be made to look stupid by a person who sets out to make him or her look stupid.  The post-modern conceit is that they’re “just pretending” and that none of what they do is “serious,” when we all know that they’re not pretending at all, and that they’re trying to convince young people of certain positions, not by logic, but just by making other people look “uncool.”  It’s high school all over again, only this time with more at stake than who gets to sit at what lunch table.

And of course the quality of public discourse in this country would change radically—and I mean radically—if we could just convince people that ad hominem attacks are not really arguments at all...So let’s get past all the mud-slinging, which tells us exactly nothing, and get to the real substance of the argument.

Logic is missing from the marriage debate every time advocates of redefining marriage personally attack anyone who disagrees with them.  It is missing from the marriage debate every time advocates of redefining marriage side-step questions about the effect growing up without a mother or father has on children.

Logic and reason are powerful weapons marriage defenders can use when explaining the uniqueness of a man-woman union.  Let's not be afraid to use them!

Demand for Buses Is Overwhelming - We Need Your Help!

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Happy Memorial Day! As we remember the brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, it sad to think how easily these freedoms have been trampled upon by an out-of-control judiciary, derelict politicians, or the mainstream media in the marriage debate.

As we all salute those who have died for their country, may each of us gain a measure of added resolve to stand for marriage and the First Amendment Freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution they sacrificed for. And as you think about the parades you may see today, let me bring you up to date on our big parade, the March for Marriage.

First, some fantastic news! Governor Mike Huckabee — an outspoken champion for marriage, family, and life — will be a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual March for Marriage on June 19th!

I'm ecstatic and tremendously grateful that a national figure the magnitude of Gov. Huckabee is taking a stand with us in support of marriage!

We need to get the word out to as many people as possible and bring thousands upon thousands of marriage supporters to our nation's capitol. Securing a speaker like Gov. Huckabee will help us do that... but we need to get the word out.

I need your help to keep up and capitalize on this incredible momentum. Please click here to make a generous and fully tax-deductible donation in support of the March for Marriage.

Some more great news: The preparations for the 2014 March for Marriage are going incredibly well!

I just recently got off the phone with my good friend, New York State Senator, Rev. Ruben Diaz, who will be speaking at the March again this year. He told me that he plans to bring down over 100 buses to the March from the Bronx this year!

He is calling it the "Second Annual Bus Vigil to Washington." He plans to depart New York at 4:00 am in a spiritual convoy of activists coming to the nation's capital to defend marriage! That's over 5,000 people — overwhelmingly Latino and African-American constituents — that a single political and spiritual leader wants to bring to Washington DC this summer!

Beyond even that, the requests we've received from spiritual leaders have been truly overwhelming. Almost daily we are receiving requests from poor churches, asking us for assistance in bringing thousands of marriage champions to Washington DC to attend the March and make their voices heard in our nation's capital.

We have committed to helping Rev. Diaz fund those 100 buses out of New York and we'd like to help fund as many additional buses as possible so that everyone who wants to attend the March will be able to do so!

Will you please consider making a generous donation today to help us fund these bus requests, helping these thousands of excited pro-marriage supporters join us in Washington, DC this summer?

Many churches and groups are able to pay the entire cost of bringing a bus but others do not have the means to afford the full cost themselves. We need to help them to make sure that everybody who wishes to come is able to participate.

Each bus from New York will bring over 50 people and costs around $2,000. We have around two weeks to raise $100,000 to bring all of these buses to Washington. 100 buses means:

Your gift today of $40 will bring an additional marcher to Washington DC.

Your gift of $120 will bring 3 additional marriage supporters to the march.

A gift of $400 will bring 10 additional defenders of marriage to town!

And a gift of $2,000 will cover the entire cost of bringing a bus full of avid marriage defenders to the March!

Just because someone is not blessed with the means doesn't mean they shouldn't have a voice just like everyone else.

At this moment, marriage needs courageous and self-sacrificing heroes to stand up and defend it. We need to send the strongest message possible to the political, academic and media elites of our great nation: marriage is between one man and one woman because children deserve a mom and a dad!

Please consider making a generous donation right away to help us give eager and willing marriage supporters throughout America the chance to make their voices heard so their values can be respected.

Rest assured, whatever amount you are able to donate will immediately be put to use in bringing as many people as possible to the March this June!

Thank you for everything you do to defend marriage.


Brian S. Brown

P.S. The time to organize, reserve and pay for these buses is NOW. This is a chance to make a national statement and build a movement in defense of marriage that will endure for years and decades to come. Please click here to make a generous donation to help us take advantage of this incredible opportunity and support these thousands of marriage defenders in their desire to rally in defense of marriage on June 19th.


National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,


Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will be a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual March for Marriage on June 19th.
Governor Huckabee is an outspoken champion for marriage, family, and life.

He has called the National Organization for Marriage "wonderful" and been "very proud to be associated with them [NOM]."
Governor Huckabee has said publicly:

" thanks also to the National Organization for Marriage, a highly-respected family organization that has been willing to courageously show leadership in states where there have been ballot measures, to not change something but rather to leave something alone, to simply allow us to continue in the traditional view of marriage."

The National Organization for Marriage is thrilled that Governor Huckabee has committed to be a featured speaker at the 2nd Annual March for Marriage.

The March for Marriage will bring thousands of marriage champions to the Nation's capital with the strong and united message that America believes marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and every child deserves a mom and a dad.

This critical event will speak truth to power — to the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the Media — marriage matters because every child deserves a mom and a dad.

Visit for more information as to how you can be involved. Rally and march with us in Washington, DC, arrange a bus to bring scores of marchers, march in your own town with the Virtual March, or make a generous donation so that others can come by sponsoring a bus.

The March for Marriage is a unique and critical event at a time when the national marriage debate will likely be reaching the Supreme Court. Your support to make this a successful event is crucial.

National Organization for Marriage Announces Governor Mike Huckabee as Honored Guest and Featured Speaker for June 19th’s March for Marriage in Washington, D.C.

Contact: Elizabeth Ray or Matille Thebolt (703-683-5004)

"Governor Huckabee has been a consistent leader and a strong voice for pro-family values in our country for years. We are thrilled that he will be joining us for the March for Marriage." — Brian Brown, NOM president —


Washington, D.C. — The National Organization for Marriage) (NOM) today announced that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will be an honored guest and featured speaker at the upcoming March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. The event is set for June 19, 2014, and will begin with a rally at 11:00AM ET on the grounds at the West side of the Capitol Building, followed by a March to the U.S. Supreme Court at 1:00PM ET.

"Governor Huckabee has been a consistent leader and a strong voice for pro-family values in our country for years," said Brian Brown, NOM's President. "We are thrilled that he will be joining us for the March for Marriage, which promises to be a historic success. We have a great line-up for the rally, and the response from supporters around the country has been overwhelming and very positive."

In addition to Governor Huckabee, other speakers include Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz; leading Evangelical Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California; Ludovine de la Rochere, President of the French pro-marriage organization, La Manif pour Tous; Ryan T. Anderson of the Heritage Foundation, co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense; former Presidential candidate Gary Bauer of American Values; and many more.

"Governor Huckabee will be joining leaders of dozens of pro-family organizations from the local, state, and national levels, standing in front of our nation's Capitol to proclaim that marriage is solely the union of one man and one woman," said Brown. "This is a value that Governor Huckabee shares with millions of Americans, and we plan to have many of them with us for the rally and march that day. We're going to show the media elites and those in public office that the American people still stand for marriage. We're going to show people around the nation—especially young people—that there's no reason for shame or cause for fear in standing up for this essential truth."

Click here for more information on the March for Marriage.


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray,, or Matille Thebolt,, at 703-683-5004

Paid for by The National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, president. 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300 Washington, DC 20006, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. New § 68A.405(1)(f) & (h).

Share This Far & Wide!

Dear Marriage Supporter,

I want to share with you a fantastic article by our friend Ryan Anderson, published today at National Review Online.

I urge you to read this excellent piece right away, and then share it far and wide — via email, on Facebook and Twitter, and however else you can. Print some copies and hand them out to friends, if you like! We need as many people to read this piece as possible today!

Thanks to Ryan for his heroic wisdom and leadership!


Brian S. Brown

Marriage: Where Do We Go From Here?

The pro-marriage case can win — if we don't give up on it.

By Ryan T. Anderson

In the media's portrayal, people defending marriage as the union of a man and woman have been getting routed ever since the Supreme Court decision last June — if not before. They point to a string of lower-court rulings striking down state marriage amendments and to public opinion polling, especially of my peers in the Millennial generation. Many also point to the forced resignation of Brendan Eich and the defeat of Arizona's religious-liberty bill.

Some people would like me and the millions of Americans who continue to believe that marriage is what societies have believed it to be throughout human history — a male-female union — to get with the program and accept the inevitable. We're clearly, they tell us, on the Wrong Side of History.

But we should avoid the temptation to prognosticate about the future in lieu of working to shape that future. We are citizens in a self-governing society, not pundits watching a spectator sport, not subjects of rulers. We are participants in one of the most significant debates our society — any society — has ever faced.

So, the question is, where do we go from here? How do we best advance the cause of marriage as the union of a man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother?

Some say we should abandon the defense of marriage and retreat to only protecting religious-liberty exemptions. They argue that this is the best course of action in light of what they take to be an inevitable defeat. Others go further and suggest that we should simply disengage with politics entirely, retreat to our own communities, and rebuild a marriage subculture there.

As tempting as these plans may be, they aren't the right answer.

We must continue to witness to the truth about marriage, find new ways to make the reasoned case about what marriage is, and work to protect our freedoms to do so for the next generation. All of this must be done in service of the long-term goal of restoring a culture of marriage.

This requires both political and cultural efforts. Those who emphasize religious-liberty protections are somewhat right, for to even have the freedom to build countercultural institutions that preserve the truth about marriage we will at the very least need to protect the liberty — including religious liberty — to do so. But they are wrong in thinking we can protect religious liberty without defending the substantive view we seek the liberty to hold and act on. In order to protect our liberty with respect to marriage, we must persuade our neighbors that our views about marriage are reasonable, and thus that our rights to govern our lives in accord with those views should be respected.

In doing this, we must understand that, for many of our neighbors, the argument for marriage hasn't been heard and rejected; it simply hasn't been heard. We must make that argument in new and creative ways.

In the short run, the legal battle over the definition of marriage may be an uphill struggle. But in the long run, those who defend marriage as the union of a man and woman will prove to be prophetic. First, because when people do hear a compelling case for marriage, they respond accordingly. And second, because the logic of marriage redefinition ultimately leads to the dissolution of marriage into nothing more than a social mess of consenting adult love of manifold sizes and shapes.

Those who defend — and live out — the truth about marriage should redouble their efforts to witness to the truth about marriage while there is still time to steer clear of that chaos. Here are six ways to do that.


Last summer, when the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many cited the Court's own language to explain the limited reach of the ruling. While the Court ordered the federal government to recognize all state-recognized marriages (including same-sex relationships), the Court declared that “the definition and regulation of marriage has been treated as being within the authority and realm of the separate States." The states remain free — and should continue — to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Indeed, Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized the limits of the majority's opinion. He made clear that neither the holding nor its logic required redefining state marriage laws. And Justice Alito made clear the actual constitutional status of marriage laws.

Alito framed the debate as a contest between two visions of marriage — what he calls the “conjugal" and “consent-based" views. Alito cited my book, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, as an example of the conjugal view of marriage: a “comprehensive, exclusive, permanent union that is intrinsically ordered to producing new life." He cited Jonathan Rauch as a proponent of the consent-based idea that marriage is a commitment marked by emotional union.

Alito explained that the Constitution is silent on which of these substantive visions of marriage is correct. And, so, Alito said, the Court should defer to democratic debate.

At the same time, we should be clear-eyed about what's coming next. The courts seem intent on disregarding the democratic process and usurping authority away from citizens and their representatives. But the Court will be less likely to usurp the authority of citizens if it is obvious that citizens are engaged in this democratic debate and care about the future of marriage. This is what Justice Scalia predicted: The Court will do whatever it thinks it can get away with. And as recent events in the lower federal courts suggest, judges seem to think they can get away with a lot.

We must, therefore, rally in support of our constitutional authority to pass laws defining marriage truthfully. We must make clear that Court-imposed same-sex marriage via a Roe v. Wade–style decision will not settle the marriage debate any better than it has settled the abortion debate.


Whatever happens at the Court will cause less damage if we vigorously advance the arguments for a classically liberal form of limited government and highlight the importance of religious liberty. Even if the Court were to one day redefine marriage, governmental recognition of same-sex relationships as marriages need not and should not require any third party to recognize a same-sex relationship as a marriage. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience does not infringe on anyone's sexual freedoms.

Indeed, a regime of free association, free contracts, free speech, and free exercise of religion should protect citizens' rights to live according to their beliefs about marriage. And yet, a growing number of incidents show that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual orientation have created a climate of intolerance, intimidation, and even government coercion for citizens who believe that marriage is the union of a man and woman and that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage. State laws that create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity (dubbed SOGI) are being used to trump fundamental civil liberties such as freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.

Under such laws, family businesses — especially photographers, bakers, florists, and others involved in the wedding industry — have been hauled into court because they declined to provide services for a same-sex ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.

Conservatives, indeed all Americans, must work to prevent the passage of such laws and to call our fellow citizens to embrace the best of the classically liberal form of government. Although Americans are free to live how we choose, we should not use government to penalize those who think and act differently.

Private actors should be free to make reasonable judgments and distinctions — including reasonable moral judgments and distinctions — in their economic activities. Not every florist need provide wedding arrangements for every ceremony. Not every photographer need capture every first kiss. Competitive markets can best harmonize a range of values that citizens hold. And there is no need for government to try to force every photographer and every florist to participate in every marriage-related event.

Likewise, we must help our neighbors see the importance of religious liberty in particular. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience fosters a more diverse civil sphere. Tolerance is essential to promoting peaceful coexistence even amid disagreement.

When he “evolved" on the issue, President Obama insisted that the debate about marriage was a legitimate one and reasonable people of good will were on both sides. Obama explained that supporters of marriage as we've always understood it “are not coming at it from a mean-spirited perspective" but “because they care about families." He added that “a bunch of 'em are friends of mine... you know, people who I deeply respect." And yet, in a growing number of incidents, government hasn't respected the beliefs of Americans.

Respecting religious liberty for all those in the marketplace is particularly important. After all, as first lady Michelle Obama put it, religious faith “isn't just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It's about what we do Monday through Saturday as well."

In addition to blocking bad policy, such as SOGI provisions, policymakers should pursue good policy. Policy at the federal level should prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group, whether nonprofit or for-profit, based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. Policy should prohibit the government from discriminating against such groups or individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting.

States need similar policy protections, starting with broad, across-the-board protections provided by state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs). States must protect the rights of Americans and the associations they form — both non-profit and for-profit — to speak and act in the public square.


These religious-liberty protections are more likely to be respected if the underlying view about marriage is at least understood. Much of the opposition to Arizona's recent religious-liberty legislation wasn't directed at religious liberty per se but at misunderstood — sadly, at times intentionally misrepresented — concerns about being forced to celebrate same-sex relationships as marriages.

We will be most successful in protecting our rights to free speech, contract, association, and exercise of religion if we also make the reasonable case for marriage. Even if the Court or political powers force the redefinition of marriage, much of the future hinges on public opinion.

The key question is whether those who favor marriage redefinition will view — and thus treat — their dissenting fellow citizens as, in the words of Justice Scalia, “enemies of the human race," or instead treat us as they do the pro-life movement. While liberal elites disagree with the pro-life position, they can at least understand it. And they can understand why a pro-life citizen holds the views she does and why government thus shouldn't coerce citizens into performing or subsidizing abortions.

We therefore must do the work to make our fellow citizens at least understand why we believe what we do about marriage. Even if they continue steadfast in their convictions, they may at least see the reasonableness of ours. For too many of our neighbors, our beliefs about marriage are equated with the late Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist infamy. If he's the only voice they've heard on the issue, it's hard to blame them. We must work harder so that they hear our voices.

All of us must be engaged in making the case for marriage. Roughly two years ago, Sherif Girgis, Robby George, and I finished working on the book that Alito cited, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense. In that book we argued that there were two competing views of what marriage is that were in play in our national debates, and we made a philosophical argument that the conjugal view of marriage was correct, and the revisionist view false.

The conjugal view of marriage, we argued, has long informed the law — along with the literature, art, philosophy, religion, and social practice — of our civilization. So understood, marriage is a comprehensive union. It unites spouses at all levels of their being: hearts, minds, and bodies, where man and woman form a two-in-one-flesh union. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are distinct and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction requires a man and a woman, and on the sociological reality that children benefit from having a mother and a father. As the act that unites spouses can also create new life, marriage is especially apt for procreation and family life. Uniting spouses in these all-encompassing ways, marriage calls for all-encompassing commitment: permanent and exclusive.

The state cares about marriage because of marriage's connection with children and its ability to unite children with their mother and father. After all, whenever a baby is born, there is always a mother nearby: That is a fact of reproductive biology. The question for law and culture is whether a father will be involved in the life of that child and, if so, for how long. Marriage increases the odds that a man will be committed both to the children that he helps create and to the woman with whom he does so. Marriage, rightly understood, brings together the two halves of humanity (male and female) in a monogamous relationship. Husband and wife pledge to each other to be faithful by vows of permanence and exclusivity. Marriage provides children with a relationship with the man and the woman who made them.

The revisionist view, on the other hand, has informed certain marriage-policy changes of the past several decades and is embodied in much of Hollywood's productions. On the revisionist understanding, marriage is essentially an emotional union, accompanied by any consensual sexual activity the partners may desire. Such romantic unions are seen as valuable while the emotion lasts. The revisionist view informs some male-female bonds, not just same-sex ones, as both involve intense emotional bonding, so both can (on this view) make a marriage.

But comprehensive union, we argue, is something only a man and woman can form. For this reason, enacting same-sex marriage would not expand the institution of marriage, but redefine it. Finishing what policies like “no-fault" divorce began, and thus entrenching them, it would finally replace the conjugal view with the revisionist emotion-based account. This would multiply the marriage revolution's moral and cultural spoils, and make them harder than ever to recover.

Most Americans are unaware that there are two competing visions of marriage on offer in this debate, but my experience on dozens of college campuses during the past year suggests there is hope here. On almost every campus I visited, including such elite law schools as Stanford and NYU, students came up to me afterward to say that they had never heard a rational case for marriage. Christians would say that they always knew marriage was between a man and a woman, but never knew how to defend it as a policy and legal matter — that they knew what the Bible revealed and the church taught, but lacked a vocabulary for articulating what God had written on the heart. Now they could better explain how faith and reason went together; how theology and philosophy, the Bible and social science all pointed to the same truth.

Reassuring these students is crucially important. Simply preventing those who do affirm that marriage is the union of a man and a woman from internalizing doubt, from cowering in shame in the face of aggressive opposition, or ultimately from caving is essential.

So, too, is helping those who haven't made up their minds see that this is a debate with competing reasonable positions. Some are genuinely on the fence, and we should do what we can to keep them from coming down on the wrong side. Indeed, my co-authors and I have received dozens of notes over the past year from people who decided to come down on the right side because of some aspect of our case for marriage.

While we may not be able to convert the committed advocates for same-sex marriage, we should seek to soften their resolve to eliminate us from polite society. Indeed, on campus after campus, students who identified as liberal would admit that this was the first time they had heard a rational case for marriage. They would tell me that they respected the argument — and frequently weren't sure why it was wrong, even when they continued to insist that it was wrong. Winning over these students so that they will at least respect our religious-liberty rights is essential. We do that, in part, by explaining the reasons for our beliefs about marriage.

And yet there are naysayers who claim that rational arguments never convince anyone. There is something perverse in conservatives' thinking that ideas have consequences but that good ideas can't persuade. They can, if only we are willing to present them in a winsome manner. In the long run truth wins out.


Truth needs a messenger. We must be bolder, better organized, and more strategic, and exercise greater foresight when engaging on this issue. The number of LGBT advocacy groups is remarkable. And their success in mainstreaming their cause has meant that every liberal institution &em; think tank, university, studio, network, etc. — is advancing the ball. We need conservative intellectual forces — think tanks, scholars, religious leaders, and politicians — to actively engage the issue of marriage.

Here we should emulate the success of the free-market movement. In the past half-century, citizens committed to economic freedom put their money where their mouths are, and built a network of well-funded free-market think tanks and advocacy groups, university programs and scholarship competitions, media groups and marketing campaigns. While social conservatives have made great strides, we still have a ways to go. We must continue to build a network on social issues.

Of course, many conservative elites are simply not with us on social issues generally, and on the marriage issue in particular. Even the conservative press gives short shrift to these issues.

And what's true for the news media is even worse for the cultural media. Keep in mind that Fox is the network that aired Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, and now Glee — each of which has done its part to undermine a healthy vision of marriage and human sexuality. But what is the conservative alternative to Glee? We need more concerted financial commitments to advancing sound culture.

There is opportunity here. Roger Ailes famously described himself as a media genius for discovering a niche market that ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC were all ignoring: half of the American population. What was true for the market in news consumption is just as true for entertainment more broadly. Enterprising entrepreneurs who can create television networks or film studios that produce high-quality family-friendly content not only perform good deeds, but will likely make a nice profit. There is an audience for high-quality entertainment that doesn't undermine the values that parents are trying to impart to their children.

Those of us with vocations in policy and the academy need to encourage those with vocations in the artistic realm to continue their important work. It's not that we need fewer natural-law philosophers or appellate litigators; it's that we need more of everything. There's work for everyone, for artists and musicians, for pastors and theologians, for statesmen and lawyers, for scholars and activists.


No matter what, the church will play a central role in shaping opinions on marriage. If it chooses to remain rather silent, it will shape opinion by default. On the other hand, it can rise to the occasion in developing a compelling response to the sexual revolution. And it alone possesses the only fully satisfying response.

This will require at least four major components. The first is simply to present a contemporary case for Biblical sexuality that is appealing and that engages the best of modern thought. This should present the virtue of chastity and lifelong marriage as the most humanly fulfilling choices one could make.

The second will be particular ministries to those who experience same-sex attractions and to those who experience gender-identity conflicts. Both the truths that we are created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, are being challenged in ways that they never have been before. The church will need to think through these issues and develop pastoral plans that truly meet people where they are with the truth of Christ that can set them free.

The third task for the church will be to defend religious liberty in the public square and to help conscientious Christians understand their moral obligations to bear witness to the truth and to act in accord with the truth.

And then the fourth will be for Christian communities to simply live out the truth of marriage. Husbands and wives must be faithful to one another through thick and thin, till death do them part. Mothers and fathers must take their obligations to their children seriously. The unmarried must prepare now for their future marital lives, so they can live out the vows they will make.

Some argue that the church should soften its stance on so-called controversial issues. That in order to be evangelists, the church needs to be seeker friendly. They're wrong. While no one should be bombastic, uncharitable, or imprudent, it is precisely the countercultural witness to what St. Paul called the more excellent way that will bring people to Christ.


Whatever happens, it is essential to take the long view, and to be ready to bear witness to the truth even if law and culture grow increasingly hostile. There are lessons to be learned from the pro-life movement.

Consider the pro-life movement in February 1973, just weeks after Roe v. Wade. Public opinion was against them, by a margin of two to one. With each passing day another pro-life public figure — Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, Bill Clinton — evolved to embrace abortion on demand. The media kept insisting that all the young people were for abortion rights. Elites ridiculed pro-lifers as being on the wrong side of history. The pro-lifers were aging; their children, increasingly against them.

But courageous pro-lifers put their hand to the plow, and today we reap the fruits.

My generation is more pro-life than my parents' generation. A majority of Americans identify as pro-life, more today than at any other point. More state laws have been enacted protecting unborn babies in the past decade than in the previous 30 years combined.

What happened?

Academics wrote the books and articles making the scientific and philosophical case for life. Statesmen like Henry Hyde, Ed Meese, and Ronald Reagan crafted the policy and used the bully pulpit to advance the culture of life. Activists and lawyers got together, formed coalitions, and devised effective strategies. They faithfully bore witness to the truth.

And the Christian community woke up — the Southern Baptists at the time, we sometimes forget, were in favor of abortion rights and supported Roe. Today they are at the forefront of the cause for life. This should caution us not to write off those who today might be on the wrong side of the marriage debate.

Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.

At one point in American life, virtually every child received the great gift of being raised to adulthood in the marital bond of the man and the woman — the mom and the dad — whose union gave them life. Today, that number is under 50 percent in some communities, and the consequences are tragic. Same-sex marriage didn't cause this, but it does nothing to help it, and will only make things worse. Indeed, it will lock in the distorted view of marriage as an institution primarily concerned with adult romantic desires, and make the rebuilding of the marriage culture much more difficult.

After all, redefining marriage to make it simply about emotional companionship sends the signal that moms and dads are interchangeable. Redefining marriage undercuts quite directly the rational foundations for the marital norms of permanence, exclusivity, and monogamy. It places the principle into law that if justice requires redefining marriage to include the same-sex couple, so too it could one day demand recognizing the “throuple" and quartet.

Whatever the law or culture may say, we must commit now to witness to the truths about marriage: that men and women are distinct and complementary, that it takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world, and that children deserve a chance to grow up with a mom and a dad.

Too many of our neighbors haven't heard our arguments, and they seem unwilling to respect our rights because they don't understand what we believe. It's up to us to change that perception. We will decide which side of history we are on.

Ryan T. Anderson is the co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and the William E. Simon Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

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