NOM BLOG

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Our Message is Your Message...



Dear Marriage Supporter,

The National Organization for Marriage is on the forefront of fighting for the freedom of all U.S. citizens by promoting the dignity of marriage, the family, and religious liberty. Our message is your message — — but it needs to be amplified and shared across the country to every citizen — young and old.

Our message isn't one just for parents, or conservatives, or religious people — it is truly a message for everyone to take notice. If we don't, our society is doomed to a perversion of everything this country has stood for since its founding.

At NOM, we take an active role in defending our religious freedom, fighting for the family, and the preservation of marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

Many people know that NOM plays a highly visible role in the fight from our high-profile organization of the annual March for Marriage in the nation's capitol, to helping organize and promote efforts to defend marriage champions like Kim Davis, our efforts to work with prospective presidential candidates and our leadership of state referenda and ballot measure campaigns. But you may not be aware of the quiet leadership role we play behind the scenes to nurture and develop a thriving marriage movement. Let me mention three such major initiatives:

  1. Campaign for Houston is a campaign to reject the Houston special rights initiative and is the leading campaign to reject the special rights ordinance in Houston. NOM strongly urges you to support their efforts. The City Council has passed a notorious ordinance, pushed by the city's lesbian mayor, that gives special legal rights to people claiming to be "transgendered" — including men who claim to identify as women — the right to use the restrooms reserved for the opposite sex.
  2. The coalition "Protect Life and Marriage OK!" includes community leaders, pastors, legislators, homemakers, employees and entrepreneurs who have united in support of Oklahoma's constitutional authority to protect natural, traditional marriage and to protect innocent, unborn children from the unjust, unlawful U.S. Supreme Court actions that have invented a constitutional right for same-sex "marriage" and that have led to the abortion of over 58 million unborn children. The coalition held a huge rally this past Sunday that gathered several thousand marriage supporters. NOM was proud to have helped promote this event.
  3. For the first time, the World Congress of Families — a global nonprofit organization that promotes the natural family — is meeting in the United States. The Congress is the world's premier pro-family gathering and is being held this week in Salt Lake City. I am attending with others from around the world who are speaking the truth about marriage and the importance of promoting the natural family. We hope to learn from each other and broadly promote the importance of the natural family.

These are just three examples of the unique and important leadership role that NOM plays in undertaking and promoting the fight for marriage and family. We are the only group in America that is solely focused on preserving marriage and supporting the rights of children to receive the love of their mother and father.

Donate Today — Defend Marriage

But to continue this leadership role and to continue being effective, we need your financial support — please consider a gift today.

A generous donor who recognizes the critical importance of our work has agreed to match every donation you make through the end of this year. Won't you please consider making a donation of $15, $25, $50, $100 or even $250 or more so that NOM has the resources to continue to advocate for the truth of marriage and the rights of children and parents and for religious liberty. Whatever you can give will be gratefully appreciated, and will be instantly matched, doubling your impact and put to immediate use.

Your generous gift will allow NOM to continue its effort to make your voice heard across the country. If NOM's voice, your voice, OUR VOICE, disappears — it will be a very dark day fo American families and, indeed, for the nation. We must continue the fight or we will lose our religious liberty and allow illegitimate laws and immoral Supreme Court decisions to prevail.

We cannot let this happen. At times the deck seems stacked against us — but this is precisely the time we need to redouble our efforts and make our voice heard.

Please consider making a generous donation to help NOM continue the fight on your behalf — helping to make your voice heard. Your gift will be doubled thanks to a generous supporter. Your gift of $50.00 becomes $100.00 and $150.00 becomes $300.00. Support NOM today so we can protect your rights and the rights of all Americans.

Thank you for all you are doing to preserve marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. This is a critical time in our history — we must fight on and continue defending our religious freedom, fighting for the family, and the preservation of marriage and the faith communities that sustain it. Be part of the solution and support NOM today! And remember — every dollar you give will immediately be matched!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


Donate Today

Science Proves Family Structure Matters

Throughout history it's been obvious to any observer that children in intact families with a married mother and father do much better than children from broken homes or those living in alternative family structures. In recent years, there's been an attempt to deny that reality and convince people that children raised by gay or lesbian parents are somehow exempted from the realities of family life, claiming there are "no differences" in outcomes for these kids or even sometimes suggesting they do better than children raised by a married mother and father in the home. Increasingly, social scientists have been examining this "no differences" claim and, as you might suspect, find it without merit. A distinguished social scientist from the University of Virginia, W. Bradford Wilcox, writes a detailed piece this week for National Review reviewing three recent developments that make it harder for the "family structure denialists" to continue to make the "no differences" claim. He says:

"It’s been a rough two weeks for the family-structure denialists, those progressive academics (Philip Cohen, “How to Live in a World Where Marriage Is in Decline”), journalists (Katie Roiphe, “New York Times, Stop Moralizing About Single Mothers”), and pundits (Matthew Yglesias, “The ‘Decline’ of Marriage Isn’t a Problem”) who seek to minimize or deny the importance of marriage and family structure. That’s because three new pieces of scholarship — a journal, a report, and a study — were released this month that solidify the growing scientific consensus that marriage and family structure matter for children, families, and the nation as a whole."

The studies and reports mention by Wilcox confirm many of the outcome problems that children who lack a married mother and father in the home experience, especially boys lacking the presence of their father at home. Wilcox says these children "are floundering in school and society" and details findings including problems in the areas of truancy and educational attainment, increased behavioral problems, higher cognitive disability, perform worse on standardized school tests and are less likely to graduate from high school. And the article details important new findings that states with higher levels of married parenthood enjoy higher levels of growth, economic mobility for children growing up poor, higher median family income and markedly lower levels of child poverty. Says Wilcox,

"[W]ith study after study showing that children, families, and now even states benefit from strong and stable married families, the job of those who would seek to deny that marriage and family structure also play an important role — the family-structure denialists — is getting harder and harder. That’s because the facts just aren’t with those who seek to deny the scientific evidence that family change is having a major impact on our social environment and — in particular — our boys.

The complete article is available at National Review.

NOM Endorses Matt Bevin, Whitney Westerfield for Kentucky Governor, Attorney General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2015
Contact: Paul Bothwell (202) 457-8060 x-105 [email protected]


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Washington – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today announced they have endorsed Matt Bevin in his race for Governor of Kentucky, and Whitney Westerfield as Attorney General of the state. Kentucky is one of three states with off-year elections and will elect a new governor and attorney general on November 3, 2015.

"Matt Bevin and Whitney Westerfield are the clear choices for the 75% of Kentucky voters who cast ballots to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "Bevin and Westerfield have stood up to defend traditional marriage and religious liberty while their opponents, Jack Conway and Andy Beshear, have abandoned voters on marriage and religious liberty."

Jack Conway, the incumbent Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor, refused to defend the state's marriage amendment when it was challenged by gay activists. Andy Beshear, son of current Democratic governor Steve Beshear and the Democratic candidate for Attorney General to replace Conway, has defended his father's refusal to grant an accommodation to independently elected county clerks who do not wish to personally issue 'marriage' licenses that violate the Kentucky state constitution as well as their religious beliefs. Kentucky clerk Kim Davis spent nearly a week in jail before public pressure resulting in her being freed.

Meanwhile, Matt Bevin, the Republican candidate for governor, has a strong record in support of marriage and religious liberty. He appeared this week at a religious liberty rally in Owensboro, KY and said, "I will fight for our first amendment rights." Whitney Westerfield similarly has a strong record on marriage religious liberty and has called for Governor Beshear to issue an exemption for clerks like Kim Davis or call the Legislature into special session to deal with the problem. "There's a way to do this…to protect the religious freedoms of those people who object," he said at a recent debate with Andy Beshear.

"The issue before the people of Kentucky is whether they want a governor and attorney general who will fight for the rights of Kentuckians to preserve marriage and religious liberty, or will throw in the towel when those rights are challenged by wealthy gay activists," Brown said. "Kentucky deserves to determine its laws for itself, and the voters of Kentucky are entitled to have their decisions respected and defended. Jack Conway and Andy Beshear have abandoned them, but Matt Bevin and Whitney Westerfield will restore honor and leadership to those offices."

NOM referred voters to a statement recently issued by over 60 prominent legal scholars who have declared the recent US Supreme Court ruling to be "anti-constitutional and illegitimate." The scholars say that the ruling should not be considered binding precedent or settled law on anyone but the plaintiffs in the case, and called on state officeholders in Kentucky and elsewhere to "recognize the authority of states to define marriage, and the right of federal and state officeholders to act in accordance with those definitions."

"The people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky are not peasants conscribed to do the bidding of their 'masters' on the US Supreme Court," Brown said. "The constitution of the Unites States is the supreme law of the law, not what five unelected judges say it is, and the constitution of Kentucky is the supreme law of the Commonwealth. Voters should demand that their elected officials adhere to the constitution, including the decision of 75% of voters to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

# # #

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, please contact Paul Bothwell, [email protected], (202) 457-8060 x-105.

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.

Citizens Fight to Keep Men Out of Women’s Bathrooms, Protect Marriage



Dear Marriage Supporter,

While the elite and the mainstream media is busy trying to fool themselves and the American people into thinking people are fine with the US Supreme Court imposing a radical redefinition of marriage and human sexuality on the nation, average citizens across the country are having none of it. There are several critical examples to point to this week.

Campaign for Houston Fighting to Keep Men Out of Women's Bathrooms

The City of Houston is at the forefront of attempting to force citizens to accept the false notion that "gender identity" is more important than biology. The City Council has passed a notorious ordinance, pushed by the city's lesbian mayor, that gives special legal rights to people claiming to be "transgendered" — including men who claim to identify as women — the right to use the restrooms reserved for the opposite sex. The ordinance contains no common sense protections, such as requiring someone who claims a "gender identity" opposite his or her biologic sex to have some evidence that it is a sincerely-held belief and consistent behavior, and not a pretext. The ordinance is so poorly-conceived that a man could claim to be a woman on one morning, and thus use the women's restrooms, and later that day change his "identity" in order to participate in a male-only activity. Boys will be able to use showers and locker rooms reserved for girls, and participate with them in the intimate acts of showering and dressing. It even allows convicted sex-offenders to claim a female identity and use women's restrooms.

In the gobbledygook world of political correctness, the City Council called their ordinance the "Houston Equal Rights Ordinance" (HERO), but there is nothing heroic about giving special rights to a tiny segment of the population while risking the privacy and safety of everyone else.

When citizens understandably objected to this dangerous special rights ordinance and began a referendum effort to put it on the ballot, the mayor and city fought back with everything they had to punish those of us who believe that biology determines gender, not amorphous "feelings." The mayor even illegally demanded that local pastors turn over all their sermons and internal correspondence relating to the referendum in an attempt to intimidate and pressure churches to stay out of the fight. When referendum signatures were submitted, the city illegally rejected them and the state finally had to order the referendum on the ballot.

The Campaign for Houston is leading the campaign to reject the special rights ordinance and NOM urges you to support their efforts. Early voting began yesterday so if you live in Houston, please be among the first to cast a ballot against the ordinance by voting NO on the referendum. If you have friends or family who live in Houston, urge them to also cast their ballot against the ordinance.

NOM urges you to take several other steps to help the Campaign for Houston defeat this dangerous special rights ordinance:

  • Please make a contribution to the Campaign for Houston to support their grassroots effort to overturn the ordinance. They need your help to be successful. Those in favor of the dangerous special rights ordinance are tapping a huge network of wealthy gay and lesbian donors, and it's imperative that we at the grassroots level stand up to help those who are defending Houston families.
  • The coalition is working hard to raise the funds to air a powerful TV ad and a radio commercial featuring legendary Houston baseball player Lance Berkman to educate Houston voters about the dangers of allowing men in women's restrooms and boys in girls' showers and locker rooms. Please watch and listen to the advertisements and share links with your friends and family. Ask them to join you in contributing to the campaign to ensure the ads are able to saturate the airwaves.
  • Publicize the importance of defeating this dangerous ordinance to all your contacts on social media. Even if you don't live in the Houston area, it's still important to let your network of friends and contacts know that you think the Houston ordinance is a bad idea. The more people across the country who come to know about the ordinance the bigger the impact will be when it is defeated, and the more likely that you will avoid having this type of dangerous ordinance proposed in your own community.

The election to overturn this dangerous special rights initiative is November 3rd.

Oklahoma Citizens Stand Tall for Marriage and Life

Oklahomans from all walks of life realize that the US Supreme Court opinion redefining marriage is illegitimate and unjust, and should be resisted. A massive groundswell of opposition to this decision has arisen, and an organized protest effort has emerged to declare that the state will not abandon their constitutionally defined definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman despite what five justices of the US Supreme Court might declare.

The coalition "Protect Life and Marriage OK!" includes community leaders, pastors, legislators, homemakers, employees and entrepreneurs. They have united together in support of Oklahoma's constitutional authority to protect natural, traditional marriage and to protect innocent, unborn children from the unjust, unlawful U.S. Supreme Court actions that have invented a constitutional right for same-sex "marriage" and that have led to the abortion of over 58 million unborn children.

The coalition has taken a number of important steps to urge citizens to resist the Supreme Court ruling on marriage. It has produced a compelling video explaining their effort, launched a petition drive giving citizens the ability to join the cause and become active in local efforts to advance the coalition, and is planning a major rally at the state capitol this coming Sunday, October 25th.

The coalition's slogan is "Legally we can, morally we must" and they are exactly right on both counts!

As you may recall, last week a group of over 60 prominent national legal scholars including NOM's chairman Dr. John Eastman and co-founder Professor Robert George issued a statement calling the Supreme Court ruling redefining marriage in the Obergefell case "anti-constitutional and illegitimate." The legal scholars urged state and federal officeholders to refuse to accept the ruling as binding precedent or settled law, and to recognize the right of states to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. They urged recognition of "the right of federal and state officeholders to act in accordance with those definitions."

The work of the Protect Life and Marriage OK! coalition is a tangible and welcome manifestation of resistance to the illegitimate and unjust ruling of the Supreme Court, resistance that NOM has long urged and we encourage all Americans to support.

We ask you to lend your own voice of encouragement for the effort in Oklahoma. Please sign the petition and urge all your friends and family to do the same. If you are able, plan to attend the rally this Sunday at 4:00pm on the south lawn at the capitol in Oklahoma City and join in this massive protest against the Supreme Court ruling. Encourage anyone you know who can attend to do so as well.

And please make every effort to promote the coalition's resistance effort to all your friends and contacts on social media and in any other forum you can.

Pro-Family Leaders from Across the Globe Come to Salt Lake City for the World Congress of Families Conference

For the first time, the World Congress of Families — a global nonprofit organization that promotes the natural family — is meeting in the United States. The Congress is the world's premier pro-family gathering and will occur next week in Salt Lake City from October 27-30, 2015.

The WCF brings together thousands of parents, youth, scholars, lawmakers, religious leaders and advocates to affirm, celebrate and encourage the natural family.

This year's World Congress of Families is chock full of important presentations and training sessions. I am looking forward to attending the event, and speaking with my fellow pro-family leaders, and I encourage you to join us.

There is still time to register for the conference. I'm certain that you will find it inspiring and informative. I know I greatly benefit whenever I am able to surround myself with leading experts and advocates who understand the truth of marriage and the importance of promoting the natural family where the basic human right of children to know and be loved by the two people responsible for bringing them into the world — their parents — is affirmed and encouraged.

Thank you for all you are doing to preserve marriage and the faith communities that sustain it.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

How the Left Has Sabotaged Marriage and Family

Dr. Paul Kengor, professor of political science at Grove City College, writes a fascinating piece in today's Daily Signal about the involvement of the American Communist Party in pushing the LGBT agenda in America. Dr. Kengor says:

"On June 26, 2015, four of the Supreme Court’s liberals joined Justice Anthony Kennedy in discovering a new right to same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution, one thereby imposed upon all 50 states.

In response, of course, liberals were jubilant. Their leader, the one who promised to fundamentally transform America, responded by literally illuminating the nation’s house in rainbow colors.

Americans saw all of that. They saw the pictures of their fundamentally transformed White House; they saw other culture-transformers dancing in the streets joyously rejecting what a great country once called the laws of nature and nature’s God...

But one thing that very few Americans saw, including the millions of same-sex marriage supporters who aren’t especially political or ideological, was the quite revealing celebration among some really radical quarters.

Among them, Communist Party USA and its publication, People’s World—successor to the Soviet-funded and directed Daily Worker—were thrilled with what Anthony Kennedy and friends had done.

For communists, this was a stunning victory, the securing of a long-elusive effort to vanquish the fixed marriage model set forth long ago by nature and the Creator. Indeed, if you thought the White House seemed eager to hoist the rainbow colors, you should have seen the American Communist Party.

In fact, the party of the red flag had been waving the rainbow flag before June 26, 2015. Communist Party USA has been pumping the full “LGBT” agenda for several years now."

Dr. Kengor goes on to detail numerous examples of how the Communist Party has promoted the LGBT agenda, saying, "We know that one is far more likely to see the rainbow flag at People’s World nowadays than a red flag with a hammer and sickle." Dr. Kengor attributes their activism to pursuit of their long-held desire to subvert religion and family. "For today’s communists, the “LGBT” agenda, especially on marriage, is the hammer and sickle to take down the natural, traditional, biblical, Western/Judeo-Christian model for marriage and family that they have long despised," he writes.

You can read the full article here.

A Critical Time



Dear Marriage Supporter,

The next few weeks is a critical time for NOM, and for everything we're working to achieve.

As you know, we have a lot on our plate to restore marriage to its rightful place in the law and protect marriage supporters from discrimination. We're working on:

  • Passing the First Amendment Defense Act through Congress and state legislatures so that no American who supports traditional marriage can be penalized or punished by the government;
  • Electing a pro-marriage champion as president;
  • Standing up for victims of intolerance like Kim Davis who have been targeted simply because they refuse to back down from their principled position in support of marriage;
  • Developing a grassroots initiative to educate and engage the American people in the cause of marriage; and
  • Holding the GOP accountable.

Each of these objectives will face critical action points over the next few weeks. In addition, this is the most important time of year for NOM as it is a make or break period financially. If we are not able to raise the resources needed to continue to pursue our plan, we will have no choice but to cut planned activities and scale back.

Will you please consider making an urgently-needed financial contribution of $25, $35, $50, $100 or even $250 or more?

Fortunately, we have a generous donor who has agreed to match anything you donate, dollar for dollar, through the end of the year. This is a great blessing and we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity by making a generous donation today.

Help Us Defend Marriage Today

We have made some remarkable progress in advancing our plan to restore marriage while protecting the rights of traditional marriage supporters. For example:

  • Our work in support of the First Amendment Defense Act has helped result in 188 sponsors in the House and US Senate — over 35% of the entire Congress. We expect this critical legislation to come up for a vote in the next several weeks and we must be prepared to mount an aggressive push to enact it.
  • At the state level, we helped our allies in North Carolina achieve a remarkable victory when the Legislature passed and then overrode a gubernatorial veto of legislation that protects the right of officials to refuse to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses that violate their deeply held beliefs.
  • The March for Marriage held last April was the largest march in American history in support of marriage, with NOM bringing together an incredibly diverse crowd of 15,000 people. You can watch a video recap here.
  • We issued our Presidential Marriage Pledge and four candidates have signed on, establishing themselves as marriage champions — Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Bobby Jindal. Gov. Mike Huckabee has issued his own pledge and continues to champion marriage on the campaign trail.
  • We served notice to the GOP last November that voters continue to demand that Republican candidates reaffirm their support for the truth of marriage when we defeated two House candidates who supported same-sex 'marriage' and helped elect pro-marriage champions in hotly-contested US Senate contests in Arkansas and North Carolina.
  • We helped launch a massive grassroots uprising of Americans to stand in support of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis who was jailed for refusing to abandon her faith and principles and succumb to pressure that she personally issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses that violate her beliefs and the Kentucky constitution. I was honored to have been a featured speaker at a huge rally demanding her release.

Each of these accomplishments required a tremendous effort and expenditure of resources. Unlike groups working to destroy marriage, NOM does not have large reserves or billionaire donors. Our effectiveness is directly tied to the resources we are able to raise from grassroots supporters like you who believe in God's design for marriage. Please consider making a generous gift today, which will be matched dollar for dollar, and put into the fight during these critical coming weeks.

I'll make a donation of $25, which will be matched resulting in NOM receiving $50.

I'll make a donation of $35, which will be matched resulting in NOM receiving $70.

I'll make a donation of $50, which will be matched resulting in NOM receiving $100.

I'll make a donation of $100, which will be matched resulting in NOM receiving $200.

I'll make a donation of $250 or more, which will be matched resulting in NOM receiving $500 or more.

As we gear up to push our plan forward during the balance of the year, it is essential that we have the resources we need to be effective. Right now we are $100,000 short of reaching our budget for the rest of the year. Unless we can close that gap we will have no choice but to scale back our efforts and cut critical activities that are desperately needed.

I can tell you that we are doing everything we can to manage our work effectively and efficiently. We've streamlined our operations and cut overhead so that everything we raise is put to use in the most efficient way possible. But unless we are able to raise the $100,000 we need to close our budget gap, we will have to take drastic action that could well make the difference between victory and defeat:

  • We may not be able to mount the aggressive grassroots push needed for the First Amendment Defense Act in Congress and at the state level.
  • We may not be able to push a pro-marriage champion forward as the GOP nominee for president.
  • We may not be able to pursue our planned grassroots education and engagement initiative.
  • We may not have the resources to stand up for people like Kim Davis, or all the others (bakers, florists, photographers, printers, inn keepers, etc.) who have been punished by government for standing for the truth of marriage.
  • And we may not be able to undertake critical activities to hold the GOP accountable.

Please act today with your most generous financial contribution so that we can continue to pursue all of these critical elements of our plan. Marriage is too important to be abandoned for lack of resources. We need your help today.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Because of a generous donor, whatever amount you donate — whether it be $25, $35, $50, $100 or even $250 or more — will be matched dollar for dollar for the rest of the year. Please take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to invest in the cause of marriage today.


Donate Today

Another Example of Punishment For Opposing Same-Sex 'Marriage'

In 2012, Utah National Guardsman Layne Wilson heard about a same-sex 'marriage' being performed in the hallowed Cadet Chapel at West Point and, like many Americans, was outraged. Wilson, a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, wrote an email and Facebook post expressing his opposition to this use of the Chapel, calling it a "mockery to God and our military core values." The enlisted man said in an email, "I have proudly served for 27 years and this is a slap in the face to us who have put our lives on the line for this country. I hope sir that you will take appropriate action so this does not happen again." Despite the constitutional protections guaranteed for freedom of religion, National Guard officials promptly disciplined the enlisted man, revoking his six year contract and substituting a one-year contract, as well as issuing a letter of reprimand. When Wilson objected, the Guard was forced to reinstate the six-year contract, but kept the reprimand in place and actually issued a second letter of reprimand.

This is another example of how the government acts to punish people of faith who object to same-sex 'marriage' and oppose governmental efforts to normalize the behavior. Wilson sued the government, relying on the protections provided under the Religious Liberty Restoration Act (RFRA) but in an unfortunate ruling yesterday from a federal judge, his claim of protection because of religious beliefs was denied. Wilson's attorney has promised an appeal.

This case is the latest in a growing chorus of examples of individuals, small businesses and charities who have been punished for exercising their first amendment rights to oppose the redefinition of marriage and instead stand for the truth of marriage as God designed it -- the union of one man and one woman. NOM calls on Congress to move expeditiously to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to protect people from governmental discrimination and retaliation due to their position on marriage.

You can read more about this case at the National Law Journal.

The Only Thing Necessary for Evil to Triumph...



Dear Marriage Supporter,

"The Only Thing Necessary for Evil to Triumph is that Good Men Do Nothing." — Edmund Burke once said.

Where are today's good men and women in the midst of the assaults on marriage, family and religious freedom? One is in Kentucky.

After spending six days in jail Kim Davis was released. Although we don't know what will happen next — it is a great victory for the truth of marriage! Her fight still continues and the attacks against her are not slowing down. She has become a beacon of hope!

Your gift today, of $25, $50 or even $100, to help defend religious liberty will be matched by a generous donor that is passionate about NOM's work.

The saga of Kim Davis got international news coverage, putting the illegitimate US Supreme Court ruling redefining marriage before millions of people. It was because of her Christian faith that Kim could not abide the Court's sham ruling which purports to force her to sanction as "marriage" a same-sex union in violation of what the Bible says, and in that regard she represents millions of us.

Kim is out of jail — for now. This certainly isn't the end of the story for her or the end of same-sex 'marriage' in America. But it is an encouraging sign to see so many people across the country, just like you and me, who believe that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman become passionately engaged in the controversy.

Hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions like the one NOM launched demanding that Kim be freed, and thousands appeared at a rally at the Carter County Detention Center upon her release. I was honored to have been a featured speaker at the rally.

But the truth remains — Kim was blatantly singled out because of her Christian faith even though federal and state laws require protections for religious faith. People of other faiths are routinely given fair accommodation for their faith — such as a Muslim being exempted from transporting alcohol, and that's how it should be.

But when it comes to Christians not wanting to participate in something like gay 'marriage' that deeply conflicts with our beliefs, that's where the left draws the line.

Will you take a stand with NOM and support our efforts to aggressively protect religious freedom and bring a national focus to the injustice of the Supreme Court decision imposing same sex 'marriage' on every state in the nation? Your gift of $25, $50 or $75 will be matched by a generous donor that is passionate about NOM's work and will be put to immediate use. That means your gift of $50.00 will become $100.00.

Over the last several weeks NOM has taken action to bring attention to Kim Davis and the persecution she faced as a Christian woman standing by her principles.

  • We sent over one million emails to supporters around the country asking for their support and prayers.
  • We helped turn out thousands of people in Kentucky to support Kim Davis and protest what is nothing short of Christian persecution.
  • We worked closely with Governor Mike Huckabee to bring national attention to the clear bias and injustice taking place in Kentucky.
  • We helped mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to sign petitions like the one NOM launched demanding that Kim be freed and that religious liberty be protected.
  • We were able to overcome the odds and be instrumental in the release of Kim from jail; something none of us felt could happen so quickly!
  • Working with an allied organization, we were also able to raise over $7,000 for Kim and her family who have faced a very tough time.

We must not stand down — we must stand up and be counted! If we don't, the agenda of discrimination and tyranny will be the wrecking ball to our religious freedom.

That's why America needs strong women and men of sound character to fight injustice, to stand up for their convictions, and to put their principles above everything else — even if it means jail time!

We must work harder than ever to change the course America is on. Please donate right now and help NOM restore our nation!

Defend Marriage — Donate Today

Let me be clear: there are many reasons well beyond religious liberty why marriage should be preserved in the law to match what it is in realty, the union of one man and one woman. But religious liberty is a foundational principle of our nation, one that must be enforced while we fight to restore marriage to its rightful place in the law.

Kim Davis stood by her convictions. She is a woman of faith that wouldn't compromise her principles or betray what she holds deeply in her heart — that marriage is between one man and one woman. She knows this is what God's Word says, and it has been proven throughout human history to be an essential element of healthy societies.

When I met her and her husband in Kentucky it was clear that she is a person of deep faith and that, in spite of the incredible pressure she faces, is standing by her convictions. She isn't backing down!

Will you do the same if/when the time comes? Just think of the bakery or pizza parlor owners that were put out of business for their personal religious convictions! The truth is that persecution of our religious beliefs can happen to any of us at anytime.

We cannot be complacent. We must be vigilant. We must be proactive.

To do this, we need your immediate help to continue fighting on the state and national levels. This takes money. For every dollar we spend the enemy ups the ante. In many ways the odds are against us but if we band together we can turn the tides. We really can!

Will you consider a gift of $50, $100, or even $250? Your gift will be doubled thanks to a generous matching gift. Your gift of $50 will become $100! So please consider the best gift you possibly can.

Your gift will be put to immediate use in the fight to enact FADA and help restore marriage in America between one woman and one man.

With your help, we will fight on, for people like Kim Davis, and for average Americans like you and me who believe in the truth of marriage. And one other thing — we will prevail!

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


P.S. We simply don't know what may happen to Kim. It is clear there is much work to be done. Please pray for this brave women and her family so they have the strength to continue to stand strong!

Will you consider a financial gift to help NOM continue fighting for traditional marriage and the passage of FADA? Your gift will double thanks to generous matching gift by a passionate NOM supporter. Any size gift will help and will be put to immediate use.

Lastly, please pray for our great country — both our leaders and fellow citizens. Hard work accompanied by fervent prayer will prevail.


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Prominent Legal Scholars Declare Supreme Court Marriage Ruling "Anti-Constitutional and Illegitimate" and Not Binding Precedent



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Marking the opening of the new US Supreme Court term this week, a group of over 60 prominent legal scholars has issued a major statement declaring that the notorious ruling from the last Court term which purported to redefine marriage in the Obergefell v Hodges case is "anti-constitutional and illegitimate" and should not be treated public officials or citizens as binding precedent or settled law. The scholars, including NOM co-founder Professor Robert George and Chairman Dr. John Eastman, said that the decision is, "lacking anything remotely resembling a warrant in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution" and "must be judged anti-constitutional and illegitimate." They called on the other branches of government and American citizens to refuse to treat the decision as binding precedent or consider it to have settled the law of the United States.

"We stand with James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in recognizing that the Constitution is not whatever a majority of Supreme Court justices say it is," said NOM's co-founder Professor Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and one of the authors of the statement. "We remind all officeholders in the United States that they are pledged to uphold the Constitution of the United States, not the will of five members of the Supreme Court."

The legal scholars called on all state and federal officeholders:

  • "To refuse to accept Obergefell as binding precedent for all but the specific plaintiffs in that case.
  • To recognize the authority of states to define marriage, and the right of federal and state officeholders to act in accordance with those definitions.
  • To pledge full and mutual legal and political assistance to anyone who refuses to follow Obergefell for constitutionally protected reasons.
  • To open forthwith a broad and honest conversation on the means by which Americans may constitutionally resist and overturn the judicial usurpations evident in Obergefell."

The sixty-four legal scholars who signed the statement when issued (four others have since added their names) emphasized that the course they are advocating is neither extreme nor disrespectful of the rule of law, relating their position to that of President Lincoln who regarded the claim of supremacy for the Supreme Court in matters of constitutional interpretation as incompatible with the republican principles of the Constitution. Quoting from President Lincoln's first inaugural address, the scholars said that if Americans succumb to the idea of judicial supremacy, "the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."

The statement from the scholars including NOM's Chairman, Dr. John Eastman (the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University) said, "To treat as "settled" and "the law of the land" the decision of five Supreme Court justices who, by their own admission, can find no warrant for their ruling in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the Constitution, would indeed be to resign our government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. That is something that no citizen or statesman who wishes to sustain the great experiment in ordered liberty bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers should be willing to do."

This statement from some of the top legal experts in America is a major development, one that will help focus attention on the utter lack of legal authority the Supreme Court had to redefine marriage. Since the moment the decision was issued last June, NOM has declared it to be illegitimate because it completely lacks any constitutional basis. It simply represents the desire of five justices to cast aside constitutional principles and millennia of understanding about marriage in order to gain favor with popular culture and powerful constituencies.

NOM is working to overturn the Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling, and enact legislative protections for people of faith so that they are not punished by government for living out the truth of marriage in their daily lives. You can read our five-point plan here.

Alabama Judges Refuse To Issue Same-Sex 'Marriage' Licenses

Taking the admonishment of legal scholars to heart that the Supreme Court's marriage ruling in Obergefell is illegitimate, several Alabama probate judges have petitioned the state Supreme Court for a judgement upholding the state constitution and prohibiting the state from issuing same-sex 'marriage' licenses. The judges acknowledge that the state must "recognize" same-sex 'marriage' licenses issued elsewhere that are valid under the laws of other states, but that the federal government is powerless to force the state to itself issue licenses that violate its state constitution. Saying that the Obergefell ruling was "born from a strained interpretation of the US Constitution, the new same-sex marriage license is a child of the federal government, not the State of Alabama...Therefore, the recognition of same-sex marriage as a civil right under the United States Constitution vests the U.S. Congress with the authority and responsibility to enforce the right and to provide the appropriate licensing, the same as it exclusively does in many other areas of federal law."

The actions by these Alabama Probate Judges are welcome, because it puts into focus the constitutional limitations between the three federal branches of government. It's one thing for the US Supreme Court to issue a ruling, but they have no power to force other branches of government, or the states, to enforce it. There is no such thing as "judicial supremacy" under the constitution. The Supreme Court is supreme only as to its position within the federal court system. They are not superior to the legislative or judicial branches of government. These branches of government, and the states as well, have the power to assess the legitimacy of any ruling issued by the Court and determine for themselves how, if at all, to give it force and effect. This was the principle invoked by President Lincoln when he refused to consider the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case as binding on anyone but the specific parties to the case.

Thus, as the legal scholars pointed out in their statement, the Obergefell ruling should be considered binding only on the plaintiffs in that particular case. It's up to the Congress to determine if it wishes to enact statutes providing for the issuance of federal same-sex 'marriage' licenses. No state can be compelled to issue marriage licenses in violation of the laws or constitution of that state.

Another Kentucky Clerk Joins Kim Davis in Refusing To Issue Same-sex 'Marriage' Licenses

A third elected county clerk in Kentucky has joined Kim Davis in refusing to violate her conscience and the constitution of the state of Kentucky by issuing 'marriage' licenses to same-sex couples. According to media reports, Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz will not issue same-sex marriage licenses which are illegal under Kentucky law. The ACLU is considering a lawsuit to attempt to force her to issue the licenses even though doing so violates both her conscience and the state constitution.

Support the First Amendment Defense Act

If you have not done so already, now is a perfect time to contact your members of Congress to urge them to sign on to support the First Amendment Defense Act (HR 2802/S 1598). There are 150 sponsors and co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, and 38 in the US Senate. NOM is working hard with allies to advance this critical legislation to protect individuals, nonprofit groups, ministers and churches from government retaliation simply for standing for the truth of marriage in the public square. We are hoping for hearings in the next few weeks, so it is imperative that you weigh in with your federal representatives to urge their support of this critical legislation.

NOM Needs Your Support

Our plate is full with work that needs to be done to restore marriage to the law, protect the rights of people to continue to support marriage without fear of retaliation, and engage the culture at all levels on the critically important role a thriving marriage cultures contributes to society. We depend on you and other grassroots supporters to continue our work. Please consider making a gift of $15, $25, $50 or $100 or more.

Donate and Have Your Gift Matched Today!

Your contribution of any amount through the end of the year will be matched by a generous supporter, doubling the effectiveness of your gift. This is a great blessing, and will provide much needed financial support. If you can make a generous donation of $25, $50 or even $100, NOM will get double the help, and it will come at a critical time.

Thank you for all your efforts to support marriage.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


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In Good Times and Bad



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Like any relationship, our work in support of marriage occurs through good times and in bad, when the wind is at our back and when it is in our face. Some challenges are harder than others, some circumstances present unexpected opportunities. Because NOM is not funded by Wall Street billionaires and huge corporations (unlike those who oppose traditional marriage) we rely on you and thousands of others to sustain our work.

I am asking you to consider making a sustaining contribution to NOM each month of $25, $35, $50 or even $100 — whatever you can prayerfully afford. Knowing that we will be able to count on your support no matter the current crisis or opportunity will be a great benefit. It will allow us to more effectively plan our work, and stay within budget.

Becoming a Sustaining Member is easy. Each month your credit card will be charged the amount you select — $15, $25, $35, $50, $100 or even more, whatever you decide. When you go to this link, you first select the amount you wish to donate. You can pick from several suggested amounts, or hit "other amount" to enter a different donation. Then, be sure to scroll down and check the box under the words SUSTAINING MEMBERSHIP. This provides us the authorization we need to process your donation each month. Then scroll to where you complete the credit card information, fill it in, and hit "DONATE." That's all there is to it!

Developing a core group of sustaining members is extremely important to us as we embark upon pursuit of our five-point plan to reverse the anti-constitutional and illegitimate decision of the US Supreme Court imposing gay 'marriage' on the nation, while protecting the rights of supporters to live their beliefs about marriage in their daily lives. We're working hard to enact the First Amendment Defense Act at the federal and state level, which is critically important legislation to prevent government from punishing people who do not want to be forced into supporting same-sex 'marriage.' Already we've seen countless bakers, florists, photographers, printers, clerks and others punished simply for refusing to participate in a same-sex 'wedding' that violates their beliefs. We are working to elect a pro-marriage champion as President, because appointing pro-marriage, pro-constitution judges to the US Supreme Court is the quickest way to reverse the Obergefell ruling redefining marriage. We are laboring hard to create new grassroots education and mobilization tools to help Americans gain a more complete understanding of the nature of marriage and how important it is to preserve it in the law. We're working to highlight the many victims of the Supreme Court's lawless decision, such as Kim Davis who was jailed because she did not want to personally issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses which violate her faith. And we are leading the fight in the court of public opinion to show strong resistance to redefining marriage and continuing support to restore it — in the face of unrelenting pressure from gay activists and the elites to accept this illegitimate ruling as "the law of the land."

Become a SUSTAINING MEMBER Today!

Like many American families, NOM has been forced to do more with less. Our workload has increased as we seek to reverse what the Supreme Court has done and protect your rights in the meantime, but we can't just snap our fingers like gay 'marriage' groups can do and receive a seemingly unlimited supply of money.

With an increased workload and reduced staff, we're stretched very thin. The last thing I want to do is take more of my time away from pursuing our programs and spend it on fundraising. That is why developing a core group of Sustaining Members is critically important to us.

Please act today to become a Sustaining Member of NOM so that we can count on your support throughout the year:

I’ll make a monthly Sustaining Member donation of $15

I’ll make a monthly Sustaining Member donation of $25

I’ll make a monthly Sustaining Member donation of $50

I’ll make a monthly Sustaining Member donation of $100

Recruiting several thousand Sustaining Members of NOM would be an enormous blessing for us, and richly benefit the cause of marriage. Not only would we benefit from the financial stability that Sustaining Members would provide, but we'd receive a tremendous emotional boost knowing that you and thousands of others are investing in the work we do, which is critical if we are to preserve marriage in America, and throughout the world.

Your monthly gift of $25, $35, $50, $100 or even $250 or more — whatever amount you prayerfully decide is appropriate under your circumstances — will be a great blessing and materially contribute to our ability to restore marriage to our laws, and preserve this immensely important institution in our culture. Please act today to become a Sustaining Member of NOM.

Thank you for your consideration.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — When you click here to authorize your monthly donation, just pick the amount you wish to give and be sure to check the box below the words SUSTAINING MEMBER. Then fill out the credit card information and hit DONATE — it's that simple!


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To Whom Do Children Belong? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Parental Rights

Melissa Moschella has written an insightful, powerful two part piece on how the imposition of same-sex marriage impacts parental rights and results in increased intrusion by the state into family affairs. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here; both were published by Public Discourse. Ms. Moschella explains the basis of her argument thusly:

“Same-sex marriage is often touted as a harmless expansion of individual liberty. Yet the legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples has far from innocuous consequences, particularly with regard to children’s well-being and religious liberty. Redefining marriage also strikes at our fundamental liberties in deeper though less obvious ways.

A crucial aspect of liberty is respect for subsidiarity—in particular, recognition that the family, based on marriage, is a pre-political community with natural and original authority over its internal affairs, especially the education and upbringing of children. Redefining marriage in law to include same-sex couples undermines the principled basis for the primacy of parental childrearing authority by obliterating the link between marriage and procreation as well as the norm of conjoined biological parenthood that conjugal marriage laws help to foster. What was once almost unanimously understood to be a normative ideal—the intact biological family composed of married mother and father with their biological children—is now culturally (and to a large extent legally) demoted to being merely one among an increasingly wide variety of family forms.”

Pope Stands Strong For Marriage and Religious Liberty



Dear Marriage Supporter,

Wrapping up our coverage of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States, it is clear that he delivered a resounding pro-family, pro-marriage message to the American people. While the mainstream media did all they could to portray the Pope in liberal political terms, focusing their reporting on issues like climate change, as the Pope promised when he arrived in Washington the overall theme of his visit was the importance of upholding the family, including supporting men and women as husband and wife, father and mother.

It was recently revealed that Pope Francis met privately in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to sacrifice her conscience and authorize same-sex 'marriages' that violate her deeply held religious beliefs. As you know, NOM has helped lead efforts to support Kim during this difficult time, generating substantial public support and even raising money to help her family handle any added expenses they may have incurred. Pope Francis thanked Ms. Davis for her courageous stand and encouraged her to continue to "stay strong" in the face of adversity.

Kim Davis has become a symbol for the millions of Americans who refuse to accept the legitimacy of the US Supreme Court's ruling purporting to redefine marriage. Such a ruling has no constitutional basis and NOM has urged that it be ignored by elected officials just as President Lincoln refused to accept the legitimacy of the infamous Dred Scott decision finding that African Americans were not US citizens and could be considered the property of their slave masters.

Pope Francis told the media on his way home to Rome that individuals, including government officials, have a basic human right to object to participation in acts based on religious concerns. The Pope said that is imperative that government respect the "human right" to conscientiously object to things they reject. He told the media, "if someone does not allow others to object on the basis of conscience, he denies a right."

At the United Nations, the Pope called on world leaders for respect of "a moral law written into human nature itself, one which includes the natural difference between man and woman..."

In an address to US Bishops who attended the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Pope alluded to the disconnect between the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and attempts to redefine it. He said, "Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared. The two were interrelated and mutually supportive. This is no longer the case."

And throughout his trip, at virtually every opportunity, the Pope sounded a clarion call for respect for religious liberty, the right not only to believe and worship, but to live out those beliefs in daily life. He said that religious liberty "transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families" and is "a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own." And to make the point crystal clear, the Pope made a surprise visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor to show his support for their battle against Obamacare which purports to require them to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.

In contrast to the Pope's clear and consistent comments on religious liberty, President Obama performed as he often does, giving speeches designed to appeal to a particular audience even when his actions are completely opposite of his words. For example, the president told Pope Francis that America "stand[s] with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation." Meanwhile, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, his administration is attempting to force 140 religious ministries and institutions to accept regulations that require them to pay for health plans that cover contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

And after Pope Francis left America, President Obama cleared up any confusion his supportive comments to the Pope about religious liberty might have engendered, making clear to a far-left LGBT group that "religious freedom doesn't grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights." In other words, Kim Davis has the religious freedom to refuse to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses provided that she doesn't refuse to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses.

Pope Francis' host at the World Meeting of Families, Archbishop Charles Chaput, said something quite apt about the disconnect the surrounds us when he commented, "We live at an odd time in history. When the Church defends marriage and the family, the unborn child and the purpose of human sexuality, she's attacked as too harsh. When she defends immigrant workers and families that are broken up by deportation, she's attacked as too soft. And yet she is neither of those things."

I feel a sense of renewal and energy coming out of the Pope's visit to America. I was in Washington, DC when he was there, and my family and I attended many of the events in Philadelphia. There's no question that he has brought a sense of energy and compassion to how people view the Catholic Church, and people across the globe are responding to his message. He is the most popular person in the world today, and he is on our side regarding the debate about marriage and religious liberty.

The challenge for NOM will be to continue to build on the momentum of the Pope's visit to America. For example:

  1. We must make the concept of religious liberty real for supporters of marriage, by convincing the Congress and states to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to prohibit government from discriminating against and punishing people who support traditional marriage.
  2. We must elect a president who will appoint federal judges who will uphold the constitution, refusing to invent "rights" like same-sex marriage while protecting enumerated constitutional rights like the free exercise of religion.
  3. We must reengage the American people in a discussion about the nature of marriage — its roots, its societal benefits and most especially its inherent complementarity between the sexes, bringing the two halves of humanity together for their own benefit, and for that of any children born of their union.
  4. And we must vigilantly and courageously defend victims like Kim Davis whose rights have been violated by the government in an attempt to force acceptance of and compliance with the lie that is 'gay marriage.'

All these things are part of our work plan. We respectfully ask you for your support to turn our plan into reality by making a contribution of whatever you can afford, whether that be $25, or $250 or more. Whatever you can afford to contribute will be gratefully appreciated, and because of the support of a generous donor who is committed to preserving marriage and religious liberty, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar. So there has never been a better time to support NOM than right now.

Defend Marriage — Donate Today

Please help us capitalize on the momentum for marriage and religious liberty generated by Pope Francis' visit by making a donation today.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown


PS — Every donation you make through the end of the year will be matched by a generous supporter who agrees with Pope Francis that it is worthwhile to fight for marriage and religious liberty. This means that if you contribute $25, NOM will receive $50, and if you give $50, we will receive $100. Please make your most generous contribution possible. Thank you.


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Oregon Agency Takes Legal Action to Force Payment of Fine By Christian Bakers

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries is taking legal action to attempt to force Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Oregon bakers who declined to bake a ‘wedding’ cake for a same-sex couple based on their religious views, to pay a $135,000 fine. The Kleins have refused to pay the money because it was levied by a bureaucratic agency and the matter is now on appeal to the courts. In the meantime, they’ve made it clear that they have no animosity toward those who filed the complaint, even going as far as sending them handmade cakes. Their objection is to using their talents to help celebrate something that is contrary to their Christian beliefs.

It’s a tragedy that the bureaucrats who acted as judge and jury in ruling against the Kleins (after engaging in substantial private discussions with the state’s top gay rights group) now think they can bully the young Christian couple into paying before the courts have even examined the case. What this family is experiencing is representative of what will happen to the religious liberty rights of Christians and other people of faith whose personal participation in celebrating a gay ‘wedding’ is being routinely demanded by lesbian and gay activists.

The Daily Signal has the story:

Image via The Daily Signal

Image via The Daily Signal

The agency that ordered Aaron and Melissa Klein to pay $135,000 in damages for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple began the legal process last week to seize the money the Oregon bakers are refusing to pay.

“Our agency has docketed the judgment and is exploring collection options,” Charlie Burr, communications director for the agency, told The Daily Signal. “They are entitled to a full and fair review of the case, but do not have the right to disregard a legally binding order.”

Docketing the judgment is a preliminary step the agency must take in order to seize the Kleins’ house, property, or other assets in lieu of payment.

On July 2, Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, ordered the Kleins to pay $135,000 for the emotional, physical, and psychological damages they caused Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer for refusing to make a wedding cake.

Since then, the Kleins have been vocal about their plans to resist the order, and they told The Daily Signal they have no intention of backing down.

“There’s legal reasons and there’s also kind of personal reasons,” Aaron Klein told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If a civil court or a circuit court judge had made this order, I would consider it legally binding. But when a bureaucracy does it and I didn’t get due process, I don’t call it legally binding.”

Talking about the personal reasons, Aaron cited a July interview in Willamette Week, where the complainants suggested that the case wasn’t about money.

“We didn’t have a choice in how this was prosecuted,” Rachel Bowman-Cryer said. “We didn’t have a choice in the fine. If we had been given the option, we probably would have said: ‘Just apologize. Just say you’re sorry and go away.’”

Her wife, Laurel, added, “[W]e’re not asking for anything. We’ve never asked for a penny from anybody.”

“When you have these girls come out and say we never wanted the money,” Aaron said, “it wasn’t about the money and we don’t need the money … and I say this isn’t right, I shouldn’t have to pay this money, and the only person saying the money should exchange hands seems to be Brad Avakian.”

Image via Focus On The Family

Image via Focus On The Family

In order to pay the $135,000, the Kleins were given two options: obtain a bond or an irrevocable line of credit, which would guarantee their obligations to the Bowman-Cryers unless the Kleins won their case.

“A bond is going to cost roughly $7,000. That’s $7,000 I’m never going to get back, even if I won on appeal,” Aaron said. “Should I have to pay $7,000? I don’t think that’s fair.”

Taking out a line of credit, he said, would be the same as handing over money to the state.

“I couldn’t find a bank that would do it without just depositing the full amount of money, so it’s not a letter of credit at that point. It’s just the same as giving the state money, and having them hold it, which I don’t trust the state to hold my money any more than I trust them to give me the evidence.”

Instead, the Kleins’ attorneys asked the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries to issue a stay, which is a legal process that would have put the damages payment on hold until their appeals ruling comes out.

(The Kleins filed a petition for review with the Washington Court of Appeals in July, after the final order came out.)

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries denied their request for a stay.

. . .

After the order came out, multiple fundraisers were set up to help the Kleins pay the damages.

Although those fundraisers raised thousands of dollars, Aaron claimed the “half million” figure is “bloated” but did not disclose the final tally.

“The number they’ve given out is bloated,” Klein said. “It is not what we have available, it is not what we have on hand, and there are so many variables to where that money has to go, what has to happen with that money, that we’re not touching that money for any purpose because I don’t know what the future holds.”

If the Kleins eventually win their case in the appellate court, Aaron said they’d like to use that money to first pay their own bills, then “bless” others.

“I’d like to say that we’d definitely help some people out. We’ve had a huge financial hardship through this, so it would be nice to catch up on some bills, but we’d definitely love to bless others.”

There Is No Need to Deny Individuals Religious Liberty

As millions of Americans refuse to accept the illegitimate ruling of the US Supreme Court redefining marriage, the issue of how to deal with conscientious objectors has risen to the fore.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to violate her faith by participating in certifying a same-sex ‘marriage’ is perhaps the best known victim of the Court ruling, but she is only one of many who have been fined, fired, punished or put out of business. Similar punishments are taking place regarding religious groups who are unable to comply with Obamacare regulations because of their faith.

This article from The Federalist, written by our friends at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, may suggest one approach for policymakers to consider when it comes to accommodation. The best solution, of course, if for Congress and the states to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to prohibit government retaliation against supporters of marriage.

From The Federalist:

religious-liberty-can-be-accomodatedThere are hard cases of religious conscience, and then there are easy ones. When the government has lots of ways to govern without trampling religious belief, it should be an easy case. We saw one last week when a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Dordt College and other religious nonprofit organizations trying to follow their faith. These groups can’t participate in a web of government regulations that would provide life-terminating drugs to their employees. So the ministries must choose to violate their faith or violate the law, to the tune of millions in Internal Revenue Service fines.

It’s the same choice faced by the Little Sisters of the Poor. If the Little Sisters don’t comply with this contraceptive mandate, they face millions in IRS fines. This is a group that provides vital care for thousands of elderly poor—exactly the sort of care that should be supported and encouraged by the nation’s health-care laws.

. . .

The sad fact is that the government has a win-win solution at its fingertips. As a federal appeals court said in the Dordt College case last week, the government already operates exchanges where millions of Americans can obtain health coverage. Subsidies are available to those whose employers don’t provide health insurance.

This is how the government provides for those whose employers do not provide the generous health-care benefits many religious ministries already provide. The government could easily open those subsidies to any employees of religious groups who want the coverage not included in their employers’ plan. This would satisfy the government’s concerns, satisfy the ministries’ religious beliefs, and ensure that Americans still receive vital services from groups like the Little Sisters.

For that reason, the Eighth Circuit Court of appeals sided with religious ministries last week. Echoing a unanimous Supreme Court opinion on religious freedom, it said, “[I]f a less restrictive means is available for the Government to achieve its goals, the Government must use it.”

it-doesnt-have-to-be-that-wayAlthough the solution is easy, it will probably take another Supreme Court intervention to make it happen. Last week’s court decision disagrees with rulings from several other appeals courts, creating the circuit split that Supreme Court-watchers have been predicting. When federal appeals courts disagree on an important issue like this one, Supreme Court review is very likely. That court returns from its summer recess next week, and it will have to decide whether to take up the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, East Texas Baptist University, and other religious ministries.

The Supreme Court has been friendly to religious freedom, with recent rulings in favor of Hobby Lobby on a similar challenge, a unanimous victory for religious prison inmates in Holt v. Hobbs, and several emergency orders protecting religious ministries from fines under the HHS mandate. Let’s hope the Court continues this trend, recognizing that when religious freedom and government regulations conflict, it does not have to be a zero-sum game.

Copyright 2015