Cisco & Bank of America Drop Discrimination Practices Against Marriage Supporters, NOM Marriage News, November 10, 2011


NOM National Newsletter

My Dear Friends,

As I write these words, the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee is about to vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

I know that many of you, Democrat and Republican, will be appalled to learn what your representatives in Washington are doing—in your name.

The Associated Press story on today's action is called "Democrats push repeal of Defense of Marriage Act."

Why, oh why would Senate Democrats do this?

The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is acting in direct contradiction to the will of the people in her state, who voted to reject same-sex marriage. She admitted "she doesn't have the votes for Senate passage." Her bill has just 31 Senate sponsors, all (sadly) Democrats.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on Judiciary, remains a staunch and articulate defender of marriage: "Traditional marriage between a man and a woman has been the foundation of our society for 6,000 years. The Defense of Marriage Act protects this sacred institution, which I believe in, and attempts to dismantle this law are likely to be met with a great deal of resistance."

Thank you, each and every one of you, who have already responded to our call to let Senators know you oppose the repeal of DOMA. Thousands of you have already clicked the link and taken a moment to defend marriage.

I'm grateful to you. I cannot thank you enough.

If you haven't yet asked your Senator to stand for marriage, and oppose the repeal of DOMA, do so now!

Why are the Senate Democrats pursuing a suicide strategy on marriage—a proposal they know will fail?

In part it is a sop to their base, an acknowledgement that the influential LGBT lobby is more important than the views and values of many others—Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

But I believe we need to stand for DOMA strongly because this is in part a play to the Supreme Court.

The message advocates of gay marriage wish to send is that no one really cares about marriage, so the Court is free to overturn DOMA, and/or impose gay marriage on all 50 states, including yours.

You and I stand in the gap. By raising our voices, by exercising our core First Amendment rights today, we can change history.

Click on the link. Tell your senator, "I oppose the repeal of DOMA, and I vote!" And send this link on to one friend today.

Obama, by the way, according to the Associated Press, said recently he is "still working" on gay marriage.

Wow. What an acknowledgement that the mainstream media's claim that gay marriage is now the majority view is clearly false. The president is clearly being held back by political considerations.

And as a political matter, he's right. Supporting same-sex marriage is a losing issue.

How do I know that?

Well, consider the breaking news, just out this morning, that Basic Rights Oregon, after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a media campaign, has decided NOT to try to repeal Oregon's marriage amendment.

As the Oregon media put it, "After a three-year campaign to build support for legalizing same-sex marriage, Oregon's largest gay rights group has decided against putting the issue up for a vote in 2012.

"Feedback from an online survey of over 1,000 people, door-to-door canvassing, community meetings and two statewide television advertising campaigns overwhelmingly say, 'we must allow our education work to continue,' Basic Rights Oregon announced Wednesday."

Translation? Even in the most secular state in the country, they cannot win a vote of the people for same-sex marriage.

Similar good news out of Minnesota this week. Two polls, one by the incredibly left-wing Star Tribune, and one by marriage amendment proponents Minnesotans for Marriage, show that only about 4 in 10 Minnesotans say they will vote "no" to a marriage amendment defining marriage as one man and one woman.

The Minnesotans for Marriage poll shows support for the Amendment topping 50 percent, very encouraging news at this stage in the game, especially (as you may recall) early polls in California and Maine both suggested marriage amendments there would lose:

"The Minnesota for Marriage campaign today released the results of a survey showing that the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman enjoys a solid lead among voters. The survey found that 51% of voters would vote for the amendment, while 40% would vote against it. Further, 56% of Minnesotans agree that marriage should be between only a man and a woman."

Election news was mixed this week. In Iowa, Democrats retained control of the Iowa Senate after the special election in District 18—meaning that they can continue to block the people of Iowa from deciding the future of marriage.

In the waning days of the campaign, the Republican Cindy Golding was hurt by a sudden influx of really nasty calls purporting to be from a pro-marriage group. I know most of the pro-marriage groups in the country and none of them would fund such calls. Dirty politics at its worst, I’m sad to say!

From NOM's press release:

"Neither NOM nor Family Leader had anything to do with these calls and we decry them. We call on the Attorney General to launch an investigation into this dirty trick to determine who is behind the calls, which are designed to steal the election from Ms. Golding."

On the good news front, Rose Marie Belforti handily won re-election as New York town clerk. Rose is the New York town clerk who has bravely refused to resign her job, and is thus testing the conscience protections provided by New York law in the wake of same-sex marriage. Handing out marriage licenses is something she does only a few times a year. The effort to make her give up her job, rather than permitting accommodations, is a sign of the extreme desire of gay-marriage advocates to use the power of government to exclude, marginalize and stigmatize traditional supporters of marriage.

More good news: The European Court of Human Rights ruled that gay marriage is not a basic human right, according to Mercator Net. This is just one of many courts that have rejected the idea that opposition to gay marriage is somehow the moral or legal equivalent of discrimination.

And one final bit of great NOM news, in case you missed it:

"Bank of America and Cisco Pledge 'No More Discrimination Against Marriage Supporters.'"

NOM's new Corporate Fairness project announced that both Bank of America and the Cisco Corporation have promised not to discriminate against employees or vendors who publicly oppose same-sex marriage.

"After interviewing Frank Turek about the abrupt cancellations of his seminar by both Cisco and Bank of America, we wrote to the board of each company raising our concern and asking if company policy really permits otherwise qualified employees and vendors to be punished for speaking out on a public issue like same-sex marriage," said Jonathan Baker, Director of NOM's Corporate Fairness Project.

"We also reached out to 10,000 customers of Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina, who in turn generated 1,400 calls to the corporate complaint line asking the board to promise they would not discriminate in the workplace against supporters of traditional marriage. We received assurances from both corporations that this kind of discriminatory treatment violates corporate policy and will not happen again," continued Baker.

In a November 4, 2011 letter to the National Organization for Marriage, Cisco Corporation Senior Vice President for Legal Services Mark Chandler agreed that, "Cisco was incorrect in dealing with Dr. Turek and the Austin Group. Specifically Cisco concluded that the Austin Group's contract should not have been summarily ended."

Further Cisco attributed the situation to "an unfortunate, but isolated breakdown in Cisco's process, and have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again." Most importantly Cisco has clarified that voicing a traditional view on marriage is not an acceptable reason to fire an employee or discriminate against a qualified vendor. "It is not Cisco's policy, nor is it 'acceptable to discriminate against vendors such as Frank Turek or employees who, outside the work context, have taken a position supporting marriage as the union of one man and one woman,'" wrote a Cisco executive in a letter to NOM.

The Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources for Bank of America also quickly distanced Bank of America from the firing of Dr. Turek, stating:

"We recognize that our differences—in thought, style, culture, ethnicity and experience make us stronger as a company," and that "we have taken the appropriate measures within our organization to address this matter. Dr. Turek remains a vendor in good standing with us."

As our new Corporate Fairness Project director, Jonathan Baker put it, "We're grateful these two companies have made it clear they will not tolerate discrimination against employees or vendors based on their views on same-sex marriage. As Frank Turek said, it's simply un-American as well as unwise for anyone to say you have to share one politically correct viewpoint in order to keep your job."

This is not the end; it's the beginning of NOM's campaign to make sure that decent law-abiding people who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman are not treated as outcasts or racists. It is not bigotry to say that marriage is the union of a husband and wife, it's common sense.

Personally, I respect the work of corporations like Cisco and Bank of America. Corporations should not be dragged into cultural or political wars on either side. Respect for diverse moral views is the hallmark of pluralism—and demanding that respect for people who have Biblical views on sex and marriage is NOM's abiding mission.

Thank you for making our work possible. It's exciting how much we can accomplish together!

Yours, faithfully,

Brian Brown

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage

P.S. The defense of marriage is not just about one vote or one day. It's about the future, for our children, our grandchildren, and the generations to come. When you give to NOM—whether it's $20 or $200, or a monthly donation of just $10—you're fighting for their future.