Monthly Archives: September 2010

Judge Walker’s Retirement: Was Prop8 Decision Ideological or Career Stepping Stone

From Ed Whelan: “Applying Ockham’s razor, I will readily presume that Walker’s wild course of misconduct in the anti-Prop 8 case was driven entirely by his ideological fervor for same-sex marriage and that Walker wasn’t also trying to feather his own post-judicial nest.  That said, if he were trying to feather his nest, his high-profile invention of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, including his remarkable (and overturned) denial of a stay of his judgment pending appeal, would be one way to build a lot of goodwill among many prospective San Francisco employers. . .

“The entire anti-Prop 8 farce would be complete if Walker were to join either Ted Olson’s or David Boies’ firm.  But negotiations could be complicated  if Walker were to make a well-deserved request for back pay.”

Read Ed’s Complete Post Here.

Goodbye Judge Walker?

The Associated Press—which appears to have the inside about Judge Walker—says he's stepping down at the end of the year.  This may explain his “unjudgelike” behavior in the Prop 8 trial.

His swan song will win him great plaudits in his hometown and make him a hot commodity.  All he had to do to win this applause is trash the rights of 7 million Californians.

Read the SF Chronicle story here.

Blogger Calls Gay Marriage “Game Changer” in MN Governor’s Race

Blogger Mitch Berg on the left’s outrage over Bishop Nienstedt’s video message to Minnesota Catholics – calls same-sex marriage a “potential game-changer” in governor’s race.

[T]hey are outraged because same sex marriage, even in traditionally “purple” Minnesota, is not just a loser for the Dems; a new poll shows it’s a potential game-changer.

Lawrence Research carried out a poll three weeks ago, among 600 likely voters.  The poll, by way of level-setting, discovered Minnesotans feel the state is on the wrong track by a 57-31 margin.

And, as befitted a poll taken in August, two weeks after the primary, as Tom Emmer’s campaign was just getting started, the initial poll result looked good for Mark Dayton, who pulled out to a 40-33 lead, with Horner drawing 14%.

Then, and only then, the pollsters brough same-sex marriage into the picture.   The Minnesotans polled say “marriage” should be between a man and a woman by a 58-36 margin, with very few – 6% – undecided.

The sample also overwhelmingly believe that future legislation about the definition of marriage should be carried out by the voters, rather than the Legislature or the Federal courts (62%, 6% and 19% respectively, with 13% undecided). . . .

Among this sample, introducing the notion that the definition of marriage will be taken out of the peoples’ hands and given to the legislature or, worse, the courts causes a 14 points swing [showing Tom Emmer leading Mark Dayton 43-36%]. . . .

Now, it’s only 600 voters.  The margin of error is 4.1% either way.

But the overall impression – people want to decide the future of marriage themselves, even in “liberal”, “purple” Minnesota – is broad and unmistakeable.

Read More

NOM Exposed! Well, not really, but…

HRC’s Joe Solmonese is devoting a lot of his organization’s resources to “exposing” us here at NOM.  Guess what they found out and put up their website?  We are Catholics, Mormons, and evangelicals who believe gay marriage will hurt marriage as an institution.  It may lead to polygamy.  Our budget has grown rapidly—from $500,000 to $10 million in just three years, thanks to your help and support. Human Rights Campaign has a lot of money to throw around—$40 million last year, and one observer estimated, since its inceptions HRC has spent a quarter of a billion dollars.

We're feisty and growing fast.  HRC, the gargantuan money machine, is running scared!  Brian Brown talks back in this Newsweek story: Read Brian's response here.

Gay Marriage Judge to Iowa Voters: Drop Dead

Okay, that's not quite what Iowa Judge Robert Hanson said in response to a new campaign, supported by the National Organization for Marriage among others, to oust three Iowa judges who voted for same-sex marriage.  But that's the spirit of his response. He called the effort “misguided" and an “abuse” of the system.

An abuse?  Dear judges, Iowa’s system allows its citizens to periodically decide whether or not they wish to retain your services.  As Chuck Laudner, Iowa for Freedom's campaign manager put it: “They're going to have a hard time explaining to me why I have the right to vote yes or no on a ballot, but if I vote no, somehow I'm abusing the system.”

These justices’ vote for same-sex marriage was judicial arrogance; this response by Judge Hanson is judicial arrogance on steroids!

Read more here

ElectionWatch2010: Ayotte rising, Lynch falling in new poll

A new poll out by American Research Group shows: Just 42 percent of New Hampshire likely voters say they will vote for pro-gay marriage NH Gov. Lynch compared to 40 percent for pro-marriage challenger Stephens--within the margin of error.  (New Hampshire Gov's Race Poll Here.)

For an incumbent, 42 percent support is pretty bad news.  Meanwhile pro-marriage Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte is up 14 percentage points over pro-SSM Dem nominee Paul Hodes (Ayotte vs. Hodes Poll here.)

NOM Files Amicus Brief Defending Californians Right to Vote for Marriage

NOM's dynamite amicus brief has just been filed with the 9th Circuit. You can read the full brief here, or enjoy the excerpts below.

As Brian Brown told the press, “To reach his unjust decision, Judge Walker had to ignore law, history, social science, and common sense,” said Brian Brown, “He implicitly labeled as irrational bigots not only 7 million Californian voter, but the majority of judges who have ruled on this issue. To up the ante he made it clear that Catholics and Southern Baptists are also now irrational haters under the law. We are calling on the 9th Circuit to reverse this travesty of justice, and to restore to Californians a precious right that has been taken away: the right to vote for marriage.”

In addition to filing this amicus brief, NOM’s Legal Defense Fund is helping the litigation effort by directly funding part of the Prop 8 litigation expenses. If you can help us in this fight, you can donate here.

Key excerpts from the NOM Amicus Brief

“[T]he plaintiffs in this case have made it clear the harm they allege, quite apart from any practical consequences, is the harm of having their relationships excluded from the “social meaning” of marriage.  They want this court to short-circuit the hard task of persuading their fellow citizens that their unions ARE marriages, by asking this court to re-educate the voters and re-assign the meaning of a word.”

“[S]ame-sex marriage works a profound change in the public meaning of marriage; this change in public definition from “sexual union of male and female” to “union of any two persons” clearly severs the connections between marriage and its core historic civil mission: increasing the likelihood that children will be born to and raised by their mother and father.  If it is rational for the plaintiffs to be concerned about the meaning of the word, it is rational for 7 million California voters to be concerned as well.”

“Sexual unions of male and female are unique: they alone can make new life, and when they do so will either connect (or disconnect) children from mothers and fathers. . .The vast majority of children are conceived through acts of sexual passion; marriage provides a means to help society regulate this passion so that children do not get hurt.”

“How does marriage as an enduring and exclusive sexual union of male and female serve the state’s interest in procreation and child well-being? The connection is two-fold:  First, every child conceived by a married couple begins life with a mother and father precommitted to caring for him or her together. Almost no child conceived in any other sexual union receives this great benefit.  In addition, every person who remains faithfully married, whether they have children together or not, is much less likely create fatherless children in alternate relationships. Every married couple minimally serves the public purpose of marriage and none contradict the link between marriage and procreation.”

“Two ideas are in conflict here: one is that children deserve mothers and fathers and marriage is intrinsically oriented towards serving this vital purpose. That is the classic marriage idea. The other idea is that adult interests in forging romantic relationships of choice (i.e., to marry the person they love) are more important than recognizing and protecting the natural family. This latter idea is at the heart of the idea that same-sex marriage is a civil right. And it is the core idea that must be rejected if the state’s interest in marriage is to be sustained.”

“[A]s a matter of hard historical fact the inclusion of elderly and childless couples never in the minds of judges or the public challenged the connection between marriage and procreation, but advocacy of same-sex marriage clearly does so.

Elderly couples and childless couples are all part of the natural lifecycle of marriage. They do not contradict the idea that a key purpose of “an enduring, exclusive sexual union of male and female” is responsible procreation. By contrast, the forced inclusion of same-sex couples into the category “marriage” will be a dramatic transformation in the meaning of marriage in law, and as the law influence cultural norms, in the public mind.”

[E]ven many gay marriage advocates have also agreed it will radically transform marriage. . . Judith Stacey, predicts: “Legitimizing gay and lesbian marriages would promote a democratic, pluralist expansion of the meaning, practice, and politics of family life in the United States, helping to supplant the destructive sanctity of The Family with respect for diverse and vibrant families.” . . . Philosopher Joseph Raz of Columbia Law School explains it bluntly: ‘[T]here can be no doubt that the recognition of gay marriage will affect as great a transformation in the nature of marriage as that from polygamous to monogamous or from arranged to unarranged marriage.’ Joseph Raz, Ethics in the Public Domain 23 (1994) (DIX1444). . . . .When many gay marriage advocates and opponents  can both strongly agree that a redefinition of marriage is “breathtakingly subversive” and would fundamentally transform the institution of marriage, the people of California cannot be faulted for taking them at their word.”

[T]he trial court essentially validated the worse fears of voters. In its decision below, the district court first eliminated procreation from the history of marriage altogether, then privatized this purpose of marriage, and finally attempted to stigmatize those who hold that view as irrational bigots. . . . . not only will the law find it more difficult to connect mothers and fathers with children, but civil society will as well under the weight of such judicial disapproval as was expressed in the trial court opinion. See, e.g., Doc. 708 at 101 (#77) (finding traditional religious beliefs about sex and marriage to be irrational in themselves and harmful to gays and lesbians).”

“We’ve been through this cycle before, in other words. The unintended consequences of changing family laws have already been myriad, hard to predict, and have often fallen on those least able to bear them.  Constitutionalizing the idea that children do not need a mother and father, that marriage can bear such a dramatic change in public definition with no ill-effects, is a very bad idea, because it is so hard to retreat, modify, or adapt if negative consequences result.”

“[Judge Walker’s] rulings reinforces the legitimacy of our concerns. The district court has come up with its own new definition of marriage, one passed by no legislature, with no roots in our jurisprudence, based on one single historian’s opinion, and which centers on adult needs and desires: “Marriage is the state recognition and approval of a couple’s choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependents.” Doc. 708 at 67 (#34).

This definition hardly describes a robust institution that protects children’s interest in ties to their biological parents in a stable relationship. It is instead, a minimalist description of a relationship without any significance beyond its importance to the two people forming the couple, which—inexplicably—is  then given government recognition and also government’s Housekeeping Seal of Approval.”

“Plaintiffs and the court below suggest that the mere word marriage is enough to provide dignity to same-sex couples, but at the same time so powerless that the only rational view is to believe its messages will have no effect on attitudes and behaviors regarding children and the family. This is an intellectually untenable position, yet it forms the foundation for the district court’s unjust allegations of animus levied against California’s voters.”

“Sisters can cohabit and commit, and so can best friends in nonromantic relationships.  Three people can cohabit and commit, too. Why can’t these people claim marriage as well? Once a key feature of marriage has been deconstructed, other historic features of marriage will become much harder to explain and defend, both in law and culture.”

On the social science evidence:

“A broad and deep body of evidence shows that:

[F]amily structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.

Kristin Anderson Moore, et al., “Marriage from a Child’s Perspective: How Does Family Structure Affect Children and What Can We Do About It?” Child Trends Research Brief, June 2002, at 1.

Linda J. Waite, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago, testifying before the High Court of Ireland in Dublin in 2006, reiterated these findings, explaining that “two biological parents in a married low conflict relationship are the best environment for child development.” Zappone v. Revenue Commissioners, IECH 404 at 88 (2006), transcript of hearing Oct. 6, 2006 (testimony of Linda J. Waite).

Dr. Waite went on to note an analogous issue in family policy:

I think when the United States was debating changes in divorce laws, it was firmly believed by child development specialists at the time that as long as children had a loving parent, at least one, that they would be fine if their parents divorced, they would get over it quickly and move on with their lives.  Over the last 30 or 40 years, I think evidence has slowly but very steadily accumulated that this is not at all the case, that divorce plays a much larger roles in children’s lives, in their emotional well-being, in their career and personal accomplishments as adults even through their 30's, and none of that was known or expected at the time.

Id. at 94.

By contrast the literature on gay parenting is very new, studies limited outcomes, and typically uses non-probability samples, such that they are unable to provide a representative sample of the general population of gay and lesbian parents. . . at least one recently published study of adult daughters of gay or bisexual fathers found that “women with gay or bisexual fathers were significantly less comfortable with closeness and intimacy [ ], less able to trust and depend on others  [ ], and experienced more anxiety in relationships [ ] than women with heterosexual fathers.” Theodora Sirota, “Adult Attachment Style Dimensions in Women Who Have Gay or Bisexual Fathers,” 23(4) Archives of Psychiatric Nursing 289-97 (August  2009)  (The author speculates the reason for this gap in well-being is attributable more to the failures of mothering, or to homophobia, than to defects in gay fathering).”

“The case for the natural family is far from scientifically discredited. The intellectual and scholarly debate should be allowed to continue without a pre-judgment by this court that it is grounded in nothing more than irrational bigotry.”

“At the end of the day, the trial court stands without support for its confident prediction finding it to be ‘beyond debate’ that same-sex marriage ‘will have no adverse effects on society or the institution of marriage.’”

You can read the complete brief here and please consider supporting and asking your friends to support our efforts by donating here.

Ann Coulter to GOProud: Stop Messing with Marriage!

From the Daily Caller:

In a speech to about 150 GOProud supporters who gathered at the home of billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel in New York City, Coulter acknowledged that gays could play an important role in the conservative movement, but was clear about her continued opposition to gay marriage.

“I thought I’d try to talk you out of gay marriage,” Coulter said. “I will warn you that I have never failed to talk gays out of gay marriage.”

While the crowd seemed thrilled to hear the best-selling author roll off a string of classic Coulter one-liners that left many of them in stitches –”It’s hard to believe this now, but when Obama was running for president he presented himself as a moderate Democrat. To be fair, in Kenya he is a moderate.” — her speech against gay marriage failed to find many converts, if any.

At the crux of her argument, Coulter said that marriage was for procreation and insisted gays had no grounds to base support for gay marriage on civil rights.

“It’s not a civil right,” she said. “You’re not black.”

After her prepared remarks, Coulter opened the floor for questions, and got flooded. . .

Others said it was only a matter of time before the Republican Party opened up to gay conservatives.

“I think that the gay bashing will be taken out of the Republican agenda and I think it’s getting there,” said Michael Lucas, founder of New York’s largest gay adult film company who the New Republic magazine once described as “Gay Porn’s Neocon Kingpin.” ”This event shows that they are coming to us.”

When asked if she thought she had changed any hearts and minds, Coulter told The DC, “The truth is…they’re already against gay marriage, they just won’t admit it publicly. I’m trying to get these gays to come out of the closet.”

Read the full story from The Daily Caller here.

Republican “Pledge to America” Includes Commitment to Traditional Marriage

Once again, you have helped us achieve a great victory for marriage – this time an important battle with some Republican elites in Washington who wanted to distance the GOP from their historic strong position that marriage is and can only be between one man and one woman.

As we reported to you a few weeks back, some liberal RINOs and their staffs, had urged keeping social issues, including marriage, out of the Republican “Pledge to America.” We knew this was a mistake – it was wrong as a matter of public policy, and it was wrong politically. Support for marriage is a winning issue for any candidate, as has been proven time and time again in elections across America.

NOM joined with other pro-family groups and asked you to speak your mind to the Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives – and boy did you! So many emails were received that reportedly an email server crashed!

But here’s the good news: the “Pledge to America”” released today includes a strong commitment to traditional marriage as a core, foundational value of American society. It also includes a condemnation of activist judges, like San Francisco federal judge Vaughn Walker, who have taken it upon themselves to attempt to redefine American values to suit their own view of how our country to should operate.  Here are excerpts from the document

“An unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary have combined to thwart the will of the people and overturn their votes and their values, striking down long-standing laws and institutions and scorning the deepest beliefs of the American people.”


“We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”

Please take a moment to write to House Republican Leader John Boehner to thank him for including marriage in the “Pledge to America.”


Brian S. Brown

13 State Attorneys General Ask 9th Circuit to Overrule Walker

The attorneys general of 13 states have signed onto an amicus brief, defending the rights of voters in their states to determine the meaning of marriage through the democratic process. Contra California attorney general Jerry Brown, these attorneys generals affirmed that a key state interest in marriage is “responsible procreation.”

Attorneys general in Indiana, Virginia, Michigan and Louisiana took the lead in crafting the brief.  It was also signed by Wyoming, Alabama, Alaska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska

Read their brief here.

NYT Iowa Hypocrisy: Brian Brown Fights Back

The Sept. 24 NYT is suggesting that the Iowa retention elections cannot be used only to eliminate “unfit judges.” Of course a judge who commits a felony or takes a bribe can be removed from office by other means. What is the point of an election if the New York Times tells Iowa voters they are not allowed to exercise their own judgment?  To the NYT, the idea the Iowa Constitution requires same-sex marriage is not an outrageous judicial abuse of power.  But the voters of Iowa are entitled to their own opinion.  The Iowa Constitution includes judicial retention elections, which gives voters a say over who will judge them and the people's constitution. NOMs Brian Brown speaks out:

From the NYT:

“Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, which has spent $230,000 on television ads criticizing the Iowa judges, said he understood that removing the three judges would not change the same-sex marriage ruling. (It was a unanimous ruling by the state’s seven justices.) But Mr. Brown said he hoped the judges’ ouster would help prevent similar rulings elsewhere by making judges around the nation aware that their jobs are on the line.

“It sends a powerful message,” he said, “That if justices go outside the bounds of their oaths, if the justices go outside the bounds of the U.S. and state constitutions they’re going to be held accountable.”

Bob Vander Plaats, who made opposition to same-sex marriage a centerpiece of his unsuccessful run for governor in Iowa, is leading the ouster campaign on behalf of the political arm of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian organization based in Tupelo, Miss.

“My bigger fear isn’t about injecting politics into judicial retention elections. The bigger fear is that we don’t hold them in check,” he said, warning that gun and property rights could be at risk.”

Breaking News: Rasmussen Declares Minnesota Governor Race a Tie!

A new poll showing GOP pro-marriage candidate Tom Emmer one point ahead of Mark Dayton, who opposes letting voters decide marriage. Rasmussen has officially shifted Minnesota's governor race from "leans Democratic" to toss-up.

See the poll here.

New Study: Just One Percent of British People are Gay or Lesbian

According to an Agence France-Presse story more than 480,000 people in the UK identify themselves as gay or lesbian in a recent Office for National Statistics study, and a further 245,000 say they are bisexual.

Much to the chagrin of the homosexual lobby that claims far higher percentages, that adds up to one (1) percent of the UK’s adult population, and the latter works out to be about one-half (.5) percent.

This begs the question: The power of one percent?

Read more here.

Ann Coulter Re-iterates Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

According to the Washington Post, “… at GOProud's Homocon in New York on Saturday night, Coulter plans to ‘forge the conservative/gay peace of westphalia!’” she says via e-mail.

According to Coulter: “Conservatives will:  1) stop treating gay sex any differently from premarital sex,  2) stop blaming nice, conservative gays for the [actions of] hateful, angry, leftist gays . . . and 3) agree to do something about their hair. Gays will drop this business about gay marriage and pushing pc rules on the military."

Read the entire story here.

Breaking News: WV GOP Senate Candidate John Raese Endorses Federal Marriage Amendment

West Virginia GOP Senate Nominee John Raese has just endorsed a Federal Marriage Amendment. Will Gov. Manchin agree, or will he let the surging GOP candidate in this traditionally Democratic state open ground on the marriage issue?  Polls show West Virginians strongly oppose same-sex marriage.  The latest PPP poll shows GOP nominee John Raese leading Gov. Manchin for the first time by 3 points, 46 to 43.