Monthly Archives: August 2011

Video: Weprin Tries to Explain Away Unpopular Gay Marriage Vote in Advance of NY-9 Election

David Weprin is facing huge backlash in the Orthodox Jewish community for his vote to legalize same-sex marriage. He does his best to get out of his predicament when faced with tough questions about it:

NJ School District Yanks Lesbian Sex Book From Required Middle School Summer Reading List


A New Jersey school district has apologized to parents after requiring high school students to read books that include graphic depictions of lesbian sex and a homosexual orgy.

... The books were on a required summer reading list for middle school and high school students. The district decided to pull the book off the list, with the start of school just days away.

... “I don’t think [the subject matter is] relevant for any teenager,” parent Robin Myers told the newspaper. Her daughter was assigned to read the book. “I was just kind of in shock,” she said.

... the school district’s summer reading list was prepared by a committee made up of teachers, librarians and school administrators. The board of education ultimately approved the list.

“They read the books,” said [Chuck Earling, superintendent of Monroe Township Schools in Williamstown, N.J]. “They didn’t feel it was inappropriate based on the language that’s used, common language used on the street.”

Volunteers Promoting Marriage Amendment at Minnesota State Fair

Live in Minnesota? Visit the Minnesota for Marriage booth at the State Fair!

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

The Minnesota State Fair always features a buffet of politics, and this year fairgoers have a new issue to chew on: a constitutional vote on marriage.

... "Good morning, would you like some information on Minnesota for Marriage?" ask volunteers from Minnesotans for Marriage.

There were no long debates, as people mostly politely accepted or declined the information on their way into the fair.

Organizers on both sides hope to run their own booths inside the fair next year, just a few months before Minnesotans cast their votes on the marriage amendment.

Perry Joins Bachmann, Romney and Santorum in Signing NOM Marriage Pledge!

National Organization for MarriageWASHINGTON – The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) released the following statement today announcing that Gov. Rick Perry has signed their marriage pledge:

"Kudos to Gov. Rick Perry for making it clear: he's a marriage champion!," said Brian Brown, president of NOM.  "The purpose of NOM's Marriage Pledge is to move from vague values statements to concrete actions to protect marriage. Gov. Perry joins Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum as a signer of NOM Marriage Pledge.  By doing so, Perry makes crystal clear that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, gay marriage is going to be a bigger issue in 2012 than it was in 2008, because the difference between the GOP nominee and Pres. Obama is going to be large and clear.  We look forward to demonstrating that being for marriage is a winning position for a presidential candidate."

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Mary Beth Hutchins (x105), [email protected], or Elizabeth Ray (x130), [email protected], at 703-683-5004.



Press coverage:

Why The Massachusetts Divorce Rate is Low: Few Get Married

CitizenLink reports:

For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Center for Health Statistics has released a detailed, state-by-state look at marriage rates nationwide.

... The statistics reflected regional differences. For instance, divorce rates are higher than the national average in the Southeast (10.2 per 1,000 men and 11.1 per 1,000 women) because marriage rates are higher there, and lower in the Northeast (7.2 for men and 7.5 for women) because people there tend to marry at older ages and less often.

CNN's Don Lemon: "Not All Gay People Want To Or Should Get Married"

CNN anchor Don Lemon is openly gay, and writes about the "new marriage dilemma" posed by the legalization of gay marriage in New York -- gays who don't want to get married:

Though it wasn't celebrated by larger society, it used to be that gay men once enjoyed that same freedom to play the field. But thanks to our freedom-fighting brethren, not anymore.

... as same-sex marriage is becoming legalized in places like New York and beyond, many of us suddenly have to face the reality and the question that many of our straight friends have always faced: "When are you going to settle down and get married?"

More and more these days, I hear gay couples lamenting over it in restaurants, at work and at dinner parties. My friends call me with their own similar accounts.

Florida Newspaper Editorial: Suspended Teacher Deserves Freedom of Speech, Just Like All Of Us

The editors of the Florida Daily News wrote this week:

"...Far from encouraging illegal activity, [Florida teacher Jerry Buell] was expressing an opinion that's reflected in the laws of 41 states, including Florida, which have either a constitutional prohibition against same-sex marriage or a law against it.

What he appears to have violated is a demand for some sort of political orthodoxy placed upon him by his employers.

Had he used the same blunt language — or even cited scripture — to defend gay marriage, we very much doubt he would have been suspended or disciplined.

The way we see it, he deserves immediate reinstatement. While employers aren't without prerogatives in regulating the "off hours" activities of their employees, such rules of conduct need to be laid down in advance and not imposed after the fact and at the whim of whatever viewpoint holds a majority on the school board at a given time.

As an American, Jerry Buell is guaranteed the freedom to practice his religion. Just because the Bible's admonitions against homosexuality strike some people as incorrect thinking doesn't mean they don't exist or that many Christians don't recognize them as the word of God.

He's also guaranteed freedom of speech, which either works for everyone or no one at all."

Mr. Buell has since been reinstated by the school board.

A Crucial Moment in America's Marriage Culture - NOM Marriage News, August 25, 2011

NOM National Newsletter

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Good news!

The fatwa against Jerry Buell—a Florida schoolteacher who was suspended by a public school for posting on his Facebook page that he was repulsed by gay marriage in New York—has just failed!

Here's a new Fox News video of the school board hearing, in which hundreds of people showed up to defend Jerry Buell's rights—even many who don't agree with his views!

Kudos to Liberty Counsel for defending Jerry in the extraordinary world gay-marriage advocates have sought to create: a world where children do not need a mom and dad, but instead need to be protected from adults who believe and speak for the great truths of Genesis.

Jerry won a battle, but the jihad continues.

Forgive me for making this letter more personal than usual. I really believe this is a crucial moment in the country we love and share. Together we need to face what has come upon us and together move forward, past the fear inside and the hatred outside, to rebuild America's marriage culture.

Together you and I have won many great victories for marriage—victories which the pundits declared impossible—and truthfully, I expect them to continue!

I promise you: The mainstream media and the conservative pundits (like Michael Barone!) predicting doom and gloom on marriage are going to be shocked and surprised over and over again. They'll be shocked and surprised at what good people of every race, creed and color can do when we come together on behalf of God's truth about marriage!

But you and I have always fought together under the banner of truth. Together, truth and love will prevail, as Maggie says. Not Truth without the love of God and our neighbor in our hearts. Nor a Love which is afraid to speak truth for fear of being labeled a bigot or a hater by those who wield scorn and hatred as a weapon to suppress the truth and those who speak it.

They win by making us afraid to speak and to act for marriage in the public square.

They can only win if they can get us to accept and internalize the second-class status they propose for us. To accept our own marginalization, to be quiet, to stand down and keep our heads down. To live in fear, instead of acting, with courage, out of hope.

They do not know us. They do not know the One whom we know.

(To all my friends and comrades in this battle who are not believers, thank you for joining with us— standing on the firm ground of the common wisdom of humanity, the cross-cultural consensus that with marriage we bring together male and female to make the future happen!)

In Illinois, gay rights groups are using the courts to shut out religious adoption agencies. More than 2000 children, battered, abused, neglected, will have to be moved in order to accommodate the new gay morality, backed by the government: If you "discriminate" between same-sex and opposite-sex unions, you are a bigot and a hater. The public good is to be served by excluding you, even if children suffer.

(They pretend to the public that this is all about making sure there are enough foster parents for children—as if excluding religious people and their organizations would ever serve that goal!)

As David French put it on National Review Online:

The consequence [of the IL judge's decision to shut Catholic Charities out of foster care]? More than 2,000 children are in danger of removal from Catholic Charities' care—without any evidence that its care is deficient or harmful to these children. …

I had to chuckle when I read this quote from Kendall Marlowe, a state spokesman: "It's in the best interest of children that we have an orderly transition." Really? It's in their best interest that they move from the care of a faithful and loving Catholic institution? In reality, the state only started to think about children's interests after it made the decision to end its relationship with Catholic Charities. The transition itself driven by ideology, only its manner is dictated by child welfare.

A statement from Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria responded to the judge's ruling that the state can remove children from Catholic Charities this way: "The Bishop, his Priests and the faithful of the Diocese of Peoria, are simply astonished that the politicians of the state of Illinois seem to be unwilling to grant the same kind of religious accommodations that have been granted in the states of New York and Rhode Island regarding their establishment of civil unions. Bishop Jenky is sad to observe that important elements of the political establishment in the state of Illinois are now basically at war with the Catholic community and seem to be destroying their institutions."

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL wrote:

"The message from the state of Illinois is simple: Organizations that only place children in accord with their religious beliefs are barred from state contracts—Catholics need not apply."

In the military, a chaplain asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, "Will those of us who hold biblical orthodox views concerning homosexuality be protected in this new environment to speak about those views?" And the response he received was, according to former military chaplain Col. Ron Crews (USA-Ret), who heads up Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, "Chaplain, if you can't get in line with this policy, resign your commission."

In Vermont, two decent, loving, law-abiding Americans who run a small inn and declined to personally host a same-sex wedding reception released this statement:

"We have never refused rooms or dining or employment to gays or lesbians. Many of our guests have been same-sex couples. We welcome and treat all people with respect and dignity. We do not, however, feel that we can offer our personal services wholeheartedly to celebrate the marriage between same-sex couples because it goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in."

The ACLU immediately denounced them. "The Wildflower Inn owners do not deny that they refused to host Kate and Ming's wedding reception," Allen Gilbert, executive director of the ACLU chapter, told the Associated Press. "Instead, they continue to claim a right to discriminate against the couple, which is in violation of Vermont law. We are confident that the owners' claim that they have a First Amendment right to discriminate will be found meritless by the courts."

All this happened just this week, in our beloved United States of America.

The mask of tolerance has been cast aside. We are looking into the face of a movement which wants, in the name of equality, to take away your rights and the rights of millions of decent, loving, law-abiding Americans who "cling"—yes, I'm not afraid to call it that!—to God, common sense, and the best of America's long traditions of respect for Judeo-Christian values.

Minnesota-based, nationally-syndicated radio talk show host Jason Lewis put his finger on the pulse of something really big this week, when he wrote about Michele Bachmann's rise to be a contender in the presidential elections this way:

For those political pundits still scratching their heads over Michele Bachmann's victory in last weekend's Iowa straw poll, here's a piece of advice. You owe it to yourself to get out a little.

Because if you get beyond the Beltway portrayals of the Tea Party—such as Newsweek's ridiculous cover story on Bachmann—you'd find the Minnesota congresswoman on the vanguard of a growing angst in middle America all but invisible to many of the cultural elite who cover politics.

It is the angst of a Nixonian silent majority who now fail to recognize the nation in which they were raised.

Millions of Americans who have seen their social norms vanquished on the alter of an absurd political correctness. Their social conservatism is branded as bigoted, fringe and, of course, hateful, but they no longer care, they've had enough.

Amen, Brother Lewis!

He goes on:

That's what Bachmann represents—a leader who will make, if nothing else, a last stand for traditionalism. Someone willing to unapologetically declare that, all things being equal, children need both a mom and a dad.

That the military is not a social program, that human life always gets the benefit of the doubt, and that though we may not be a Christian nation, we are still a nation of Christians whose public displays of faith need not be attacked by First Amendment revisionism.

Agree with her or not, Bachmann is riding a potentially potent backlash that has emerged from those Americans who see an activist minority imposing its version of morality on the nation.

I've never met Jason Lewis, but I know I'd like to shake his hand!

This is not an endorsement of any candidate for office, but it is an endorsement of the need for fearless leaders in all walks of life who will stand up for God's truth about marriage!

As Maggie points out over at The Public Discourse, contrary to the conventional wisdom, marriage is already playing a bigger role in U.S. presidential politics than it did in 2008—because the differences between the candidates are going to be big and clear, this time around.

Thanks to NOM's Marriage Pledge, voters are going to get the chance to make a clear choice between candidates willing to make a concrete commitment to act to support marriage—and those who are not so willing, as Maggie points out:

"The stubborn common sense of the American public in resisting same-sex marriage, even in the face of the mainstream media's approval, provides a platform for presidential candidates to seize, and thereby not only resist a radical transformation of the American tradition, but also help build a culture committed to a core American idea: moral truth exists, and our rights (including our right to marriage) are not gifts of government, but are grounded in and bounded by Nature and Nature's God."

Thank you for all the work you've made possible. Thank you for your fellowship, for your courage, and for your willingness to act on that great Biblical principle: "Be not afraid!"

Until next week, keep fighting the good fight.

Brian Brown

Brian S Brown

Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage

P.S. Can you act today to defend marriage for your children and grandchildren? Whether you can give $20 or $200—or perhaps a monthly donation of just $10—know that you are making a difference, and your voice will be heard.


Video: Supporters of Free Speech Flood Florida School Board Meeting on Teacher Suspended for Facebook SSM Comments

Floridians showed up in droves to support the freedom of speech of Jerry Buell this Monday, as local FOX Orlando reports in the video below.

Mr. Buell was subsequently reinstated as we mentioned today.

Victory for Florida School Teacher!

Good news from the Liberty Counsel:

Jerry Buell has been reinstated as a teacher, allowing him to return back to the classroom tomorrow. The Lake County School Board made its decision today after a week-long “investigation” into a comment Buell made on his personal Facebook page expressing his disapproval of legalized homosexual marriage in New York.

The Superintendent met with Buell and Liberty Counsel Attorney Harry Mihet this afternoon to announce the Board’s decision. Buell has encountered nationwide scrutiny and has missed the first three vital days of getting to know his students and preparing them for the year. The amount of damage that has already been done and the effect this will have on his students is irreversible and should not go unnoticed.

Mr. Buell and his Liberty Counsel attorney were interviewed by CNN earlier this week:

FRC Asks: Will Your Faith Exclude You from the Marketplace?

From a press release issued by the Family Research Council:

In recent weeks, online political activists have engaged in a misinformation campaign that seeks to bully retailers such as Walgreens, Petco, and Netflix into discriminating against customers and charities based on their religious beliefs, specifically the traditional and biblical view of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The online activists are targeting CGBG, a charity support group with a mission and partner network that includes more than 170,000 charities representing a range of religious, non-religious, educational and other groups. The online service helps users support their favorite charities by shopping on the web; a portion of every online purchase is designated for a charity of the buyer's choice. Online activists opposed to a traditional and biblical view of marriage have pressured retailers to end their participation with the charity support group. In response, FRC is urging its supporters to contact these retailers urging that they resist pressure to discriminate against customers with a traditional, biblical view of marriage.

Alan Sears on the Vermont Inn Owners' Courage To Stand for Marriage

Alan Sears, president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, in TownHall:

Wildflower Inn was voted Best Family Resort by Yankee magazine last year, and the word “family” pops up repeatedly on the website and in the Inn’s brochures. Clearly, that’s the favored clientele, although the Inn’s owners allow that their place is also ideal for romantic weekends. The Inn used to offer its facilities for weddings, too.

Not anymore. That aspect of Wildflower hospitality ended several months before a young couple filed a lawsuit against the Inn. According to the complaint, an employee refused the mother of the bride’s request to hold the wedding reception at the Inn, once she revealed that there were two brides and no groom.

... One can’t really help but wonder who the courageous ones are here – a same-sex couple who’ve managed to trap one of the most popular resorts in the state into an expensive lawsuit, at a time when homosexual behavior is surfing huge waves of legal, social, and cultural indulgence … or the Wildflower owners, who—according to the complaint—operate their family’s business in line with their personal moral convictions.

... It doesn’t take courage to ride the wave of support for same-sex ‘marriage.’ It takes courage to stand against the surging tide.

Matthew Franck on Michael Barone's False Reading of Marriage Polling

Plenty of people are raising eyebrows at Michael Barone's recent comments on the subject of same-sex marriage.

Michael Franck at First Thoughts clarifies the disparity, by pointing out that Barone's use of Gallup polling yields very different results (53% in favor of SSM) than the results found by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) -- only 35% in favor of SSM:

There is something plain-spoken and direct about the POS question, and something very useful about the follow-up on the intensity of opinion. Gallup’s question, on the other hand, is actually a bit ambiguous.

... And so the purported “shift” in opinion since 1996 may be, to a substantial but unknown degree, owing to this erosion into ambiguity of Gallup’s question. On the basic issue, the POS question is vastly superior for simplicity, clarity, directness, and a measurement of intensity. And the results at the real polls–the ones where people vote whether to defend marriage or not–bear out POS’s greater probability of accuracy. In 31 states, the people have gone to the polls and said yes to marriage and no to the destructive revolution represented by same-sex unions.

I’m with Maggie Gallagher, and I think we’re both with a clear majority of Americans. Marriage is between one man and one woman, and a presidential candidate who keeps saying that can only help himself.

Bishops: State of Illinois "At War" With Catholic Community Over Adoptions

Strong words from Bishop Daniel Jencky of Peoria, IL in reaction to the news that Catholic Charities will be forced out of the adoption business by Illinois' bad civil unions bill:

The Bishop said, “Catholic Charities is one of the lead providers of foster care services in the state. They have been valued partners for decades. Clearly the intent of the civil union law was not to force the state to end these contracts and force the transfer of thousands of children’s cases.” He continued by stating, “We continue to believe we can adhere to our religious principles and operate within Illinois law.”

The Bishop, his Priests and the faithful of the Diocese of Peoria, are simply astonished that the politicians of the state of Illinois seem to be unwilling to grant the same kind of religious accommodations that have been granted in the states of New York and Rhode Island regarding their establishment of civil unions. Bishop Jenky is sad to observe that important elements of the political establishment in the state of Illinois are now basically at war with the Catholic community and seem to be destroying their institutions. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria will be reviewing the judge’s written ruling to determine their next steps.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, IL wrote:

The court’s decision yesterday regarding Catholic Charities’ foster care services marks a sad day for the children of Illinois.

The State of Illinois is actively taking steps to push Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria and Springfield out of foster care services, which would end a partnership that dates back to the mid-1960s with the creation of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The message from the state of Illinois is simple: Organizations that only place children in accord with their religious beliefs are barred from state contracts – Catholics need not apply.

Catholic Charities has been caring for vulnerable children for more than 100 years, leading to DCFS’ current success rate.

As we consider the next steps in our course of action, we pray for the children and for our dedicated employees who may be so adversely affected by this decision.

Admiral Mike Mullen to Chaplain: "If You Can't Get in Line with [Repealing DADT], Resign Your Commission."

One chaplain asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen at a briefing on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell what will happen to military chaplains who hold biblical views on sex and marriage:

"[A] chaplain asked, 'Will those of us who hold biblical orthodox views concerning homosexuality be protected in this new environment to speak about those views?'" the retired chaplain reports. "And the response he received was, 'Chaplain, if you can't get in line with this policy, resign your commission.'" --OneNewsNow