I read on the Marriage Equality blog that the National Organization for Marriage is once again protesting against equality in Maine.
Here’s the text of the email from Brian Brown, whose position in NOM is in flux.
After watching the way things have developed over the past several weeks, I’m faced with a stark reality in the Northeast: If we don’t act now, one or more New England state legislatures is likely to adopt same-sex marriage this year.
The threat is urgent and immediate. A same-sex marriage bill in Maine now has 60 co-sponsors — 40% of the state house members. In New Hampshire and Vermont, gay marriage advocates have been gradually building support for years. A leading gay marriage group in the Northeast believes they will achieve same-sex marriage in all 6 New England states by 2012 — their “6 by 12” plan.
But I’m confident that with your help we can turn things around, and that’s why yesterday NOM launched its 2009 Northeast Action Plan.
With same-sex marriage legislation pending in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, the first phase of the plan kicked off with a round of radio ads airing throughout those three states, urging voters to contact their state legislators in opposition to the same-sex marriage bills. The ads are timed to coincide with a week of hearings on same-sex marriage in Vermont as well as upcoming committee votes in Maine and New Hampshire.
The ads are the first in what will be a series of targeted advertising buys throughout the Northeast throughout 2009 as legislatures consider measures to redefine marriage. The ads not only help to organize grassroots opposition, but also serve notice to state legislators that their support for gay marriage will not go unnoticed.Donate
Will you help fund our Northeast Action Plan? Use this hyperlink to make a secure online donation of $35, $50, or $100 today!
The ads open with a child asking questions about same-sex marriage: “If my Dad married a man, who would be my Mom?” Listeners then hear an urgent marriage alert, asking them to contact their legislators in opposition to the same-sex marriage bills pending in the three states.
While California was the focus throughout 2008, the Northeast promises to be ground zero in the marriage debate throughout 2009 and 2010, as state legislatures in not only Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, but also in Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York, consider bills to legislative create same-sex marriage in those states.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
If you live in one of the Northeast states, and haven’t yet contacted your legislators, please do so today! Visit http://www.nationformarriage.org to get started. In five minutes or less you can make your voice heard with an email to your own legislators, as well as the committee members considering the marriage bills.
But there’s work for all of us to do! Even if you don’t live in the Northeast, we need your help to stop one of these states from becoming the first state to legislatively adopt same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage affects all of us — already gay marriage advocates are using same-sex marriages from Massachusetts to challenge the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
We know that the American people don’t want gay marriage — they’ve rejected it now in 30 out of 30 states where they’ve had a chance to vote. But many elected officials, especially in New England, think that people just don’t care enough about same-sex marriage, and that they can vote for same-sex marriage to please a vocal minority without any real opposition from the majority that oppose it.
So tell your friends in New England to visit http://www.nationformarriage.org to send a letter to their elected officials.
And please make a generous donation to our Northeast Action Plan today! We were all able to stand together in California and succeed where few thought it possible. We need your help again today to stop same-sex marriage before it gets started in New England state legislatures. And unlike in California, gifts to NOM’s Northeast Action Plan are not publicly disclosed.
Will you please make your most generous contribution today? Your gift of $35, $50 or even more will go a long way to making sure that we have the resources to succeed in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and elsewhere. Perhaps you could afford $10 or $20 a month for the rest of 2009 — think one less meal out per month — in order to help save marriage! Please click on the button below to make your generous donation today!
We’re working to raise $1 million to finish funding our Northeast Action Plan for 2009. This will allow us to work with state groups on the ground in these critical states, providing the resources needed to help organize the grassroots, provide targeted online contact capability for reaching elected officials, and offer public messaging consultation based on research from California and elsewhere.
Will you stand with us again today?
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542
I replied back to him and cc’d Magge Gallagher:
Of course NOM is active in this one. This part really struck me though:
“Opponents say gay marriage would undermine traditional male-female marriage, rendering men and women interchangeable and destroying the connection between children and marriage. They want the question put to voters in a referendum.”
I have questions and comments on that passage and I plan on emailing this to NOM to get their take on it, wait, I don’t need to do that since this has NOM’s fingerprints all over it.
Could someone please explain how same-sex marriage will undermine male-female marriage? Does my marrying my partner of the last 16 years dilute your marriage in any way? I think not.
The part about men and women being interchangeable, isn’t that what equal rights are all about? That you’re not treated differently whether gay, straight, man, woman, black, white, red, orange or what have you? Do women really want to be relegated to 2nd class citizenship again?
As far as destroying the connection between children and marriage, I think this group needs to step back and look at the divorce issue and allow we gay people the benefits of marriage. The benefit to bury our husband or wife when that day comes without waiting over a month, the right of power of attorney for medical decisions that automatically flows from marriage.
But most of all I want the right to have those rights and privileges assigned to me under my state constitution. And I have a little surprise for NOM should they decide to show up en masse at the House hearing in RI. You’ll see when you get there.
Maggie sent a response:
When you change the defintiion of marriage in law, you change it for everyone, not just for you.
The idea that marriage really matters because children need mothers and fathers–the great cross-cultural historic idea and ideal of marriage–will be repudiated by the law and the government.
You still won’t be married in my own view, because the union of husband and wife is not extrinsic–a qualificstion to entry–it is intrinsice–what marriage actually means.
But now my government will teach my children and grandchildren that my idea–the great historic publc purpose of marriage–is just bigotry and discrimination.
You will have privatized the only good reason for government to be involved in marriage in the first place.
You are free right now to have a marriage ceremony, and to get the equivalent rights and benefits. What’s at stake is whether third parties (like me) are going to be forced by law to change the meaning of marriage to accomodate your views about what it should mean.
Ok, now it’s time for me to pick apart the response. I just had to give you all the background to this.
We’re not advocating change of the definition of marriage. What we are advocating is changing the pre-requisites of marriage.
We are in no way denying that children should have parents, be they man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman. For all the studies done by psychs on your side that support bigotry we’ve got twice as many from the psychiatrists and psychologists who don’t have such a religious bent to their worldview.
The government will do no such thing, society in general will. Face it Maggie, you’re fighting a losing battle and you are a bigot who doesn’t know how to use spell check.
I don’t understand the paragraph about privatizing. The only reason government is interested in marriage is because it maintains the social order, not the religious order.
The last paragraph gives it away. It isn’t about accommodation, it’s about my rights. You don’t have to recognize my marriage same as how I don’t have to recognize yours. But when it comes to the benefits derived through marriage I will not be denied any longer.
It will be interesting to see her response to mine.
And I’ve gotten a response:
No you are not. You are changing the public meaning of marriage. If you can’t acknowledge that, you can’t even understand (naturally! as you say you can’t) the point of view of people who disagree with you.
You’ve already redefined marriage so its opposite-sex nature is not extrinsic, not intrinsic, an entry requirement not part of its meaning.. I understand that. I think therefore you literally cannot understand what you are asking of those who disagree with you. Nobody can make you understand the disagreement if you refuse to. I don’t mean you have to agree with me on substance, but you literally cannot understand the disagreement if you cannot acknowledge that this changes for mamy many people what marriage means.
I alas cannot personally correspond at length with every person who writes to me. I hope you appreciate the courtesy of a personal reply.
To which I responded:
It isn’t just me.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Quite frankly I’m asking those who disagree to stop trampling on my constitutional rights. Is that so hard to understand?