National Organization for Marriage

GOP Leaders Joining Religious Right Groups For "Values Voter Bus Tour" Through Iowa

The Family Research Council has just announced that Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, and Louie Gohmert will be joining FRC, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List for a ""Values Voter Bus Tour" through Iowa next week:

FRC Action's Faith Family Freedom Fund, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List today announced the "Values Voter Bus Tour" that next week will cover 1,305 miles in four days with events in 22 cities. The tour will pass through 47 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum will participate in the tour, and candidate Michele Bachmann and other GOP presidential candidates are expected to join the tour as well. U.S. Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) will also join Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, Susan B. Anthony List's Marilyn Musgrave, and other state and national leaders. The tour will be kicked off by Faith Family Freedom Fund Chairman Connie Mackey on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at the state capitol and conclude at the Ames Straw Poll on August 13.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"Last November, the people of Iowa reclaimed their right to govern themselves by removing three activist judges from power. We were honored to play a part in that victory with our successful Judge Bus tour that traveled the state highlighting the issue.

"The Values Bus Tour will speak to the views held by millions of American voters who want to make sure that issues impacting the family and the broader culture are understood and addressed by each of the candidates. The race is clearly wide open. Values voters will be closely watching next week's events as they determine which of the candidates are willing to do what it takes once elected to restore fiscal sanity, protect marriage, safeguard religious liberty and protect the rights of the unborn," concluded Perkins.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, made the following comments:

"President Obama is the most pro-abortion President in United States history. He has shown a willingness to shut down the federal government in order to keep Planned Parenthood funded with tax payer subsidies and even threatened individual states for exercising their Tenth Amendment right to de-fund the organization at a state level. It is time to replace Obama with a true pro-life leader in the White House. That effort begins in Iowa. The Values Voter Bus Tour is designed to get the word out to straw poll and caucus goers regarding which Presidential candidates can be counted on as strong and vocal leaders for women and unborn children."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), made the following comments:

"President Obama has done virtually everything in his power to undermine the institution of marriage, including refusing to defend the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Clinton. NOM is committed to ensuring that the next president is a strong and committed supporter of traditional marriage and will commit his or her administration to vigorously defending marriage in the courts, Congress and in the court of public opinion. We were the largest contributor to the effort to unseat the state judges who imposed same-sex marriage on Iowa by judicial fiat. We look forward to playing an extremely active role in encouraging the people of Iowa, including our tens of thousands of supporters, to make a difference in selecting an unambiguously pro-marriage candidate in Iowa."

A Who's Who of Religious Right Activists Participated In Robison's Leadership Summits

Last week, Time's Amy Sullivan reported that dozens of Religious Right leaders gathered for "a conference call to discuss their dissatisfaction with the current GOP presidential field, and agreed that Rick Perry would be their preferred candidate if he entered the race."

Brian Kaylor of EthicsDaily.com had reported on the same thing a few weeks back, noting that the effort was being organized by James Robison.

Last Friday, Robison wrote a post on his blog in which explained that he had called these gatherings in September of 2010 and June of 2011 because "there is an insidious attack on God, faith, family and freedom" and that God was planning on using this group of "national leaders to help inspire a spiritual awakening, a return to sanity and a restoration of freedom’s foundation."

And he also conveniently posted a list of every person who had participated:

George: Andrew Cuomo Can't Be Catholic Because He Supports Marriage Equality

Robert George, founder of the American Principles Project and Chairman Emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage, said that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shouldn’t be considered a Catholic because he signed marriage equality into law. In an interview with Kathryn Lopez of the National Review, George also attacks Gov. Cuomo for living with but not marrying his companion Sandra Lee, saying that “no one takes him to be a serious Catholic” and that he “flouts his Catholic principles.” Using George’s logic, more than half of Catholics in America would not be “real Catholics” because they favor marriage equality.

LOPEZ: How significant is it that this governor is Catholic?

GEORGE: Is he? There are many devout Protestants and even Jews and Muslims whose moral beliefs and practices are far more closely in line with Catholic teachings than Andrew Cuomo’s are. Andrew’s father’s views and policies gave scandal (as Catholics use that term) precisely because people took him to be a serious Catholic. No one is scandalized by Andrew’s beliefs or conduct because no one takes him to be a serious Catholic, that is, a Catholic who is serious enough about his faith to live by its tenets. Indeed, he quite publicly flouts Catholic principles, and doesn’t even seem to wrestle with it or be anguished about it, as his father at least liked to give the appearance of being. In word and deed, he has made it clear that he simply does not believe what Catholicism teaches about sexual morality and marriage. There is no reason to suppose that he regards the Catholic Church as having the authority to teach definitively on these issues or anything else. If there is a sense in which he is a Catholic, it does not involve believing what the Catholic Church teaches or even that the Catholic Church has any authority to teach. So I don’t see Cuomo’s Catholicism as a significant part of this story. He doesn’t even pretend to be serious enough about it to make anyone care or even take much notice.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann announced (again) her intention to run for president.
  • And she is off to a great start.
  • The Family Research Council says that passage of marriage equality in New York was the result of "enormous political coercion [that] resulted in a profound failure of moral courage in the New York Senate."
  • The National Organization for Marriage is pledging $2 million to defeat the NY Republicans who voted for the marriage equality bill.
  • Bryan Fischer continues his hate crime crusade.
  • Finally, part two of Randall Terry's interview with Rick Santorum was disappointingly dull.

NOM Preemptively Declares Victory In New York

While negotiations continue in the New York State Senate over a marriage equality bill that has already passed the Assembly, the National Organization for Marriage has declared victory. In a post on National Review Online that has since been removed and replaced, Thomas Peters of NOM congratulated his group and other anti-gay activists for toppling the bill that hasn’t even reached the floor for a vote yet:

Religious Right Writer Derides Marriage Equality Advocates As "Forces Of Anarchy"

Lauding former New York Giant David Tyree’s strong criticism of a pending New York marriage equality bill, Janie Cheaney of the ultraconservative WORLD Magazine dubbed supporters of the legislation “forces of anarchy.” According to Cheaney, passing a bill allowing gay couples to marry will only help a “minuscule number of people” and will lead to the “undefining of the family.” Cheaney writes:

The minuscule number of people who stand to directly benefit from such legislation suggests further that it’s not about marriage at all—it’s about breaking down all barriers to consenting adults living exactly how they please, with dissenting voices confined to the margins.

Last week, former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree stated his opposition to Cuomo’s bill in a video interview with the National Organization for Marriage. Tyree, best known for his legendary catch against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII, is now catching heck. A Yahoo Sports headline read, “Super Bowl hero’s shocking same-sex marriage comments.” Shocking? Tyree said, “The moment we have [same sex marriage], if you trace back even to other cultures, other countries, that will be the moment where our society . . . loses its grip with what’s right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society.” He predicted anarchy otherwise, a fighting word if internet reaction to his interview is to be taken seriously.

And it should. We’re in a bare-knuckle fight with forces of anarchy, whether they know it or not. They think they’re about redefining the family, but it actually goes a step further: This is about undefining the family. The family becomes whatever they say it is, on any given day or legislative session. Kudos to the Republicans of the New York Senate (and one lone Democrat), and kudos to David Tyree for resisting the push.

GOP Presidential Candidates Join Far-Right Group For Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour

According to the Des Moines Register, Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum will take part in Iowa’s Tea Party Bus Tour. The bus tour is led by a coalition of right-wing groups: the Leadership Institute, FairTax Nation, and the American Principles Project’s affiliated groups, Preserve Innocence and American Principles in Action.

Founded by noted anti-gay activist Robert George, the group is also closely linked to the Manhattan Declaration and the National Organization for Marriage, which it worked with to defeat marriage equality in Maine. Thomas Peters, the APP’s communications director, even participated in a conference tied to the notoriously anti-Semitic Polish broadcaster Tadeusz Rydsyk of Radio Maryja.

The APP is best known for instigating the boycott of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference due to its inclusion of GOProud, a group of gay conservatives, and rallied other Religious Right organizations to leave the summit.

Preserve Innocence is the APP’s education watchdog and is mainly a voice against comprehensive sex education and anti-bullying programs. The group outspokenly opposed the role of Kevin Jennings, the White House’s outgoing Assistant Secretary for the Department of Education’s Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools and the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, asserting that his views represent a “moral atrocity”:

Kevin Jennings aggressively advocates using our schools to teach children—including young children—about homosexuality and homosexual practices. He is the author of a Foreword to a book called Queering Elementary Education, and as the former Director of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network), he supports a radical agenda that includes bringing sexual liberationist teachings into public schools. That’s what he means by “queering” elementary education.

“Queering” our elementary schools means destroying the innocence of our children. Please help us to stop that moral atrocity from happening.

The APP also bizarrely claims that President Obama was establishing “death panels” and working with Planned Parenthood to encourage students to have abortions:

“There is a frightening disconnect between what American parents believe their children should be taught about sex and by whom, and the liberal, even promiscuous sex education the Obama administration wishes to inflict upon our children through Planned Parenthood”, stated Andy Blom, Executive Director of the American Principles Project and American Principles in Action. “But this goes beyond sex education. This is opening the doors of our schools and their health programs to the nation’s largest abortion provider.”



President Obama’s Health Care plan threatens babies through Government mandated, taxpayer funded abortion. It threatens parental rights, pre-teens and teenagers through Planned Parenthood SBHC sex indoctrination. It threatens the elderly and disabled through rationed health care and end-of-life “Death Panels.”

NOM Endorses Hartzler's Anti-Gay Comments

As Brian noted in his earlier post, Rep. Vicky Hartzler is standing by her claims that legalizing gay marriage is akin to legalizing pedophilia, incest, and letting three-year olds drive a car. 

We caught Hartzler making those statements when she attended an Eagle Forum Collegians Summit last week and posted the video in an effort to highlight her radical views ... but it seems that to the National Organization for Marriage, comparing marriage equality to pedophilia and incest are perfectly acceptable, as NOM has stolen our video, removed our logo, and posted it on their own blog approvingly:

Here is our original video and here is the video posted by NOM.

This is, in fact, the second time that NOM has taken one of our videos, removed our logo, and then reposted the clip in order to endorse the views espoused.

At Ralph Reed Confab, Obama Portrayed as Enemy of Faith and Freedom

Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Washington, D.C. this past weekend was essentially a relentless repetition of the GOP’s 2012 attack themes on the Obama administration, mixed with Religious Right leaders’ demands that the Tea Party not abandon social conservatives’ priorities and conservative politicos’ appeals for unity behind whichever candidate emerges from the presidential crowd.  Just about everyone running, or thinking about running, for the presidency on the Republican side was in attendance with the exception of Newt Gingrich.

One of the easiest, and most frequently used, ways to get applause at F&F was to pledge that Obama will be a one-term president.  Among the other major themes:
 
American Exceptionalism
 
Former Senator Rick Santorum, who officially announced his presidential bid this morning, said his campaign theme will be American exceptionalism.  Unfortunately, for Santorum, it seems that every Republican candidate is talking about American exceptionalism – and the claim that President Obama, Democrats, and “liberal elites” don’t believe that the U.S. is the God-ordained greatest nation in the history of the world – so it’s going to be hard to break away from the pack on that score.  Gary Bauer claimed that American elites don’t believe the words of the Declaration of Independence. 
 
‘Obamacare’ = Socialism = The End of Freedom
 
Many speakers cited health care reform as the ultimate example of the Democrats’ commitment to freedom-destroying socialism.  Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network said it was one example of progressives’ tendency to say “to hell with the Constitution” when it got in the way of their policy goals.  Rep. Allen West even attacked the notion of “shared sacrifice,” which he said was code for “redistribution of wealth,” which is how the right-wing looks at progressive taxation.  Rep. Tom Price, who clearly needs to spend some time studying American history, called the health care reform bill “the furthest reach of oppression that this society has ever seen.”  Others similarly insisted that the implementation of the law would mean the end of liberty in America.  Michele Bachman shouted, “I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare. America will not rest until we repeal Obamacare.”  Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said the fight against Obamacare is just one sign that federalism is reemerging.  He argued that Americans need to understand that there is a “liberty pie” that does not grow – and it has only two slices, government power and individual liberty – and one necessarily grows at the expense of the other. 
 
America Needs More Religion (as long as it’s not Islam)
 
The FFC was long on Religious Right rhetoric on religion and politics.  The pastor who gave the opening prayer for the conference gave thanks for “a nation founded for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”  The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins exulted that it was good to be among folks who are “not ashamed to defend the Christian principles on which this nation was founded.”  The Republican National Committee’s Reince Priebus said America’s greatness is “rooted in our faith” and that “faith in our God, and faith in our savior” is “not a convenience, it is the foundation of a good life.” But Islam was clearly deemed a threat, with one participant telling a contentiouspanel on Sharia law that in Minnesota “we practically have a Muslim state.”  
 
Reproductive Rights and Gay Rights = Big Government
 
In the “Social Issues: Why They Still Matter” panel, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal discussed “the psychology of those who are trying to undermine the moral fiber of this country,” arguing that liberals are compelled by a lust for power and therefore need to “control people” and “lower standards of society as a whole.” Fund explained that “if you can lower standards” by permitting legal abortion and gay equality, then liberals can gain control over society, and insisted that “we have to bring back shaming” of women who had abortions because “we need to be judgmental about this issue, we need to call out people for the choices that they made, ‘shaming’ is not a bad word in this society.” On a separate panel, National Organization for Marriage founder Maggie Gallagher said, “When you redefine marriage, you also redefine the relationship between Genesis and the American tradition,” which would jeopardize freedom because “in some cases, the power of government is already being used to marginalize and stigmatize people who disagree with the foundational ideas of same-sex marriage.”
 
Obama as Enemy of Israel
 
Michele Bachman was one of several speakers who misportrayed recent Obama administration comments about Israel, calling them a “shocking display of betraying our greatest friend and ally.” One participant commented that “life, liberty, and Israel” were the elements that make up “the pursuit of happiness.” Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice said Obama may soon be referring to Israel as “the Zionist regime” and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission implied that Obama may bringing upon the country the curse of God for his policy towards Israel. Peter Roff of U.S. News and World Report lamented that “the American Jewish community is for some reason enamored of Democratic politicians in general and Barack Obama specifically.”
 
Unified Conservative Movement
 
FRC’s Perkins was among many Religious Right speakers who argued for keeping social conservatives’ priorities at the forefront of the movement in the name of conservative movement unity.  Perkins used a strange mixed metaphor, saying it is the “bottom of the ninth for our beloved country” and no time to lapse into an undisciplined orchestra, calling for a “rousing symphony” – drums of national defense, the horns of economic abundance, and the strings that bind a strong family.  Among others who sounded the same theme were Indiana gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence, who said, “we have to recognize that our present crisis is not just economic or political but moral in nature” and touted the importance of the sanctity of life, “traditional marriage,” and the importance of organized religion in our daily life.
 
Haley Barbour, one of the potential presidential candidates who decided not to run, devoted his remarks to lecturing attendees about the need to rally behind whichever candidate was nominated even though the nominee won’t be perfect.  “In politics,” he said, “purity is the enemy of victory.” Tony Blankley warned that the media and Democrats would love to “divide and conquer” the movement.
 
Advocating for social issues at the FFC was clearly preaching to the choir.  But some Tea Party activists were clearly annoyed by the “you’re nothing without us” attitude of Religious Right activists Jordan Sekulow and Matt Barber at a panel on the “Teavangelicals” that was moderated by the Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.

Hartzler: Gay Marriage Is Like Incest, Letting Three-Year Old Children Drive

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) built her political career on opposing gay rights: she spearheaded the Missouri campaign to enshrine discrimination in the state constitution and since her election to Congress last November has fought to preserve the Defense of Marriage Act and block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Yesterday, Hartzler addressed Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit in Washington on why young people should oppose marriage equality.

Joined by Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly, Hartzler compared gay marriage to polygamy and incest, and later argued that we shouldn’t give equal marriage rights to gay couples just as “it’s not a right of a three-year old to drive a car.”

Watch:

Opposition to marriage equality was a major theme at the conference, due in part to fears that young people disproportionately favor legalizing gay marriage. Participants even received a pamphlet “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage” from Jennifer Roback Morse of The Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage. The pamphlet harshly criticized gay families as “unjust and cruel to the child” and argues that “we will not be able to maintain a free society” if gay marriage is legalized.

Religious Right Reacts To Law Firm’s Decision To Withdraw From DOMA Defense

Today, the law firm King & Spalding decided against defending the Defense Of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives, leading Paul Clement, the partner who was going to take charge of DOMA’s defense, to resign . Groups and leaders opposed to marriage equality are unsurprisingly irate at King & Spalding, and have found a new hero in Clement:

Brian Brown, National Organization for Marriage:

Brown contrasted Clement’s courageous stand for integrity with the cowardice of King & Spalding Chairman Robert Hays. “In contrast to the principled stand by Paul Clement, King & Spalding, through their Chairman Robert Hays, has demonstrated a shocking lack of professional ethics and shown cowardice under fire. This law firm has shown itself to be without principle,” Brown said. “Representing clients who may be unpopular in some quarters is what lawyers do. The actions of King & Spalding would suggest that they believe an accused murderer is entitled to a vigorous defense, but the thousands-year old understanding of marriage is not, even though our marriage law was passed with overwhelming bi-partisan majorities and signed into law by President Clinton.”

NOM pledged an investigation into the actions of King & Spalding and urged its supporters to contact Hays to express their outrage over the firm’s decision. “We will convene a panel of legal experts and ethicists to determine if any rules of professional conduct have been violated, or if the firm has acted illegally in reaching their decision. We already know they have violated the moral imperative of acting in good faith and fair dealing. If our review concludes that the firm has violated any statutes or rules of professional conduct, we will initiate the appropriate disciplinary complaints,” Brown said.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council:

"We commend Paul Clement for standing firm in the face of homosexual activists who seek to censor any opposition - even in the courtroom - to their campaign to overturn the marriage laws of 45 states.

"It is a shocking revelation that King & Spalding would rather lose their most brilliant and talented Supreme Court lawyer than confront a smear campaign by homosexual activists.



"The truth is not afraid of a good debate. What are homosexual activists afraid of? If they are right, then they should welcome a robust legal argument. We are convinced that the truth will win out in the end and DOMA will be upheld as constitutional. A person who doesn't want his opponent to have a good lawyer is an opponent who knows that the law isn't on his side.

"We call on President Obama and the U.S. Congress to denounce these unacceptable smear and silence tactics. The American people and our system of justice deserve better."

Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel:

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, says Clement is demonstrating legel "class and integrity" -- and that the decision by King & Spaulding was an incorrect move. "Where we see this clash coming between homosexuality and religious rights or other rights or just simply common sense and civility, I think we're seeing it played out right there in the King & Spalding law firm," he tells OneNewsNow.

Staver says because of certain political complaints from branches within the law firm, King & Spaulding decided to drop the case. "That, I think, illustrates the clash of the homosexual agenda, and the frank intolerance that we see manifested in some of the individuals pushing that agenda."

Jay Sekulow, American Center for Law and Justice:

Paul Clement is an honorable advocate. He understands that when an attorney engages a client, and agrees to defend a position in court, that is what he must do. We applaud his efforts to move forward in defending DOMA - now with another law firm.

We know that Paul will provide a sound and thorough defense to DOMA, which we expect to be upheld by the courts. We will file an amicus brief defending DOMA as the case unfolds.

We applaud Paul's commitment to the legal profession, his integrity, and his desire and dedication to carry out his professional responsibilities in this case.

NOM Spokesman: Marriage Equality Will Ban Preaching

Jennifer Roback Morse, the head of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, that marriage equality would make it unlawful for Christians “to preach the Bible.” Morse, who previously asserted that gay rights supporters stole the rainbow and that the symbol should be reclaimed by the Religious Right, made her remarks to a group of students at Wheaton College, Illinois, a Christian liberal arts school. Even though the claims of fear-mongers like Morse that the marriage equality laws in five states and the District of Columbia would ban preaching have proved to completely unfounded, Morse alleged that Christians would “lose the ability to evangelize”:

First among her qualms—and no doubt foremost for her audience, considering the college’s unapologetic Christian Evangelical orientation—is the conflict same sex marriage has with Biblical teaching.

“Scriptures are full of marriage,” Morse said. “Marriage is all throughout the Bible.”

She said that a redefinition of marriage would mean that Christians “will lose the ability to evangelize…we will lose the ability to preach the Bible.”

Morse stressed that redefining marriage undermined what she called the “essential public purpose of marriage.”



But, she argued, if men and woman were interchangeable, as advocates of same sex marriage seem to suggest, there would be no point in having a father. “Fathers will be marginalized,” she said. “They will be considered non-essential.”

Morse said that the redefinition of marriage without consideration of biological realities—and courts making the determination that a same sex partner is a parent—will allow a father to become completely separated from his child. “The woman can make the unilateral decision that a child can never have a relationship with his father…because she wants it,” Morse said. “That’s not enough of a reason.”

Finally, Morse concluded that the redefinition of marriage was tantamount to a restructuring of the traditional family. “In the process of redefining marriage, we’re redefining parenthood,” she said.

Right Wing Round-Up

Hey, That Looks Familiar

Last week, we posted a video clip of Bryan Fischer and Newt Gingrich discussing how Gingrich would "slow down the homosexual agenda" if he became president:

Today, the National Organization for Marriage posted the same clip ... only their clip contained a large blank spot in the upper right-hand corner where they stripped out our logo:

Gingrich Group Funneled $125K To AFA To Remove Iowa Judges

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Newt Gingrich had quietly help raise $200,000 for the right-wing effort to remove three sitting Supreme Court justices in Iowa over their ruling in favor of marriage equality.

The Times article didn't provide many details about the effort, but today the AP fills them and reveals that Gingrich's group, Renewing American Leadership, funneled the bulk of the money to the American Family Association:

Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, routing the money to conservative groups through an aide's political committee.

Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who has aggressively courted the conservatives who dominate Iowa's lead-off presidential caucuses, raised the money for the political arm of Restoring American Leadership, also known as ReAL.

That group then passed $125,000 to American Family Association Action and an additional $25,000 to the Iowa Christian Alliance — two of the groups that spent millions before last November's elections that removed three of the state's seven state Supreme Court justices. The court had unanimously decided a state law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated Iowa's constitution.

The financial transfers, which appear to comply with campaign finance laws, were part of a steady flow of cash into Iowa from conservative groups such as the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council.

During the campaign, the AFA's resident spokesbigot Bryan Fischer regularly bragged that his group was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the effort in Iowa.  Now we know that a significant portion of that money came from Newt Gingrich's organization.

Santorum to Address New Hampshire Tea Party and Religious Right Gathering

In another sign that former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is running for President, Fox News has suspended his contract as a commentator and he is scheduled to address the “Tax Payer Tea Party Rally” in Concord, New Hampshire on April 15th. John DiStaso of the Union Leader reports that Santorum is “is the first likely presidential candidate to confirm an appearance” to the event hosted by the pro-corporate group Americans for Prosperity and the far-right Cornerstone Action. “With all eyes once again focused on New Hampshire, Cornerstone Action is excited to co-sponsor the largest tea party rally in the state,” said Cornerstone’s Kevin Smith in a statement announcing the rally.

Cornerstone is an ultraconservative organization that flaunts its close relationship with national groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, CitizenLink, and the National Organization for Marriage. In fact, Cornerstone worked with NOM to run ads attacking the governor for signing the state's marriage equality law and is collaborating with NOM and the FRC to repeal the law. Good As You notes that Cornerstone also endorses the discredited "ex-gay" therapy groups such as Exodus International, Love Won Out, PFOX, and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). In addition, Cornerstone is a top sponsor of the Creationist movie “The Genesis Code.”

Roll Call also reports that “Cornerstone will ask each Republican presidential candidate to sign a pledge agreeing marriage should be between one man and one woman.”

While Rick Santorum has previously addressed Cornerstone events, it is very likely that more Republican candidates will seek the support of the militantly anti-gay group to bolster their New Hampshire campaigns.

Religious Right Reactions to DOJ's DOMA Decision

Earlier today it was reported that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

So far, reactions from the Religious Right have been few and far between but we are going to post them here as they trickle in:

National Organization for Marriage:

“We have not yet begun to fight for marriage,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” said Brown. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”

...

“On the one hand this is a truly shocking extra-constitutional power grab in declaring gay people are a protected class, and it’s also a defection of duty on the part of the President Obama,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, “On the other hand, the Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway. The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”

FRC:

"It's a dereliction of duty,'' said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action. "Whether they agree with the law or not is irrelevant...The Obama administration has purposely dropped the ball here."

AFA:

"I think it's a clear sign that we simply cannot avoid engaging on the social issues," Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the group, told TPM. "Mitch Daniels has called for a truce on social issues and that would be fine if the homosexual lobby was willing to lay down arms, but they're obviously not and this proves it. A truce is nothing more than a surrender."

Fischer said he was not surprised by the president's decision.

"Frankly I was surprised that President Obama pretended to be a defender of natural marriage as long as he did," he said.

He said that the White House move should serve as "a wake-up call to all conservatives that fundamental American values regarding the family are under all-out assault by this administration. It ought to represent a clarion call to man the barricades before we lose what is left of the Judeo-Christian system of values in our public life."

Focus on the Family:

Tom Minnery, a vice president with Focus on the Family, said the Obama administration did not aggressively defend the Defense of Marriage Act in any case. "If the federal government will not defend federal laws, we're facing legal chaos," Minnery said. "If the administration can pick and choose what laws it defends, which law is next?"

"We would hope Congress uses the tools at its disposal to counter this decision and defend marriage," Minnery said.

ADF:

“Typically, when a law is challenged, the government has a duty to defend the law, and typically they do so with the most vigorous possible defense,” said Jim Campbell, attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “In this case, we’ve seen executive branch officials refuse to do so.”

Official FRC statement:

"This decision by President Obama and the Department of Justice is appalling. The President's failure to defend DOMA is also a failure to fulfill his oath to 'faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.' What will be the next law that he will choose not to enforce or uphold?

"Marriage as a male-female union has been easily defended in court and overwhelmingly supported by the American people. There is absolutely no excuse beyond pandering to his liberal political base for President Obama's decision to abandon his constitutional role to defend a federal law enacted overwhelmingly by Congress.

"With this decision the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President's neglect of duty," concluded Perkins.

Liberty Counsel:

Today President Barack Obama instructed the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “This is outrageous and unthinkable that the President would abandon the defense of marriage,” said Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Obama has betrayed the American people by his refusal to defend the federal law that affirms what many courts upheld as constitutional, namely, that marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Staver.

...

“Regardless of President Obama’s own ideological agenda, as President, he and his Attorney General have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as one man and one woman. Today President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history. He has today declared war on the American people and the fundamental values that are shared by most Americans. His radicalism resulted in the historical push-back in the 2010 elections. His radicalism today will come back around when the people respond to this betrayal in 2012,” said Staver.

TVC:

“The Obama Administration has been sabotaging marriage in direct contradiction to his campaign promises. Today, President Obama takes his most unprecedented step yet, choosing to rule and reign through executive decree in what could only be called a supra-constitutional act. After massive defeats at the polls in November, a total repudiation on health care, and staring down a cost-cutting Congress, Obama is looking to secure what little base remains. Obama’s actions today are an unprecedented grab for power and perhaps the most audacious in the 235 year history of the American republic.

“President Obama believes he has “concluded” that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, as passed along by Attorney General Eric Holder -- effectively asserting that Obama may rule by whim and decree.

“We are a nation of laws, not whims.

“Virtually every state in the country has overwhelmingly passed laws and state constitutional amendments protecting marriage. This unprecedented power grab demands the immediate reaction of the United States House of Representatives, who must do everything possible to fight back against what can only be described as a despotic and alarming attack on the rule of law.”

Catholic League:

Now Obama is officially on record as president opposing the defense of marriage. Thus does he pit himself against the 1996 law that was signed by President Bill Clinton, and opposed by only 15 percent in the House and 14 percent in the Senate. He also stands in opposition to the over 30 state initiatives affirming marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now that Obama is totally out of the closet, it will spur a genuine effort to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the integrity of marriage.

Gary Bauer:

The president is the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief justice! It is not up to Barack Obama to determine which laws he likes and which laws he doesn’t. It is his responsibility to enforce the law until the nation’s highest court decides the law does not pass constitutional analysis.

But this president sees things very differently — he’s here to fundamentally transform America, by, among other things, redefining marriage ...

Today’s news should put to rest any suggestion that Obama has moved to the center. He has just aligned himself with the most radical elements in the culture war who are trying to redefine normalcy.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but I have to be honest with you: I’m worried our side has gone back to sleep. Financial support for our work has dropped significantly. But the left is energized. Obama suddenly feels free to abandon the law and let the militant homosexual rights movement force same-sex “marriage” on every state in the nation. A liberal politician is urging the unions to “get a little bloody” in the streets.

The Tea Party protests have ebbed while the left-wing radicals are fired up. The momentum seems to have shifted back to the left. Men and women of faith must remain engaged in the public policy battles of the day. The culture war is real and only one side can prevail.

Religious Right Reactions to DOJ's DOMA Decision

Earlier today it was reported that President Obama had ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.

So far, reactions from the Religious Right have been few and far between but we are going to post them here as they trickle in:

National Organization for Marriage:

“We have not yet begun to fight for marriage,” said Brian Brown, president of NOM.

“The Democrats are responding to their election loss with a series of extraordinary, extra-constitutional end runs around democracy, whether it’s fleeing the state in Wisconsin and Indiana to prevent a vote, or unilaterally declaring homosexuals a protected class under our Constitution, as President Obama just did,” said Brown. “We call on the House to intervene to protect DOMA, and to tell the Obama administration they have to respect the limits on their power. This fight is not over, it has only begun!”

...

“On the one hand this is a truly shocking extra-constitutional power grab in declaring gay people are a protected class, and it’s also a defection of duty on the part of the President Obama,” said Maggie Gallagher, Chairman of NOM, “On the other hand, the Obama administration was throwing this case in court anyway. The good news is this now clears the way for the House to intervene and to get lawyers in the court room who actually want to defend the law, and not please their powerful political special interests.”

FRC:

"It's a dereliction of duty,'' said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action. "Whether they agree with the law or not is irrelevant...The Obama administration has purposely dropped the ball here."

AFA:

"I think it's a clear sign that we simply cannot avoid engaging on the social issues," Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for the group, told TPM. "Mitch Daniels has called for a truce on social issues and that would be fine if the homosexual lobby was willing to lay down arms, but they're obviously not and this proves it. A truce is nothing more than a surrender."

Fischer said he was not surprised by the president's decision.

"Frankly I was surprised that President Obama pretended to be a defender of natural marriage as long as he did," he said.

He said that the White House move should serve as "a wake-up call to all conservatives that fundamental American values regarding the family are under all-out assault by this administration. It ought to represent a clarion call to man the barricades before we lose what is left of the Judeo-Christian system of values in our public life."

Focus on the Family:

Tom Minnery, a vice president with Focus on the Family, said the Obama administration did not aggressively defend the Defense of Marriage Act in any case. "If the federal government will not defend federal laws, we're facing legal chaos," Minnery said. "If the administration can pick and choose what laws it defends, which law is next?"

"We would hope Congress uses the tools at its disposal to counter this decision and defend marriage," Minnery said.

ADF:

“Typically, when a law is challenged, the government has a duty to defend the law, and typically they do so with the most vigorous possible defense,” said Jim Campbell, attorney with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund. “In this case, we’ve seen executive branch officials refuse to do so.”

Official FRC statement:

"This decision by President Obama and the Department of Justice is appalling. The President's failure to defend DOMA is also a failure to fulfill his oath to 'faithfully execute the office of President of the United States.' What will be the next law that he will choose not to enforce or uphold?

"Marriage as a male-female union has been easily defended in court and overwhelmingly supported by the American people. There is absolutely no excuse beyond pandering to his liberal political base for President Obama's decision to abandon his constitutional role to defend a federal law enacted overwhelmingly by Congress.

"With this decision the President has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Congress. It is incumbent upon the Republican leadership to respond by intervening to defend DOMA, or they will become complicit in the President's neglect of duty," concluded Perkins.

Liberty Counsel:

Today President Barack Obama instructed the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “This is outrageous and unthinkable that the President would abandon the defense of marriage,” said Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “President Obama has betrayed the American people by his refusal to defend the federal law that affirms what many courts upheld as constitutional, namely, that marriage is between one man and one woman,” said Staver.

...

“Regardless of President Obama’s own ideological agenda, as President, he and his Attorney General have a duty to defend lawfully passed legislation, especially when the essence of the law has been upheld by many courts. Thirty states have passed marriage amendments affirming marriage as one man and one woman. Today President Obama has abandoned his role as President of the United States and transformed his office into the President of the Divided States. He has been the most divisive president in American history. He has today declared war on the American people and the fundamental values that are shared by most Americans. His radicalism resulted in the historical push-back in the 2010 elections. His radicalism today will come back around when the people respond to this betrayal in 2012,” said Staver.

TVC:

“The Obama Administration has been sabotaging marriage in direct contradiction to his campaign promises. Today, President Obama takes his most unprecedented step yet, choosing to rule and reign through executive decree in what could only be called a supra-constitutional act. After massive defeats at the polls in November, a total repudiation on health care, and staring down a cost-cutting Congress, Obama is looking to secure what little base remains. Obama’s actions today are an unprecedented grab for power and perhaps the most audacious in the 235 year history of the American republic.

“President Obama believes he has “concluded” that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, as passed along by Attorney General Eric Holder -- effectively asserting that Obama may rule by whim and decree.

“We are a nation of laws, not whims.

“Virtually every state in the country has overwhelmingly passed laws and state constitutional amendments protecting marriage. This unprecedented power grab demands the immediate reaction of the United States House of Representatives, who must do everything possible to fight back against what can only be described as a despotic and alarming attack on the rule of law.”

Catholic League:

Now Obama is officially on record as president opposing the defense of marriage. Thus does he pit himself against the 1996 law that was signed by President Bill Clinton, and opposed by only 15 percent in the House and 14 percent in the Senate. He also stands in opposition to the over 30 state initiatives affirming marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now that Obama is totally out of the closet, it will spur a genuine effort to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the integrity of marriage.

Gary Bauer:

The president is the chief law enforcement officer, not the chief justice! It is not up to Barack Obama to determine which laws he likes and which laws he doesn’t. It is his responsibility to enforce the law until the nation’s highest court decides the law does not pass constitutional analysis.

But this president sees things very differently — he’s here to fundamentally transform America, by, among other things, redefining marriage ...

Today’s news should put to rest any suggestion that Obama has moved to the center. He has just aligned himself with the most radical elements in the culture war who are trying to redefine normalcy.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow, but I have to be honest with you: I’m worried our side has gone back to sleep. Financial support for our work has dropped significantly. But the left is energized. Obama suddenly feels free to abandon the law and let the militant homosexual rights movement force same-sex “marriage” on every state in the nation. A liberal politician is urging the unions to “get a little bloody” in the streets.

The Tea Party protests have ebbed while the left-wing radicals are fired up. The momentum seems to have shifted back to the left. Men and women of faith must remain engaged in the public policy battles of the day. The culture war is real and only one side can prevail.

NOM Teams up with Steve King and Republican Presidential Candidates for Iowa Conference

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who previously argued that marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilization, is bringing together right-wing groups and leading Republicans for his Conservative Principles Conference on March 26th in the premier caucus state. Potential presidential candidates, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and John Bolton, will be joining the virulently anti-gay National Organization for Marriage for the conference. King says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who believes schools should ban gay teachers, will keynote the event. Other participants include the National Rifle Association's Kayne Robinson, anti-labor National Right to Work Committee, anti-immigrant Numbers USA, Arizona SB-1070 architect Russell Pearce, Tea Party Patriots, and Betsy McCaughey, who concocted the “death panels” smear against the health care reform law.

Jason Hancock of The Iowa Independent reports:

The Conservative Principles Conference will be held March 26 at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott. The main topic with be “American exceptionalism.”

“Iowans will be granted access to some of the best, most respected conservative leaders in our nation at my conference,” King said in a statement.

Attendees include:

• Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum
• U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann
• Herman Cain
• Ambassador John R. Bolton
• Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds
• Matt Strawn, Republican Party of Iowa chairman
• State Sen. Russell Pearce of Arizona
• Betsy McCaughey (Defend Your Healthcare)
• Kayne Robinson (National Rifle Association)
• Jan Mickelson (WHO-AM)
• Dana Loesch (CNN contributor)
• Tea Party Patriots
• FairTax.org
• NumbersUSA
• National Organization for Marriage
• Strong America Now
• National Right to Work

Additional participants are expected and will be announced in the days to come.

NOM Teams up with Steve King and Republican Presidential Candidates for Iowa Conference

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who previously argued that marriage equality will lead to the downfall of civilization, is bringing together right-wing groups and leading Republicans for his Conservative Principles Conference on March 26th in the premier caucus state. Potential presidential candidates, including Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and John Bolton, will be joining the virulently anti-gay National Organization for Marriage for the conference. King says that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who believes schools should ban gay teachers, will keynote the event. Other participants include the National Rifle Association's Kayne Robinson, anti-labor National Right to Work Committee, anti-immigrant Numbers USA, Arizona SB-1070 architect Russell Pearce, Tea Party Patriots, and Betsy McCaughey, who concocted the “death panels” smear against the health care reform law.

Jason Hancock of The Iowa Independent reports:

The Conservative Principles Conference will be held March 26 at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott. The main topic with be “American exceptionalism.”

“Iowans will be granted access to some of the best, most respected conservative leaders in our nation at my conference,” King said in a statement.

Attendees include:

• Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum
• U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann
• Herman Cain
• Ambassador John R. Bolton
• Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds
• Matt Strawn, Republican Party of Iowa chairman
• State Sen. Russell Pearce of Arizona
• Betsy McCaughey (Defend Your Healthcare)
• Kayne Robinson (National Rifle Association)
• Jan Mickelson (WHO-AM)
• Dana Loesch (CNN contributor)
• Tea Party Patriots
• FairTax.org
• NumbersUSA
• National Organization for Marriage
• Strong America Now
• National Right to Work

Additional participants are expected and will be announced in the days to come.
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National Organization for Marriage Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 07/26/2013, 11:10am
In an interview with Steve Deace yesterday, Frank Schubert, the top campaign strategist for anti-gay groups including the National Organization for Marriage, accused the Supreme Court of “shredding of the Constitution” with its “horrendous” court decision on Prop 8. Schubert was upset that the ruling cleared the way for attorneys general not to defend certain laws. However, administrations from those of Harry Truman to George W. Bush (including Ronald Reagan) have refused to defend laws they believe are unconstitutional. “It’s going to come back I think and... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 07/10/2013, 2:05pm
Jennifer Thieme of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute is worried that marriage equality laws will mean that no one can be a bride or a groom ever again. According to Thieme, in states that recognize same-sex marriages, “no woman gets to be a bride and no man gets to be a groom,” which may come as a surprise to all of the couples who have been married there since marriage equality was approved. And of course, big government will step in to pick up the pieces. “The state will not likely give up the increased power it gets over individuals, children,... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 5:25pm
Benjy Sarlin @ MSNBC: How the GOP stopped worrying about Latinos and learned to love the base.  Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: The 10 Most Absurd Things Texas Republicans Said About Abortion This Year. Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: North Carolina Prepares To Suppress Black Voters, Now That The Voting Rights Act Lost Its Teeth. Brian Fung @ National Journal: No, There (Probably) Isn’t a Facebook Conspiracy to Censor Conservatives.  Jeremy Hooper @ NOM Exposed: NOM’s Comm Director doesn’t want dialogue, hangs up on interviewer. Luke... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 07/02/2013, 5:20pm
New Jersey Democrats are working to overturn Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a marriage equality bill.  NOM is going on offense in Indiana.  Alan Keyes claims that the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling was “borderline insane.”  Michael Brown fears conservatives are too busy “wasting hours a day playing silly games” while America is “spinning out of control in a deadly spiral, plunging rapidly into moral and spiritual anarchy.”  Les Kinsolving seems to be under the impression that the Supreme Court... MORE >
Tory Roberts, Thursday 06/27/2013, 5:19pm
Jennifer Roback Morse of the National Organization for Marriage knows who to blame for yesterday’s marriage equality victories in the Supreme Court: Hollywood. Roback Morse, the campaign spokesperson for Proposition 8 in California, discussed the marriage equality decisions on today’s Sandy Rios in the Morning. She blamed Hollywood for the Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA, saying that Hollywood is “dominated by all aspects of the sexual revolution.” Morse also blamed television for American’s “distorted view” of how many gay... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 05/08/2013, 12:45pm
National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown is convinced that marriage equality advocates, who just helped pass laws legalizing same-sex marriage in Delaware and Rhode Island, will go down in defeat since they are opposed to “the will of the majority of Americans” and solely rely on the support of “our cultural elite.” Speaking with Janet Mefferd yesterday, Brown argued that Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), who both support marriage equality, will lose their re-election races in 2016 over the marriage issue…if they even opt to run... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 04/01/2013, 5:35pm
John Avlon @ The Daily Beast: Palin’s SarahPAC Embarrassment: Consultants Are Cashing In. Jeremy Hooper: Head of org that's vowed to 'drive a wedge between gays and blacks' says it's a 'slur' to compare gay, black fights. Joe.My.God: NOM's Message To Google. Tom Kludt @ TPM: Georgia GOP Chair Warns That Straight People Will Enter Sham Gay Marriages For Benefits. Remington Shepard: Obama Doesn't Have A "Pastor Problem." Joshua Pugh @ Progress Michigan: Dave Agema, Unscripted. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Arizona... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/27/2013, 4:25pm
Yesterday in an interview with Religious Right broadcaster Janet Mefferd, National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown said that his group’s march against gay rights near the Supreme Court reminded him of the Civil Rights Movement. “I was not alive during the Civil Rights Movement but this is what it must have felt like,” Brown said. This isn’t the first time Brown has compared anti-gay activists to the Civil Rights Movement, however, that hasn’t stopped him from criticizing President Obama for linking the movement for gay rights to the struggle for... MORE >