Brian Raum

The unfounded attacks and insults lodged against the National Organization for Marriage have increased recently by an ever ravenous opposition. The Humans Rights Campaign has shamelessly published NOMs confidential IRS records, and last month a federal judge unsealed some of NOM’s constitutionally protected internal reports.

Not surprisingly, those who seek to redefine marriage immediately seized upon the opportunity to attack NOM based on these documents with salacious accusations and vilifications.

NOM’s political adversaries have violently reacted to its efforts to leverage an inconvenient truth: African-Americans and Hispanics, as a community, generally reject same-sex “marriage.” They don’t see the redefinition of marriage as a civil rights issue. And it was this disdain for that comparison which compelled large numbers of minority voters in 2008 to vote for Proposition 8 in California while at the same time voting for Barack Obama.

Perhaps that’s why the president has maintained the curious inconsistency of publicly stating that he supports marriage as the union of a man and a woman while refusing to defend the federal law which defines marriage as such. Perhaps that’s also why Attorney General Eric Holder, when attempting to justify why the Obama administration would no longer comply with its constitutional duty to defend marriage in court, avoided making any comparison between the time-tested opposite-sex definition of marriage reflected in our legal history and tradition and the historically recent and short lived laws that prohibited interracial marriage. Coincidence? I think not.

But other advocates for redefining marriage persistently play the “race card” by claiming that the universal definition of marriage as the exclusive union of man and wife is somehow comparable to laws which sprang up in the United States as the result of white supremacist activism. But laws that prohibited whites from marrying blacks were unknown under common law and were only in effect for a relatively short time in some states.

One’s race is critically different from one’s sex when it comes to marriage. Our marital heritage reflects an intentional complementary design to bring men and women together for the sake of children and society as a whole. But laws prohibiting whites from marrying blacks were intentionally designed to keep men and women apart to the detriment of children and society. Moreover, such laws were clearly in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was enacted specifically to address racial inequality under the law in the wake of the Civil War.


Brian Raum

Brian Raum serves as senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund.