In Defense of the National Organization For Marriage

Brian Raum

4/22/2012 12:01:00 AM - 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.

So why are HRC, The New York Times, and others attempting demonize NOM simply because they have sought to marshal the black and Hispanic communities to speak out for marriage—and much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party, which is in the precarious position of opposing and potentially alienating a segment of largely Democratic supporters who support marriage? Why wouldn’t NOM seek to organize, support, and encourage those groups to uphold the integrity of marriage? There is nothing sinister or underhanded about that. The question we should be asking is why the Democratic Party feels that it can ignore this significant segment of its constituency with impunity.

The reason why NOM’s opponents are so enraged is because NOM is effective. So rather than address the substantive merits of the marriage debate, they engage in unsubstantiated character assignation—no differently than what they have done and continue to do to any individual or organization that supports marriage. That’s why HRC released what they had to know were confidential IRS records, which likely came directly and illegally from an IRS official. Those documents reflect the names of confidential donors who, understandably, might want to remain anonymous lest they suffer the same hate-filled personal and professional attacks that NOM and their allies endure daily for standing up for what they believe is right. So much for tolerance.