2014 may be the year of decision for marriage

Brian Brown President, National Organization for Marriage
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There’s a reason why gay ‘marriage’ advocates have focused much of their attention on forcing a redefinition of marriage through the courts. They realize that when the American people get involved, they consistently demonstrate their support for true marriage including voting for constitutional amendments to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman in over 30 states.

We got a powerful demonstration of where the American people stand over the past ten days as they turned out in overwhelming support of Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty empire. Robertson, a devout Christian, colorfully expressed the view that men and women were made for each other and that, according to the Bible, homosexual unions are sinful. In essence, he expressed a traditional Christian viewpoint on human sexuality. For that matter, it’s a viewpoint shared by virtually every major religion.

But expressing a Christian viewpoint on human sexuality is not acceptable to the left. Immediately, two gay rights groups demanded that Robertson be fired by the A&E television network, calling his views “vile.” Within hours, A&E succumbed and suspended Robertson from his own show.

A&E’s reaction was no doubt welcomed by the left, but it was also likely expected. For some time now, gay advocacy groups have been able to utilize harassment and threats of boycotts to bully individuals, businesses, and church groups who simply don’t want to endure a public battle over personal beliefs.

But the Robertson family would not be bullied. They stood strong and announced that they could not imagine the show continuing without Phil at the helm. And the American people rose to support them.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) launched a petition drive urging A&E to reinstate Phil Robertson, as did numerous other individuals and groups. All told, millions of people publicly lent their names to actions demanding Robertson be reinstated. Tellingly, Facebook users who “liked” pro-Phil pages outnumbered by many times those who “liked” A&E.

During the lull of the Christmas holiday, A&E realized the magnitude of their error and reinstated Phil Robertson amid a few paragraphs of self-serving rhetoric about tolerance.

This is not the first time the country has reacted to homosexual activists’ bullying with a show of support for true marriage. In 2012, hundreds of thousands of Americans flooded Chick-fil-A restaurants to support the CEO for expressing that he supported marriage as the Bible defined it. The demand for a boycott by gay advocates fell completely flat.

These same advocates hope that federal judges will be less responsive to public sentiments and have increasingly sought to manipulate the law through the courts. In recent weeks federal judges have redefined marriage in Utah and undermined it in Ohio. Lawsuits to redefine marriage are pending before federal judges in countless other jurisdictions.

This comes on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s terrible ruling earlier this year to invalidate a key section of a federal law that defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman. Though the opinion in Windsor v. United States  upheld the right of states to define marriage themselves, activist judges are nonetheless using language in that decision to justify redefining marriage.

Now the issue may be heading back to the Supreme Court. State officials in Utah have announced that they will appeal the decision of the Obama-appointed judge who ruled to invalidate Utah’s marriage amendment enacted overwhelmingly by state voters. If SCOTUS accepts the appeal, we may have a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of marriage sometime in 2014.

Regardless of what the Court does, the survival of marriage as the nation has always known it may well depend on whether the American people can again be roused to take action. They’d need to do more than sign a petition — they’d need to demand that their political leaders amend the US constitution to preserve marriage.

There are two paths to enacting constitutional protections for marriage. One is for Congress to put a proposed amendment before states for ratification. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) and 60 others members of the House have a proposal to do just that. The other path is for states to take matters into their own hands and call a constitutional convention to preserve marriage.

The rising level of judicial activism on marriage (which includes an earlier ruling out of Utah legalizing polygamy) may be the push many states need to pursue the constitutional convention route. The American people know how important marriage is to the country, and to families. We’re fed up with the elite telling us marriage must be abandoned in the name of “equality.” America needs men and women to come together, produce children, and raise those children with the love and support of both a mother and a father. That’s what marriage does, and that is profoundly good for the country.

2014 may, indeed, be the year of decision on marriage.

Brian S. Brown is president of the National Organization for Marriage.