Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, needs to brush up on United States history. In a statement released early this evening:

We are extremely disappointed, though not surprised, with today’s ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating the definition of marriage in Virginia. It is a terrible abuse of power for a court to abandon the definition of marriage which has existed throughout the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was adopted by the people and reflects in law the reality of what marriage is, the union of one man and one woman.

Actually the definition of marriage in Virginia has changed over time. Originally, marriage was limited to two white people. The marriages of slaves were not recognized and spouses were frequently sold separately. Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, prohibited marriage between people classified as “white” and people classified as “colored.” It took 43 years for the United States Supreme Court to overturn the act as a result of Loving v. Virginia. Yes, that Virginia.

NOM is a proxy for the Catholic Church. Brown’s notion of the reality of marriage simply reflects the teachings of the Church. Brown seems confused and unable to separate religion from civil marriage. Brown concludes:

We call on the state to appeal this decision to the US Supreme Court and to vigorously fight for the truth of marriage and the right of the people and the elected representatives of the state to define marriage in law consistent with what it is in reality — the union of one man and one woman.

NOM’s respect for legislative rights is selective. For example, when elected representatives in Maine, Maryland and Washington voted for marriage equality NOM and the Church were heavily invested in overturning those decisions. They were successful in Maine for a brief period of time until the electorate reversed themselves. When Vermont’s legislature legalized same-sex marriage they attempted to persuade the next session, with a Republican majority, to overturn the law. When they failed to do so, NOM attempted to recruit and fund the campaigns of a batch of state legislators who would do their bidding.

Moreover, NOM has attempted to thwart legislative equality by threatening to fund the opponents of legislators who vote to approve same-sex marriage. In other words NOM wanted legislators to vote to preserve their job in contrast to a vote representing their constituents or democratic principles.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.