Brian S. Brown was all for marriage politics when he thought that it was beneficial to the Church. Now he is accusing us of doing what he did, complaining that marriage should not be politicized.

Brian S. Brown

On behalf of National Organization for Marriage, Brian S. Brown has sent out a “gimme” email titled: why they attack marriage. Oh, do tell.

One of the things that has occurred over the past several years is an effort by the left to turn virtually every subject into a political matter. This trend has been building for a while, and to a significant extent can be traced back to the effort by radicals to redefine marriage. You see, once marriage is seen as a political institution as opposed to a universal or spiritual institution, then secular rules can be applied and the institution changed. That is exactly what LGBT radicals did.

Mr. Brown has a short — or corrupted — memory. The politics started with California Proposition 8. The Catholic Church along with the Mormon Church funded NOM to change California’s constitution because they could not accept a California court decision legalizing marriage equality.

From that point on, Brian S. Brown was wed to the notion that, if they could get marriage before the voters, they would overwhelmingly man same-sex marriage. In Maine, for example, legislation passed to recognize same-sex marriage. The Catholic Archdiocese of Portland and NOM immediately organized a “People’s Veto” which was on the 2009 ballot. Marriage discrimination prevailed until 2012 when voters overturned the veto.

Numerous measures that would define marriage as one-man-and-one-woman© were on the ballot in a number of states. Supporters of marriage equality were not responsible for putting any of those measures before voters.

Getting back to Brown’s text, marriage equality was never a “radical” endeavor. Those who were initially most interested in the right to marry were couples in long relationships and gay couples raising children. Why is Brown repeating the losing argument about (“redefin[ing] marriage”)?

By 2012 that argument ceased to work and marriage equality prevailed at the polls in four contests; Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington. Up until that time, opponents of equality had won 32 straight but the handwriting was on the wall. Marriage equality became inevitable

A few months prior to the election, Brian S. Brown predicted that he would win all four measures. That brings me back to exactly who policized marriage?

[May 8, 2012] “We are at the beginning of a national campaign in support of defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” said Brown. “Marriage will be a major issue in swing states across the country, and will be directly on the ballot in four more states this fall. The victory in North Carolina is a wonderful beginning to what we believe will be a clean sweep of states this year. We look forward to this national campaign to send an unmistakable message that the American people believe in preserving our historic understanding of marriage.”

In other words, Brian S. Brown was all for marriage politics when he thought that it was beneficial. Now he is accusing us of doing what he did, complaining that marriage should not be politicized.

In January, 2012, Brown posted: Washington Survey Shows Strong Opposition to Same Sex Marriage; Voters Want the Right to Decide Marriage Issue. For the record, a week or so later I posted: NOM’s Brian Brown is a Desperate Little Bigot predicting that marriage equality was a foregone conclusion. It seemed obvious, at least to me, that the environment had changed.

I have no idea who Brown is referring to (there is no link). Nor can I assess the methodology. Either way, Brown is making a moronic argument. The maps are demonstrably wrong:

Twitter user Noah Benjamin recently posted these two maps of the country showing how married voters and unmarried voters vote.

You can see that in almost the entirety of the country, married people vote Republican, while in most states single people vote Democrat. Benjamin did not disclose the source of his data, but there is a great deal of research out there on the so-called “marriage gap” in voting behavior. In fact, the GOP consulting firm Target Point has measured the gap at 30 percentage points, three times larger than the much-discussed “gender gap.”

Later in the same theme:

This data provides insight into “why breaking down marriage and family is a top priority for leftists,” as Benjamin posted on Twitter. It also shows why it is imperative that NOM continue to fight for marriage. Even though it is a tough battle to restore marriage in the law, if we do not wage this battle the breakdown of marriage will continue and the country will move ever further to the left, to the detriment of the nation, our families and our children and grandchildren.

The marriage gap does exist. However, it is based upon The National Annenberg Election Survey which sampled data from presidential elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008. The most recent data is 12 years old. Furthermore, Benjamin’s graphics are incorrect. While it is true that unmarried people tend to vote Democratic, married people are evenly split. Mr. Brown and Mr. Benjamin might know that if they employed some intellectual curiosity

More importantly, Brown’s argument makes absolutely no sense. Were same-sex marriage banned that has little effect on the married—unmarried demographic. Brown and Benjamin are both claiming that we want to destroy marriage for a political advantage that does not exist.

For Brown’s argument to be true one would have to accept the premise that the existence of same-sex marriage results in fewer marriages overall. I always said — and I believe correctly — that with or without marriage equality the same heterosexual couples would unite in the same marriages, crank out the same kids and sue for the same divorces.

According to Occam’s Razor when there are competing hypotheses to explain something, the simpler hypothesis is usually correct. We can safely add common sense to the equation. Which of the following is simpler and makes more sense?

  1. Gay couples sought the right to marry to enjoy the legal benefits of marriage and to make their children more secure or;
  2. gay couples sought the right to marry because that would result in fewer married people which benefits Democratic politics.

Throughout the battle for marriage equality, those in opposition claimed that we wanted to marry in order to destroy the institution of marriage. Some awful arguments never die.

One more paragraph from the verbose email:

The 2020 election is absolutely critical for marriage and family issues. Not only will a loss of the White House bring about massive upheaval in all the things we care about, but control of the US Senate is also up for grabs. We absolutely must retain GOP control of the Senate if we are to have any chance of advancing our issues and stopping the assault from radical groups on the left, especially extremist LGBT groups that hold so much sway with Democrats like Nancy Pelosi.

This is all so thoroughly futile:

  1. Marriage equality has overwhelming and broad public support.
  2. Marriage equality is the law of the land and unlikely to change.
  3. Throughout more than 12 years, opponents have never been able to articulate any consequences of same-sex marriage.
  4. National Organization for Marriage is in no position to change public policy.
  5. NOM has a dismal track record.

That is not to say that we should not be wary of religious conservatives and their efforts to destroy marriage equality. Theirs is an existential threat that should never be ignored.

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