Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In response to dozens of reports of violence, vandalism, slurs, and outright death threats leveled against people who support traditional marriage, the National Organization for Marriage has formed a new Alliance intent on making sure the civil rights of every American are protected.
The Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance (MADA) is a new initiative which has been launched in order to provide a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage. The aim is to expose the bullying tactics of gay rights extremists who threaten innocent Americans who support traditional marriage and to report on the harm done by these actions.
Another aim is to develop legislative and community proposals that will protect the rights of Americans to organize, vote, speak, donate and write in support of traditional marriage without fear of threats and intimidation from activists.
“The Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is dedicated to one, simple, and profound idea: No American should be afraid to exercise core civil rights: to speak, to donate, to organize, to sign petitions, or to vote for marriage as the union of husband and wife,” the MADA website states.
“We recognize that marriage is an important issue, about which people of good will can and do disagree. We believe America should be a place where passionate moral disagreements about important issues such as marriage are expressed with respect, thoughtfulness and civility—and without fear or threats of retaliation, on both sides.”
The MADA comes at a critical time in U.S. history when reports of violence against Americans by gay rights extremists has reached epic proportions.
This report by the Heritage Foundation documents the shocking violence associated with California’s battle over Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that resulted in changing the state’s constitution recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“Publicly available sources, including evidence submitted in a federal lawsuit in California, show that expressions of support for Prop 8 have generated a range of hostilities and harms that includes harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry,” reports the Foundation.
Some of the more bizarre incidents included signs supporting Proposition 8 being twisted into a swastika and displayed at a Catholic church in Riverside, California. Another man who supported traditional marriage found himself the subject of a flyer distributed throughout the community that included a photo of him labeled as a “bigot”, giving out his name and the amount of money he donated to the campaign to support marriage. Churches and homes were vandalized, lives were threatened, and donors to Prop 8 had their personal privacy violated – all by extremists who refused to tolerate opinions that differed from their own.
The launching of MADA is coming on the heels of a controversial decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court which ruled that the Christian owners of a photography business violated the human rights of a lesbian couple when they refused to photograph the women’s commitment ceremony.
A poll taken by polling giant Rasmussen shortly after this decision found that a whopping 85 percent of Americans think the photographers had the right to refuse their services if it would violate their personal beliefs and values.
Even more surprising is that the same huge majorities exist among populations that traditionally support same-sex marriage, such as Democrats and atheists.
In the Rasmussen poll, 77 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of atheists agree that a photographer or florist or innkeeper should be allowed to refuse services to same-sex marriage or commitment ceremonies. Ninety-six percent of Republicans agree to the same freedoms.
Obviously, Americans do not approve of this kind of behavior, nor should they. Even many members of the homosexual community oppose it, although obviously not enough to put a stop to it.
The MADA is interested in hearing from anyone who has been targeted in some way because of their belief in traditional marriage.
“We want to hear your story, connect you with others who share your deepest beliefs, with legal and other practical help, and with other Americans of good will, who (regardless of their views on marriage) want to put a stop to the shaming and the fearmongering of our fellow citizens,” the site explains.
“Isolated and alone, we can be suppressed and intimidated. Together we are too many to be treated as second-class citizens.”
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