The Religious Right Tries to Downplay Tuesday’s Giant Gay Victory

With four victories at the ballot box, LGBT Americans had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday night. The religious right, however, seems to be acting like those gay marriage victories never happened.

Never before had marriage equality won at the ballot in this way and with three states, Maine, Washington and Maryland, affirm marriage rights for gay couples and Minnesota reject codifying a gay marriage ban, it was a blockbuster evening that stands as a landmark in American politics. However, you wouldn’t know it from the way most anti-gay groups are acting.

Early on Tuesday night Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, was quoted as brushing off the victory in Maryland as nothing more than a liberal state choosing a liberal agenda. In a press release issued since all three states legalized marriage equality, Brown sounds somewhat more apprehensive while, curiously, still managing to boast:

Obviously we are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles by narrow margins. We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America.


Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states.

Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it. Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback. There is much work to do, and we begin that process now.

This strange lack of a reality seems to be rife in the state level too.

A group opposing marriage equality in Maine has already floated the idea of a campaign to return to the ballot and attempt to have Mainers re-institute a ban on same-sex marriage. Pastor Bob Emrich of The Christian Civic League of Maine said on the group’s website:

Our God has called us to faithfulness and we will do our best to join you in fulfilling that calling. … The result of Tuesday’s voting shows how the influence of the Church of Jesus needs to be strengthened.


We are exploring the possibility of returning to the ballot again to overturn this egregious new definition of marriage. That may mean another campaign, including a signature drive to get it back on another ballot.

Similarly Washington’s anti-gay marriage groups have reacted with a measure of disappointment but a determination that Tuesday — despite being a landmark night — didn’t really change anything.

Said Joseph Backholm, chairman of Preserve Marriage Washington, in a statement:

“We are disappointed in losing a tough election battle on marriage by a narrow margin. But while we are disappointed, we are not defeated,”

But he said the outcome, in a liberal Western state, did not “represent a sea change” in the view that “children need both a mother and a father.”

“We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right — the sacred institution of marriage,” he said.

On the other-hand, the Maryland Marriage Alliance seems to have decided it can’t argue with the election result or put much of a positive spin on it, so they’ve just decided to go about being as discriminatory as they were before the whole battle took place:

“We respect the results that have come from a democratic process,” Maryland Marriage Alliance Chairman Derek McCoy said in a Wednesday statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with Maryland residents all across the state to promote strong and healthy marriages that will ensure that all children have the best chance of being raised by a dad and a mom.”

Over at Minnesota for Marriage, Chairman John Helmberger is, however, doing a good impression of Romnesia as he pretends the ballot defeat against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage doesn’t mean anything:

Despite the disappointing outcome of this election, we rejoice tonight that marriage is still marriage. We know that God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman, regardless of the efforts of some to overthrow His design.


However, this election is not an end but a beginning.  The groups that have come together to protect the definition of marriage look forward to getting on with the work of restoring a vibrant culture of marriage in our state.

Perhaps the most overblown reaction, however, comes from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council who seems to believe only the Supreme Court of the United States can restore hope by voting down gay marriage. But what if that didn’t happen? On Perkins’ radio show he even went so far to say that if the SCOTUS were to rule in favor of marriage equality there would be a “revolution” that would rip the country apart:

The Supreme Court is shortly expected to take up a number of DOMA related suits and, also, the Proposition 8 case. That three states have now affirmed marriage equality by popular vote would seem advantageous to this battle. It may even be that by the year’s close marriage equality could be on its way to returning to California, too.

One can only imagine how much denialism will be needed should that happen.


Related Reading:

Marriage Equality Wins Big at the Ballot!

Push to Legalize Gay Marriage in Ohio Begins

Amazon Founder Gives $2.5 Million to Gay Marriage Effort

5 Lies Maryland’s New Anti-Gay Marriage Ad Uses


Image credit: Thinkstock.


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

steps in the right direction! eventually equality will be the norm

AmberAmber Martingale
Angela Roquemore5 years ago

These are the same people that forget that God ALSO says marriage is between:

1. A RAPIST and his female victim
2. A widow and her husband's brothers, including a five year old boy should the five year old be the only male left inhis lineage
3. A SOLDIER and his female PRISONER(S) OF WAR
amd 4. A man and many women like Abraham's taking his wife's Egypytian servantwoman Hagar as a secondary wife, rather than an concubine or Abraham's GRANDSON Jacob (Israel) taking BOTH Rachaeal and her sister Leah as wives.

I apologize if I spelled the name of Leah's sister wrong. I don't have my Bible handy to remember the proper spelling.

Alan G.
Alan G5 years ago

Please don't think that this represents the view of all "Christians". Many Churches bless same-sex unions/marriages.

The religious right don't get to decide what all Christians for all time believe.

Many theologians and ordained ministers from many denominations disagree with them.

Many national Protestant churches in Europe, many diocese of Episcopal/Anglican church, the United Church of Canada (the largest protestant denomination in Canada), the United Church of Christ (USA), Many major Lutheran and Reform denominations and bodies (Canada, USA, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Austria) bless same sex marriage.

Among affirming denominations there are Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Reform, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Mennonite, Quaker, Old Catholic.

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

Joan S.
Joan S5 years ago

Funny how I bristle when I hear two people of the same sex getting married is unnatural. To him maybe, to my mother maybe but to me it's more than natural for me because of my feelings toward women. One persons "normal" can be another's "alien being". Don't like the idea of Same Sex marriage then don't marry someone of the same sex. Separation of church and state. Freedom of relilgion, just not Christianity.

rene davis
irene davis5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Elaine Bainbridge
Elaine B5 years ago

These are legal ceremonies, not conducted in a House of Worship, so why do they feel the can dictate about it being wrong and against Gods word.

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence5 years ago

The Religious Right doesn't even use the word *gay* ...

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Mike, that is an interesting question about divorce being as sacrd as marriage. I think it is, in that people should have the right to leave a marriage later if they feel the need to. Divorce is important because no one should be forced to stay with someone they can't stand, regardless of their reasons. I know of people who celebrate divorce with thie friends. I wonder if people should even bother getting married these days, no one seems to want to stay married. But, to each their own.

Karen Howard
Karen H5 years ago

Dagmar B, you are so right! Thank you for your comments.
I’m wondering if these are the same people who were (and some still are) against inter-racial marriage because they say their Bible forbids it. Two verses they cite are: Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:9. Then again, the God of the Bible advocates genocide and rape (Deuteronomy 7:2-3, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, and Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Do they follow those laws, too, or just cherry pick which laws they'll follow and which they'll ignore?
Besides, we're talking LEGAL marriage, not a religious ceremony.

Gloria picchetti
Gloria p5 years ago

It's gay, African American, Latino, female, immigrant, just plain human being, environmental, wildlife, & economic victory.