Anti-Marriage Equality Leader Says America Cannot Remain “Half Slave and Half Free”

NOM President Brian Brown at a 2010 rally in Wisconsin.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilymills/4838821558/" target="_blank">Flickr/Lost Albatross</a>


Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which since 2007 has successfully fought to ban same-sex marriage in several states and fought to punish legislators and judges who have supported it, offered interesting analogy on the eve of Supreme Court arguments over the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. Friday, appearing on the show of conservative radio host Steve Deace, Brown argued for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, saying “We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free.”

Here’s the transcript from Miranda Blue at Right Wing Watch (emphasis mine):

I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way—that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, a Roe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution. We shouldn’t have to do this, we shouldn’t have to worry about activist judges, you know, making up out of thin air a constitutional right that obviously none of our founders found there and no one found there until quite recently. But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution. And if the Court forces a solution, the way we’ll amend that is through the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Brown is referencing Abraham Lincoln’s famous “House Divided” speech, which was about the inevitability of conflict within the Union over the issue of slavery. In Brown’s analogy, presumably, the states where relationships between same-sex couples are legally recognized are the “slave states.”  

The issue of same-sex marriage will most likely be resolved with less bloodshed than the abolition of required. But judging by the evolution in public opinion on the issue, the marriage equality “solution” won’t be the one Brown is hoping for.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate