WASHINGTON (RNS) Rhode Island on Thursday (May 2) became the 10th state to approve same-sex marriage, and the Delaware Legislature holds a key vote on May 9 on the same issue. But Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, denies there is a national tide in support of marriage rights for gay couples.

LGBT map of Rhode Island photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain (http://bit.ly/15eWebk)

LGBT map of Rhode Island photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain (http://bit.ly/15eWebk)

This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

“I don’t know that I would say Rhode Island is a trend,” Brown said, also questioning victories for supporters of gay marriage initiatives in Maine, Maryland and Washington state last November.

“Again, we’re talking about states that are not necessarily indicative of the rest of the country. These are pretty deep-blue, liberal states we’re talking about.”

Even so, Brown, the head of the leading national organization opposing same-sex marriage, finds himself playing defense as more Americans support same-sex marriage and more state legislatures debate measures authorizing it.

In an interview, Brown blasted “cultural elites” for demonizing supporters of traditional marriage and warned Republican officeholders of the perils of supporting same-sex marriage proposals.

Meanwhile, in Providence late Thursday afternoon, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 56-15 to give final approval to a bill legalizing gay marriage. Legislators then broke out in a spontaneous singing of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill in a ceremony on the steps of the state capitol.

All six New England states now allow same-sex marriage.

“A historic realignment is happening all around us,” said Chafee, a former Republican senator who said he became an independent in part because of the GOP’s stance on social issues. In an interview on MSNBC, the governor predicted the measure would carry economic and other benefits.

“I want Rhode Island to be one of those hip, happening places, and tolerance is part of it,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Delaware Senate is slated to vote on a bill authorizing same-sex marriage that passed the House last week. “In Delaware, it’s going to be a tough fight,” Brown acknowledged, calling it another solidly Democratic state.

But he was more optimistic about defeating gay marriage proposals elsewhere. In Illinois, he said supporters of a bill that passed the state Senate remain short of passage in the House, in part because of opposition from African-American Democratic legislators.

In Minnesota, he said opponents had “a very good chance of winning” against a bill that has cleared House and Senate committees. In New Jersey, he predicted Democratic efforts to overturn Gov. Chris Christie’s veto of a bill authorizing same-sex marriage weren’t “going to go anywhere.”

In Oregon, he predicted advocates of same-sex marriage would succeed in getting a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot that would reverse a ban on gay marriage voters passed a decade earlier. “I think we can win that vote even though Oregon, again, is viewed as a very liberal state,” Brown said.

He blamed Hollywood, academia and the mainstream media for advocating gay marriage and demonizing its opponents.

“The reality is that a lot of our cultural elite, in the media and academia, in Hollywood, have embraced a totally new conception of marriage, and they’re using their positions to try to make this new conception the norm and try to make people believe it’s inevitable,” he said.

“And the goal of this whole inevitability argument is to sap the will of the majority of Americans to even fight on the issue, and that is not going to happen.”

A Pew Research Center poll in March found 70 percent of the millennial generation, those born after 1980, support same-sex marriage. Does that make its expansion inevitable over time?

“Well, of course it’s a challenge,” Brown said. “But this idea that somehow young people’s ideas are fixed and as they grow older they won’t change their ideas is not true. We believed all sorts of things when we were younger that we no longer believe.”

Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign, has said that support for gay marriage was increasing as more Americans became aware of gay men and lesbians they knew personally. Brown disputed that as an argument.

“This is not about the civil rights of the folks that live down the hall,” Brown said. “This is about redefining a public truth, a public good.”

He warned Republican officeholders that supporting same-sex marriage “is a career-ending move.” Of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who recently announced he was switching positions in support, Brown said: “He’s guaranteed a primary.”

(Susan Page writes for USA Today.)



  1. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    It is amazing how the mainstream media has become the propaganda arm of the Gay “marriage” movement. When “red” states were widely and strongly standing up for traditional marriage and rolling up victories across the country it got comparatively little coverage and that frequently with undisguised sneers. But any “blue” state Gay victory gets all sorts of publicity with all sorts of approving quotes and comments.

    • Deacon John,

      will you please provide some support for your statement. It seems my memory is the opposite of yours, that when states passed laws against marriage equality, the mainstream press wrote about it extensively and quite thoughtfully. I would appreciate it if you could show me where this was not so.


    If gay marriage is ok, why not make polygamy, incest, or pedophilia, OK?

    And all of aforementioned in the name of ‘LOVE’ will justify them all? Do the “ends” justify the “means” at any cost? Are gays really being honest with themselves and others in “coming out of the closet”? Why the need for gay “pride” in the first place decades ago? Perhaps someone can explain why they want to shame others for their hate or homophobia when they themselves needed to advertise and promote their own “pride” well before anyone knew about gay pride?

    Doesn’t the medical community recommend that you, “Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.”?

    Yet, now there are some in the medical community that now say it’s OK to “Sleep with the waste that gets flushed down in the toilet?” and that it’s possible to live a perfectly normal life.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -
    “love thy neighbor as thyself” but don’t forget that the “Lord disciplines the one he loves”
    - Hebrews 12:6
    “I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think its hell.”
    - Harry S. Truman
    Can’t stand the “Proud-to-call-New-Orleans-Home” bumper sticker types?
    Too afraid to follow me on Twitter?
    You can still bookmark me on Twitter at
    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    p.s. If you can understand what the above “Wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.” point/question is talking about, then you may understand that it brings a kind of new bio-hazard and medical safety meaning to the gay and lesbian “Born This Way” slogan, doesn’t it?

    • I, too, wonder about polygamy, incest and pedophilia. I find all 3 in the Bible. Abraham,Lamech,Jacob, Moses,Gideon, Elkanah, and Kings David and Solomon all had plural wives, some younger than 12. I have also read that God created Adam and Eve who had a surviving son, who must have “multiplied” with his mother or, if he had a sister, then with her. Guess your “wondering” is a bit tardy!

      • You ask why? OK, read below.

        If gay marriage is ok, why not make polygamy, incest, or pedophilia, OK?
        And all of aforementioned in the name of ‘LOVE’ will justify them all? Do the “ends” justify the “means” at any cost?

        Make sense why they compare?

  3. “his is not about the civil rights of the folks that live down the hall,” Brown said.

    Actually it is…and since you can’t understand that…. you’re losing

    RI is the most Catholic state in the country…

    • I agree Helen. Sometimes it’s hard for people to see past their message and view the forest for the trees. People with gay family members and friends just are not going to buy the arguments against their rights in the long run.

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