Tony Perkins is President of Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Christian Post on April 11, 2014.
For former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich, supporting marriage must feel like an awfully lonely position. But according to a new Rasmussen Poll, it's anything but. In what should be an eye-opening survey that the media will go out of its way to ignore, the survey house announced a flat-out tie between Americans who back same-sex "marriage" and those who don't. Holding almost completely steady from its 2013 numbers, 43 percent of people, when asked "do you favor or oppose gay marriage," said they supported, compared to another 43 percent who opposed. The debate, which the media pronounced dead and buried, has never been more alive!
Meanwhile, sportscasters are being fired from their jobs and brilliant CEOs are chased out of their offices because of their so-called "extreme" views on marriage. Turns out, the only extremists are the ones prematurely ending the conversation! Despite everything the Obama administration, the courts, and the liberal media have thrown at Americans on marriage, the country is a long way from walking away from natural marriage.
And here's the irony: the Left's campaign of intimidation and totalitarianism isn't exactly persuading the other half to join them. If anything, the public shaming of people like Craig James, Brendan Eich, Dr. Angela McCaskill, and others may be having the opposite effect. Even reliable liberals are outraged and disgusted by the "gay McCarthyism" sweeping the nation. Obviously, the media is desperately trying to make conservatives feel that same-sex "marriage" is inevitable, and that everyone but you thinks it's okay. Trust me, you're far from alone in your support for natural marriage.
Unfortunately for those of us brave enough to stand our ground on the issue, that doesn't mean the battle gets any easier. Under the Obama administration, organizations have been on the receiving end of some brutal and outrageous treatment. The IRS, which has become the president's favorite weapon to punish his opposition, has been relentless in its targeting of tea party and conservative groups. Lois Lerner, the former Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, appears to have been a key player in the punishment of natural marriage supporters - even going so far as to deny conservative groups the nonprofit status they qualify for. In one of the worst case scenarios, the IRS even leaked the confidential donor information of the National Organization for Marriage to its chief adversary, the Human Rights Campaign, in an effort to suppress and frighten supporters. (And while the IRS seems perfectly comfortable disclosing that information, it refuses to share the name of the agent(s) responsible - helping shield the guilty parties of the criminal charges owed them.) Additionally, newly released documents reveal that the ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee may have been involved in the targeting of a conservative voting integrity group.
Fortunately, conservative members of the House's Oversight Committee haven't forgotten and have now voted along party lines to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. Having passed through Committee, it could be brought to the House floor - where, not too long ago, representatives also censured Attorney General Eric Holder. Until then, pundits - who are still buzzing over the Mozilla CEO ouster - think this climate of intimidation will make for some interesting conversations over campaign finance laws. After all, Eich was essentially sacrificed for his donation to California's Proposition 8, a scenario that could play out countless more times under the Supreme Court's latest ruling on campaign finance reform.
In it, Chief Justice Roberts and the other justices paved the way for even greater transparency in political gifts - which, based on the last two weeks, could be particularly problematic for certain donors. "Disclosure requirements may burden speech," Chief Justice Roberts wrote, "but they often represent a less restrictive alternative to flat bans on certain types or quantities of speech. Particularly with modern technology, disclosure offers more robust protections against corruption..."
But, as Napp Nazworth of The Christian Post points out, those "disclosure requirements" are exactly what led to Brendan Eich's firing. Disclosure laws as open as California's have been used as a bludgeon to bully and smear marriage supporters. "[Eich's] case is an example of why some of us who used to be for full disclosure [in campaign finance] no longer are," George Will said on Fox. "The people advocating full disclosure of campaign contributions say, 'We just want voters to be able to make an informed choice.' That's not what they're doing at all. They really want to enable themselves to mount punitive campaigns and to terror[ize] people and to chill free speech."