.- The National Organization for Marriage announced Sept. 23 that it is launching the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance, a new project to defend the freedom to express one’s belief that marriage should be the union of a man and woman without fear of harassment or punishment.
“My sense is that there are too many of us who believe that marriage is the union of husband and wife to stigmatize or marginalize if we come together,” said Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of National Organization for Marriage.
Gallagher told CNA Sept. 26 that the alliance was created in response to “increased reports, both public and private, of people whose livelihoods are being threatened because they disagree with gay marriage.”
“Gay marriage advocates are seeking to create an America in which decent, loving, law-abiding Americans are afraid to stand up for the idea that marriage is the union of husband and wife, for fear of reprisals ranging from insults and invectives like 'hater' and 'bigot,' to practical consequences like the loss of a job,” she said.
The alliance is not a legal project, Gallagher explained, but rather an attempt to increase awareness and support for those who have faced unjust harassment because of their views on marriage.
Gallagher said that the alliance aims “to get the word out about what is actually happening, because this is not being well-covered.”
The alliance is also designed “to create a community where other people to whom this is happening will feel safe in coming forward and will feel that somebody cares about what’s happening to them.”
As these two goals are achieved, participants will also be able to “develop strategies for insisting on social respect for both sides in the gay marriage debate,” she said.
The Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance website states that it is dedicated to the idea that “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 alliance recently released a video on Frank Turek, a leadership seminar speaker who lost his contract with Cisco and Bank of America after human relations employees discovered that he had written a book that argued marriage should not be redefined.
In response the alliance started a consumer complaint campaign directed towards Bank of America in the state of North Carolina, where the company’s headquarters is located.
“We reached out to a small number of customers of Bank of America in the Charlotte area, told them what happened to Frank Turek and asked them to call the company to let bankers know their customers do not appreciate this kind of disrespect,” said Gallagher. “In the last few days more than 1,400 people have called to complain.”
“Frank Turek's experience shows that an anti-defamation initiative is urgently needed, not for some point down the road, but right now in America,” Gallagher said.