Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Powerful Rhode Island marriage rally at State House public hearing!

Hundreds fill State House to make a statement against "gay marriage" bill.

1. Pro-marriage rally in Rhode Island State House by Hispanic and black pastors (with MassResistance) makes powerful statement.

2. At "gay marriage" public hearing in RI State House: Homosexual activists dominate testimony -- but pro-family voices heard clearly.

3. Hispanic churches set the bar high and get it done. Why not everyone else?

POSTED: January 22, 2012

1. Pro-marriage rally in Rhode Island State House by Hispanic and black pastors (with MassResistance) makes powerful statement.

Hundreds of people, mostly young and middle-aged members of Hispanic churches from across Rhode Island, filled the main area of the Rhode Island State House and spilled over into the hallways and staircases for a rousing pro-marriage rally on Tuesday afternoon, January 15. The rally, which began with a press conference, took place prior to the House Judiciary Committee public hearing on the proposed same-sex "marriage" bill before the Legislature.

As we reported last week, Rhode Island's liberal political establishment filed the bill earlier this month and has vowed to push it through and impose "gay marriage" as quickly as possible. The RI Governor even formed a coalition of high-profile liberal politicians, left-wing clergy, the state AFL-CIO, and others to help that effort.

In response to that, the Rhode Island Hispanic Ministers Association, along with several African-American pastors and a white pastor, organized a statewide multi-denominational coalition of over 100 religious organizations to oppose the bill. The group, Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God, quickly posted a website and began organizing statewide and lobbying legislators. Besides the rally and press conference, the Faith Alliance has made key media appearances and several of its leaders testified at the Jan. 15 public hearing.

Position Statement of Faith Alliance

Press release for event

List of Speakers

At the rally several Hispanic and African-American pastors spoke, as well as pro-marriage State Senator Harold Metts. Brian Camenker of MassResistance was also one of the invited speakers. Copies of our booklet "What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts" were given out before he spoke.

Rev. Luis Rodriguez, Chairman, Faith Alliance

Pastor Darrell A Lee, Founder,
Building Cities on God Ministries

Brian Camenker of MassResistance

It was a very exciting and inspiring event. The pastors who addressed the crowd were unequivocal and uncompromising on the issue of marriage. The main message of the rally was that marriage is defined by God and cannot -- and will not -- be changed by politicians. Large numbers of Hispanic young people turned out with signs. Booming chants of "marriage is holy" and other pro-marriage slogans were heard throughout, along with cheering, singing, and praying.

After the rally, the people stayed and filled the hallways outside of the third-floor public hearing room with more singing and praying. The rally started at about 4:00 pm. The public hearing began about 5:30 pm and continued late into the night.

Heading toward the hearing room after the rally.

Throughout the afternoon and evening the pro-family people outside of the small hearing room outnumbered the pro-homosexual people by at least 25 to 1. It was a great place to be! Many of the pro-family people also signed up to testify when they got near the hearing room, but by then most of them would have had to wait until at least 11 pm.

VIDEO of Rally (4 min):

2. At "gay marriage" public hearing in RI State House: Homosexual activists dominate testimony -- but pro-family voices heard clearly.

The great number of people who came to the Rhode Island State House for the House Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on the same-sex "marriage" bill were overwhelmingly pro-family. But unfortunately it was a different story inside the hearing room, which was fairly small.

Through shrewd organization and manipulation, the homosexual activists were able to dominate the public hearing itself. During the first several hours, their speakers seemed to outnumber pro-family speakers by at least three to one. In addition, they had lined up outside the room very early and got most of the seats inside. (Luckily, Brian Camenker of MassResistance also got a seat in the hearing room.)

Organized to take over. Just outside the hearing room, homosexual activists go over list of their upcoming speakers and phone the ones slated to testify soon.

The committee had set up a table in the hallway with lists for people to sign who wanted to testify. It appeared that the homosexual lobby had people came either very early or through an inside source, and signed for dozens of their friends. (A casual glance of those sheets appeared as if much of the handwriting was similar.) But also, the committee chairman, a well-known passionate liberal, made the final decision on each group of people testifying and did not follow the exact order of the lists.

As in similar "gay marriage" public hearings, the homosexual lobby brought in an army of "experts," teachers, psychologists, students, politicians, union officials, mothers with children, and of course pro-homosexual clergy. For someone sitting there, it was hours of a steady stream of their droning talking points: "equality," civil rights, discrimination, prejudice, bigotry, the miscegenation laws, how the Bible is wrong, the right to love, loving families, unfairly stigmatizing people, how modern psychology considers homosexuality perfectly healthy, how it's a healthy structure for kids, and on and on.

Inside the hearing room. Not very big; seats mostly taken by homosexual activists.

They even trotted out a former chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party who said that his Catholic faith is important to him, but he strongly supports same-sex "marriage" because it's the right thing to do.

Last year the Legislature failed to pass a same-sex "marriage" bill, and instead passed a bill providing for homosexual civil unions. So part of their mantra was that civil unions vs marriage constitutes "two tiers of rights" and only full "marriage equality" can rectify that.

The pro-family testifiers, though fewer in number, were generally very good. There were pastors, a lot of ordinary citizens, various subject matter experts, and others. There was excellent testimony on the serious health issues surrounding homosexuality, how homosexuality has nothing to do with civil rights, that only God and not the state can define marriage, and the general outrage of having homosexual "marriage" being legislated on the people without their vote.

Brian Camenker of MassResistance testified about the eight years since same-sex "marriage" began in Massachusetts, and the frightening and outrageous changes it has brought, citing several parts from the booklet, "What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts." This week, the booklet was hand-delivered by local activists to every member of the Rhode Island Legislature. A Spanish version has also been printed and distributed by the Hispanic Ministers Association.

Camenker of MassResistance (right) testifies before the Committee.

The Rhode Island office of National Organization for Marriage (NOM) brought in several good high-profile speakers, including Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute, who came from California, and Dr. Susan Yoshihara, who spoke of the psychological issues of children raised by homosexual couples. They added a lot of academic and legal weight to our side's testimony.

As mentioned above, the homosexual lobby invariably seeks to dominate these public hearings, and was very well organized. For example, they communicated with their speakers on exactly when to come to the hearing room. Our side basically piled up outside the hearing room, or tried to get seats inside, and just waited - sometimes for hours - for our turn to talk.

The House Judiciary Committee, to its credit, the was fair in the way it ran the testimony (besides allowing the "stacking" of the speakers by the homosexual lobby). The Chairman would call up people in groups of three or four. They would sit at a table in front of the Committee, and each would be given two minutes - without exception - to testify. The process went pretty quickly. Unlike in Massachusetts, "celebrities" were not given more time and legislators were not given special treatment; they had to wait their turn like everyone else!

All in all, between the rally in the main area and the speakers, it appeared that our side made a much bigger impression on the State House in general.

The House leadership hopes to begin voting on the bill this week, and they hope to get it to the Senate in early February. Despite the great fanfare by the homosexual lobby and its allies, the pro-family movement is very determined, and there is great optimism that "gay marriage" will be stopped again this year and not make it to the Governor (who has vowed to sign it).

We will keep you informed.

3. Hispanic churches set the bar high and get it done. Why not everyone else?

Over the week leading up to the rally and public hearing, we worked with some of the leaders of the Rhode Island Hispanic Ministers Alliance. We were very impressed. They are dedicated to religious principles, they are well organized, and they are focused. They know how to pool their ideas and get things done in a relatively short time.

In addition, they are not in the least afraid of offending the liberal establishment, or white liberals in general.

Although the Hispanic churches tend to be in the poorer sections of town, their parishioners seem very eager to help with time and energy. Their families are Bible-believing and their young people seem to be on board and dedicated to religious belief and, from we could tell, not polluted by the anti-God, anti-religion coarseness that so many of our kids pick up in school and in the popular culture. They are cheerful and pleasant. It was so refreshing to be around them.

But also, Rhode Island is different from many states. Pro-family groups can form by themselves and be bold and creative. There is no moderate statewide "family" group run by wealthy white businessmen seeking to run the state's pro-family movement. Invariably, those groups work to enforce severely "toned down" rhetoric and muted religious expression, replaced by monolithic inoffensive messages such as "every child needs a mother and father" which are often logically incoherent and perform horribly in this kind of emotional campaign. (There are some exceptions such as Illinois Family Institute and Florida Family Association that are uncompromising.)

But beyond that is another problem in the pro-family movement which was clear last week. Too many white congregations mean well but unfortunately don't execute. They're afraid to talk about Biblical truth, lest it offend someone. They would often rather "pray about it" than get involved. Individuals often can't make the time in their busy lives to go out and make a difference. They are well-meaning but don't have zeal. And as a result they're usually woefully disorganized and ineffective when it comes to meaningful social action. (I've had many clergymen lament this to me. This is true even in the Orthodox Jewish community, where often it's individual rabbis who carry most of the pro-family action load by themselves.)

Of course, there are shining exceptions. Pastor Scott Lively's congregation in Springfield comes to mind, and there are lots of others scattered around. But in general, this is a big problem that we must all work to solve.

In so many ways, we as a nation are at a defining moment. We must find a way to get our movement to stand up and face it!