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National Organization for Marriage president speaks to Russian legislators

Translation by Natasha Lebedeva, Planning Producer, NBC News*

Speech by Brian Brown - president of the National Organization for Marriage at the joint meeting of the Committee on the Issues of Family, Women and Children and the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Duma, devoted to the legislator ban on adoptions of Russian children by the same-sex couples.

Respected Chairmen, respected deputies, thank you so much for your help in allowing me to speak today in front of you at this meeting. I am the President of the American National Association for Marriage. Our organization has been in existence since 2007. We have had a difficult task. We constantly defend marriage and family, the very word "marriage," that means the union between a man and a woman. 

We are doing a lot of work, defending many cases in the Supreme Court of the USA. Now there is a myth being spread, which reaches out not only the western countries, Europe, USA, but also Russia. The myth that we have to revise (review) our attitude towards marriage, and that there has to be a new meaning, new understanding of that word, and that it is inevitable in the future. 

The media is reporting this kind of situation that takes place in the U.S., Western Europe. And they see this situation completely differently, and it is not correct. 

I must say that in reality it is not true that that majority of population in America and in other countries support and accept this same-sex marriage. The federal government now talks about marriage and describes marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

There were discussions and votes in 35 states, where the majority of votes adopted that a marriage is a union between a man and a woman, a normal (regular) union. And only in 3 states the polls showed that half of the population supports same-sex marriages. And in 11 states only such marriages are legalized. 

But in 8 out of these 11 states, the legalization decision was made under a pressure of some court decisions. They had no choice but to recognize these marriages as legal. and apart from that, we must be saying that there are no problems existing, and that it is inevitable. Is that the case?

But today we were convinced, having heard the presentations of our French brothers and sisters, that we are talking about very serious problems indeed. We are talking about violations of rights, we are talking about the rights and problems of children in their education. We should not shy away from this and should not forget about it and create an illusion for ourselves. A reconsideration of the definition and understanding of marriage is in fact a real threat to rights. Very soon after a law was passed that legalized same-sex marriage in the state of Massachusetts, we saw that religious organizations were closing down, religious organizations that dealt with adoptions and that did not support adoption by same-sex families. They were closing one after another.

We have actually seen that in some schools, they are talking to children about homosexuality, but in fact they don’t have the right to learn about a lot of things like that until a certain age.

I also have to say that our supporters and activists were spied on, they were followed, there were attempts to find out where they lived, find out their addresses, in order to somehow influence them, and threaten them.

And last week, the situation escalated so that even  the IRS was involved in the hearings against our activists, who were rallying against same-sex marriages. A week ago we stopped such poll in the state of Illinois, which was pressured to accept homosexual marriages as legal. 

And in North Carolina it happened several months ago. 61% of the population voted against that law. However, these just small victories which are not well-known and not so visible. Maybe you don't know about them, because these small victories are not really covered by the media. 

But I have to say that this movement of protest in America, the protest itself, is growing. The protest is of course not violent so far, but it is growing in all the states, the movement against this kind of publicities or polls, that can legalize same-sex marriages. 

I think that this visit, the invitation to visit Russia, will enable the development of this movement around the world. We will band together, we will defend our children and their normal civil rights. Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother.

Thank you.

*This was translated from English to Russian (rtf) before being translated back to English, here, which may account for some discrepancies from the original.