Press Releases

FAMILY INSTITUTE: GAY MARRIAGE IS LIKE A “SALAD BAR”

Hartford, CT — After attending a 90-minute interview and initiating a phone call just a couple weeks ago, Tom Foley sought and received the endorsement of the Family Institute of Connecticut last week.

Espousing far-right, extremist views, the FIC has a long history of opposing basic freedoms for women and marriage equality. Yet, they’re now trying to claim that opposing our gay marriage law is not “anti-equality” and that opposing abortion is not “anti-choice”.

In a fundraising email yesterday, the FIC said: “It began with the Malloy campaign’s reaction to our endorsement, in which they labeled thousands of Connecticut families “anti-equality” for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman and “anti-choice” for believing in the right to life of the innocent unborn child.”

This is very simple. Opposing our gay marriage law does make a group anti-marriage equality. Supporting the Hobby Lobby decision does make the group anti-choice for women. Let’s not forget that the FIC once equated marriage equality to polygamy, arguing that marriage cannot be a salad bar that you make up as you go along.”

And this is an endorsement that Tom Foley sought.

This is a group that also:

  • Called the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality “outrageous”
  • Denounced the United States Supreme Court ruling DOMA as unconstitutional
  • Supported Hobby Lobby, so that corporations can deny women contraception

“Let’s be clear. When you oppose civil unions and marriage freedom, that makes you anti-equality. When you equate people who are gay to a hodgepodge of vegetables in a salad bar, that is not just extremist, it’s offensive,” said Devon Puglia, Democratic Party spokesman. “When you oppose a woman’s right to choose, support abstinence-only education, oppose Plan B, and cheer for Hobby Lobby, that makes you anti-choice. This is simple: Tom Foley sought the endorsement of this is a far-right group, and together, they’re seeking to take Connecticut backwards.”

Background:

FIC Executive Director Brian Brown: “Marriage Cannot Be A Salad Bar That You Make Up As You Go Along.” “The Massachusetts decision is “a galvanizing force for those who support traditional marriage,” said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, which has worked against same-sex marriage. “This is real. If we don’t do anything about it, marriage will be redefined in Connecticut.” Brown and other opponents vow to push for a bill that specifically states that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. “Marriage cannot be a salad bar that you make up as you go along,” he said.” [Hartford Courant, 11/19/03]

FIC Executive Director Brian Brown Compared Marriage Equality To Polygamy And Said, “It Gets Into Absurdity, The Idea That Marriage Can Be Whatever You Want It To Be.”  “It gets into absurdity, the idea that marriage can be whatever you want it to be, just a bundle of rights to be conferred at will,” said Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut. He said allowing gay marriage is akin to allowing polygamous marriages. Once the term is redefined, he said, it can be stretched to fit any definition.” [Associated Press, 2/14/03]

After Connecticut’s Supreme Court Ruled Same Sex Couples Have The Right To Marry, FIC Called The Decision “Outrageous.” “In a landmark victory for supporters of gay marriage, Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married pairs. […] The Family Institute of Connecticut, a political action group that opposes gay marriage, called the ruling outrageous. “Even the legislature, as liberal as ours, decided that marriage is between a man and a woman,” said executive director Peter Wolfgang. “This is about our right to govern ourselves. It is bigger than gay marriage.” [Associated Press, 10/10/08]

FIC Executive Director Brian Brown Called the Connecticut Senate’s Vote On Civil Unions A “Slap In The Face Of Democracy.” “Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, said he thinks the House is more politically moderate and could kill the bill. If not, he was holding out hope that Rell would veto it. “If she truly believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, she has to veto this bill,” he said. Brown maintains that most voters do not support civil unions or same-sex marriage, and he called the vote “a slap in the face of democracy.” “This is marriage by a different name. This is same-sex marriage by a different name,” he said.” [Associated Press, 4/6/05]

After The Civil Union Bill Passed Through The Connecticut Legislature, FIC Sent An Email To Supporters Asking Them To Contact Gov. Rell And “Urge Her To Veto This Bill.” “The state Senate on Wednesday gave final legislative approval to a bill that would make Connecticut the second state to recognize same-sex civil unions, and the first to do so without court pressure. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the bill, but amended it to define marriage under Connecticut law as between one man and one woman. Senators approved the amended bill on a 26-8 vote and sent it to Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who has said she will sign it. […] “It is absolutely urgent that you contact Gov. Rell and urge her to veto this bill,” read an e-mail distributed Tuesday by the Family Institute of Connecticut. The group sees civil unions as gay marriage, but with a different name.” [Associated Press, 4/20/05]

FIC Called The Signing Of The Civil Unions Bill By Gov. Rell A “Sad Day For The State Of Connecticut. Connecticut became the third state to legally recognize same-sex couples Wednesday, signifying a new era in the gay rights movement and bucking a national trend. The landmark law permits same-sex partners to enter into civil unions and grants nearly all of the rights and responsibilities available to married couples. Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed the bill late Wednesday afternoon, about an hour after the state Senate gave the measure final legislative approval. It takes effect Oct. 1. […] Brian Brown, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, said Wednesday was “a sad day for the state of Connecticut.” Brown, whose group is hosting a major rally against gay marriage Sunday on the grounds of the state Capitol, criticized both the legislature and Rell for “fast-tracking” the measure. There will be repercussions when lawmakers run for re-election in 2006, he said. “This vote will not be forgotten,” Brown vowed. “If the goal was to push this through in a non-election year, they were 100 percent wrong.” [Hartford Courant, 4/21/05]

2013: FIC Executive Director Peter Wolfgang Denounced The United States Supreme Court Ruling On DOMA.  “Peter Wolfgang, the executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticut, denounced the DOMA decision, but he expressed relief at the narrowness of the ruling about California’s Proposition 8, an anti-gay-marriage referendum invalidated by a lower court. While the case provided an opportunity for the court to assert a constitutional right to marriage, the court simply ruled in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that gay- marriage opponents had no legal standing to defend Proposition 8. ” The good news is that the Supreme Court did not find a right to same-sex marriage the U.S. Constitution, as it did with abortion in 1973,” Wolfgang said in a telephone interview from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he and other traditional marriage advocates were meeting. Brian Brown, his predecessor in Connecticut who now oversees the National Organization for Marriage, which organized to get Proposition 8 on the ballot, was not as sanguine. “In a miscarriage of justice the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider the decision of a single federal court judge to overturn the perfectly legal action of over 7 million California voters who passed Proposition 8 defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Brown said.” [The Chronicle (Wilmantic), 6/27/13]

FIC Press Release Endorsing Foley: “Governor Malloy Is Pro-Abortion. He Is Hostile To Religious Liberty, Calling The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Ruling, Which Protects The Right Of Small Businesses Not To Be Forced To Pay For Abortion-Inducing Drugs, ‘An Affront.’” “It was Gov. Malloy who forced the Bathroom Bill–the transgender law–through the state legislature. It was Gov. Malloy who flew the Rainbow Flag over the Governor’s mansion to show his support for same-sex “marriage.” (Indeed, it is the Malloy Administration that describes itself as the “gayest administration ever.”) Governor Malloy is pro-abortion. He is hostile to religious liberty, calling the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which protects the right of small businesses not to be forced to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, “an affront.” He insulted Catholics in particular by placing Andrew McDonald, who introduced the infamous 2009 Bishop-Removal Bill, on the State Supreme Court.” [Press Release, Family Institute of Connecticut, 9/3/14]

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EMMA JANGER, PRESIDENT OF THE COLLEGE DEMOCRATS OF CONNECTICUT, ON GOVERNOR MALLOY’S HIGHER EDUCATION PLAN

“Governor Malloy’s plan to make college more affordable shows that he stands with Connecticut families — and he is moving our students forward. These new proposals will continue to move Connecticut into the future, reducing debt and tackling important issues. While Tom Foley can’t enumerate a single specific to boost access to higher education or make it more affordable, Governor Malloy has laid out a real plan, with real specifics, that will make a real difference for students. College students stand behind him because he is making our futures brighter.”

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STATE SENATOR GARY LEBEAU ON GOVERNOR MALLOY’S JOBS PLAN

“Governor Malloy’s jobs plan reinforces the stark contrast facing voters this November. We can either move forward with steady leadership and progress, or we can turn back the clock. Unemployment today is at a five-year low and nearly 60,000 private sector jobs have been added over the last three and a half years. Our Governor has made investments for the future, and with this plan, we are poised to jump even more. While Tom Foley refuses to provide specifics, Dan Malloy has a vision for the future in which small businesses and manufacturers continue to thrive and jobs continue to be added. This plan will move Connecticut forward.”

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STATE REP. WILLIAM TONG: FIC ENDORSEMENT OF FOLEY IS ‘SHAMEFUL’

“In the span of one week, Foley has been endorsed by two of the most extreme organizations in this state that advocate for positions that come at the expense of the safety of our families, and the basic freedoms we all enjoy. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League and the Family Institute of Connecticut are two organizations whose sole aim is to roll back progress — and Tom Foley is standing with them. This endorsement is shameful, and Mr. Foley should reject it and renounce their extremist positions.

“Tom Foley has refused to provide specifics on almost every issue, but he’s shown he is perfectly happy to stand with and sell out to the most extreme elements in his party. If that means repealing bipartisan laws to keep our families safe from gun violence, turning women who have abortions into criminals, denying emergency contraception to victims of rape, trampling on a woman’s right to choose, then Tom Foley appears ready to do it.

“Every day the choice in this election becomes more clear. Governor Malloy will continue to take us forward, while Tom Foley will roll back the clock. Today’s endorsement makes that perfectly clear.”

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