Young Adults: Be Part of the Marriage Solution!

January 5th, 2011

The Ruth Institute Launches Contest to Promote
Positive Views of Lifelong Marriage

SAN MARCOS, CA – The Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund, announces its first annual Reel Love Challenge, a video contest for young adults, aged 18-30. The contest is open to all young adults, married or single, male or female, in college, out of college, or never been anywhere near a college. This contest is for everyone in the next generation to give their ideas about what sustains love over the course of a lifetime.

Young adults should submit 30 second to 3 minute videos on the Reel Love Challenge website answering either or both of these questions: What makes lifelong love possible? Why is it worth the effort? Contestants should enter soon and take advantage of the Early Bird Contest: $100 to the first 7 videos submitted before January 6, 2011.

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of The Ruth Institute, encourages college students and young adults to get involved with the Challenge:

Marriage will be what your generation makes it. Divorce, adultery, even incest are all over the news. I urge all emerging adults to take matters into their own hands and begin to create a culture of fidelity and love. The Reel Love Challenge gives you a forum to start asking and answering, the right questions. “What makes lifelong love possible?” “Why is it worth the effort?” You can interview your parents or grandparents, or give your own ideas. The videos can be professional looking, or just done with a cell phone camera. We are more interested in content, thoughts, and ideas, than Hollywood production quality.

The Reel Love Challenge Video Contest ultimately ends on February 1, 2011. The first-prize winner will receive $2,000; the second-prize winner will receive $1,500; and third place will receive $1,000. Winners will be announced mid-February. For more details, go to

For more information, contact Mary Beth Hutchins at 703-683-5004 x.105 or by e-mail at or Jennifer Thieme at 760-295-9278 or by e-mail at

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  1. Sean
    January 5th, 2011 at 11:46 | #1

    Do you have to be a straight person to participate, or are gay people allowed to play?

  2. Mark
    January 6th, 2011 at 06:58 | #2

    Since no answer, Sean, I think it’s restricted to straights only. But, NOM and Ruth are not anti-gay ………………

  3. Sean
    January 6th, 2011 at 08:39 | #3

    “This contest is for everyone in the next generation to give their ideas about what sustains love over the course of a lifetime.”

    I guess I could have answered my own question, Mark: of course it’s open to gay people. They need to sustain their love over the course of a lifetime just like straight people do.

  4. Leo
    January 8th, 2011 at 05:36 | #4

    There is, of course, a forum where immodesty, promiscuity, and adultery are celebrated in film under the banner of love. It is called Hollywood. There was a time when the purpose of art was to glorify God and promote virtue. How many film makers today can use those words without choking on them?

    That said, I would encourage Sean and Mark to enter films, perhaps autobiographical, explaining their attitudes and experience about having only a single life-time sexual partner, a value of the Ruth Institute.

    I suggest something on the lines of Adriana’s speech in Act 2, Scene 2 of “A Comedy of Errors,” beginning with the lines “Ay, ay, Antipholus, look strange and frown”

  5. Mark
    January 9th, 2011 at 06:28 | #5

    Leo: “There was a time when the purpose of art was to glorify God and promote virtue.”

    That was because the church had (still does) vast amounts of wealth to pay artists.

    And, it’s really sad how limited your experiences are, Leo, that you equate gay and lesbian relationships with “immodesty, promiscuity, and adultery”. This is the bias that many on Ruth seem to so strongly hold on to.

  6. Heidi
    January 9th, 2011 at 16:59 | #6

    Mark, you’ve really hit the nail on the head with that last comment. My partner and I are in a long-term monogamous relationship. Neither of us are immodest, promiscuous, or engaged in adultery. Oh, wait a minute. Since we can’t get married, I guess technically we are engaged in adultery. Sigh. But seriously, people think that the entire population of gay and lesbian people are personified by a gay pride parade. They never seem to look past the fun and outrageous floats to see the real families, but that’s because they don’t really like gay people all that much and don’t really want us to be equal to them under the law.

  7. Sean
    January 10th, 2011 at 08:24 | #7

    Heidi, they refuse to humanize gay people. They need to see them as sub-human or some such thing, in order to condemn them. So long as they can refer to them as “those people”, with a mentality that combines stereotypes and falsehoods into a villainous portrait, they will oppose same-sex marriage.

  8. Leo
    January 10th, 2011 at 09:50 | #8

    Sean, Mark,

    How many sexual partners have you had?

    The gay culture is clearly less modest than the Ruth culture. Consider a recent court decision in San Diego that found the local gay pride parade so explicitly sexual that forcing firemen to attend it was sexual harassment.

    “the record contains substantial evidence to support a finding that the sexual harassment experienced by the Firefighters during the Pride Parade was severe and pervasive”

    Do Sean and Mark find gay pride parades to be examples of modesty? Or do they argue that gay pride parades run counter to the gay culture?

    See also Ari’s posting on “the mask slips.”


    “The recently published Gay Couples Study conducted by Colleen Hoff at the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality, San Francisco, looked at the relationships of 566 committed [!] gay couples (males) over a three-year period. The study showed that 47 per cent of gay couples had “sex agreements” that specifically allowed sexual activity with others. An additional 8 per cent of couples were split: one person favored sex outside the relationship and the other expected monogamy. Only 45 per cent described their relationships as monogamous.

    Proponents of “marriage equality” sing their refrain over and over: “Our relationships are just the same as yours.”

    Not even close. While just 7 per cent of Americans believe that adultery (sexual infidelity by married, heterosexual partners) is morally acceptable, Dr Hoff’s report emphasizes that nearly 50 per cent of gays in committed [!] relationships specifically affirm [!] sexual infidelity. Other research shows shockingly higher rates (75-95 per cent) of non-monogamy in long-term gay relationships. ”

    [The statistics for females are, I suspect, quite different.]

    As for sad or limited experiences, again I ask, how many sexual partners have Sean and Mark had? That would surely affect their film, one way or another. And I am not saying having multiple partners isn’t human as Sean falsely implies. It is very human. All too human as saying goes. It just runs counter to the ideals promoted by the Ruth Institute and the majority of society. I am just saying that the gay culture is objectively different than the culture the Ruth Institute wishes to promote in ways that Sean and Mark refuse to admit or recognize in order to pursue their political agenda.

    I for one am glad that the churches still have money to glorify God and promote virtue.

  9. Mark
    January 10th, 2011 at 14:17 | #9

    Leo, have I ever said I was gay?

    And, as far as this study is concerned, you DO realize that 45% of the couples said they were monogamous DESPITE society, the church, the law NOT recognizing their relationships? You anti-SSM folk seem to love saying that gay men cannot form a relationship similar to marriage and then DENY them the chance to do just that. It’s like not allowing blacks access to higher education and then using the fact that most blacks weren’t in institutions of higher education as a reason to continue to ban them.

    And, if the results are different for lesbians, why not let them legally marry?

    Oh, and for the 93% of Americans who find adultery immoral, a lot are not practicing what they are preaching. In this article from 2005, the author “conservatively estimates that about 60 percent of married men and 40 percent of married women will have an affair at some time during their marriage. ”

    Which, wow, equals the percentages found in the gay male couple study from San Fran. Seems gay men are just more honest about their relationships.

  10. Leo
    January 10th, 2011 at 21:04 | #10


    I didn’t ask if you were gay. I asked how many sexual partners you have had. And you haven’t answered.

    The study was in San Francisco where California state law grants same sex couples the same rights and status that opposite sex couples have. The law is confirming not denying their relationships. Their relationships are not banned. They are not denied the chance you say they are denied. And culturally San Francisco, including many churches, is very affirming of gay relationships. I am not even proposing to deny them their relationships or to ban them. I am just saying that these relationships are not what is traditionally considered a marriage culture. This thread is about films that promote such a traditional culture, which culture is different from the culture of San Francisco.

    The study didn’t say whether the committed gay couples were actually limiting their sexual activity to one partner and if so over what period of time. The study was whether they considered sexual fidelity to be part of their “committed relationship,” and the answer was striking.

  11. Mark
    January 11th, 2011 at 07:21 | #11

    Leo, if there was any reason to tell you how many partners I have had in my life, I would do it. It’s a stupid argument and has no place in a public dicussion.

    Sigh, regarding this thread, you attempt to use a study that came out at the same time that gays and lesbians got comparable similar rights as straights to somehow support some idea that gays are not monogamous. I pointed out (which you somehow fail to see) that prior to this time, there was no structure resembling marriage for same-sex couples. Those notions of monogamy did not have the same definition since they were denied marriage. That is the important difference.

    I also notice how you failed to comment on the fact that straight couples are JUST as likely to have other sex partners when married, they just lie more about it.

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