Recently in Marriage and Family Category
Maryland stands strong for traditional values!!! I wish I could be watching the reaction of all of our homosexual activist readers when they open this link.
By the way, they still need an amendment...
Henry Hager, son of new RPV chairman John Hager, is set to marry the Jenna Bush. One has to wonder if Henry has any plans to follow in his father's footsteps, but his choice of bride certainly can't hurt.
NoVA TownHall Blog wishes them well.
H/T: Drudge (my source for most news)
One of the things as a country we generally approve is that competition breeds excellence. Competition between Firefox and Internet Explorer has made both better (well, okay, it has made IE better as the copy Firefox features and look and feel). Competition made Harley Davidson do better at making motor cycles; Japan finally got quality on the radar of American auto makers; telephone prices have come down, and telephone services have gone up (I remember $4 a minute for phone calls to California from Maryland before competition).
What about education? What choice do most people have for education? If you are rich, you can afford the taxes you already pay, and then the tens of thousands it costs for separate tuition. (Just one non-sectarian school charges upwards of $27,000/year Burke and there are others just as expensive.)
First, I'll start off with a nice wedding picture. Since the radical activists seeking to redefine marriage seem to really appreciate that.
Now, the reason for my post (better late than never, right?):
Victoria Cobb, President
Friday, July 27, 2007
Information Alert: Truth be told
Earlier this week, The Ohio state Supreme Court dismissed arguments that Ohio's marriage amendment undermined that state's domestic violence laws (State v. Carswell). I'm sure you vividly remember that opponents of Virginia's marriage amendment attempted to scare Virginians into voting against the amendment by pointing to the controversy in Ohio last fall.
This week's decision reaffirms what we said all during last fall's bitter campaign - the so-called "unintended consequences" arguments used against the marriage amendment were a figment of the opposition's imagination. As was clearly articulated in Attorney General Bob McDonnell's opinion of Virginia's marriage amendment, no one was going to lose a single existing right when that amendment was implemented.
Virginians can rest assured that domestic violence laws in this state will protect them. I hope that Virginians hold in contempt those who took the serious problem of domestic abuse and used the fears of women in crisis to try to accomplish their political agenda.
Almost two weeks ago I told you about The Family Foundation's efforts to reduce the divorce rate in Virginia. We recently convened the first meeting of our marriage commission to study the issue. Well, it didn't take long for the story to hit the media. We've been fielding calls for several days, and from media outlets as far away as Seattle, Washington!
Much of the coverage, particularly on talk radio has been less than flattering. It seems that there are many people out there who don't think a 50 percent divorce rate is such a bad thing. Or if they admit its too high, they simply throw up their hands and say that nothing can be done.
Regardless of the naysayers and those who simply criticize instead of seeking solutions, we are going to continue to look at this decidedly complicated issue in an attempt to seek real solutions.
Below is a sample of the media stories concerning the commission:
Va. Foundation seeks to reduce divorces - Washington Post, 7/26/2007
New Commission aims to make divorce harder - Virginian Pilot, 7/22/2007
Family Foundation focuses on divorce - WSET TV, Lynchburg
A marriage made in politics - Roanoke Times Editorial Page, 7/24/2007
Not surprising to see the cornerstone of the anti-Marriage Amendment folks' argument disintegrate. Let's not forget their entire million dollar plus effort was focused on distorting the issue and scaring voters about "unintended consequences" when in truth they were/are simply against the intended and real consequence-- constitutionally protecting marriage from radical redefinition via judicial decree.
I look forward to hearing more from the Family Foundation's Marriage Commission on ways our Commonwealth can support and encourage healthy marriages and prevent family dissolution and more children being raised without a loving mother and father under the same roof.
From the Family Foundation:
Victoria Cobb, President
Friday, January 19, 2007
Information Alert: Marriage Amendment Repeal Defeated
Voters are famous for having short memories, but opponents of the marriage amendment are taking that old cliche to extreme. Fortunately, legislators tend to remember what happened in the last election.
Today the House Priveleges and Elections Committee scored another victory for the protection of marriage in the Commonwealth and killed two bills that were efforts to undo the marriage amendment you helped pass last November.
HJ 678, patroned by Del. Adam Ebbin (D-49, Arlington), would have allegedly answered opponents to the marriage amendments' concerns over "unintended consequences." The bill would have added a line to the amendment. Without discussion this bill was rejected.
HJ 721, patroned by Del. David Englin, (D-45, Alexandria), was a bill that would repeal the just recently passed marriage amendment that went into effect January 1, 2007. In the debate Del. Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), stated the bill was not needed as the voters of Virginia have overwhelmingly resolved the issue.
Fifty-seven percent of Virginians rejected the claims of marriage amendment opponents and voted to protect the definition of marriage. Frankly, to bring these bills up just weeks after the vote is an insult to the 1.3 million Virginians that voted for the amendment.
We are thankful to the members of the P & E committee who quickly dismissed these bills.
Despite the conclusion of the hard-fought battle to pass the Marriage Amendment (which incidentally was a huge victory considering the amount of money the anti-Marriage Amendment forces spent trying to deceive and distort Virginia's voters) I've continued to be MIA from the blog world. Grassroots activism continues to sap time that could be spent blogging.
Anyways, I wanted to dust off my keyboard to quickly point out that today's edition of the Washington Post has this article discussing the Family Foundation's efforts to enact mutual consent divorce for couples with children and thus reform the Commonwealth's loose divorce laws. Here is their description of the proposal:
The foundation is advocating "mutual consent divorce" for couples with children, which would require a husband and wife to agree to divorce before a marriage can be legally terminated, except in certain instances, such as abuse or cruelty. The proposed legislation would not affect childless couples.
"Right now, one spouse can unilaterally end [the marriage], and not only is their spouse unable to stop the divorce, their abandonment does not preclude them from having custody of their child," said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. "When we send a message that one can up and leave their family and have no consequence, the Old Dominion is encouraging divorce."
The article goes on to discuss more of the Family Foundation's impressive legislative agenda and ties their mutual consent divorce proposal into the successful effort to protect Virginia's definition of marriage via the Marriage Amendment:
Cobb and her allies in the General Assembly said Thursday that the debate over the amendment banning same-sex marriage spurred this year's push for changes to the state's divorce laws.
"People were saying, 'It is not the homosexuals wrecking marriage, it's the heterosexuals,' so we are saying, 'Is there any truth to that?' " said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who has filed legislation to study the effects of no-consent divorce on state marriage rates.
"You can just walk away from someone right now. There is less security in the covenant of marriage than if you and I agree to open up a hamburger joint," Marshall said.
Definitely worth a read. I look forward to watching as this proposal develops.
85% of the 400+ people that bothered to watch Fox45, and bothered to sit down and send in a reply, responded "Yes" to this question. I guess it was a "hot button issue".
A solid summary of the Marriage Amendmentâ€™s recent victory and the rejection of the hollow and deceptive rhetoric spread by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists. I find the data that the majority of Virginia's youngest voters supported the Marriage Amendment the most heartening.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Information Alert: Defining Victory
How does Virginia define marriage? For months The Family Foundation asked that question of those who openly lobbied to change the meaning of marriage and topple it from its unique place of public support and approval.
On November 7th, well over one million citizens of our Commonwealth provided the clear, definitive answer. Yes, Virginia, marriage is the union of one man and one woman. These voters saw that marriage was being threatened, undermined and redefined in places like Massachusetts, Vermont, California, Maryland, and most recently New Jersey - and they knew that they had to act.
As the final votes were counted, the marriage amendment won handily with nearly 60 percent of the vote. In fact, over 1.3 million Virginians voted for marriage between one man and one woman in an election where turnout was over 50 percent. Even in Northern Virginia, where "experts" in the media predicted a significant loss, the marriage amendment won two key counties - Loudoun and Prince William - easily. The amendment earned more votes than any Democrat or Republican candidate for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General in the last two statewide elections. In fact, the marriage amendment garnered nearly 150,000 more votes than the winning U.S. Senate candidate!
Ninety-two of ninety-five counties favored the amendment. In nine counties the marriage amendment earned over 80 percent of the vote! The amendment won handily in key counties and cities like Henrico, Chesterfield, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth, places where the "experts" again said that people don't support "conservative" issues.
In addition, according to CNN exit polls, the marriage amendment gained support from 56 percent of African American voters, a key constituency in any campaign. It also won the majority of youngest voters, ages 18-29. This defies the conventional wisdom that the next generation is more accepting of same-sex marriage.
George Washington once observed, "Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected." Virginians are going to experience greater long term happiness because they responded to their moral duty to protect marriage, not only from the radical redefinition pushed by a militant pro-homosexual lobby and others who promote sexual relationships outside of marriage, but also from death by a thousand cuts--the slow incremental chipping away and undermining of marriage's place as the best place for a loving long-term relationship and the rearing of the next generation.
Virginians knew that marriage is associated with more positive outcomes for men, women and children. Marriage matters for the well being of Virginia citizens. No other relationship is so associated with a long, fulfilling life. None other promotes greater physical and mental health and psychological soundness. No other relationship correlates with reducing infant mortality so much. No other one generates more benefits for children.
The people of the Old Dominion perceived that it was not the unintended consequences that opponents feared, but the intended ones. For even if they would not admit it, amendment opponents knew that protecting marriage through this amendment would doom any plans to change, undermine or diminish marriage in Virginia, both for now and the foreseeable future.
Virginia rejected the false and deliberate machinations of those who wish to redefine our most fundamental institution. The opponent's desperate and strategically flawed efforts remind one of the old Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love." Opponents of the uniqueness of marriage found, much to their disappointment, that even a million dollars couldn't buy removing marriage from its unique place of honor and legal recognition.
Opponents found that their allegations of divisiveness were empty rhetoric - for few things so unite men and women, blacks and whites and Democrats and Republicans as marriage between a man and woman being good and right.
Virginians also rejected the extremism of amendment opponents. Unfortunately, opponents to the amendment stooped to incredible lows during the campaign. They lied, they stole, they vandalized, they verbally assaulted supporters, and on Election Day they even spit on volunteers passing out vote "YES" materials. Some of these incidents are being investigated by various law enforcement agencies in Virginia.
All these things Virginians wisely overcame.
So I commend Virginians for their wisdom, courage and insight in standing up for marriage in our Commonwealth. I know that vigilant Virginians will not allow this just, fair, good and true amendment to be undone. They know that they have done the right thing. They know that history will smile on their actions. They know their judgment will stand.
Homosexual activists, behaving badly, provide a rich heritage of inappropriate behavior which I submit is one of the main reasons their various causes garner such poor support from the public at large. Sometimes they are flat out idiots, and other times just unpleasant. (So what is the deal with going after children? Do you have to be gay to understand that angle? I don't get it at all. You are ripping on the kid for supporting marriage. Your effort almost perfectly obliterates your goal, geniuses. MOST PARENTS WANT THEIR KIDS TO MARRY SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. Ridiculing this girl certainly helps stamp you as an organization opposed to what most people believe.)
It will come as no great surprise that some local families had a bad experience this past Tuesday.
Here is a first-hand report from a Loudoun County mother, detailing what she and her kids had to deal with on election day:
November 11, 2006
Children and the Democratic Way
Every Election Day, I and my four daughters (ages 7, 9, 12, and 14) go to vote. They of course can't vote, because the oldest is only fourteen years old. But they do get an exercise in one of our greatest freedoms as Americans. This year was a little different. I received a call one day before Election Day and was invited to handout fliers supporting the Marriage Amendment for the State of Virginia, at the Lovettsville precinct, located in Loudoun County, Virginia. I am neither a member of the Democrat Party or the Republican Party. But I am a new Christian, and I would consider myself conservative. I jumped at the chance to engage my daughters in the political process. I, like many people, have high hopes and aspirations for my children. I received a bundle of fliers and distributed the bundle among myself, my four daughters, and one young child who is a good friend of my daughters. They faithfully lined up, beaming faces, ready to greet all and provide a flier to anyone who wanted one. My daughters exhibited enthusiasm at the simple task of saying, "sample ballot, sir/madam" and "Vote yes for marriage!" to voters passing by.
About fifteen minutes later, we began to receive piercing, angry stares from one of the Democrat volunteers, who had been handing out sample ballots and fliers opposing the Marriage Amendment. She made impolite remarks regarding my children's enthusiasm and their presence at the polling location. She threatened me and my children with removal. Her husband walked over to where I and my daughters were standing and began to confront my 14 year old daughter. He said, "This is tyranny you know, tyranny". I'm not sure what he thought could be gained by intimidating a young girl. A third volunteer with an irritated tone stated that "...children are not allowed and should not be allowed at polling locations". A fourth volunteer took me aside and informed me that "...fifty years ago in America, it was unlawful for a black to marry a white". She demanded to know why I supported the marriage amendment. I felt very uncomfortable with a fifth male volunteer who was attempting to speak about the marriage amendment to my daughters. When I motioned him to leave my daughters alone, he shouted, "I wanted to confuse the kids, but the mother won't let me!" A sixth volunteer (male) provided an unsolicited comment meant to support his misguided beliefs concerning traditional marriage. He asked, "Isn't the dowry system a traditional way of marriage!?" I retorted by saying, "Sir, this is America, not India!" I wondered if he was lost. By the way, I immigrated to the United States from India in 1977. I am a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. I have been a resident of Virginia for the past thirty years. I have been married to my American husband for the past seventeen years.
For the last year, prior to the election, we've heard the media disparage Christians, Conservatives, the Military, Republicans, and anyone else who didn't agree with their point of view. I guess the media and the liberals belong to the same family. They seem to believe the ends justify the means. Win at any cost. Threaten, lie, attack, accuse others of what you yourself are the most guilty of. Foment hate using false accusations of racism, twisted truths of the past, and if history doesn't support you, then invent your own version of the facts. My daughters received a lesson in politics and freedom, but not the one I intended for them to learn. Freedom isn't free. Standup when they try to push you down.
Liberals cry Freedom! They want the freedom to attack and pervert my children. They want the freedom to silence the opposition. They want the freedom to erase God, accountability, honor, and innocence. What they call freedom is slavery.
As we all know, the good people of Virginia resoundingly embraced the Marriage Amendment by a 17 point margin, and as such rejected the hollow and deceptive rhetoric coming from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates.
Of course the opponents of the Marriage Amendment did their best to hide their true agenda (redefining marriage to permit same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ or at least leave the Commonwealth as vulnerable as possible to litigation designed to redefine marriage a la judicial decree)â€¦ their million dollar campaign was very slick and time and time again we heard them lament that if the Marriage Amendment passed all these horrendous â€œunintended consequencesâ€ would descend upon unmarried Virginians. They never once mentioned same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ (what they call marriage â€œequalityâ€) in their TV and radio ads and it rarely appeared in their coordinated letters to the editor, etc. Basically their effort was nothing but a bait-and-switch Trojan horse campaign.
For those who contest this fact (and maybe even bought into their â€œunintended consequencesâ€ BSâ€¦ the same stuff they were pushing a few years back when HB 751 passed) I suggest you read the post-defeat message coming from the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition. Iâ€™ve placed the entire email below the fold, but here are some juicy tidbits. Please note that their message does not mourn the terrible â€œunintended consequencesâ€ that will result now that the Marriage Amendment has passedâ€¦ in fact they barely even mention them, if at all. Instead they talk about leaving the â€œGLBT community stronger politically and financiallyâ€ and that the fight for â€œjustice and equalityâ€ (read: same-sex â€œmarriageâ€) will continue. Their parting message is an invitation to activist forums being held by Virginiaâ€™s leading proponents of the redefinition of marriage-- â€œEquality Virginia.â€ Witness their true agenda laid bare (emphasis mine):
â€œFrom the outset of this campaign, we had two goals: to win the campaign at the ballot box and to leave Equality Virginia and the GLBT community in Virginia stronger politically and financially.â€
â€œThere are real, tangible positive results from this campaign that will benefit Equality Virginia and the gay and lesbian community for years to come.â€
â€œ[We] identified tens of thousands of gay-friendly voters to help build our political clout for future legislative battles and elections in 2007 and beyond.â€
â€œI am ready to "reinvest" in the effort to move Virginia forward toward a day when all Virginians achieve full equality and my friends in the GLBT community are accorded the full measure of dignity and respect that is their inalienable right.â€
Itâ€™s good to see the true agenda exposed for all to see. I suppose it made political sense to cloak their message in deceptive terms that could successfully be used to mislead commonsense voters who reject same-sex â€œmarriage" under any name, but that doesnâ€™t make it right.
Anywaysâ€¦ 1,327,783 Virginians obviously saw through the Commonwealth Coalitionâ€™s charadeâ€¦ despite being outspent 4-1 and having the MSM relentlessly push the oppositionâ€™s talking points day in and day out. Virginiaâ€™s Bill of Rights now protects the definition of marriage and will ensure that an unelected Virginia judge does not radically redefine this Natural Law institutionâ€¦ and thus help to ensure that no child is willfully denied a mom or a dad.
In addition to Virginia, six other states embraced constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage:
Colorado: 56% Yes, 44% No
Idaho: 63% Yes, 37% No
South Carolina: 78% Yes, 22% No
South Dakota: 52% Yes, 48% No
Tennessee: 80% Yes, 20% No
Wisconsin: 59% Yes, 41% No
There are now 27 states with such amendments. The first loss occurred in Arizona by a narrow margin of 49% Yes and 51% No. Truly desperate for any kind of victory, same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ proponents are spinning this one hardâ€¦ claiming it is a sign of â€œtime being on their sideâ€ and portraying the tens of millions who have embraced marriage as the union of one-man and one-woman as reactionary bigots on the verge of defeat. Obviously this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth.
The reason why the Marriage Amendment (Proposition 107) failed in Arizona by ~30,000 votes should be quite clear. It was certainly not an indication of support (in any shape or form) of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€â€¦ rather it was the product of confusing ballot language and a $2.1 million campaign even more deceptive than the one we witnessed here in Virginia.
Here is what, in part, the ballot language said in Arizona:
"A no vote shall have the effect of retaining the current laws regarding marriage, including a statutory ban on same-sex marriage."
With just a quick reading of this description and little background information, a voter could believe a â€œnoâ€ vote was a vote against same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Given that the far more liberal state of Wisconsin (lacking such a messy explanation) passed a similar amendment by a healthy margin, this was the obvious deal-breaker and resulted in a tight race.
Additionally, the anti-Marriage Amendment crowd spent $2.1 million (more than twice what their allies spent hereâ€¦ and with a much less costly media environment) on a Trojan Horse campaign against â€œtaking away domestic partner benefits.â€ Their ads claimed (without any legal credibility) that the Marriage Amendment would:
â€œâ€¦limit Social Security incomes, and children of domestic partners will lose medical insurance.... Why take away domestic benefits, legal protection and healthcare? Vote no on Prop 107."
For more information on their straw-man campaign, please see their website. As in Virginia, Marriage was never mentioned by the opposition and thus the outcome cannot be interpreted as support for same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ Thankfully, Arizona has solid courts (for now) and they have recently upheld the statutory protections for marriage. This should give the citizens more time to regroup and submit a slightly modified amendment to the people (hopefully without such an awful ballot explanation).
Now that the Commonwealthâ€™s definition of marriage is enshrined in the Constitution the struggle to protect and honor the institutions of marriage and family is far from over.
Many opponents of the Marriage Amendment rightfully pointed out that there are severe threats to marriage in addition to radical redefinition under law (although they illogically tried to argue that because there were other threats we should ignore the one posed by the redefinition of civil marriage). Some examples of these threats are the rampant and growing divorce rate leading to broken homes (just look at the wonderful example being set by Britney Spears), infidelity, and a general lack of respect for life and the amazing blessing of children. Many of these issues are outside of the realm of civil law and are issues of the culture around us. I believe the first and most important thing we can do to reaffirm and restore the honor and dignity of marriage and family is to fulfill our lifelong vows to our spouse and place them first in our lives (above careers, money, or possessions)â€¦ and we must be open to the life-giving love that flows within the marital relationship and instill the value of family in any children with which we may be blessed. We are surrounded by a corrosive culture focused on the immediate gratification of our personal desires above the greater goodâ€¦ everyone is constantly claiming a â€œrightâ€ to have what they want regardless of the consequences on others and society (abortion on demand is a tragic example as is the action of same-sex couples using in-vitro fertilization to create a child they want with the intention of denying he/she his/her father or mother). However, I believe the influence of the family is more powerful than the influence of our self-centered culture and with dedication, prayer, and focus we can overcome all obstacles.
Virginia Catholic Bishops Applaud Votersâ€™ Decision on Marriage Amendment
On behalf of Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Richmond Bishop Francis DiLorenzo, Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) Executive Director Jeff Caruso issued the following statement regarding yesterdayâ€™s outcome on Ballot Question Number One, which succeeded by a 14-point margin:
â€œYesterday, large numbers of citizens across our Commonwealth voted to affirm, protect, and preserve the institution of marriage as designed by God and as passed on from one generation to the next throughout human history.
â€œVirginiaâ€™s Catholic bishops have been pleased to offer their perspective on the importance of safeguarding this bedrock institution over the course of the debate on the marriage amendment, and to join their voices to those of many others whose roles were instrumental to this significant outcome. In the end, though, the decisive statement on the issue came from Virginiaâ€™s voters. Given the decisions that courts in some other states have imposed on their citizens with no public input, Virginians clearly appreciated the opportunity to decide this matter for themselves.
â€œThe bishops also wish to commend Delegate Robert Marshall and Senator Stephen Newman for sponsoring the amendment, the Family Foundation and va4marriage.org for their persistent and effective leadership in organizing grassroots support among individuals representing a diversity of faith traditions, nearly 200 Catholic parishes across Virginia for distributing diocesan-approved educational materials on the ballot question to their parishioners, and the Virginia Knights of Columbus for assisting parishes in the dissemination of those materials.â€
The VCC is the public-policy agency of the Virginia Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. The VCC delivered over 100,000 copies (available in English and Spanish) of the bishopsâ€™ pastoral letter on the marriage amendment and an accompanying â€œquestion and answerâ€ piece to 194 parishes and two Catholic campus-ministry organizations. These materials were also printed in the official newspapers of both dioceses and sent to their 133,000 subscribing households. Further information is available online at www.vacatholic.org.
Two out of three, so far, for conservatives in Loudoun County. Frank Wolf won, and the Virginia Marriage Amendment has passed - and it appears it passed by a landslide vote. This issue is likely off the table in Virginia for 10 or 15 years.
I'm going to leapfrog the analysis a bit, but it appears the public sentiment in favor of traditional marriage cut across every sociological boundary. Lots of money was spent to oppose this Amendment; lots of intelligent people argued against it. Although I personally had no idea how the vote would turn out, looking at what has happened I now don't think it was ever even close.
The real suspense now is what George Allen has managed to do. Stay tuned.
CNN reports that the good people of the Commonwealth have embraced the Marriage Amendment and rejected the hollow rhetoric of the anti-Marriage Amendment/pro same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ crowd. Congratulations Virginia!!!
Itâ€™s gut-check time. In a little over 30 hours the polls will close on one of the most important elections in Virginia history. Please click here to send an e-card to your friends, co-workers and family reminding them to vote YES for Marriage tomorrow!
Below is the final message from the Family Foundation/VA4Marriage regarding our historic opportunity to elevate existing principles into the Virginia Constitution in order to protect marriage from judicial assault. The Commonwealth should never be forced, via unelected judges, to support and embrace relationships that willfully create motherless or fatherless homes. Children deserve both a mom and a dad. Iâ€™ve been so encouraged and blessed to meet some amazing volunteers on this campaign and I look forward to celebrating with them tomorrow! Now get out there and spread the word, work the polls, and finish strong!
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Monday, November 6, 2006
Action Alert: VOTE "YES" FOR MARRIAGE
This is my last opportunity to reach out to you, the voters of Virginia, and say "Vote YES" for marriage during tomorrow's crucial election. If polls are any indication, the battle over the amendment is much closer than we'd like. While we are very confident the amendment will pass, we cannot take a single vote for granted. I urge you to go to the polls tomorrow to vote YES on the marriage amendment.
From our perspective, we have been frustrated by two campaign situations that I know have also frustrated our supporters. The first has been the refusal of amendment opponents like the ACLU and the "Commonwealth Coalition" to debate the actual issue, same-sex marriage. They have hidden behind their lie of unintended consequences because they are afraid to talk about same-sex marriage or polygamy or how they actually want to define marriage. We have challenged them in debate after debate, through the media, and through an actual fax request. Unfortunately, they have refused to answer the question.
Perhaps it is because they know Virginians will overwhelmingly reject their fluid definition of marriage. In fact, on the www.beyondmarriage.org web site, opponents of amendments like ours in Virginia say they support "Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households and families - regardless of kinship or conjugal status." My guess is you won't see that on our opponents campaign signs or in their advertisements. But that is exactly what they want.
The second frustration has been some of the media in Virginia. Too many of our friends in the "mainstream media" have refused to question opponent's claims. If we ever tired to repeat a lie like the "unintended consequences" line our opponents have used, reporters would have investigated and dismissed it. The media can look to all 20 states that have already passed marriage amendments and they will find no unintended consequences. They can look to the passage of the Virginia same-sex unions ban, and the defense of marriage act, and find no unintended consequences. They can look at Attorney General Bob McDonnell's official opinion of the Marriage Amendment, and the Virginia State Board of Election's authorized explanation, and again they refuse. To date, only two newspaper editorial pages that we are aware of in Virginia have supported the amendment. This disconnect of the media from the electorate has caused many of you to call our office. We share your frustration. The only way to let them know how you feel is to vote "YES" on November 7th.
I would also like to take the time to thank the thousands of volunteers, and donors who have become a part of this campaign. Our grassroots efforts have been incredible and have far outshone our opponent's attempts to organize. You have been steadfast in the face of opposition at fair booths, rallies, and other events all across Virginia. They can steal our yard signs, peel off our bumper stickers, throw our literature back at us, and fire our supporters from their jobs, but they cannot steal what is in your heart - the simple truth that marriage is God's design, created by Him for one man and one woman.
So now, it is time to finish the job at hand. All of us, you and I, our neighbors, church members and friends, need to work the polls and Vote YES tomorrow. Together, we can take this necessary step to ensure a pro-family Virginia for years to come!
Send a Last Minute eCard
If you have not already done so, please go to www.va4marriage.org/ecard and send a get-out-the-vote eCard to friends and family, urging them to vote in favor of the marriage amendment tomorrow. This is a quick and simple way to get the message out!
Vote YES Signs to the Polls
Because so many of our "Vote YES" yard signs have been stolen or defaced by our opponents we are running low and do not have enough signs to cover all the voting precincts in Virginia tomorrow. If you have a yard sign, please take it with you to your voting precinct tomorrow when you go to vote and place it among the other political signs you will see. We want to make sure that voters see "Vote YES" signs as they approach their voting precinct.
Don't forget to plan to join us for our "Victory Party" tomorrow evening at the Richmond Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The Convention Center is the same location where we have held our December Gala the last several years.
Tomorrow evening evening, all of the hard work we have put since those initial votes on the marriage amendment in January of 2005 will come to fruition! Please plan to join us for a fun celebration of victory!
Parking will be limited around the Convention Center so be sure to get there early!
I've been MIA at NOVA TH for months now due to my decision to commit what free time I have to supporting the Virginia Marriage Amendment and thus work to ensure that marriage is not left unnecessarily vulnerable to judicial activism and that the Commonwealth does not sanction (via judicial edict) a relationship designed to willfully deny children a mother or a father.
Itâ€™s been quite exhilarating to see the enthusiastic response to our efforts to protect marriage in Virginia as well as to witness the rejection of the anti-Marriage Amendment crowdâ€™s increasingly desperate and absurd declarations and obfuscations. Less than 2 weeks to go! Everyone should get out there and work hard because our opponents and their paid staff are certainly doing soâ€¦ we can take nothing for granted!
Anywaysâ€¦ just wanted to quickly post Senator Allenâ€™s response to the decision of four unelected New Jersey judges to force same-sex unions on that stateâ€™s residents (precisely what the Marriage Amendment is designed to protect against). Here it is, in full:
For Immediate Release: October 25, 2006 Contact: Press Office 703.845.3689
Senator Allenâ€™s Statement on New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling
ARLINGTON, VA â€“ Senator Allen issued the following statement in response to todayâ€™s ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey that legalizes same-sex marriage:
â€œTodayâ€™s decision by the NJ Supreme Court is another example of activist judges inventing the law and subverting the will of the people. This is why I support the marriage amendment, because it will protect the values and views of the people of Virginia from judges who would want to impose their elitist views on us. This is a clear difference between my opponent and me â€“ I support protecting marriage from judges who do not understand their role: to interpret the law, not invent the law. My opponent does not.
â€œMy opponent says that this amendment would infringe upon the rights of ordinary Virginians, and he opposes it. But I and many members of the Virginia Assembly joined in asking the Attorney General of Virginia to render an opinion. His response: â€˜I can find no legal basis for the proposition that passage of the marriage amendment will limit or infringe upon the ordinary civil and legal rights of unmarried Virginiansâ€™.
â€œThis amendment does exactly what it says it does; it defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, and Iâ€™m for marriage between a man and a woman while my opponent is against it.â€
â€” # # # â€”
Now get off your computer and start making calls and knocking on doors! Sign up here.
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Many people - parents of high-school-age kids being at the top of the list - would jump out of their seats to support a message promoting abstinence to teenagers. The reasons for this need not even be expounded. So pro-abstinence, "Christian" comedian Keith Deltano's appearance at Loudoun County High School Thursday would seem to be one of those rare instances where the government has managed to do something incredibly right.
An attendee wrote to me describing the event:
The kids were skeptical at first but they really got into it â€“ shouting, clapping, and cheering as Keith told them that "virginity rocks." He presented waiting for sex as a positive life choice that makes it possible for them to pursue their dreams without worrying about STD's and pregnancy.
Who in the world could argue with that? (And who in the Loudoun County Public School system can we send thank you notes and gift baskets to for having the good sense to allow Mr. Deltano to speak?) I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that more influences like Keith Deltano would result in less screwed-up lives for young American adults.
But leave it to the ACLU to discern the dark cloud: the dark cloud of CHRISTIANITY!!!
There is nothing wrong with abstinence as the topic of the program, and there is nothing wrong with the fact that it is being performed by a self-described Christian comedian or paid for by a faith-based organization...But this is a public school, and we are naturally concerned that the religious views of the speaker and the sponsoring organization, both of whom make faith-based arguments for abstinence, will seep into the presentation.
God help us all if religious viewpoints should "seep" into a seminar promoting abstinence among teenagers - especially if the seminar was effective!
Lest you surmise simply from the foregoing that the ACLU doesn't deserve the respect of a rat's patoutie, please allow me to point out that our esteemed former paper of record saw fit to frame the event as an insidious intrusion:
"Having so-called secular performances or speeches in public schools by Christian evangelists" is a growing trend, said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Schools need to be extremely careful when they tread into these waters."
Americans United, which evolved from an organization formed in the 1940s to advocate for Protestant freedom in the face of a supposed Vatican power-play on American society, is now a strangely full-blown secularist advocacy group referenced whenever the mainstream media needs an anti-Christian source to supplement quotes from the ACLU.
We can be certain America's parents are extremely grateful that AU and ACLU are monitoring the devious machinations of anyone who might attempt to foist Christian values on today's teenagers. Shudder the thought.
Equality Loudoun representatives attended the Thursday assembly and report as follows:
If the behavioral objective is "abstinence until marriage," where does that leave those who are told they may not marry their partner? The message to GLBT kids is "You don't exist. You have no future to look forward to." Unfortunately, this is identical to the message of the entire Family Life Education curriculum, as written. The damage this does to our kids is inexpressible and inexcusable, and this assembly was yet another mandatory dose of it.
The foundational assumption upon which this program is based is that sex is only for procreation. This is unequivocally a religious view ("God's plan for sex"), unsupported by the facts, but it was presented here as if it were self-evident. The simplistic logical arc was explicitly spelled out at one point like this: Being a parent is hard. Are you ready to be a parent? (No.) So are you ready to have sex? (No.) It was as if contraception doesn't exist. It was as if two people never get married and decide to delay childbearing, or forego it altogether. Sex is for making babies, period. Clearly, this idea is central to the world view that Deltano is representing - only he has edited out the part where he articulates it because this is his "secular" show. The result is that this fallacy is even more insidious than would be the case if it were stated outright.
I recommend reading all of David's essay because he states his case well and if you want the "other side" of the argument, that's it.
At the same time, David makes a pretty clear case for why parents of teenagers - whose sexual identities are fluid - might not want the ACLU or David Weintraub guiding their kids' education on sexual matters.
What should stand out about this episode is the blatant protest from the left - the Post, AU, ACLU and Equality Loudoun - that the Keith Deltano presentation at Loudoun County High School was somehow problematic...because it might be Christian. Oh Lord help us if Christianity should be propogated among our children! Bear in mind that Christianity was not being taught - only "Christian" values.
Citizens of Virginia, and parents in particular, need to decide if they fear Christianity more than secularism for the next generation of Virginians.
The following letter by John Grigsby appeared in Leesburg Today last week:
Why are so many people volunteering their time with coalitions like va4marriage.org and virginiaisformarriage.com, in support of the Virginia Marriage Amendment? In my case, it comes down to a few pictures.
If you visit galluccio.com, you will see displayed with pride a "family portrait" of two New Jersey men, Jon and Michael Galluccio, bare-chested in tuxedos, alongside their four adopted children, one of them a similarly-dressed adopted boy. All the chatter on this issue is meaningless against the backdrop of this picture; a Rohrschach Test for the marriage amendment if there ever was one.
You may, like the ACLU of Virginia, Loudoun's Democrat Committee, the Democrat leadership nationally, the Unitarian-Universalist Association, various "gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender (GLBT)" organizations, and Governor Kaine, all very active opponents of the Marriage Amendment, view this grouping of people with a gentle smile. To you, two dads are just as good as a mom and a dad, and at least better than just one mom or just one dad. "What's all the fuss?" you ask.
If you are like virtually all Republicans in Loudoun County and statewide, as well as many if not most traditional Democrats, who support the amendment, your reaction is like mine. You feel broken-hearted. You feel an aching sadness.
As a father, I look back with gratitude for what my dad contributed, as a man, and for what my mother contributed, as a woman, to my upbringing. As a dad, I see everyday how my wife and I both contribute to the development of our girls and boys in ways that are complementary. While either parent may change diapers, arrange field trips, buy groceries, and etc., parenting doesn't simply reduce to a task list. Boys need a father, and girls do, too. Likewise for a mother. Apparently it's not "modern" or politically correct to say this, but I unashamedly believe this is how things were meant to be, and that men and women aren't interchangeable, as far as parenting goes.
Yes, there are reasons, seldom intended, why some children will never have the benefit of a mom and a dad under the same roof. However, a marriage of two men removes the possibility of a mom-it says that "mom" is a superfluous category, and unnecessary. Creating an institution that in its very nature denies a boy or girl even the remotest possibility of a mom on one hand, or a dad on the other, is wrong. Like others, I am working to pass this important amendment to make it tougher for a Democrat-appointed judge to do to Virginia what was done to Massachusetts.
Given the steady strides judges have made to usurp the role of the legislature, and the importance of this institution to society at large, marriage as "one man, one woman" gets my support and my vote on Nov. 7.
Despite the attempts to cloud the issue with diversions about the impact of the proposed amendment on heterosexual couples (who can get married and avoid that alledged impact), this amendment is about homosexual marriage.
The following letter was printed in the Washington Times this morning (4-OCT-2006).
The report, "More deaths tied to preterm birth" (Nation, Monday), tells us that preterm birth is responsible for at least 70 percent more infant deaths than previously thought. This increase in preterm deaths is a reason for researchers, including the March of Dimes, to request more federal funding to determine the cause of such births. But a major cause of preterm births, which many choose to ignore, is surgical abortion.
There are now 60 studies from 23 countries dating to the 1960s showing that surgical abortion increases premature births in subsequent pregnancies. There are many illustrious researchers and health-care professionals such as Judith Lumley of Australia; Barbara Luke, 2005 March of Dimes award winner; and McAllister Distinguished Professor John M. Thorpe who have verified that the risk increases with the number of surgical abortions.
Recently the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science recognized first trimester abortion as an "immutable medical risk factor associated with preterm birth." The report noted a 30 percent increase in preterm births since 1981, which tracks with the legalization of abortion in the United States, at an annual cost of $26.2 billion to our health-care system.
Preterm babies have more disabilities, including cerebral palsy, than full-term babies. A study published of 120,000 children showed that premature babies are abused at twice the rate of full-term babies.
Abortion not only kills children, it reduces the mother's ability to carry subsequent children to term and increases their rates of mortality, morbidity and abuse. Preterm birth is another of many reasons why abortion is a devastation for women and children.
DR. WILLIAM F. COLLITON JR.
Clinical professor of obstetrics
and gynecology (retired)
George Washington University
Every year, we have about one million abortions in the United States. That's about how many legal immigrants we accept every year. Every single weekday, more people are murdered in their mothers' wombs than were murdered by terrorists on 9/11. The immigrants aren't killing our culture, we are.
This is what the Democratic Party fights so hard to protect -- a woman's right to murder her child.
This just came across the e-mail from PFOX, which is, I recently learned, demonized by many in the GLBT community. I don't understand that at all - maybe someone can explain it to me.
PTA â€“ Peril for Parents?
By Regina Griggs, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) Executive Director
Do the initials â€œPTAâ€ bring to mind innocuous parent-teacher meetings and parent-student school projects? Think again. The national Parent Teacher Association, fondly known as PTA, is under the leadership of chief executive officer Warlene Gary. Ms. Gary previously served as the National Education Associationâ€™s human rights director and that school unionâ€™s liaison to gay interest groups.
PTA bills itself as the â€œlargest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation.â€ It holds an annual convention and exhibition attended by public school teachers, students and parents. Last yearâ€™s convention theme was â€œdiversity.â€ In keeping with PTAâ€™s theme, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) applied for an exhibit booth. PTA rejected our application in favor of a gay organizationâ€™s application on the grounds that the gay organization was there to â€œeducate parents on the topic of school bullying.â€ PTA also allowed the gay organization to hold a workshop.
When we visited the gay organizationâ€™s exhibit booth, we encountered materials that denounced therapy for homosexuals with unwanted same sex attractions, recommended anti-ex-gay publications, essentially denied the existence of former homosexuals (so much for tolerance and diversity), and urged the Southern Baptist Convention to vote against one of its resolutions on homosexuality in public school education.
This really isn't news. The AG is only talking about the current state of affairs, not the effects that the amendment will have in the face of court challenges by anti-gay activists and puritanical Victorian social engineers. For example, as David pointed out, CCV, the parallel organization to VA's "some" families foundation filed an amicus brief that challenged the notion of domestic violence protection for an unmarried household member, as that legal status "assigns" a benefit of marriage.
Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has just issued his official opinion on the Virginia Marriage Amendment, which will be on the ballot for Virginia voters on November 7.
You can read the complete opinion at the AG's Web site.
Following are key excerpts:
It is my opinion that passage of the marriage amendment will not affect the current legal rights of unmarried persons involving contracts, wills, advance medical directives, shared equity agreements, or group accident and sickness insurance policies, or alter any other rights that do not â€œapproximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriageâ€ or create â€œthe rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.â€ It further is my opinion that passage of the marriage amendment will not modify the application and enforcement of Virginiaâ€™s domestic violence laws.
The gay community undoubtedly appreciates you, moron. Thanks for providing the first absolutely perverse and hostile comment at the NVTH Blog in just about one year of existence.
I take it you are in Columbus, OH, and you are what the right-wingers warn about when they talk about a "gay agenda."
Don't worry about your pearls of wisdom being lost, because I have saved them, along with 220.127.116.11.
And you know what, "Rusty?"
I think you might have just spilled a bit more than you intended to.
Congrats. You conveyed a very important aspect of the gay, lesbian, blah blah blah whatever the hell it is bunch of people's - ok I won't say "agenda" I'll just say modus operandi.
Funny how that little element has managed to slip under the radar in the debate, eh?
There is more to come on this topic, believe me. We've been lucky here so far to have the David's and Jonathan's of the world as our ambassadors from the GLBT community (pardon me if I mixed up the letters) because D and J are such gentlemen. But that happenstance misses a bigger reality:
The Gay-Lesbian-etc-etc community has a bit of an edge to it.
And, no, this statement isn't just based on the unfortunate singular comment of an individual here. That individual's comment fit a pattern, a very recognizable pattern. It reminded me, for instance, of things I've heard since the 1980s. Not from my gay friends, mind you, of which I have had many, but from the gay ACTIVISTS - a separate group and an obnoxious group whose, uh, agenda, seems to be to impose on the rest of society a sexual more designed to provoke outrage.
It isn't just me and Jacob talking with David and Jonathan about bedroom politics. It's gay folks who want to demonstrate gay behavior around straight people's children. The ones who walk up to our kids at a public event embracing and kissing solely for show and the outrageousness of it all. Homosexuals and bisexuals don't want merely to be accepted: They want to ram their sexual practices down our throats and our families' throats.
Here's a free piece of advice to the gay- etc-etc community: We heterosexuals think of you as regular people who engage in different sexual practices. Beyond those practices, we're the same.
But when your PR takes the form of indoctrination about your own sexual practices, we tend to say "STOP."
And then we tend to spell out all the reasons we do not want homosexuality advocated in the public sphere.
Let's not any of us forget that the reason the latter argument has had to be made is because the gay community has thrown the grenades. They're the ones who want to blow our minds, expand our horizons, expand our KIDS' horizons, and generally make everyone very uncomfortable with the hope the discomfort can be attributed to heterosexuals' "uptightness."
Nope. Sorry, boys, but we see through it. You are hostile.
You have a massive arena for self expression in society and freedom to carry on whatever private sexual activities you want. But you want more than that. You want everyone who is less enlightened than you about the superiority of alternative sexual practices to have to hear about your sexual practices all the time. You want our kids to hear about it. You want to rock our world.
Memo to the gay activists: You are breaking no new ground. All of us in the heterosexual camp are familiar with the concepts of sexual experimentation and the fluidity of sexual identity. "Homosexuality" is, I submit, a commonplace idea. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy does not leave us freaked out with eyeballs spinning. We know what it is.
The key question is, how RUDE are you going to be in trying to press your agenda. Because there is an agenda - don't try to hide that. Maybe David and Jonathan are the lone civic purists seeking no more than equal standing for gays in Virginia. But some of their compatriots certainly seek what many gays and lesbians seem to seek, which is the overthrow of the social norm of heterosexuality.
Commenter Zimzo just submitted an excellent comment on my recent post about the marriage debate (you should read that thread first), and instead of jawing back and forth in the comments I'll make this one a new entry and respond point by point. Zimzo's essay is in the quote boxes:
The reason assault and battery is not specifically defined in the Virginia Code is that it was previously defined in English common law from which the code derives, namely the "an intentional harmful or offensive contact" or the "apprehension" thereof. Society has agreed on that definition for centuries and the only comment the Virginia code makes on that definition is to protect teachers and other school personnel from being charged for assault and battery in the reasonable prosecution of their duties. Otherwise, there is a broad consensus on the definition.
But when it comes to marriage under English Common law, the definition has undergone dignificant changes. In fact, the definition usually relied on in Great Britain and British Commonwealth countries is the one Lord Penzance formulated in Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee in 1866, to wit that marriage is "The voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others." Obviously, this definition was formulated long after English common law had any influence on Virginia code and we can see already that even this definition has undergone a significant alteration in that the legalization of divorce makes the phrase "for life" no longer necesarily true.
If you look at Commentaries on the Laws of England, by Sir William Blackstone, probably the most well-known treatise on English common law published in 1765 we also see an institution that looks far different from what marriage looks like today. The definition of marriage under English common law according to Blackstone was a union of husband and wife where "the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended." Again, this definition has undergone extreme alteration. We no longer see marriage as the forfeiting of legal standing under the law by women.
How interesting. Most people, certainly including myself, don't know much about this history. But it sort of proves my point. While all these aspects of marriage have changed, and the majority aren't familiar with them, most people would still contend they know what "marriage" is because the one-man, one-woman part has been the central part of its definition.
For some reason, visitor Bill Garnett and the NOVA TownHall constable on patrol, Jack, have been debating in the comments section of a month-old post here. Reading their exchange evoked a couple of thoughts I'm going to jot down here, both to invite further discussion and get Bill and Jack back on the front page, in the interests of social order.
To get the context, please read the last 5 or so comments in that post.
Bill seems to mean well but he has fallen for the fallacious argument that the burden of proof is on people who don't think the definition of marriage should be changed. It's very clever, but it's not true.
Same sex marriage did not exist anywhere in the world until about 10 years ago, and during that time the evidence of it's effect on society is incredibly sparse. There's hardly sufficient data to analyze the impact in Europe, and there's pretty much zero data in the U.S.
Proponents of same sex marriage actually have quite a mountain to climb in order to make the case it will not have a negative impact on society because they don't have any evidence to support their claim. They're saying, let's change the institution that's been around for a really long time, in order to try something that's never been done before. Not an easy sell if you look at it rationally.
Lately Iâ€™ve fallen far short of my previous blogging paceâ€”Iâ€™ve been using most of what free time I have outside of work and family obligations to support the Marriage Amendment (and let's be honestâ€¦ the blogosphere is not the most effective way to do that given most folks here already know where they stand and need little motivation to become politically activeâ€¦ I am trying to reach those who may not be aware of the Marriage Amendment and may only be exposed to the $3 million misinformation campaign planned by the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition). Itâ€™ll be great to get back into the swing of things here at NOVA TH once E-Day has come and gone but I have to say it is refreshing to make phone calls and go door-to-doorâ€”meeting so many enthusiastic supporters of the amendment!
Speaking of the Marriage Amendment, I am surprised nobody has posted on this yet, but on August 17th the Weekly Standard published an article by Ryan Anderson titled â€œBeyond Gay Marriage: The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want.â€ This piece is relevant to the debate raging in Virginia because it highlights A) the logical extension of the warm and fuzzy No-Fault Freedom arguments being advanced by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates; and B) it yet again demonstrates what side can be trusted in this debateâ€”whose claims are unsubstantiated misinformation efforts and whose are not (in this case validating some of the long mentioned concerns held by defenders of marriage).
Andersonâ€™s article discusses the once dismissed â€œslippery slopeâ€ argument: if marriage, as it is currently defined (and as it has been for much of human history), is dramatically redefined (in this case via unelected judges) to no longer mean the unique union of the two complementary parts of the human organismâ€¦ there will no longer be a satisfactory reason to deny similar benefits/status to a whole host of relationships beyond monogamous same-sex couples. He says:
â€¦Gay marriage's "conservative" proponents have countered that the model of opposite-sex marriage, with its norms of monogamy, exclusivity, and permanence, could apply just as well to same-sex partners. That everything which makes a marital relationship worthwhile to heterosexual spouses, to their children, and to the state would apply to gay couples as well. Essentially, that same-sex partners want the exact same things as straight couples. And that basic fairness requires recognition of their relationships by the government.
Defenders of marriage saw through this. Scholars like Hadley Arkes and Robert P. George noted that by rejecting the grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sex--the state would lose the principled basis for refusing to recognize polygamous (one man to multiple women) or even polyamorous (multiple men to multiple women, i.e. group) marriages. For pointing this out, they were called slippery-slope reasoners, scaremongers, and bigots. After all, it was said, no one seriously argues in favor of state-sanctioned polygamy or polyamory; George and Arkes were just slandering the good name and intentions of same-sex marriage activists.
It turns out that George and Arkes's points were not slanderous, but prophetic.
He goes on to discuss theâ€ Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" statement put forward by a group (Beyond Marriage) composed of 250 â€œscholars, civic leaders, and LGBT activistsâ€ recently published as a full-page ad in the â€œNew York Times.â€ The broad spectrum of relationships endorsed by these same-sex "marriage" activists/leaders is truly shocking:
The statement lists several examples of such relationships, among them "committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner"--that is, polygamy and polyamory. But this is mild compared to what follows: demand for the legal recognition of "queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households." The language is breathtaking. Queer couples (plural) who jointly create a child? And intentionally raise the child in two (queer) households? Of course, no reference is made to the child's interests or welfare under such an arrangement--only to the fulfillment of adult desires by suitable "creations."
If you donâ€™t believe Andersonâ€™s description, go right to the source and read the document itself! Here is a quote directly from the organization Beyond Marriage.org:
Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others. While we honor those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal--for some, also a deeply spiritual--choice, we believe that many other kinds of kinship relationships, households, and families must also be accorded recognition.
And folks, these signatories arenâ€™t all no-name ultra-fringe people! They include Gloria Steinem, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, etc. These are (apparently) respected leaders within the same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ movement.
Anderson concludes his discussion of the Beyond Marriage statement by making the point that there truly is no middle way between the demands of those wishing to radically and fundamentally redefine marriage. He says:
The stated goal of these prominent gay activists is no longer merely the freedom to live as they want. Rather, it is to force you, your family, and the state to recognize and respect their myriad choices. The result of meeting these demands will be a culture, a legal system, and a government that considers a monogamous, exclusive, permanent sexual relationship of child-bearing and child-rearing nothing more than one among many lifestyle choices.
Still think this isnâ€™t a legitimate/real concern? Why donâ€™t you check out the Unitarian Universalists website where they already have a â€œPolyamory Awarenessâ€ support group:
Polyamory Awareness: It is possible to love more than one person at a time with honesty and integrity. If your family is polyamorous or if you have questions, you are not alone. UUs for Polyamory Awareness invites you to join us in providing support, promoting education, and encouraging spiritual wholeness. Speakers available. UUPA, 2111 Lido Circle, Stockton, CA 95207, www.uupa.org.
Or check out this Fox News report on pro-polygamist teens who are rallying to â€œdefend their familiesâ€ (sound familiar?) out in Utah. Here is a statement from one activist:
"Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. "I didn't come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to."
Geeâ€¦ sounds like a very familiar emotional appeal. I would love to hear a same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocate explain to me how, if some judge (and that is what is the issue with the Marriage Amendmentâ€”opponents want to leave Virginia vulnerable to judicial redefinition of marriage) rips what Anderson eloquently called â€œthe grounding foundation of marriage--the unique psychosomatic unity possible only between one man and one woman in conjugal sexâ€ from the definition of marriageâ€¦ how do you justify denying these polygamist and polyamorist demands?
Iâ€™d be remiss if I didnâ€™t mention the other aspect of Andersonâ€™s article. He brings our attention to the Princeton Principles, a scholarly document officially titled â€œMarriage and the Public Good: Ten Principles.â€ This is document is effectively the opposite of the Beyond Marriage document and uses the best academic findings on marriage and family to verify what we already knowâ€”marriage as the union of one-man, one-woman is a unique and valuable relationship worthy of protection. Here at NOVA TH we have some regulars who donâ€™t believe children deserve a mother and a father. They would support alternative relationships designed to deny children exactly that which is so important to their successâ€” a mom and a dad. The Princeton Principles (and Andersonâ€™s concluding comments) strike right at the heart of this fantasy and validate what most of us already know:
Many noted think tanks and sociologists, regardless of political persuasion, have affirmed the findings of the scholars who contributed to the Principles. The Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the left-of-center Brookings Institution, for example, confirmed the Principles' claims regarding child well-being. In a 2005 issue of their jointly produced journal, The Future of Children, titled, "Marriage and Child Wellbeing," the editors write in their introduction, "The articles in this volume confirm that children benefit from growing up with two married biological parents." Likewise, the left-leaning research organization Child Trends echoed these conclusions in a research brief summing up the scholarly consensus:
â€œResearch clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.â€
While it seems some are willing to discuss the true benefits of marriage (and the negative impact to be had in allowing some judge to radically redefine marriage) in the Virginia blogosphereâ€¦ the anti-Marriage Amendment campaign has strategically chosen to circumvent the real issue (because they know they would lose) and instead toss out the same tired old red-herring voter confusion tactics we have seen in the 20 other states that have passed similar Marriage Amendments (all unmarried rights will crumble, etc) despite the lack of evidence to support their claims. Want a taste of what weâ€™ll actually see from the well financed anti-Marriage Amendment coalition? Here is one of the unsubstantiated alarmist ads their allies are already running in Wisconsin:
Between this kind of absurd misinformation and the usual â€œbigotâ€ accusations we can expect a real honest and civil discourse as November looms (note sarcasm). Hopefully the grassroots campaign to defend marriage can withstand this high-dollar misinformation onslaught. Please go to VA4Marriage to signup to help ensure we protect marriage.
OK, the posting 'Ugh' From-On-High is linking pedophilia with homosexuality in a ham fisted way; but is that gay bashing? Critical discussion of the possible impact of oneâ€™s life-style choices upon the society about you can venture into negative comparisons without being hateful. Some, however 'Jonathon', David, and marshmallow), resort to killing the messenger in effigy. 'Gay bashing' and 'bigot' are wonderfully unsupported, slanderous statements made in regard to Sophrosyne. I love seeing an electronic lynching carried out before my eyes. Piling on and parroting what your fellow traveler says does not add weight to your arguments. It only shows those who read your words that you are an unthinking lemming running off the cliff. BANZAI!
So stop hyperventilating. I think the point that Sophrosyne was trying to make by using From On Highâ€™s posting is that the traditional sexual mores did provide some measure of sexual protection for those who really needed to be protected. In this case they were autistic boys. Furthermore, in times past in our society, predators such as Phillip Distasio never got the insane idea that what they did was natural or good in any way.
Not too long ago, all sex outside of traditional marriage was labeled as sin; adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality were all lumped together in the 'sin pile.â€™ There were 'blue' laws that punished such activity; the capriciousness of the enforcement of such laws not withstanding.
Today we no longer punish the first four from the above list (adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexual liaison) but continue to disavow or punish the last three (pedophilia, incest, and bestiality). All this predator is doing is moving the line a little further down the list. Which begs the question: "What determines the proper place to put that line?"
He can try to move the line with impunity because we have chased 'morality' from the sexual arena. The result is that today we permit the breaking of the old mores with respect to much of the practiced sexual deviancy. That is not gay bashing -- it is a fact of life. As a society, we have divorced sex from procreation and love. The rampant growth in pornography available for consumption in our modern society is clear, irrefutable evidence of this divorce. Without children and love of one another as the chief aim, sex has become simply an exercise in self gratification.
Procreation and love are both intimately tied to the process of raising children. In 'nature' or 'under God,â€™ creating and nurturing the next generation is the fundamental outcome of sex. Self-gratification was a happy byproduct of the act. The sexual act creates the children and simultaneously strengthens the bond between the couple. This bond is necessary to maintain the family; the family that is the life support for the children. Whereas sexual self-gratification to the exclusion of all else is utter selfishness masquerading as love.
Please note that in my arguments above I have not singled out any of the nontraditional, extramarital sexual activities in particular. All have the same drawback of not being linked to procreation and child rearing. Children may issue from some of these activities; love of your partner may spring from others. But none of these extramarital sexual encounters starts that way, and some can never fulfill both of the traditional marriage hallmarks.
Several examples: the pedophilic rape of a 5 year old will never yield children or love; the incestuous use of oneâ€™s daughter destroys love, the daughter, and the family; homosexual intercourse is barren of children; an adulterous affair betrays love. All fail to satisfy the original, fundamental purpose of sex. Although children may be conceived in adultery or fornication, those acts still fail to meet the totality of the fundamental purpose, because in these illicit encounters, the proper family environment for raising the child will be absent. However, in all four examples, the act does serve as a conduit for achieving what was originally the byproduct of sex.
Only under the covenant of traditional marriage is the goal de jure love of another and creation. This is in stark contrast to the other forms of sexual union where the de facto goal is self-gratification. Some are more destructive than others; still, all are exercises in self-gratification and as such, all are ultimately futile exercises in selfish behavior. Is this gay bashing?
I will freely acknowledge that this missive is not flattering to the gay life style, for through the lens of the Bible, homosexual acts are sins, as are adultery, fornication, etc. This missive is also not flattering of the free love pop culture either. Would you three care to engage in some discussion, or, is someone else going to turn off his brain and meanly shout 'bigot'?
I just finished reading a great column by Michael Medved on the issue of same-sex "marriage" and the intrinsic differences between men and women. Medved's piece is concise, well reasoned and articulates the principles I think many of us here at NOVA TownHall have been grappling with for a few months nowâ€¦ definitely worth a read. Here is a good seized excerpt:
If, then, society has achieved a new consensus -- near unanimity, in fact-- on the issue of the significance of gender differences, it ought to be possible to reach more widespread agreement on key elements of the same sex marriage debate. If men and women remain irreducibly different, itâ€™s dishonest to suggest that marrying a man is the precise equivalent of marrying a woman. That doesnâ€™t mean that a male-male relationship is evil, or decadent, or doomed, but it does mean that itâ€™s hugely, inarguably different in its very essence from a male-female relationship --- or, for that matter, from a female-female relationship. Man-woman connections involve a fusion of opposites in a primal, elemental way that same sex associations canâ€™t replicate. You may believe that this binding of the two genders is no better â€“ or perhaps even less beneficial â€“ than a connection between two people of the same sex, but no honest observer can maintain that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are indistinguishable or interchangeable. The endlessly repeated argument of gay union advocates that â€œwe donâ€™t want to change the institution of marriage, we want to expand the institution of marriageâ€ is deceitful on its face. Of course the expansion of matrimony to include same sex couples involves a huge alteration in the long-standing definition of marital dynamics. It requires the abandonment of the timeless notion that bringing male-and-female together in intimacy achieves special power not just because of the reproductive potential but because of the combination of two vastly different genders. A love between people of the same gender may be beautiful, sentimental, even noble, but itâ€™s not he same thing as the union of male-and female. The basis of the natural family has always arisen from the idea of a â€œMarriage of Oppositesâ€ â€“ and that phrase serves as the title of the forthcoming book by my own better half, psychologist and author Dr. Diane Medved.
This recognition answers one more of the constantly invoked arguments of the activists who seek to redefine marriage. â€œWhy is it a threat to your marriage,â€ they ask, â€œif the government gives similar recognition to the marriage of two guys or two women in gay relationships?â€
The response ought to be obvious: the problem with gay marriage isnâ€™t that it harms my marriage, or yours, but that it changes the institution of marriage â€“ for my children, my grandchildren, and all future generations. It downplays the essential, irrevocable nature of gender differences â€“ and serves to undermine the crucial importance of gender specific roles in all relationships. A gay couple might claim that they fill distinctive roles in their relationship â€“ with one woman working hard to support the family, for instance, while the other cooks and decorates and nourishes the kids. But choosing complementary roles for the sake of convenience or preference isnâ€™t the same as recognizing that these contrasting approaches arise from your very essence as a man or a woman. Thereâ€™s something arbitrary, synthetic and, indeed, temporary about a same sex couple attempting to imitate a heterosexual marriage by fulfilling distinct responsibilities in the relationship.
If you, like many of us here and across Virginia, agree with Medvedâ€™s above points and believe that marriage is the union of one-man and one-woman and no child should be willfully denied a mother or a fatherâ€¦ then get out there and support the Marriage Amendment! You can sign-up to do so here.
I like our attorney general: Color me a Bob McDonnell fan. Leaving aside the fact there were over 100 people packed into Cascades Library in Sterling and more than half of them were eager to ask questions on two of the most contentious issues facing Virginians, and Attorney General McDonnell had less than two hours to address everything and everyone: When we started it was over 100 degrees outside and over 80 inside and this man in business attire never broke a sweat.
That, my friends, is composure. I can say that with authority because I was business casual and sweating like Riggo during two-a-days.
More than that, Bob McDonnell did an exemplory job answering tough questions on very difficult topics. A good percentage of the audience was there not to praise him, but to challenge him. I think everyone present will agree he rose to the challenge even if his answers were not to everyone's liking.
He stated his positions on the Virginia Marriage Amendment and illegal immigration clearly and honestly - and he acknowledged when questioners pointed out potential problems in local, state and federal policies.
I like it when a public official admits, "That is a really good question," rather than try to give a BS answer. A politician responding with honesty and integrity: What a concept!
I also like it when a public official hangs out to talk with local residents long after an official event has ended. AG McDonnell stayed until the last person in line got to speak his or her peace. Late on a hot summer evening. That's why I'll never run for public office.
Details of the meeting will come later. Many of the AG's statements were worthy of lengthy quotation: I'll post these in the near future. For now, I'll rely on the rule that a picture's worth a thousand words, so here's a bunch of pictures to give you a feel for the night's events without me having to write a thousand words.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (l) explains to John Grigsby that if you can't state your case clearly, you just might be a liberal. And watch the hand signals.
UPDATE: Paul Protic, our outstanding Loudoun County Republican Committee chairman, was also here for the event. Sorry I did not get a photo!
While this full text is already printed on all the VA4Marriage literature used across the state and is available by following either of the two pro-marriage links on the left side of this blog... I am printing the full text here per Alice's request.
The Virginia Marriage Amendment
To Amend Article I of the Virginia Bill of Rights so that it includes:
Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
The more folks that learn about the Marriage Amendment the better!
In the spirit of even greater disclosure/information, I encourage everyone to read and post the Virginia State Board of Electionâ€™s explanation of the Marriage Amendment. Note that this official legal explanation of the Marriage Amendment was drafted by the Attorney Generalâ€™s office (the â€œpeopleâ€™s lawyerâ€) and then passed by both the House of Delegate and the State Senate prior to being made available through the State Board of Elections. I encourage everyone posting the full text of the Marriage Amendment to also make this official explanation available, althought I doubt the anti-Marriage Amendment folks will do so given the fact that this cuts right through the red-herring argument they are advancing in order to try and defeat the Marriage Amendment and leave marriage vulnerable to radical redefinition via the litigation. Anyways... here is the SBE explanation, reprinted in its entirety:
Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Be Voted on at the November 7, 2006, Election
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Article I. Bill of Rights. Section 15-A. Marriage.
BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 1
Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:
â€œThat only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.
This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.â€?
The Constitution does not define marriage. Under current statutory law in Virginia, persons who marry must have a license and be married by a licensed minister, judge, or other person authorized by law to perform marriages. Present law prohibits marriages between certain individuals. For example, the law prohibits a marriage between a brother and sister, between a couple where one of the parties is married to someone else, and between couples of the same sex.
In 1975, the General Assembly enacted a statute (present Code of Virginia Â§ 20-45.2) that states "A marriage between persons of the same sex is prohibited." In 1997, the General Assembly added a sentence to Â§ 20-45.2 that states that:
Any marriage entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created by such marriage shall be void and unenforceable.
In 2004, the General Assembly passed a law to prohibit certain civil unions or other arrangements between persons of the same sex. That law (Code of Virginia Â§ 20-45.3) states that:
A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.
Thus, civil unions or other arrangements which purport â€œto bestow the privileges or obligations of marriageâ€ are prohibited by statute.
If approved by the voters, this proposed amendment will become part of the Constitution of Virginia. The proposed amendment adds a definition of marriage as the â€œunion between one man and one womanâ€ to the Constitution's Bill of Rights and prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.
Marriage in the Commonwealth creates specific legal rights, benefits, and obligations for a man and a woman. There are other legal rights, benefits, and obligations which will continue to be available to unmarried persons, including the naming of an agent to make end-of-life decisions by an Advance Medical Directive (Code of Virginia Â§ 54.1-2981), protections afforded under Domestic Violence laws (Code of Virginia Â§ 18.2-57.2), ownership of real property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship (Code of Virginia Â§ 55-20.1), or disposition of property by will (Code of Virginia Â§ 64.1-46).
A "yes" vote on the proposed amendment will result in the addition of the proposed Section 15-A to Article I, the Bill of Rights. A "no" vote will mean that there will be no change made in Article I, the Bill of Rights.
FULL TEXT OF AMENDMENT
[Proposed new language is underlined. Existing language that is deleted is shown as stricken (stricken).]
Amend Article I of the Constitution of Virginia by adding a section numbered 15A as follows:
ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 15-A. Marriage.
That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.
This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.
Attorney General's Office 5/9/06 Explanation -- 473 words
Approved by House Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/10/06 Approved by Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections 5/12/06
Chris Freund, Director of Communications
Monday, July 31, 2006
Information Alert: What do the polls mean?
Headlines across Virginia today announced a new Mason Dixon poll that shows 56 percent of Virginians support the constitutional amendment protecting marriage that will be on this November's ballot. According to the poll, the amendment is favored by over 60 percent in almost every region except Northern Virginia.
Opponents quickly dismissed the poll and touted their own that shows a much smaller 45 percent supporting and 40 percent opposing. That poll, paid for by the anti-amendment group Commonwealth Coalition and conducted by the "Republican pollster" Fabrizio-McLaughlin, claims that when citizens read the actual language of the amendment, support drops significantly. Amazing how a poll paid for by opponents supports exactly what opponents claim.
So, what do these new polls really mean?
Frankly, very little.
The only thing that matters is what happens on November 7. Polls taken in late July, three months before Election Day, shouldn't be taken very seriously. The fact is, we have a lot of work to do before November. We have to remember that our opponents will stop at nothing to confuse people about what the amendment will do. The focus of their campaign is to scare people into believing that passage of the amendment will have "unintended consequences" for all Virginians. Unfortunately, people who do not have all the facts may be swayed by such deception.
That is why it is so important that you join the effort to pass the amendment. It is vital that you understand what the amendment will and won't do so that you can educate your friends and family about the amendment. You can bet that opponents will spend millions taking their message to the airwaves this fall. We simply do not have the budget to do that. We need you to be our "big media." We need you to tell the truth about the amendment.
For more information on the amendment and on upcoming training opportunities, click www.va4marriage.org.
Click the links below to read various news stories about the amendment. Some may require free registration:
Groups target state's proposed amendment on same-sex marriage - Virginian Pilot
Proposed marriage amendment galvanizes both sides of debate - Roanoke Times
As Vote Nears, Opponents Attack Ban's Wording - Washington Post
Poll: Va. voters back gay marriage ban - Daily Press
Poll: Most in Va. favor ban on same-sex marriages - Virginian Pilot
Same sex marriage ban supported - Richmond Times Dispatch
2006 Values Voter Summit/Washington Briefing
FRC Action, Focus on the Family Action, and other pro-family groups are hosting the 2006 Values Voter Summit/Washington Briefing in Washington, D.C., September 22-24, 2006. Tony Perkins, Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Don Wildmon will be joined by confirmed speakers: Bill Bennett, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Charlie Cook, Kellyanne Conway, Ann Coulter, Myrna Blyth, Senator Bill Frist, Attorney General Phill Kline, Terry Jeffrey, Hugh Hewitt, comedian Steve Bridges, and more. Other invited speakers include: President George Bush, Senators George Allen and Sam Brownback, House Majority Leader John Boehner, Zell Miller, Pat
Buchanan, Michelle Malkin, Tony Blankley and more!
The event will take place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel with sessions devoted to topics such as: Does Religion Have a Prayer in Public Schools; The Preservation of Marriage - Why Children Need It; Courts Gone Wild - The Rightful Place of Judges in Our Republic; Why Can't Hollywood Get It; and The Role of the Church in Political Issues.
To find out more about the Values Voter Summit, including registration information, click here.
Via Life News:
A Florida abortion business in a Miami suburb has closed after it appears a baby was born alive following a botched abortion. Police in Hialeah are investigating the abortion facility after reports surfaced that a dead baby's body was located there.
According to witnesses, an unnamed young woman who was 23 weeks into her pregnancy went to the A Gynecologists Diagnostic Center abortion facility for an abortion.
Police say the 18 year-old woman went for the abortion on Thursday and came back the next day complaining of severe stomach pains. Abortion facility staff told her the abortion practitioner was not available and that she would have to wait.
After being taken to a waiting area, the woman allegedly gave birth to the baby that she thought had been aborted the day before. The teenager was sent home after a brief examination.
''Employees cut the umbilical cord, put the baby in a bag and walked away with it," Hialeah Lt. Ralph Gracia told a local CBS television station.
Officials say an anonymous caller, who they believe is an employee at the abortion business, alerted them to the birth and the infanticide of the child afterwards. However, when police arrived at the abortion facility, the baby's body was missing.
Absolutely sickeningâ€¦ but not altogether shocking given the industry. I imagine it is necessary to become desensitized to innocent human life in order to abort unborn children day in and day out.
UPDATED: Some in the comments section below seem to discredit the source (Life News) due to the fact that they unashamedly value human life from the moment of conception to natural death... So here is another source for the story, WSVN Channel 7 News- Miami. From this story:
Police located the woman who said she was 22 weeks pregnant when she went to the clinic for an abortion. The 18-year-old told officials she ended up giving birth to a live baby boy instead but did not know what happened to him afterwards. [Emphasis mine]
Again, absolutely sickening (and sadly the inevitable result of the "No Fault Freedom" pro-abortion crowd's own twisted logic that devalues innocent human life).
I am not proud (nor surprised) of the fact that Northern Virginia is the only region of the state where the Marriage Amendment did not poll particularly well (with 48% opposed, 44% in favor). Regardless of this poll or any others, those of us in favor of protecting marriage from radical redefinition a la Goodridge need to get out there and work hard to spread the word about the Marriage Amendment. The anti-Marriage Amendment coalition is heavily funded and has paid staff across the stateâ€”there can be no doubt they will spread as much misinformation and confusion as possible in an attempt leave marriage vulnerable to same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ litigation and judicial redefinition. This race will undoubtedly tighten up in the coming 99 days.
I've got to hand it to the anti-Marriage Amendment Commonwealth Coalition for their creativity... Yesterday they sent out an email designed to inspire hope in their cause to defeat the Marriage Amendment and leave the definition of marriage more vulnerable to litigation and judicial activism; the only problem was their inspirational metaphor was based on Floyd Landis' Tour de France victory (for those unaware Landis is suspected of cheating).
Quickly realizing their blunder they successfully converted their mistake into a new metaphor for their red-herring arguments that the Marriage Amendment will result in "no other legal agreements [being] allowed for any unmarried couples" and thus all contract rights will shatter (although they claim these are "unintended consequences" yet some of our visitors here seem to imply they are intended... which is it?). I've posted the text of both emails below the fold for your entertainment... not a bad example of a quick and creative recovery!
As to the actual message of their emails and their polling data (for which there has been pretty much zero disclosure with no cross-tabs being released nor any of the preceding questions to ensure it isn't a push-poll)... that's a whole other story! Regardless, those of us in favor of the Marriage Amendment cannot rest on our laurels and must assume we're running 10 points behind because our citizen-driven grassroots effort will be going head to head with a $3,000,000 special-interest campaign and paid staff in every region of the state. We will have to work to counter their misinformation campaign if we are to be successful.
Yesterday's stunning decision by Washington's Supreme Court upholding traditional marriage is not the only setback dogging same-sex marriage advocates.
In fact, 20 out of the 20 times it has come before voters, Americans have chosen to protect by constitutional amendment the idea of limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
So this year as it's brought before voters in another six â€“ or eight â€“ states, what do opponents plan to do to get their first single?
This article couldnâ€™t be more accurate, which is unfortunate for the sake of informed democracy.
Itâ€™s a great day for marriage and the family!
The Washington State Supreme Court upheld a state law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The long anticipated 5-4 ruling came 16 months after the case was argued.
Justice James Johnson wrote:
"This is a difficult case only if a court disregards the text and history of the state and federal constitutions and laws in order to write new laws for our State's citizens. Courts are not granted such powers under our constitutional system. Our oath requires us to uphold the constitution and laws, not rewrite them."
I couldnâ€™t have said it better myself!
From the Alliance for Marriage:
WASHINGTON, DC - Following the positive examples of New York, Nebraska, Connecticut, Georgia, and Tennessee, the Washington Supreme Court today upheld marriage as the union between a man and a woman in Washington State. The Alliance for Marriage, who drafted the Marriage Protection Amendment, today celebrated the Washington State Supreme Court decision protecting marriage as between a man and a woman. "Most Americans believe that gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose. But they don't believe they have a right to redefine marriage for our entire society," said Daniels. "Americans want our laws to send a positive message to children about marriage, family and their future."
The Washington State Decision
In a ruling that reflects the language of the amicus brief filed in the State of Washington last year, by the Alliance for Marriage, Supreme Court Justice James Johnson wrote: "This is a difficult case only if a court disregards the text and history of the state and federal constitutions and laws in order to write new laws for our State's citizens. Courts are not granted such powers under our constitutional system. Our oath requires us to uphold the constitution and laws, not rewrite them." The original amicus brief filed by AFM in Washington State argued that the legislature of Washington was fully entitled to protect marriage as an institution that seeks to ensure that more children will be raised in a home with a mother and a father.
The Battle is far from being over!
The New Jersey state Supreme Court, which could issue a ruling at any time, remains poised to strike down marriage. Lawsuits are also pending in California, Iowa, Oklahoma and Maryland. "While we applaud today's court decision in Washington, radical activists will remain undeterred in their attacks on marriage in state and federal courts," said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage. "It is important to remember that the battle to protect marriage is a marathon not a sprint, and AFM's Marriage Protection Amendment is clearly the only hope for the American people to determine the future of marriage under our laws."
On Tuesday the U.S. Senate passed the Child Custody Protection Act (65-34), which makes it a federal offense to transport a minor across state lines to have an abortion without her parents' knowledge. The U.S. House passed the Act 270-157 in April of last year. Despite the strong support and passage of the bill, yesterday pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin still tried to block the bill from going to a conference committee to resolve the differences that exist between the Senate and House bills.
This is just another example of the obstruction the Democrats have continued to do with this bill over the past year. Itâ€™s no secret that there is strong public support for parental notification laws, yet Democrats continue to hold up this legislation that will help protect the 29 states with such laws already on the books.
I receive National Right to Life's daily e-mail update called Today's News & Views. Today's edition is a reprint of an article from the March 2006 printed NRLC newsletter (written by the President of the NRLC) because the daily editor is out on vacation. I thought it was a blog-worthy overview of the life issue, enjoy!
If you'd like to become a regular subscriber to TN&V (which I highly recommend), click here.
ROE IN CRISIS AND THE BIG LIES: By Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
The pro-abortionists have had decades to make their case scientifically, morally, philosophically, and constitutionally. They have failed on all accounts.
The persistent failure of the pro-abortionists to make convincing arguments has been overshadowed by the fact that since 1973 we have had the most permissive abortion law among Western societies--Court-made law that has been imposed on the nation by unelected justices in the decisions of Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, Planned Parenthood of S.E. Pennsylvania v. Casey, and Stenberg v. Carhart.
Since 1973, science has in ever more detail revealed the humanity of the unborn child: Ultrasound images of unborn babies have become routine, and our genetic uniqueness is clearer than ever.
Morally, our nation is heading down the "slippery slope" invoked by pro-lifers in 1973: Infanticide, child abuse, and the killing of the disabled are becoming more prevalent. Add to that the physical and emotional hurt that abortion has placed on the aborting mothers.
Philosophically, the typical "pro-choicer" is stuck with primitive arguments: The unborn child is an "aggressor," so the mother can kill him. Or he is not a person because he lacks the ability to think rationally, perceive or express conscious emotions, or interact meaningfully, i.e., he supposedly is not a sentient human being--a definition that would make a non-person out of a young child, a sleeping adult, an anesthetized patient, or certain disabled persons. No wonder that, perversely, some think a healthy pig is "worth" more than an ill newborn child.
Constitutionally, the legal underpinnings of supposedly constitutional "abortion rights" are at least as weak now as they were in 1973. The pro-abortion majority on the Supreme Court is, of course, aware of the fatal constitutional flaw underlying Roe and its successors. Bereft of a constitutional basis for their ruling, the pro-abortion majority in Casey was again forced to engage in "an exercise of raw judicial power," just as it originally had done in Roe. Desperately (and pitifully) trying to command respect, the pro-abortion plurality in Casey wrote, "the Court's interpretation of the Constitution calls the contending sides of a national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution." Since the pro-abortion pressure groups had already gotten from the Court what they wanted in 1973, this arrogant statement could only mean that the pro-abortion majority on the Court wanted pro-lifers to shut up and go away.
[Article continued below the fold...]
Chris Freund, Director of Communications
Monday, July 24, 2006
Information Alert: Effect of Recent Court Decisions on Marriage
Recent court decisions in New York, Georgia, Massachusetts and Nebraska upholding traditional marriage laws have caused opponents to Virginia's marriage amendment to claim that Virginia's proposed amendment is unnecessary. A complete understanding of the issue, however, makes a clear and convincing case in favor of the amendment.
Same-sex marriage advocates fail to mention the sixteen other court cases in seven states that are pending regarding state defense of marriage acts. Those who wish to redefine marriage must be asked: "In light of these recent court decisions, will you stop going to court around the nation to litigate DOMAs?" The fact is that same-sex marriage advocates are not going to stop because a couple of courts throw roadblocks in their way.
Virginians must protect our current laws defining marriage by passing the Constitutional Amendment in November. You can bet that those who oppose this amendment are not going to close their doors because another state's court rejects same-sex marriage.
Currently, homosexual advocacy groups seeking to redefine marriage are challenging defense of marriage acts in seven states. They have gone to court to stop marriage amendments in numerous states, most recently losing their case in Tennessee. New Jersey and Washington are waiting for court decisions that could make them the second and third states to legalize homosexual marriage.
In addition, the Democratic National Committee has recently announced a five-point plan to defeat efforts to defend traditional marriage in states like Virginia. An official with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force recently said, "[O]ur collective goal is to win marriage equality - either through legislative or judicial action - in 10 states in 10 years," Foreman said. "There is no question that if our movement is resourced to scale, this is an achievable goal, and the New York court decision has no impact on that."
The activities of same-sex marriage advocates don't indicate that they are going to give up their fight anytime soon. Virginians must anticipate that same-sex marriage advocates will continue to pursue their goal of redefining marriage regardless of what has happened recently with these court decisions. We must ensure that Virginia's current laws are safe by passing the marriage amendment on November 7.
I donâ€™t know about you but I am not comforted by the â€œassurancesâ€ of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates that, due to two recent court rulings supporting marriage, we need not worry or pursue democratic efforts to protect the definition of marriage (such as the VA Marriage Amendment). Keep in mind that the special interest backers of the anti-Marriage Amendment coalition (those telling Virginians that they need not worry about activist judges and that the Marriage Amendment will shatter all contract rights between unmarried individuals) are just shopping for red-herring excuses to leave us vulnerable so to litigation intended to radically redefine marriage.
Virginians have nothing to lose and everything to gain in protecting marriage with the well-worded Marriage Amendment, which elevates existing principles beyond the reach of activist judges and activist litigation. â€œEquality Virginiaâ€ and other same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ special interest groups realize this and thus their overzealous rush to spew misinformation.
The couple, whose lawsuit resulted in the Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage, has separated after 2 years. As you may remember, the couple has a 10 year old daughter. Itâ€™ll be interesting to continue to see how long same sex marriages lastâ€¦
Currently, Virginia is among the 29 states that have parental involvement laws in effect.
I often read Professor Mike Adams' edgy columns posted on Townhall.com. He is a rare breed-- a conservative college professor who is just as outspoken about his conservative views as the Ivory Towerâ€™s radical left are about theirs (and unfortunately they dominate academia).
His latest column (written as a response to hate mail- something he often does) strikes at the heart of one of the arguments often proposed by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates, summarized by Adams here:
â€¦that homosexuality is genetic, not learned. Since these sexual urges are â€œnatural,â€ they are also â€œGod-givenâ€ and, therefore, you say, should be acted upon. And, since I am critical of homosexuality, you assert that I am interfering with Godâ€™s will. Finally, since Jesus never explicitly criticized homosexuality, you conclude that I am â€œun-Christianâ€ to do so.
His response is worth a read. For our loyal liberal readers who may disagree with Adamsâ€¦ I encourage you to send him a response; you just might make it into his next column!
PROVINCETOWN -- Town leaders here are holding a public meeting today to air concerns about slurs and bigoted behavior. And this time, they say, it's gay people who are displaying intolerance. Police say they logged numerous complaints of straight people being called ``breeders" by gays over the July Fourth holiday weekend. Jamaican workers reported being the target of racial slurs. And a woman was verbally accosted after signing a petition that opposed same-sex marriage, they said.
No time to comment but I wanted to share the article. On a loosely related note, click here to see how various House members voted on the Federal Marriage Amendment.
While this doesnâ€™t necessarily translate into support for the Virginia Marriage Amendment or any other state initiative to protect the definition of marriage by elevating existing law into the constitution and out of the reach of activist judges, I thought this June 22 polling data was interesting (although it is unfortunate that the crosstabs are only available to paid subscribers). First, we again see that an overwhelming majority of voters across the United States embrace the obvious, that marriage is fundamentally the union of the two complementary parts of the full human organism (one-man, one-woman):
Look up the word marriage in The American Heritage Dictionary and the first entry reads â€œthe legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.â€ Read a little further and the following definition is found: â€œa union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage.â€
While the dictionary canâ€™t provide a definitive explanation of marriage, 68% of Likely Voters take the traditional approach and define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that only 29% believe marriage can be the union of any two people. [Emphasis mine]
It is also worth noting that the people overwhelmingly favor direct ballot initiatives such as the Virginia Marriage Amendment when discussing who determines what constitutes marriage (i.e. how marriage is defined):
Despite all the legal and legislative maneuvering, just 12% of Americans believe that judges should determine issues like same-sex marriage. Only 5% think that elected officials should make those decisions. Overwhelmingly, 67% think that voters should make such decisions. [Emphasis mine]
Rasmussen ran a related poll discussing whether or not it is appropriate for individuals in an active same-sex relationship to serve as pastors and bishops in a Christian church. Not surprisingly:
The only demographic group to favor gay and lesbian pastors are those who rarely or never attend church.
More church related data discussed here.
Now get out there and work hard ob behalf of the positive campaign to protect the definition of marriage as one-man, one-woman via the Marriage Amendment! Sign-up to get involved by clicking this link.
Thank you President Bush. No citizen should be forced to contribute his/her hard earned tax-dollars to pay for the destruction of innocent human life in the name of "science" (despite the fact that there are many more successful ways to use/procure stem cells- all of which do not result in the end in the destruction of a human life.) Via the AP:
President Bush cast the first veto of his 5 1/2-year presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research "crosses a moral boundary" and is wrong.
"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.
"Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts," he said. [Emphasis mine}
More information found here.
Today the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts meets in a Constitutional Convention to consider a citizen driven effort (170,000+ petition signatures) to restore the definition of marriage which was fundamentally redefined by judicial fiat two years ago. In efforts to subvert the constitutional process same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates have been pushing for legislators to skip the Convention and deny a quorum as well as illegally tabling the amendment indefinitely.
Thankfully it looks like MA Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, the head of the Convention, has enough respect for the people of Massachusetts to at least permit a vote (only 50 votes are necessary to move the initiative forward) on the issue. However the Marriage Amendment is item 20 on the agenda so Travaglini may deny a vote today in order to consider other business, setting the stage to reconvene the Constitutional Convention later this year.
55-60 affirmative votes are expected once a vote is permitted and then the Marriage Amendment would have to be reconsidered at another Constitutional Convention and again garner 50 or more votes at which point it would then be sent directly to the people requiring a simple majority to be enacted.
BONUS UPDATE: Check out this post on Virginia Conservative Analysis discussing the true impact of the Virginia Marriage Amendment despite the red-herring claims of same-sex "marriage" advocates.
UPDATE: As anticipated by many, the Massachusetts legislature meeting in a Constitutional Convention, failed to vote on the citizen-driven initiative to restore the definition of marriage. In a 100 to 91 vote, they choose to ignore the will of many of the people of Massachusetts as indicated on the record-setting 170,000+ petitions and put off the mandated up-or-down vote until November 9th, when they will have just been safely re-elected.
I think Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said it best:
"Tens of thousands of citizens have petitioned the government for the right to have their voices heard. They have played by the rules. This issue won't go away until the people are heardâ€
This is just another reason why we shouldnâ€™t leave the definition of marriage unnecessarily vulnerable in Virginia, having to later scramble and fight entrenched special interest groups after some judge legislates from the bench and rips the core out of marriage (the same special interest groups that will already be spending $3 million this November on an extensive red-herring misinformation campaign to confuse Virginia voters).
More information on what happened yesterday in Massachusetts can be found here.
- Gay activists, Sharpton and the war on words, By Star Parker
Discusses the use of verbiage and terminology in the marriage debate, specifically in light of the recent New York case rejecting the litigation brought forth by same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates in an attempt to redefine marriage:
For the gay activist plaintiffs the offense here is that there is something _ in this case marriage _ that might actually have some real, irreducible meaning, not accessible to political activism. Sort of the opposite of Shakespeare's point that "...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That is, I commit a hate crime if I deny your claim that your dandelion is a rose.
The strategy in the assault on marriage is that if the institution is not providing what you want, change the meaning of the institution. Why it is the way it is, the fact that it has been this way from time immemorial and, indeed, the idea that there might be anything objectively true, becomes irrelevant.
The problem gets transformed from the preservation of the integrity of marriage, which was the original point of the law, to a claim that the law discriminates and "restricts an individual's right to marry the person of his or her choice."
- Spank that Donkey has a post up discussing the stateâ€™s interest in protecting marriage from radical redefinition. There is also a follow up post addressing some of the complaints from same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activists.
In conclusion, I am not even touching the "moral arguments" involved in why we shouldn't have same sex marriage, I am just trying to "flesh out" the human side of why "same sex marriage" is not a good idea for our country, or really even the world in the long run... We need the One Man, One Woman Marriage Amendment to be implemented into our U.S. Constitution period. Let the rest of the world pursue their own social experiments.
- With Pope Benedict XVI in Valencia, By Jennifer Roback Morse
Discusses Spainâ€™s Socialist government in relation to Pope Benedictâ€™s pro-marriage, pro-family message during his visit to Valencia to close the Fifth World Meeting of Families:
So why would the Socialist government care about the Popeâ€™s broadcast? They are afraid that they will become the next in line of governments that have been peacefully up-ended by the power of a pontiffâ€™s message to the ordinary people. John Paul II famously inspired the Velvet Revolution in Poland, which led to the end of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. John Paul was a thorn in the side of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. Benedict may prove to be a trial to the Socialist government of Spain.
The Socialist government was not elected to impose same sex marriage on an overwhelmingly Catholic country. When the legislation was proposed, over a million people marched in Madrid to protest. Neither the President nor the Vice-President of Spain attended the Papal Mass, as is customary for heads of state. The Spanish government even financed a pro-homosexual conference that met at approximately the same time as the World Meeting of Families.
The Socialists may have overplayed their hand in Spain. People are sick of the social experiments. Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s inspiring words and gentle demeanor may just be the encouragement people need to push back decisively against the trends of redefining marriage and the family. People are ready to restore the ideal of one man, one woman, for life.
- Constitutional isogesis, By Mark M. Alexander
Compares Biblical isogesis to Constitutional isogesisâ€¦ helping to explain the foundation of judicial activism and where why we end up with such horrendous and legally indefensible decisions such as Roe and Goodridge:
The belief in a Constitution subject to the evolving interpretation of the judiciary has as its origin the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, where Chief Justice John Marshall ruled, "It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is." All well and good if the courts would continue to interpret the law exegetically, but as history would soon show, constitutional isogesis was lurking just around the corner.
In fact, by the early 20th century the isogetical interpretation of the Constitution had been given a name, courtesy of Howard McBain's 1927 book, The Living Constitution. In the decades that followed, this notion of a "living" Constitution, one subject to all manner of judicial interpretation, took hold in the federal courts. Judicial activists, who legislate from the bench by issuing rulings based on their personal interpretation of the Constitution, or at the behest of like-minded special-interest constituencies, were nominated for the federal bench and confirmed in droves.
This degradation of law was codified by the Warren Court, under the influence of Justice William Brennan, Jr., in Trop v. Dulles (1958). In that ruling, the High Court noted that the Constitution should comport with "evolving standards ... that mark the progress of a maturing society." In other words, it had now become a fully pliable document -- one that Jefferson had warned us would be a "mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please."
- Shaun Kenney: Your Marriage is Outdated and Bigoted , So sayeth Howard Dean:
Some great comments discussing Deanâ€™s absurd (and self-contradictory) commentsâ€¦ as always Shaun proves to be one of the most eloquent defenders of family in the blogosphere, well worth a read.
- High courts rebuke activist judges, By Kevin McCullough
Discusses the two recent court decisions in New York and Georgia as well as some other litigation coming down the pipe in other states:
Of course, both decisions are hated by liberals and therefore received spotty coverage in the media, but make no mistake, these decisions portend large in the upcoming decisions in New Jersey (which can't even seem to stay open), California (which seldom ever makes sense), and Washington. The Washington case being the biggest one of all.
In Washington there is no residency requirement for marriages to be performed. Simply put, if Washington courts go all Massachusetts on their votersâ€”suddenly couples from every state in the union could apply for marriage licenses, be pronounced man and husband, or woman and bride, and return to their state to then test the federal statute called the Defense of Marriage Actâ€¦
â€¦The sides who have lost in each of these cases have pledged to work night and day to get legislative approval to redefine marriage. In New Yorkâ€”if Elliot Spitzer is elected governor, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg does throw in the millions of dollars and manpower to conduct a grassroots effortsâ€”who knows what could happen! But at least such a scenario would still have to drive millions of voters to voting booths to get such a result. A good test of such a drive might be seen this fall in Massachusetts as the voters there will be allowed to weigh in on the issue for the very first time.
As you can easily see, the fight isn't over. It's barely just begun.
But it's always a good day to see activist judges get their lunch handed to them.
- Virginia Conservative Analysis chimes in with his/her support of the Marriage Amendmentâ€¦ he/she rightly sees through the red-herring argument that the Marriage Amendment (similar to the 20 that have already been enacted in other states) will invalidate â€œany and all relationships between unmarried individualsâ€ and thus rejects this misinformation campaign designed to leave Virginiaâ€™s definition of marriage vulnerable to same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ litigation.
- Mocking the rules in Massachusetts, By Jeff Jacoby
Discusses the Constitutional Convention called due to the record-setting 170,000+ signatures collected in favor of restoring the definition of marriage, specifically the efforts of same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ advocates to unconstitutionally derail the democratic process:
But for weeks now, same-sex marriage advocates have been telegraphing their intention to kill the marriage amendment through just such an unconstitutional ploy. "Every possible option is on the table," says the head of MassEquality, a powerful coalition opposed to the amendment. Among the tactics being discussed: adjourning the joint session before the amendment is brought up, or arranging for enough legislators to stay away in order to prevent a quorumâ€¦
â€¦Those intoxicated with their own moral superiority often find it easy to believe that it is "perfectly acceptable" to make a mockery of the rules that ensure fairness for those they look down upon. Homosexual marriage is widely supported by Massachusetts elites; few of them are likely to lose much sleep if the proposed amendment is derailed by an illegal parliamentary maneuver. In a newspaper ad appearing this week, 165 Massachusetts business executives and civic leaders endorse same-sex marriage and urge the Legislature to reject any amendment "that would take away rights." But the ad says nothing about the right of 170,000 Massachusets citizens to have their petition put to a vote on Beacon Hill.
"I think we have had enough of this debate," says Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick, siding with those who favor procedural tricks to cheat the amendment's supporters out of a vote. "The basic question here is whether people come before their government as equals." His position, in other words, is that scores of thousands of petitioners must be treated as second-class citizens in order to ensure that people aren't treated as second-class citizens.
- CNN Politics: Massachusetts court OKs same-sex marriage referendum
Discusses the defeat of the same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ activistsâ€™ final attempt to deny the people of Massachusetts their constitutional rights as the state prepares to convene a Constitutional Convention tomorrow. Also has some quotes exhibiting the raw arrogance of Supreme Judicial Court Justice John Greaney as he sits in his ivory tower and blasts the legitimate efforts of the people (with record setting number of petition signatures) to undo his act of judicial tyranny and restore the definition of marriage.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the proposed amendment is not a "reversal" of the court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage but a proposed change to the state constitution, which can be legally done through a citizen initiative...
...Justice John M. Greaney, in a concurring opinion, warned that approving an amendment banning same-sex marriage would be discriminatory because it would remove the rights of same-sex couples to the legal, social and financial benefits of marriage.
DNC Chairman Howard Dean on the New York decision stating that it is not the role of the courts to create policy/law and radically redefine marriage via litigation brought forward by liberal same-sex "marriage" advocates:
Today's decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing. [Emphasis mine]
The concept that children have a right to a mother and a father and that marriage is the union of a man and a woman is an "outdated and bigoted notion"? This, my friends, is another example of why, despite all the problems within the GOP and tension over Iraq, the Democrats will not sweep the table come November. These folks are WAY out of touch with middle-America.
Victoria Cobb, Executive Director
Friday, July 7, 2006
Victory Alert: Marriage Upheld by New York and Georgia Courts
Yesterday in New York and Georgia, two significant victories occurred in the nationwide battle to preserve traditional marriage.
New York's Ruling
In a combination of four lawsuits, attorneys representing a total of forty-four same-sex couples argued New York's decades-old domestic relations law violates the guarantees of equal protection and due process in that state's constitution. New York's highest court upheld the law, opining that it is the role of the legislature, not the court to legalize same-sex marriage.
During oral arguments, lawyers for the plaintiffs attempted to make several points:
1) First, they argued that gender is entirely a social construct. At this laughable point, a judge demanded answers for the obvious biological distinctions.
2) Second, attorneys declared that studies show that children fare equally well when raised by a mom and dad as when raised by some other combination of persons. This proclamation prompted one judge to request a study proving this fact. Instead of responding with a scientific study, the lawyer cited a statement released by the American Pediatric Academy. This lack of discernment between a political statement and a legitimate study did not seem to please the judge.
3) Third, it was stated that the court, not the legislature should define marriage. This line of argumentation had several judges asking the plaintiffs if the power of the court is equivalent to the legislature with respect to lawmaking.
New York's final opinion issued by a 4-2 majority is particularly important because the Court specifically addresses the fact that it is "rational" that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting children and that traditional marriage is best suited to do this.
Yesterday's second victory occurred when the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld that state's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.
In this case, plaintiffs challenged the inclusion of both same-sex marriage and civil unions within the same constitutional amendment, claiming that these were two distinct objects and thus violated the state's "one object" rule. In its unanimous decision, the Court opined that the 77% of Georgia voters who put this amendment into the Constitution knew what they were doing and viewed it as one issue.
For more information, you may review the final opinion.
Impact on Virginia
The citizens of Virginia will also understand what it is they are voting for and that all the deception regarding so-called unintended consequences is just a thinly veiled attempt at avoiding the real issue - how we are going to define marriage for future generations.
While these rulings continue a trend of momentum for traditional marriage supporters, they do not alleviate the need for Virginians to keep working to pass our constitutional amendment this November. Several cases are still pending around the nation in places like Washington and New Jersey, where outcomes are expected to be grim. Without a constitutional amendment here in Virginia, a state judge may overturn our public policy protecting traditional marriage. We must be encouraged when courts do the right thing, but continue in our diligence to protect our law.
I for one really look forward to reading the New York court's majority opinion when I can find some time! It'll be interesting to compare and contrast with Goodridge.
Given my growing involvement in the grassroots effort to support the protection of marriage via the Virginia Marriage Amendment, I continue to have too little time to blog (itâ€™s a matter of priorities I suppose). However, I did want to take a few seconds to post the news that the overwhelming will of the people of Georgia has been restored and their Marriage Amendment (which passed by 76%) has been reinstated... as well as the news that New York dodged a bullet with a 4-2 decision rejecting same-sex marriage advocates' litigation urging New York's highest court to legislate from the bench and redefine marriage to no longer mean the union of a man and woman. While it is always refreshing to see a court (particularly in the Northeast) understand its role is not to create new law/policy, there can be no doubt that those in favor of redefining marriage will continue to bring litigation challenging the definition of marriage- we will continue to be unnecessarily vulnerable even here in Virginia.
The only way we can get past the point of having to hold our breath each time a state court addresses this issue is to pass a Marriage Amendment. Thankfully we here in Virginia will have just that opportunity come November.
In New York, the Court of Appeals said in a 4-2 decision that the state's marriage law is constitutional and clearly limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
Any change in the law would have to come from the state Legislature, Judge Robert Smith said.
"We do not predict what people will think generations from now, but we believe the present generation should have a chance to decide the issue through its elected representatives," Smith wrote.
The New York decision said lawmakers have a legitimate interest in protecting children by limiting marriage to heterosexual couples and that the law does not deny homosexual couples any "fundamental right" since same-sex marriages are not "deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition."
You can read the entire ruling here (rulings 86-89).
Via this WaPo article we learn about the staggering amount of money Anti-Marriage Amendment activists intend to raise in their campaign to oppose protecting the very definition of marriage from raw judicial activism.
To help rally amendment opponents, the Commonwealth Coalition, a Richmond-based group, has set an ambitious goal of raising $3 million, organizers said. They want to fund a barrage of radio and television ads in the fall. Meanwhile, the Family Foundation Action, which is organizing amendment supporters, has set a best-case-scenario fundraising goal of $900,000, although activists and volunteers said they expected to raise less than that.
And I thought weddings cost a lot of money! Note that the article also points out the following:
In 2004, supporters of marriage amendments out-raised their opponents.
Virginia has a real fight on its hands if the Anti-Marriage Amendment crowd will truly have a 3-1 financial advantage.
They will have much more money to fuel their misinformation campaign based on the red-herring argument that â€œVirginians shouldnâ€™t be concerned with the FACT that state courts have attacked the very definition of marriage (see Goodridge in Massachusetts)â€¦ no no, we should instead be concerned that by protecting marriage via elevating the same principle that already exists in law (the Affirmation of Marriage Act) and has never been interpreted to â€œinvalidate all contract rights between anyoneâ€ as claimed, we will pave the way for the real danger of judicial activism! Just trust us!... even though what weâ€™re really all about is the redefinition of marriage to create same-sex â€œmarriageâ€ via judicial fiat and weâ€™ve been lobbying to redefine marriage for years!â€
Itâ€™s going to be a long couple of monthsâ€¦ I hope and pray Virginians will see through the thick cloud of deceit and perceive the simple truth behind this issue... rejecting the effort to leave the definition of marriage vulnerable to attack via state courts.
Also, itâ€™s worth pointing out that this article highlights yet another broken promise of Governor Tim Kaineâ€¦ who if we recall repeatedly pledged not to raise taxes on the campaign trail in 2005, only to push for a massive tax-hike 6 days after being sworn into office (which thankfully the House beat back and ultimately rejected).
Well, let us not forget that Kaine also unequivocally declared his support for the Marriage Amendment as written during the 2005 campaign- even doing so in writing on both the Virginia Catholic Conference candidate survey and the Family Foundation survey. As Lieutenant Governor he presided over the Senate as they debated this issue in 2005 and knew exactly what the Marriage Amendment saidâ€¦ any claim otherwise is simply unbelievable. Well, once he was sworn into office his true agenda came to bear and he swiftly broke his promise to support the protection of marriage (his "new" position can be seen in the WaPo article)â€¦ choosing to side with liberal special interest groups such as Equality Virginia rather than Virginiaâ€™s families.
Just goes to show that our Governor is about as trustworthy as those now claiming the Marriage Amendment will somehow obliterate all of our other rights.
UPDATE: Some analysis from Vivian Paige... we may not agree on the Marriage Amendment but I do agree the amount of money thrown at this is pretty unecessary, after all the full text of the Marriage Amendment will be on the ballot for every voter to read.
Are black Americans supporting more and more pro-life candidates? Via Life News:
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., notes that abortion has disproportionately affected the black community. While black women constitute about 13% of the childbearing population, they have over one-third of the abortions.
The abortion rate of black women is three times higher than that of white women and 60% of African-American women who become pregnant will have an abortion. More than 14 million abortions have been done on black women and abortion businesses are frequently located in minority communities.
"I join the voices of thousands across America who can no longer sit idly by and allow this horrible spirit of murder to cut down," King says. "If the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to live, our babies must live."
Meanwhile, polls show black Americans are pro-life and supporting pro-life candidates in greater margins than before.
Given Democratic Nominee Jim Webb's lackluster performance in Virginia's black communities during the primary, his opposition to defending marriage as one-man and one-woman with the Virginia Marriage Amendment (which is extremely popular in ethnic and minority communities), and his opposition to commonsense pro-life legislation... will he be able to regroup and capture enough (probably meaning 90+%) of the black vote to compete with Senator George Allen, who supports marriage and pro-life legislation?
The donation causes huge concerns for pro-life advocates as the Gates Foundation has given the Planned Parenthood Federation of America abortion business almost $12.5 million since 1998, including funds to persuade teenagers to support abortion and to lobby the United Nations to advance pro-abortion proposals.
The Gates foundation has also given nearly $21 million to the International Planned Parenthood abortion business over the last seven years. The funds have gone to promote abortions in third-world nations and to set up pro-abortion family planning centers in South America, Africa and eastern European nations.
Bill Gates and his wife have also spent millions promoting abortion closer to home.
Their foundation has given nearly $2 million to Planned Parenthood of Central Washington and Planned Parenthood of Western Washington to fund abortion centers. The Gates Foundation also gave the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada more than $1.3 million to promote abortions there.
Check out this post on Shaun Kenney's website (and the interesting comment thread within).
Cardinal Rode, the Pope, and the Catholic Church are deserving of praise for their rock-solid rejection of the plague of moral relativism and their strident defense of family and marriage. The Holy Father was dead accurate when he said the following only hours before being chosen as the Successor of the Apostle Peter:
We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal oneâ€™s own ego and oneâ€™s own desires.
I encourage everyone to engage in the dialogue going on in Sean Kenney's comment thread. While the principal argument in defense of marriage (and family) is wholly secular, it is nonetheless important to understand and appreciate religious angle in which many people approach this issue in their daily lives.
...Charles is back! So the discussion continues...
That comment thread has not yet been rated, because I'll be away from the computer running around suburbia all day.
If trying lots of different kinds of beer, and having to work a little for each 6 ounces, sounds like fun, you should head over to the Old Dominion Brewfest this weekend.
You have to use these little 6 ounce glasses, and then buy round pogs - tokens - for a dollar a piece, and then trade one pog for one fill up at any of about 50 microbrewery exhibits. The basic drill is, go though the line, trade a pog for a fill up, then get in another line and drink and chat until you get to the next keg. The timing works out just about right, I found.
I'm no longer a beer drinker, so I only tried a few, and anyways that is not what I am here to report about.
The focus of my report tonight is, how life is just a little bit cuter when you're a Republican.
This is going to be the continuation of the mother of all gay marriage comment threads, because that one is just getting WAY too long. I'm not even going to try and summarize it except to say it is a very wide ranging debate, of varying emotional intensity, on the topics of gay 'marriage' and homosexuality in general. Get yourself a nice keg of root beer and a wheelbarrow full of peanuts, and go read it if you haven't already. If you just want to get up to speed on the following part of the discussion, scroll to the bottom and read the last 8 or 10 posts.
Now: When you last saw us, I had jumped into a debate I wasn't really part of to say I thought the accusation of 'homophobia' was being bandied about too generously. I was asked to explain my personal feelings about homosexuality, which I did as honestly as possible.
This, apparently, is rarely done, and judging by the incensed responses, I believe we have officially named reason number 224 that "Joe will never run for public office."
This is unfortunate, however, because as with so many debates today, most of the screeching is over misreadings or misrepresentations of what was actually said.
Pseudonymous commenter Zimzo's final remark was
Sorry, Joe, but there is a huge difference between not wanting to BE homosexual and thinking homosexuality is WRONG. There are plenty of straight people who support gay marriage, who don't think there is anything wrong with homosexuality, morally or otherwise, and can even watch "Brokeback Mountain" without turning their eyes away in disgust.
Pseudonymous commenter Gnossis' final remark was
Again, Joe, why dwell on the physical aspect of a gay relationship? What one does sexually in the privacy of his/her home is hardly of your or my concern. Can you somehow tie this back into your reason for outlawing a loving, monogamous relationship between two consenting individuals of the same sex?
Click on the link below to read my response, and for much more of my ranting and raving about homosexual sex.
As a red-blooded American, there's nothing I enjoy more than walking up to another man, jamming my forehead against his, then yellin' at each other for four hours straight.
But even so, the argument going on in Sophrosyne's VA4Marriage post has me impressed and humbled. Anyone interested in the issue will find it well worth reading, but if you intend to get involved plan to have your thinking cap on and sources available for review.
And to clear up the nagging question: I believe Sophrosyne is going to declare itself gender-neutral until November in order to be able to contribute objectively to the ongoing debate.
UPDATE: Jiminy Christmas! In 25 years they will still be teaching graduate-level courses on that comment thread, is my prediction. And not just on the mystery of "Sophie's" sexuality either.
Everyone should head on over to Commonwealth Conservative and check out the great live-blog with our Attorney General, Bob McDonnell. I asked a few questions, one of which was: "Could you please comment on the Marriage Amendment and the all the hoopla the opponents of the amendment seem to be making about your interpretation as to its affects. What, if anything, will you be doing to support passage of the Marriage Amendment this November?"
Here the AG's reply:
Bob: The Marriage Amendment elevates to Constitutional protection the long-standing view in western civilization that marriage is between one man and one woman. This policy is already embodied in several statutes in Virginia. However, because of several recent United States Supreme Court and other statesâ€™ Supreme Court decisions, the legislature correctly believed that state constitutional protection was necessary. The official explanation of the Amendment passed by the General Assembly, upon the advice of this office, as required by law, states clearly that the ordinary civil rights of unmarried persons will not be affected by this Amendment. I strongly support the passage of the Amendment.
I look forward to seeing our AG in person on August 1st when he visits one of our NOVA Town Hall meetups.
NOVA TownHall will be staving off the 'dog days' in DC with a robust summer meeting schedule on a variety of critical issues for residents of Northern Virginia.
Our headliner will be Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, who will speak on the topics of the Virginia Marriage Amendment, and Illegal Immigration, on August 1, 2006, 7:00 pm, at the Cascades Library (adjacent to the Cascades Shopping Center in Sterling).
Click on the link below for the rest of the NVTH summer meeting schedule.
With all the discussion of the Allen-Webb Senate race, let's not forget the Marriage Amendment (which should help Allen since Webb is opposed to the necessary move of protecting marriage from radical redefinition by defining marriage as between one man and one woman in the VA constitution).
It looks like things are picking up steam here in NOVA, a good thing since the baseless misinformation presented by the Marriage Amendment opponents needs to be respectfully exposed for the political rubbish it is.
Besides being in a convention, a church and a political party, va4marriage.org was also represented at one of the largest community events in the state. Volunteers for the campaign helped pass out wedding cake at "Celebrate Fairfax." As expected, those who oppose the marriage amendment were also present at this event. We were pleased to be able to counter the misinformation being distributed.
The full FF Info Alert is below the fold, enjoy. Oh, and be sure to check out the NOVA subcoalition of Va4marriage.org, NOVA4marriage.org.
As you may have noticed I've been too busy to blog very frequently the past week or so, thus I missed mentioning the success of the state Marriage Amendment in Alabama last week. Per the AP:
Perhaps demonstrating that the protection of the definition of marriage should not be a partisan issue, 81 percent of Alabama voters June 6 approved a state constitutional marriage amendment -- an amendment that was placed on the ballot by the legislature and sponsored by two Democrats.
The amendment won handily in every county, making Alabama the 20th state to adopt a constitutional marriage amendment. Those 20 amendments have been adopted with an average of 71 percent of the vote.
The Alabama amendment, like many of the 19 other amendments defending marriage, contains language preventing the establishment of any "union replicating marriage" or designed to approximate marriage. The Anti-Marriage Amendment crowd in Virginia is already ratcheting up their misinformation campaign built around the idea that somehow these straightforward amendments protecting the definition of marriage and preventing the creation of marriage under another name (i.e. Civil Unions) will shatter every citizenâ€™s contract rights, Power of Attorney, 401k etc. Itâ€™ll be enjoyable to watch as another state enacts language similar to Virginiaâ€™s proposed amendment and the myths spouted by the amendmentâ€™s opponents again fail to materialize (and don't even get me started on the absurdity of any argument based on one overturned domestic abuse ruling in Ohio... even if 2 separate appeals courts hadn't overturned this singular ridiculous decision, it would still be meaningless to Virginia since Ohio domestic abuse law is unique in that the statute is linked to marriage while Virginia and most other states link their domestic violence laws to households.) It just goes to show that the American people refuse to be hoodwinked by some hollow fear-campaign.
Below is the Family Foundationâ€™s Information Alert discussing the passage of Alabamaâ€™s amendment. If you havenâ€™t done so already, please sign up to support the campaign for the Marriage Amendment (info at the bottom of the alert):
The Family Foundation Thursday, June 8, 2006
Information Alert: Marriage 20-0!!
As the U.S. Senate rejected the federal marriage protection amendment, yet another state added such a protection to their constitution.
On Tuesday, Alabama became the 20th state to pass a constitutional amendment protecting marriage. That amendment passed with an astounding 81 percent of the vote! State amendments are now 20-0 when put before the people.
Yet again, when this issue is given to the people to decide, traditional marriage wins in a landslide. Today, the Democrat controlled Pennsylvania House voted overwhelmingly for that state's marriage amendment. In November, at least 7 states, including Virginia, will have marriage amendments on the ballot.
This week's U.S. Senate vote simply makes clear the absolute necessity that the people of Virginia protect marriage through our state Constitution in November and thus join the wave of states that understand the importance of protecting the definition of marriage for future generations.
I hope you have already signed the Virginia marriage amendment statement of support on va4marriage.org. If not, I hope you do so today. We also need volunteers to help with this effort. It is so important that every pro-marriage Virginian take part in this effort so that victory will be guaranteed! For information on you can help call us at 804-343-0010 or email email@example.com.
Those in favor of defending marriage only gained one vote from the 2004 vote (49 instead of 48). We can rest assured that this will all change once politicians can no longer hide behind the excuse that they support marriage as the union of one man and one woman but this matter should be left to the states... i.e. once some activist judge follows flawed judicial logic (examined here) and overturns the federal DOMA and thus the right of states to address this issue.
For those wondering, here is Senator Warner's position:
As I did two years ago when this Amendment was first considered, I intend to vote in favor of proceeding to consider this important issue in the Senate. Again, I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. In the event cloture is invoked on the resolution, however, I will work with my colleagues to amend the legislation so that it makes clear and plain that decisions about civil unions will be left to the individual states.
Today the United States Senate begins consideration of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman- thus elevating existing law beyond the reach of activist judges. As it has been widely reported, this effort lacks the necessary support of 2/3 of the Senate and is likely to fail. Fellow Virginian Chuck Colson (who today will be meeting with President Bush along with former VA GOP gubernatorial nominee Mark Early) explains the need for the amendment here. He says:
Unfortunately, a lot of politicians donâ€™t get it. They argue that we do not need a marriage amendment. If we want to keep marriage between one man and one womanâ€”which they say they doâ€”then all we have to do is pass state referenda. Nineteen states have already done so. So amending the U.S. Constitution is unnecessary. Well, these politicians apparently do not understand the inexorable logic of a series of cases that make it virtually certain that when state statutes barring gay â€œmarriageâ€ reach the Supreme Court, they will be struck down. Other politicians understand all too well, and when they claim that we do not need a marriage amendment, they are being disingenuous.
Let me explain the precedents that make it inevitable that the Court will uphold gay â€œmarriage.â€ In the 1992 case Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Justice Kennedy affirmed the right of abortion with a sweeping definition of liberty as the right of a person to determine for himself the meaning of life.
Many feared this definition could embrace anything. Soon enough, it did.
After an examination of some Supreme Court decisions Colson delves deeper into why the federal amendment is needed:
Now, what all of this means is that the Supreme Court, following its own precedents, will declare any law restricting the right of homosexuals to marry unconstitutional. The die is cast. An appeal is already coming up from a Nebraska case in which a judge threw out a statute banning gay â€œmarriageâ€ as unconstitutional. Within two years this will be at the Supreme Court, and the axe will fall.
Just as with Roe v. Wade, the Court will take away the statesâ€™ rights to legislate.
The time to act is now. Donâ€™t let politicians deceive you and tell you this is a state issue. The Supreme Court has already closed the door on that.
Colson is absolutely correct. While the battle to protect marriage in the states (including the VA Marriage Amendment) is extremely criticalâ€¦ ultimately the buck stops at the U.S Supreme Court. That is why the amendment being debated today and the never-ending effort to hold the White House and Senate in order to nominate strict constructionists to the Judiciary is so important.
Senator Allen is in favor of the federal Marriage Protection Amendment but I do not know where Senator Warner stands (although I can unfortunately guessâ€¦). His office has not yet responded to my email inquiries. PLEASE contact Senator Warnerâ€™s office today and let him know you believe marriage is between one man and one woman. You can do so here.
Now that the stakes are so clear, Iâ€™d like to offer a Marriage Carnival of What I Just Found (composed mostly of Townhall.com articles). Of course we will continue to have up-to-date coverage of Virginiaâ€™s efforts to protect marriage from radical redefinition with the Virginia Marriage Amendment this November.
- Liberal reactions to the marriage amendment are not deep
- Marriage and crime: The deadly connection
- Protecting marriage: The battle dawns
- If gays marry, churches could suffer
- Ignoring a danger to liberty
- Identity vs. action
- Marriage is about children [A good reminder that the push for same-sex "marriage" isn't the only issue affecting marriage today]
Via Mark M. Alexander's column:
A few years ago, the most learned debates over the ordination of a homosexual cleric as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire revealed that not only the Episcopal clergy and laity needed assistance understanding this issue, but the Christian Church as a whole needed clarity. Indeed our whole society needs a better, and in some cases more compassionate, understanding of homosexual pathology.
Consequently, The Patriot has just published The Homosexual Agenda and The Christian Response online, a comprehensive yet concise review of gender-disorientation pathology. It's an essay that anyone, inside or outside the Church, making a psychological, theological or social argument concerning homosexuality, should read.
The real value of this landmark report's substance is not measured in the accolades from conservatives around the world who have reviewed it, but in the unguarded praise it has received from homosexuals (including some activists), who responded that, for the first time, they have been able to comprehend, with the help of this analysis, both the Christian theological and conservative social perspective and objections, without feeling personally attacked.
I haven't read the report yet but it sounds like it will be an interesting read. Obviously any religious argument certainly shouldnâ€™t be the primary component of the argument for the Marriage Amendment and protecting the current definition of marriage (that does not willfully deny a child a mother or a father) from activist judges (which is what the amendment is all about because it merely elevates existing law).
Here's an article over at the Times-Dispatch about a case that I've been following since the beginning.
A former lesbian who now lives in Virginia is battling her ex-partner for custody of the child that the ex-lesbian gave birth to during their civil union created in Vermont. This is a good example of why a federal amendment is the only way to really protect the sanctity of marriage and parental bonds. Someone should point this out to John McCain and the rest of the "states' laws are the best way to go" crowd.
Maggie Gallagher is on the front lines of the battle for marriage and religious liberty, witnessing first hand the impact of judicially recognized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts (due to the failure of the state to enact a Marriage Protection Amendment similar to the one before Virginians this November). Yesterday she covered this story of a firefighter who lost his job for signing a petition opposing same-sex marriage. Today Gallagher discusses the persecution of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts due to its firm support of traditional marriage (first reported here in the Boston Globe):
The question in Boston is not whether gays are going to be allowed legally to adopt. It is whether religious people who morally object to gay adoption will be allowed to help children find homes. This is not about gay adoptionâ€”it is about our fundamental commitment to religious liberty in this country.
It is a crime to run an adoption agency in Massachusetts without a license from the state. To get a license you have to agree to place children with same-sex couples. For the first time in America, Christians are being told by their government that they are not good citizens, not worthy enough to be permitted to help abandoned babies find good homes.
At least twenty other states have similar anti-discrimination laws on orientation. What makes Massachusetts unique, though, is same-sex â€œmarriage.â€ In other states, marriage could provide a â€œsafe harborâ€ for Christian and other religious organizations. Faith-based organizations could run adoption agencies that specialize in placing children in married homes. But, of course, in Massachusetts, that would also require Christian or other religious organizations to place children in same-sex homes.
And it is not just adoption licenses. What we are witnessing is the unfolding of the logic that gay â€œmarriageâ€ is a civil right. People who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife must (if courts rule this way) be treated like racists by their own government. The potential punishment the state could impose on faith groups is enormous: yanking radio broadcasting licenses, professional licenses (marriage counselors, social workers, psychologists), and the state accreditation of Christian (or other religious) schools and universities. And yes, the tax-exempt status of organizations of faithful Christians and other people of good will are at risk. [Emphasis mine]
Virginia needs to support the Marriage Amendment this fall to ensure that some activist judge is not permitted to radically redefine marriage in the Commonwealth and thus unleash countless attacks on people of faith and even secular citizens who simply believe marriage is, as it has been understood for millennium, between one man and one woman. Gallagher gives us this excellent summary of what is at stake in the marriage debate, directly applicable to Virginia:
What is at stake in the marriage debate? Among other things, it is now clear: the capacity of Christian and other religious organizations to pass on a faithful vision of marriage to our own children, through religious institutions. Religious liberty is at risk. How can we fail to act?
As if we needed further evidence that the radical redefinition of marriage (from a man-woman procreative-in-type union into a union of any two people) by activist judges has a dramatic impact on not only religious liberty but on liberty in generalâ€¦ here is the story of volunteer firefighter Leo â€œSkipâ€ Childs (pictured below with his wife) in the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Massachusetts who lost his position because he signed a petition opposing same-sex marriage.
Maggie Gallagher covers the travesty in her nationally syndicated column:
After five years, Skip thought his reappointment to the Board of Fire Engineers would be routine. Then Selectman Paul Asher-Best spoke up: "Recent action you took, Mr. Childs, indicates to me that you think that gay people are less than fully human, and not entitled to all the civil rights that are afforded to them. The Supreme Judicial Court talks about marriage rights being a basic civil right. ... I need ... assurance from you that you would offer equal protection to everyone in Truro, including households headed by gay or lesbian people, because to me your action speaks otherwise."
Skip is scratching his head at this point. How could signing a marriage petition make you unfit to rescue people? He tried to be conciliatory: "I'm more concerned that a special interest group with a strong lobby would be able to influence a judge in our state. ... I wouldn't have a problem with it if it passed on the referendum."
But with that comment, Paul Asher-Best went ballistic. As Asher-Best later told me, "I consider myself one half of a loving couple who has been together 27 years. I don't consider myself a special interest.
And thus Selectman Asher-Best pushed to deny Skip his reappointment and the opportunity to continue his long record of lifesaving service. As Gallagher points out:
The Childses were humiliated. After nearly a decade of volunteering every spare hour to rescue your neighbors, this is your reward? Dressed down as a bigot in public for signing a marriage petition?
Thankfully this assault on fundamental liberty under the laughable guise of respect for â€œtoleranceâ€ and â€œdiversityâ€ may be beaten back. According to the Provincetown Banner:
The Childs both said they have not decided whether to pursue legal action against the town but if they do, the case would claim discrimination against Childs for remarks made by former Selectman Paul Asher-Best and Selectman Gary Palmer. Asher-Best questioned whether Childs could remain unbiased against gay residents in his fire and rescue squad work after signing a petition attempting to reverse same-sex marriage rights in Massachusetts.
Gallagher concludes her coverage highlighting the dramatic difference between reality and the warped perception of same-sex activists who smear everyone in their path as ignorant bigots:
â€¦two ideas are clearly now on a collision course in America: 1) There's something special about unions of husbands and wives, and 2) there's no difference between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and only hate-filled bigots think otherwise. In Massachusetts, the second idea is now the official view of the law.
Skip Childs is one of the first casualties of this new conflict. But as our senators debate a Marriage Protection Amendment June 5, they should be forewarned: If they leave marriage to the courts, he won't be the last.
Virginians need to stand up and do everything possible to support the Virginia Marriage Amendment this November. We cannot be intimidated into silence and thus refuse to protect marriage.
The NOVA4Marriage site is up. Expect to hear much more about the Virginia Marriage Amendment in the coming weeks and months.
This story demonstrated why the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is in jeopardy, further strengthening the reality that Virginia (and the Federal government) need a Marriage Protection Amendment:
In a case that could result in the nationwide legalization of "gay marriage," a lawyer representing a homosexual couple asked a federal appeals court panel April 4 to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
DOMA, signed into law in 1996, prevents the federal government from recognizing "gay marriage" and gives states the option of doing the same. But the two men, who reside in California, argue that the law violates the U.S. Constitution. They lost last year at the district court level, and appealed.
The hearing was before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, generally considered to be the most liberal appeals court in the U.S. Still, two of the three justices who heard the case seemed inclined to rule against the couple -- at least on a technicality.
In this story we learn 2008 Presidential hopeful John McCain is unwilling to stand up and protect Marriage from judicial assault:
By opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment, McCain leaves himself with a position on gay marriage that is virtually indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton's. McCain says that makes him one special guy: "I've found in my life that when I do what I think is right -- for example, on the marriage amendment -- it always turns out in the end OK," he told Fox News. "When I do things for political expediency, which I have from time to time, it's always turned out poorly."...
â€¦Memo to McCain: Decisions in New Jersey and California could come at any time, raising voters' concerns about out-of-control courts bent on declaring their faith-based view of marriage a form of bigotry. Are you sure you want to side with Hillary on this one?
And in this article we learn more about the continuing saga in Georgia where a judge overturned the overwhelmingly popular state constitutional amendment protecting marriage. Apparently even a constitution isnâ€™t safe from judicial activism; thankfully Governor Perdue is on the ball and ready to protect marriage no matter the circumstances:
Without a permanent amendment to the stateâ€™s constitution, the assault on traditional marriage will continue. In turn, Governor Sonny Perdue almost immediately appealed Russellâ€™s decision to the stateâ€™s Supreme Court. He requested an expedited review of the case and announced that, should the court fail to overturn Russellâ€™s ruling by August 7, he would call for the state General Assembly to convene in a special session beginning August 9, so that a new amendment proposal (or proposals, if it is deemed necessary to address both marriage and civil unions) can be passed in time to meet the August 14 deadline for ballot language certification, putting a revised amendment on the ballot this November.
Today columnist Kevin McCullough used his weekly article to say the following regarding a Superior Court Judgeâ€™s unfathomably flawed ruling in Georgia
With one stroke of the pen, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell defied the will of the overwhelming majority of people in his state, and concluded that their collective voice should not be recognized in the matter of marriage in the state of Georgia. He did so even though seventy-six percent of the voters in that state had spoken in one of the largest turnouts in state history.
But Judge Russell is not the first, nor will he be the last in a series of what could be up to nine state challenges to state constitutional amendments or state statutes that give the voters of those states the right to permanently define marriage for the welfare of their society. There could possibly be up to nine such acts of tyrannical judicial arrogance.
McCullough discusses the fact that Russellâ€™s judicial edict undermines the principle argument against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 and should offer incontrovertible proof that America needs to amend the U.S. Constitution. He says:
In the last go around [debating the Marriage Protection Amendment] Democrats argued over and over -- and who could ever forget bumbling Ted's slurred speech -- that "marriage was not in trouble in America." The argument they reiterated about three dozen times was that federal legislation to protect marriage was unnecessary given the power the states have to independently regulate such an institution state to state. "Who were they," they argued, "as the federal government to be sticking their noses into the matter." The voters responded in eleven states in 2004 by going to the polls and resoundingly voting in state constitutional amendments to define marriage strictly as that of a union between a man and woman.
But now the liberal judges strike down those amendments and leave the states with no options. It is important to point out that in every state where such a poll has taken place that those voting in favor of strict marriage definition have ranged in margins of 60-80%. The poor voters in Massachusetts have been polled repeatedly and they register consistently in the 70% range in terms of strict marriage definition - yet they never had the chance to vote at the ballot box on the issue. Instead four rogue judges put on their robes of arrogant tyranny and thwarted the voice of the people.
McCullough then mentions that the Marriage Protection Amendment is coming up for a vote on June 5th and currently 54 of the 60 votes are lined up. He discusses the possibilities for picking up the remaining 6 by leveraging various campaigns to commit on the issue (such as Menendez in NJ).
The Family Foundation also had some thoughts on the Georgia Judgeâ€™s decision to overturn a constitutional amendment passed with unprecedented support. Here is some of what they had to say about the rulings implications in the Commonwealth:
What are the implications for Virginia? First, we do not have such "single subject" rule that same-sex marriage activists can use in court. However, amendment opponents are very much trying to separate civil unions from marriage, as if they are somehow different.
We cannot allow opponents to the marriage amendment to get away with their linguistic gymnastics. Civil unions or domestic partnerships or whatever you want to call them are marriages, plain and simple. The citizens of Georgia understood that when 77 percent of them voted in favor of their Constitutional amendment. Virginians must understand the same thing.
Yet again, we see why we must protect marriage in the Virginia, and ultimately in the United States constitution. We cannot allow a few activist judges to radically redefine the nature of marriage itself (against the will of the people) resulting in harm to our children, families, and religious liberty. Virginia needs the Marriage Amendment on the ballot this fall, despite the confusing rhetoric and semantics coming from same-sex marriage activists.
The full Family Foundation Information Alert is below the fold.
Chuck Colson has a very good article titled Shifting Boundaries that examines the reality of the same-sex marriage debate. The issue is not, as we are often told, one that has no impact beyond affecting those seeking same-sex marriages (i.e. what same-sex marriage advocates imply when they ask how permitting two men to wed will â€œhurtâ€ traditional marriages and families). One only has to look at Massachusetts (where same-sex marriage was established by judicial decree because they did not have a Marriage Protection Amendment in their state constitution protecting marriageâ€¦ something Virginians will have the opportunity to add to our Bill of Rights this November) to see the real impact of same-sex marriage on our religious freedoms. Here are some key points from Colsonâ€™s article:
A few months ago, I told you about the agonizing choice facing Catholic Charities of Boston: Either serve the needy or remain faithful to Catholic teaching. Specifically, the only way it could continue to handle adoptions according to Massachusetts law was to include same-sex couples among its clienteleâ€¦
â€¦In March, Catholic Charities, citing a â€œdilemma we cannot resolve,â€ announced that it would no longer facilitate adoptions in Massachusetts. That â€œdilemma,â€ as writer Maggie Gallagher recently wrote in the Weekly Standard, grew out of the Massachusetts case legalizing same-sex â€œmarriageâ€: that is, the Goodridge decision.
As Colson points out, the Goodridge decision found that â€œonly animus against gay peopleâ€ could explain different treatment for same-sex couples when compared to heterosexual couples. Forget biological facts, basically Goodridge said those opposed to the redefinition of marriage to no longer mean â€œone man and one womanâ€ could only have hate as their reason. Never mind people (such as myself) believe the countless peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that children do best when they are not willfully denied a mother or a father, something same-sex couples can never provide, never mind that people have loving and faith informed beliefs that same-sex behavior is harmful (not only biologically with a marked increase in the probability STDs) but spirituallyâ€¦ no weâ€™re just all a bunch of hate filled bigots, right? Anywaysâ€¦
Thus, after Goodridge, discrimination against same-sex couples in matters of adoption also became illegal. As a state-licensed agency, Catholic Charities was now obliged to serve same-sex couples in a way that it was not before Goodridge.
Whatâ€™s more, it did not matter if Catholic Charities â€œceased receiving tax support and gave up its role as a state contractor.â€ After Goodridge, it still could not refuse to place children with same-sex couples.
So, millennia-old religious beliefs gave way to months-old, newly found â€œrights.â€ Massachusetts refused to consider even the â€œnarrowest religious exemption.â€ One of the oldest adoption agencies was, therefore, forced to stop helping the people it had pledged to serve.
Absolutely ridiculous. As we can see same-sex marriage isnâ€™t just about the No Fault Freedom of individuals- it has tremendous implications for all of society. Colson goes on to discuss how this will shift the debate of faith and government:
Instead of litigating over posting the Ten Commandments in public spaces, churches in the future will be trying to keep the state from encroaching on matters of faith and morals.
This will certainly become the case if sexual orientation comes to be seen as analogous to race, which is already the view among many elites, including some in the judiciary. If that happens, as looks likely, then all the force of law unleashed by racism charges will be brought to bear against the Church.
Schools, health-care providersâ€”even Christian camps and, yes, maybe pastors in the pulpitâ€”will be uncertain if they can do their jobs in a way that is both legal and consistent with their beliefs.
The best way to keep the Massachusetts dilemma from spreading is to keep the logic behind the Goodridge decision from spreading. The Marriage Protection Amendment, now pending before Congress, would not only protect traditional marriage, it would also protect the beliefs that underlie traditional marriageâ€”beliefs that, as Gallagher has shown, may soon be treated as the equivalent of Jim Crowe.
You can find more information on the Massachusetts situation in Maggie Gallagherâ€™s article titled Banned in Boston. And of course this threat to religious freedom isnâ€™t limited to the North East, Ben Shapiro has an article titled The California homosexual activists' assault on schoolchildren discussing California Senate Bill 1437 and its goal of removing parents from the education process in regards to teaching about sexual orientation and rewriting history books with so that they discuss someoneâ€™s sexual tendencies rather than their historical achievements.
Now more than ever Virginians need to support the Marriage Amendment this fall. If youâ€™d like to get more involved in this effort please email Steve Waters at the Family Foundation and volunteer to serve as an advocate in your community.
We previously discussed the radical same-sex marriage agenda and the growing disregard for families that value natural, organic marriage (and consequently do not support willfully denying a child a mom or a dad).
The Family Foundation (one of the groups spearheading the effort to pass the Marriage Amendment this November) just sent out an information alert discussing the issues in Massachusetts where second graders are being forced, against the wishes of their parents, to listen to a story of two princes celebrating same-sex romance. In doing so the Family Foundation reminds us of the following:
Without a Constitutional amendment protecting the definition of marriage, stories like these will quickly become the norm here in Virginia. While that may sound alarmist, the fact is that these things didn't happen even in Massachusetts before that state legalized same-sex marriage. With marriage redefined, family is redefined, and those who disagree with that new paradigm are soon subjected to abuse and harassment.
The question for Virginians is simple - is this the future we want for our Commonwealth?
This Life News article raises the possibility that Lang Yen Thi Vo will be the next victim of the Culture of Death and be sentenced to murder by starvation against her familyâ€™s wishes because her quality of life isnâ€™t deemed sufficient. I certainly hope and pray that won't be the case.
Doctors in Austin, Texas are looking to make a Vietnamese woman the next Terri Schiavo. They have decided to stop providing the woman with any medical treatment claiming she is in a persistent vegetative state. The family of Lang Yen Thi Vo is protesting the decision and wants to find another facility willing to take her.
Yesterday was the â€œDay of Silenceâ€ for same-sex marriage advocates, where silent coercion is used (rather than respectful open dialogue) in an attempt to shame those that donâ€™t buy into the declaration that the same-sex lifestyle is healthy, normal, and the equivalent of natural organic relationships and marriages between a men and women. Thus it seems fitting to look at some of the recent news/dialogue relevant to the issue, after all today is the â€œDay of Truthâ€ where proponents of natural, healthy relationships respectfully and openly discuss their concern with same-sex lifestyles.
First there is Alan Sears Townhall.com article directly discussing the â€œDay of Silenceâ€ and the â€œDay of Truth.â€ It is fairly depressing but worth a read. Here is a sample from the article:
[The Day of Silence] is an interesting approach: education through verbal vacuum. Integration through intimidation. Impressionable minds, encouraged to imagine â€“ and be struck dumb by â€“ the injustices perpetrated on fledglings to homosexual behavior by a callous public and the cold constraints of that old-time-religion.
No facts. No studies. No discussion. No presentation of alternative viewpoints. No examination of the possible physical, emotional, or spiritual consequences of homosexual behavior. Just a few hours of propagandistic pouting.
Next, Via Jim Young, I saw this article discussing a lawsuit recently filed to deny state funds to a Baptist college in Kentucky because the school acted on itâ€™s religious beliefs and expelled a student actively engaged in homosexual activity.
Lastly, Mike Adams has an article on Townhall.com discussing the efforts of homosexual advocates at Georgia Tech, particularly the absurd (not to mention closed-minded and discriminatory) attacks on a student involved in a legal challenge seeking to grant formal recognition of the College Republicans (thus giving them funding and support similar to the homosexual activist group). Here is a taste of the article:
The fact that the gays and their allies a) see themselves as open-minded for supporting a one-sided presentation of gay issues and b) see the Republicans as narrow-minded for supporting a more diverse presentation of viewpoints speaks volumes about both their intellectual prowess and emotional stability.
But pointing out the lack of intelligence and emotional grounding of the Georgia Tech Gay Gestapo isnâ€™t enough to make them angry. The way to really make them mad is to point out their intolerance. Lately, thatâ€™s been easy to do.
All of this should again serve as a reminder why it is so important that we get out there and spread the positive news of the Virginia Marriage Amendment and dismiss the highly-funded efforts of those that wish the abolish marriage as we know it and willfully deny children a mother or a father.
Yesterday Vince over at TC posted on a story of the frustration of parents in Lexington, Massachusetts who arenâ€™t permitted to remove their students from radical same-sex marriage indoctrination stemming from the establishment of same-sex marriage by judicial decree. An interesting conversation has ensued in the comments section where some same-sex marriage advocates have argued that they donâ€™t want to infringe on the rights of those that disagree with them on religious grounds.
Well, this morning I received the below release from the Family Policy Network, discussing this news story.
FPN NEWS: For Immediate Release
Va. Locality 'Investigates' Christian Who Refused to Reproduce Homosexual Propaganda
Family Policy Network Considers Legal Action Against Arlington County for 'Pro-Homosexual Witch-Hunt'
The leader of a Virginia-based pro-family organization says his group may organize a lawsuit against Arlington County, Virginia for violating the religious liberties of Christian business owners there. Family Policy Network (FPN) President Joe Glover says the potential for litigation stems from recent actions by a so-called "human rights" committee that was established by the Arlington Board of Supervisors.
The Arlington County Human Rights Commission recently held a public hearing and subsequently investigated a Christian businessman on behalf of a lesbian activist who claimed he wrongly "discriminated" against her on the basis of her "sexual orientation." In reality, Tim Bono of Bono Film and Video in Arlington County politely refused to duplicate two pro-homosexual films for long-time lesbian activist Lillian Vincenz. Bono cited his desire to honor Biblical prohibitions against the sin of homosexual behavior. Bono Film & Video informs every potential customer that it does not duplicate material that it may deem obscene, or that may embarrass employees, tarnish its reputation, or that runs counter to the company's Christian and ethical values. (See the policy here)
Vincenz contacted Arlington County officials to get them to force Bono's private business to duplicate her materials, despite the fact that Bono objected on the basis of his religious convictions. Arlington Human Rights Commissioners began an investigation into Bono's actions and held a public hearing on March 9th to discuss the alleged "discrimination".
Vincenz, a long-time homosexual activist, acted as if she had never before encountered opposition to homosexual behavior when she was interviewed by a local reporter. She told a WUSA Channel 9 reporter, "Iâ€™ve never in my life felt that insulted." (See the story here) That statement was clearly deceptive, since Vincenz was forced out of the military after her superiors learned she was engaging in homosexual conduct. (See 1st paragraph here)
Glover says Vincenz's tactics are similar to others that promote a so-called "gay agenda". In a written statement, Glover highlighted the disparity between oft-repeated "gay rights" claims and the true aims of homosexual activism. He said, "For years, homosexual activists have spread the lie that they just want to be left alone to practice their perversions in private. With the help of Arlington County, this lesbian activist proves that they're really out to publicly use the power of the government to destroy the religious liberties of decent people."
Various pro-homosexual websites detail several of Vincenz's other pro-homosexual activities, with some even calling her a "gay pioneer." According to those sites, she has been promoting homosexual behavior in society and government for over 40 years. Vincenz once told an interviewer that "gay people .. are, in general, so much more courageous, innovative, and open to new ideas than the average straight person." (See 39th paragraph here)
Glover says, "Arlington County's involvement in this anti-Christian, pro-homosexual witch-hunt isn't just a crime against one businessman; it's a heavy-handed threat to turn the government against Christians who want to live their lives according to Scripture." He adds, "Even if they can't win a case like this on the merits, they're out to strike fear in the hearts of Christians who want to live according to their faith."
Imagine how much worse these efforts to force acceptance of same-sex lifestyles will become if some unelected Virginia court voids state laws defining marriage as the permanent union of the two complementary parts of humanity (man and woman) and establishes same-sex marriage by judicial fiat. This is why we need to codify existing state law into the Virginia Constitution- to hold activist judges at bay while ensuring that no child is willfully denied either a mother or a father.
I'll be the first to admit that I get a lot of my ideas for articles from things I read on Drudge, and I try to give him credit when I do.
The article from USA Today's website mentions the following:
For instance, four states have passed "trigger" bans on abortion that would go into effect immediately if Roe were reversed.
The article does not mention which states those are, but if Virginia is not one of them, I would have liked to have asked Delegate Cline today if he would be willing to sponsor such a bill.
The article also mentions a couple states with governors who would likely veto legislation banning abortions but fails to list Virginia in that category. I think Governor Kaine would be unlikely to sign any legislation significantly limiting abortion, and our "Republican" state senators would probably uphold his veto. But who really knows because it's all wishful thinking for now.
Below is a recent Information Alert from the Family Foundation regarding the Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot this November. As you can see the Anti-Marriage crowd is extremely well funded and organized. Conservative activists interested in protecting the traditional family and ensuring that our laws encourage healthy committed relationships that provide children with a mother and a father need to step up and support the amendment. We will soon be rolling out a number of posts that examine this issue in depth while looking to see what we can do to ensure that Virginia's children are not denied a mother or a father by the radical alteration of marriage via judicial decree. Check back soon for more.
The Family Foundation Monday, April 10, 2006
Information Alert: Marriage Amendment Opponents Are Well-Funded and Mobilized
On Saturday evening, more than 1,000 people attended a fundraiser in opposition to the marriage amendment. At this event, Equality Virginia announced the Commonwealth Coalition, an anti-marriage response to the va4marriage.org campaign, announced last June by The Family Foundation and its many partners. At their event, Equality Virginia raised more than $400,000 toward defeating the amendment. The $400,000 included individual donations of $100,000 from two different families. Their announced goal is $750,000. To date, va4marriage.org's most significant donation is $25,000 and yet our goal is nearly identical to theirs at $730,000.
Although Governor Kaine was unable to attend this event, a letter was read in which he stated that he intends to vote against the amendment. During his campaign, Kaine returned a Family Foundation Action candidate survey stating that he supported the amendment as written. Based on this response, nearly half a million voter guides were distributed. The only thing that has changed since his survey response is that the Governor is no longer a candidate. The Family Foundation Action has and will continue to call attention to Governor Kaine's reversal in an effort to get this story into the public eye.
This boost for those that wish to redefine marriage fell on the heels of my debate last Thursday evening on a central Virginia PBS station where a majority of the callers were clearly hostile to the amendment and to our positive message about marriage. In fact, during the hour-long debate, 15 of 18 callers were critical of traditional marriage. (Unfortunately, supporters of the amendment have told us that they were unable to get through by phone during the show, while one opposition caller got through twice!)
Opponents to marriage are not just well funded and mobilized to call in during debates, they are already going door-to-door around the state to convince people to vote against the amendment. Needless to say, it is becoming increasingly clear that the battle to pass the state constitutional amendment defining marriage will be long and tough.
Clearly, those opposed to traditional marriage are willing to pay whatever price they have to in their effort to defeat the amendment. They are working hard and are well-funded. We must match their intensity and their sacrifice if we are going to win this fight!
Va4marriage.org needs you to volunteer today! We need people to commit time and financial resources. Please contact our marriage project manager today and click here to donate online. We can't wait until Fall to engage in this battle. We need you today!
To read about these events, click below:
Politicians help start campaign against same-sex marriage ban - Virginian Pilot, 4/9/06
Kaine's stance is welcomed - Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/9/06
Kaine will vote against marriage amendment - Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/8/06
Culture warriors can hurt their causes by overreaching. It is one thing to advocate one's beliefs; it is another to seek to quash others'. I think the pro-choice groups overreach by trying to forbid counseling about the biological truth about a fetus, alternatives to abortion, or the possible psychological aftereffects of having an abortion.
Why not allow all the information to be presented to young girls who are pregnant? Seeking to silence opposing points of view seems to me evidence of insecurity - and suggests one's position cannot withstand scrutiny.
Some gay rights advocates also, in my view, do themselves no favors by pushing too hard.
For instance, regardless of one's views on homosexual rights, the war against the Boy Scouts is a prime example of ideology trumping good sense. If the gay/lesbian/transsexual activists are seeking some sort of 'mainstream' status in American culture, they need to understand there are places mainstream Americans don't want them to go.
(If you are not clued in about the mainstreaming effort, read The Marketing of Evil).
This recent example of overreaching was forwarded to us by PFOX.
On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond, Virginia approached our exhibit booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.
That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:
"Sexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle School"
When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.
This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.
Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit only those brochures, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference accepted our materials. The hotel staff rejected all of our materials. We believe that if PFOX had been allowed to exhibit for the full two-day conference as originally planned, we could have reached many more school counselors.
Following is some background on this issue, from PFOX:
Looks like this is going to be the real battle in VA for November 2006.
Linked from the AP via the Times-Dispatch.
According to the Washington Post, Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis) has announced that he supports legalizing gay marriage. The Howard Dean candidate for 2008 seems to be emerging, and we can only hope he succeeds where the madman before him failed.
Since abortion has become one of the top issues in the national election coming up in November, social conservatives are doing one of two things either girding up for battle or preparing for a major reversal for their cause (some are doing both). The South Dakota abortion law that would outlaw most abortions (except for ones done to save the life of the mother) has become a rallying point for pro-abortion forces who seek to reframe the issue as an imminent, immediate return to the days before Roe (we wish huh?).
Republicans stand to be thrown out of control of the federal government because of dwindling support for the ongoing disorder in Iraq and the ethics scandals involving congress. The real losers in this debacle are social conservatives who have nearly no allies among the Dems (Bob Casey, Jr., running against Senator Rick Santorum in PA, is the only name that comes to mind). We have sown the seeds of our own possible defeat, but the fall elections are nearly 7 months away so there's more than enough time for the party to prove me wrong.
Here are a couple articles that examine the battle lines:
Townhall takes a look at some recent poll numbers.
Life News examines the religious left's attempt to reform as a political movement.
Also from Life News, Kenny Rogers has a new song that explores the pain that abortion caused on a young man's life.
Here is an article in the Jewish World Review that mocks the hypocrisy of the left when it came to defending an innocent disabled woman from forced starvation.
As usual, the Times-Dispatch, like other papers, has a biased article on abortion that has the pro-life position represented by an interest group member on one side and the pro-abortion viewpoint represented by a woman who had to make an agonizing choice about having an abortion. What's more the type of abortion that the mother had is of the type that is in the vast minority of cases--to save the life of the mother.
The pro-life movement has many women who have had abortions and then realized afterwards that they had murdered their child and now fight to educate others about their mistake. A fair discussion would have excluded the irrelevant personal information or included a disclaimer stating that the abortion that the woman had would not be illegal under the South Dakota statute or before Roe v. Wade. As a child whose mother was told that she should have an abortion because of her age, I also have some personal experience with abortion but that doesn't make me more qualified to speak about it than anyone else.
Jennifer Morse has a good article today on marriage and the black community. It is yet another reminder that supporting and fostering marriage is a crucial task and should be an urgent public policy priority. Morse builds on the correlation between marriage and economic success (highlighted in my previous post on the â€œmarriage gapâ€) by looking specifically at the impact of the decline of marriage in the black community. Here are some good chunks from the article:
Marriage is a protective factor against social pathologies. Marriage generates and preserves wealth, unlike other family forms which dissipate wealth. A recent publication by the Boston-based Seymour Institute, "Godâ€™s Gift: A Christian Vision of Marriage and the Black Family", spells out the case for marriage as the most important next step for the future of black America. The report cites the fact that married families in the black community have twice as much income as unmarried black familiesâ€¦
â€¦Elite opinion that celebrates diverse family forms is actively destructive of social justice. Our culture glamorizes early sexual activity, unmarried sexual activity, and unmarried childbearing. But these cultural influences have very different implications for poorly educated, low-income women of color, than for the elite opinion-makers who graduate from exclusive universities.
Liberal Democrats and Liberal Republicans like to attack conservative Republicans who are willing to stand up for the unborn as if they are fringe lunatics supporting a ridiculous cause. These same folks often accuse conservative pro-life Republicans of being a liability on Election Day.
Well, Zogby has a comprehensive new poll out that examines Americansâ€™ views on the issue of abortion and it demonstrates that pro-lifers arenâ€™t some fringe extreme, rather they make up a sizable demographic and support for pro-life legislation is extremely broad.
As this Life News article states, there is broad support for the pro-life cause:
The poll fund that Americans take a pro-life position on more than a dozen pro-life legislative proposals.
* Some 69 percent agree with prohibiting federal taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions while only 21 percent disagree.
* When asked differently, 51 percent oppose federal or state funding of abortions for poor women while 37 percent support it.
* Americans support parental notification abortion by a 69-23 percent margin for girls 16 or younger and by a 55-36 percent margin for girls 18 and younger.
* 56 percent of Americans want a 24-hour waiting period on abortion while 37 percent do not.
* Laws that charge criminals with two crimes when they assault a pregnant women and kill or injure her unborn child are favored by 64 percent of Americans and only 23 percent disagree with them.
* President Bush's Mexico City Policy prohibiting federal funding of groups that perform or promote abortions in other nations enjoys the support of 69 percent of Americans while only 21 percent oppose the law.
* 86% of those polled oppose sex-selection abortions and say they should be illegal while just 10 percent say they should be legal.
* Some 56 percent of Americans disagree with requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions other than those necessary to save the life of the mother and only 12 percent want insurance plans to be forced to pay for abortions.
* Requiring women considering an abortion to undergo pregnancy counseling beforehand is favored by 55 percent of those polled while 37 percent oppose such a requirement.
The current issue of the Weekly Standard has a phenomenal article by Allan Carlson titled Indentured Families: Social conservatives and the GOP: Can this marriage be saved. It provides a comprehensive overview of the "pro-family" cause from its temporary political home in the GOP under Teddy Roosevelt and then with the Democrats from 1912-1964. Carlson describes the most recent realignment when the family voters shifted back to the Republican Party:
The broad transformation continued with the rise of the "pro-family movement" during the 1970s, behind early leaders such as Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich. It ended in 1980 with the solid movement of northern Catholics and southern evangelicals into the Republican party, and the counter-movement of feminists and the new sexual revolutionaries into the Democratic fold. Ronald Reagan, a proud four-time voter for Franklin D. Roosevelt and a lifelong admirer of the New Deal, explained his 1980 victory to a group of Catholic voters this way:
"The secret is that when the left took over the Democratic party we [former Democrats] took over the Republican party. We made the Republican party into the party of the working people, the family, the neighborhood, the defense of freedom. And yes, the American Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance to One Nation Under God. So, you see, the party that so many of us grew up with still exists except that today it's called the Republican party."
Carlson believes that this marriage of pro-family forces and the pro-business GOP, consummated under Reagan's watch, is in serious trouble. Social Conservatives were the key to the GOP's success in the last 25 years but the relationship seems to be moving closer and closer to the point of declaring irreconcilable differences.
Moreover, when push comes to shove, social conservatives remain second class citizens under the Republican tent. During the 2004 Republican convention, they were virtually confined to the party's attic, kept off the main stage, treated like slightly lunatic children. Republican lobbyist Michael Scanlon's infamous candid comment--"The wackos get their information [from] the Christian right [and] Christian radio"--suggests a common opinion among the dominant "K Street" Republicans toward their coalition allies.
In Virginia members of the pro-family GOP are increasingly subject to ridicule and attack from moderates/liberals who have little interest in advancing the cause of the family. The 2005 election results may have been a warning sign that social conservatives aren't going to tolerate being ignored or insulted any longer. A winning strategy is the commonsense pro-family strategy of hope and values pioneered by Reagan, and the GOP would be ill advised to discard it from the meaningless mush often presented as an alternative. As Carlson points out:
Contemporary Republican leaders need to do better--much better--toward social conservatives. They must creatively address pressing new family issues centered on debt burden. And they must learn to say "no" sometimes to Wall Street, lest they squander the revolutionary political legacy of Ronald Reagan.
On Monday, a Family Foundation email reported that a Virginia circuit court judge had ruled that civil unions performed in Vermont would not be recognized in Virginia under the Commonwealth's Marriage Affirmation Act, which bars officials from recognizing civil unions performed in other states. Lisa Miller, a former lesbian, attempted to prevent her estranged partner from gaining custody of Miller's biological child, born through artificial insemination. The partner based her claim on the fact that the two had shared parental rights under their Vermont civil union. The case, named Miller v. Jenkins, has been appealed to the Court of Appeals here in Virginia; and a simultaneous appeal is pending in Vermont.
This is a huge victory for Phil Griffin who is one of the lead attorneys on the case. You may know Phil as husband of Kate Obenshain Griffin (chair of the VA GOP) and former candidate for the seat held by Russ Potts. Let's just hope his Vermont colleagues are as on the ball as he is, but knowing courts in Vermont, it probably does not matter. If the Virginia Court of Appeals upholds the lower court ruling, our best shot is that either the Supreme Court will reject the eventual appeal, which would leave the conflicting rulings in place, or that the conservative block can talk Justice Kennedy into buying their view on the subject.
A Catholic friend of mine recently forwarded me this fantastic National Review Online article by Fr. Thomas Williams (Dean of Theology at Romeâ€™s Regina Apostolorum). In the article Fr. Williams absolutely pummels the absurd â€œCatholic Statement of Principlesâ€ released a few weeks ago by pro-abortion Congressional Democrats. Everyone should definitely read it, here is my favorite section:
More â€œprogressiveâ€ Catholics have often had recourse to the image of â€œbig tentâ€ Catholicism, appealing for a broader acceptance of heterodox opinions within the Church. The image is apt, in that Catholicism does embrace a rich and varied array of opinions, emphases, schools of thought, theologies, spiritualities, and apostolates. At the same time, even the most enormous of tents has its boundaries, beyond which it is possible to stray. The statement makes a feeble attempt at defending the claim that the â€œbig tentâ€ of Catholicism can cover abortion.
That is a tough case to make. Just as you donâ€™t have the polytheistic wing of Islam or the seal-clubbing wing of Greenpeace, you donâ€™t have the pro-abortion wing of the Catholic Church. Certain non-negotiable moral standards define Catholicism just as surely as doctrinal beliefs do. We all advocate a big tent, but it can stretch only so far until it rips asunder.
One canâ€™t help but think of Tim Kaineâ€™s opportunistic use of his Catholicism as a shield for his years of secular anti-death penalty work while simultaneously refusing to stand up and protect the unborn as the Catholic Church demands. Itâ€™s good to see folks hold these folks accountable for their selective application of Catholic faith.
This just in via the Family Foundation, Attorney General Bob McDonnell has overuled the Warner-Kaine Exexutive Order giving sexual orientation a special protected status. Below is the Family Foundation press release.
UPDATED: There is also an AP story on McDonnell's action, to see it click here.
Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell today issued a legal opinion stating that Executive Order No. 1, which included sexual orientation as a protected class in the Commonwealth's nondiscrimination policy, is unconstitutional. The executive order was one of Governor Warner's parting actions and Governor Kaine's first act as governor, signed immediately after taking the oath of office on January 14.
General McDonnell issued the opinion in response to a query by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) on the constitutionality of the executive order. The opinion states that the executive order aims to change public policy, which constitutionally, can only be changed through the legislative process.
McDonnell wrote in his opinion that the executive order was "permissible to the extent the Governor is ensuring that the laws are faithfully executed," but that the addition of protected class status to a particular group "was intended to, and in fact did, alter the public policy of the Commonwealth. It is further my opinion that changing the public policy of the Commonwealth is within the purview of the General Assembly; therefore, that portion of Executive Order No. 1 is beyond the scope of executive authority and, therefore, unconstitutional."
It was the third stinging rebuke to the homosexual lobby and their allies in state government in less than a month. Previously, the General Assembly defeated a bill to add sexual orientation and expression to the protected class in nondiscrimination policy not only for the state, but for local governments as well. The General Assembly also stripped similar sexual nondiscrimination language out of the state budget submitted in January by former Governor Mark Warner before his term expired. The insertion of such language into the budget by Warner was unprecedented, as he tried to get policy passed into law through the budgetary process where he could not through normal legislative means.
Reversing the Governor's actions and working to prevent similar legislastion has been a high priority for The Family Foundation this session.
While anticipating such an issue was impossible during his campaign, McDonnell's action today was consistent with his campaign platform of strictly interpreting the Constitution and of limited government. McDonnell's office also played a role in the recent debate on the proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage by defending the amendment's language amid attempts to water down its meaning and to delay the process of getting the amendment on the ballot.
The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have announced that they have stripped the sexual orientation language outgoing Governor Mark Warner cowardly inserted into the 2006-2008 budget language just hours before leaving office as a shameful political play to boost his presidential hopes among the hard-left constituencies in the Sociocratic party.
Warner also put the language immediately into effect for state agencies via Executive Order, something Governor Kaine has signed onto as well- but this is only a temporary situation that is far easier to reverse than codified budget language passed by the GA. Hearty thanks to the House and Senate committees for standing up and opposing this unnecessary language ultimately designed to silence those who hold any opposition (religious and/or secular) to the radical normalization of the homosexual lifestyle in American society.
I'd be remiss if I failed to point out that those homosexual activists arguing in favor of this now failed push to add the sexual orientation language can provide no examples of when the state has discriminated against homosexuals or the tangible existence of any real problem... rather they argue it is a preventative measure and employ the same logic that they then in turn deny when it is used to support the VA Marriage Amendment (designed to prevent utter redefinition of marriage by judicial fiat).
This sexual orientation language was not only unneeded but dangerous- as we can see in Maryland where similar laws are now being used to attack those who advocate for a healthy procreative heterosexual lifestyle and oppose the homosexual activist agenda. Good to see some common sense action from the House and Senate.
Women are such suckers. They have bought into the abortion scam by men who want sex without consequences. Why does abortion continue? It is an easy-out for a man to get rid of his mistake or indiscretion by paying a few hundred dollars for an abortion. Women, wake up and realize your uterus and attachments have been stolen by the abortionists and the men who support them. Abortion is very basically against the instincts of a mother.
If women had the power to eliminate pornography, it would be gone in a heartbeat. Women have no more power to make that happen, than they have the power to keep abortion 'alive' so to speak. Abortion continues unabated because of three reasons:
1. Men want it. Men need it. Men enjoy it.
2. Those that would destroy our family culture see an opportunity to â€˜pile onâ€™.
3. It is now a big and lucrative business.
Think about it. Abortionists are killing babies that are a few seconds from being born. The baby, at that point, is of no danger to the mother.
What is next in that progression of permissiveness and lack of respect for human life? I would be willing to bet there are also babies with deformations being killed minutes after being born. Soon we will see a lot happening on the other end of life. They will get old people out of the way since they are a drain on resources.
We need to get rid of abortion in all cases except where the life of the mother is in the balance. Not the 'health' of the mother, which is a code word for 'inconvenience'.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earthâ€”(Genesis 1:27-28)Homosexuality (included in this term is man-man or â€˜gayâ€™ and woman-woman or â€˜lesbianâ€™ sexual relationships) is not just morally wrong in most world religions, and illegal in many countries, but it logically leads to a loss of genetic material for the human raceâ€™s â€˜gene pool.â€™ This limits the genetic diversity of the human species, as surely as abortion prevents the birth and development of many babies with new genetic combinations and the potential for genius.
Genetic diversity is a characteristic of of ecosystems and gene pools that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many slightly different versions of otherwise similar organisms. For example, the Irish potato famine can be attributed in part to the fact that there were so few different genetic strains of potatoes in the country, making it easier for one virus to infect and kill much of the crop. There is a genetic variability among the populations and the individuals of the same species that can provide redundancy, flexibility, and resilience, as well as produce new and desirable traits.
The gene pool of a species or a population is the complete set of unique alleles that would be found by inspecting the genetic material of every living member of that species or population. A large gene pool indicates a large genetic diversity, which is associated with robust populations that can survive bouts of intense selection. Meanwhile, low genetic diversity (for example, in-breeding) can cause reduced fitness and an increased chance of extinction.
Abortion prevents the contribution of new genetic material into the gene pool, while homosexuals, not reproducing, avoid contributions altogether. Their genetic line ends with them, an ultimate selfish act among many they have chosen.
The man-woman family unit is biologically driven to produce offspring as an instinct for survival demands reproduction of the species. The combination of genetic materials from the father and the mother results in a new arrangement of genes in a unique individual. This heterosexual union produces new offspring valued and loved as individuals, but also for perpetuating the family lineage. Remember also, the Bible advises â€˜be fruitful and multiply,â€™ thus increasing contributions to the gene pool and expanding genetic diversity.
Numbers of gay and lesbians in the US, from the AVERT.ORG website: â€˜The 2000 census tells us that
- there are 105.5 million households in the USA.
- 5.5 million of these consist of unmarried partnerships,
- of these, 595,000 consist of same sex partners.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of children will remain unborn during the years that these same sex partnerships are maintained.
Number of abortions in the US: 49% of pregnancies among American women are unintended; 1/2 of these are terminated by abortion.  24% of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. In 2002, 1.29 million abortions took place, down from an estimated 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2002, more than 42 million legal abortions occurred. 
1. Henshaw SK, Unintended pregnancy in the United States, Family Planning Perspectives, 1998, 30(1):24-29&46.
2. Finer LB and Henshaw SK, Estimates of U.S. Abortion Incidence in 2001 and 2002, The Alan Guttmacher Institute, 2005, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2005/05/18/ab_incidence.pdf, accessed May 17, 2005.
What does the loss of this genetic material mean to the human race?
A commonly-accepted measure of intelligence is the Intelligence Quotient. The American Mensa Society defines â€˜geniusâ€™ as those having a measured IQ in the top 2 % of the population. If 42 million babies were not born because they were aborted, this calculates to 840,000 geniuses and their contributions that have been lost to all humanity, and all subsequent generations from the offspring they might have produced are also gone. In industrial societies, IQ has been shown to be highly heritable, meaning the genetic material that produces high intelligence is passed from parents to children at a statistically significant rate. Lost also are the contributions of artists, writers, scholars, scientists, musicians, craftsmen, and others who could have contributed their arts, sciences, letters, and discoveries to human society in ways not measured by IQ.
â€˜We survey the psychological literature on cross-cultural IQ tests and conclude that modern intelligence tests provide one useful measure of human capital. Using a new database of national average IQâ€¦we show that in growth regressions that include only robust control variables, IQ is statistically significant at the 95% level in 99.8% of these 1330 regressions, and the coefficient is always positive. A 1 point increase in a nationâ€™s average IQ is associated with a persistent 0.11% annual increase in GDP per capita.â€™ (from Jones, Garett and Schneider, W. Joel, â€˜Intelligence, Human Capital, and Economic Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach â€˜ (June 2005)).
Ultimately, the nation and all of mankind is deprived of the contributions of those who remain unborn, through all of time.