Those who know me know that I take a strong position in supporting traditional marriage and opposing any statutory imitations of marriage designed to appease the homosexual lobby.
While I support the need for a federal constitutional amendment, because it is the only way to ensure that marriage between one man and one woman is protected, I strongly oppose S. J. Res. 1, the Marriage Protection Amendment, because of the second sentence.
The situation at this moment could be called a triumph of anti-federalism. Not only do states not have an individual voice in this debate – one state, Massachusetts, has imposed homosexual marriage through the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution on the other 49 states.
Coverage of the marriage battle being fought across America often overlooks the corrupt nature of what happened in Massachusetts. The citizens of Massachusetts had conducted a signature drive to put the marriage issue on the ballot for a commonwealth-wide referendum there. Extra parliamentary and illegal maneuvers by the Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Birmingham kept the legislature from conducting a vote to put the measure on the ballot. Experts believe the legislature would have approved the measure had it ever been put to a vote, and the resulting public referendum would have resoundingly supported traditional marriage.
The refusal of one House leader to allow the vote in the legislature deprived the public of its voice in the debate in Massachusetts. Furthermore, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts took advantage of the delay to issue a decision which thwarted the will of the people and substituted, in its place, the will of a handful of liberal judges.
Homosexual activists had been advocating so-called civil unions because (a) they assumed marriage was years away from being a politically attainable goal and (b) because they felt civil unions would be the transitional step to the ultimate goal of homosexual marriage.
All of this brings us to two important points about the current version of the Marriage Protection Amendment now before the Senate.
First, the wording of the second sentence would allow for civil unions, domestic partnerships and any other innovative synonym for marriage. Matt Daniels, the Chairman of the Alliance for Marriage told Time Magazine in February, 2004, the amendment was written to preserve the right of states to enact civil unions.“The amendment would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, but it would not out-law civil unions, which Daniels believes should be available to all states,” the TIME article reported.
I understand the faulty argument that this is a political sop which must be thrown to some in order to win their vote. But I also understand that this negates the impact of the first sentence.
Second, the homosexual leaders are right. Civil unions are the stepping stone to full recognition of homosexual marriage. Any reasonable person and even some federal judges would recognize that there is only a nominal difference between civil unions and marriage.
I believe proponents of the amendment have settled for a rhetorical and superficial “victory” of form which will ultimately amount to a defeat in the important substance so necessary to defending traditional marriage.
Proponents have led the American people to believe that the MPA “fixes the problem” and “stops homosexual marriage” and its counterfeits. Many have artfully avoided the discussion, which Mr. Daniels, to his credit honestly admits is about an amendment which is both pro-marriage and pro-civil unions.
No polling question has ever been formulated to give Americans the choice which proponents of this amendment attempt to make for them. If asked, to choose between traditional marriage and homosexual civil unions, most Americans would recognize this “distinction without a difference” gimmickry and reply neither.
I believe an amendment which is simple and clear about the uniqueness of marriage is what most Americans want and I encourage Americans to use their voice and their vote to bring forth an amendment which delivers marriage from those who would destroy it. I believe a one sentence amendment, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife,”
which is simple and clear about the uniqueness of marriage, is what most Americans want. In theological circles, there is a saying that “on the far side of complexity lies simplicity.” This is truly a case in which simplicity and directness are required. Political maneuvering with a wink to our opponents or some attempt to finesse our differences with the homosexual lobby will reduce this debate to a confused state in which the truth becomes merely another opinion.
I encourage support of a simple and clear amendment that fully protects marriage and the withholding of support from the current amendment and anything else which is less.