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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Constitutional Marriage Protection Needed Now

Massachusetts – May 17, 2004: After a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state begins issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples. This leads directly to schools openly promoting homosexuality and to Catholic Charities being forced to stop placing children for adoptions.
In 2004, the mayors of several cities, beginning with San Francisco, issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (Sandoval County, New Mexico; New Paltz, New York, and Multnomah County, Oregon). State courts rule those “marriages” invalid, but appeals are pending.

Nebraska – May 21, 2005: A federal judge overturns the state’s constitutional marriage amendment, which had been enacted by a ballot vote of 70 percent.

California – September 6, 2005: The legislature becomes the first in the nation to pass a law mandating legalization of homosexual “marriages.” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) vetoes the bill, but proponents say they’ll be back.

Connecticut – October, 2005: Connecticut becomes the sixth state (after California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont) to offer some form of legal recognition to same-sex couples.

Maryland – January 20, 2006: A Baltimore city judge strikes down the state marriage law, and then stays her order pending appeal.

Georgia – May 16, 2006: A county judge overturns the state marriage protection amendment enacted in 2004 by a 76-percent ballot vote.

Utah – May 16, 2006: The state Supreme Court upholds the bigamy conviction of a former police officer, Rodney Holm. He had challenged the marriage law after being convicted in 2002 upon his third “marriage.” Chief Justice Christine Durham dissents, saying the state law violates the “privacy of intimate, personal relationships” and religious freedom.

Washington – The state Supreme Court will rule soon on a challenge to that state’s marriage law, as will the high court in New Jersey. Both courts are dominated by liberals. Unlike Massachusetts, neither Washington nor New Jersey has a law barring marriages to out-of-state couples whose own states do not recognize “gay” marriage. Thus, if either state begins issuing marriage licenses to couples from the other 49 states, the recipients will return to their own states and file lawsuits challenging not only their state laws but the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Lawsuits filed by homosexual activists seeking to overturn state marriage laws are pending in 10 states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Washington.

Thoughtful Readers Speak:
This is a nice list, but raw data always requires accompanying analysis. You've forgotten to include why should we alter the Constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Constitutional principles extend the entire citizenry to ensure and protect the rights and privileges of all under its governance, no? Certainly you believe that government should not hinder the free practice of religion as long as those practices do not cause harm to another. Yet you seem to propose to do just that. Only a few weeks ago I attended a very decorous Jewish marriage of two very happy, very healthy, and very successful women. The prohibitive nature of the marriage protection amendment aims to mingle church and state in a very dangerous way.

It is important to remember that there are, of course, two types of marriage: one religious, one secular. The type of marriage the government sanctions cannot be of the first type---I would never allow the government to interfere with your right to practice your religion. Please explain either why you support this amendment using exclusively secular arguments, or, if you are rather inclined, why we should adopt one particular interpretation of Christianity formally as a nation.
At least one of these facts is misleading. Catholic Charities was not forced to stop placing children for adoption. The State never told them to. In fact, the Church chose to close the programs down rather than continue to match some children with same-sex parents as they had for years. The agencies had, well, no agency. The Church chose not to comply with the law.

It is interesting to note that the State's ruling actually saved many of the other programs run through Catholic Charities. Many of the funders (federal and private alike) support Catholic Charities under the condition of non-discrimination. Had the adoption programs continued illegally, the other services would have suffered critical blows. It is an act of Providence that the State refused them a waiver.
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