September 2, 2005
(AgapePress) - A pro-family group is reacting with horror to a California Senate vote yesterday (Thursday) approving a bill that would legalize homosexual "marriage" licenses. By a vote of 21-15, the state Senate passed AB 849, which replaces the phrase "a man and a woman" in California marriage laws with the term "two persons." All 21 voting in favor of the bill were Democrats.
The VoteYesMarriage.com coalition, which is aiming to put a state constitutional amendment on next year's ballot to protect marriage rights as being reserved for a man and a woman, is blasting the high-profile "gay marriage" bill. At a news conference outside the State Capitol in Sacramento, coalition spokesman Randy Thomasson, a proponent of the Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Initiative, blasted the approval of AB 849 as "a mark of a dictatorship, not of a democracy."
Thomasson is president of the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), which has been helping to lead the statewide opposition to the "gay marriage license" bill for the past nine months. He says the vote to approve the legislation is in direct contradiction to Proposition 22, a measure passed in 2000 by a 61 percent margin, which said only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
In addition, Thomasson is charging the Senate with violating the California State Constitution, Article 2, Section 10(c) of which specifically prohibits the legislature from repealing voter-approved initiatives. He is now calling on citizens to urge their elected officials in the legislature to reject the bill and for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to break his silence on the issue.
"How can God bless California when our lawmakers do this?" the CCF spokesman wonders. He predicts that the Senate's "corrupt deed" of approving a bill that functionally repeals Proposition 22 and violates the state constitution "will energize voters to sign the www.VoteYesMarriage.com petition a month from now, to protect marriage rights for one man and one woman."
The full California Assembly must vote on the measure before it can go to Governor Schwarzenegger to be signed into law. This concurrence vote could be held anytime before the September 9 legislative deadline. While the Assembly vote is far from certain, Thomasson says he is urging the governor to speak up and announce that he will veto the legislation "because it unconstitutionally repeals the people's vote on marriage."
Thomasson is also urging pro-family citizens across the state to make their views on protecting traditional marriage heard. "Every Californian who believes marriage is for a man and a woman must rise up today and demand that their state assembly member oppose AB 849," he says.
Lobbyist Vows to Keep California Lawmakers Feet to the Fire Benjamin Lopez, legislative analyst and lobbyist for the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC), says his group intends to fight the bill through every stage of the political process left in the legislative session, continuing its aggressive lobby efforts in the Assembly leading up to the concurrence vote.
"We intend to keep Assembly members' feet to the fire," Lopez notes. "They all claim they represent their districts and vote with the voice of their constituents behind them. Well, here is their final chance to prove it. If they support marriage for one man and one woman, like their constituents voted, they will vote against AB 849."
The TVC lobbyist sees the radical homosexual community and its allies as determined to impose on the people of California what he calls "their twisted, out-of-step, out-of-mainstream, unnatural notion of marriage and family" at any cost. He is disappointed with the Democrats in the state Senate, of whom he remarks that the fate of marriage in the state was in their hands, and "they chose to jump in bed with the homosexual community."
Apparently, Lopez asserts, the Senate Democrats felt the people of California were wrong in voting to protect traditional marriage. And somehow, he says, the lawmakers "have the notion that they must take it upon themselves to piously correct the voters' mistake" by approving AB 849, a move the legislative analyst calls "the height of arrogance."
If a majority of the State Assembly members do likewise, Lopez says they will be doing their constituents a disservice in "catering to the demands of the homosexual community" and will be voting against those they claim they represent. "If supporters of same-sex marriage are so confident that the public supports homosexual marriage," he asks, "why don't they go public? Why don't they let the people vote on the issue?"
The activists pushing for homosexual marriage rights will not do this, Lopez asserts, because they know very well they would lose. So instead, he says, they must resort to liberal legislators and rogue judges to forcibly implement same-sex marriage.