Battle for Traditional Marriage Reaches U.S. Senate

Fred Jackson and Jody Brown | Agape Press | Monday, September 08, 2003

Battle for Traditional Marriage Reaches U.S. Senate

Debate over a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage is under way in the U.S. Senate.

With the growing threat that liberal judges will soon declare that homosexual marriage ought to be legalized, pro-family forces have mounted an all-out campaign for a constitutional amendment that would stop that from happening.

Among those efforts are an online petition (nogaymarriage.com) in support of a federal marriage amendment that would limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman.  That petition currently has more than a half-million signatures.

And another effort backed by more than 20 pro-family groups promotes the week of October 12-18 as "Marriage Protection Week."  That campaign (marriageprotectionweek.com) is encouraging people to write to their representatives and senators in Washington, DC, demanding support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.  It is also asking members of the clergy to focus on the God-ordained institution of marriage on Sunday, October 12.

Last week, a Senate hearing heard from both pro-homosexual and traditional marriage advocates on the matter.  Among those working for the pro-homosexual forces was Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, where the state supreme court is expected soon to hand down its decision regarding same-sex marriage.  Kennedy said an amendment protecting traditional marriage would threaten the religious rights of homosexual churches to define such unions.

But on the other side were people such as Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.

"What we are doing with unisex marriage is making a powerful statement by law and by our government," Gallagher said.  "And the statement we are making is that children do not need mothers and fathers; that in fact, alternative family forms -- motherless or fatherless families -- are not only just as good, they are just the same."

Texas Senator John Cornyn said people of many religions have urged him to do what is ever necessary to preserve traditional marriage.  Cornyn is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on the Constitution, which held the hearing Thursday on the importance of the Defense of Marriage Act.  DOMA was passed by Congress and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Calling the Faithful to Battle

Meanwhile, the leader of an advocacy group for traditional marriage is calling for different faith groups to stand together on the issue.  Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage (allianceformarriage.org), says Christians should make common cause with American Jews and Muslims to block the courts from requiring legalization of same-sex marriage.

Daniels says people of diverse faiths who agree that marriage is the union of a man and a woman must either unite to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment or face persecution together once homosexual marriage is legalized.  He calls it an opportunity for Christians to "link arms with men and women of good will in these other faith communities -- and be a witness to them" in the process.

Daniels is urging people of faith to phone or fax their congressional representatives, asking them to support the Federal Marriage Amendment.

And across Canada yesterday, opponents of same-sex marriage held prayer vigils.  A coalition of religious groups targeted the offices of 30 members of Parliament -- some of whom had been elected by only small margins.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a shouting match reportedly broke out between members of the homosexual community and a large group of demonstrators.  But in Montreal, only a handful turned out for prayer vigils in front of the offices of Canada's justice minister and a leading candidate for prime minister.

Associated Press contributed to this story.

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