With No FMA to Protect Marriage, States Urged to Step Up

Jody Brown | Agape Press | Wednesday, June 23, 2004

With No FMA to Protect Marriage, States Urged to Step Up

June 23, 2004

The head of the Family Research Council (FRC) says in the debate over homosexual "marriage," at least one side is motivated. Tony Perkins is now wondering when pro-family advocates and defenders of traditional marriage are going to get as inspired as "the other side."

The latest news reports indicate that the U.S. Senate will begin debate and vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment in mid-July. But several Democratic senators -- among them Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Charles Schumer of New York, Barbara Boxer of California, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan -- have promised the leaders of homosexual-advocacy group that they will do whatever they can to kill the amendment. FRC's Perkins says that is why it is important that marriage advocates at the state level continue their efforts to protect marriage.

Perkins says because a Federal Marriage Amendment has not yet passed and ratified, it is essential that states have constitutional amendments on marriage to restrain state judges.
"Our opposition in this fight has made it clear that they are seeking homosexual couples who will 'marry' in Massachusetts [where same-sex marriage is currently legal] and then move or return to another state, giving them the ability to sue additional states and the federal government for recognition of their 'marriage,'" the FRC president says.

Perkins acknowledges that while state constitutional amendments will not stop federal judges, it will provide some protection of marriage until a federal amendment is ratified. He shares that he recently told a Baptist church in Ohio that those who believe in protecting traditional marriage have to do more than just talk about it -- they have to do their part, he said, by collecting signatures on petitions and contacting state legislators.

"The other side is motivated," Perkins says. "If we match and exceed their efforts, we will prevail."

No. Carolina Bill Stalled

North Carolina is one of the states where legislation prohibiting recognition of same-sex unions is in process. But a pro-family leader in that state is accusing lawmakers of stalling House Bill 1606 in hopes of preventing it from making it to the floor for a vote. Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina says the two speakers of the NC House of Representatives are ignoring the fact that there is clear bipartisan support for the Defense of Marriage Bill.

Creech adds that he is certain that a majority of the citizens of the Tar Heel State do not want their state to become another Massachusetts. "North Carolina has always been a state with strong convictions for the traditional family," Creech says in a press release. "If the leaders we have elected to represent us do nothing, we are at risk of damaging the most important institution we have on earth: the family."

Creech is urging defenders of the traditional family to contact House Speakers James Black and Richard Morgan and to ask them to make sure HB 1606 is voted on soon. He says it is a time-critical issue. "The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by the first week in July," the North Carolina activist says. "We need to ensure that our representatives vote on this bill before they leave Raleigh."

One of the problems, Creech says, is that legislators have been getting flooded with requests from homosexual activists and "liberal pastors" who oppose the bill. He contends it is a clear case of the "squeaky wheel getting the grease" -- and says that is why people who care about family and traditional values need to let the lawmakers know that the calls they are getting "don't accurately reflect how most citizens really feel."

Hiding Behind an Excuse

Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families is concerned about the impending Senate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. He believes the votes are not there for passage of the measure -- not because there are not a sufficient number of senators who support homosexual marriage, but because many of them -- both Democrats and Republicans -- are hiding behind the excuse that marriage is a "states' rights issue."

Bauer calls that a "ludicrous" argument. "It is nothing more than an excuse," he says. "I know this because 65 senators, including 18 Republicans, voted ... to expand 'hate crimes' based on sexual orientation.

"These same 65 senators expect us to believe that the federal government should rush to the defense of a homosexual who may or may not have been attacked because of his 'orientation' -- but the federal government has no interest in preserving marriage," he says.

The conservative pundit wonders if those on Capitol Hill are going to do anything at all to stop the redefinition of marriage, as has happened in Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. He contends that the result of congressional inaction, or the failure to pass the amendment, will give a "green light" to liberal judges across the nation --and that the consequences will be "devastating."

"Once we open the definition of marriage up to something other than the union of one man and one woman, there is no legal or moral reason to continue the prohibition against polygamy or polyamory [group marriage]," he says.

Like North Carolina's Creech, Bauer urges those who support traditional marriage to deluge Capitol Hill with letters, phone calls, and e-mails calling for action in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment. "The politicians in Washington must be made to fear for their political lives," he says.

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Family Research Council (
http://www.frc.org)
Christian Action League of North Carolina (
http://www.christianactionleague.net)
Campaign for Working Families (
http://www.cwfpac.com)


© 2004 Agape Press.

 

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