To: (Multiple email addresses may be specified by separating them with a comma)
BY CHARLIE SPIERINGREGISTER CORRESPONDENT
Calif. — This year, California is the battleground for marriage, as voters
weigh a constitutional amendment that would halt such same-sex unions that are
now taking place in that state.
California Supreme Court ruled in May that same-sex-attracted couples could
legally wed, and delighted homosexuals began making plans for “marriage”
Justice Ronald George wrote the majority opinion, which stated that “an
individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not
constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”
same-sex “marriage” activists celebrated victory after the ruling, the battle
over the state definition of marriage is far from over. Activists from both
sides are mobilizing forces on the California Protection of Marriage Act
initiative. If passed, the ballot measure will amend the California
Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid
or recognized in the state.
on the other coast, Massachusetts upped the ante when the state Senate July 15
voted to repeal a 1913 law used most recently to prevent same-sex couples from
other states from marrying there.
California ballot initiative has gained the support of a broad coalition of
religious leaders and cultural activists who are spreading the message that
marriage should not be redefined by the courts.
Roger Mahony of Los Angeles issued a statement after the ruling, saying, “The
Church cannot approve of redefining marriage, which has a unique place in God’s
creation, joining a man and a woman in a committed relationship in order to
nurture and support the new life for which marriage is intended.”
California Catholic Conference plans to issue a pastoral letter in support of
the amendment soon.
than 1.1 million signatures were gathered to put the amendment on the ballot in
November, bringing the issue to the attention of candidates running for
the ruling, the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., stated that
“he respects the decision of the California Supreme Court, and continues to
believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue
stated opposition to the California Protection of Marriage Act initiative in a
letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, read at its annual Pride
Breakfast in San Francisco. In the letter, he congratulated those in the group,
“who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few
weeks,” and stated, “I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend
the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution
or those of other states.”
candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., supports the California initiative,
stating, “I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize
marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in
my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these
McCain has voted twice against federal constitutional amendments defining
marriage as being between a man and a woman, he has stated that the definition
of marriage should be decided by individual states.
What Polls Say
Nammo, executive director of Family Research Council Action, admitted that the
Republican candidate “is not speaking very strongly on this issue.
believes that marriage is between one man and one woman but he is not beating
the drum,” Nammo said. “He’s not rousing his conservative base and he’s not
pointing to the fact that marriage is an institution that is being redefined by
Nammo also noted that Obama is the most “pro-gay” presidential candidate that
America has ever had. “He has been unapologetic about where he stands on the
issue,” he stated. “Obama may not have come out and stated his support for
same-sex ‘marriage,’ but he has done everything but that.”
Family Research Center released a national poll earlier this month to show that
49% of voters are much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports state
marriage amendments to the Constitution.
measures similar to the California Marriage Protection Act have often passed
with a large margin of support from voters. So far, 27 of the 28 states that
have included marriage amendment proposals on the ballot were passed.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership
Conference, remains worried about the California proposal.
now, it doesn’t look good on our side,” he said. The National Hispanic
Christian Leadership Conference, a Sacramento based organization, is working to
mobilize Hispanic voters to vote for the marriage initiative as part of a
broader coalition of cultural and faith based leaders.
is also an advising member of the Alliance for Marriage, a national coalition
for the defense of marriage.
May 28 California Field Poll reported that 51% oppose amending the state
constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, and only 43%
favored an amendment. Six percent of those surveyed had no opinion on the
is also home to several homosexual groups who are actively campaigning against
the marriage initiative.
of the amendment are working to frame the issue as an issue of civil rights and
tolerance against an “extremist right-wing” effort to discriminate.
do not need to amend our constitution to give the government more say in our
private lives,” said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a
group that opposes the amendment. “The right to marry is as fundamental as
other basic human freedoms like free speech, the right to vote and the pursuit
of happiness. The government simply has no business telling people who can and
cannot get married.”
for activists opposing the amendment is pouring in, Rodriguez noted, and
supporters of the marriage initiative would have to match their efforts for the
measure to exceed.
lagging behind in funds,” he admitted. “If we have 10 million, they have 40
million. We need a miracle financially to explain our side.”
added that the most important issue is to get the right message out to
California voters, and, at the same time, repudiate homophobia.
need to incorporate some sort of compassionate, grace-filled inclination that
it’s not an ‘us vs. them’ battle,” he said, “but rather, a matter of preserving
an institution that is so necessary for addressing many of the social ills of
Charlie Spiering is based in