National Catholic Register

Opinion

Gay Marriage (And Its Imitations) Can Be Stopped

BY Peter J. Wolfgang

July 20-26, 2003 Issue | Posted 7/20/03 at 1:00 PM

 

In his June 23 column, “Time to Face Facts: Homosexuals Gain Victory,” National Review's Jonah Goldberg argues, “The gays have won.”

Goldberg writes that the “signs of the gay victory have been all around us for years.” But the only “signs” he cites are the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada and support for homosexual rights among liberal media elites. He offers no further evidence on behalf of the dismal conclusion that “like it or not, the traditionalists have lost.”

I would not go so far as to call Goldberg a “sniveling capitulationist,” as his National Reviewcolleague John Derbyshire did June 20 on the magazine's blog, “The Corner.”

But it was National Reviewthat reminded us in the run-up to the Iraq war that nations whose views differ with ours would have little bearing on the direction of U.S. policy and it was Goldberg himself who explained in a cover article for the magazine how out of touch Canada is. So for Goldberg to cite Canada as proof for anything the United States might do, even in “dispassionate analysis,” is a little odd.

I offer my own experience as proof that Goldberg's second point — liberal media support for homosexual rights equals a homosexual victory — is mistaken. I am the Knight of Columbus district deputy who organized last November's petition drive to stop the Connecticut Legislature from legalizing same-sex marriage or its facsimile. This was done in partnership with our ecumenical allies at the Family Institute of Connecticut.

Remember the electoral map from the 2000 presidential election, with the conservative Bush-voting states in red and the liberal Gore-voting states in blue? Connecticut is about as blue as a blue state can get, complete with everything that implies. With very little opposition, pro-homosexual marriage state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, and his cronies had been quietly furthering the homosexual agenda at the Connecticut Capitol for years.

Lawlor claimed the state would inevitably legalize homosexual marriage. All the media elites in this state happily agreed. In fact, the only media outlet based in Connecticut that supports traditionalist views is the editorial page of this newspaper. And even Waterbury, Conn., Republican-Americancolumnist Lee Grabar wrote last November that the petition drive amounted to closing the stable doors after the horses had escaped.

But both our friends and foes proved to be wrong. We gathered 70,000 signatures in little more than a month, making ours the most successful petition drive in state history. This caused three significant results at the state legislature:

My own experience shows that, with a little elbow grease, marriage can be defended.

1) In January the Judiciary Committee chaired by Lawlor forwarded to the General Assembly its “study” of same-sex marriage with no recommendations. The homosexual lobby had hoped that a recommendation favorable to them would increase the pressure for same-sex marriage.

2) In April the Judiciary Committee voted against a bill legalizing “domestic partnerships” (a phony “compromise” in place of “civil unions,” which in itself was a phony compromise in place of same-sex marriage) by a vote of 26-16. Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin Sullivan, a supporter of domestic partnerships, expressed surprise at how little support there was for it in the Judiciary Committee.

3) At the end of the legislative session in June, an amendment legalizing domestic partnerships that Lawlor attached to an unrelated bill died a quiet death.

Lawlor continues to claim the pro-homosexual side is winning, but even the Hartford Courant, in a line buried deep in its June 6 article “A Day to Stress Positives: Lawmakers Focus on Accomplishments,” wrote, “One of the most prominent bills that failed was gay marriage, representing a major victory for the Catholic Church and a defeat for gay-rights activists.” (You can be sure that if things had turned out differently the Courant would have run a blazing headline across its front page.)

What does all this mean?

First, not only are homosexual-rights extremists not gaining victory in Connecticut, they're actually losing ground. The more Lawlor claims otherwise, the more he resembles “Baghdad Bob,” the hapless Iraqi information minister who insisted to the bitter end that Saddam Hussein was winning.

Second, that homosexual marriage's seemingly inevitable march to legalization in Connecticut has been halted and reversed proves Goldberg wrong.

Yes, the legalization of homosexual marriage is still possible, and those who support the sanctity of marriage must continue to remain vigilant. But after our experiences in Connecticut, one of the bluest-of-blue states, we can claim with some reasonableness that homosexual marriage is not inevitable.

So buck up, Goldberg! Homosexual marriage and its imitations can be stopped. All it requires is a little elbow grease.

Peter J. Wolfgang, of New Hartford, Conn., is the Knights of Columbus district deputy for Connecticut's northwest corner.