National Catholic Register

Opinion

Voting Marriage

BY The Editors

June 8-14, 2008 Issue | Posted 6/3/08 at 12:55 PM

 

Same-sex “marriage” is fast becoming a key election issue now that California’s Supreme Court has imposed it there, and New York decided to recognize other states’ same-sex “marriages.”

In this issue of the Register, we continue to bring you valuable information to disseminate in the important fight for marriage. On page 1, Contributing Editor Tom McFeely looks at the evidence showing that traditional families are best for children.

On page 7, Jennifer Roback Morse points out that redefining marriage isn’t just a matter of doing a kindness to committed same-sex couples. In order to accommodate homosexual “marriage,” society will necessarily have to violate the rights of those who believe what mankind has always believed about marriage. Once homosexual “marriage” is accepted law, all must abide by it in every way imaginable — from allowing children to be adopted by homosexuals to participating in homosexual “weddings” when one’s professional duties call for it — or be penalized by the courts.

Unfortunately, there is no clear differentiation between the two presumptive presidential candidates’ records on marriage.

Arizona Sen. John McCain is set to be the GOP candidate and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is the likely Democratic candidate. When the federal marriage amendment came to the floor of the Senate, both these senators voted to kill it quietly, without debate.

Voters who are concerned about marriage should look to the two parties’ platforms instead of the two candidates’ records.

After all, the president himself will have little role in the marriage issue, particularly as regards a constitutional amendment. But those he appoints to key positions in Washington departments will spend every workday of the year deciding how far and wide a redefinition of “marriage” will take root in federal programs and policies.

Party platforms are generally describe the positions of a party’s most committed activists. These are precisely the people who are appointed to roles in departments like Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Education, etc.

Here we quote in its entirety what the 2004 Democratic Party platform, the most recent, says about marriage:

“We support full inclusion of gay and lesbian families in the life of our nation and seek equal responsibilities, benefits and protections for these families. In our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there. We repudiate President Bush’s divisive effort to politicize the Constitution by pursuing a ‘Federal Marriage Amendment.’ Our goal is to bring Americans together, not drive them apart.”

This is the only mention of marriage in the party’s platform: an insistence that marriage be redefined by judges in obedience to the wishes of homosexual activists.

The 2004 Republican Party platform’s entry on marriage is much longer. We present it, also, in its entirety:

“We strongly support President Bush’s call for a Constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage, and we believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage. We believe, and the social science confirms, that the well-being of children is best accomplished in the environment of the home, nurtured by their mother and father anchored by the bonds of marriage. We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.

“After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence, and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization, the union of a man and a woman in marriage. Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country, and anything less than a constitutional amendment, passed by the Congress and ratified by the states, is vulnerable to being overturned by activist judges. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. The constitutional amendment process guarantees that the final decision will rest with the American people and their elected representatives.

“President Bush will also vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was supported by both parties and passed by 85 votes in the Senate. This common sense law reaffirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.

“President Bush said, ‘We will not stand for judges who undermine democracy by legislating from the bench and try to remake America by court order.’ The Republican House of Representatives has responded to this challenge by passing H.R. 3313, a bill to withdraw jurisdiction from the federal courts over the Defense of Marriage Act. We urge Congress to use its Article III power to enact this into law, so that activist federal judges cannot force 49 other states to approve and recognize Massachusetts’ attempt to redefine marriage.”

The Republican Party’s platform includes other references about the importance of strengthening both marriage and fatherhood.

Pope Benedict XVI put the defense of traditional marriage in the center of his visit to the United States, both in his visit to the White House and with the bishops, as well as in his homilies. He prayed with the president and first lady for the institution of marriage.

We should pray, too. Pope John Paul II asked for daily Rosaries for the family. Vote for marriage this November, and spread the word for others to do so.