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FIRST-PERSON: Calif. threatens marriage nationwide

DALLAS (BP)–The California Supreme Court’s decision legalizing “gay marriage” prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to send an e-mail blast to supporters. It read: “We won the marriage case in California.” It continued: “… this is big.” And the final message: “This was a prize of inestimable value.”

They’re not kidding. The California ruling is a greater threat to marriage than the one more than four years ago in Massachusetts because, unlike Massachusetts, California has no prohibition against “marrying” same-sex couples from other states where “gay marriage” is illegal. If this decision stands, couples will travel to California to marry and return home to challenge the marriage laws and amendments in their home states, unleashing legal chaos and forcing “gay marriage” on states that have not amended their constitutions to prevent it.

The decision didn’t surprise some Californians who support traditional marriage. Months ago, they began and have now succeeded in gathering more than enough signatures to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot. That amendment, if approved by a majority of voters, will place in the state constitution the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman. This is an important vote because, not only will Californians decide the future of marriage in their state, they will also send a message regarding whether they are willing to be ruled by judges who think it’s their role to impose their will despite the clear wishes of the people on a matter. (For information visit ProtectMarriage.com)

Homosexuals, seeking marriage, say it’s their “right.” But as homosexuals attain the “right” to marriage, the institution itself loses its distinctive definition as the union between one man and one woman. And, in bestowing marriage on same-sex couples, the court has created other losers, in particular any children of those couples.

Additional losers are:

— The family. “Gay marriage” in European countries shows us the redefinition of marriage will weaken the family structure.

— The taxpayers. We will subsidize the fallout from family disintegration.

— Democracy. “Same-sex marriage” comes to California and beyond because of a court decree, not the vote of a legislature or the people.

— The church and free exercise of religion. I believe churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples or who preach that homosexuality is immoral eventually will lose their tax-exempt status, or worse. Religious businesses-owners will be forced to hire and retain gays.

Same-sex couples want equality and have gone after it in California by arguing that having all of the legal benefits of marriage under the state’s domestic partnership law does not provide them with equality. So the same-sex adults get what they’re after — marriage. But their kids suffer. They will be deprived of something that has historically served children well: a mom and a dad. Children born into the homes of same-sex couples will never attain what the children in traditional families have. Instead, the ruling strips these children of the right to be raised by a mother and father. Practically, it’s two moms or two dads. Biologically, it’s mother and a sperm donor, or father, an egg donor and a surrogate mother. (That is, if the couple chooses not to adopt.)

The decision makes possible a new type of “family” that goes outside of the bounds of biology, not to mention outside of God’s plan. The language in the decision refers to parents as either “opposite sex couples” or “same sex couples.” If this decision stands, then we can disregard history, cultural norms and religious practice. Just like that. Some people call this enlightened. Or progress. But it’s not.

We need a national conversation and plan of action to prevent the spread of same-sex marriage to states where the citizens do not want it. A Los Angeles Times poll showed Californians rejecting the Supreme Court decision affirming “gay marriage” by a bare majority. They also, by a bare majority, back the amendment protecting marriage that will be on their ballot in November. Californians are not ready for gay marriage. Not yet. But there’s more to this poll. More than half of those responding said same-sex relationships are not morally wrong and that gender does not matter in a relationship. The demographics are worrisome. Citizens under 45 were more likely than their elders to agree with the court decision, and less likely to back the constitutional amendment defining marriage the traditional way.

In states like California the people are on the verge of changing their collective mind. Before they do, the country should begin work on a federal marriage amendment.
Penna Dexter is a board of trustee member with the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, a conservative activist and an announcer on the syndicated radio program “Life on the Line” (information available at www.lifeontheline.com). She currently serves as a consultant for KMA Direct Communications in Plano, Texas, and as a co-host of “Jerry Johnson Live,” a production of Criswell Communications. She formerly was a co-host of Marlin Maddoux’s “Point of View” syndicated radio program.

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  • Penna Dexter