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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Senate subcommittee considers marriage amendment; voters back Schwarzenegger decision

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A Senate subcommittee heard testimony Oct. 20 from both supporters and opponents of a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as conservatives in the Senate attempt to jump-start the effort to protect the natural definition of marriage.

Although an amendment was introduced in the Senate in January, it has received little attention in the new Congress.

“Just one year ago, the issue of marriage was center stage in the national political debate,” said Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, which held the hearing.

“Poll after poll showed strong support for preserving traditional marriage, and a majority of Americans supported a marriage amendment to the Constitution. When the people spoke at the voting booth last November, they approved — by decisive majorities — every one of the 11 state amendments protecting traditional marriage.”

Massachusetts began recognizing “gay marriage” last year, and other states may follow in the near future. Washington state’s highest court is expected to issue a ruling on a “gay marriage” lawsuit in the coming weeks. Including Washington, eight states are involved in such suits.

Homosexual activists hope eventually to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court and have “gay marriage” legalized nationwide. Such a suit would involve asking the high court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law giving states the option of not recognizing “gay marriages” from other states. But before activists take their case to the Supreme Court, they hope to win a few more “gay marriage” lawsuits on the state level.

DOMA has allowed 18 states to adopt their own constitutional amendments banning “gay marriage.” Yet one of those states, Nebraska, saw its amendment struck down by a federal judge in April. The amendment had passed by 70 percent of the vote.

“Make no mistake: the threat to marriage is imminent and the time to act is now,” Brownback said. “The will of the American people is in danger of being thwarted by the will of an unaccountable, activist federal judiciary. In order to protect this vital institution, so central to the health and stability of families and society at large, we will have to define marriage. The only question is, who will do the defining?

“The people of the 50 states, as originally envisioned by the constitution, or judges forcing social change and bypassing the democratic process?”

The amendment to the U.S. Constitution is S.J. Res. 1 in the Senate and H.J. Res. 39 in the House.

VOTERS BACK SCHWARZENEGGER DECISION — By a 63-32 percent margin, California voters say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, made the right decision Sept. 29 in vetoing a bill that would have legalized “gay marriage.” In addition, 68 percent say the voters should have the “final say” as to whether “gay marriage” should be legalized. Seven percent say the courts should have the final say, 6 percent back the state legislature, 5 percent the federal government and 4 percent the governor. The poll of 529 voters was conducted Sept. 29 by SurveyUSA for KABC-TV.

ARIZ. VOTERS SUPPORT AMENDMENT — A majority of Arizonans support a proposed marriage amendment to the state constitution, according to a new Arizona Republic poll of 600 adults. In the poll, Arizonans back the amendment by a margin of 57-37 percent. The pro-family organization Protect Marriage Arizona (www.protectmarriageaz.com) is gathering signatures with the goal of placing an amendment before voters in November 2006.

SUIT HEADS TO N.J. HIGH COURT — The homosexual activist group Lambda Legal filed an appeal with the New Jersey Supreme Court Oct. 21, asking the justices to legalize “gay marriage” in the state. The court is one of the most liberal high courts in the land, and is best known among conservatives as ruling in 1999 that the Boy Scouts could not prevent homosexuals from becoming troop leaders. That decision eventually was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. In June of this year a New Jersey appeals court panel, by a vote of 2-1, upheld the state laws limiting marriage to one man, one woman.

MASS. FATHER AVOIDS TRIAL — Prosecutors have dropped charges against the Massachusetts father who was arrested in April after protesting his son being taught about homosexuality, The Boston Globe reported. The trial would have begun Oct. 20; the father, David Parker, was charged with trespassing. Parker was arrested after refusing to leave school property. He wanted assurance that he would be notified if his son, then a kindergarten student, was taught about homosexuality, The Globe reported.

Under the agreement, Parker still will be banned from school property and will be on probation for a year, according to the Associated Press. Parker and his wife say they believe homosexuality is a sin.

In April Parker’s son brought home several books as part of the school’s goal of teaching children diversity. One of the books was “Who’s In a Family,” a 29-page children’s book that includes illustrations of homosexual parents. In one scene, two men and a little girl are preparing to eat dinner. The reader is told: “Robin’s family is made up of her dad, Clifford, her dad’s partner, Henry, and Robin’s cat, Sassy.”

Conservatives say such controversies are unavoidable when “gay marriage” is legalized. Massachusetts remains the only state to recognize “marriage” between homosexuals.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

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  • Michael Foust