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MARRIAGE DIGEST: Wis. Senate passes marriage amendment; Howard Dean backs ‘gay’ quota for Democratic National Conv.

MADISON, Wis. (BP)–Wisconsin’s Senate passed a constitutional marriage amendment Dec. 7, moving it one step closer to being placed on the November 2006 ballot.

If the state Assembly, as expected, passes the amendment, then voters there will decide whether to protect the traditional definition of marriage. The proposed amendment bans both “gay marriage” and Vermont-style civil unions.

“In the end, it’s very difficult to argue against letting the people of Wisconsin decide what they are comfortable with when it comes to marriage,” state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican who supported the amendment, was quoted as saying in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The amendment passed along a strict party-line vote, with 19 Republicans supporting it and 14 Democrats opposing it. It was the second consecutive session that the Senate approved the amendment. State law requires amendments to pass two consecutive sessions. But this time two Democrats changed their votes, with one of them, state Sen. Dave Hansen, saying he now believes the amendment “codifies hatred.”

The state Assembly is expected to vote on the amendment after Jan. 1, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Wisconsin would become the fifth state to place a marriage amendment on the ballot for a 2006 vote, although that number is expected to climb. Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee also are scheduled to vote on marriage amendments.

Wisconsin legislators passed a “defense of marriage” law in 2003 banning “gay marriage,” only to see it vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. But conservative legislators refused to give up and last year began the process of adopting a constitutional marriage amendment, which does not require Doyle’s signature.

The amendment would be on the ballot the same year that Doyle faces re-election. A Badger Poll from December 2003 showed that Wisconsin residents support a marriage amendment by a margin of 64-29 percent.

Nineteen states have adopted marriage amendments. The amendments prevent states judges from legalizing “gay marriage,” which happened in Massachusetts.

OVERWHELMING SUPPORT IN MASS. — Conservatives in Massachusetts collected 170,000 signatures in support of a constitutional marriage amendment — much more than the 120,000 previously reported, the Associated Press said Dec. 7. Of those 170,000, approximately 147,000 were certified as being valid. Only 65,825 valid signatures were needed.

Pro-family advocates in the Bay State hope to place a marriage amendment before voters in 2008 and reverse the state high court’s “gay marriage” ruling.

“What does that tell us?” Massachusetts Family Institute President Kris Mineau asked, according to AP. “That the people of Massachusetts have not only spoken, they have shouted. And what are they shouting? ‘Let the people vote.'”

The amendment now needs the support of at least 25 percent of the state legislature in two consecutive sessions in order to go to voters in 2008.

‘GAY WEDDING’ CARDS? — Wal-Mart’s British subsidiary, Asda, is selling wedding cards and “commitment rings” for homosexuals, The New York Times reported Dec. 7. The new products come as Britain legalizes civil partnerships, which grant homosexual couples the legal benefits of marriage.

One card reads, “Wedding day wishes, Mrs. & Mrs.,” according to The Times. Another says, “Congratulations, Mr. & Mr.”

“Ever since gay weddings were given the official go-ahead, we’ve had a number of customers asking if we could introduce gay cards,” Asda spokesman Ed Watson told The Times. “With the launch of our new range, we can ensure that our customers can celebrate every marriage — whether it is between him and her, him and him, or her and her.”

Conservatives criticized the move, saying Wal-Mart is two-faced — conservative in the United States, but liberal elsewhere. In the U.S., Wal-Mart has refused to carry objectionable books, magazines and CDs.

“They want to be all things to all people anywhere but in the United States,” said Tracy Sefl, research director for Wal-Mart Watch, told The Times. “In the United States, they have a conservative, right-leaning business model.”

‘GAY’ QUOTA AT DNC? — Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has unofficially endorsed a quota for homosexual delegates at the 2008 Democratic convention, The Hotline news website reported Dec. 3. Speaking to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender caucus Dec. 2, Dean endorsed guaranteeing that 5 to 10 percent of the delegates be homosexuals.

“Of course that’s a good idea,” he told the caucus, according to The Hotline.

Research shows that homosexuals make up 1-2 percent of the population.

CANADIAN POLLS — The Conservative Party in Canada trails in the latest polls leading up to the Jan. 23 national election. In a Strategic Counsel poll conducted Dec. 5-7, 37 percent of Canadians said they would vote for the Liberal candidate and 30 percent for the Conservative candidate. The New Democratic Party and the Bloc Quebecois ran a distant third and fourth, respectively. The poll interviewed 1,500 Canadians. Other polls have shown similar numbers.

The Conservatives say that if they win Parliament, they will hold a vote to overturn the country’s “gay marriage” law.
For more information about the national debate over “gay marriage,” visit https://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage

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  • Michael Foust