The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Three States Define Marriage

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Three States Define Marriage: Ballot measures pass for Arizona, Florida, and California as homosexual activists, groups, seek to usurp the will of the people.

By Nathan A. Cherry

 

                Barely a day after the polls were closed, America had voted, and the election was called, stories erupted from all parts of the country regarding the ballot measure in three states, Arizona, Florida, and California. In an election that was less than thrilling for pro-life, values voters, a silver lining appeared in the form of all three ballot measures that would define marriage as between one man and one woman passing; with a major majority in Florida.

                With this decidedly strong victory for the people of America who still believe in traditional values taking place it only stands to reason that the opposition would, as John McCain did in the presidential election, bow graciously to the victor and concede that the people have spoken. And yet, as history has shown with so many activist groups and uber-liberal factions, the lawsuits began.

                One of the first, not even a day after the ballot measure was passed 52 percent to 48 (Proposition 8 results) percent in California, was by attorneys with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union, Strauss v. Horton, was filed on behalf of several same-sex couples. This suit, reported on the Alliance Defense Fund website stipulates that “Proposition 8, which amends the California Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, illegally revises the constitution rather than amending it to make a public policy change.” But ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy explains, “The lawsuit is completely frivolous. No structural revision to the state constitution has taken place here. The people have simply restored the definition of marriage that the constitution always assumed.”

                Also, the California Catholic Daily carries a reaction to the lawsuit, stating that it “demonstrates the contempt such groups have for the will of the people.” And that:

 

“This lawsuit is a brazen attempt to gut the democratic process. The people of California have spoken yet again, but that doesn’t mean anything to radical groups that want to impose their will at all costs. Once again, they are attempting to use the courts to push their agenda since they can’t achieve it legitimately at the ballot box.”

 

 

                Howard L. Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida recently commented after the ballot measure passed by a large majority in Florida that “We as a state have come so far since the dark days of Anita Bryant, but we are in danger of the vocal minority taking us back to a darker period in Florida’s history.” (Emphasis mine) (Read this article for more on Anita Bryant)

Wait a minute, vocal minority? More than 60 percent of Floridians voted to define marriage as between one man and one woman and he is calling THEM the vocal minority.
              What about the vocal minority that is attempting to redefine the family? What about the vocal minority in California that pushed activist judges, another minority, to overturn the will of the people? Why is it that those that are truly in the minority want the rest of us to believe that the majority of Americans have gained new values and morals that are akin to their own very far liberal positions and we should just accept their beliefs, in the words of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, “whether (we) like it or not.”

Every person in each of these three states had the opportunity to voice his or her opinion on the topic, and they did. And the outcome is that the majority in each of these three states believes that marriage should be defined as one man and one woman. That does not sound like a minority to me. In fact, Arizona, Florida, and California become the 28th, 29th, and 30th states to amend their state constitution to protect marriage in this way. Again, that does not sound like a minority of Americans to me.

              And yet the lawsuits have begun because the proponents of same-sex marriage, though asking for tolerance of their viewpoint, refuse to accept the will of the people. Tolerance works both way folks. If you want others to be tolerant of you, you must in turn be tolerant of them. But here is a classic example of a minority group that screams “intolerance,” “bigot,” and “hater” in the face of those who hold to a belief on a particular subject, when they, upon the realization that their cause has lost a vote of the people, riot, disrupt church services, picket organizations and churches that helped pass the Proposition 8 measure, and in general act like spoiled children stamping their foot and demanding their way.
              Diversity means that people are allowed to disagree. Democracy means that the will of the majority rules. To even think of filing a lawsuit after the people have spoken on an issue is nothing short of a temper tantrum fed insult. Andrew Pugno, an attorney for the coalition of various groups that sponsored Proposition 8 would agree. In an article for the Christian Post Reporter he said:

 

“This is the second time that California voters have acted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. It is time that the opponents of traditional marriage respect the voters’ decision…the legal action against the measure is an insult to California voters and an attack on the initiative process itself.”

 

 

                I couldn’t agree more. When the people speak on an issue that should be the end of it whether we all agree with the results or not. I am sure there are plenty out there who are not pleased with the result of the Presidential election. But are we going to take it to the Supreme Court and demand our way, or that another election be held. Of course not, that would be foolishness. And yet that is exactly what the same-sex groups are doing. After allowing the people to speak they are deciding that they don’t like the decision that was made and now wants to have their own way. What part of that is democracy?

 

 

 

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Written by Jeremy Dys

November 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I have just read this post, so forgive me for being a little late to the party, so to speak. I wanted to rebut some of the arguments you are making, like this one:

    “What about the vocal minority that is attempting to redefine the family? What about the vocal minority in California that pushed activist judges, another minority, to overturn the will of the people? Why is it that those that are truly in the minority want the rest of us to believe that the majority of Americans have gained new values and morals that are akin to their own very far liberal positions and we should just accept their beliefs, in the words of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, ‘whether (we) like it or not.’ ”

    First of all, I don’t hear you crying foul about “activist judges (btw, those same activist judges that voted to overturn a ban on same sex marriage were all appointed by conservative Republican governors, hardly liberal activist judges, so it’s amusing to see this charge made against them)” who overturned the will of the people back when the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturned bans on interracial marriages in 1967 in Loving v. Virgina. Why not? It was a “vocal minority” then that was trying to “redefine family values,” as was claimed by those who were against miscegenation, were they not? So how’s this any different from gay and lesbian couples fighting for their right to marry?

    If you say it is because they “choose” to be homosexual, then, which I’m sure you’ve already been asked countless times, when did you choose to be straight? Can you tell me at what age you said to yourself, “You know what? I’m going to like girls from now on! I’m no longer going to like boys (assuming you are a man)!” Also, if being gay was a choice, then it means that if the situation and environment dictated it so, then you could choose to start liking men, correct?

    But even if I buy the argument that gays should be denied the right to marry on the grounds that it’s a choice that the majority morally disapproves, then one what about other “lifestyles” that people choose that we disapprove of? What about the cigarette smoking, binge-drinking, or promiscuous lifestyles? Should they be denied their right to marry too? What bout the emo kids you see in public schools? I disapprove of them, and I think they should be denied the right to marry because they always seem so depressed? Wouldn’t they be up in arms as a “vocal minority” too because a majority decided they could not marry? Do you see the slippery slope that you are tumbling down when you start denying the right to marry simply because you frown upon it, how it opens the door to other minority groups right to marry being infringed upon? Therefore, one cannot, should not, deny the right of one to marry on the grounds of “lifestyle choices.”

    “And yet the lawsuits have begun because the proponents of same-sex marriage, though asking for tolerance of their viewpoint, refuse to accept the will of the people.”

    I cringe whenever I hear the “will of the people” claim. The will of the people once rubber-stamped slavery, that women were property of their husbands, that segregation was a-okay. When SCOTUS overturned segregation in Brown v. Board of Education because “separate but equal is inherently unequal,” the population of the US was up in arms, making the same charge of judicial activism. They were saying, “How dare they overturn our will! We approve of racial segregation and the people have spoken, so stay out judges! Two, four, six, eight! We don’t want to integrate!!!”

    What I’m getting at is that most of us here in this country have forgotten civics 101, for we would have remembered that our judiciary branch of government is to suppose to serve as a check against impulsive and fleeting majoritarian rule. They are supposed to to overturn the “will of the people” when it runs afoul of the constitution. They don’t create new rights out of thin air, they affirm existing ones, like SCOTUS did in Brown and Loving. This system of checks and balances was created by our Founding Fathers because they were afraid of the tyranny of the majority, which is why they established our country as a republic, not a democracy, which is where you are also in error. They would be appalled at California’s initiative process, where anybody can put a ballot and create new laws by simple majority rule, because they didn’t believe that average Joes and Janes were educated enough to create public policy (that’s why the US Senate originally had its senators elected by state legislatures, not by the people).

    Let me ask you this: if the people in California voted in a proposition by majority rule that Muslims cannot marry, should this be upheld as constitutional? Wouldn’t you agree with the justices for stepping in and overturning this proposition? If so, then you have tacitly agreed with the principle of a judiciary immune to the passions of the people and educated about our constitution.

    So it should not surprise you when a minority group that has experienced discrimination and persecution in the past, gays and lesbians, are trying to get Prop 8 overturned on the grounds that it violates equal protections guaranteed by both the California and US Constitution. You don’t have to like it, but the justices on the Court are fulfilling a constitutional obligation by reviewing whether the will of the people is constitutional or not, which is in the spirit of our Founding Fathers intentions.

    Anyway, I know this a long post, so thanks for reading, but I invite you to do the same to me at my blog: http://americanpoliticker.wordpress.com

    drake83

    November 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm

  2. Drake,

    It’s never too late to join in on the conversation. We’re just glad that you did! Don’t worry about providing such an in-depth response. With your comments, I had a few follow-up thoughts as well.

    At one point, you, like many others, attempted to correlate Civil Rights with Same-Sex marriage. Moreover, it appears that you have overlooked the defining terms of Civil Rights and what constitutes them. For instance, you said:

    “It was a “vocal minority” then that was trying to “redefine family values,” as was claimed by those who were against miscegenation, were they not? So how’s this any different from gay and lesbian couples fighting for their right to marry?”

    Interracial marriage and same-sex marriage ARE NOT synonymous. Besides, marriage is not a right for everyone to participate in. There are other legal limitations placed upon the institution of marriage, such as an older person cannot marry a child (for further analysis see “Settling the Issue: Why Same-Sex Marriage IS NOT a Civil Right”).

    At another point you said:

    “If you say it is because they “choose” to be homosexual, then, which I’m sure you’ve already been asked countless times, when did you choose to be straight?”

    Drake, we both know there are not former blacks and whites, but we both know there are numerous former “homosexuals.” We both know that homosexual behavior is not inborn, involuntary, or immutably (for further analysis I refer you to the post above).

    Drake, I’m sorry, but the following is illogical and the limitations on same-sex marriage WILL NOT lead to depriving other “minority” groups the privilege of marrying.

    “Do you see the slippery slope that you are tumbling down when you start denying the right to marry simply because you frown upon it, how it opens the door to other minority groups right to marry being infringed upon? Therefore, one cannot, should not, deny the right of one to marry on the grounds of “lifestyle choices.””

    As before, same-sex marriage IS NOT synonymous with Civil Rights.

    Interesting point that you make here:

    “Let me ask you this: if the people in California voted in a proposition by majority rule that Muslims cannot marry, should this be upheld as constitutional?”

    However, we both know that this will not happen and this IS NOT the same to the issue of same-sex marriage.

    Finally, Drake, its unfortunate that you illogically correlate same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior with Civil Rights.

    “So it should not surprise you when a minority group that has experienced discrimination and persecution in the past, gays and lesbians, are trying to get Prop 8 overturned on the grounds that it violates equal protections guaranteed by both the California and US Constitution.”

    Honestly, what upsets me the most is this: If practicing homosexuals are extended SPECIAL LEGAL PROTECTION, then why will others like myself LOSE their right to free speech? (check-out my other post: “From Tolerance to Intolerance – Why the Normalization of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage WILL LEAD to the Suppression of Freedom).

    Drake, thanks for joining in on the discussion. I’m looking forward to hear your response

    Jesse Wisnewski

    November 17, 2008 at 12:16 am

  3. Hmmm, I wasn’t sure if my first attempt at posting worked, so forgive me if this a duplicate post.

    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Forgive me for taking a while to respond, but I start off by saying that your arguments have serious flaws in them, so let’s start with this one:

    “Interracial marriage and same-sex marriage ARE NOT synonymous. Besides, marriage is not a right for everyone to participate in. There are other legal limitations placed upon the institution of marriage, such as an older person cannot marry a child…”

    First that needs to be pointed out here is that you said marriage is not a right. Again, you are establishing a dangerous slippery slope here. Never say never, because you cannot foresee events that will happen in the future. How do you know a majoritarian mob in the future won’t try to strip Muslims of their right to marry? How do you know another 9/11 won’t happen, which will just whip up Islamophobia around the country? And what will this majoritarian mob cite as legal precedence? They will say that marriage is not a right because we said so with regard to gay marriage.

    Okay, if you find the aforementioned scenario far-fetched, consider this: what if the situation was reversed in California? What if gays and lesbians were the majority in California and they voted to grant only same sex couples the “privilege” of marriage and heterosexual couples only “domestic partnerships”? After all, marriage isn’t a right, just a privilege that the state can grant and deny because it morally objects to one specific group. Would you agree with the will of the people here? If not, then you are tacitly accepting that the will of the people cannot always be abided by, and required a check to make sure they do not try to persecute a politically unpopular group. By discriminating which class of citizens can marry on the grounds that marriage is not a right but a privilege, you are opening the door for the state to regulate any type of marriage, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.

    And you also mentioned an older adult trying to marry a child. I’m sorry but that is impossible. For a marriage to be valid, the two parties must be old enough to legally consent, and a child clearly is not and therefore, cannot legally consent to marry anyone. But these are red herrings, because the issue here is only two consenting adults and no one else.

    “Drake, we both know there are not former blacks and whites, but we both know there are numerous former “homosexuals.” We both know that homosexual behavior is not inborn, involuntary, or immutably (for further analysis I refer you to the post above).”

    I cannot speak of those “former homosexuals” you speak of, which I assume you are referring to reparative therapy, but I do ask you to please cite hard data and statistics from a credible and impartial organization that suggest that homosexuals is disorder that can be treated through reparative therapy because you only cite conclusions reached by the Family Research Council. I must point out to you that they are not considered a respected, scientific, and impartial research organization since they start with the premise that homosexuality is a disorder (even though mainstream science has long ago rejected this belief) and so, cherry-pick any iota of evidence to support this preexisting notion and reject evidence that refutes it (like the anecdotal evidence claiming that since a few gays were apparently “cured,” therefore, all gays can be cured). Many professional organizations, like the American Psychological Association, and American Psychiatric Association have opposed reparative therapy because they have found no credible scientific evidence that it works, and they have also long ago removed homosexuality as a clinical disorder from their DSM’s. Until credible scientific evidence is produced that strongly suggests that homosexuality is unnatural and harmful, then it cannot be claimed that homosexuality is a disease.

    “Honestly, what upsets me the most is this: If practicing homosexuals are extended SPECIAL LEGAL PROTECTION, then why will others like myself LOSE their right to free speech? (check-out my other post: “From Tolerance to Intolerance – Why the Normalization of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage WILL LEAD to the Suppression of Freedom).”

    How? How will you lose your right to freedom of speech? I’m at a loss at understanding the irrational fear and anxiety of those that think they will no longer be allowed to worship any god because Adam and Steve were allowed to be married. In Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, have churches been forced to shut down simply because they object to gay marriage? Are they now forced to perform gay marriage ceremonies? Have those who spoken against gay marriage been imprisoned in gulags?

    No, of course it hasn’t, and it is absolutely ridiculous to claim that religious freedom will be infringed upon should gay marriage be legal. Christians are still free to practice Christianity here in California, even though there are 18,000 same sex marriages now. Churches will still be allowed to condemn gay marriage. They will even still be allowed to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony to a gay couple. So please, stop the fear-mongering, because it has no factual or historical basis.

    And I fail to see how granting gays and lesbians the right to marry is a “special legal protection.” It is not, because we heterosexuals currently enjoy and even take that right for granted (many of us divorce and remarry countless times, or never even marry at all). Yet, gays and lesbians do not, and they only seek the same “special legal protections” we currently possess. Do we heterosexuals have “special legal protections” that are unwarranted and should be taken away?

    drake83

    November 18, 2008 at 9:04 am

  4. Forgive me for taking a while to respond, but I start off by saying that your arguments have serious flaws in them, so let’s start with this one:

    No problem. My apologies that are spam filters marked your comment as “spam.”

    Here, you said:

    “First that needs to be pointed out here is that you said marriage is not a right. Again, you are establishing a dangerous slippery slope here.”

    I disagree. Outside of the one limitation pointed to earlier that considered a red herring (which denies the evidence, especially among those that are striving to have pedophilia removed as a behavioral disorder), marriage CANNOT be entered into by all: such as someone older with one below age, person must be unmarried, beyond the bounds of close kinship, and of the opposite sex (see my post “Settling the Issue: Why Same-Sex Marriage IS NOT a Civil Right”).

    This is not a slippery slope and does not address one’s race, ethnicity, or gender. These aspects cannot be changed, even gender, in-spite of sexual changes made through surgery.

    “Never say never, because you cannot foresee events that will happen in the future.”

    True. I agree with you

    “They will say that marriage is not a right because we said so with regard to gay marriage.”

    As alluded to above, homosexual BEHAVIOR is different than one’s ethnicity and religion.

    “After all, marriage isn’t a right, just a privilege that the state can grant and deny because it morally objects to one specific group. Would you agree with the will of the people here? If not, then you are tacitly accepting that the will of the people cannot always be abided by, and required a check to make sure they do not try to persecute a politically unpopular group.”

    I briefly addressed “morality” and a lack of an external standard adhered to by advocates for same-sex marriage in “Proposition 8 and A “Gray” Moral Standard.”

    “ By discriminating which class of citizens can marry on the grounds that marriage is not a right but a privilege, you are opening the door for the state to regulate any type of marriage, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.”

    Yes, you’re right, marriage should be legally limited to heterosexual couples that fulfill the afore mentioned criteria.

    “I cannot speak of those “former homosexuals” you speak of, which I assume you are referring to reparative therapy, but I do ask you to please cite hard data and statistics from a credible and impartial organization that suggest that homosexuals is disorder that can be treated through reparative therapy because you only cite conclusions reached by the Family Research Council…Many professional organizations, like the American Psychological Association, and American Psychiatric Association have opposed reparative therapy because they have found no credible scientific evidence that it works, and they have also long ago removed homosexuality as a clinical disorder from their DSM’s.”

    Then why did Robert Spitzer, who was pivotal in having homosexual behavior removed as a mental disorder, AFFIRM the affects of reparative therapy? (see the post cited above). Without having the time to browse other statistics for you, why don’t you consider the work done by Exodus at http.exodus.to

    “How? How will you lose your right to freedom of speech?”

    Drake, you need to consider international trends as well as events currently taking place. For this I refer you to my post, From Tolerance to Intolerance: How the Normalization of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead to the Suppression of Freedom.

    “So please, stop the fear-mongering, because it has no factual or historical basis.”

    You are VERY sadly mistaken. It appears that your presuppositions are causing you to draw a blind eye to reality (see the post cited above). Besides, based upon what grounds can you call me a “fear-monger?”

    “Yet, gays and lesbians do not, and they only seek the same “special legal protections” we currently possess.”

    Once again, time does not allow me to cite research here to show this is not the case at all. Look for a post latter in the week that address this later.

    “Do we heterosexuals have “special legal protections” that are unwarranted and should be taken away?”

    Nope.

    Jesse Wisnewski

    November 18, 2008 at 4:59 pm


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