The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

A Mid-Summer’s Night Classic

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On the day of the Major League Baseball’s famed mid-summer’s classic, comes another mid-summer season classic: the first-ever legislative hearing on whether the people of West Virginia should be allowed to vote on the legal definition of marriage.

What’s happened in several other states, just since the end of West Virginia’s legislative session, has closed the debate on whether or not there exists a nationwide effort to redefine marriage:

  • A court in Iowa invalidated legislative Iowa’s definition of marriage on April 3rd.  Connecticut did the same thing last October.  In both cases, the people were kept out of the decision making process.
  • Legislatures in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and even the city council in Washington, D.C. have ignored the pleadings of constituents and redefined marriage.
  • Outside the courtroom, New York and New Jersey appear poised to do the same and even Wyoming has had to fend off Republican attempts to alter marriage.

Neither has the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) been spared.  One Federal court in California and two in Massachusetts are now hearing cases that would repeal the Federal government’s definition of marriage.  Advocates of same-sex “marriage” know they cannot win at the ballot box, and so they deploy a variety of strategies designed to take the question of marriage out of the hands of the people.

Legislators who now claim they would let the voters fix a court’s redefinition of marriage in the Mountain State, if ever it came to that, may have their good intentions sidelined by political realities.

Despite all of this, the Constitution of the State of West Virginia belongs to its people.  There is no legitimate reason to not allow the people of West Virginia to decide on the legal definition of marriage.

It is the responsibility of legislators to protect every West Virginian’s right to vote on this issue.  To preserve the ideal of self-governance, representative democracy requires that legislators listen to their constituents when they ask to govern themselves.

West Virginians want to vote on the definition of marriage and the opinion polls confirm that.  The Family Policy Council of West Virginia recently called 80,000 homes in West Virginia and discovered that 94% of the homes thought voters in West Virginia, not judges or politicians, should settle our definition of marriage.

Louder than Harry Carey singing during the seven-inning stretch, West Virginians are asking for the opportunity to vote on marriage as one man and one woman.

This only makes sense in the land of the self-governed.  It reflects the wisdom of Article II, Section 2-2 of our state constitution: “The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the state, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.”

In short, that means that the Constitution of the State of West Virginia belongs to its people.  There being no legitimate reason to preclude West Virginians from voting on it, we urge the Legislature to protect every West Virginian’s right to vote on whether the legal definition of marriage ought to be between one man and one woman.

Jeremiah G. Dys, Esq., is the president and general counsel of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, a servant organization advocating for policies that embrace the sanctity of human life, enrich marriage, and safeguard religious freedom, www.familypolicywv.com.

To read the legislative testimony in favor of the people’s right to decide the legal definition of marriage, go to www.familypolicywv.com/hearing.

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Written by Jeremy Dys

July 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Marriage

One Response

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  1. […] The truth is that proponents of same-sex marriage will by any means necessary keep voters out of the decision making process on this issue because they know that the majority of voters in nearly every state support the traditional definition of marriage; were these not true groups such as the ACLU and Fairness WV would support the people’s right to vote. The only reason not to support the people’s right to vote is when you know that such a vote will not go in your favor. And traditional marriage advocates know that if the people are given the opportunity to vote that traditional marriage will be sealed for good. “Advocates of same-sex “marriage” know they cannot win at the ballot box, and so they deploy a variety of strategies designed to take the question of marriage out of the hands of the people,” Dys said in a recent article for the FPCWV’s blog Engage […]


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