Bad Night for Marriage in California

Anti-Marriage Candidates Elected in California
Good Progress Elsewhere

by William B. May

SAN FRANCISCO, November 3, 2010 With the election results in California, Equality California, proponents of redefining marriage to accommodate same-sex couples, must be dancing in the streets. It appears that in state-wide offices, top to bottom, active proponents of same-sex “marriage” were elected. Governor-elect Jerry Brown is the current attorney general who refused to defend Prop 8 in the state constitution as passed by the voters. The lieutenant governor-elect is Gavin Newsom, the current San Francisco Mayor who illegally started marrying same-sex couples in 2004 and is infamous for the quote, "It's going to happen, whether you like it or not.”

Adding to the sting in an election night television interview, Newsom said that his victory demonstrates that politicians can take strong and controversial stands on same-sex “marriage” without statewide consequences.

The only possible exception for state-wide contests is in the state Attorney General’s race where pro-family Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley is narrowly trailing San Francisco DA Kamala Harris. The race is too close to call and who ultimately prevails will depend on provisional and hand-delivered absentee ballots. The result may not be known for a week.

The candidate in California who paid the highest price for his commitment and sacrifice for the protection of marriage was Andy Pugno. He was defeated in his effort to seek election in the 5th California Assembly District near Sacramento. Having served as general counsel for and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund, Andy became the national target for defeat by gay rights organizations. Their allies in organized labor invested over $1 million against Andy as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

The election results in California highlight the immediate threat to marriage and family in this state. While our appeal is pending before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, you can be sure that the efforts to redefine marriage by these elected officials will be relentless, whether through school curriculum, new legislation, or at the ballot box. Catholics cannot sit idly by. The Stand with Children program does more than just defend Prop. 8.  It is critical for all of us to learn how to reframe the debate in new positive terms that neutralize the threats of persecution and intimidation against us and our children. It is critical for parents to understand how school curriculum and popular culture undermines the views of young people about marriage and family and influences the choices they make later in life.

Become involved now! Join the community shaping the future of marriage and family by attending a conference or workshop in your area. We have several scheduled in the next three weeks. (see schedule

Marriage-Related Results in Other Parts of the U.S.

Marriage was an issue in the governor’s races in New Hampshire, New York, and Minnesota. Pro-same-sex “marriage” candidates won in the first two. A third is leading in Minnesota, but that race is too close to call.

The reelection of Governor John Lynch in New Hampshire was particularly disappointing. Last year he reversed his position on marriage and became the second governor in the country to sign legislation redefining marriage in his state. NOM and gay rights organizations made that race a national target. There is good news in NH though. The legislature that passed the same-sex “marriage” bill has dramatically changed, with both houses turning Republican with overwhelming majorities. The stage is set for a possible repeal of the same-sex marriage law in that state, with the possibility of enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto.

Despite the result of the governor’s race in Minnesota, the threat of same-sex “marriage” has also been reduced there because of newly-elected Republican majorities in both houses of both houses of the legislature.

Big News in Iowa Judges Defeated/ Groundwork for SSM Repeal Laid

There was a bright shining light for marriage in Iowa where the State Supreme Court redefined marriage by judicial fiat in 2009 in that state. Three of the seven justices were on the ballot in retention elections and, in an historic first, all were unseated. In addition, strong marriage supporter Terry Bradstad defeated the sitting governor, Chet Culver, who supported the decision of the Supreme Court to redefine marriage. The big question is whether Culver will decided to appoint new justices before leaving office or leave the job to the incoming governor.

With election of a new governor, the state house turning Republican with many new pro-family members elected, and gains in the state senate, prospects are improving for providing an opportunity for Iowans to vote on a constitutional amendment similar to Prop 8 in California.

Washington, DC

The changes in leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and changing dynamics in the U.S. Senate could have consequences for providing the citizens of Washington D.C. the right to vote on marriage. The District redefined marriage earlier this year. Last year, the local Elections Commission barred a citizens’ initiative defining marriage as between a man and a woman from the ballot on the grounds it would be discriminatory to even let people vote on it. This voters’ rights case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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