Marriage Campaigns Get Ugly - Preelection Update

Tight Battle for Marriage in Maine and Washington
Cautious Optimism in Maryland and Minnesota
Prayers Needed

by William B. May

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, November 5, 2012 -- Of the four states in which the future of marriage is on the ballot, Maine and Washington are states in which gay rights organizations are focusing the greatest attention. If they are able to convince voters to redefine marriage, it will be the first time this has happened anywhere. The stakes are very high. So high, in fact, that the supporters of redefining marriage are stepping up incidences of vandalism and intimidation, trying to silence those witnessing the truth about marriage, the reality that unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union.

Ballot language in both states misrepresents what is actually before the voters.

In Maine, voters are asked, “Do you want to allow the State of Maine to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?” In Washington, voters are considering a referendum to endorse the legislature’s redefinition of marriage. The ballot language describes the bill as simply allowing “same-sex couples to marry”.

Both imply participation in marriage by same-sex couples without changing it. However, the reality in both states is that marriage is actually being redefined to be merely an institution between any two people. By removing “man and woman”, the measures completely eliminate from the law any institution that uniquely and specifically unites kids with their moms and dads. This societal benefit provides the only public interest for civil marriage. Ironically, the original ballot language in Washington acknowledged that marriage is being redefined, but a judge ruled the word "redefined" should not be used because the truth would prejudice voters against the measure. Outrageous, isn’t it?

Polls show that marriage is trailing in both states, however the gap has been closing over the last week as the underfunded pro-marriage campaigns have been finally able to start their advertising campaign informing voters of the consequences of redefining marriage.

With the amount of intimidation going on in both states, the current polling should be viewed with skepticism. Do you really think people would be inclined to give honest answers to anonymous callers when asked for their position on the issue? The outcome is likely to be very close. Every vote will be important. Catholics for the Common Good volunteers have been making get-out-the-vote phone calls into Washington over the weekend and will continue through tomorrow.

Marriage is also on the ballot in Maryland and in Minnesota. The stakes are highest in Maryland where passage of the measure is necessary to reverse action by the legislature and governor to redefine marriage earlier in the year. The Minnesota measure protects the definition of marriage in the state constitution, similar to constitutional or statutory measures passed in 32 other states.

Of course the Presidential and Congressional elections will also have a bearing on the future of marriage. The President has declared war on marriage by supporting the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and opposing it in the Court. Even when his Administration was defending DOMA, they made clear to judges that their defense should not be interpreted as any government interest in a legal structure that promotes children being raised by their biological parents.

Please join us in prayer for the laws that provide for justice for children by recognizing marriage as the foundation of the family and the good of society.

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