Dishonest Tactics of Florida “Same-sex Marriage” Advocates

A pro-“gay marriage” group has a website that I visited the other day. Nowhere do they talk about gay marriage; they just talk about how if Amendment 2 is passed in Florida it will hurt seniors, destroy higher-education (seriously!), and remove rights of all unmarried people. Basically, all the arguments were completely false. If I hadn’t known better I would have thought the site was a spoof site. You have to check out this page (notice the pictures at the top of the screen).

Here are their “6 reasons to Say No”:

“Taking Away Benefits
Amendment 2 could take away existing benefits from all unmarried Floridians
Hurting Seniors
Amendment 2 could force seniors to choose between important benefits like sharing health care and important government benefits.
“Gay Marriage” Bait & Switch
Amendment 2 claims to ban “gay marriage” but Florida already has multiple laws banning same-sex marriage
Massive Government Intrusion
Amendment 2 puts the government where it doesn’t belong – regulating the personal relationships of Floridians
Hiring Expensive Lawyers
Amendment 2 could force unmarried Floridians to hire expensive private lawyers just to protect their basic legal rights
Dramatic Consequences
Amendment 2 could take away job benefits from university employees and be used as a defense to domestic violence – as in other states which passed similar amendments”

The site is very deceiving – I hope that the citizens of Florida see through it. I hope that the citizens of Florida will stand up for marriage and pass Amendment 2.

Here’s an email I received about a new ad (created by the same group as that website) attacking Amendment 2 in Florida, which seeks to protect marriage. The same-sex marriage advocates are stooping very low (i.e., lying) to drum up opposition to Amendment 2.

“NEW TV AD BY STEALTH “GAY RIGHTS” GROUP IS BOTH FACTUALLY WRONG AND ATTEMPTS TO DECEIVE DEMOCRAT VOTERS.

(Orlando, FL) Florida Red and Blue, a political committee and front group for a coalition of homosexual groups opposing Amendment 2, has released a TV ad which is both factually wrong and attempts to mislead and scare senior citizens. The ad will be aired on Florida stations during the Democrat National Convention through out this week.

The campaign commercial has a prominent theme which is repeated three times asserting that the marriage amendment is an attempt by the government to interfere “into our private lives”. Other parts of the ad state that defeating Amendment 2 would “keep government out of our private lives” and that “personal marriage issues should be decided by you, your family and clergy, not by the government.” *

“This ad is just factually wrong and Red and Blue needs to be held accountable for false and misleading advertisements” said John Stemberger, State Chairman of Yes2Marriage.org the official sponsor of the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment. “To the contrary, the citizen initiated and citizen led Amendment 2 has nothing at all to do with government action. It has everything to do with citizen action stopping the government from redefining marriage against their will. Amendment 2 allows the people and not activist judges to decide how marriage will be defined in Florida. This is only the first of a series of ads in an avalanche of fraud and deception that is going to flood the airways in the October.”

The campaign commercial also states* that “Democrats are United against Amendment 2 in Florida.” This is not accurate or factually correct. Over three quarters of a million Florida voters signed a citizen’s initiative petition to get the marriage amendment on the ballot. Well over 33% of those Floridians who signed the petition are registered Democrats. The recent June 3, 2008, Quinnipiac Florida poll demonstrates that a significant 45% of democratic voters in Florida support Amendment 2. Even Senator Barack Obama in the recent Saddleback forum with Rick Warren clearly stated, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.” “This hardly seems like unity among Democrats on the issue of the definition of marriage” said Eladio Armesto, the Chairman of the Florida Democratic League who is a major supporter of Amendment 2 in South Florida.

Stemberger said, “Marriage is not a democrat or a republican issue. It’s not even a liberal – conservative issue. It is a human issue and a moral issue—and one which Floridians will vote yes on in overwhelming numbers on November 4, 2008.”

Finally, the unanimous Florida Supreme Court made up of democrat and republican appointees has ruled that Amendment 2 is about the “singular subject” of marriage and that the effect of the amendment does nothing new as it merely takes the existing law on marriage and places it into the state constitution as 27 other states have done. (1) “Telling senior citizens that they will lose social security and or domestic partner benefits by voting yes on 2 is outright fraud and preys upon Florida’s most vulnerable and precious citizens” commented Stemberger.

For more information or further comment contact:

Yes2Marriage.org at Media@Yes2Marriage.org or call 407-251-1957

* The verbatim wording of the TV Ad states:
“Democrats are united against Amendment 2 in Florida. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Representatives Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Robert Wexler are all saying vote no on 2. Amendment 2 bans domestic partners, hurting many seniors and letting government into our personal lives. Alex Sink, Cathy Caster and Kendrick Meek oppose Amendment 2 because personal marriage issues should be decided by you, your family and clergy, not the government. Keep government out of our private lives. Vote No on 2.” (Emphasis Added)

(1) “…the amendment essentially tracks the language of the current statutory provision….The proposed amendment is essentially inserting this statutory scheme into the constitution with language substantially similar to the statutory provision itself.” See Opinion to the Attorney General, 926 So.2d 1229 (2006).”

Obama a Fiscal Conservative?

Ruben Navarrette Jr. has an editorial on CNN that says many of the things I was thinking during Obama’s speech last night. Here’s the link.

Basically, Obama in talking about economics said many things that sounded like people should work hard and take responsibility for their lives and economic well-being. Much of what he said sounded very fiscally conservative even if he was meaning to imply that the government should take care of people. As Navarrette said, it was a little confusing exactly what he was saying. Then again, that’s what Obama’s whole campaign has been like. I’m not saying it’s wrong or bad it’s just that with that part of the speech Obama sounded very moderate, or even conservative, which his voting history and past statements don’t support.

Obama’s DNC Speech

The more I listen to Obama, the less I like his views on policy. He sounds great when he doesn’t talk about policy but once he starts talking about ideas that will make America strong or help out the middle class, he just sounds naive. In his DNC nomination acceptance speech he criticized Pres. Bush for just talking tough without doing anything. This was shortly after he criticized Pres. Bush for – get this – starting the war in Iraq. Yeah, that’s just tough talk with nothing to back it up. I think he meant to criticize the U.N. but slipped and said Pres. Bush instead (sorry, that was my own jab at the U.N.). You may disagree with one or both wars that started during Pres. Bush’s administration but you can’t say he just talks tough and does nothing to back it up. Pres. Bush gave teeth to the U.N.’s resolutions – he tried to uphold the integrity of the U.N. by actually enforcing their resolutions. There were a few other times that what Obama said was just plain disingenuous.

I like Obama. I think he’s honest and would be a good president. I just disagree strongly with many of his policies (as an aside, I have to say though that Obama is far better candidate than John Kerry was). Obama voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions. He’s only recently even started talking about “looking into” nuclear energy, when the technology is ready to go. Nuclear is the way to go now, especially if we couple it with electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars. Electric cars would then be powered by all the new nuclear power plants we could build – cheap energy! Obama also wants to just pull all the troops out of Iraq (even though tonight he talked about pulling out of Iraq “responsibly”). Just pulling out is not responsible. The Iraqi government and current U.S. administration both want U.S. troops to leave but only when milestones are made and maintained.

Obama’s whole platform is one of bringing change to Washington yet he picks someone as a VP who’s been in Washington for a long time. That undermines his message. While I’m rambling I just have to say I love Obama’s sob stories about all the poor suffering people in America. Yes, there are a lot of poor suffering people in America but every time he did that I couldn’t help but to think about “injury attorneys” ads and tort lawyers. Pathos gets people excited and riled up but excessive use of it usually signifies a lack of anything substantive. As I said in a different post, just ignore what candidates say during campaigns because it’s just advertising. Obama’s a good and exciting speaker but much of what he says is just fluff. There was so much fluff that Obama could start a pillow manufacturing company and provide pillows for every man, woman, and child in America.

Why McCain Should Not Pick Romney as VP

I really hope that John McCain does not pick Mitt Romney as his VP. I have to qualify this statement by saying that I think Romney was by far the best candidate for president – I’d love to see him as president or as vice president but I hope he is not McCain’s choice. Let me explain.

Mitt Romney is a good person. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and lives his religion. He has a great family, so I hear, and has done great things for many people and businesses. He’s been hugely successful in the business world and even managed to get elected as a Republican governor in Massachusetts, not an easy task. During campaigning many people accused him of being a “flip-flopper” on issues. Yes, he changed position on some issues but he wasn’t a “flip-flopper”. This undeserved stigma will be hard to lose. It would be hard for me to watch the media crucify Romney because he would not deserve it. Of course he has his faults but they are not generally what the media says are his faults.

As a Mormon, there is a significant portion of the Republican (and Democratic) Party that will not vote for him. For them, having a Mormon in the White House is like being condemned to Hell for eternity. I wish I was joking. While this bigotry hopefully decreases over time, it’s still a significant factor. This anti-Mormon portion of the Republican Party is large enough that they could seriously impact McCain’s chance for election should McCain choose Romney as his VP. They already are not very trustful of McCain as it is.

I also would like Romney to run for president in 2012 and/or 2016. If he was McCain’s VP and McCain was elected, that would mean that we would have had 12 to 16 years of Republican presidents (and by the time Romney’s term(s) was over it would have been 16 to 20 years), which might be more than the country would think it could handle. We usually like to alternate between Republican and Democratic presidents with some frequency. This is actually also one reason why I think it might be good for Obama to win. Maybe after 4-8 years of his presidency our country would be ready for another Republican (or an Independent).

Of course, it is possible that as VP, Romney’s chances for the presidency would increase because people would see that Mormons are fairly normal and get more used to the idea of a Mormon in the White House. While I’d love it if Romney was picked the VP, I’m not sure if it would be the best thing for Romney’s chances for the Presidency in the future.

Senseless Campaigns

The one sure thing you can take from the primary season is that you should not listen to anything candidates are saying, especially not in commercials or ads. Sometimes what a candidate says can serve as an important measure of what they will be like in office but campaigning is all public relations – it’s all advertising. Like all advertising, it should be viewed skeptically. What candidates say might be truthful; in fact, a large part of what they say is truthful. However, what candidates say about one another is less likely to be completely truthful.

Very few people would run a campaign saying, “My opponent is a wonderful person. She is completely prepared for the job and has demonstrated good choices in the past. I may not agree with some of her policies and views but we’re all entitled to our own opinions.” I probably would but then again I’m not in politics, never will be in politics, and if I somehow happened to decide to try to be in politics, I probably would not get elected. There are some politicians who say very little about their opponent(s) but the closer we move towards the general election in November the more negative campaigning we hear. Negative campaigning is very effective; it causes people to doubt the other candidate, even if they say they do not like negative campaigning. If you are going to listen to what a candidate says while campaigning, then at least only listen and believe what a candidate say about him or herself and not about any opponents.

Take for example, Barack Obama. He is considered one of the most liberal Senators. However, he campaigns as a moderate. Maybe he has had a change of heart and maybe he hasn’t. John McCain, while fairly moderate with a definite conservative lean, has been campaigning as more conservative than his voting history shows. Maybe he has had a change of heart and maybe he hasn’t. I don’t believe that candidates are largely being dishonest as they campaign but there are some times that they intentionally mislead others. Good speakers learn how to speak to the audience. You say very different things to doctors and professors than you do to fast food workers. If you use big words with the fast food workers, they might just view you as an elitist. If you don’t adapt your language for a highly educated crowd, then you might be viewed as unintelligent or worse. You also campaign to your markets. Ads in the South are likely different than ads in the Northeast.

It’s also difficult to believe what the media reports. Quotes are taken out of context, molehills are made into mountains, and the real issues are often ignored. Modern media is a business – they need to make money so they focus on the stories they think will sell. I don’t think they are purposely or generally being deceptive with their stories but reporters have their own biases and they need to sell stories. The internet provides a medium for more truthful reporting and more complete coverage of campaigns but it also introduces all sorts of other problems. Non-truths can spread like wildfire. Bloggers can be extremely biased and there are no standards to help monitor and control what bloggers are saying (whether or not there should be is a whole different topic).

If you want to understand a candidate you need to look at their webpage and look at their history in politics or life. You can learn some from what they say while campaigning but most of what they say is advertising – they are selling their platform. How they sell can be important information but what they’ve done (and said) before campaigning is likely more pertinent.

Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage

Citizens of three states will be voting this fall on state constitutional amendments defining marriage as that between a man and a woman. This is in response to increased pressure on governments to allow homosexual couples to get married. Some judges have also taken upon themselves legislative roles and they seek to create laws from the bench. Judges are supposed to interpret the law and act within the boundaries of the law, not change the law. To paraphrase the great South African author Alan Paton – judges are supposed to judge according to the law, even if the law is unjust. If it is unjust but the judge judges based on the law, that judge has done his or her duty. If laws are unjust, it is the duty of the people and politicians to change the law, not the judges.

Unfortunately, some of our judges take more responsibility upon themselves than they should. We have judges in California who have decided that a law passed in 2000 by 61% of the people is unconstitutional. State and Federal Supreme Court justices are able to declare laws unconstitutional but the reasoning used by the judges is ludicrous. One Arizona attorney has been providing commentary on his blog about the topic.

I believe that marriage is a basic right for humankind. All governments should defend the institution of marriage. Marriage and families are the basic unit of society. Since it is a basic right, should not all people be allowed to marry if they want to? Yes, they should. However, what we cannot have happen is have marriage redefined to mean anything other than marriage between man and woman. That is what proponents of homosexual marriage want to do – redefine marriage. Marriage is not only a legal institution but also a sacred institution. It is the foundation upon which to have children; that is the purpose of marriage – having children. Yes, marriage can be and is fulfilling for the couple but ultimately it is a relationship that will produce children, assuming physical or medical limitations do not preclude the potential to have children.

Some may argue that it is unfair to homosexuals to exclude them from marrying; they do not have control over their genes and biology. No research has clearly shown that homosexuality is completely caused by genes. There sometimes is a predisposition to homosexuality because of how certain genes are expressed; however, genetics explains relatively little of the total variance in homosexuality. In other words, there are a lot of other factors that are involved in why someone is homosexual. Is a genetic predisposition for some people enough of a reason to redefine marriage? No.

Some people might have a genetic disposition towards violence but our laws do not excuse abuse or assault or murder just because someone might have some genes that predispose them to violence. Many people with such genes (assuming they exist) find more acceptable ways to express those tendencies (e.g., boxing, or football, or the military, or rock climbing, etc.). Maybe someone else has a gene that predisposes them to lie and steal. Neither are generally acceptable behaviors and our legal system does not and should not try to redefine stealing as taking something from someone else without their permission except if the thief has the “thief gene”. A person might have the genetic predisposition for alcoholism but that doesn’t mean they will or should become alcoholic. It doesn’t excuse that behavior. All it takes for them to avoid alcoholism is abstinence. The same applies to anyone who might have genetic homosexual tendencies. Some may argue that violence and murder and lying and stealing all hurt other people but homosexual behavior doesn’t and same-sex marriage wouldn’t. Just because there might not be immediate consequences does not mean there will be no consequences. Redefining marriage is attacking the basic fiber of society.

Homosexuality also doesn’t make evolutionary sense because it stops genetic material from being passed on. Yes, it might fulfill some needs of some individuals but it takes some serious wrangling of the theory of evolution and some serious leaps in and lapses of logic to explain how homosexuality could fit in with the theory of evolution.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently published an article explaining their position on marriage. I’ll reprint a few main points from the article:

  • “The Church does not object to rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the family or the constitutional rights of churches and their adherents to administer and practice their religion free from government interference.”
  • “The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women. Protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not affect Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people.”
  • “Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination.”
  • “Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place ‘church and state on a collision course.'”
  • “Marriage is fundamentally an unselfish act: legally protected because only a male and female together can create new life, and because the rearing of children requires a life-long commitment, which marriage is intended to provide. Societal recognition of same-sex marriage cannot be justified simply on the grounds that it provides self-fulfillment to its partners, for it is not the purpose of government to provide legal protection to every possible way in which individuals may pursue fulfillment.”

We are faced with a fundamental shift in our society. It has serious societal and political ramifications. I urge anyone who can to get as involved as they are able in standing up for the protection of marriage.

Seating Delegates at the Democratic National Convention

I’m resuming my posts now that we are building up to the general election in November. Today the DNC started in Colorado. It’s receiving major press coverage on all of the major news sites. The media seem to think that we can’t get enough of the convention or politicians. It’s like it’s the Academy Awards; I guess the politicians at least do something fairly useful.

The Democratic Party decided that both Florida and Michigan will get to seat all of their delegates. Does the party have no morals or convictions? They clearly stated that anyone who broke the rules by having the primary too early would lose all of their delegates. Both Florida and Michigan knew the rules but went ahead with their primaries. A few people raised a fuss but those states knew the rules. Once Sen. Clinton started losing to Sen. Obama, her campaign started making a big deal about the “lost” delegates. Clinton only would benefit from having them seated. Her name was on both ballots but Obama’s wasn’t. From the start, neither Primary was even close to fair; they were heavily biased towards Clinton. Many people didn’t even vote because they knew their votes wouldn’t count.

A big fuss was made (“We want our votes to count; it’s not a Democracy if our votes don’t count”) and after much deliberation the Democratic Party decided to let Florida and Michigan seat half their delegates. What a farce! Just the other day they announced that both states would seat all their delegates. A double farce! States can break party rules and suffer no consequences. That’s not the foundation for a democracy. I’ve lost what little respect I had for the Democratic Party. It’s like having a law against murder but never pressing charges when someone murders someone else. There’s no accountability. On second thought, that pretty much is the official platform of the Democratic Party – pass your responsibility on to someone else. There is now nothing to stop a state from holding primaries early and when threatened with the loss of their delegates, all they have to do is point to the 2008 primaries and say, “Well, you let Florida and Michigan have their delegates so why can’t we have ours?” Where is their conviction? Where is their integrity? Apparently they don’t have any.