What It Cost to Support Prop 8

The Price of Prop 8. That links to a summary of many of the acts of hatred, abuse, vandalism, and crime perpetrated against supporters of Proposition 8 in California. The article provides documented cases of actions taken against those who stood up in support of marriage.

Here’s an example of some of what occurred:

“Many reports of hostility toward Prop 8 supporters involve acts of vandalism. An elderly couple who put a Yes on 8 sign in their yard had a block thrown through their window. A senior citizen who placed a pro-Prop-8 bumper sticker on her car had her car’s rear window smashed in. Some individuals with pro-Prop-8 bumper stickers had their cars keyed. One woman with a “One Man, One Woman” bumper sticker had her car keyed and tires deflated while she was in a grocery store. One man who placed signs in his yard and stickers on his cars and motorbike reported that someone egged and floured his home three times and egged, floured, and honeyed his car twice. Someone also pushed over the man’s motorbike and scraped the bumper stickers off the back glass windows of his cars. Several other individuals reported that Yes on Prop 8 bumper stickers were scraped or ripped off their vehicles or defaced.”

LDS Apostle Dallin H. Oaks recently stated:

“We must not be deterred or coerced into silence by the kinds of intimidation I have described. We must insist on our constitutional right and duty to exercise our religion, to vote our consciences on public issues and to participate in elections and debates in the public square and the halls of justice…. It is important to note that while this aggressive intimidation in connection with the Proposition 8 election was primarily directed at religious persons and symbols, it was not anti-religious as such. These incidents were expressions of outrage against those who disagreed with the gay-rights position and had prevailed in a public contest. As such, these incidents of ‘violence and intimidation’ are not so much anti-religious as anti-democratic. In their effect they are like the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation.

Dallin Oaks stated that the effects of intimidation towards those who supported Prop 8 were like voter-intimidation in the South during the civil right movement. Oaks did not say that what occurred in response to Prop 8 was necessarily as bad as blacks faced in the South; he said that blacks faced acts that were meant, among other things, to intimidate them and keep them from voting. Many people in California faced acts meant to intimidate them from voting in support of Prop 8. Voter intimidation is anti-democratic, as Oaks said.

As I’ve written previously, it is hypocritical for people who preach “no hate” to turn around and instigate acts or words of hatred against supporters of Prop 8. In any case, we must, regardless of consequences, be willing to stand up for what we believe is right. There is plenty of room for disagreement – as there should be – but there is no room for incivility.

The Gay “Marriage” Slippery Slope

One common logical fallacy is that of the slippery slope. It goes something like this, “If we allow X, then Y, which is much worse, is soon to follow. This will be followed by Z, which is even worse.” While this is a logical fallacy (in part because you assume a worst-case scenario in predicting the future), on occasion it does represent the actual order of events in real life.

Here’s an example of a slippery slope. In 2000 the Vermont legislature approved civil unions for same-sex couples. While some were content with the law, others kept hoping it led to a new definition of marriage. They wanted to be fully “married” and not just “unionized.” They were honest about the slippery slope – they never denied it exists, although many downplay the significance of redefining marriage (civil unions are just a small step away).

In one news article back in 2000, we read: “‘All of the horrible things that opponents say will happen are not going to happen,’ adds David Smith, a spokesman for The Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay rights group in America. ‘Hopefully, by example, many parts of the country and many people will become more comfortable with the idea.'” This reminds me of Alexander Pope’s immortal quote: “Vice is a monster of so frightful mein, as, to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.” That’s what same-sex “marriage” advocates want. They want the public to be familiar with the idea of gay “marriage” then we will eventually embrace it fully.

Here’s a similar quote in a New York Times article: “Gay rights advocates say they are eager to show that the sky will not fall. ‘Same-sex couples will be forming civil unions and the state’s not going to fall apart,” said Beth Robinson, a lead lawyer in the case that prompted the civil unions law. ”It’s just going to be better, and that’s going to be the most helpful part of this dialogue. Because the longer we go with the law in effect, the more incredible the claims of our opponents will be exposed as being.” Yet, proponents of same-sex “marriage” have no problem trying to force acceptance of their immorality on society as a whole.

Now the Vermont senate just approved gay “marriage”; it is expected that the bill will pass through the house without a hitch. The governor may veto the bill though – he supports traditional marriage. However, it is likely that the legislative branch could override the veto. This case of the legislative branch trying to redefine marriage is different from what has been done in other states – the legislative branch, for once, is actually making the law; it’s not a court ruling legislating from the bench.

However, a caption from the CNN.com article about the issue is a little misleading though: “Vermont could become the first state to legalize same-sex marriage without prompting from courts.” Even though the courts were not involved directly, they were in the 2000 legalization of same-sex civil unions. Back then the state supreme court forced the legislature to pass something on the matter; instead of gay “marriage” they allowed civil unions. So, it really was court action that lead to the recent passed bill allowing same-sex “marriages”.

We just need to hope that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) stands so other states (and the federal government) are not forced to recognize same-sex “marriages” (or even civil unions). We also need to deliberate very carefully about same-sex civil unions because a slippery slope really does exist in this case. As a nation, we’ve slid from view marriages as sacred institutions for raising children, to viewing them as little more than legal arrangements then to not really valuing them other than as self-serving ways to enhance personal satisfaction (hence all the divorces when people feel justly or unjustly victimized), then to inconveniences (and we certainly can’t have any inconviencing children!), and lastly to any relationship between any two (or more, in some cases) people, regardless of gender. The majority of people in the U.S. still believe that marriage should be just between a man and a woman but the times, they are a’changin’, as Bob Dylan sings. This change is not progress; it’s immoral.

LDS Church Further Clarifies Its Role in Prop 8

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following article today on their newsroom site:

Media Reports on Proposition 8 Filing Uninformed

The article is fairly brief but very comprehensive. If anyone still doubts the Church’s financial role in Prop 8, they are just willfully rebelling against the truth. The Church was always very open about its role, they never tried to hide any part of their involvement in Prop 8. LDS Church members were encouraged to vote in the election and to vote in defense of traditional marriage but no one was ever forced to vote a particular way. The LDS Church became involved in the issue because it is an important and fundamental moral issue. Marriage and family are the foundation of society. Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples is a radical shift that could have unintended negative consequences on society for generations. It is an attack on the sacred bond of marriage and family.

The LDS Church Contributed $190,000 in “In-kind” Donations to Prop 8

UPDATE: I corrected the figures in this post now that we have the actual amounts. I will post a reprint of the LDS Church’s clarification of news stories about the issue.

On Friday the LDS Church filed a report outlining their contributions to the Prop 8 campaign in California. They spent $190,000 (a GLBT site reports the amount was “more than $190 thousand.” Notice how the amount creeps upward as sites become more pro-homosexual. Note: I don’t know what the actual amount is; news sites have just been rounding the number – some up and some down). $96,000 of that was spent paying some church employees for their time (e.g., designing a website or things like that). The rest came from flying church officials to California (and putting them in hotels and renting cars and similar expenses). The Church did not donate any money directly. When a complaint was filed against the Church in November 2008, the LDS Church stated they would be making all required declarations by the time they were legally required to. They were not required by law to declare their contributions until February 2, 2009.

The articles I linked to generally do not give the LDS Church the benefit of the doubt (searching the related headlines in Google News reveals such biased gems as “Mormon Church Misstated How Much It Spent in Prop 8 Fight”). The news bias is not surprising given that all 10 major California newspapers editorialized against Prop 8. Only the SF Chronicle even bothers to mention the Feb. 2 deadline for reporting contributions. However, those who filed the complaint against the Church believe that the Church was required to report their contributions earlier.

The Yes on 8 campaign spent $39.2 million out of a total of about $41 million spent (Source). Older estimates had supporters of Prop 8 spending $35.8 million with opponents spending $37.6 million (Source). We’ll see what the revised number is once opponents of Prop 8 declare all their contributions (it is likely higher than the $41 million spent to support Prop 8). While LDS Church members donated a sizable portion of the money spent to support Prop 8 (possibly as high as $20 million – but those are estimates are by anti-Prop 8 groups and so may be on the high end of the actual amount), the LDS Church as an entity donated a whopping 0.45% of the total money spent to support Prop 8!

True, individual LDS Church members might have donated 50% of the money spent in support of Prop 8 (again, this is based on unofficial estimates) but church members who donated are citizens and are allowed to donate however they want to. Hollywood celebrities contributed large of amounts of money to fight Prop 8 (for example, Brad Pitt donated $100,000). At least churches are Constitutionally-protected entities unlike Hollywood. The LDS Church encouraged time and money donations but never forced anyone to donate. It’s ironic how some who “fight against hate” hate the LDS Church so much. Where are all the complaints against entities who made anti-Prop 8 contributions?

Showing their intense hatred of hate, Californians Against Hate has a “Dishonor Roll” that includes people who donated more than $5000 to support Prop 8. Way to fight hate! It’s the kind of list I’d like to be on.

Parallels Between the Abortion and Same-sex “Marriage” Movements

Dallin H. Oaks, a lawyer and LDS Church leader, spoke these words about abortion in 1999. I’m posting them here for two reasons. The first is because of his stance on abortion. The second is because of the applicability of his message to the same-sex “marriage” movement today. I’ll post his words, then write a little more about them.

Because choice is a method, choices can be exercised either way on any matter, and our choices can serve any goal. Therefore, those who consider freedom of choice as a goal can easily slip into the position of trying to justify any choice that is made. “Choice” can even become a slogan to justify one particular choice. For example, in the 1990s, one who says “I am pro-choice” is clearly understood as opposing any legal restrictions upon a woman’s choice to abort a fetus at any point in her pregnancy.

More than 30 years ago, as a young law professor, I published one of the earliest articles on the legal consequences of abortion. Since that time I have been a knowledgeable observer of the national debate and the unfortunate Supreme Court decisions on the so-called “right to abortion.” I have been fascinated with how cleverly those who sought and now defend legalized abortion on demand have moved the issue away from a debate on the moral, ethical, and medical pros and cons of legal restrictions on abortion and focused the debate on the slogan or issue of choice. The slogan or sound bite “pro-choice” has had an almost magical effect in justifying abortion and in neutralizing opposition to it….

Being pro-choice on the need for moral agency [also called free will or free agency] does not end the matter…. Choice is a method, not the ultimate goal. We are accountable for our choices. (Source).

Just as abortion activists turned abortion away from a moral and ethical issue to an issue of a woman’s “rights”, same-sex “marriage” advocates also are trying to turn the issue to one of “rights” and “choice”. The parallels between the movements are striking. The marriage issue is not one of rights or choice, it is one of morals and doing what is in the best interest of society.

Did Mormons Steal Rights?

I discovered a website today that could almost be humorous if it wasn’t filled with misinformation and bridled hatred. Here’s the link to Mormons Stole Our Rights.

What is great about our country is that people are allowed to believe what they want to believe. People can also generally act how they want to act, within limits of course. Let’s look at some of the arguments on this site.

“Was it because Californians no longer saw their constitution as a foundational document that is amended carefully, but a document as pliable as putty and subject to the whims of a narrow majority? No.”

Let’s look at this argument. This website condemns Californians (actually they only condemn Mormons) for changing the state constitution and treating it like it is “pliable as putty.” The funny part is that same-sex “marriages” were only allowed as a result of judges very loosely interpreting the state constitution and reading things into it that weren’t there. The only people treating the California constitution like putty are the activist judges and gay “marriage” supporters.

“How, then, did Proposition 8 become law?” They then answer the question in big, bold, block letters. “THE MORMON CHURCH.” At least they are partially honest when they say that “Mormon votes did not steal our rights.” Of course, that begs the question that same-sex “marriage” is a right (previously, only California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have said that it is a “right” {actually even in those states it’s not called a right, it was just allowed to occur} – now Californians have stated that no, it is not a right).

Then the website goes on to blame the passing of Prop 8 on “Mormon money.” Let’s look at that argument. I’ll use their argument to make an alternative one of my own. If the money donated by Mormons stole away the rights of gays in California, then all the money raised by Obama stole the candidacy from Clinton and the presidency from some other candidate, arguably McCain (additionally, he chose to campaign with public money and therefore had a limit on what he could spend, unlike Obama). My argument really isn’t valid but that is because their original argument about Mormon money isn’t valid. Besides, what they conveniently fail to mention is that opponents of Prop 8 raised and spent $6 million more than the proponents of Prop 8 ($38 to $32 million). How can “Mormon money” steal away rights if the anti-Prop 8 side raised and spent more money?

The website goes downhill from there. It becomes more and more incorrect (for example they argue, “The Mormon story is possible because our country is a tolerant and forgiving place.” The persecution of Mormons, which they glossed over, showed just how tolerant we are as a country. Yep, our country was so tolerant that Mormons’ lands were stolen and Mormons were killed, raped, and driven from their homes). What’s ironic is that if our country is so tolerant and forgiving, where is the tolerance and forgiveness from many same-sex “marriage” advocates (especially this website that attacks Mormons and claims falsely that Mormons stole their rights)? Where is their tolerance and forgiveness of religion and religious beliefs? Where is their tolerance for majority rule and democracy (or, to be pedantic, representative democracy – although the voters in California passing Prop 8 is an example of pure democracy because they directly voted on the matter).

I’ll point out another misleading statement: “The Mormons began [i.e., forcing their beliefs upon gays] with the Boy Scouts of America, originally a children’s club meant to introduce boys and girls to the natural beauty of America.” Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouting movement started Boy Scouts to teach young men how to camp, cook, and survive in the wild; mainly, his goal was to build strong men of strong character who were honest, chaste, chivalrous, and good people. He was a military man who wanted to teach the boys many of the skills he learned in the military (in part so they would be ready for military service should the call arise). Appreciation of the earth and the “wild” were only secondary goals (and added only later as a focus). The authors of this website clearly have not read Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys, which talks about such activities as tracking, woodcraft, scouting (military scouting), hunting, saving a life, and patriotism. The American scouting movement was based on Baden-Powell’s work and was not about introducing “boys and girls to the natural beauty of America” (although that is an important but secondary aspect today).

The site goes on to briefly mention the “minority vote.” “Many people have commented that minorities voted overwhelmingly for Prop 8. This was especially disappointing given the history of bigotry and discrimination these groups have faced. This vote serves as evidence of the degree to which minority groups can be pitted against each other with misinformation and fear. Californians were 60-40 against Prop 8 prior to the Mormon tidal wave of money in September, 2008. Prop 8 demonstrates how readily money moves elections.” Notice how careful they are not to single out any minority groups (i.e., they don’t name any group) and they certainly don’t attack them as they attack Mormons because that would be racist. They are also condescending toward minorities when they say, “This vote serves as evidence of the degree to which minority groups can be pitted against each other with misinformation and fear” (emphasis added); in other words, minorities apparently are not intelligent enough to make their own decisions and only voted based on misinformation and fear. How offensive! Further, they bring up the money issue again; however, they fail to point out that the $38 million raised to fight Prop 8 was trying to move the election in their favor. They hypocritically condemn supporters of Prop 8 for doing exactly what they themselves did – spending money to try to affect the outcome of the election.

Here is one of the highlights of the website: “To the rest of those silent Mormon protesters [who silently opposed Prop 8], one can offer the words of Elie Wiesel…” then they quote Wiesel. This is a clever quote and use of Wiesel’s name because they use them to stir up sympathy for their cause among the silent anti-Prop 8 Mormons. By using Wiesel’s quote, they compare gays being denied ‘marriage’ to their partners to the Jews who experienced great persecution and the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis. How offensive to Jews that this comparison is being made! Gays are not being branded, taken away from their homes, and worked/killed in concentration camps. They are not being gassed or incinerated. They are not even being denied any rights – they have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. If that is not a desired outcome then they have the right to choose not to get married; they can also form a civil union, which is allowed in California. The LDS Church does not and never will condone anger and hostility: “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” (Source).

The website then goes on to call for the Church to lose its tax-exempt status, even though the Church has always been very open about its involvement and has produced or will produce by the deadline all of its contributions (which were all non-monetary – the only money given from the “Mormon Church” came from individual members acting of their own free will) to the Prop 8 cause. The LDS Church acted well within its constitutional and legal rights to become involved in the Prop 8 movement.

Here’s what the website says after stating that the Church did not violate the letter of the law (although they said that their “experts” said that it was “unclear” if the Church did or not violate the law – which is legalspeak for “there is no evidence of wrongdoing”): “Because it is already illegal for churches to support candidates or lobby and remain tax-exempt, we must close this loophole and make it illegal for churches to support propsitions at such disproportionate levels without classifying themselves as a Political Action Committee. We must clarify our tax law to prohibit this behavior.” What are they saying? They are saying that it is not illegal for the Church to be involved like it was and still remain tax-exempt, so that means that they want to make it illegal in the future for the Church to act in a like manner. In essence they are saying: “We have to make it illegal for churches to be involved in issues like this so they can’t stop us trying to force our beliefs onto everyone else.”

Further, at the bottom of the page they link to sites where you can buy ridiculously overpriced t-shirts showing your support for same-sex “marriage”. What’s hypocritical is a link to a “No more Mr. Nice Gay” t-shirt right by a link to a “NoTime2H8” shirt. Isn’t that a bit contradictory?

It’s sad when people resort to such hatred and lies about and towards another group of people. I recognize that they may be very sincere in their beliefs but stooping to such tactics is uncouth and dishonest.

Update: Here is further commentary about the Mormons Stole Our Rights site, which might be an anti-Mormon site fronting as a pro-gay marriage site.

Same-sex Marriage Is Not A Civil Rights Issue

Following the passing of 3 new marriage amendment to state constitutions – in California, Arizona, and Florida – advocates of same-sex “marriage” have staged and are staging protests across the country. Most of the protests have been peaceful but there have been cases of vandalism and disorderly conduct on the part of the protesters. The main message of the protesters is a call for civil rights. They argue that being denied marriage is a violation of their civil rights. This argument is calling for something that is a myth.

Marriage is an institution whereby man and woman form an entity into which they may bring children. Marriage is a way for a couple to have self-fulfillment, but marriage is mainly about having children and creating a family. Families are the basic (and essential) unit of civilization. What same-sex “marriage” advocates want to do is redefine the definition of marriage. This is why the issue is not one of civil rights – they already have the right to marry (someone of the opposite sex).

The brilliance of their labeling this as a civil rights issue is people will actually believe that it is a civil rights issue when in fact it isn’t. Labeling it as a civil rights issue is brilliant because who isn’t for civil rights? I generally support civil rights when they are real rights. What I don’t support is something that will change society at such a fundamental level. Again, this is not a civil rights issue, it is an issue of a minority group of people trying to legislate (or sue to get their way) their lifestyles and beliefs onto the majority.

I will write more on this later.

Here’s another perspective on this issue.

A Plea For a Return to the Constitution

I wrote on the topic of judges before. My bias towards constitutional interpretation by justices is for them to be strict. The constitution was written by very wise men who understood what would make a strong, democratic republic nation. They set up a system of checks and balances where the legislative branch made the laws, the executive branch endorsed or vetoed the laws, and the judicial branch made sure the laws were constitutional. For many years, the judicial branch always seemed to be the weakest of the three. Now, some within the judicial have turned it into almost a dictatorship. Take same-sex “marriage” as an example. Laws (passed by a significant majority of the people) prohibiting marriage from being redefined as applying to the relationship between two same-sex individuals, were overturned by justices who believed such laws were unconstitutional according to state constitutions. In each of the three states that allow same-sex “marriage”, the laws were overturned on faulty logic and very liberal interpretations of state constitutions (I’m being generous to state that the judges were actually doing any sort of interpretation based on the state constitutions).

This new breed of judges are actively legislating, forcing states to redefine the word “marriage” to include same-sex couples. This now means that in order to overturn these unconstitutional rulings, state constitutions have to be amended by the people. It’s like the judges are stealing from the people then requiring them to buy the goods back from them at grossly inflated prices. When some of the amendments fail to pass, same-sex “marriage” advocates tout that as a great victory for them – “See! Most people support what we do.”

This breed of activist judge has usurped the power of the Constitution and given themselves the authority to create laws. Now they are in a position where redress against them is difficult because they hold most of the cards in the deck. They are unabashedly strangling our government – all in the name of tolerance and “fairness”. They look down on the people of this country and feel that they have to make decisions for us because we do not know any better. Of course, the majority of judges in our country are honorable and good people. The problem is that we have a few in certain key positions who are abusing their power and there is little we can do about it, short of amending constitutions.

For this reason, I can not vote for Obama. In the past he’s already made it clear that he wants judges selected on the basis of who can feel the pain of minority groups (it’s an admirable quality but not something that should be the defining characteristic of judges) rather than who will be able to judge according to the law. Even though Obama states he is opposed to same-sex “marriages” he would do nothing to stop them. He also would appoint new Supreme Court justices and other lower-level judges who very loosely interpret the Constitution (especially since we will likely have a fairly strong Democratic majority in Congress). We need a president who will appoint strict Constitutionalists. We as citizens need to exercise our right to vote and vote in people who are willing to uphold the Constitution with their actions and their lives. We need elected representatives and officials who can provide strong moral leadership and who can act with integrity and honesty. We need representatives and officials who will stand up for traditional values – for the sanctity marriage, for family, for freedom of and not from religion, and for fiscal responsibility. We need leaders who will return America to its place as a standard on a hill and a candle on a candlestick so that it might be a light for all nations.

To quote Barry Goldwater: “We can be freedom’s missionaries in a doubting world. But…first we must renew freedom’s mission in our own hearts and in our own homes…. Those who seek to live your lives for you, to take your liberties in return for relieving you of yours, those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for Divine Will, and this Nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom…. It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don’t rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression — and this is hogwash.” (Source).

We need freedom from tyranny abroad and at home. The judges who taken upon themselves legislative roles are acting as tyrants and we must not stand for it. We as Americans never have for any great length of time. It is time to stand up and say, “Enough! We’ll have no more forcing the will and morals of a small minority on the will of the majority.” We must reject activist judges and those who would appoint them; we must elect those who will strive for a stronger democracy and not a stronger aristocracy.

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).”

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.