2012: The Year of the All-Out Battle for Marriage as Six States Could Vote On It

2012 could be a “make or break” year for marriage, as the press is reporting today.

In New Hampshire, Minnesota and North Carolina, pro-marriage advocates are on offense, working to repeal gay marriage (NH) or adding marriage to state constitutions that don’t have it yet (MN, NC).

In New Jersey, Maryland and Washington State, gay marriage activists are trying to legalize gay marriage, and are attempting to prevent the issue going before a vote of the people in those states.

Today in Maine, gay marriage activists announced that they will attempt to pass gay marriage by a vote of the people in 2012. The people of Maine defeated gay marriage in 2009 by a 53%-47% margin.

Meanwhile, the presidential election in November will between a Republican candidate who supports marriage and Barack Obama, whose record on marriage is abysmal.

The outcome of this race will directly influence the future make-up of the Supreme Court and, in turn, how this issue is ultimately decided in the courts.

There are three outcomes to this year’s marriage battles:

1) gay marriage activists and advocates of protecting marriage split these battles and the war for marriage continues on into the future.

2) gay marriage activists succeed in more states than they fail, convincing themselves that momentum to redefine marriage is on their side, emboldening them to press on, while religious liberty continues to be rolled back as a result.

3) advocates of protecting marriage succeed in a majority (if not all) of these contests and we go on to remember 2012 as the year that efforts to redefine marriage were stopped in their tracks. Emboldened by success, advocates of protecting marriage go on to repeal gay marriage where it is currently legal and are left free to dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to the important task of building up marriage as the foundational social institution of our country.

… I don’t know about you, but I want to see #3 come to pass this year.

Why is it important for Catholics in particular to work actively to protect marriage? The seven bishops of New Jersey explain why succinctly today:

Why should citizens care about the state’s definition of marriage?

Citizens must care about the government’s treatment of marriage because civil authorities are charged with protecting children and the common good, and marriage is indispensable to both purposes. Citizens have the right and the responsibility to hold civil authorities accountable for their stewardship of the institution of marriage. Citizens also have the responsibility to oppose laws and policies that unjustly target people as bigots or that subject people to charges of unlawful discrimination simply because they believe and teach that marriage is the union of man and a woman.

Their entire letter is well worth reading. They recommend doing three things to help protect marriage:

First, pray for all married couples and all families. Second, reflect on this important question, “How can I help my family and the families I touch to grow in hope, love, peace and joy.” Third, we ask everyone to reach out to your neighbors, your legislators and the governor with a simple message: “Preserve the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.”

I would add a Fourth thing to do: join/support the National Organization for Marriage (where I work) which is dedicated to protecting marriage across the U.S. and a Fifth thing to do if you live in one of the states I mention above: find the local group in your state in charge of protecting marriage and join them.

They will have things for you to do which will enormously help in the fight to protect marriage.

Sixth, take action on these pending action alerts right now:

Seventh, share this post on Facebook, Twitter and via Email!

I’ve written many times before about the threats of redefining marriage, to religious liberty, to individuals, to Catholic institutions, and — most importantly — to the next generation and to society. Please join this important fight. Let’s make 2012 a year of marriage victories we can be proud about. THANK YOU!



  • Mal

    Marriage is the union of two people from the two different, but wonderfully complementary, genders existing in human nature. This is how it has been for thousands of years. This marriage has been responsible for providing stability and, importantly, continuity. This is the only union that naturally provides continuity – otherwise, we would not have existed. Any society that destroys or weakens this vital, natural institution will – yes, will – suffer the serious consequences. Fortumately, other people from elsewhere would come in and help sustain the numbers.

  • Patrick

    People who have faith in the strength of their own marriage do not feel threatened if the neighbors enter into a gay civil marriage.

  • Bruce

    Homosexual activists FEAR polygamists and polyamorist folks getting their date in court, using the same arguments as they, and winning the “right” to “marry.” They FEAR it because they know its true. Once marriage does not require a man and a woman in bodily union, there is NO REASON TO LIMIT MARRIAGE TO TWO, SINCE THE ONLY REASON IT HAS BEEN LIMITED TO TWO IS BECAUSE ONLY ONE MAN CAN ENTER ONE WOMAN AT A TIME. It is basic biology that homosexual activists reject, and in doing so, undermine their own argument. They say that erroneously giving them the title of “marriage” will not mean legal polygamy or polyamory, but they are sadly mistaken. What is interesting, however, is that most do not care if groups of three or more can marry, since most homosexual “marriages” are “open” to begin with. There is no reason to require fidelity or exclusivity if marriage does not require sexual complementarity (because there is no chance of children in homosexual sex-like activity). TELL US WHY MARRIAGE IS LIMITED TO JUST TWO PEOPLE WHO TOUCH EACH OTHER, WHEN GROUPS OF THREE OR MORE CAN LOVE JUST THE SAME AND TOUCH JUST THE SAME. If male and female coupling does not matter, tell me why more can’t join the fun? Keep in mind, however, that homosexual activists and their brain-washed enablers will not be able to answer that, and most likely say that they don’t care. It is pathetic.

  • Rick DeLano

    Bravo, Bruce.

    Your argument is airtight.

    The basis upon which the marriage corruption advocates demand a “right” to same sex pseudo-marriage is precisely the same basis under which polygamists would have an unassailable legal basis upon which to demand their “rights”.

    Alas, your argument requires logic.

    On the other hand, once parents are made to understand that their children will be forcibly indoctrinated into homosexualist fantasies concerning gender, under compulsory education laws, should the marriage corruption movement succeed………….

    We win elections, which is what this is down to now.

    Everybody has heard all the arguments.

    It’s about political smash mouth football- its about winning elections- now.

  • tex


    While I understand why we should be focused on our goal of keeping Catholic marriages strong and holy, I’m not quite sure why so much attention is given to attempting the same for secular marriages. Doesn’t the Church have enough planks in its own eye to pull out before going after specks in others’? What’s more, there seems to be this assumption that ‘as goes state marriage, so goes the Sacrament’. I don’t understand, nor think that that kind of logic is in line with the Church. If so, we should be fighting to end secular divorce just as vehemently. As part of the New Evangelization, we are called to be the ‘Light of the World’, not the ‘Writers of Laws’. We already have all the laws we need, written on our hearts. It’s our mission to help people live them out with love through the grace of our witness, not the coersion of our self righteousness.

    • Bruce

      1) Why does the Church focus on the good of human beings outside her arms? Because the Church is the Body of Christ and loves all of humanity – wanting the very best for it. She is not a museum of saints, but a hospital for sinners, which is all of humanity. She has the Truth and she would be neglecting her duties and false in her love if she did not spread that Truth to the whole world. She cares about the world outside of her, because she loves it. 2) The Church has planks in her eye? Yes, because all of her members are sinful, just like the rest of the world. But having sinful members does not denigrate her – she (again) is the hospital for sinners. She has the Medicine of eternal life, and saints and doctors who administer that medicine to all of us sick and destitute human beings. There is blood, pus, crying, dying and death both within her and without, but within her there is also expertise, caring, cleansing, ointment, bandages, and healing. 3) Marriage is something the Church inherited, recognized as good and ordered, and as such is part of God’s plan for human beings. It is a sacrament, yes, but it existed prior to being such. The Church recognized the sacramental in the institution. In the Church, the sacramental form of marriage is its fullest and highest form. But outside the Church, marriage still exists, albeit not as full nor as rich, but still there as it was before. She is obligated to protect it and lead it toward its fullness. 4) Christ came to fulfill the Law, not abolish it. Law implies Order, and God is Order and Beauty itself. The Church has an obligation to help people live in the order and beauty that God is and provides. By encouraging order, she guides mankind toward God, and in that way loves mankind. Her laws, and the laws of man that she influences, are a form of love.

      • tex


        Your augment is a great one, if this were a theological discussion happening within the Church. But it is not. The current debate is a legislative one, over what the state deems to be the conditions for a legal contract, called ‘marriage’. But such a contract has no more to do with what Catholics consider Marriage than saying that the FDA has the right to decide what kind of bread can be used for consecration.

        Frankly, the Church has a hard enough time trying to convince members of its own flock to live holy, chaste, and virtuous lives in terms of marriage to then feel the need to go and preach to those who have no interest in doing so. What difference does it make to a practicing Catholic that your neighbors were married by the Justice of the Peace? Is their relationship now somehow holier that it once was? Does the Justice have the ability to dispense grace? I find it bewildering that we would consider such arrangements anything but a farce. And yet, we are being asked to defend such arrangements as examples of sanctity?

        The state does not, can not, and will not become the moral arbiter of society, and we defend its right to do so at our own peril.

        • Bruce

          Tex, everything is a theological argument. There is no place in existence where the Church does not have something to say – and the right to do so as well. I thought that was quite clear, above. You seem to think there is some sort of “Jeffersonian” imaginary “wall” between Church and State. There isn’t. And Jefferson himself gave the Church money to build churches.

        • Patrick

          Tex: It’s fear. I think it is one of 2 things: (1) Bill and Jane oppose gay civil marriage because they fear that their own marriage is so fragile and flawed that when Adam and Steve marry, Bill and Jane will feel obligated to finally take a deep, hard look at what truly holds their own marriage together and they will split up. (2) Bill and Jane already know that their own marriage is fragile and flawed and only by excluding others from the institution of marriage can they feel they ahve something special. Sadly, they value marriage only because it is denied to others, like a country club membership.

          A couple who have faith in the strength of their own marriage does not feel threatened if the neighbors enter into a gay civil marriage.

          • Bruce

            Not so, Patrick, because such emotional/irrational based “arguments” fail to address the fundamental issue at hand: What is marriage? Does it require the bodily union of man and woman, or not? If so, no homosexual or multiple-partner marriage. If not, then its all friendship and is meaningless.

          • tex

            Bruce, the debate is about the definition of secular marriage, not the Sacrament of Marriage. To say the two are distinct is an understatement. As far as I can tell, there is no Catholic teaching that defends secular marriage as being particularly good or holy. Nor does the Church teach that secular marriage is a ‘baby step’ towards Sacramental Marriage. Secular marriage is nothing more than a legal document that was created to help facilitate in the custody of children and property in the event of death and/or divorce. It was never intended to become some kind of ‘blessing’ of a cohabitation by the state, and to argue so goes against the First Amendment. Are lifelong heterosexual monogamous couples good for society? Yes. Being a married man myself, I would never argue otherwise. Should the Church help encourage such relationships to come into the fullness of the Truth? Absolutely. Does this mean that we should bless secular unions as being sacramental? No. The truth is, the Church should stand as a Light of the World, leading people to the avail themselves to the Sacrament of Marriage, not cutting their losses and making the state do it for them instead. I can’t help but find the irony that in this blog post I find us being told to run to the aid of the government to pass new laws, while the HHS debate complains of the result of when that happens. The Church made the mistake of allowing federal dollars to enter their hospitals 40 years ago, and look where it’s gotten us. Why are we to think that handing marriage over to the government will turn out any different?



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