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:
- New Hampshire SSM Repeal Vote
- Stop the NJ Same-Sex Marriage Bill!
- Help Stop Same-Sex Marriage in Washington!
- Tell Governor Christie You Expect Him to Keep His Promises on Marriage
- Thank Senate President Mike Miller! (MD)
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!