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!

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

  1. SearchCz says:

    Bruce,

    I’ve answered your questions … were you planning to answer mine at any time soon?

    1) Which of the indispensable benefits of “traditional” marriage vaporize if the institution is open to same-sex couples?

    2) How are any of the “benefits for the common good” the bishops mention diminished by marriage equality?

    3) Since when does a desire to participate in something constitute an attack on that thing?

    1. Bruce says:

      Actually, you never gave me any reasons why marriage, according to your definition, should be limited to just two people. None – because you don’t have any. But that aside, let’s answer yours. 1.) Children – children have a right to a mother and a father. Children always outperform those without a biological father or mother in a low-conflict marriage – including those abused…er “raised” by homosexuals. Children suffer the consequences of saying that marriage is no longer marriage. Adults – there is no reason to marry if marriage is mere friendship. We are seeing this in Europe and in the States. Marriage is in full decline – homosexual friendships as marriages is the final nail in the coffin. 2.) The Brookings Institute gave an excellent summary on how the common good is destroyed when marriage culture is destroyed. Government spending goes through the roof. By stating that marriage is nothing but friendship, it evaporates, and no one bothers to do it anymore. It has already happened. This is nothing new. 3.) It is an attack precisely because homosexuals CANNOT actually enter into marriage without DESTROYING WHAT IT IS. They are removing the essential feature – the comprehensive bodily union of man and woman – and replacing it with friendship. That is an attack. Now, really, are you going to answer my question or are you going to continue to give me easy ones to destroy? :)

      1. SearchCz says:

        Your responses are packed with bad science and false assertions, Bruce.

        1. CHILDREN DO BETTER WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE MARRIED. Sounds right. And children raised in same-sex households do equally well. (Thats according to international research, in a published in a study.) But marriage isn’t like some scarce commodity that we might run out of, something that might get used up by Adam & Steve, and unavailable when Jack & Diane come looking for a marriage license. You see, Jack & Diane are still able to marry, and to get all of the social and legal support of marriage, even in jurisdictions where marriage equality is the law. All of the exact same benefits that they or their children would enjoy in jurisdictions that don’t support marriage equality. Identical.

        2. BROOKINGS INTITUTE / COMMON GOOD DESTROYED ? Sorry, I couldn’t find that one. I did find BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: Gay Marriage is Good for America – thanks for that tip, it was a superb article. Here it is for anyone who might want to check it out:
        http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2008/0621_gaymarriage_rauch.aspx

        As to your assertion about skyrocketing government spending when marriage breaks down, thats true, and its happening in all kinds of places where gays are not allowed to marry. The social toll of divorce, and of children born outside of wedlock is certainly great … lets be careful where we put the blame for these outcomes, shall we? These are products of a trend that goes back at least 40 years, well before marriage equality was legal anywhere! You could make a better case that unleaded gas was the cause of all of this breakdown – at least its something that has been around throughout this decline. It probably has more to do with the age distribution within the population, and the availability of other options that might delay first marriage among young people.

        And the reality is that jurisdictions with marriage equality experience LESS divorce, GREATER marriage rate, GREATER fertility rate. Fact.

        3. DESTROYING MARRIAGE BY CHANGING IT: Check out your neighbors to the north, Canada; where men and women continue to marry and form that “comprehensive bodily union” you’re so concerned about. Turns out that allowing same-sex couples to marry did not prevent opposite-sex couples from continuing to do so.

        And am I going to answer your question about polygamy? I already have – you either missed or ignored my answer. Simply look at every jurisdiction where equal marriage is the law, and tell me how many have also legalized polygamy? The answer is ZERO. And your repeated, unsubstantiated assertions that EQUALITY leads to POLYGAMY are just another example of FAILURE to connect the dots … because A simply does not lead to Z in this case.

        1. Bruce says:

          Sorry, searchcz, but the research I have does not state what you state. Children always do better with biological mom and dad in a low-conflict marriage – better than those abused by homosexuals. The Brookings Institute study shows what happens when marriage culture breaks down – which we already know is sped up by you and your ilk destroying what marriage means. That is obvious, so I’m not sure why or how you can disagree with that. Finally, as for polyamory and polygamy, do you really think that it will remain illegal, when they are using the SAME arguments of “equality” as you and your homosexual activists friends? Why would those arguments fail, when they are the same: That the bodily union of male and female is not necessary for marriage. Give me one reason why, if you can, three or more people cannot be married, when bodily union is not required? Can you do it, or are you going to continue to lose this argument? :) I’ll wait, because so far, even though you’ve never answered that question, I still hope that you can because of your earnestness. I know you can’t answer it, but I would like to see you try. So, tell me why, if the bodily union of male and female is not required for marriage, it has to be limited to two, when there are many people in this world who love more than two people EQUALLY and are seeking MARRIAGE EQUALITY with real married couples and homosexual fakers. Tell me why, if you can.

          1. SearchCz says:

            If you look at Manhattan skyline, could you pick out the tallest building? Doubtful, since THE tallest building is in Dubai, and you wouldn’t see it if all you’re looking at is Manhattan. Same thing with the research you reference; it can only tell us about the observed scenarios. If studies don’t include metrics for same-sex parents, they tell us nothing about the comparative effectiveness of those unobserved parents. And your assertion that polygamy must follow once “the bodily union of male and female is not necessary for marriage” … doesn’t make any sense. Because, although a man with multiple wives WOULD SATISFY YOUR REQUIREMENT FOR BODILY UNION OF MALE AND FEMALE, polygamy is still illegal.

          2. SearchCz says:

            But Bruce, polygamous unions already satisfy the requirement you state … “the bodily union of male and female” … whether or not we permit same-sex marriage neither prevent or permits “the bodily union of male and female” that would occur in a polygamous relationship. Yet marriage EXCLUDES polyamorous unions, even though they DO unite maleness and femaleness. Why do you suppose that is? I’ll tell you what I think. Its because marriage DOES have a size … it accommodates exactly 2 people, no more or less. The myriad laws pertaining to marriage are all tailored to this size, and are not easily adaptable to plural marriage. On the other hand the same laws ARE easily adaptable to same-sex unions.

  2. SearchCz says:

    Bruce,

    You ask, what is marriage? I would say, it is the formal commitment that a couple makes to
    - devote their lives to one another,
    - take care of one another,
    - care for any children that become part of their household.

    For most couples, there is also a commitment of fidelity.

    When couples formalizes this commitment to one another, the law imparts on them about a thousand benefits & protections, so one might say that the legal definition of marriage also includes these benefits & protections.

    If you have a point, please make it.

    1. Bruce says:

      OK. If marriage is a “formal commitment that a couple makes to devote their lives to one another..etc” why can it only be a “couple”? On what grounds do you limit it to just two people?

      1. SearchCz says:

        But Bruce, this is what we are discussing. Should a gay couple be permitted to marry?

        The article is all about “pro-marriage advocates” trying to ensure that gay couples are denied this option, while “gay marriage activists” are trying to secure the option. There is ZERO mention of anyone advocating for legalizing polygamy, and contrary to Rick Santorum’s false assertion, we are not forced to contemplate it.

        (You’ll note that polygamy is still illegal in all of the jurisdictions where marriage equality is the law.)

        Please tell me you’re not trying to say “but we can’t have marriage equality, because polygamy is bad”. You do realize that they are two separate and distinct things, correct?

        1. Bruce says:

          You didn’t answer the question. Try again. IF marriage is what you say it is, which is actually the definition of friendship, on what grounds can you limit it to just two people? This matters because polyamory is already growing and they are using the SAME arguments as homosexual “marriage” advocates – the same as yours – that bodily union of complementary sexes does not matter, but rather mere friendship. Answer the question, or be exposed for the fact that you CANNOT. I’ll wait. :)

          1. SearchCz says:

            I just realized something … you think the definition of FRIENDSHIP is the commitment to devote your life to caring for the other, the promise to care together for any children that become part of your household, and the promise of a lifetime of intimate relations with only that one person ? The WORD for that kind of relationship isn’t FRIEND, its SPOUSE. Check a dictionary.

          2. Bruce says:

            Nope, you’re wrong searchcz. That is a definition of friendship. To be a spouse (husband or wife) requires the uniting of bodies – comprehensively in the act ordered toward procreation. That is marriage. Two men or two women (or groups of three or more) can devote their lives to one another, etc, but CANNOT unite BODIES. Therefore, they are not married. Marriage requires the bodily union of male and female. Without it, it is simply friendship. Friends can be a couple of guys who hang out on a weekend. Friends can be a couple of women who live together and take care of one another. Friends can be a couple or more homosexuals who touch each other on occasion. Friends can be homosexuals who live together but never touch each other. None of these are marriages, but involve things that married people do (hanging out, taking care of one another, “pleasuring” each other) but none of them can perform the marital act – the bodily union of male and female. So, what they share is not a marriage. If you disagree, then you have to explain why. 1) Why just two people if the marital act is not required? 2) Is genital activity required – why just two people then? 3) Why require any genital contact? What about two men who never have sex but do everything else married couples do – caring for one another for life? Why count them out, unless you are some sort of bigot or have some sort of strange requirement for relationships to always include orgasm. Call it what you want, but it ain’t marriage, son. Oh…and asking me to “check a dictionary” means that you have finally lost your argument and are now just grasping at straws. :)

        2. Bruce says:

          “searchcz” wrote: “you do realize that they are two separate and distinct things?” Actually, no, they’re not. Here is why. You have already destroyed the only reason why marriage has ever been limited to just two people: the conjugal union of husband and wife. Two guys can’t do that. Two ladies can’t do that. IF that is out, then there is no reason to limit marriage to two people. None – and the polyamorous know this and are simply biding their time. In the name of “equality” their marriages should be equal to any homosexual’s or straight persons, and to deny them equality is to be a hateful bigot – because there is no rational reason that would hold up on court to justify excluding them. None. So, the two things are intrinsically related, searchcz, because you have made them so. You’ve destroyed marriage – now it can mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. :)

  3. Bruce says:

    For all those who support destroying marriage, what exactly was wrong with Newt’s request for an “open” marriage? If marriage no longer requires one man and one woman, but merely “love”, why can’t Newt “love” other women along with his wife? Or other men for that matter? What kind of close-minded and hateful bigot would prevent Newt from “loving” others? Why do you want Newt to limit his “love” to just one person if he doesn’t want to? Such tyranny! It is clear, based upon marriage-destroyer rhetoric, that ALL relationships should be “open” to “love” from anyone who wants in – and to prevent someone from getting in on your marriage is to be hateful and bigoted…to be guilty of “marriage-like” behavior. Marriage-destroyers have evolved beyond such antiquated things like “exclusivity” – because without the complementarity of male and female, there is no need for exclusivity. Its a free-for-all, man! Don’t be a hater or a bigot – let us all in on your intimate relationships! Marriage-destroyers who support homosexual “marriage” have no moral leg to stand on when denigrating Newt’s actions, because his actions are their actions too. :)

    1. Norman says:

      correct me if I’m wrong, but Newt Gingrich was free to have an open marriage and “love” other women or men outside of his marriage. No one could have stopped him, except his wife at the time, which she did by throwing in the towel and getting a divorce.

      1. Bruce says:

        Norman: Was he free to do so? According to whom, you and Newt? Does his wife have a case – if we can even call her that, since the whole “husband/wife” thing is a product of the very institution you and your ilk long to destroy. Perhaps we should refer to her as Newt’s “contracted friend who stimulates his genitals on occasion” or something like that, since that is all homosexuals have. So, anyway, you are effectively declaring that the norms of marriage do not apply anymore – so why would homosexuals want to marry if it doesn’t really matter? :)

    2. SearchCz says:

      It seems that Newt’s request for an open marriage would have been inconsistant with a previous vow of fidelity to his wife. I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what kind of promises they should make to another person, but once the promise has been made it should be honored.

      1. Bruce says:

        But why should that matter, and furthermore, courts do not recognize the permanence of promises or vows – just look at no-fault divorce. So inconsistency of promise-keeping does not define or default marriage. You have to dig deeper, searchcz, because marriage requires more than promises between friends. Lots of things “should” happen in any situation, but when they don’t, the situation still exists. Procreation “should” happen in marriage (real marriage) but when it doesn’t, it does not negate the marriage. Promises are a part of marriage, but do not define it. Two men can promise to be faithful and love each other, but that does not make them married.

  4. SearchCz says:

    The bishops seem to be suggesting that all of those indispensable benefits of “traditional” marriage somehow vaporize if the institution is open to same-sex couples. But they don’t connect the dots, other than trying to frighten the faithful, they don’t demonstrate how any of the “benefits for the common good” they mention would be diminished by marriage equality.

    And Isn’t the “protect/attack” trope getting a little tired? As in, we need to protect this thing that is under attack? Since when does a desire to participate constitute an attack? In case you missed it, let me point out something about all those gay folks who want to marry. They are FOR marriage!

    1. Bruce says:

      Well, let us ask you “searchcz” to connect the dots. What is marriage? Lets start there.

      1. SearchCz says:

        Bruce, You ask, what is marriage? I would say, it is the formal commitment that a couple makes to – devote their lives to one another, – take care of one another, – care for any children that become part of their household. For most couples, there is also a commitment of fidelity. When couples formalizes this commitment to one another, the law imparts on them about a thousand benefits & protections, so one might say that the legal definition of marriage also includes these benefits & protections.

        Wherever marriage equality has been enacted, opposite sex couples continue to marry, and to procreate, and to enjoy every single protection and right that they ever had before. Granting that right to Adam & Steve doesn’t TAKE IT AWAY from ANYONE.

        If you have a point, please make it.

        1. Bruce says:

          But see, your definition is the same as friendship – the union of hearts and minds. Marriage requires a step further – the union of bodies. Two men, two women, three men and a goat, three women and four men – none of these can combine bodies comprehensively and form the organ system ordered toward procreation (whether it succeeds or not). The marital act (see the name “marital”?) IS INTRINSIC TO MARRIAGE. Without it, all you have is friends who may or may not pleasure each other. Its not a marriage, and therefore has no requirement, state or otherwise, to remain just two people exclusively. In fact, most homosexual “marriages” are more open than Newt’s. That is not marriage – its friendship with benefits – and that is what you are advocating.

  5. Rick DeLano says:

    The battle will indeed likely be won or lost this year.

    There is only one way to win it.

    Even mush minded adults, like some of those posting here, who are prepared to destroy civilization’s oldest and most important institution in order to pocket a few shekels, or in order to feel good about how compassionate they are, will recoil in horror once it is made clear to them the actual consequence of any victory of the marriage corruption movement:

    The indoctrination of their innocent children, under compulsory education laws, into a homosexualist fantasy word where gender is irrelevant, and children have no right to expect society to protect their own interest in being raised by their own mother and father.

    If the campaign is situated on these grounds, we will win.

    I know.

    We won in California.

    God deliver the parents and children of this nation from the incredible evil of the marriage corruption movement.

    1. Patrick says:

      But Rick, the history in jurisdictions that have had legal gay marriage (some for over 11 years now) proves the opposite of what you contend. I think if you really want to win this battle you need to ignore fact and history and appeal to what you believe God wants.

      1. Bruce says:

        In states and countries which have defined mules to be goats…er marriage to “include homosexuals” marriages have declined dramatically – at rates higher than states and nations who do not put up with such silliness. Ignorance of history just makes you appear silly, and we wouldn’t want that, eh Patrick? You also have never defined marriage either when asked, which is not a surprise.

        1. Kevin says:

          Data on this assertion, please? (And don’t use publications that are not peer-reviewed or organizations that are considered hateful.

          1. Bruce says:

            Well, I could ask you for data supporting how two men can form the bodily union ordered toward procreation, but I 1.) know that such data does not exist and 2.) prefer to do my own work and not have someone else do it. But read here if you don’t know how to use a search engine: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp The article contains a plethora of studies you can pursue if you know how. If you don’t, I’m happy to help.

          2. SearchCz says:

            The Weekly Standard is a neoconservative OPINION outlet. OPINION and FACT are two different things. Cheers Bruce !

          3. Bruce says:

            And you gave us the liberal “slate” what is your point, other than you don’t have one? :) BTW, you still never answered my question, because you either do not have an answer or are a coward. Which is it? Here is the question yet again, in caps: ON WHAT GROUNDS CAN YOU LIMIT MARRIAGE TO JUST TWO PEOPLE IF MALE-FEMALE UNION IS NO LONGER REQUIRED, AND WHEN GROUPS OF PEOPLE EXIST WHO LOVE EACH OTHER AS MUCH AS ANY HOMOSEXUAL COUPLE AND WANT THE SAME RIGHTS AND TITLE? Can you answer it, or will you keep ducking? :)

        2. Norman says:

          I understand that people may disagree on some issues, but I’m disappointed to see something that is a factual lie being posted here as the comment above. The truth is that allowing gay marriage does not negatively affect “straight” marriage rates and tends to boost overall marriage rates. Here’s the truth: In Denmark, for example, the marriage rate had been declining for a half-century but turned around in the early 1980s. After the 1989 passage of the registered-partner law, the marriage rate continued to climb; Danish heterosexual marriage rates are now the highest they’ve been since the early 1970′s. And the most recent marriage rates in Sweden, Norway, and Iceland are all higher than the rates for the years before the partner laws were passed. Furthermore, in the 1990s, divorce rates in Scandinavia remained basically unchanged. Following the legalization of gay marriage in Washington DC, the marriage rate there climbed 200% in one year – including straight marriages. In Massachusetts, another bastion of gay marriage, their marriage rates have remained stable when compared to the rest of the United States and their divorce rate is the lowest in the nation. Based on the EVIDENCE and FACTS, it appears that legalizing gay marriage has re-invigorated marriage in general, rather than causing harm to it. What are we “protecting” marriage from exactly? Higher marriage rates and lower divorce rates?

          1. Bruce says:

            Norman: Your post reeks of the fact that you did not finish the article cited above. Silly you.

          2. SearchCz says:

            Um, Bruce, you’re perpetuating a myth … by pushing an article that draws false conclusions from unpublished research.

            You should read this, so you’ll have a better understanding of the dynamics of marriage in Scandinavia.

            http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2004/05/prenuptial_jitters.html

          3. Bruce says:

            Um, nope. “Slants” or “Slate’s” take on this is full of false conclusions. I’ll go with the article I posted. But even without it, the conclusions are obvious. Homosexual friendship as marriage destroys what is left of marriage culture.

  6. [...] 2012 Will Be an All-Out Battle for Marriage as 6 States May Vote On It – T. Peters, CV/AmP [...]

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