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I take no pleasure in telling you that the vote on the constitutional amendment designed to protect the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman will fail next week in the U.S. Senate.

Thousands of regular folks have been awakened from their political slumber and are writing letters, making phone calls, sending e-mails and holding prayer meetings in an effort to have some basic common sense written into our Constitution.

However, for over three decades, while we were sleeping, homosexual activists were working nonstop to get the government’s seal of approval on same-sex unions and to make the issue of the marriage designation for these couples one of basic civil rights.

While we were sleeping in the 1970s, militant homosexuals began storming the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association until the organization caved in and removed homosexuality from a list of mental illnesses in its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders.”

While we were sleeping in the 1980s, gay activists took control of the National Education Association – the teachers union – and began plotting a strategy to get their agenda in the nation’s public schools.

While we were sleeping in the 1990s, the NEA began running candidates committed to teaching our children that homosexuality is a normal, immutable characteristic. We blindly voted for these candidates or we didn’t vote at all.

I remember one such election as if it were yesterday. In 1991, in Los Angeles, I was putting flyers on car windshields in the parking lot of my church of several thousand members. As a gentleman approached his car, I handed him one and inquired, “Are you going to vote in Tuesday’s school board election?” He looked rather puzzled, and then replied, “No, I only vote in the big ones!”

As a result of this laissez-faire attitude, homosexual activists were invited into our classrooms under the guise of “AIDS education.” Then, textbooks were rewritten to begin mainstreaming the homosexual lifestyle.

While we were sleeping, homosexual activists began pressuring groups like Big Brothers and the Boy Scouts to admit gay mentors and gay leaders. When the Boy Scouts refused to knuckle under, they began losing their public accommodations and some United Way chapters and major businesses cut off their funding.

While we were sleeping, homosexual activists began pressuring state governments for the right to adopt children

While we were sleeping, homosexual activists were passing domestic partnership laws, which gave these unions all the benefits of marriage under a different label.

Many average Americans now are circling the wagons in a last-ditch effort to pass this amendment in order keep judicial activists from bestowing the designation of marriage on same-sex couples.

The chance of a quick victory in Congress, however, is slim.

The years of political slumber have been costly. The position of preserving traditional marriage now is seen by many as mean-spirited and controversial, particularly by the young who are products of public-school indoctrination.

Amending the Constitution was not meant to be an easy process. A proposed amendment must pass the House and Senate by a two-thirds vote. Then, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.

A far less controversial amendment – the amendment to protect the flag – has been brought up for a vote in every Congress since 1995. Each time, it passed overwhelming in the House of Representatives, but, in the Senate, it was either held off the floor or fell a few votes shy of the necessary two-thirds vote. That’s because many senators see themselves as little gods and feel free to simply ignore the will of the people.

The flag amendment has broad public support. Now, all 50 state legislatures have petitioned Congress for it. However, in this, the 108th Congress, it passed the House, but has yet to see the light of day in the upper chamber.

Does the likelihood of the defeat of the marriage amendment next week in the Senate mean you should ignore this vote? Of course not! In many ways, this is a test of the strength of the conservative movement. The depth of your support for traditional marriage is being measured. Every phone call is important and your willingness to punish those who vote against this amendment in November will be very telling.

However, don’t be misled. If you want to undo the damage inflicted on the family by radical homosexual activists, you are going to have to stay awake and be willing to roll up your sleeves and stay actively involved in your government over the long haul.

There simply are no quick fixes for years of neglect.

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