Does Congress listen?
It could be time to find out, as the threats to marriage across America are legion: the creation of same-sex “marriage” by judges, the overturning of voter-approved amendments limiting marriage to one man and one woman and the stunning decision by the White House to not defend the law of the land, the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
That’s even though when voters are given the choice, they’ve formally defined marriage as being between one man and one woman 31 times out of 31 elections.
There is a way to get the attention now of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, where members have approved an outside legal team to take up the defense of DOMA, which is under challenge in a number of cases seeking to establish homosexual marriage.
It’s the “Time to Defend Marriage: The Genesis 2:24 Campaign,” which is being expanded to include members of both the Senate and House, and is attracting more and more support, including that recently added from the Family Research Council.
The campaign lets constituents send letters to each of the 435 members of the U.S. House and each of the 100 U.S. senators for a cost of $29.99, only a fraction of what just postage would cost should someone take on the project alone.
The letter to House members states:
Dear Member of Congress,
I am writing to implore you to defend traditional marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman has been the bedrock of human society since the dawn of time, and is unquestionably the best formula for raising healthy children. And yet, it is under serious attack.
The Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman and ensures that no state will be forced to recognize a “same-sex marriage” licensed in another state. Though approved by overwhelming majorities in both houses (342-67 in the House, 85-14 in the Senate) and signed by President Clinton, today DOMA is under siege – in the courts, in the Obama Justice Department, and even in Congress.
Let’s be clear: What we’re talking about is the federal government’s de facto imposition, on all 50 states, of a radical redefinition of marriage for the first time in more than 5,000 years – just to indulge the questionable demands of a miniscule segment of our population. Yet, who can deny that such frivolous experimentation with a foundational societal institution like marriage will inevitably result in serious, long-term ramifications to society as a whole? Loss of religious liberties of the vast majority of Americans as well as the complete breakdown of the family as we know it are just part of the fallout that will result – and for which history will hold you accountable.
I am thankful for efforts by House leadership to secure top notch legal representation to defend DOMA at a time when the administration refuses to do so. I also appreciate that you are taking the time to read this letter and realize there are many urgent concerns and crises being put before you for consideration. But truthfully, none of them can conceivably be as important and consequential over the long term as this one. I therefore urge you, with all earnestness, to do everything you can from your position of power to defend traditional marriage now. Later will simply be too late.
The letter to senators is similar.
Pastor Ken Hutcherson
The campaign is being championed by Kenneth L. Hutcherson, senior pastor and co-founder of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Wash., who recently wrote in a column on WND that the defense of marriage “is a movement I would be willing to lead.”
Such arguments have been hottest in courts in California in recent months, since voters there approved a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman, and a homosexual judge who appears to stand to benefit from his own ruling declared it unconstitutional.
But it doesn’t stop there.
In Canada, arguments already are being made in courts that since government prohibitions on same-sex “marriage” have been removed, so should bans on polygamy. A California Supreme Court justice warned of such developments when his court, over his objections, created same-sex “marriage” in the state.
Hutcherson told WND that Christians shouldn’t be surprised when homosexuals seek their own way with American society, because it’s simply their nature.
“When Christians don’t stand together, those who don’t have our views are going to fill the vacuum,” he told WND.
The campaign, which also is supported by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, now of MyFamilyTalk.com, as well as Gary Bauer and dozens of other high-profile Christian leaders, says, “Marriage is under attack by zealots who want to redefine the cornerstone institution as one not between a man and a woman – but one between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. Nothing will result in the destruction of Western Civilization faster than such a development.”
The campaign allows citizens to lobby Washington, where members of the House recently designated an attorney to fight challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court cases.
The House recently chose Paul Clement of King & Spalding, LLP, to defend the federal DOMA law. Clement is the former solicitor general under President George W. Bush and is a skilled advocate who has argued many times before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The legal appointment became necessary because President Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to no longer defend DOMA, which affirms marriage as the union of one man and one woman for purposes of federal law.
“The defense of DOMA is now in better hands than when the Department of Justice was on the case,” commented Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel. “Rather than weakening the defense of DOMA, President Obama’s decision to not defend the law has opened up the opportunity for Paul Clement and his team to provide a real defense.”
According to the FRCBlog.com, four federal courts have affirmed the constitutionality of DOMA, and “no federal or state appellate court has ever said that it violates the U.S. Constitution.”
The organization explained that Holder and Obama have a constitutional responsibility to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” but have abdicated that responsibility.
The campaign’s costs total $29.99 for the process that will deliver letters to each of the members of Congress, signed by you and individually addressed.
In Hutcherson’s column, he said he doesn’t understand “why the shepherds of our nation’s churches have not started an uprising about this. … I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I am like Him in as many ways as I can possibly be. What the Bible calls sin, I call sin. God hates sin but loves the sinner, unless the sinner refuses to separate himself from the sin – then he must be judged along with his sin.”
Previously, the Family Research Council set up a campaign to petition leaders to defend marriage.
‘Nothing we cannot accomplish’
“There’s nothing we cannot accomplish if we stick together with the power of God,” Hutcherson told WND when the petition got started. “This is going to be a powerhouse that’s going to shake up a lot, starting with marriage.”
“President Obama and his Justice Department would have us believe that traditional marriage laws are unconstitutional,” the petition introduction states. “I oppose the Justice Department’s political decision to reverse its policy of defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal statute passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The duty of the Justice Department is to enforce and defend laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.
“The president and his Justice Department have abdicated his responsibility to ensure that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed,” it continues.
‘Enough is enough’
It’s time, Hutcherson said, for Christians to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.”
His initial invitation to ministry leaders was met, without exception, he told WND, with the response, “What kinds of things can we do?”
He said the fundamental issue of homosexuality and same-sex “marriage” is not one of “rights” but of following God.
“It is a sin,” he said. “It’s not a man choosing this or a woman choosing that. It is a sin. It is like any other sin. If you try to pass a law that I have to drop my moral viewpoint, that’s not going to work for me.”
He said the perspective just reflects what is going on in the U.S., that people no longer are following standards but are making life decisions based on how they feel about an issue on a particular day.
Christians, he said, need to follow the Bible itself, not how they feel about an issue.
“That’s why God wrote the Bible. It gives man boundaries. It tells what’s best for man, even though we may not like it,” he said.
Marriage not created by law
Marriage is not, as some believe, a creation of the law, the petition website explains.
“Marriage is a fundamental human institution that predates the law and the Constitution. At its heart, it is an anthropological and sociological reality, not a legal one. Laws relating to marriage merely recognize and regulate an institution that already exists,” it explains.
“If love and companionship were sufficient to define marriage, then there would be no reason to deny ‘marriage’ to unions of a child and an adult, or an adult child and his or her aging parent, or to roommates who have no sexual relationship, or to groups rather than couples. Love and companionship are usually considered integral to marriage in our culture, but they are not sufficient to define it as an institution.”
The issue of same-sex “marriage” in the United States appears headed toward the U.S. Supreme Court, where the vote is anything but certain. While the California Proposition 8 case is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, it likely will be moved higher.
But there was a victory for traditional marriage in the latest state-level dispute. In Maryland, a proposal with the backing of celebrities up to the ranks of Bill Clinton was expected to make same-sex “marriage” legitimate but failed.
The measure had been on track for approval and was running under the radar when it swept through the Senate. Then it moved to the state House, where Democrats hold 98 of the 141 seats, and collapsed.
Already, same-sex duos can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia, noted the National Conference of State Legislatures. In some of those places the law has been imposed by judicial fiat.
Delegate Don Dwyer, a leader of the opposition to homosexual “marriages,” said the Maryland legislation was described to him as a “done deal” by homosexual activists who thought they had lined up support.
The sudden turnaround came after the bill was approved in the Senate and moved to the House, where supporters of traditional marriage have been working on a constitutional amendment for their state.
The first signal of defeat came when a committee chairman ruled that the bill would be held instead of being voted on immediately. Three days later, the bill had failed to advance.
The reason, Dwyer said, was the thousands of telephone calls, emails and other contacts from constituents informing lawmakers of their opposition..
When Obama and Holder announced they no longer would defend the federal law as their official duties include, Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., suggested members of Congress cut the budget for Holder and instead use that money to mount a congressionally directed defense of DOMA.
California fight remains hottest
Probably the hottest battle in the war between marriage definitions is raging in California.
There, state Supreme Court judges created same-sex “marriage” and were immediately rebuffed by voters who adopted Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The dispute then went into federal court, and the judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are considering whether to uphold a decision by a homosexual judge that said voters had no right to amend their own state constitution.
The judge, Vaughn Walker, an open homosexual, in September overruled more than 7 million voters to banish Proposition 8, which had been approved by voters in 2008. There also have been calls for his decision to be vacated because having admitted to a long-term same-sex relationship in California, Walker is in the position of benefiting, socially and possibly financially, from his own ruling.
His 136-page ruling said, “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”
Walker also wrote:
- “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.”
- “Rather, the exclusion exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.”
- “The gender of a child’s parent is not a factor in a child’s adjustment.”
- “The evidence shows beyond any doubt that parents’ genders are irrelevant to children’s developmental outcomes.”
- “Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage; marriage under law is a union of equals.”
- “Many of the purported interests identified by proponents are nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of same-sex couples.”
His decision essentially ignored a warning from California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter, who dissented when his court created same-sex “marriage” in the state.
Baxter wrote, “The bans on incestuous and polygamous marriages are ancient and deeprooted, and, as the majority suggests, they are supported by strong considerations of social policy. Our society abhors such relationships, and the notion that our laws could not forever prohibit them seems preposterous. Yet here, the majority overturns, in abrupt fashion, an initiative statute confirming the equally deeprooted assumption that marriage is a union of partners of the opposite sex. The majority does so by relying on its own assessment of contemporary community values, and by inserting in our Constitution an expanded definition of the right to marry that contravenes express statutory law.
“Who can say that, in 10, 15 or 20 years, an activist court might not rely on the majority’s analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?” Baxter wrote.