Marriage debate far from over

By Jerry Falwell

On Tuesday, a majority of Senate members voted against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the amendment that would prevent activist judges from redefining marriage, long recognized by civil societies as an act between one man and one woman. The Republican leadership could gain only 48 votes (48-50) on a motion to invoke cloture, 12 short of the 60 votes needed.

Here’s the important news on this vote: The issue is far from over!

In the days leading up to this vote, we saw multitudes of concerned Americans rise up and take to their phones and computers to urge their senators to vote in favor of the FMA. Despite this deluge of calls and e-mails favoring the legislation, 50 senators turned their backs on their constituencies. But I can guarantee that they have been taken aback by the grass-roots uprising that literally tied up Capitol Hill switchboards and filled their staffers’ computers with pleas to support the FMA.

We must ensure that we maintain our focus and energy on this issue. Most importantly, I believe we will ultimately prevail.

I want to express my deep appreciation to my friends and supporters who participated in this grass-roots effort. You will be needed again. In addition, I want to recognize the thousands of pastors who boldly stood in their pulpits on Protect Marriage Sunday (last Sunday) to urge their members to join in the effort to protect marriage. From small flocks to mega-church congregations, I can tell you that we propelled a lightning bolt of activism through Washington this week.

It won’t be the last one, either.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., made the most pertinent observation after Tuesday’s vote. His admonition should be etched in the hearts of every American who understands the importance of the battle to protect the American family.

Mr. Frist said, “The question is no longer whether the Constitution will be amended. The only question is who will amend it and how it will be amended. Will activist judges – not elected by the American people – destroy the institution of marriage? Or will the people protect marriage as the best way to raise children? My vote is with the people and, thus, as majority leader, I felt and continue to feel that it’s important that the debate go on the floor of the United States Senate, which does represent the American people. Americans understand that children need mothers and fathers. We’d be foolish to permit a vast, untested social experiment on families and children – the bedrock of our society.”

Those are serious words. As we continue to work to preserve the sanctity of marriage, we must remember that there is a vast minority of powerful people in our nation who want to demolish our moral foundations. They hide behind pretty words and innocent-sounding phrases, but they are pressing to create an America our founders would not recognize. They believe there are no moral absolutes that should define society.

Here is the fact of the matter: If we do not continue to press for a constitutional amendment to protect marriage as an act between one man and one woman, there is literally no telling what the future holds. We will be a nation destroyed by our immoral sexual pursuits that we allowed to sway our political and social policies. That’s a recipe for rapid destruction.

I am committed to continuing the fight to preserve the biblical blueprint for marriage and I am praying that the revolution that was initiated this week was just an opening salvo, as moral-minded Americans continue to press forward in the imperative battle to safeguard marriage in America.

Finally, a list of our 100 senators and how they voted on the FMA is printed below. I am asking readers to do either one of the following things during the next 48 hours regarding these senators’ votes:

  1. If your senator/senators voted for (“yea”) for the Federal Marriage Amendment, please call him/her to thank them for supporting the sanctity of marriage.

  2. If your senators/senators voted against (“nay”) the FMA, please call him/her to considerately express your disappointment that they voted against the sanctity of marriage.

The Capitol Switchboard number is: 202-224-3121. Or you can visit Gary Bauer’s Campaign for Working Families website and click on Congressional Directory to find the direct numbers and e-mail addresses for your senators. I again urge pastors to have their congregations participate in this effort.

Sessions (R-AL), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Yea

Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
Stevens (R-AK), Yea

Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay

Lincoln (D-AR), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Nay

Boxer (D-CA), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Nay

Allard (R-CO), Yea
Campbell (R-CO), Nay

Dodd (D-CT), Nay

Lieberman (D-CT), Nay

Biden (D-DE), Nay
Carper (D-DE), Nay

Graham (D-FL), Nay
Nelson (D-FL), Nay

Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
Miller (D-GA), Yea

Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Nay

Craig (R-ID), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Yea

Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Fitzgerald (R-IL), Yea

Bayh (D-IN), Nay
Lugar (R-IN), Yea

Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Nay

Brownback (R-KS), Yea
Roberts (R-KS), Yea

Bunning (R-KY), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Yea

Breaux (D-LA), Nay
Landrieu (D-LA), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Nay
Snowe (R-ME), Nay

Mikulski (D-MD), Nay
Sarbanes (D-MD), Nay

Kennedy (D-MA), Nay
Kerry (D-MA), Not Voting

Levin (D-MI), Nay
Stabenow (D-MI), Nay

Coleman (R-MN), Yea
Dayton (D-MN), Nay

Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Lott (R-MS), Yea

Bond (R-MO), Yea
Talent (R-MO), Yea

Baucus (D-MT), Nay
Burns (R-MT), Yea

Hagel (R-NE), Yea
Nelson (D-NE), Yea

Ensign (R-NV), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Nay

New Hampshire:
Gregg (R-NH), Yea
Sununu (R-NH), Nay

New Jersey:
Corzine (D-NJ), Nay
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Nay

New Mexico:
Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
Domenici (R-NM), Yea

New York:
Clinton (D-NY), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay

North Carolina:
Dole (R-NC), Yea
Edwards (D-NC), Not Voting

North Dakota:
Conrad (D-ND), Nay
Dorgan (D-ND), Nay

DeWine (R-OH), Yea
Voinovich (R-OH), Yea

Inhofe (R-OK), Yea
Nickles (R-OK), Yea

Smith (R-OR), Yea
Wyden (D-OR), Nay

Santorum (R-PA), Yea
Specter (R-PA), Yea

Rhode Island:
Chafee (R-RI), Nay

Reed (D-RI), Nay

South Carolina:
Graham (R-SC), Yea
Hollings (D-SC), Nay

South Dakota:
Daschle (D-SD), Nay
Johnson (D-SD), Nay

Alexander (R-TN), Yea
Frist (R-TN), Yea

Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
Hutchison (R-TX), Yea

Bennett (R-UT), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Yea

Jeffords (I-VT), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Nay

Allen (R-VA), Yea
Warner (R-VA), Yea

Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay

West Virginia:
Byrd (D-WV), Yea
Rockefeller (D-WV), Nay

Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Kohl (D-WI), Nay

Enzi (R-WY), Yea
Thomas (R-WY), Yea