In most of the country, even in liberal Oregon, a majority of voters believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. They have said so by amending state constitutions, by legislation and by referenda. In this respect Massachusetts is not part of the nation.
To place a definition of marriage proposition on the ballot in Massachusetts so voters can express their views the issue must pass in two separate sessions of the Commonwealth’s legislature with at least 50 votes. After the November 2006 Democratic landslide, pro-family forces lost support. With Massachusetts’s Governor Mitt Romney just out of office in late January 2007, a traditional-marriage proposition received 62 votes. When the subsequent vote was taken just rece ntly it was five votes short. The reason the vote came up short is because of intense arm twisting by the Commonwealth’s current Governor, Deval Patrick.
The homosexual lobby issued a statement saying that as neighbors became acquainted with “married” male or female couples, they found that they were just like heterosexual couples. So the fear of homosexual couples had disappeared. The fear is still there but it is not fear of homosexual or lesbian couples. It never has been. The fear is of the homosexual lobby.
It does not merely twist arms. It instills fear in the hearts of legislators. Yes, the 2006 elections weakened the pro-family forces, yet there are many pro-family Democrats in Massachusetts. They are cultural conservatives, if economic liberals.
Homosexuals picture themselves as on the defensive. They claim they are discriminated against. In fact, they are on the offensive. Their lobby has evolved into one of the more powerful lobbies in the country. They are dangerous, not because what they believe is wrong, but because they put fear in the hearts of legislators of both parties. And they deliver.
They claim they are merely part of the civil-rights movement. What an insult to the civil-rights movement. When we speak of not discriminating against those whom God has created, that is absolutely correct. But it is incorrect to equate God-created civil rights with man-created “rights,” which should have no legitimate standing.
Let me make this clear. I believe that all of us are sons and daughters of our Creator. Thus, no human being should be treated nastily. Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. But that fact does not obligate anyone to agree to a complete agenda, anymore than it should obligate me to buy into entire the liberal agenda, the conservative agenda, the Republican agenda or the Democratic agenda. That is the problem. We are told that unless we buy the whole agenda of the homosexuals we are guilty of rank discrimination. Why?
Am I discriminating against Senator Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., because I don”t accept his entire agenda? I doubt that Kennedy would buy into that proposition. I certainly don”t contend that folks who disagree with our loosely formulated conservative agenda are discriminating against me personally. They advocate that if you don”t buy into every point of their agenda you personally discriminate against them.
They have also constructed a powerful lobby that is largely invisible. It has been documented in The Homosexual Network, by Father Enrique Rueda, Devin Adair, 1982, and in a suppressed network television documentary.
If you cross their network, they will see to it that you pay. By that I mean if you are in the congress or in a state legislature, you either vote their way or you risk becoming a target. What is wrong with that, you may ask? It is in the grand American tradition. True, but most lobbies do not demand 100 per cent agreement. One vote against that lobby, and you will be targeted for defeat.
Even the labor unions, which told everyone that they were tough and that they would not tolerate a dissent, actually have tolerated occasional dissent. They once were tough, but as politics has deprived them of the support of key legislators they have looked for votes wherever they can obtain them.
Returning to the central topic, the voters in Massachusetts will not get the chance to vote on the proposition that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Some states have so-called civil unions. That is to say they accord all the privileges of marriage but not the title of marriage, which is what homosexuals really want. Massachusetts has homosexual marriage because the legislature won”t offer voters the ability to vote on the matter
If voters could vote, the pro-family movement is confident that traditional marriage would win. Voters everywhere in this country affirm that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, in only half the states do voters have the right to petition to place an issue on the ballot. In most states it is the legislature which places issues on the ballot. If a matter has enough public support, the legislature will act, as it has in most states where the public has demonstrated support.
It is only in Massachusetts that the system works against those who have a real issue. The legislators there have figured a way not to do something which other state’s voters take for granted. And even in those states in which the legislature rules, there is a reasonable threshold which must be met. In Massachusetts homosexual marriage lives on, but it is the only state in which that is the case although in some states litigation continues. At present if homosexuals want the formal title of marriage they had better live in Massachusetts. In the remainder of the nation, that idea is not flying because the voters have decreed otherwise.
A Free Congress Commentary. Paul M. Weyrich is Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.