14 Jul Developments in California, Massachusetts and Maine
The approval of Proposition 8, California’s marriage amendment, was a great victory for marriage and the idea that children deserve a mother and father. Proposition 8, however, infuriated those who wanted to use marriage to obtain government approval of adult relationships.
Activists pushing same-sex marriage struck back, pouring money and resources into legislative efforts to redefine marriage in the Northeast where public support for marriage was more tenuous and where the overwhelming resources of advocates could be immediately decisive.
Some redefinition advocates have now turned their attention back to courts where they believe sympathetic judges will impose marriage redefinition on the nation. Prominent members of the lawyer elite have challenged Proposition 8 in federal court in an effort to get the United States Supreme Court to impose same-sex marriage on every state. Just last week, the state of Massachusetts filed a court challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act that provides: (1) whenever federal law uses the term marriage it refers to the union of a man and a woman and (2) that a state can’t be forced to recognize a same-sex marriage contracted in another state.
If successful, the Massachusetts lawsuit would result in a judge-made decision that Massachusetts could impose its marriage policy (created by four judges in 2003) on the national government and possibly on other states. The challenge to Proposition 8 would be like a Roe v. Wade of marriage law-forcing every state to accept a national redefinition of marriage.
As serious as these threats are, there has been some good news for marriage law. In a remarkably short time, pro-marriage groups in Maine have gathered enough signatures to allow the people of that state to decide whether they will accept the legislature’s attempt to redefine marriage earlier this year. Since experience shows that marriage is most likely to be reaffirmed when citizens are allowed a voice, this is good news for marriage and for Maine.
It is also a testament to the great work of the defenders of marriage in Maine and a reminder that the truth that marriage is about more than adult desires is powerful.
Those who care about marriage and children must continue to work to ensure that this truth gets a fair hearing in courts, legislatures and public debate. The stakes could not be higher.
United Families will be working to protect marriage in California, Massachusetts, Maine, and around the world. If protecting marriage and the family is important to you, please consider making a $25, $50 or even $100 donation today to help us continue to protect your family and marriage around the world.
Mr. Duncan is the director of the Marriage Law Foundation.
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