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  • Senate Lawmakers Launch Attack on Marriage

    Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on legislation that would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). All 10 Democrats on the committee voted against DOMA.

    DOMA was passed by wide congressional majorities and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. DOMA defines marriage as one man and one woman in federal law and clarifies that no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

    Activists seeking to undermine marriage at the federal level must know that evidence shows significant political support for marriage at the state level. In addition to numerous statutes, marriage has also been protected by constitutional provisions in nearly 30 states.

    These profoundly democratic measures reflect the strong public interest in policies that make it more likely that children will be part of an intact family that includes the influence of a mother and a father.

    Even in these modern times, children still spring from the unique union of a man and woman. And especially in these modern times, the social, legal, and other bonds of marriage are more necessary than ever to help bind men and women together through the long duration of parenting their offspring.

    The private reasons people marry might vary, but the public interest in marriage remains connected to these basic realities of human life and civil society.

    Until very recently, of course, the understanding that marriage involved individuals of both sexes was a near universal norm. Even today, despite well-funded and unceasing attacks from the usual quarters of the liberal elite, a strong majority of Americans continue to support marriage as one man and one woman. This sustained support for marriage reflects the institution’s deep connection to the universal and timeless nature of men and women and puts the lie to the incessant trope about the “inevitability” of same-sex marriage.

    However, despite continued and widespread support for marriage—or perhaps because of it—the debate about marriage has taken a disturbing twist. Many arguments for same-sex marriage are based on the idea that support for marriage as one man and one woman is irrational, unjust, and bigoted and should be ruled out of bounds for civil society, just like racism. This unsettling ideology has already resulted in significant burdens for many people and groups who support marriage as one man and one woman and provides another reason to uphold the traditional understanding.

    As the marriage debate continues to evolve, and as proponents of homosexual marriage continue to force Americans to confront this issue, perhaps more and more people will come to realize that support for marriage as one man and one woman does not equal animosity against friends, family, and coworkers who experience same-sex attraction. Rather, support for marriage reflects a morally just and constitutionally valid social judgment that the unique union of a husband and wife should be accorded a unique status in culture and law and that doing so benefits children and the good of all society.

    The lawmakers who voted against marriage in committee last week got it wrong. The majority of Americans who support marriage as one man and one woman—and the growing number of Americans who are willing to take a stand for marriage despite often virulent opposition—should stay the course and continue to make a history where marriage is honored and protected as a vital social institution.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    41 Responses to Senate Lawmakers Launch Attack on Marriage

    1. Gracie says:

      Wow. I've completely lost all respect for the Heritage Foundation after reading this post. An attack on marriage, really? I'd like to see you stop attacking BASIC human rights. Are you actually telling me that two people who love and respect each other and who want to make the choice to raise children as much as a straight couple should be denied matrimony? That's completely absurd. If a couple (no matter straight or homosexual) makes the choice to love and raise a child, that is a family worth bonding in marriage because it truly represents the basic values of marriage in itself.

      What's changing is the fact that every day we are breaking down barriers that are slowly but surely creating an equal playing field for all Americans . It's ideas like the one in this article that are preventing us from truly raising our children in a safe environment free from hatred and repression.

      This article is not so much about the "destruction of marriage" as it is about the outdated policies and leaders who have kept the status quo. Stop holding on to the past and make everyone proud to be an American by accepting the basic rights of all human beings. After all, there is a separation between church and state for a reason…

      • Peg says:

        I'm a heterosexual woman who has been married twice. I'm also a person who knew at age 22 that I could never bear children. If marriage is so much about "raising children" – then why was I allowed to legally marry – not once, but twice?

        Gracie is correct about marriage. Marriage is about two adults committing to one another for life. Many of those marriages result in children – but not all. And no where are heterosexual couples required to promise to raise children in order to be able to wed legally.

        Allowing gay couples to marry is no threat to marriage; it strengthens it. It allows all loving couples to be able to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities, should they so choose – irrespective of their sexual orientation.

        Please conservatives; reconsider this view of marriage. My gay friends, relatives and neighbors deserve the same dignity and standing that the rest of us now have. In addition, for what it's worth – this bigoted attitude toward gays costs the right many precious votes. I have more than a few gay and straight friends who share my fiscal conservatism. Nevertheless, they cannot bring themselves to vote for conservative candidates

      • OneOfTheBunch says:

        You know – - it's the idiocy of this type of reasoning that makes DOMA applicable. Two men or two women will never produce offspring which is one of the defining evidence of marriage. Love is not the defining basis of marriage. The ability to define a linage for posterity does.

      • Cynthia says:

        You obviously aren't a Christian! God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, not Adam and Steve! But you wouldn't know that since you probably don't even own a Bible! God instituted marriage between a man and a woman, PERIOD! It's disgusting to think that two men or two women together could procreate and produce offspring! They're perverted! And there IS no separation of church and state! Check the Constitution and I guarantee you won't find it! Jefferson mentioned it in the Federalist Papers.

        • Gracie says:

          Cynthia,

          You are not living a Christian lifestyle by living life with so much outright hate for people you don't even know because they are homosexual. Get with the times and be a good person through tolerance and acceptance. :-) The Bible also says you shouldn't eat shellfish, have a round haircut, play football and many other things people do in their everyday live. Do you think we should be banished for giving our children bowlcuts? I was born and raised Catholic and have seen the terrors of religion brainwashing others. I've read the Bible many times and refuse to take it literally where it turns me into a complete no brained follower.

      • Black9 says:

        Marriage has always been between a man and a woman, Now you are saying it is not. Marriage is defined by the Bible that most people don't follow or trash, but now you want to endorse the same-sex as such. The purpose was to bear children in a father and mother environment. Can the same-sex couples produce children?

        • Tammy Rainey says:

          I follow the Bible, as i understand it (and make no mistake, NO ONE follows it perfectly – just as they understand it) but it is simply false to claim that the bible defines marriage. Marriage has existed throughout the history of mankind even in cultures which have never been exposed to the Bible.

          you can argue that GOD defines marriage – in the sense that he would have presumably done so from creation no matter what cultures developed from that beginning. but that's an entirely different claim than "The bible defines marriage"

          Furthermore, the various definitions of marriage in the Bible are not even internally consistent. the form of Marriage, as much as you hate to admit it, is TRADITION. No more morally binding than whether or not you have music in the church service. 50 years ago that tradition absolutely forbid interracial marriage and the vast majority of Christians would have said "don't blame me, that's what God said" – today you'd find a very small percentage of Christians who'd still make that argument.

          did god change his mind? did the words in the bible shift? or have we simply come to realize that what we "knew" was true 50 years ago actually wasn't?

      • Gary Fore says:

        Gracie, there is a natural order that is created by God. This can be denied all day long, but it does not change the order of male and female, nor does it deny Him. The decision for this order of things is His, not yours, not mine and not any nation's authority to change. Your argument is not with Heritage, but with the Created Order. Every nation that has tampered with this order always collapeses. There have been no exceptions in History. The USA will be no exception either.

        This is not to say that America as a nation requires anyone to "be a christian", but it was founded upon a basic root of understanding that the God of Heaven has created a natural order of the world. One of those orders is that of marriage between a man and a woman for life. That was His intent. Now, because we foolishly think we have made God irrelevant in modern history, that He has no voice and He has no overarching laws of design and intent. This is folly. our silly delusions that He is not The Final Authority on this matter ( and all others) of marriage does not change the fact that He is.

        ( continued next post)

        • Tammy Rainey says:

          Gary, please explain how the actions of <3% of the population will "tamper with the natural order" in a way that hundreds of thousands of children living in single parent homes do not? In fact, please explain how the actions of such a small portion of the population affect the natural order in any way?

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        Would you equate the struggle of black people for basic human rights and the struggle of woman for basic voting rights with the struggle of gay people for basic marriage rights? Black people don't choose their color and woman don't choose their gender as gay people choose to embrace their lifestyle and live together.

        The desire of society to preserve man-woman marriage has nothing to do with the separation of church and state. Are laws against theft a violation of church and state since most, if not all, religions forbid stealing? Are not laws nothing more than the codified morals of a society? Laws may and can change, but for now, where the people, not the courts or even their PC politicians, have spoken, they have affirmed man-woman marriage as the only legitimate one. It doesn't mean society as a whole hates gays any more than their laws against theft mean they hate thieves.

        • Tammy Rainey says:

          your post is poorly argued on a few points. first, the claim is constantly made, almost always without any effort to support it, that being gay is a choice. It is poor form and bad logic to base an argument upon a premise that you have not proven. It is true that the actual homosexual act is a choice, but you would never argue one is not heterosexual unless one chooses to engage in a heterosexual act – so let's not waste time on that strawman.

          Secondly, laws against theft are NOT in fact the imposition of a a specific religious theology because theft is first of all considered immoral even by those who do not believe in any religion, and secondly because it is an objective violation of the rights of the property holder. by contrast, legal interference with homosexual acts fails both tests because it is only held as immoral by those with a specific theological impetus to, and it does not impose upon any of the recognized rights of the unwilling.

          Third, while it's true that the majority vote has trended against gay marriage, it is also objectively true that in 1970 almost any election would have defeated interracial marriage had it been put to a vote, and yet we almost universally recognize today that the law was unjust. Other examples may be cited. The point being that, as our founders clearly recognized, all truth is not to be found in a majority vote – very often exactly the opposite is true.

      • river says:

        Gracie,_You have bought into the whole delusional thought train that reality can be successfully challenged and replaced simply because someone "wants to make the choice". Although your marching band of group-think enthusiasts have cowed timid editors and politicians, the people of this country have made clear that marriage will remain true to its fundamental defintion. "Same sex marriage" is a contradiction in terms._Your notion that "slowly but surely" reality itself will rollover and play dead will not come to pass. The people of our country have spoken clearly, over and over again, that marriage must remain what it has always been. Despite some errant court decisions, the will of the people will prevail.

        • Gracie says:

          Ok River,

          But i think i will be LOL when these pass and you will be left in the dust holding on to your fundamentalist ideas as false comfort. There is a last generation of intolerance that will soon be forgotten once this is all over with and their soft whimpers of "attack on marriage" will only be a whisper in the past of our repressions. :-)

      • TruthInAction says:

        Most, not all, have a sacred belief in marriage as God outlines in the Bible. Please, quit confusing loving your fellow man, raising children, and following God's commandments with man's law regarding co-habitation, and sexual orientation.

        Anyone who attacks caring and loving people is violating God's law, and thank God that the USA says you have the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    2. edwah zj says:

      This a tactic of the spiritual battle those principalities and powers …waring against God,2Corintiabs 10:1-6 Ephesians6:12. The doctrine of Balaam who taught Balac ( Revelation2:14 ) on how to bring a curse upon the children of Israel. The present generation is giving place TO All manner of concupiscence of lasciviousness which is meant to bring a curse upon America; sincerely, edwah zj

    3. Tammy Rainey says:

      Oh please. Attack? Seriously? please explain what existing marriage will be dissolved by the repeal of DOMA. Please illustrate what heterosexual couple will find increased difficulty in getting or staying married based on the actions of <3% of the population.

      You want to argue that same sex marriage is a bad idea on it's own merits, make that case. But please show a LITTLE intellectual integrity and don't call the proposition that MORE people getting married is an ATTACK on marriage.

      Oh…and this bit:
      "Even in these modern times, children still spring from the unique union of a man and woman. And especially in these modern times, the social, legal, and other bonds of marriage are more necessary than ever to help bind men and women together through the long duration of parenting their offspring."

      Is just wacky. In these modern times a staggering number of offspring from those "unique unions" are being raised in single parent homes, or even by grandparents in the absence of either partner to the act which caused their existence. those "bonds that bind" have been dramatically loosened in the last 50 years and that action of, for, and by heterosexuals with no "attack" from gays necessary. If the sort of marriage you adovcate here has been attacked, it's from within – not by the so-called "gay agenda"

      If you buy a car and i say "i want to buy a car too" I have not attacked your purchase; if you play baseball and i say "i want to play too" i have not attacked the game; if you get married and I say "I want to get married too" i have attacked neither your marriage nor the institution.

      I KNOW that Heritage if full of some of the best and brightest minds on the right – which makes it all the more embarrassing when you let your cultural biases lead you to write stupid things.

    4. Brian says:

      Let's see. We're spending hundreds of billions more than we take in every year, our infrastructure is crumbling around us, we're involved in three wars (although hopefully they're dwindling down), Iran is a problem, North Korea is a problem, apparently Russia is now a problem…the list goes on and on and on.

      Two words about gay marriage…WHO CARES!

      Don't we have other much more pressing issues to deal with. Are we really supposed to worry about what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom???

      • Bobbie says:

        nobody cared until it was brought to the attention of government to give special rights to same gender sex partners to infiltrate and recognized by GOVERNMENT under a term the act of being gay is in total opposition. where's past history where gay people lived as parents in families of their (imaginary) own? very selfish and unfair to the child to be parented by one gender of narrow, selfish mindset!

    5. Ron says:

      Gracie seems to be quite confused about reality. Basic human rights? Or does she mean basic disrespect for all decency. All societies throught out history that have gone the route she favors have ended in the trash bin of history. The lifestyle she supports has nothing to do with love but only that of sick and perverted lifestyles. She supports the destruction of families and along with it the destruction of western civilization.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        Please explain how the (supposedly) "sick and perverted" behavior of 3% of the population has the power to destroy the whole thing? IF our civilization falls – and it just might – it's far more likely to be because 50% of heterosexuals divorce easily, because hundreds of thousands of our children born in heterosexual familes are being raised by a single parent (or by grandparents!) .

        see, that's the magic of your argument – civilizations fall for a myriad of complex and interwoven reasons – and such would be true of ours. But you don't have to look at those reasons because some pseudo-intellectual told you they were good to the gays and that's why they fell…and since you already know the U.S. has gays no matter what happens, it will be because of the gays.

        I suspect that for many of you, if an asteroid fell out of the sky and wiped out North America while you were on vacation in Europe, you'd be confidently telling each other "see? that's what happens when you tolerate the gays!"

      • Gracie says:

        You are clearly a dispicable human being :-)

    6. beth says:

      Susie,
      I take it you're not a practicing Christian. God said marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Remember? Or, have you forgotten that?

      • Gracie says:

        susie,

        God didnt say that. The Bible did. The Bible also said you shouldnt eat shellfish, have a roundhaircut, play football. I live my life as a Christian respecting others through tolerance and acceptance. So much hate is not becoming of a christian i do believe :-)

    7. AWM says:

      1. Do not confuse the issue by using the tired "separation" argument….those words DO NOT appear in the Constitution…..(which, by the way, states "…..freedom OF religion…" and not "….. freedom FROM religion…")
      2. Try as you might, society -your "status quo"- is built upon (and thrives in the presence of) a strong traditional family unit.
      3. No one denies you the right to do as you wish under your own roof……but why should I provide cover for your decision to seek out your chosen aberration, by legitimizing your definition of a "family unit"?

      • dougindeap says:

        Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of the people (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders' avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

    8. Black9 says:

      Your article is correct, They harp about the separation of church and state (which is a lie) but they want a right they claim that they don't have, The last time I checked you have all the rights as any other citizen, Your choices is not a right, You choose a life style you want us to accept. You don't want the church in your life but you want a scripture related marriage.

      • Kat says:

        1. Homosexuality is not a choice. It is present in over 1,500 animal species on the planet, including ours. It is biological and immutable. Nobody makes the "choice" to be homosexual, any more than you make the "choice" to be straight. Tell me, did you wake up this morning and say, "Today would be a great day to be straight!" No, of course not, you just are. So what makes you think that being gay is any different? How does that make any logical sense?

        2. Separation of church and state is written into the Constitution. I would beseech you to read the Constitution and you would see for yourself all of the checks and balances present to keep religion out of politics, as well as the first amendment which protects us from any religious requirements. If we are protected as the land of freedom of religion, any religion (or no religion), then why would the government support laws that are squarely predicated upon one religious group's opinions on a topic? We don't have mandatory prayer 5 times a day to Allah, so why should any Christian practice be rooted into our government? Just because you are a Christian doesn't mean our laws should reflect your moral code – contrary to popular belief, this country isn't a theocracy.

        3. Homosexuals do not have "all the rights as any other citizen." The fact that you think so just shows that you know absolutely nothing about the current state of affairs. Don't Ask Don't Tell was JUST repealed this year – until then, gays couldn't even SAY that they were gay if they were in the military, they had no right to serve openly. In most states, they are not given the right to marriage or civil unions. They don't have the same legal rights that married couples have in regards to child rearing, health insurance coverage of spouses, educational benefits to spouses of individuals working in institutions of higher education, the right to legally adopt children, have difficulties with visitation rights in the hospital, etc. There is nothing equal about the state of homosexual relationships in this country… they are still treated by the law as second-class citizens, and their relationships aren't even given that much respect.

        4. There are many gays who are Christian. There are many gay pastors and clergy serving in the United States and abroad. Just because your warped, archaic perception of what it means to "be a Christian" doesn't include homosexuality doesn't mean that the rest of the world hasn't leaped into the 21st century. Being gay and being Christian are not mutually exclusive, welcome to 2011.

        5. Nobody is asking you for a "scripture related marriage", although if two gay Christians want that then they should be entitled to it. What they are asking for is constitutional recognition of their lifelong commitments to each other, and all of the LEGAL rights that go along with marriage.

        It is not a matter of wanting YOU to change anything about the way YOU live YOUR life… all they are asking for is the same legal rights and representation as straight Americans. By the way, I am a Christian as well. I believe that Jesus Christ advocated kindness, compassion, and fair treatment of our brothers and sisters on this planet. I'm sorry that you disagree. I hope that you change your mind one day… but even if you don't, the world will change whether you like it or not.

    9. sad says:

      Marriage is between a man and woman. The reason we have so many problems these days is because we are losing the traditional family and values. PERIOD!

    10. Gary Fore says:

      Gracie – continued…

      Your issue with marriage is not about "outdated policies and leaders who have kept the status quo", but with foundational identity of mankind – male and female He created them. ( Genesis 1:27) Your fight against what you perceive is a repression of "basic rights" is with God, the Creator. Not with anyone else.

      Marriage between only man and woman transcends all cultures historically speaking. It is the way we are made. There is no one that is born any other way, no matter what kind of weird surgeries, etc we do. We may try to re-create a man or woman into something else, but everytime, it always comes back to one or the other. Always male at birth or always female at birth. This is a truth that cannot be denied.

      Marriage is the stable building block for all peoples. Only when sodomy is affirmed is does chaos ensue. That is the state of our nation today. There is only one way out of this disarray. A return to the marriage and family design given by God. Marriage is for one man and one woman for life. This is fact.

      • Gracie says:

        The Bible also says that you can't wear polyester, can't have round haircuts, can't wear gold, can't eat shellfish, and can't play football. I can safely assume you've done one of these things and wouldn't consider yourself a sinner. Putting faith in a book that says you can or can't do something is completely ridiculous. Times are changing and the the religion is meant to adapt to a culture. Stop judging and be an ACTUAL man of God through acceptance and tolerance :-).

    11. rmgdonnow says:

      It is known, consciously or intuitively, that from the Arctic Circle to Capetown, Patagonia and New Zealand, the basic family (mother, father, children, with other relatives on the fringes) is the fundamental unit of society. No regime has even tried to totally abolish it. Homosexuality is the enemy of the 'family." No progeny is possible in homosexuality, such must be bought somehow from lesbians, or confiscated from the "family."
      A family views the seduction of one of its children by homosexuals very negatively, and may take action, understandably, against the seducer. It has bloody nothing to do with "rights," except the rights of a family to be unmolested.

    12. Peg says:

      You want to know why Republicans so often have a tough time winning elections? It's because of homophobia like this.

      Gay marriage threatens no one's marriage. It strengthens the institution. It allows same sex couples to have the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us: commit to their partner for life, and live in a stable, loving relationship.

      I cannot tell you how many friends I have – irrespective of sexual orientation – who will not vote for Republicans because of this. Many share similar views to my own: small government and fiscally conservative. Still – they cannot pull the lever for politicians who treat them and their gay friends as second class citizens.

      • Bobbie says:

        in what way are they treated as second class citizens? maybe it's just low self esteem begging for the victim card! Nobody cared until gay people made a federal case out of it!

        • Stefan says:

          You could say the exact same thing about women 100 years ago and African Americans 50 years ago. GLBT persons are the new civil rights movement!!!

      • Gracie says:

        Well said Peg!

    13. Evelyn says:

      It is God's policies on marriage (among a host of other things) that this nation was founded on. God has not changed his policies with the times. Since Adam and Eve though, and that darn apple and snake combination, men have continuously sought to twist what God said is 'good'.

      Seems that human hearts haven't changed though…still rebelling against God, and listening to the voice of the devil in the form of the snake who said to Eve…"has God said…???"

    14. Russell says:

      Immorality is UN-AMERICAN, and a THREAT to national security!!!

    15. nora says:

      My grandfather is a deacon in a methodist church and preaches almost every sunday. He is good, honest man, and people respect his views. His niece (my cousin) is gay, and when she came out, he said "to each their own". Love is love, and marriage is a way of two people who love each other rejoicing and cementing that love by uniting in matrimony.

      If god exists, and he made us all perfect and loves us no matter what we do, then how can we say that it is immoral or wrong for people to be homosexual? We were made (by God?) a certain way, and that is how we simply are- if a woman happens to love another woman instead of a man, it's still love, and she's still the same person that god made her to be.

    16. Texas Tommy says:

      "I take it you're not a practicing Christian. God said marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Remember? Or, have you forgotten that?"

      Anyone who says they know what God said or says is a lunatic and out of the conversation.

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