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  • Marriage on the Ballot in Four States This Fall

    When citizens in Maryland, Maine, Washington, and Minnesota go to the polls in November, they will be confronted with ballot initiatives that speak to the central question of what marriage is.

    In Minnesota, voters will consider whether to amend their state constitution to preserve the definition of marriage between one man and one woman consistent with state statutory law. Voters in Maryland and Washington will weigh referenda asking whether they wish to ratify same-sex marriage measures adopted by their state legislatures and signed into law earlier this year. In Maine, voters will consider a ballot initiative to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and render gender-neutral any terms in the state’s laws relating to marital and familial relationships.

    To date, the voters of 32 states have weighed in on these new questions about marriage’s definition, and in each, they have chosen to protect marriage as the union of husband and wife. The most recent to do so was North Carolina, whose citizens voted 61 percent to 39 percent to adopt a constitutional amendment affirming the traditional definition of marriage.

    These developments have been occurring against the backdrop of a rapidly changing political and legal environment regarding marriage. Following North Carolina’s historic vote, the President of the United States announced his “evolution” on marriage, reversing his earlier position that it is between one man and one woman.

    Meanwhile, California’s successful marriage ballot initiative, Proposition 8, was challenged and struck down in federal court. Earlier this week, Proposition 8’s supporters asked the Supreme Court to review the case, and observers predict that it is likely to do so in its next term. The Court has also been asked to hear multiple cases regarding the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage. And earlier this week, the Democratic Party appeared poised to embrace same-sex marriage in its party platform.

    This is a seminal moment for the institution of marriage—whose definition is deeply rooted in what Americans have long understood the institution’s central characteristics and public purposes to be.

    As the building block for the rest of society, marriage’s central civic purpose has always been to connect biological parents—especially fathers—to their children. Its meaning is integrally linked to the social needs it is designed to address.

    As Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage Education Fund argued at a Heritage event discussing the four ballot initiatives on Tuesday:

    [I]t is rational to believe…that marriage is by definition, by objective reality, the union of one man and one woman…. [T]his relationship we call marriage is different than any other relationship because of the interest that the state has in children. This is the relationship by which children are brought into the world and connected with their biological mother and father, and societies have to have that.

    These “fundamental realities,” as Brown described them, are at the heart of the marriage questions before Americans today—most immediately, those in Washington, Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Marriage on the Ballot in Four States This Fall

    1. oneirishman says:

      So if you wanted to marry your adult son or daughter, a goat, 10 wives or husbands, or Joan Behar ( as an example of an inanimate object ) eventually this to will also be argued as a violation of civil rights; see NAMBLA! Society has rules for a reason, to keep from falling into anarchy.

    2. It really is obvious that it's time to have this conversation and put the matter to rest on the federal level. I suggest that we start from the ground up, as it were, and truly define marriage. Nature appears to have done this for us. However, every single facet involving marriage, both in biological natural science and in a free & stable society's benefits.

    3. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Wasn't it either the late Jesse Helms, or the late Jerry Falwell, who said: "God created Adam and Eve. Not Adam
      and Steve"?

    4. CforUS says:

      I have no problem with a gay man marrying a gay woman. Any other combination I will have something to say about. I don't consider my self a racist, homophobe, bigot, etc. God gave us "naughty bits" for a reason.

      • noel says:

        Why should civilization turn itself upside down for gays or ANY OTHER minority. Reserving traditional marriage is not anti-gay; it's simply preserving our thousands of years old tradition. Two points: if homosexuals are happy with themselves, they don't need to change society to conform to them, they will still be happy. If they are unhappy with themselves, "marrying" isn't going to make them happier. In societies that opening accept and encourage homosexuality, more homosexuality "appears". In Thailand where it is openly accepted, 6th and 7th graders are openly gay and 30% of Bangkok is gay. Do we want our country to be 30% gay? During the sometime sexual confusing teen years, are kids influenced by such open acceptance. We don't know, but in general society their population is about 10%. Do parents want their teens coming home and proclaiming, "Guess what"? The truth of that answer is hard but honest, no. This sounds anti-gay, but it is meant to sound the warning signals of complete acceptance. Personally, for me, the more the gays force their preference and life-style on society, the more I find myself becoming prejudiced against them. It is non-normal by definition – 10% of the population is gay. When and if they become 40-50% it will be normal by definition, and we will have a hard time reproducing enough to keep our civilization going. Don't force me to accept it as normal, I won't for the reasons stated above. The mentally ill (10%) don't demand gun rights, parapalegics (10%) don't demand all buildings be only built on ground level, etc. Gays, be happy, but don't push your lifestyle on me or ask me to change history for you.

    5. In England the state regulation was an integral part of the Poor Law reform enacted in the early 1800s. This shows clearly the link between marriage and the protection of women and children from abandonment. In my state the Dept of HHS also handles birth certificates and collects child support from deadbeat dads. The state has no interest in regulation of relations between same-sex couples as they are sterile. To call two guys or two girls playing house a marriage is offensive to me as it cheapens the meaning. Marriage is to ensure the survival of the human race and the acculturation of future generations. This is the duty married people assume when they affirm before society their intent. Joe and Harry pretending to do the same is a mockery. Those who choose to procreate outside of marriage do not change the fact that society depends on marriage for its survival. If society shows it is willing to settle for less it will get less.

    6. Cecil Dowdy says:

      The above posts are so well written and so logical that I can't add much, except to repeat that to force ~ 90% of the population to accept gays as normal is offensive and to compare gay rights to civil rights for Blacks is really offensive.

    7. In England the state regulation was an integral part of the Poor Law reform enacted in the early 1800s. This shows clearly the link between marriage and the protection of women and children from abandonment. In my state the Dept of HHS also handles birth certificates and collects child support from deadbeat dads. The state has no interest in regulation of relations between same-sex couples as they are sterile. To call two guys or two girls playing house a marriage is offensive to me as it cheapens the meaning. Marriage is to ensure the survival of the human race and the acculturation of future generations. This is the duty married people assume when they affirm before society their intent. Joe and Harry pretending to do the same is a mockery. Those who choose to procreate outside of marriage do not change the fact that society depends on marriage for its survival. If society shows it is willing to settle for less it will get less.

    8. The argument, in my view, is rather simple. From the earliest writings on human rights and liberty, thinkers like John Locke and Thomas Jefferson have always recognized that our liberty and rights are derivatives of our being made in the image of God.

      “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?” —Thomas Jefferson

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” —Thomas Jefferson

      It is only in the existence of a sovereign God that our rights have any real meaning or assurance. If such a God does not exist, then our rights only have as much meaning or assurance as the government is willing to afford them, so there is no point in gays or any other minority fighting for any rights that may or may not be denied them.

      And yet if such a God does exist, then his sovereignty would leave nothing to chance, and so without attending to any particular religious book or verse in the Holy Bible, we can observe His intentions for human sexuality rather plainly: two parts fit together quite naturally, without the need for any added parts or lubricant, and there is quite a natural result. You and I are that natural result.

      One would think that this would be the end of the discussion.

    9. nanblan says:

      You can always count on Maryland to vote for same-sex marriage, as it's one of the most radically liberal states in the Union. Not sure about the others.

    10. steve h says:

      I can only hope Maryland does vote for same sex marriage. I sure will be voting for it. Gay people should have every right to get married and adopt kids. We have so many unwanted kids out there, think it would be great for some gay parents to be able to love and support children. Seems that conservatives love to quote the bible when it comes to gay marriage, but they ignore all the bibles passages about caring for the poor. To me, the ones who seem most against gay marriage and gay rights have deep seeded tendencies that are scared of being freed. Life is short. Why live it hating others for what they are. Who cares if you gay guys or women who love each other want to get married. It's not like hetero marriages don't have crazy divorce rates. You have guys like Newt and Rush and Beck who have been married multiple times but scream of the sanctity of marriage when it comes to gay sex.

      • GrtCommision says:

        Life on this earth is short, but what one does here determines their afterlife. If you let gays adopt impressionable children they will raise them to be gay. and that will affect those children's lives for this life and the next.

    11. Bobbie says:

      Isn't it ironic? We're paying members of government to preserve a definition of a word because some people want to fit in where their personal behavior conflicts! Don't fall for the 'limiting marriage under one man and woman" theory. This opens the door. The definition is understandable for all minds of mentality as history shows. It's time the gay activists hang it up and accept the definition of marriage isn't an act for government benefits or approval as gays desperately spin themselves into thinking they're omitted from.

      Take it out of the government's hands and make it what you want but don't infringe your definition on those that follow the true definition. Separate the church from the state and the church and people can abide by their beliefs and gays can do whatever gays want with gays and be the head of their own rules gays govern because America has equal rights for people. "Gays" is adding to people so any extra government attention, legislation, ruling is discrimination and dangerously inserting socialism.

      "People" in America are under common law as men and women! You're livelihood and cultures is your freedom to live under your rules not infringed on others.

    12. wesinthemidwest says:

      America's morality is racing for the gutter.

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