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  • How Marriage Fared in the 2012 Election

    Until Tuesday, no state had redefined marriage by popular vote. Indeed, 32 out of 32 states that put the issue to a vote defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

    But in this week’s election, citizens in Maine, Maryland, and Washington State all passed ballot initiatives redefining marriage to include same-sex relationships. Meanwhile, citizens in Minnesota failed to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a man and woman. (It remains so defined, however, by statutory law.)

    But a little perspective on the setback is in order. The results were close, and marriage did better in these deep blue states than Mitt Romney did. Of the four states that had marriage questions on the ballot, traditional marriage outperformed the presidential candidate in each and every one:

    • In Maine, Romney received 41 percent of the vote, while marriage received 47 percent.
    • In Maryland, Romney received 36 percent of the vote, while marriage received 48 percent.
    • In Minnesota, Romney received 45 percent of the vote, while marriage received 48 percent.
    • In Washington, Romney received 43 percent of the vote, while marriage received 48 percent.

    Factor in also that pro-marriage forces were outspent by more than four to one, and the battle for redefining marriage is much tighter than headlines might make it appear.

    The exit polls also revealed that young Americans are more likely to support gay marriage. This should motivate conservatives to redouble their efforts to explain the nature and public purpose of marriage—what marriage is and why it is such a significant factor in maintaining civil society and limiting government.

    Our marriage law should reflect the truth about what marriage is: a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself. Government should not redefine or recreate marriage, nor should it obscure the truth about what marriage is. Recognizing same-sex relationships as marriages would weaken marriage as a social institution. It would redefine marriage as essentially an emotional bond, thus rendering marital norms arbitrary and less intelligible. It would further delink childbearing from marriage and deny, as a matter of law, the importance of a mother or a father in a child’s life. The outcomes associated with such absence are far from promising.

    If the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of marriage this term, as is widely expected, the coming months would offer an important opportunity to focus on the ramifications of redefining marriage. The potential clashes with religious liberty and the realities for educational norms for children is already evident, and they will become more so as three states move forward to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of Tuesday’s votes.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to How Marriage Fared in the 2012 Election

    1. Tim Essenburg says:

      If marriage is "a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself," then why does our government regulate marriage? As I understand it, government regulates that a person may only have one spouse at a time. Why do this if marriage is pre-political? Over the centuries many cultures practiced various forms of polygamy. Why make this illegal?

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        Good point. Why should the government regulate anything? If this attitude is really that popular, then we should champion the Constitution which limits what the federal government can "regulate" but leaves the rest, such as marriage, abortion, drugs and other social issues, to the states and the people. I believe in doing so there would be less of this partisan gridlock everyone seems to lament.

        Keep in mind though that the government does not forbid gay marriage or polygamy; it simply will not grant licenses for such. Marriage used to be simply a social, cultural and spiritual institution. Right or wrong, the people have turned it into a political institution as well.

        • Jackie in Texas says:

          It is amazing to me how people lump marriage in with abortion, drugs and "other social issues". Marriage is a sacred institution established by God as the very foundation of society. God ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman who would "be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth". I realize that some do not believe in God or His Word so this is not an argument to those people. But for those of us who has chosen to make God's Word the final authority in our lives, the comparison of marriage to abortion, drugs, and other social issues are no comparisons at all.

          • Christopher Lake says:

            Jackie, the abortion of an unborn human life is an act of violence (murder, actually) against that unborn life. If you make God's Word the final authority in your life, then you cannot simply consider abortion to be a "social issue." It makes no sense to take a strong stand for one man-one woman marriage and yet to only consider the deliberate taking of an unborn human life to be a "social issue." I am a Christian, and I firmly believe in the importance of traditional marriage. I also oppose abortion. It is a modern-day Holocaust of unborn human lives.

          • Bobby says:

            In what chapter and verse were Adam and Eve married? Who officiated? Who was the witness? What vows did they use?

      • Kurt says:

        Government regulates marriage in the same way they regulate murder, stealing, and other hateful crimes. The Government's job is to protect the people. Just because Marriage is a pre-political institution doesn't mean it shouldn't be regulated or protected in the same way that murder is a pre-political act in which people already recognize as wrong. Government regulations are a response to human morals, not the definer of morals, therefore it should be assumed that the Government should be involved in supporting those morals. As society morals decline (or improve) the Government will follow accordingly (especially in a democracy).

    2. william doe says:

      What is a legal marriage is just a sub-issue of society's moral decline where sex is whatever, whenever, however and with whomever ones self desires! This is where we should begin to change attitudes.

    3. Joe Allen says:

      Marriage is between a man and a woman period. It has been this way since Adam and Eve. I think that
      it cannot be seen in any other way.Joseph

      • Gus says:

        Dear Joe Allen

        ‘Adam and Eve’ is a creation myth. Google it.

        The law of the United States of America applies to every single human being, regardless of their religious belief, or lack thereof. It is for this reason that your personal religion may only govern how you live your life, and has no bearing on how anyone outside of it lives theirs.

        You are welcome to your beliefs, as much as I disagree with them. But you are only welcome to them so long as they do not infringe upon anyone else’s right to live in a free and just society, according to their own beliefs. So please, inform me as to why I should be held accountable to the ideas of a religion that I don’t believe in?

        You may also want to learn the value of commas, it may help you correctly suffix the word ‘woman’ with the word ‘period’.

        • Dean says:


          Your position is absolutely correct (other than your first line which is arguable). The thing you need to consider is how anothers opinion FOR homosexual "marriage" does infringe upon the rights of those opposed to it in financial obligations and conscience violation. There are consequences to each and every opinion.

        • @if4es says:

          Google is not God. Google is limited by what is on the internet, of which, there are a variety of conflicting views on most issues. God has a perfect perspective and revealed His perspective on origins in the book of Genesis (see chapter 2 of that book) and in the person of Jesus (see His teaching on marriage in Matthew 19).

        • Les says:

          I believe I'll stick with the Bible and not Google as my source of Truth. It's been proven in my life to be extremely trustworthy. Our Founding Fathers were almost all Christians and this great nation was built on Christian values.

          If this society was totally free (God forbid) then I guess you also believe that a man should be able to marry his dog or maybe a woman marry 10 men — it's endless! If there is no absolute truth then how can one decide what's right and wrong? Thoughts for you to ponder!

        • TOM MOROFSKI says:

          Gus, NO ONE is keeping you here. You may leave.
          The United States of America was very clearly founded upon Christian principles by dedicated founders who pledged up to and including their lives to defend it's freedom and liberity. No Gus, you're right, you do NOT have to be a Christian to live here. Christians will of course tolorate you as long as you understand and respect the basis of our country and it's foundation. If, Gus, you find that you cannot … you are indeed free to leave, just tell them the Christians said you could go.

        • Joe says:

          Hi Gus,
          I can't tell you about Adam and Eve, but not sure I can trust the "Science" that says they are a myth. However, if you can prove that Jesus is a myth, now you can destroy "religion". He say's every knee shall bow and every tounge confess and I just trust Him more than people, because I believe He is true. If not, I will be another on the many of 70 Billion plus who wasted their life (though I know I'm better off for it than in my drug induced days, so no longer are they wasted days). Of course, if I'm right and Jesus us who he says He is, then you will bow to Him one day. Far better to do so before it is too late. Choose this Day whom you shall serve, but Choose wisely.
          P.S. In a hurry as much is to be done. Pardon any grammatical errors please.

        • Casey says:

          Common sense lets us know that only a man and woman can reproduce another human. That relationship has been called marriage. The main biological purpose of marriage is to keep the human race going and for the protection of children born in that union.
          Two people of the same sex can never do that. One generation of nothing but same sex "marriage"
          and the human race would be no more..
          We cannot all live according to our own beliefs . What if I believe I should be married to 4 or 5 people or maybe I believe I can marry a horse and have sex. What kind of a society would we live in.

        • p. tefft says:

          Everything from the beginning of time is based upon the moral absolutes of the Christian faith. Our laws, our time of day, month, year, our relationships, our government, our treatment of others, our meaning of good citizenship, our obedience to authority, our love for others, our service to others, everything. To deny this is just a simple denial of truth. There is regardless of what society thinks today that there is no right from wrong and everyone does their own thing. This nation has always been a nation of moral rights, not immoral rights. Our laws uphold what is moral. Moral law states that marriage is between a man and a woman, nothing else. Moral law states that homosexual behavior is an abomination, un natural, evil and preverse. Its not someone's opinion, no one has the right to change moral behavior, not me, not you, not the supreme court, congress or the president. Everything is based on the Ten Commandments of God Almighty.

    4. talky_tina says:

      The history of marriage indicates that it has been and continues to be "redefined" according to the needs of the culture. In America, we've had coverture, aka "civil death," in which the woman lost all rights to property upon marriage. The bride herself, her wages, property and children belonged to her husband. Slaves could not legally marry. Mormons fled to Utah and later Mexico to maintain polygamous marriages; Brigham Young had 19 wives. Interracial marriage was defined as against "Almighty God" by the Virginia judge who sentenced the Lovings to a year in jail. "Redefine" marriage? Like all institutions, marriage is dynamic, not static and it reflects its time and society.

      • joe says:

        But it was still between a man and a woman.

      • Not With the Pagans says:

        God who created you, clearly states that marriage is for one man and for one woman. It is a timeless requirement. One Man and One women were created to be one flesh and to be open to creating new life. This is the dignity that must be protected. Do you trust God or do you want to follow a culture that is not anchored to truth, love of neighbor, or any boundaries of responsibility. God is truth, while the culture is loud and full of vanity. Natural Law is immutable. It protects the family, the foundation for society. The list of attempts to tamper with the marriage are all wrong all the time and all lead to unmanageable problems. Let's not bring back pagan secular society.

    5. mv1 says:

      The problem is not so much re-defining marriage as "essentially an emotional bond", but rather that this redefinition to "equal" status requires re-writing large sections of our laws. The result is to force the large majority of citizens to offer and/or pay for both public and private actions that are contrary to their religious or other beliefs. Both public and private employers must support same-sex marriages and other relationships, and laws concerning parenting, inheritance, how business must be conducted, and so on, so that both religious and other freedoms are lost.

      • Ferde Rombola says:

        In the seminal case regarding homosexual ‘marriage, Goodrich v. Public Health,’ the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts court admitted she had to redefine marriage before she could write her opinion supporting the homosexual position, which she did. She had no authority to redefine marriage or to legislate from the bench, which is what that court did. The governor of the State could have nulled the decision by declaring the court had no authority to adjudicate what was clearly the right of the people to decide. The governor? It was Mitt Romney. He caved in to homosexual activists.

    6. gary47290 says:

      I offer a quick arithmetic lesson for Mr. Brown at NOM and his team:

      2000: Californians pass Prop 22, banning Gay marriage, by 62% (statute)
      2008: Californians pass Prop 8, banning Gay marriage, by 52% (constitution)
      2012 and later: Mr Brown, please do the math

      2009: Maine voters use People's veto to block Gay marriage, 53%
      2012: Main voters use People veto to approve Gay marriage: 53%

      2000: Nevada voters pass the first of 2 required votes to ban Gay marriage, 69%
      2002: Nevada voters pass the second of2 requires to ban Gay marriage, 67%
      2012 and later: Mr Brown, please to the math, based on Nate Silvers analysis and Maine results, which suggests 2% change per year, not 1% as the California and Nevada data points suggest.

    7. Therese says:

      Joe, it is to us…but this movement to change the definition is growing. I live in Washington state and we just passed "gay marriage". The campaign was vigorous. The TV ads were compelling. The motto was who are we to judge or speak for another…to each his/her own. Not allowing same-sex marriage was villainized. They were described as not having the same rights without marriage…this tugged at the heart-strings of the non-religious community. The fact is, if you do not have Biblical convictions and an understanding of sin why should we not allow this change? We as a society are tipping God-less without God we will lose this fight. In fact even some churches are buckling to the ways of the world. I have a church just down the street that campaigned with signs that read "My church believes in marriage equality". A "Christian" church!

      • Karen says:

        The Christian response should be along the lines of "how arrogant are we to become God-like and allow everyone to make their own choice in these matters?" What societal chaos and disunity lie down that slippery slope…this chaos is not here yet due to enough folks maintaining traditional values…but we will all ask someday, "What the hell happened?"… those of us looking ahead are asking it now…

    8. Mike Singenstreu says:

      Marriage is obviously pre-political but it DID NOT spring from human nature! Marriage was given as a gift by God Himself..that is why is reality there is no such thing as same-sex marriage for God defines marriage with no room for discussion by men. It is because people maintain that marriage is a human institution springing from human nature that it can be re-defined by men. It cannot. To redefine marriage is to openly oppose God Himself and throwing away His gift to ALL mankind defined the way He alone could define it since He is the original author and creator!

    9. George R. says:

      The link in the blog above "the truth about what marriage is", takes one to a another site where a paper entitled "What is Marriage" can be downloaded. It is a comprehensive study on the definition of marriage, however on page 247 there is a statement which reads "We argue in this Article for legally enshrining the conjugal view of marriage (traditional), using arguments that require no appeal to religious authority."

      Since the definition of marriage is found in Genesis, both in pattern–man and woman (the "womb" man)–and in mandate ("be fruitful and multiply"), one cannot make a bedrock argument without appealing to its source, the Holy Scriptures. It thus makes this argument subjective rather than objective, weakening it further. One HAS to refer to the Instruction Manual (the Bible) to clarify all of this, otherwise it is reduced down to a man-made institution leading to the ills and misconceptions about marriage that we have today.

      • dozer says:

        The Bible was written by the power of the Holy Spirit, but the heart of man was also 'written' ie created by the power of the Holy Spirit. "then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" Genesis 2:7. Hebrew word for breath, ruach, means also spirit, as in the Holy Spirit. Further, Paul of Tarsus says "when gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts" Romans 2:14-15. God made this promise in Jeremiah 31:33. God wrote both the natural law and the book of the law, and he wants us to know both. If one can show by reason, natural law, that a monogamous heterosexual union is the only true form that marriage can take, then we have shown that the law is indeed written on their hearts, and the Law Giver follows. If God wrote both, then they do not contradict.

    10. Lawrence says:

      Look around you folks, marriage has lost its meaning in our society. It has been lambasted by the movie and entertainment industry, shown to be farcical, by its contempt for the sacred ceremony that initiates it, to the sinister sexualizing of young children, frenzied pursuits of self-fulfillment through careers, and breaching of commitments to love and affection by infidelity over time.
      Yes, the movie and communications media will continue to tell us that black is white, and white is black, and that the sun rises in the west, and the river flows from ocean to mountaintop. Casual observation as well as voting results show just how effective it has been. How can so many be asleep to it all?
      But most of us know better. We know their is a natural order based on a natural law, and so we will continue in our Judaeo-Christian faithfulness to remain true to what is natural and right in the eyes of our Creator.

      • TOM MOROFSKI says:

        Thank You Lawrence. You are 100% "on-the-mark". May we, buy the power of the Holy Spirit, continue to seek God's approval rather than to covet man's approval. Romans 6:23

    11. Dennis says:

      And the pro-traditional marriage measures would have passed had those Republicans who stayed at home voted! There were over three million GOP voters who stayed at home. Their votes would have probably enabled at least one or two of the states to stay with one-man, one-woman marriage…Not to mention that these are among (if not the most) the most liberal states in the Union.

      • Mike Singenstreu says:

        News Flash…morality cannot and will not be legislated. If the churches do not rally for the truth of Scripture Alone many Christians will continue to stay home at worse and not say anything to rock the boat at worst. As a minister of the gospel myself I see the Church as the biggest problem here in that it stop teaching the Bible as the absolute authority…God's Word. having done that it has also lost or is losing its ability to speak to culture about all that it does to undermine its own foundation.

    12. Ernest says:

      I wonder if those who are so adamant about redefining marriage would also adamantly support redefining life as beginning at conception?

    13. casey says:

      The UNION between a man and woman that had the potential to produce children has been called marriage
      If you want to call any sexual coupling marriage then why not call sex between man and beast marriage.?
      We called sex between man and several women Polygamy, why not marriage?.

    14. Fight On! says:

      The union of husband & wife is profoundly exceptional compared to same gender partnerships. The union of husband & wife is inherently separate and unequal to same gender partnerships. The union of husband & wife is fundamentally different from same gender partnerships in design, purpose, function, meaning, and value. They are entirely 2 separate and functionally different entities. For example we differentiate Corporations vs. General Partnerships vs. Limited Partnerships vs. LLC's.

      Intuitively we know there is a material and significant difference from same gender partnerships vs. Union of husband & wife. There is no logic to equate the two different entities. This is fundamentally about the deconstruction of objective truth. Science, physiology, and biology inform us that we are comparing apples to oranges.

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