Skip to comments.Groups Hope Bush Puts Action Behind Verbal Commitment to Defend Marriage
Posted on 02/06/2004 10:22:16 AM PST by truthandlife
The Arlington Group -- a coalition of more than 20 pro-family groups -- is welcoming the president's commitment to support a federal marriage amendment. But they plan to remain vigilant to ensure he makes good on the promise.
A list of those organizations that make up the Arlington Group reads like a "Who's Who" of pro-family groups -- Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, American Family Association, Coral Ridge Ministries. Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, American Values, Traditional Values Coalition, Faith2Action, Bott Radio Network, and many more. Leaders from those organizations met with Bush Administration leaders recently -- and American Values president Gary Bauer says the result was positive.
"We received assurances from the White House during that meeting that the president is committed to passing a constitutional amendment, and will spend political capital to accomplish that goal," Bauer explains.
According to Bauer, the coalition of pro-family groups was not as docile as usual in the meeting. "It think it became apparent to the White House in the last week or so that the frustration level was really increasing among their best friends around the country," he says.
That verbal support from the White House came in the wake of this week's announcement out of Massachusetts, where the Supreme Judicial Court told state lawmakers that it would be unconstitutional to prevent homosexual couples from having access to full, equal marriage rights. Because of that ongoing power struggle in the Bay State, Bauer insists it will take more than just verbal support from the president to ensure success.
"It's not enough even for the president to say he supports a constitutional amendment," Bauer says. "We're going to expect him to twist arms and call in IOUs and do all the things they've done on economic issues and foreign policy issues and so forth over these last three years."
The American Values leader says he knows it will be a tough fight to get a constitutional amendment ratified, but he feels it is the only way to protect the biblical concept of marriage from being redefined by homosexual activists and sympathetic judges around the country.
Words Have Power President Bush has indicated he favors amendment wording found in legislation that has been put forth by Republican Congresswomen Marilyn Musgrave. That wording (below) would ban homosexual marriage, but could allow individual states to sanction civil unions.
"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
Musgrave's amendment initiative (H.J. Res. 56) currently has the support of more than 100 bi-partisan co-sponsors as well as that of a large coalition of diverse ethnic and religious organizations. A similar bill was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate.
While the majority of those in the Arlington Group are on record as saying they will be willing to work with this wording as the measure works its way through Congress, many would prefer stronger language that would simply define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women for America -- an active participant in the Arlington Group -- says her organization has been working for months to develop amendment language that protects the central social institution of marriage. CWA's proposed Institution of Marriage Amendment (IMA) says:
"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither the United States nor any State shall recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse."
Rios is calling on Congress to work for passage of the IMA and on the White House to lend its active support.
"This is the only amendment proposal that addresses both of the twin threats to marriage," Rios says. Those threats? "Capricious judicial decrees such as we have seen in Vermont and Massachusetts; and legislative vandalism, as in California and New Jersey, whereby politicians carve up the legal attributes of marriage and hand them out to special-interest groups by another name [such as] 'civil unions' or 'domestic partnerships.'"
Dr. Don Wildmon, initiator of the Arlington Group, says he could support the wording found in the IMA.
The Effect of One Judge A pro-family leader in Massachusetts says the decision this week by his state's high court has left no room for compromise on the future of marriage -- not only in Massachusetts, but the entire nation as well. Like other pro-family leaders, Dr. Ron Crews -- president of the Massachusetts Family Institute -- was appalled by the decision, which he describes as "unconscionable."
"The fact that one judge of a state supreme court could be the deciding factor in the definition of marriage for this country is just an unconscionable thing."
The Massachusetts pro-family leader says more and more legislators believe the court is out of control. "We've had even more legislators come over to our position now to say this is a runaway court [and] it's time for the legislature to act against the [Supreme Judicial Court] to delay the implementation of their decision until such time as the people have a chance to vote on this subject," he says.
Crews says he is encouraged that legislators must now take a stand one way or the other. "This now takes away any chance for compromise, which we were concerned about," he explains. "Now the issue is squarely before our legislators: Are they going to protect and defend marriage or not? There is compromise position."
Wendy Wright Don't Look Now, But ... While the traditional American family is under attack from many sources within the U.S. itself, the next threat may come from the United Nations. Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright says the U.N. is being pressured into a decision that could have a huge impact on the family.
"The United States-based group called International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is seeking a resolution in the U.N. Commission on Human Rights to recognize sexual orientation as a [human] right," she says.
This resolution effort has been tried before but it failed passage by a small margin of votes. The Human Rights Commission will have a meeting in Geneva in March and April. The resolution is expected to be debated at that gathering, where Wright expects a "big battle" over the issue.
Wright says if the resolution passes, it will be a "foot in the door" for homosexual groups to use as a basis for marriage recognition.
I wonder if their hope matches their expectations.
If so, I wonder if his support will be so forthright as to call for Congress to pass such an Amendment or, if it will be only a small step beyond what he said in the SOTU address (e.g. "Sure, Tim. It might be time to consider amending the Constitution. I'm disappointed with what happened in Massachusetts this week."). I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
With each passing year, the public will be less and less outraged, more and more willing to accept the concept of Sodomite marriage. An amendment will never have as good a chance as it does today. Do it now.
Among sodomites, not too many of them will really get married anyway and a marriage amendment will not prevent a single gay hummer. So I won't lose focus on the general conservative vs liberal political issues which are within reach of the presidency.
Is it. Ironically, I was just reading Malichi(sp) yesterday. It talks about marriage and how it is defiled and it was not because of sodomites, it was because of divorce. Sodomite marriage may well be the punishment we are receiving for the sin we have committed as a nation, just like you've heard people say that sodomy is the punishment for turning away on an individual level.
That's what it's supposed to be. I think . . . the W.Post had the story? Not sure where I read it, but I know I'll be looking for it on Sunday!