Traditional marriage – the foundation of civilization – is under attack in spite of the fact that 41 states and our federal government affirm that marriage is between one man and one woman. There is much need for a national conversation about marriage. We each must decide if and why we support traditional marriage.
The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on March 26 and 27 in cases challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 with their decisions coming later. Yesterday, thousands of pro-marriage supporters gathered in our nation’s capital to join the March for Marriage. I firmly believe that the Court should uphold these laws and support the constitutional rights of citizens and/or their elected representatives to make marriage policy.
Whereas our leaders have previously supported traditional marriage, President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) have all “evolved” into support for same-sex marriage. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) responded to the latest announcement by reiterating his support for marriage as the union of a man and a woman. There has also been “a broad and diverse array of scholars” who has filed more than 50 amicus briefs defending marriage at the Supreme Court.
In our efforts to protect and preserve traditional marriage, we can learn much from the French. Last November 100,000 people gathered in Paris to protest a bill to recognize same-sex marriage. On January 13, 2013, supporters covered Paris with bright pink. The National Assembly passed the bill any way, prompting the pro-marriage movement to gather 700,000 signatures in just over a week to demand that the law receive more study. Their request was denied, and the bill will be debated in the French senate.
David Azerrad at The Foundry posted, “The French pro-marriage movement has forced a national conversation on the redefinition of marriage. They’ve flipped public opinion on same-sex marriage: A majority is now opposed to it. And they’ve built support with the general public and attracted many people who are neither conservative nor religious.”
Azerrad’s article explained that the French achievement came for several reasons: “First of all, they made this a debate about the well-being of children – not the desires of adults…. In all public pronouncements, the focus is always on the needs and rights of children….
“Second, they’ve put together a diverse coalition that includes not only the traditionalist and Christian groups one would expect to be opposed to gay marriage but al homosexuals, socialists, feminists, Jews, and Muslims….
“Lastly, they’ve avoided the cardinal sins of the vacuous age we live in: stuffiness and uptightness. The government called its bill `Marriage for All,’ so the marriage activists called their movement `The March for All.’ Their official color is bright pink. Their slogans are clever and punchy…..
“What the French have shown us is how to craft a rhetorically powerful message that makes clear that the marriage debate is not about homosexuality but the needs and rights of children.”
Former Senator Jim DeMint recently spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and highlighted the importance of marriage for America and limited government: “We cannot hope to limit government if we do not stand up for our core civil society institutions, beginning with marriage. Marriage is the foundation of America’s cultural stability and economic prosperity, and the courts have no business overruling the people’s democratic decisions in the states. People can love whom they want and live the way they choose, but no one is entitled to redefine a foundational institution of civil society that has existed for centuries.
“In two weeks, the Supreme Court will hear arguments against the right of states to protect marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Judicial activism is to blame for the Court even considering these cases. The Supreme Court should uphold these laws. It must recognize that the American people should make these decisions, not unelected judges. We are told that the social issues divide Americans and that we should stop talking about them. We cannot.
“Economic and social conservatism go hand-in-hand. They’re natural allies.”
As usual, The Heritage Foundation is at the forefront of this battle and show that they can craft policy that will benefit all Americans without changing the definition of marriage. The Heritage Foundation, working with the National Organization for Marriage, the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Family Research Council, has produced a shortpamphlet making the case for marriage in everyday language. This pamphlet answers numerous questions, including: What is marriage? Why does marriage matter to the government? What are the consequences of redefining marriage?
Heritage provided a background report on marriage entitled “Marriage: What It Is, Why It Matters, and theConsequences of Redefining It;” Heritage also published a book to support traditional marriage entitled What Is Marriage? Man and Woman– A Defense.
The abstract for the background report on marriage states: “Marriage is based on the truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the reality that children need a mother and a father. Redefining marriage does not simply expand the existing understanding of marriage; it rejects these truths. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. By encouraging the norms of marriage – monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and permanence – the state strengthens civil society and reduces its own role. The future of this country depends on the future of marriage. The future of marriage depends on citizens understanding what it is and why it matters and demanding that government policies support, not undermine, true marriage.”
I hope that you will join our national conversation about marriage. The Supreme Court cases held recently provide a “window of opportunity” for us to explain what marriage is and why it matters. Please study the references linked above and become knowledgeable in ways to “flip” non-marriage supporters to traditional marriage. I also suggest that we follow the French example and stress the fact that marriage is about the rights of children and not the desires of adults.