RALEIGH – Freezing temperatures and leftover snow didn’t keep defenders of marriage from turning up the heat Tuesday on lawmakers who have refused to allow voters to amend the State Constitution to limit domestic legal unions to thnose involving one man and one woman.
An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 gathered at Halifax Mall on March 3 to urge House and Senate leaders, who have blocked Defense of Marriage bills for the past five years, to get out of the way and let the people vote, as have their counterparts in the rest of the region. North Carolina, the only state in the Southeast that hasn’t defined marriage in its Constitution, is ripe for the picking as homosexual activists look for fertile judicial proving ground.
At least 88 legislators, ready to take steps to help prevent a same-sex marriage lawsuit, signed on to Senate Bill 272 filed Feb. 24 or House Bill 361 filed March 3, companion measures that would allow North Carolinians to vote on a Marriage Amendment this coming Nov. 3. But unless General Assembly leaders feel pressure from their constituents, the bills may not go anywhere.
Already the Senate bill has been referred to Ways and Means, a committee considered death row for legislation since it hasn’t met in about eight years. And the string of committees set up for the House bill (Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House, Judiciary I, Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform and, finally, Appropriations) will no doubt prove a difficult journey.
Nonetheless, those who turned out for Tuesday’s Marriage Rally, which featured remarks from David Gibbs III of the Christian Law Association and David Barton of WallBuilders, have vowed to keep up the fight until lawmakers see the light.
Perhaps it’s because they see that what is truly at stake goes far beyond rules regarding marriage.
“This same-sex issue, more than any other, as it plays out, will not allow you to preach the Bible or go into the public square and talk about Jesus,” said author and apologist Frank Turek, describing the “normalization” agenda behind the push for gay marriage and the resulting social climate in which any perceived challenge to the homosexual lifestyle is suppressed. “This issue is critical.”
Founder of CrossExamined.org and author of “Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone,” Turek addressed leaders of the NC 4 Marriage Coalition late last year as the group of voters, churches, denominational heads and policy organizations began working together on the push to protect marriage.
Turek called traditional marriage our “nation’s immune system” and challenged his audience to make their case against homosexual marriage without using the Bible, but instead focusing on the myriad of benefits that traditional marriage provides society as opposed to the problems created by government promotion of same-sex unions.
Similarly, Dr. Joseph Zanga, MD, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and professor of pediatrics of East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, told NC4Marriage if they present the protection of traditional marriage as a religious issue “it will be regarded only as a religious issue and since you represent just Christianity, one single religion, why should lawmakers listen to you?”
At the December meeting, coalition members were bolstered by volumes of social and scientific evidence against same-sex marriage and at the same time challenged to examine the way they frame the issue and its myriad of implications for North Carolina.
While leaders of both legislative chambers have kept Marriage Protection Amendments from ever making it to the floor for discussion, a statewide poll released last spring by the John William Pope Civitas Institute showed that 71 percent of Tar Heel voters support its passage. Further, the 14 Southeastern states that have passed amendments have done so with an average rate of more than 75 percent.
So if at least 3 out of 4 voters know that same-sex marriage is not what North Carolina should endorse, why are some lawmakers afraid to take a stand to let those voters define marriage once and for all?
Zanga characterized the groundswell of support for same-sex marriage, at least as it appears in the media, as a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes, the Hans Christian Andersen story in which “a whole society and its experts, its most admired and trusted leaders, adopt as truth a complete illusion.”
“This illusion – that homosexual marriage is good or at least is not bad – is being generated by a small minority who have power or influence or both,” said Zanga, listing politicians, courts, some medical associations, and sadly even churches, among those who have bought in to the propaganda.
Zanga described the process by which the American Academy of Pediatrics and other large national organizations often release policy statements that are simply the consensus of only a handful of committee members but wind up being regarded as medical truths. He said a 2002 report that endorsed adoption by same-sex couples was rejected by AAP committees for lack of any scientific basis, but wound up getting published a year later as a technical report and has influenced other organizations to take a similar stance. As for political correctness, Zanga said if you are supportive of homosexual marriage you can get virtually anything published, no matter how lacking in scientific basis. If not, your work is not likely to see the light of day.
Speaking as a doctor who has seen the effects of the homosexual lifestyle, Zanga said the health risks alone – from sexually transmitted disease to increased rates of depression – should make it obvious that same-sex marriage does not benefit society.
A 2004 study showed 49 percent of homosexual men engaged in unprotected anal sex and 62 percent reported having group sex. (Crosby R, Mettey, A. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Dec. 1;37 940: 1496-9) Research a year later confirmed rates of major depression, suicidal acts and drug addiction are all much higher among those practicing homosexuality.
“Activists say they need rights and then these symptoms would go away,” Zanga said, “but when you look at Scandinavian countries where homosexual marriage is legal you find the same issues. It is odd to me that we compare the United States to Northern European countries in regards to every other problem, yet when we look at homosexuality we don’t look at the problems of the homosexuals within those countries where they are treated with the utmost of respect.”
Zanga said his top concern was how homosexual marriage negatively impacts children, robbing them of the stability and complementarity role modeling they need. He compared the cultural impact to the nation’s embracing of no-fault divorce and the resulting harm to children.
“We learned, but we learned too late so we have a generation of children hurt by this support for separation, for divorce,” Zanga said. “So is this how we want to approach same-sex marriage, to say ‘let’s just let it happen’ and do an uncontrolled experiment on our children, only to look back 20 years from now and say ‘Oops, we made a mistake.'”
Echoing the theme, Turek said in countries such as Norway that have embraced same-sex marriage, traditional marriage rates have fallen to the point that now some 70 percent or more of children are born out of wedlock. He said trying to equate same-sex unions with traditional marriage robs it of its meaning.
“When you break the link between marriage and childbearing, illegitimacy and crime will rise,” Turek said, backing his statements with a number of studies showing the negative effects on children raised outside of traditional marriage. Conversely, he said government should endorse and protect marriage as the very foundation of a civilized society and an institution that domesticates men, protects women, provides a nurturing environment for children, lowers welfare costs and the crime rate and encourages an adequate replacement birth rate.
All other arguments aside, Turek asked his audience to simply ask themselves these two questions as a challenge to those who would equate gay relationships to marriage: What would be the effects on society if everyone lived faithfully in traditional marriage? and What would be the effects on society if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage?
“Let’s just look at it as a common sense equation. One would lead to a healthy society and the other would lead to the end of society,” he said. “I don’t care what you think about the morality of homosexuality, you cannot pretend that these types of relationships are the same as relationships between men and women.”
To find out more about the need for N.C. to have a marriage amendment and how you can help influence your legislator, log on to www.nc4marriage.org.