By Tami Fitzgerald
Christian Action League
Attempts to legalize same-sex marriage around the country in the last few weeks have met differing fates. In New York, a bill to legalize gay marriage was defeated in the Senate by a huge margin—38 to 24. In New Jersey, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage was tabled because supporters could not find enough votes to pass it in the Senate. Meanwhile, in the Nation’s capitol, Washington D.C., the City Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage, pending a 30-day review by Congress.
The attempt to legalize gay marriage in New York had been championed by New York Governor David Patterson and supported by New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Having already passed in the Democrat-controlled Assembly, the push to get the Senate to pass the measure seemed unstoppable, especially with the Governor’s and Mayor Bloomberg’s support. In a showdown in the New York Senate on December 2nd, proponents of the gay marriage bill indicated they had the votes to pass the bill. However, much to everyone’s surprise, eight Democrats voted against the bill, along with all 30 Republicans, causing the 38-24 loss. Gay marriage’s defeat was attributed to strong opposition from constituents of Senators who, at the last minute, flooded Senate offices with phone calls and emails.
In New Jersey, on December 8th, sponsors of the bill to legalize gay marriage there asked the Senate President to postpone the vote when they saw the handwriting on the wall—they did not have enough votes to pass the bill. Fearing another defeat like the one in New York only a few days prior, the sponsors chose to postpone the vote on New Jersey’s bill, so they could continue to try to muster enough votes for passage before the legislature’s adjournment on January 12, 2010. Gay marriage proponents have rushed to pass a bill before Governor Jon Corzine leaves office in January, because he has promised to sign the bill. Chris Christie, New Jersey’s incoming Governor, has vowed to veto such a bill. As of today, Senate Republicans in New Jersey are still sure that there are not enough votes to pass the bill.
On December 15th, after refusing to allow the people of Washington D.C. to vote on the measure, the City Council in Washington D.C. passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. Mayor Adrian Fenty signed the bill today. While the bill passed by an 11-2 vote, it may still face obstacles in Congress — namely the House — which oversees D.C.’s budget. Both Republicans and conservative Democrats in the House are considering a variety of legislative methods to block the bill, including adding a rider to future appropriations bills. “The City Council’s action today is not the final word,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., and chairman of a group called Stand4MarriageDC. Brian Brown, Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, promised that, “the fight is not over. We will go to Congress, we will go to the courts, we will fight for the people’s right to vote,” he said. If the measure becomes law, the District will join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in legalizing same-sex marriages.
Recently, proponents of gay marriage have chosen New England states in which to wage the battle to win the right to same-sex marriage, even though those states have legalized gay unions in the form of “civil unions” with all the rights and benefits of marriage but without being named “marriage.” This proves that the battle is not over rights and benefits but over legitimizing homosexual behavior. Deconstructing the traditional meaning of marriage is the primary tactic of gay rights activists to “mainstream” homosexual lifestyles.
In North Carolina, marriage statutes protect marriage as the union of only one man and one woman. However, the State’s Constitution does not protect marriage, leaving it vulnerable to an attack in court where a judge could redefine what North Carolinians have understood marriage to mean since statehood. One lawsuit by a gay couple married in another state where same-sex marriage is legal is all it would take to legalize gay marriage in North Carolina. For the past six years, legislative leaders have refused to allow the citizens of North Carolina to vote on protecting the definition of marriage in the State’s Constitution, even though 76% of the voters support it. Electing new leaders who value marriage is what it will take to obtain Constitutional protection for marriage.