any of us are deeply concerned by the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. It represents a considerable threat to the interests of
parents who would desire to impart a traditional moral character to their children, and who would be subject to the outrageous example of official recognition of
homosexual pairings. It is therefore right and urgent to focus on the effort to pass a marriage protection amendment. Nevertheless, it is important to be realistic,
and to realize that the battle will not end there. Even if the desired outcome of an amendment which protects the word "marriage" is fulfilled, there is still a pernicious threat in the form of civil unions.
The Marriage Affirmation and Protection Amendment (MA & PA) would prohibit one form of civil union, in particular, one which is the "legal equivalent"
of marriage. However, it would not prohibit civil unions which are not the legal equivalent of marriage, and so would allow the homosexual community
considerable room to maneuver. That means that there is a real possibility that formidable civil union bills would still be passed into "law", even if MA & PA eventually becomes part of the constitution.
Civil unions which are tailored to homosexual partners, and which seek to give some benefit to homosexual "spouses", are essentially a form of marriage,
irregardless of what they are called officially. Therefore, arrangements of this type would officially sanction homosexual marriage, and would firmly establish
another precedent of government support for grave immorality. With the greater subtlety of this less overt form of homosexual marriage comes a greater danger, because not all will recognize it for what it truly is.
A clearer understanding of the agenda which homosexual advocates are striving for, and of how close they are to achieving their goals, should cause some much
needed alarm, which will hopefully translate into a winning political strategy and mobilization for the pro-family movement.
The Senate's Civil Union Bill (No. 2175)
An example of recent "progress" made by homosexuals is evident by the nature of the state Senate's civil unions bill, and that the Senate thought so highly of it
that it requested the SJC's opinion as to its constitutionality. The bill's text states that its purpose is to "provide eligible same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain
the benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities afforded to opposite sex couples by the marriage laws of the commonwealth".
The text reiterates that "spouses in a civil union shall have all the same benefits,
protections, rights and responsibilities under law as are granted to spouses in a marriage." Terms that signify spousal relationships, such as "husband," "wife,"
"family," and "next of kin," are to be interpreted to include spouses in a civil union "as those terms are used in any law." The bill lists the "legal" benefits that
will adhere to "spouses" in a homosexual civil union, which according to the SJC's recent majority opinion include "property rights, joint State income tax
filing, evidentiary rights, rights to veteran benefits and group insurance, and the right to the issuance of a 'civil union' license, identical to a marriage license under
G. L. c. 207, 'as if a civil union was a marriage.'"
The recent Feb 3rd dissenting opinion of SJC justices Sosman and Pina on the matter of the Senate Civil Union bill underscored what many seem to be
overlooking - that the questions of "constitutionality" that the Senate brought to the SJC only relates to who gets to use the word "marriage", and has no other
substantive aspect. In other words, the difference between the current institution of marriage and the Senate civil union bill is only the word "marriage".
In the dissenting opinions of Judges Sosman and Pina, it was stated "In response to the court's invitation to submit amicus briefs on this question, we have
received, from both sides of the issue, impassioned and sweeping rhetoric out of all proportion to the narrow question before us. Both sides appear to have
ignored the fundamental import of the proposed legislation, namely, that same-sex couples who are civilly 'united' will have literally every single right,
privilege, benefit, and obligation of every sort that our State law confers on opposite-sex couples who are civilly 'married.' Under this proposed bill, there
are no substantive differences left to dispute — there is only, on both sides, a squabble over the name to be used. There is, from the amici on one side, an
implacable determination to retain some distinction, however trivial, between the institution created for same-sex couples and the institution that is available to
opposite-sex couples. And, from the amici on the other side, there is an equally implacable determination that no distinction, no matter how meaningless, be
tolerated. As a result, we have a pitched battle over who gets to use the 'm' word."
Why This Has Happened
The pro-family movement has been backed into a corner, but it seems strange
that this has happened when the homosexual community in our state is estimated to be only 1.5% of the population! How did this happen?
There can be little doubt that we would not be in this grave a predicament if the Massachusetts legislature had obeyed the law and voted on the Protection of
Marriage Amendment (POMA), the more stringent marriage amendment that excluded all homosexual civil unions, and which was introduced into the
legislature by petition through the rigorous efforts of Mass. Citizens for Marriage. If the law had been followed, we would most probably be going to the polls this
November to vote on this amendment, and there is a good chance that it would have passed and stopped all the outrageous civil union efforts. So legislators, in
defiance of decency and in accord with totalitarian tendencies, voted to adjourn the joint session before a vote could be taken. The process for amending the
constitution, as specified in the constitution itself, as well as the 100,000+ signatures collected by citizens, and the $1.6 million spent on that effort, were to
be of no effect, given the political whims of our elected ruling class.
What Should be Done?
This is the same pattern of behavior that was seen with the Clean Elections Law,
which would have provided public funding for candidates who qualified, and which was approved by two-thirds of the voters during the 2000 election. It
complicated the reelection prospects of legislators, 70% of whom reportedly had no political opposition during the 2000 election. Clean Elections would have
changed that, which is probably why they defied the same SJC which they admiringly solicit opinions from today, and chose not to release funds which were
accumulated by voluntary contributions by taxpayers specifically to fund Clean Elections candidates.
The bottom line is that the majority of our brazen legislators appear to have little
concern or respect for the will of the voters. Their goal seems to be to use our government for their personal aims in defiance of the law.
Do we expect to reestablish normalcy, as long as the people allow these type of politicians to remain in office? It seems clear that pro-family people have an
urgent need to organize in order to put heavy political pressure on all those who voted to adjourn the joint-session to kill the POMA, and to pressure those who
defy the other laws of our state. That means running candidates who are sincere about respecting our state constitution and family values. And to do this
successfully, a support structure that will improve the political odds, in particular, a political party and media network of some type, needs to be built.
This is the time to stand up and be counted! There is little hope for anything good in our state or nation if people who are "good" cease to be good by sinking
into indifference or despair. For our society to survive, there must be a sufficient number of persons who have that resilient spirit which is the Spirit of 1776 - a
spirit of responsibility, heroic self-sacrifice, and resistance to tyranny.
The America we once knew hangs in the balance. Will you now stand up to be counted?