U.S. Citizens Rally to Protect Marriage
During “National Marriage Week”
Dear Supporter of the Family,
This week the U.S. celebrates “National Marriage Week,” yet the institution of marriage is under grave assault in the U.S. states of Washington, Maine, Maryland and New Jersey.
The First Lady of the state of Maryland made the serious mistake of calling people who oppose same-sex marriage “cowards.” In response, pro-marriage religious leaders and state legislators rose up to protest against attempts to radically redefine marriage in their state.
Click here to listen to excerpts from some of their fired up speeches. If all of us could be as passionate about protecting marriage as these good citizens, much good could be done.
I don’t think any of us could have imagined, even just ten years ago, that the world would see this aggressive push to redefine marriage. Interestingly, many of the same arguments that were used in the U.S. to reform divorce laws and make it much easier for couples to obtain a divorce are now being used to convince people to redefine marriage.
By examining what happened in the U.S. with regard to divorce reform laws we can glean some important lessons about the current debate over marriage in this country and others around the world. In the U.S., as in many countries, marriage is held in very high esteem by most people. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 78 percent of Americans believe that the institution of marriage is important to American society with 60 percent saying it is very important.
Similarly, this same survey found that 77 percent agree that it is best for children to be raised by both their parents. Public opinion tracks the social science research data which demonstrate conclusively that on any measure of success one might choose, children do in fact do better when raised by their married, biological parents.
Yet, even in the face of these sentiments, Americans and people in many countries around the world are marrying at a record low rate. Currently only about 51 percent of U.S. adults are married compared to 72 percent in 1960, and 34 percent of children in the U.S. are being raised by a single parent. The vast majority of these children are being raised by their mothers, who, in addition to all the other challenges of being a single parent, often face major economic challenges in trying to adequately provide for their families.
This is clearly a prescription for trouble for the U.S. and every other society where this is occurring. So why are less people marrying even though they believe marriage is important? At least in the U.S. the reason may be found in the implementation of “no fault” divorce laws which made divorces far easier to get. When divorces were more difficult to get, people looked at entering marriage as a much more serious step, and there was greater incentive to make a troubled marriage work. Predictably, when marriages became easier to dissolve, they were too often entered into more lightly, and less effort was made to make troubled marriages work. Hence, the divorce rate in the U.S. skyrocketed.
What no fault divorce “reforms” really did was to change the social institution of marriage for many Americans. Because the laws treated marriage as a less enduing relationship, it in fact became a less enduring relationship. This is the way social institutions work. They set the expectations, goals, limits and aspirations for the members of that society. (For more on the importance of marriage as a social institution, see our policy brief, “Traditional Marriage is Essential for a Healthy Society.”
Children of divorced parents, because of their negative experience with marriage, may be more reluctant to marry and can have greater difficulty making the kind of emotional commitment to have a healthy and stable marriage. And the data show that when fewer people marry, society as a whole suffers.
The impact of divorce on the social institution of marriage was largely an unanticipated consequence of divorce “reform” laws. The reformers had the best of intentions, to get people, especially children, out of high conflict situations. Many reformers argued that liberalizing divorce laws would actually help these children.
So what will happen when marriage is redefined by making it genderless? Just as liberalizing divorce laws in the U.S. weakened marriage in unforeseen ways, redefining it completely by allowing same-sex couples to marry will also greatly impact the institution of marriage and thus society. Where homosexual marriage is legalized, a radically new institution of marriage is created. It is no longer the child-centered institution it was before. Instead, it becomes little more than the government recognizing any two people’s professed affection for each other and granting them economic benefits.
Advocates of homosexual marriage refuse to talk about the larger implications for society of radically changing such a fundamental social institution that has proven benefits to society. And, just as the negative consequences of liberalizing divorce are only now becoming apparent after a couple of generations, we will likely not know all of the negative consequences of legalizing homosexual marriage until it is too late.
Wherever you may live, do not let anyone tamper with such a vital institution as marriage. Future generations will thank us for the courageous stand we take today.
Thank the Susan B. Komen Foundation
As we report in the news clips below, the largest private breast cancer charity in the U.S., the Susan B. Komen for the Cure, has cut funding for Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider. The Komen Foundation has taken this action because it has a policy not to fund any organization that is under investigation. Planned Parenthood, which has been racked by numerous scandals and alleged violations of law in recent years, is under investigation by Congress and several other entities.
Predictably, pro-abortion groups and their allies in Congress and elsewhere are howling in protest and flooding the Susan B. Komen Foundation with emails. We encourage you to also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you support their decision.
News Items of Interest
Komen Foundation Cuts Planned Parenthood Funding. The largest private breast cancer research group in the U.S., the Susan G. Komen Foundation, will no longer fund abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, for breast-health services. Last year the group gave Planned Parenthood $680,000. Read more here.
Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Abortion Restrictions. The survey of 1053 adults commissioned by the Knights of Columbus found that 51 percent said they would allow abortion only in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. In addition, 79 percent said they would not allow abortion after the first three months of pregnancy. Read more here.
UN Report Claiming Rise in Unsafe Abortion Rates Called Propaganda. A report by the UN World Health Organization and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute published in The Lancet claims to show that unsafe (illegal) abortion rates have risen and have resulted in an increase in maternal mortality. But pro-life advocates are saying the report is dubious and will likely be used to call for the worldwide legalization of abortion. Read more here.
Homosexual History Law Takes Effect in California. The law requiring teachers to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans in teaching plans went into effect on January 1, but due to budget constraints the state Department of Education has not released any curriculum or textbook revisions. Read more here.
U.S. State Dept Official Closely Questioned on LGBT “Rights” Campaign. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Baer was pressed by a number of questioners from around the world to clarify the Obama Administration’s recently announced policy to make promotion of the homosexual agenda around the world a top foreign policy objective. Among the clarifications he made was to de-emphasize the focus on “gay rights.” Read more here.
International Backlash Begins Against Obama’s LGBT Agenda. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports that several countries are pushing back against the current administration’s demand that they legalize homosexual behavior. Citizens in El Salvador and Pakistan, among other countries, have spoken out against the Obama administration’s efforts. Read more here.
Starbucks Coffee Company Supports Same-sex Marriage. The world’s largest coffee shop chain announced it is officially supporting a same-sex marriage bill in Washington state. In a statement released last week, the Seattle-based company said the legislation shares the company’s core values. Read more here.
Washington State Senate Approves Same-sex Marriage Bill. The Senate passed the legislation on a 28-21 vote after an extended debate. The measure now goes to the House, which is expected to approve it. Governor Chris Gregoire has stated she will sign the bill into law. Opponents of same-sex marriage have promised to challenge the law with a referendum. Read more here.
New Jersey Governor Calls for Public Vote on Same-sex Marriage. Governor Chris Christie has vowed to veto a same-sex marriage bill if one is approved by state legislators. A referendum on the November ballot would allow the citizens of New Jersey to amend the state constitution and define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Read more here.
Scottish Opposition Parties Unite in Support of Homosexual Marriage. By joining the majority party, they have made it a virtually unanimous front in support of changing the law. Read more here.
U.S. College Freshman Increasingly Liberal on Homosexual Marriage. The “American Freshman Survey” found that 71 percent supported legalizing homosexual marriage compared to 65 percent support in the previous survey two years earlier. Read more here.
Homosexual Marriage to Be on Ballot Again in Maine. Homosexual activists have collected more than enough signatures to put the legalization of homosexual marriage on the November ballot and have announced that they will press ahead to do it. Read more here.
Study Finds One in Five Children From Broken Homes Permanently Lose Contact With One Parent. The study is prompting some British policymakers to look at the impact both in children’s lives and to society and find ways to reduce the loss of contact. Read more here.
Survey Finds Americans Overwhelmingly Believe Marriage, Both Parents Important. The Rasmussen Survey found that 78 percent of Americans believe marriage is important with 60 percent believing marriage is “very important.” In addition, 77 percent believe it is important to be raised by both their parents. The poll has a margin of error of +/_ 3 percent. Read more here.
News Items of General Interest
South African Condom Failures Result in Massive Recall. More than 1.35 million defective condoms passed out at the African National Congress’ 100th birthday party have been recalled. Individuals who use the condoms may unknowingly infect their sexual partners with HIV or contract the disease themselves. South Africa has the world’s highest number of AIDS patients. Read more here.
Hungary Passes Law to Protect the Family. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports that the new law says the family, based on marriage between and man and a woman should be respected by the State as a matter of national survival. Opponents claim the new law violates several UN treaties. Read more here.
Greece Adds Pedophilia to List of ‘Disabilities.’ Disability groups are outraged at the government’s decision to expand recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, fetishists, sadomasochists and exhibitionists. The result of the decision could mean the removal of legitimately disabled individuals from governmental financial benefits. Read more here.
Virginia House Committee Reports Religious Conscience Adoption Provision. The House of Delegates committee voted 14-5 on the bill which would allow private, faith-based adoption agencies to deny placement of a child if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. Included were opposition to homosexuality. Read more here.
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