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Marriage amendment battle in Santorum country


Rogue’s gallery of wingnuttia: Pennsylvania Family Institute’s Michael Geer (R) with faith-based pastor at the trough Herb Lusk (C) and Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins (L). All were at Lusk’s Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia last week for Justice Sunday III.

The bible-beaters will be gearing up in Pennsylvania this month as a bill will be submitted introducing the “Marriage Protection Amendment.” It would ban civil unions, and place many things, including domestic partnership benefits in jeopardy.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute and Pennsylvania for Marriage folks make it clear that the fight is not just about the word “marriage”. At least they are honest about it.

Shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to commit themselves to one another?
A. As Glenn Stanton has said, absolutely, and people do that all the time. But we don’t call it marriage. There are lots of loving commitments that are not marriage. Friends are committed to each other, a parent is committed to a child, grandparents to their grandchildren, and people are committed to their pets. All of these are forms of love. All of them result in commitments. None of them is marriage.

There are economic consequences to these “commitments” as well. Mr. Stanton continues, “Could your business afford health-care benefits for 5 or 9 people in a group marriage? In fact, in this brave new world, what would keep two heterosexual single moms ‘or even six of them’ from ‘marrying’ simply so they can receive family health, tax and social security benefits together? The increased cost to business and government would be crippling.”

If you’re interested in protecting marriage, why include Civil Unions, too?
A. The two are one and the same. Even those who are against same-sex marriage seem to like the sound of “civil unions”, which appear to be a reasonable compromise. In the eyes of the law, however, “civil unions”; would simply preserve the name “marriage”, while allowing the institution to be destroyed. Granting homosexual couples the legal rights of married couples, even if we don’t call it “marriage”, will result in the same social, religious, cultural and economic perils as same-sex marriage itself.

Gary at American Agenda is gearing up to counter the madness. And he’s pissed.

The so-called Pennsylvania Family Institute needs to take this faith-based, hate-laden bullshit back where it came from! These must be the ousted former members of the Dover Area School District? They have time to kill now that “Intelligent Design” is dead in PA.

Well, you regressive, misguided, ignorant idiots need to mind your own business and keep your hands and your perverse ideas of “family” out of my relationship, my home, and my life. Whom I love has little to do with you. It has nothing to do with your false definitions of “traditional” families. It has even less to do with your declaration of need to protect the “sanctity of marriage.”

We have heard it all before. It is the MOST broken record being played in this country.

And I have news for you: Pennsylvania don’t play that!

…Love may be the foundation upon which the romantic idea of modern marriage lies, but it has nothing more to do with this contract beyond that. Equally, marriage has nothing to do with faith and God.

That is something we have recently put upon this otherwise uncomplicated civil institution. Marriage is about the protection of property: owned, invested, future and present. It is about health. It is about a personal commitment of two individuals to one another for life. Faith is but a window dressing on a legal contract. No church offers or guarantees you 1,049 civil birth- rights. No church requires a state license to marry you. The government requires a license to confer marriage rights and protections on a relationship. God, as is the historical fact, and the present reality comes after the state in all things marriage. That is because marriage is about legally defining dual property rights. It is about the guarantees of survivorship. It is about protecting love when its good, when its bad, and when its over.

Pennsylvanians know this. And if they don’t I can assure you, they will when I get done with them.

A petition effort is here.

***

Meanwhile, in Virginia, that state’s marriage amendment advances.

Several gay rights activists spoke against the proposal. Dyana Mason, executive director of the Equality Virginia, said the measure would “write discrimination into the Virginia constitution.”

Opponents also said the amendment could have broad, unintended consequences for all unmarried couples in the areas of advanced medical directives, property ownership and domestic violence protective orders.

“This is going to change the way gay people are treated for the rest of my lifetime,” Richmond auto dealer Mac Pence said.

The proposal passed overwhelmingly in the General Assembly last year. It must be approved in its identical form in a succeeding session after a House of Delegates election before it can go on the ballot.

More on the amendment at the EV web site. Equality Virginia’s petition is here.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding