April 10th, 2009 by Michael L. Brown

Over the last week, there were three major victories for gay activists: The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that there were no constitutional grounds to ban same-sex marriage; the Vermont legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill and then overrode the governor’s veto; and Washington, D.C. indicated that it would begin to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. What does this mean for those who insist that “marriage” can only be defined as the formal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife?

As Orwellian as this might sound, the progression is clear and undeniable. First, gay activists came out of the closet and began to demand their rights (1969 was the landmark year). Then they demanded that conservatives (especially those with a Judeo-Christian moral foundation) recognize those rights. Their next goal was to take away the rights of conservatives – the rights of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The final goal is to put conservatives in the closet, and it is happening right before our eyes. Simply stated, if homosexuality is legitimate in every respect, then any opposition to homosexuality is illegitimate.

Make no mistake about this: Where “gay marriage” becomes the law of the land, opposition to same-sex marriage will be prosecuted as unlawful. As a foretaste of what is to come, in New Mexico, Elaine Photography was found guilty of discrimination for refusing to shoot the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple; in California a Christian doctor was found guilty of refusing to offer medical services to a lesbian woman who wanted to be artificially inseminated in order to have a baby with her partner; in Massachusetts, elementary school parents were told they did not have the right to keep their children home when homosexual issues were being discussed in class, since same-sex marriage is legal there (not to mention the fact that the courts found it more important to teach children “diversity” than to honor the wishes of the parents).

In England, an Anglican Vicar was fined and ordered to undergo equal opportunities training for refusing to hire a gay youth leader; a graduate student in the counseling program at Eastern Michigan University was expelled for refusing to affirm homosexual behavior in a private counseling session; and a Christian pastor in Canada was forbidden from speaking or writing or publishing anything that is critical of homosexual practice after writing a letter to the editor in a local newspaper.

With regard to same-sex marriage, even the gay publication The Washington Blade (May 30, 2008) raised the question of whether “the legalization of same-sex marriage in California” could potentially “prevent priests and ministers from preaching that homosexuality is biblically forbidden,” also asking if “churches in time [could] risk their tax- exempt status by refusing to marry gays.” At the least, the Blade expected a flurry of court cases. And the Georgetown University, lesbian law professor Chai Feldblum acknowledged that when push comes to shove, when there is a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”

Is my thesis really so Orwellian after all?

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April 9th, 2009 by M. French

Gay marriage is now legal in Vermont. According to the Burlington Free Press:

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The Guardian published the following regarding the Vermont decision, and what to expect in the near future:

Vermont is important because it is the first legislature to pass such a bill. Legal marriage for gays in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa was the result of court rulings. The Vermont bill cannot be overruled by its governor and the first gay marriages are scheduled for September.

Wolfson said: “Legislatures in several states are considering bills now and we are hoping to see movement in several of them over the next few months.”

The next is likely to be New Hampshire, whose house of representatives has voted in favour and the bill has now gone to its senate. In Maine, the state legislature is scheduled to begin committee hearings later this month. In New York and New Jersey, both their governors have promised to sign any bills passed by their legislatures.

Wolfson, who founded his organisation in 2003, sees the California ruling as a turning point. “California was a wake-up call. People realised that we had been too complacent.”

Other states laying the groundwork for bills in favour of same-sex marriages include Illinois, Washington state, Maryland and Rhode Island

In a time when state governments should be doing everything they can to strengthen natural marriage, again and again they are choosing to alter its very definition. The effects of these changes will become more and more evident over time. As stated by Frank Turek, “International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal. ” Is the erosion of natural marriage and the strengthening of illegitimacy really in the best interest of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and now Vermont?

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March 22nd, 2009 by M. French

Vermont, the first state to adopt a civil unions law for same-sex couples, held a public hearing on Wednesday, March 18th regarding a bill that would allow full marriage for gays and lesbians. In preparation for the hearing, which had more than 500 people in attendance, the state’s largest newspaper voiced their opinion. According to the AP:

The state’s largest newspaper published an editorial Wednesday reversing its decade-long stance against same-sex marriage. The Burlington Free Press said it had “wrongly warned Vermonters against gay marriage” in 1999, and it labeled its earlier concern that a push for it could bring violence “pure nonsense.”

Following this, Friday saw a vote in favor of the bill from Vermont’s Senate Judiciary Committee. According to the Rutland Herald:

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill Friday extending marriage to same-sex couples in Vermont.

The 5-0 vote on the bill came after a week of testimony before the committee, as parents, religious leaders, civil rights experts and psychologists weighed in on the possibility of Vermont becoming the third state to allow same-sex couples to marry.

The full Vermont Senate is expected to vote on the bill Monday.

An amendment that attempts to protect religious freedoms was included:

Committee members also approved an amendment Friday morning that made some slight changes to the bill. The original bill contained language reaffirming the Constitutional right of churches to refuse to marry people if it disagrees with their faith.

But clergy and conservative religious leaders this week told lawmakers that they were worried that the provision was actually an attempt to, at some point in the future, force religious communities to perform same-sex marriages. Several religious leaders worried that their churches would be sued for not solemnizing same-sex marriages.

The altered language – which was approved in a 5-0 vote – made it clear that churches could not be sued in civil court. Campbell, a Catholic who added in the original provision, said it was an attempt at protecting religious freedoms.

Rise, saints, and be in prayer for Vermont with regard to this issue. Gay marriage in Massachusetts has already changed society negatively, and we should expect nothing less in Vermont. For more information on gay marriage in Vermont, and how you can get informed and involved if you live in that area, check out the Vermont Marriage Advisory Council site, including their events page, which includes an event featuring pro-gay/anti-gay-marriage lecturer David Blankenhorn on March 30th.

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