Two Steps Closer to a Federal Traditional Marriage Amendment

( [email protected] ) Feb 21, 2004 11:16 PM EST

Two more states passed a legislation to consider a constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage, adding onto the 38 current states that provide the backbone to such an amendment at the federal level, Feb. 17.

Oklahoma’s House passed the resolution with no recorded vote. Virginia’s Senate passed the resolution by a 29-11 majority, and will now send an amendment to the states.

Two weeks prior, Ohio became the 38th state that passed the resolution, explicitly banning same-sex “marriage" and providing the milestone three-forth majority of state votes needed to take the legislation to the federal congress.

Conservatives across the nation are working hard to ensure such an amendment passes, especially in light of the bizarre developments in San Francisco, California, where homosexuals have been granted certificates of “marriage,” and Boston Massachusetts, where the court ensured marriage rights to homosexuals.

President Bush made his strongest comment on the issue, Wednesday, Feb. 18, following a San Francisco county judge’s refusals to immediately halt the illegal issuance of marriage licenses to homosexual couples. While Bush did not say he is currently supporting a constitutional amendment, he said “these events are influencing my decision.”

"I strongly believe that marriage should be defined as [a union] between a man and a woman. I am troubled by activist judges who are defining marriage," Bush said.

At the grassroots level, the American Family Council garnered more than 1 million votes to the petition for a federal marriage protection amendment.

According to the AFC, "it’s just a matter of time before an activist judge re-interprets the Constitution by inventing a "right" to gay "marriage.""

Under the full faith and credit clause in the U.S. Constitution, states that are agaisnt homosexual unions may be forced to recognize the legalized gay unions from other states, thereby redefining the concept of marriage across the nation.

Therefore, the best hope of saving marriage from redefinition would be a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

“A Constitutional marriage amendment would stop activist judges from giving legal benefits of marriage to same-sex couples,” the AFA website said.

Peter Sprigg, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Marriage and Family Studies, said the need for action from Americans is urgent.

Sprigg said that those Americans who have an “it’s not going to bother me” attitude are in for a “rude awakening” because the legalization of same-sex "marriage" would affect everything from what is taught in public schools to what is required from businesses both big and small.

"I think a lot of people have not thought through the implications of this all the way," he said.

"If the full rights of civil marriage are given to homosexual couples, then they will have to be treated the same way in every aspect of society that deals with marriage," Sprigg said. "That means that school curriculum that deals with marriage and family life will have to include same-sex 'marriage' as an alternative fully as valid as opposite-sex marriage. And I think that would be troubling to most Americans."

"If you are a small business owner who has traditional values and would prefer to limit your benefits to opposite-sex couples, you probably won't have that option anymore," Sprigg continued.

Sprigg said the impact may be felt even in the religious realm of ethoics and morals.

"It's possible that they might have homosexual employees," he said. "They function as a for-profit organization -- not strictly as a ministry, and yet they may want to reflect their religious views in some ways. It could conceivably influence an organization like that."

In this way, Sprigg argued, homosexuals will infringe upon the rights of those who believe their actions are sinful based on their religious beliefs.

"When we talk about rights for homosexuals, most of the rights that they are demanding are things that come into conflict with other peoples' rights," said Sprigg.

"When homosexuals win the right to marriage, they are going to interfere with the rights of anybody else to disapprove of their behavior."