June 21, 2007
Wake Up Calls On Marriage
Dear Family Advocate,
I prefer to report successes in the fight to preserve marriage, but
unfortunately, the following recent developments underscore
how the assault on the institution of marriage is escalating around
- The ruling coalition government of Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik
Reinfeldt could fall over demands to legalize same-sex marriage by
some of the other parties in his coalition and from some members of
his own party. Sweden has had a “civil union” law since
1995, but a Parliamentary commission last year called for legalizing
same-sex marriage, calling the civil union law outdated.
- Columbia’s Congress has just recently passed a “civil
unions” bill that gives same-sex couples in that country all
the benefits of marriage. When Columbia’s president signs the
bill, as he has promised to do, that country will become the first
in Latin America to legally recognize civil unions. The law was prompted
by a court decision that held that the country’s common law
marriage law had to be “gender neutral.”
- Also in Latin America, Mexico City several months ago started recognizing
civil unions for same-sex individuals which grant them the same inheritance
and pension rights as married couples.
- In the United States, the Massachusetts legislature, meeting as
a Constitutional Convention, killed the proposed state marriage constitutional
amendment that pro-family supporters had hoped to put before the voters
in 2008. Amending the state constitution is the only option at the
state level to reverse the 2004 Supreme Judicial Court’s decision
forcing legalized same-sex marriage on that state.
- Just this week, the New York Assembly, the lower house of the state
legislature, passed by a comfortable margin a bill legalizing same-sex
marriage. The state’s governor actively supports the bill but
fortunately, the leadership of the Senate opposes it and has pronounced
that it “is dead on arrival.”
- This past week, New Hampshire enacted a civil union law. The state
joins neighboring Vermont, along with Connecticut and New Jersey in
legally recognizing civil unions for same-sex couples.
These developments are certainly troubling, but they must not
deter our efforts to preserve marriage. Hopefully they will
serve as the impetus to those who support man/woman marriage to become
more active so that we can win the next battles.
We have millennia of historical experience across cultures
as well as solid social science data to support our case that
for the good of any society, marriage must be preserved as only the
union of a man and a woman.
And the biggest losers when these bills pass are the children.
We need to help policymakers understand that children need both a mother
and a father and that same gender couples can never provide that. Once
we abandon that standard, it is our children who will reap the consequences.
So instead of being discouraged, we need to increase our efforts.
Studies consistently show that many people consider their peers to
be the most credible source of information. As they form their opinions
and adjust their views on marriage and other family related issues,
you can be very influential. I hope you will take advantage of every
opportunity to exercise that influence.
So let us see the success of these attacks on marriage as a
wake up call and get to work doing everything we can to defend and promote
this vital social institution.
News Items of Interest
EU Recognition of Same-sex Marriage
Two Dutch members of the European Parliament have called for the
European Union to recognize gay marriages performed in the Netherlands.
Citing a lack of rights for same-sex couples who marry in the Netherlands
and then move abroad, the members of Parliament demanded that there
be an end to the discrimination. Read more here.
Abortion and Social Decline
In this editorial in the Wall Street Journal Online, John R. Lott
Jr. shows how legalizing abortion has resulted in unanticipated social
changes in America including increases in pre-marital sex, out-of-wedlock
births, single-parent families and decreases in adoption and marriage.
Read more here.
Poland Appeals EU Ruling of "Wrongful Birth"
The consistently pro-life Polish government has announced that it
will appeal the ruling by the European Human Rights Court of "wrongful
birth" made last March. The Court ordered Poland to pay compensation
for "wrongful birth" to a mother of three who wished to
abort her third child in 2003. Poland allows abortion in cases where
a pregnancy is due to rape, if there is a medical threat to the mother,
and in cases where the child is "severely" disabled. Read
Religious Practice = Strong Families
A new study by Brad Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at
the University of Virginia, reveals that there is a connection between
religious observance and stable families and marriages. The study
showed that there is a particularly powerful correlation between the
church attendance of fathers and marital behavior and relationship
quality. Read more
Religious Education by Parents is “Child Abuse?”
At the opposite end of the religious observance spectrum, a paper
by a scholar at the Center for Inquiry Proposal asserts that “In
one form or another, all religions violate the rights of children.”
Innaiah Narisetti, the chairman of the India chapter of the Center
for Inquiry, makes the outrageous suggestion that it is abusive for
parents to involve children in religious practice. The Center for
Inquiry recently received ECOSOC accreditation from the United Nations.
Read more here.
“Comprehensive” Sex Education Gets Failing Grade
A report released by the United States Department of Health and Human
Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) shows
that “comprehensive” sex-ed programs that emphasize contraception
have had virtually no effect on sexual activity. ACF examined nine
of the most commonly used sex-ed programs over a two-year period and
found that many contain medical inaccuracies. Read more here.
Read the ACF report here.
Legalizing Prostitution in Mexico City
The Democratic Revolution Party has submitted a bill that would legalize
prostitution in Mexico City. The new law would guarantee prostitutes’
rights and make them eligible for government services. Legislator
Juan Bustos said the bill is necessary to protect prostitutes from
abuse and regulate the sex industry in Mexico City. Read more here.
Marriage Generates Wealth
The “marriage gap” is the source of widening financial
inequality says Kay Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute. America is
turning into “a nation of separate and unequal families.”
Research indicates that those who marry are four times richer than
those who never marry. Read more here.
MPs Examine Abortion Science
Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom will be examining the
technology of the care of premature babies and associated medical
interventions to determine if abortion time limits should be reduced.
It is the first scientific investigation dedicated to abortion. Read
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