A lot of attention was paid to the efforts of homosexuals and their allies in Vermont and Hawaii to get those two small states to legalize same-sex marriages, giving homosexual partners all the same rights and privileges enjoyed by married couples. They succeeded in Vermont but were stopped by the legislature in Hawaii. It passed a constitutional amendment that nullified a decision by the state Supreme Court.
Nationally, the media have given very little attention to the drive in California to follow in Vermont’s footsteps. Two years ago California voters approved Proposition 22, which amended the constitution supposedly to ban legal recognition of same sex unions. It was described as ensuring that most state benefits available to married couples would not be extended to same-sex couples.
What it failed to do was state that same-sex partners were not entitled to all the rights and privileges given to married couples. This left the door open for a “civil unions bill.” AB1338 was introduced in the state Assembly on Feb. 23, 2001. When it was introduced the bill was only 8 pages long. It listed 12 benefits that would be bestowed on same-sex partners.
It has now been expanded to 46 pages. This was accomplished by going through the California legal code and adding to every mention of “spouse” the words “or spouse in a civil union.” In other words, the entire legal code would be amended to erase all differences between a marriage and a same-sex civil union. Sixty-one percent of the California voters voted for Prop. 22, amending the constitution. Support from Hispanic voters was even higher?about 70 percent. Most, if not all, of them thought they were voting against same-sex marriages.
A lot of them will no doubt be angry if this bill is passed and Gov. Gray Davis, a liberal Democrat, signs it. Its supporters, including those in the media, are apparently well aware of this. They are giving it very little publicity. It has to pass the Assembly judiciary committee by January 18 and the Assembly by the end of the month, but it appears that not many people know about it. Karen Holgate, director of policy for the Capitol Resource Institute in Sacramento, says that her greatest concern is that if the legislation passes, it will send a message to children that “no matter what their mother or father says, the State of California says there is no difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality.” She and other opponents of the bill are planning to hold demonstrations to put pressure on swing legislators.
A leading opponent, Randy Thomasson, Executive Director of Campaign for California Families (CCF), has criticized Gov. Davis for mentioning God four times in his State of the State address, but not mentioning the civil unions controversy. “How does the governor get away with this kind of talk yet remain silent when marriage is under attack?” he asked. Thomasson said, “Davis already cheapened marriage by signing a bill that gave over a dozen rights of marriage to homosexual couples. He should reform his ways by saying ‘no’ to civil unions, which is homosexual marriage by another name.”
But in liberal Massachusetts, pro-marriage groups have succeeded against great odds in getting enough signatures to put a Protection of Marriage amendment to the Constitution before the legislature. The pro-homosexual attorney general had to approve its submission. He did so because he saw that it was very popular with the voters. The amendment reads in part, “Only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Massachusetts. Any other relationship shall not be recognized as a marriage or its legal equivalent, nor shall it receive the benefits or incidents exclusive to marriage from the Commonwealth….”
Far more signatures were gathered than the law required, and the homosexuals did not challenge them. The next step will be to get 25 percent of the House and Senate, meeting jointly, in two successive years, to approve putting the proposed amendment on the ballot. That should be accomplished in 2004. This was done with no help from the establishment media. The Boston Globe was very upset about the success of the signature drive. Much of the credit goes to the monthly conservative tabloid, the Massachusetts News, and its dedicated, indefatigable publisher, J. Edward Pawlick.
Massachusetts has shown that traditional marriage is still so popular with the voters that the pro-homosexual politicians can be cowed and the pro-homosexual media can be beaten.