“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” For proponents of the Marriage Protection Amendment, this line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet should not be the case when comparing “civil unions” with “traditional marriages.”
Civil unions and traditional marriages are currently so similar that the only significant difference is that unions, unlike traditional marriages between one man and one woman, do not receive federal benefits.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he plans to present the Marriage Protection Amendment for debate on the Senate floor the first week in June.
Frist said, “When the whims of a few activist judges are free to override the common sense of the American people, we need to act?When America’s values are under attack, we need to act.”
In July 2005 the Associated Press reported that Oregon passed a bill to legalize civil unions despite the fact that “Oregon voters in November  passed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, “The Marriage Protection Amendment is the only tool the American people have to ensure that the definition of marriage remains one man and one woman.”
According to an April 2005 article by Jennifer Harper of The Washington Times, in a Gallup poll conducted by CNN and USA Today in March 2005, between 2004 and 2005 the percentage of Americans who “favored a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as ‘between a man and a woman'” rose from 48 to 57 percent.
Despite these statistics, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said, “Not one marriage is protected by this amendment and all marriages are devalued when used as a political ploy. Writing one group of people out of the protections of the Constitution is politics at its worst.”
Solmonese seemed to miss the part in the amendment in which one type of marriage is protected and valued, the most vital and time honored institution, traditional marriage.
Why then is it more important to protect and preserve traditional marriage than civil unions and gay marriages?
Although USA Today in a Feb. 2004 report admitted that “Considerable evidence does document that children face fewer problems when married mothers and fathers bring them up.”
They were quick to claim that because there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the negative impact of “gay unions” on “traditional families,” an argument that it actually does has little justification.
There is however substantial evidence showing that children raised outside the traditional household, those from single-parent homes or broken “heterosexual marriages,” face more societal problems. Would it not then be logical to conclude that anything outside a traditional marriage would have the same result on children, including “gay unions?”
This is not to say that traditional marriages are perfect. The increase in the divorce rate is further evidence of the need to save this vital institution. So far, gay unions seem only to add fuel to the destruction of this institution, not act as a lifesaver.
In opposition to the bill legalizing civil unions in Oregon, Senator Charles Starr (R-Hillsboro) said, “Homosexual activists desire nothing less than the removal of all restraints on sexual immorality of any sort. This is clearly manifest by the conduct of society in Holland where ‘Civil Unions’/ ‘Gay Marriage’ has been legalized. We have been told by the proponents of ‘Gay Marriage’ and ‘Civil Unions’ that these would actually strengthen the institution of marriage. However in Holland?the illegitimacy rate, an important measure of a society’s attitude toward marriage went from 11% in 1989 to 31% in 2003.”
So why are advocates of homosexual rights still so adamant in pushing for legal support of civil unions and gay marriages? Especially when most Americans would be happy to let them live the unconventional lifestyle they choose as long as they did not try to “redefine marriage for our entire society,” said Matt Daniels, president of the Alliance for Marriage.
Many homosexual activists champion gay marriage as a civil rights issue, when at best such an argument is situated on a slippery slope.
“The civil rights movement for which he [Martin Luther King] lived and died was grounded in a fundamental truth: All of us are created equal,” wrote Jeff Jacoby for the Boston Globe in March 2004. “The same-sex marriage movement, by contrast, is grounded in the denial of a fundamental truth: The Creator who made us equal made us male and female. That duality has always and everywhere been the starting point for marriage. The newly fashionable claim that marriage can ignore that duality is akin to the claim, back when lunch counters were segregated, that America was a land of liberty and justice for all.”
Marriage will remain a vital part of our society as long as it is defined as the union between one man and one woman. Now because of the past actions of a few activist judges, such a traditional societal union deserves the protection of our country’s most traditional and vital document, the Constitution of the United States.