The Heroic Battle of the United States to Preserve the Sacred Covenant of Marriage
Part Three

Barbara Kralis
September 29, 2005
Copyright 2005, all rights reserved.
Reproduced with Permission

Why pass State Constitutional Amendments rather than state statutory bans?

Congress enacted the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, a law that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allows states to enact similar legislation. Since 1996, forty-two states, following the model of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted 'state' DOMA type laws [not state constitutional amendments] prohibiting same-sex marriages and the recognition of same-sex marriages formed in another jurisdiction.1

Because the U.S. Senate was unable to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment [FMA] to the U.S. Constitution in July 2004, the best remedy against judiciary rulings and out of control legislators who support gay marriage is to have another attempt at passing a federal constitutional amendment that says marriage in the U.S. shall only be between 'one man and one woman.'

Until that happens, however, having 'state constitutional amendments' banning same-sex marriage are seen as the most sure-fire way to protect traditional marriage. State constitutional amendments prevent state courts from ruling that statutory same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional.

State constitutional amendments will prevent legal recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states as well. All state legislators and state judges [but not federal judges and federal legislators] must follow the state constitutions.

To date, eighteen states have passed state constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage.2

Undermining the Will of the People

A good defense for enacting 'state constitutional amendments' rather than state statutes is what recently took place in California.

The battle began in March 2000 when 61.4% [or 4.6 million] California's voters approved statute 'Proposition 22,' making it a state DOMA law [not a state constitutional amendment]. The new marriage law read: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Horrifically, on September 1, 2005, Californians saw their heavily Democratic Senate pass gay legislation 'AB 849' granting same-sex marriage. Five days later, both state assemblies passed AB 849 again.

California's lawmakers were the first in the nation to back gay marriage, approving a bill that defines marriage as 'two persons.' AB 849 was unlike Massachusetts' law, where gay men and lesbians are allowed to marry because of an activist state court ruling.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, at this writing, has promised to veto the bill. The Governor stated he believed voters had clearly spoken when they approved 'Prop 22' in 2000 that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The Governor said AB 849 violated the will of the people.3

Archbishop Roger Cardinal Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is Gov. Schwarzenegger's Archbishop. Cd. Mahony must speak out boldly in support of traditional marriage to California's over ten million Catholics [10,110,452], a group who represent 30% of the state's entire population. It is Cardinal Mahony's duty as Archbishop to remind all those that promote and/or practice same-sex marriage and civil unions that they have separated themselves from communion with the Church. Church leaders of all denominations must teach the people to protect the sacred covenant of marriage between 'one man and one woman.'

State by State by State

The heroic battle is before us all. State by state, the referenda to ban same-sex marriage will be put into motion, requiring passage of the ban in each state legislature by 2/3 vote, then voted on by the people. Some state constitution, such as Massachusetts, requires the legislature to approve identical language in two successive sessions before the amendment can be put before state voters in 2006.

State constitutional amendments are the best way, outside of a federal constitutional amendment, for states to inoculate themselves from rulings such as the November 2003 decision by the Supreme Court activists judicial ruling in Massachusetts that ruled equal-protection guarantees made it illegal to deny marriage to gays and lesbians.

Let's look at Texas

Let us look at one important but little known election that will have national repercussions, especially after a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court justices, in extreme judicial activism regarding 'Lawrence vs. Texas,' struck down a Texas sodomy law on June 26, 2003, declaring a state right to practice sodomy.4

The jewel, Texas, once known for its national patriotism and state republic's independence, whose once mentally and physically strong-willed people with staunch Judeo-Christian beliefs magnificently scratched out extraordinary livelihoods from scrubby, harsh and rugged terrains has now, paradoxically, over 43,000 same-sex couples living in plush, upscale urban areas of Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.5

Yet still, many pro-family Texans, with their forefathers' resolve, fight a heroic battle against the onslaught of same-sex marriage.

Notwithstanding a heated debate during May 2005, the Republic of Texas' Congress passed legislation for a proposed state constitutional amendment, defining marriage as an institution 'between one man and one woman' as well as denying state benefits and rights to gay couples.

The ballot amendment named 'Proposition 2' would safeguard existing Texas law that prohibits same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships from judicial challenges.6 The people of Texas will have an historic opportunity to vote on this state constitutional amendment November 8, 2005.

In support of the amendment, Texas Governor Rick Perry in August sent out 10,000 emails encouraging Texans to get out and vote:

"Marriage is the union between a man and a woman is a truth known to each one of us already, and any attempt to allow same-sex marriages is a detriment to the family unit and hurts our state and nation."

The biggest obstacle is this Texas November 8 election is that it is a little known 'Special Constitutional Amendment Election' where there are no state or federal candidates or parties on the ballot. Consequently, there typically is only a 7-12% voter turnout.

Not surprisingly, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender [GLBT] groups in Texas are taking advantage not only of this little known election but also of the general ignorance or indifference of many citizens on the issue of same-sex marriage.

It is well known that sodomite groups are much better organized for this 'special election' than the pro-family groups. Calling their group 'No Nonsense in 2006,' thousands of GLBT are canvassing neighborhoods in the State's largest counties, using confusing words such as 'civil rights for all' to encourage people to vote for same-sex marriage. 'No Nonsense in 2006' sent 10,000 U.S. mailings to past Democratic Party donors, encouraging support for Texas gay marriage and retaliation against Gov. Rick Perry's pro-family email efforts.

Texas Church leaders of all denominations must speak out boldly and clearly of the immoral truths of same-sex marriage. Texas Catholic archbishops, bishops, and priests must clearly remind their flock that practicing and/or promoting same-sex marriage and civil unions separates one from communion with the Catholic Church.

Over 2,000 Texas Protestant clergy formed 'Restoration Project' in May 2005, a Christian organization to bring morality to the government by empowering Christian voters.7 They plan to have Citizenship Sundays designed to encourage voters to register and vote. Governor Perry said: "It is a ridiculous notion to say you can't legislate morality. I say you can't not legislate morality."

[See Part One, Part Two, Part Four]


1 AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV, WY. Source: [Back]

2 (Alphabetically) AK, AR, GA, HI, KS, KY, LA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OR, OK, and UT. Source: [Back]

3 Article II, section 10, subdivision (c), of the California Constitution states: "The Legislature . . . may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without their approval." The purpose of this constitutional limitation of legislative power is "to 'protect the people's initiative powers by precluding the Legislature from undoing what the people have done, without the electorate's consent.' [Citations.]" (Proposition 103 Enforcement Project v. Quackenbush (1998) 64 Cal. App. 4th 1473, 1484.) [Back]

4 [Citation] Lawrence et al v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 [2003] or 123 S.Ct. 2472 [2003]. [Back]

5 Cf. "The Legislature - Same-Sex Marriage Ban Going to Voters," by R. G. Ratcliffe, Houston Chronicle, 5/24/05. [Back]

6 Cf. Entire text of Texas Prop. 2 can be found here. [Back]

7 Cf. Texans for Marriage [Back]