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February 1, 2012 Print

Two States Consider Same-Sex Marriage

by Karla Dial

Same-sex marriage bills are moving in Washington and Maryland today.

The Washington Senate will vote late this afternoon or early tonight on SB 6239. The bill has at least the 25 votes it needs to pass to the House of Representatives.

Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said the odds of defeating the bill in the Legislature are “long” — but even if it is signed into law, it’s not necessarily the end of the story.

“Fortunately, we have a recourse here,” he said. “We can take it by referendum and let the people vote on it. We’d have 90 days to collect 150,000 signatures to put it on the ballot, and the public would have the opportunity to vote on it in November.

“In 31 states, the public has had the opportunity to define marriage, and all 31 have said marriage is between a man and a woman,” he continued. “I’m confident, just given the way the public in general feels about this issue, that Washington would do the same.”

On Jan. 23, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, delivered a scathing testimony holding Washington legislators personally accountable for the “next generation” of fatherless children that will be created wherever same-sex marriage is legalized.

“History will not be kind to you. Previous generations of social experimenters have caused unimaginable misery for millions of people. Particular people advocated the policies that led to today’s 50 percent divorce rate and 40 percent out-of-wedlock childbearing rate,” she said.

“Churches are already under attack for daring to dissent from the new state-imposed Orthodoxy that marriage is whatever the government says it is.”

That’s what people in Maryland are saying about the same-sex marriage bill Gov. Martin O’Malley is pushing there. Though the language assures churches they won’t be forced to host or perform same-sex weddings, the fact that the bill contains any such language at all is proof that religious freedom is always at stake when the gay agenda advances, said Maryland Marriage Alliance spokeswoman Julia Vidmar.

On Tuesday, the state Senate Judiciary Committee heard four hours of testimony; a vote could come any time this week. A companion bill was filed in the General Assembly on Wednesday. Police estimate that more than 2,000 people gathered in Annapolis for a marriage rally Monday night.

“The news media is playing it like we had a rally with about 200 people,” McCoy said. “But the rally was the most diverse politically, socially, demographically, denominationally I’ve ever seen. LDS, Jews, Christians, Pentecostals, Southern Baptists, Catholics — what a hodgepodge. Tea Partiers next to NAACPers. That’s huge.”


Read Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s Jan. 23, 2012 testimony before the Washington Legislature on the same-sex marriage bill pending there.

Read Washington SB 6239.