Nearly five years ago, Nicole Theis and her husband, Chris, started the Delaware Family Policy Council. With a team of two staff members and several young volunteers, she is trying to stave off a legislative onslaught this summer, hoping to save marriage in the state for future generations. She sat down with CitizenLink this week to talk about what’s happening there.
CitizenLink: What prompted you and your husband, Chris, to start the Family Policy Council in Delaware?
Nicole Theis: Well, it was really a response to what we see happening all around us across the nation — and really asking what can we do, how can we make a difference right where we are? That’s the way it started. I think we’ve always felt like that, but after prayer — lots of prayer — God made it very clear to us. When you’re going to stand for these principles of marriage and life, they’re not real popular positions, and we really had to think about what that would mean. But God has been so faithful. I wanted to make sure that once we stepped into this arena it was exactly what God intended for us. We believe that and we have seen His incredible faithfulness with the people He’s brought alongside us. There’s no way we would have accomplished as much as we have in four years without the incredible people we’ve been allowed to labor with.
CL: What is happening in Delaware with same-sex marriage?
NT: Well, as you know, Joe Biden is from Delaware. And recently his son, Beau — who happens to be the Attorney General for Delaware — came out with a public statement talking about (how) it’s time for Delaware to end “marriage discrimination.” A few weeks before, our governor (Jack Markell) said it’s “inevitable that same-sex marriage passes in Delaware and we need to end marriage discrimination.” (The state) has already passed a very aggressive civil-unions law which has all the same language as marriage, just without the name. In every state where civil unions have been enacted (activists said) it will not lead to same-sex marriage. And 100 percent of the time, same-sex marriage attempts follow.
CL: There is no referendum process in Delaware, so same-sex marriage would have to come through the Legislature. Will the lawmakers try to legalize it before the session ends on June 30?
NT: Yes, absolutely. I think (President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage) energized both sides — one to move forward as fast as they can (to legalize it), the other with a great effort to preserve marriage. It’s almost like everybody’s so crystal clear where the other one stands. We’re going to be able to take advantage of that. If it is not passed in this session, we will be able to leverage the redistricting of the whole state in (November). It’s good that every legislator is up for re-election. That gives us opportunity to recruit some solid people with solid character to really sound the alarm.
CL: How does a family policy council work with candidates and the public?
NT: We are advocates for parental rights and we are also big advocates for religious liberties. So we look to really equip people to be aware of how the moral issues of our day really shape the economy and everything (else). One of the most rewarding things about the Delaware Family Policy Council is someone calling us who needs support or has questions, and then watching them come alive when they’re empowered to go out and do something great and stand for truth. We do all of this through a Biblical worldview.
CL: Looking ahead, what’s the biggest challenge facing your group?
NT: I think the biggest challenge is when people don’t engage. Maybe it’s out of a sense of hopelessness or a sense that the ship is sinking anyway. Really, our call to action is just to be a good steward with the truth. If we can get people to do that, we will change things in our state — and that’s what we are inspiring people to do.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about the Delaware Family Policy Council.