Thursday, February 09, 2012

How To Save Marriage

Now that the Legislature has passed SB 6239 and will be sending it to Governor Gregoire for her promised signature, how do we save marriage? Click here to see how each Representative voted.

There are a couple of things I think you should be aware of.

There are plans that involve running both an Initiative and a Referendum.

I will make you aware of both efforts as they develop.

Attorney Steve Pidgeon has already filed an Initiative to change the wording of DOMA. It is I-1192. I asked him how this differs from a Referendum and would his Initiative reverse or overturn SB 6239.

This is his response sent to me yesterday, prior to the vote in the House.

Gary:

The bill that is about to pass the House today, and will soon be enacted into law by former Catholic Christine Gregoire, is a bill that modifies the existing Defense of Marriage Act, set forth in RCW 26.04.010 (and 26.04.020). This law is consistent with the standards of the Torah found in Leviticus 18, and of course Matthew 19. The bill, at its core, modifies the restriction that states that marriage is between “a male and a female” and makes the law read that “marriage is a civil contract between “two persons” who have obtained the age of eighteen . . .

The bill as proposed also modifies RCW 26.04.020, which prohibits marriages that were formerly described as bigamous or incestuous (as delineated by the operative passages of Leviticus 18), by changing the language to eliminate the words “wife or husband” and to include “registered domestic partners” with spouses. The bill completely strikes the prohibition in RCW 26.04.010(1)(c), which prohibits marriage “when the parties are persons other than a male and female.”

It also goes on to allow for people from other states who are in civil unions to obtain a marriage license in Washington. The proposed legislation then goes on to pretend to protect “religious liberty” by carefully crafting one exception to the draconian anti-discrimination provisions of the bill as to the solemnization of marriage. The freedom of conscience to not recognize such a marriage is not protected by the act, and of course employment anti-discrimination laws also apply. To make matters worse, if the religious organization actually operates in public (offers accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public in transactions) then the “religious liberty” protection no longer applies. You have freedom of conscience as long as you give up making accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public in transactions.

People of faith and conviction who are not religious organizations, such a pharmacies, adoption agencies, counseling groups, photographers, Christian camp operators, etc., enjoy no “religious liberty” exception to the act, so you can rest assured that such businesses will be regularly sued under the “religious liberty” clauses of the act.

Contrary to some of the summary conclusions I have read, I-1192 works to defeat all of this nonsense. Let me say at the outset that I believe the language of the initiative to be Spirit breathed. It changes only four words (eight, actually, but the words are identical. I-1192 changes the language in RCW 26.04.010 from saying that a “marriage is a civil contract between a male and a female” to read that “marriage is a civil contract between one man and one woman.” In addition, the Initiative changes the language in RCW 26.04.020 from say that (1) Marriages in the following cases are prohibited: (c) “When the parties are persons other than a male and a female” to read (c) “When the parties are persons other than one man and one woman.”

This is a modification of existing law to give greater clarity to the terms of the statute. Biblically, there are several reasons for this change. While the language in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 begins with the reference that “male and female” he created them, the marriage language indicates that “therefore the man should leave his mother and father and cleave to his woman.” Now I know some of your bibles say “wife,” however, where the underlying term “wife” is found in the Old Testament, the word is “Ishaw” and wherever the word husband is found, the word is “Ish.” Ishaw means woman; Ish means man. In both references (and the initial reference is in Genesis 4) the “man” shall leave his mother and father and cleave to his “woman.”

From a legal view, the change is necessary, because the corrupted courts in this land cannot seem to discover what the meaning of the word “is” is. Recently, a Rabbi testified on behalf of same sex marriage, saying that Rabbis weren’t certain about the meaning of the word “abomination.” In Hebrew, this is the word Toanu, which means “disgusting; idolatry.” That is pretty clear. I think we all know what is meant by the word abomination, but our courts seem to be incapable of deciphering the plain meaning of the language.

You never can tell when a judge might rule that the word “a” is not limited to simply its singular application, but actually can embrace a plurality such as when it introduces a binary concept like “a deer.” Clearly, the word has a slip-sliding application, depending on the application the courts are willing to give it. See Bologna v. Hot Air, Inc., _____ U.S. _____, citation omitted. In addition, we are going to be seeing ever-evolving definitions of what is a “male.” Can it apply to an inanimate object that someone has so designated? I call my truck JoBob – is that sufficient to create a “male” for purposes of the statute? What about the term female? Does that mean someone who was born that way? Can it be expanded to someone who became that way through surgery? What about someone who just desires to be treated that way? What about a boat that is continually referred to as “old girl” and “she”? Does that qualify under the statute? All of these ambiguities are too much to deal with. Let’s simply and clarify: one man and one woman.

Although the Initiative is not being driven to overturn the bill soon to be enacted by the Legislature, it nonetheless will terminate all of its provisions should the initiative be adopted.

1.I It reverses the expanded definitions in RCW 26.04.010 and .020;

2. Therefore, no marriage license can issue;

3. Therefore, out of state civil unions will not be able to obtain a marriage license in Washington;

4. Therefore, religious organizations will only be sued if they discriminate against traditionally married couples.

5. The answer is YES, I-1192 succeeds in defeating all of the same-sex marriage bill. However, note that this push to further clarify the language of the Defense of Marriage Act also works to protect against bigamy, polygamy and incest, which are becoming more and more a concern here in Washington.

Finally, there is a question of whether the bill will be found to be “unconstitutional” as it reverses a law that has not yet been passed. This argument is not well-founded. This is not a referendum that asks voters to approve or reject an act of the legislature. This is an initiative, which creates new law, clarifying the existing definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

To be sure, there will be a “constitutional” challenge, that will probably end up before the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Fear not! I say! Let us chip away at the battle one front at a time.

______________________

And then I asked what the difference would be between his Initiative and a Referendum in regard to the public and the ballot.

This is his answer:

Gary:

Just to draw your attention to the difference between the Referendum and the Initiative:

Here is the title that is likely to appear on the ballot in a referendum on the Legislature's bill:

AN ACT Relating to marriage equality that would provide equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and change domestic partnership laws while protecting religious freedom.

[VOTE NO on marriage equality and religious freedom!]

Here is the likely title for my initiative that would appear on the ballot for the voters to vote on:

I-1192

AN ACT Relating to reaffirming the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman;

[VOTE YES to define marriage as between one man and one woman!]

Doing an initiative allows us to frame the debate most favorably to our position. And it will allow us to begin NOW, putting us on offense and the other side on defense. We should have the final ballot tally by the end of this week or early next week. Petitions to follow. Thanks for being a brother in all of this.

_________________

I will keep you updated on all progress as we Stand For Marriage. This is our time. We must make our best effort.

If you are willing to work with us in the distribution of petitions, please fill out a form on our website by clicking here. I need your name, address, email and a phone number where I can reach you. Your personal information will be held confidential to me and my office.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.

12 comments:

  1. Leave it to the "Christians" in Gary's sphere of friends to be astounded that, while operating in the public realm, they have to follow anti-discrimination laws like everyone else.

    While they want an exception from anti-discrimination laws for themselves, I doubt they would support exceptions for anyone else who might want to discriminate against them. Talk about wanting special rights...

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  2. Gary, thank you for this! Any word yet from attorney Pidgeon on whether we will run an initiative or referendum that mandates death for any man or woman who commits adultery, as delineated by the operative passages of Leviticus 20?

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    1. If we did there'd be a lot less of it going on.

      Craig in Lacey

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  3. What is the definition of insanity?

    Turning your focus from Jesus Christ - to battling non-existent demons..... a la Don Quixote

    Further, this on-going focus on corrupt sexuality - admittedly I feel dirty after seeing Gary's daily focus on perversion. Scripture calls us to think upon that which is Pure, Holy, etc.

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    1. Non- existent? Satan goes around like a roaring lion, seeking those those he may devour.

      Yes, it does. It also calls us to speak the truth in love, to call sin what it is. Not to call evil good and good evil or wash our hands of those caught in bondage. We are to call sinners to repentance, of which I am one, thats the heart of the Gospel message.

      The light doesn't shine if you hide it under a bushel.

      Craig in Lacey

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  4. I would have liked to see a conversation about two referendums . One pertaining to religious freedom excemptions clearly spelled out .
    Mick

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  5. Real Support for Marriage Would Look Like---

    Washington State will show real consideration and respect for marriage when it requires:

    • Premarital couples to get relationship education

    • Couples facing divorce to take marriage classes

    • High schools to teach the advantages of marriage and the skills of problem solving and communication skills

    • Teaching high school/college students the requirements of Support Enforcement child support

    and

    • Changes No-fault divorce laws that recognize the problem of infidelity and settlements reflect the importance of fidelity

    • Gives married couples the same level of state support and benefits as it does single women (welfare, prenatal care, housing, child care)

    • Tracks the outcomes for out of wedlock/married rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections to facilitate greater success in prevention and care programs

    When these measures are addressed, I might believe that the legislature actually cares about the rights/responsibilities of marriage.

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  6. " The freedom of conscience to not recognize such a marriage is not protected by the act, and of course employment anti-discrimination laws also apply. To make matters worse, if the religious organization actually operates in public (offers accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public in transactions) then the “religious liberty” protection no longer applies. You have freedom of conscience as long as you give up making accommodations, facilities, advantages, privileges, services, or goods to the public in transactions."

    This is ridiculous. Once marriage equality is signed into law and affirmed via referendum, individuals and business owners will have EXACTLY the same rights to pick and choose which civil marriages to treat as they do now - namely none. A Catholic florist or caterer, who does not recognize remarriage without annulment, is no more able to refuse to do business with someone on their third or forth marriage today, than they will be able to decide not to do business with same-sex couples. All the "unexpected consequences" Pidgeon so disingenuously works himself into a lather over are nothing more than the application of existing non-discrimination laws as they pertain to marriage. While I realize the Stephen thinks that his religion views homosexuality as double plus bad, that simply isn't a valid reason to throw out existing laws that have been around for decades without controversy. Any right to refuse service would have to apply to any and all marriages equally, since singling out same-sex marriages would clearly run afoul of equal protection guarantees.

    Clearly the intention of Gary Stephen and their anonymous out of state financial backers with the initiative and the referendum is to try and confuse to the issue. If they both pass and it gets thrown to the courts, then they can fundraise off bashing "activist judges" or it "dictators in black robes" this week?

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  7. I agree, more needs to be done to strenghten traditional marriage, but that does not mean an abomination should be allowed to be codified into law.

    Craig in Lacey

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  8. It is interesting that neither Mr. Pidgeon's intiative nor the proposed referendum will seek to repeal or narrow the 2009 domestic partnership law. In 2009, Gary told us that the DP law was essentially gay marriage in all but name, that its passage would have a terrible impact on WA families and that it would result in school children being taught how to perform sodomy. Yet now, with all of these options being considered, no one even mentions the DP law. Which tells you either that Pidgeon and Randall are terrible leaders or that they were lying in 2009 about the dire need to defeat the DP law.

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  9. Marriage can be save by those representatives that vote for it.

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