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.
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:
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:
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.