Although the pro-family movement made great strides defending traditional marriage last election in states like California and Arizona, the battle is still not over. Come November, voters will need to vote against three new homosexual rights initiatives in Washington, Maine, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. This legislation is in new form but poses the same threat to the traditional definition of marriage. So here is a rundown of the legislation and where you can go to get involved.
Washington: Referendum 71
Referndum 71, to be voted on this November, allows voters to confirm or reject the expansion of domestic partnership rights to include all the rights previously designated only for traditional marriage.
When the expansion, SB 5688, was signed into law by Governor Christine Gregoire on May 18, 2009, the pro-family organization, Protect Marriage Washington, moved to action and organized efforts to gather the required 120,577 signatures to get the legislation onto the ballot for the public to actually vote on this redefinition of marriage.
According to Protect Marriage Washington, the expansion of domestic partnership rights in Senate Bill 5688 is the clearly the “last step before full civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples in the state.” The bill clearly sets the ground work for such a redefinition of marriage by including the phrase, “marriage shall apply equally to state registered Domestic Partnerships” over a hundred times. The Senate bill would also “redefine terms such as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ to be interpreted as gender neutral,” exposing Washington to litigation by same-sex partners demanding the courts overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act.
To help in opposing this threat to traditional marriage, visit http://protectmarriagewa.com/.
Maine: Question 1
Similarly in Maine, proponents of traditional marriage have rallied together signatures to demand a vote on new legislation in Maine that would essentially “neuter marriage in the state.” The bill, LD 1020, “would remove the provision of Maine law that currently prohibits same-sex marriage, and would redefine marriage as a legal union between two people who may or may not be of the same sex.” The legislation was scheduled to take effect on Sept. 12 but thanks to the efforts of various pro-family organizations, the legislation will now be put to public vote.
According to Stand for Marriage Main, a Yes vote on Question 1 will prevent LD 1020 from ever becoming law, by “preventing homosexual marriage in Maine and preserving traditional marriage as the law. A Yes vote also maintains all the rights and benefits that same-sex couples now enjoy under Maine’s domestic partners law.”
For more information, visit: http://www.standformarriagemaine.com/
Kalamzoo, Michigan: Special Rights Discrimination
Finally, in Michigan, a single city ordinance is also taking center stage in the homosexual rights debate. The Kalamazoo city ordinance for Special Rights Discrimination that “outlaws employment, housing and public-accommodation discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification, “ took effect July 9 but was quickly suspended when, once again, pro-family initiatives gathered enough signatures to put the legislation to public vote.
Proponents of the antidiscrimination ordinance, argue that if approved the legislation would do nothing more than make “it a city infraction to discriminate in housing, employment or access to public accommodations based on a person’s sexual identity or gender identification.”
However, local group Kalamazoo Citizens Voting No to Special Rights Discrimination, who are organizing opposition to the legislation, disagree. The legislation would undoubtedly result in reverse discrimination through which schools, businesses, and religions would be legislated into accepting homosexual conduct. As Kalamazoo Citizens Voting No to Special Rights Discrimination argue, “Sexual orientation ordinances are used to discriminate against individuals and organizations who don’t support homosexual activists’ political agenda.”
For more information on the impact of this antidiscrimination legislation visit: http://www.responsiblevoters.org/Default.aspx