By Nathan Black
The majority of voters in Maine rejected a law on Tuesday that allowed gay and lesbian couples to wed.
After months of campaigning and millions of dollars in ads, traditional marriage supporters claimed victory at the ballot box with 53 percent of the vote.
“This has never been about gay rights,” said Marc Mutty, chairman of Stand for Marriage Maine, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s about marriage, and this is reaffirmation by the people of Maine that marriage between men and women is special and unique.”
The state law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. John Baldacci in May. Before the law could go into effect in September, opponents submitted enough signatures for a “people’s veto,” subjecting the measure to repeal.
While gay rights advocates were hoping to make history by affirming same-sex marriage by popular vote, their votes came up short on Tuesday.
“Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Maine voters stood for equality, but in the end, it wasn’t enough,” said Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for No on 1/Protect Maine Equality.
He assured supporters that their efforts would not stop and that they were in this for the long haul “because in the end, this has always been about love and family and that will always be something worth fighting for.”
Whenever given the opportunity, U.S. voters have upheld the traditional definition of marriage. Constitutional amendments affirming marriage as between one man and one woman have been passed in 29 states in the past 10 years and statutes to the same effect have been adopted in another 15 states, according to the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
Recent polls have also shown that the majority of American voters continue to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. According to the Gallup Poll, 57 percent of Americans say marriages between same-sex couples should not be recognized by the law as valid while 40 percent say such marriages should be legal.
Many gay rights activists think Obama isn’t doing enough. But he’s in no rush on same-sex marriage or the military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy.
Does that kind of clearly dominant constituency — one that’s more politically-attuned than the rest of the electorate — come with any political obligation regarding gay rights? You bet it does, and this weekend Obama is acknowledging the debt.
So far, his is a mixed record.
While Obama remains opposed to marriage among same-sex couples, in June he extended some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees. And he has taken steps to include among his administration openly gay officials.
John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, is the government’s highest-ranking gay official. David Huebner, chief lawyer for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has been nominated ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. Mr. Huebner would be just the second openly gay US ambassador. (The first was appointed by Bill Clinton.)
Marriage and the US military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay men and women in uniform remain the toughest issues for the nation — and especially for Obama.
The Pew Research Center reported Friday that while most Americans favor civil unions for same-sex couples, they remain opposed to gay marriage.
It’s an issue that transcends government policy to an unusual extent, carrying significant moral and religious overtones. Pew finds that “nearly half of the public (49 percent) says homosexual behavior is morally wrong, while 9 percent say it is morally acceptable and 35 percent say it is not a moral issue.”
Meanwhile, the armed services for years have wrestled with the Pentagon’s policy regarding gay service members — a policy which senior retired officers (and even some on active duty) increasingly have spoken out against at a time when the troops, like the relatively young cohort of Americans they’re part of, don’t see the point in discriminating against gay men and lesbians.
Many gay rights advocates are losing patience with Obama who (unlike Bill Clinton) has no inclination to jump right into the military issue.
“Eleven months after his election, he has failed to deliver on any of his commitments to gay Americans, but even worse has been his refusal to engage around these issues,” Richard Socarides, who advised President Bill Clinton’s administration on gay and lesbian policy, told the Associated Press.
“What he needs to do now is engage and deliver,” said Socarides. “Spend some of his political capital on ending the gay military ban, a hugely symbolic issue. And with no intellectually sound arguments left against it, come out squarely for gay marriage equality.”
Obama also is being nudged to retire today’s military policy by many members of Congress. Led by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) of Pennsylvania (the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress) 176 House members have signed on to a bill doing away with don’t ask, don’t tell.
Obama is eager to sign the new hate crimes law. And White House officials push back against the notion that the president is dragging his feet on gay rights.
“The president has been very clear. He’s not hiding, he’s not avoiding [the gay and lesbian] issue,” Melody Barnes, the president’s top domestic policy adviser, told the Washington Post. “He has walked into a range of different communities as well as looked into the eyes of those in the GLBT community and been very clear about what he supports and what he wants done and the way he thinks it’s practical to get it done.”
Got questions about life, death, politics or religion? How about one on the topic of “gay” marriage?
It’s time for WWDD.
That’s not a typo on the familiar WWJD — “What Would Jesus Do?” — a theme among Christians. It stands for “What Would Dumbledore Do?” a new move to answer such questions and spark “social change” through the “teachings” available in the Harry Potter witchcraft books and movies. The campaign has begun specifically promoting “gay” marriage.
Not happy? Here’s what Dumbledore and Potter say:
To accept our reality exactly as it is and want nothing more than that reality is to stand in a place of self-acceptance. To accept oneself as we are right now can happen at this moment, but to accept oneself for a sustained period of time often times takes a lifetime of practice. But make no mistake: there is no higher joy.
Virtually no question theoretically isn’t answered by the beliefs and actions of the creations of author J.K. Rowling. For example, the following discussion on diversity offers a foreign policy position for the U.S. president:
In our world, wars often end because each side recognizes the others’ humanity. One small but profound example is Northern Ireland where Protestant women began attending the funerals of Catholic men – and vice versa. As these women gradually discovered that they were all suffering the loss of their husbands and sons, it was no longer the “other side” that was the enemy, but the war itself.
Conversely, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was led by an administration with very little background knowledge of the rich and diverse cultures in Iraqi society and a lack of curiosity to learn about them. The head of the original invasion, Paul Bremer, could not even speak Arabic and to this day the current administration continues to allow many of the small number of Arabic translators we do have to be fired for being gay. Imagine if this were different. Perhaps, if children and adults in both countries had formed friendships with each other, there never would have been a need for such a war in the first place. Some may call this wishful thinking. I believe Dumbledore would have called the building of friendships as an impediment to war, “realism.”
“Those things have been after-thoughts to the fanboys and girls who made ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ phenomena that had lives outside of the big and small screen. A little charity, here and there, but mainly those fans are about the faux reality of the world of their fixation – Trek on big screen and small, The Empire, The Rebel Alliance or Middle Earth.
“But not for Muggles,” the blogger wrote.
Poster from “Order of the Phoenix” movie
The wildly popular Harry Potter books, movies and characters have faced criticism for attacking the Judeo-Christian values on which the United States was built.
WND columnist Ben Shapiro earlier raised objections when author Rowling suddenly announced Dumbledore was homosexual.
“When J.K. Rowling announced … that Albus Dumbledore, the aged headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was gay, I was somewhat confused. When did the old dude with the funky beard turn into Gore Vidal? According to Rowling, Dumbledore was always Gore Vidal,” Shapiro wrote.
“Why did Rowling surreptitiously plant a creepy subtext in the most popular children’s book of all time? She didn’t. By most accounts, there is nothing in any of the books to suggest that Dumbledore is gay. It’s easy enough for Rowling to retroactively adopt politically correct attitudes about homosexuality – she never had to face the public scrutiny that surely would have ensued had she made Dumbledore openly gay. Instead, she raked in over $1 billion by appealing to kids and their parents, then conveniently announced Dumbledore’s orientation before a swooning fan base in New York,” he wrote.
“Aside from the fact that these children are exposed to ugly creatures, fantastic violence and worthless incantations, this movie has some dialogue that sounds like it comes out of Stuart Smalley’s Daily Affirmations on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Namely, when professor Dumbledore sits Harry down and tells him, ‘You are not a bad person. Every person has light and darkness. You have a choice,’” Baehr wrote.
“Imagine saying this to Cho Seung-Hui after he had his killing spree at Virginia Tech. Or Adolf Hitler. … Contrary to Dumbledore’s idiotic aphorisms, there are bad people,” he wrote.
“For those who don’t care about the occult worldview in the ‘Harry Potter’ books and movies, which reinforces this rampant selfish solipsism, they should care about this insane condoning and tolerating of malignant narcissistic behavior. For instance, one woman several years ago told me that she always took her children to see ‘Harry Potter.’ After her little boy talked back to her, kicked at her and annoyed her, I said that I could see he’s learned his scripts of behavior from dear old Harry,” he continued.
“Witchcraft means rebellion against God’s authority in the Bible. These books and movies teach rebellion against authority. When they add to this rebellious attitude the stupid aphorism that ‘you’re really a good person,’ then one must seriously ask: What are these narcissistic children supposed to think?”
The Harry Potter Alliance website says it is using the next Harry Potter film “to coordinate the entire Harry Potter fandom, harnessing new media and the night of the movie release to promote social change.”
Twitter, Facebook and its own website, whatwoulddumbledoredo.org, will be put into the action.
“Fans will take worldwide actions … to create a larger discussion for how the lessons of Albus Dumbledore can be translated into our lives and toward a global transformation,” the website says.
Alliance Executive Director Andrew Slack wrote, “In just two weeks, millions of theater goers will watch the shocking death of Harry’s mentor Albus Dumbledore followed by Harry stating that Dumbledore will live on in all who remain loyal to his spirit.
“Although Dumbledore is a fictional character, his presence remains real in the hearts of Harry Potter fans and his message, much like the message of such real life figures as Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, is needed in our world.”
Moviegoers are being encouraged to share a lesson that Dumbledore taught them, and various fan sites are asking their supporters to “tweet” Dumbledore “with the hope that each time people do, they’ll think of what he stood for and how he lives on in each of us.”
Ultimate, the 100 online lessons “articulate how Dumbledore’s values can be translated to our personal lives.”
And beyond that, the “Doctrine,” teaches how those “values” ultimately “can be translated onto the national and global stage into public policy that legalizes same sex marriage, indigenous people’s rights, the Employee Free Choice Act, and media reform while joining the HPA’s partner NGO’s in their stand against genocide, poverty, prison torture, and global warming.”
On the blog forum, came this response from Amanda: “This is awesome! The Harry Potter books and Dumbledore have lots of great advice on how to have a better world. I am so taking part in this.”
The alliance, which describes itself as a non-profit that “engages Harry Potter fans in social activism,” lists study subjects on its website including bravery, choices, diversity, equality, friendship, happiness, living fully, loss, personal power and race.
The movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” is set to launch July 15.
FROM BEN SMITH
Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who offered memorable opposition (above) to same-sex marriage and a young, attractive new face for the movement against it, will appear tomorrow at a press conference hosted by the National Organization for Marriage at the National Press Club, according to a press release from the group.
She’ll be launching a new ad, the second in what the group says is a $1.5 million campaign.
The ad, the release says, will address:
What happens when a young California beauty pageant contestant is asked, “Do you support same-sex marriage?” She is attacked viciously for having the courage to speak up for her truth and her values. But Carrie’s courage inspired a whole nation and a whole generation of young people because she chose to risk the Miss USA crown rather than be silent about her deepest moral values. “No Offense” calls gay marriage advocates to account for their unwillingness to debate the real issue: Gay marriage has consequences.
Public schools refuse donations from small, faith-based publishers
After a Northern Virginia public school system banned books containing a Christian viewpoint on homosexuality from its library shelves, saying the texts might make “gays” feel inferior, students and parents are fighting back.
More than 40 Christian parents and students held a protest Thursday to speak out against Fairfax County public school librarians’ decision to refuse titles such as “Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage and Parenting” and “Someone I Love Is Gay.”
Protesters wore black shirts saying, “Closing Books Shuts Out Ideas” after they unsuccessfully tried to donate more than 100 Christian books on homosexuality to several high school libraries, the Washington Post reported. Focus on the Family is the leading organization behind a “True Tolerance” effort to balance library shelves by adding a Christian perspective to the numerous pro-”gay” books currently stocked.
“We put ourselves out there … and got rejected,” student Elizabeth Bognanno told reporters. “Censoring books is not a good thing. … We believe our personal rights have been violated.”
The school system’s policy on library collections states “the collection should support the diverse interests, needs and viewpoints of the school community.”
However, it also states, “Librarians are under no obligation to include donations in the library collection.”
Coordinator of library information services Susan Thornily told the Post the books did not meet set standards. She said librarians told her the books contained large amounts of scripture, very little research or would make homosexuals “feel inferior.”
Thornily said librarians regularly refuse titles that “target minority groups.” According to the Post, this time they were concerned about the “level of scholarship” of small faith-based publishing companies.
“It all goes back to the books and the publishers and the presentation and the research,” she said.
Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family, said the purpose of “True Tolerance” is to prevent censorship, not promote it. “We hear … more and more that homosexuality is being promoted in schools,” she told the Post. “The word tolerance is often used, but a faith-based viewpoint is belittled or ridiculed.”
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, said his organization will also launch a Library Fairness Project to promote books challenging homosexuality. He said libraries currently have numerous pro-”gay” books that encourage same-sex marriage and relationships.
“That seems to be something that is going to be very difficult to change,” he said. “Instead let’s expand the selection to get both sides in the library.”
Thornily told the Post she would be willing to help librarians locate books that provide a religious perspective on “gay” lifestyles and meet county standards. West Springfield High School students prayed at the protest. Some indicated they had given new books to their libraries and were waiting to hear whether their donations would be accepted.
Liberty Counsel – www.LC.org
Liberty Counsel Will Ask California Court To Stay Opinion Until Californians Vote On Marriage
Liberty Counsel intends to file a motion asking the California Supreme Court to stay its opinion pending the outcome of a vote in November on a state constitutional amendment that could preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman and overturn the Court’s opinion.
Californians may have the chance to overturn the Court’s order by amending the state constitution. Over one million signatures in favor of the California Marriage Protection Act are being certified and voters will soon know whether more than 700,000 are valid so that the Act will appear on the November, 2008 ballot.
A stay of the Court’s order is needed so that California does not create confusion by recognizing same-sex “marriage” for five months and then suddenly stopping after the amendment passes and the Court loses jurisdiction over the issue.
Please pray that the Court agrees to stay the order so that the people of California can have the last word on protecting marriage in that state.
The White House issued a statement about the Court’s decision: “President Bush has always believed marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman. It’s unfortunate when activist judges continue to seek to redefine marriage by court order – without regard for the will of the people. Today’s decision by the California Supreme Court illustrates that a federal constitutional amendment is the best way for the people to decide what marriage means. President Bush remains firmly committed to protecting the sanctity of marriage.”
We must pray that our next President does everything possible to make sure that a federal marriage amendment is actually passed!
Tonight, Mat Staver is scheduled to discuss this case with talk show host Michael Savage at 7:30 p.m. ET on The Savage Nation, a popular nationally-syndicated radio program.
Liberty Counsel’s involvement in this case has received extensive media attention. A few links are provided below:
California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban (New York Times)
California ruling for gay marriage could galvanize Florida (Miami Herald)
Calif. ruling akin to “legal tsunami” (OneNewsNow)
Opponents of gay marriage see hope in ballot measure (Los Angeles Times)
State Supreme Court says same-sex couples have right to marry (San Francisco Chronicle)
Court overturns same-sex marriage ban (San Jose Mercury News)
Black Robes Trash Traditional Marriage (WorldNetDaily)
Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk
Anyone who cares about the future of our society should read this book. Children are among those most affected by same-sex marriage. This book discusses the impact same-sex marriage has on the culture and gives you real answers to the central questions surrounding this important issue.
Go directly to our online store at www.LC.org
There are several ways to give to the ministry of Liberty Counsel. Mail your check to PO Box 540774 – Orlando, FL 32854, call 1-800-671-1776 or go to http://www.LC.org and click on the “Donate” button.
Your one time gift or monthly gift of $10, $50, $100 or more can help. Liberty Counsel is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Mathew D. Staver – Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel, with offices in Florida, Virginia, Texas and the District of Columbia, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. On the campus of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty Counsel’s Liberty Center for Law & Policy trains attorneys, law students, policymakers, legislators, clergy and world leaders in constitutional principles and government policies.