If you are from California or know anyone to pass this article on to in California, please read this important message. Download a petition to protect marriage here.
We write this article with a sense of urgency.
Meridian readers in California can be the tipping point for getting a constitutional amendment to protect marriage on the November 2006 ballot, but to do so, your help is needed now. If California is to save marriage and stop same-sex marriage from becoming law, one million signatures must be gathered on petitions before mid-December.
Efforts have been under way to get these signatures for some time – but still more than 7,000 signatures per day must be gathered to put this important amendment on the ballot.
We have scores of thousands of Meridian readers in California – and we can do it.
Some people think that since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the same-sex marriage bill that passed both the California Assembly and Senate, that marriage is protected, but this is not so. It is a fragile. We’ll explain below.
This is the challenge Meridian is asking its California readers. Can we rally 10,000 readers to gather at least 10 signatures apiece? Could we rally even more? We think so, and it requires very little of your time. Just pass this article on to your friends with your recommendation that they become involved.
We suggest the following:
- Go to www.familyleader.net and sign up to receive the free email subscription. This will come once a week to keep you informed about national issues, but a local version just for California citizens will also come to your inbox to keep you updated on California issues and this petition drive. The Family Leader Network is an independent organization whose purpose is to rally citizens to support family, marriage and the moral foundation of our society. It is not affiliated with any church or other civic organization. Feel free to invite anyone who cares about these issues to participate. The mission statement and principles as well as several articles describing the organization are at www.familyleader.net
The California Family Leader Network email will not only keep you up to date on the constitutional amendment but many other issues that are currently important in California, such as Proposition 73, which will be voted on this November.
- Download at least two petitions (five signatures per petition) and circulate them to your friends and neighbors. You may not circulate these petitions in a church building or parking lot. You will receive a page of instructions with your downloaded petition that will explain what to do and where to send your completed petitions.
If you can circulate more petitions, please do. The future of marriage in California may depend on your efforts.
Asking people to sign a petition to allow voters to consider this amendment is not a difficult thing to do. All you have to do is ask your neighbors and friends if citizens should be allowed to vote on something as important as marriage rather than turn the decision over to the courts. .
The amendment, called the California Protection Act, reads:
A marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.
The History of the California Battle
In 2000, family-centered Californians rolled up their sleeves, grabbed clipboards and talked to their neighbors in order to pass Proposition 22. It read, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” It passed with a substantial 61.4% at the March 2000 election.
You’d think that would settle this issue in California. The people had spoken. Yet in defiance of the voters’ passage of Proposition 22, state lawmakers begin passing laws to chip away at the intent of Proposition 22. Just days before leaving office, Governor Gray Davis signed AB 205 into law, conferring the full legal status of married spouses upon “domestic partners.”
The Proposition 22 Legal Defense Fund challenged A.B. 205 in court, but a Sacramento judge rejected the challenge by saying that Proposition 22 limited only the word “marriage,” but not the legal status of marriage. The ruling was appealed to a higher court and held.
In another affront to the voters’ will, in 2004 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom openly defied Proposition 22 by issuing nearly 4,000 illegal marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Although the State Supreme Court stepped in to stop Newsom temporarily, the justices left the door open to new legal challenges against Proposition 22.
Several new lawsuits, combined together as the Marriage Cases, were filed against Proposition 22 and in 2005, a San Francisco Judge struck the proposition down, ruling that the traditional definition of marriage violates California‘s State Constitution. The ruling against marriage has been stayed pending appeals to higher courts. The outcome there is uncertain and leaves Proposition 22 in jeopardy, at the whim of a few judges.
Meanwhile, just a few weeks ago, the California Assembly and Senate passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage. Marriage supporters held their breath – and Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.
The governor, then, is one person standing in the way of California‘s legitimizing same-sex marriage – and who knows what his political future holds?
But his words don’t offer security anyway. He couched his veto in his complete approval of domestic partnerships, also adding that if the legislature tries to derail the vote of the people, it is unconstitutional. He said that now he was looking for a court decision or another vote of the people.
This is the press release from his office:
In Governor Schwarzenegger’s personal life and work in public service, he has considered no undertaking to be more noble than the cause of civil rights. He believes that gay couples are entitled to full protection under the law and should not be discriminated against based upon their relationship. He is proud that California provides the most rigorous protections in the nation for domestic partners.
Five years ago the matter of same-sex marriage was placed before the people of California. The people voted and the issue is now before the courts. The Governor believes the matter should be determined not by legislative action – which would be unconstitutional – but by court decision or another vote of the people of our state. We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote. Out of respect for the will of the people, the Governor will veto AB 849.
How is it that the people can speak so clearly and have things go so awry as to leave the definition of marriage in limbo? It is because those who push same-sex unions are relentless, tireless and aggressive. They do not take a “no” from the people as anything but an opportunity to try another tactic. They have a political will of steel.
California needs a constitutional amendment protecting marriage. Californians obviously can’t expect the courts to protect marriage. They certainly can’t expect the legislature to do it. Both have already failed to support the voice of the people. A constitutional amendment is the only solution.
The question now is, do family-centered people have the will to step forward to support marriage and the future of children?
Those who have been pushing the same-sex marriage agenda are assuming that family-centered citizens are too soft or too lazy to support marriage. They are counting on wearing us down. Let marriage be the place where we draw the line – and not allow a radical social experimentation with the future for our children.
Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us you’re responding to this petition drive. We’re interested to see how many Meridian readers from California are willing to take this challenge. It takes very little time to do, but the future not only of California, but the nation depends on it.
2005 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.