MARRIAGE DIGEST: Spain set to legalize 'gay marriage'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Spain's Socialist government is set to legalize same-sex "marriage" this year, making it the fifth country in the world with homosexual "marriage" in at least one locality.
The Socialist government is scheduled to approve "marriage" for homosexuals at its Oct. 1 cabinet meeting; it would then have to be approved by parliament, where the Socialists have 164 of the 350 seats.
Spain would become the third member of the European Union to legalize same-sex "marriage," joining Belgium and The Netherlands. Five provinces in Canada and one state in America (Massachusetts) also have legalized same-sex "marriage."
"The Cabinet … is going to approve the change to the civil code so that people of the same sex can marry. Why are we doing this? Because people have to be in charge of their own destiny," Socialist party member Jose Blanco said, according to Reuters.
Spain's Catholic bishops have voiced their opposition and have called the redefinition of marriage "dangerous," Reuters reported.
OK IN OKLA. -- The Oklahoma Supreme Court refused Sept. 23 to block a state constitutional amendment from appearing on the ballot. The unanimous 7-0 decision, which spanned only one sentence, means that Oklahomans will vote on an amendment Nov. 2 that protects the traditional definition of marriage and bans same-sex "marriage."
Two states have voted on marriage amendments this year, and both of them -- Missouri and Louisiana -- approved them with more than 70 percent of the vote. Oklahoma's amendment appears to have similar support. A Survey USA poll showed that 75 percent of likely voters supported the amendment, 22 percent opposed it. The poll of 579 likely voters was conducted Sept. 20-22.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma brought the lawsuit.
As many as 11 states could vote on marriage amendments Nov. 2, although lawsuits seeking to block amendments are pending in at least three states: Georgia, Arkansas and Ohio.
N.J. NEXT? -- A lawsuit seeking legalized same-sex "marriage" in New Jersey is being appealed to that state's Supreme Court -- the same court that in 1999 ruled that the Boy Scouts could not prevent homosexuals from becoming troop leaders. That decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lambda Legal announced Sept. 21 that it was appealing a same-sex "marriage" case to the New Jersey Supreme Court after a lower court judge threw the case out last year. Both sides in the case -- Lambda Legal and the state of New Jersey -- agreed to skip the appeals court and go directly to the high court.
“Same-sex couples in New Jersey have waited long enough for the critical protections and security only marriage provides," Lambda Legal's David Buckel said in a statement. "Our clients pay the same taxes as everyone else and they need the same legal rights -- nothing more and nothing less.”
New Jersey is one of approximately 12 states that has no law explicitly banning same-sex "marriage."
Lawsuits such as the one in New Jersey are the reason other states are considering passing state constitutional marriage amendments.
POLLS, POLLS -- Four new polls show that citizens in Michigan, Utah, Kentucky and Tennessee oppose same-sex "marriage."
In Michigan, a poll of 600 likely voters found that 54 percent support a state constitutional marriage amendment that will be on the ballot Nov. 2, while 37 percent oppose it. The EPIC/MRA poll was conducted Sept. 15-19 and contradicts an earlier Gallup poll that found the amendment losing 51-45 percent. The Gallup poll was conducted Sept. 10-13.
In Utah, 63 percent of registered voters say they favor a marriage amendment that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot, while 30 percent oppose it. The Deseret Morning News/KSL-TV poll was conducted Sept. 6-9.
In Kentucky, a Louisville Courier-Journal poll showed that by a 72-22 percent margin likely voters support a constitutional marriage amendment that will be on the Nov. 2 ballot. The poll was conducted Sept. 10-15.
In Tennessee, a Tennessean/Chattanooga Times Free Press poll found that 82 percent of registered voters oppose same-sex "marriage" while eight percent support it. The poll was conducted Sept. 11-14. Tennesseans aren't voting on a marriage amendment this year but could do so in 2006 if the legislature puts one on the ballot.
WASH. PUSH -- A coalition of pro-family groups in Washington state has formed a new organization, "Allies for Marriage and Children," to push for passage of a state constitutional marriage amendment in the legislature.
The formation of the coalition is in reaction to rulings by two judges this year legalizing same-sex "marriage." The rulings are being appealed.
“We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for two court decisions overturning our state’s marriage law,” Jeff Kemp of Families Northwest, one of the groups involved, said at a news conference. “All of us have seen firsthand the damage that is done when children don’t have the benefit of experiencing the different types of parenting that a mother and father bring to the family. Children need to have both a mother and father as role models."
Unlike some states, Washington has no law allowing citizens to gather signatures to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot.
The rulings by the judges struck down the state's defense of marriage act, which bans same-sex "marriage." A constitutional amendment would tie the hands of the state courts and prevent same-sex "marriage" legalization.
TAKING SIDES -- The first lady of Oregon has taken sides in the same-sex "marriage" debate, opposing a constitutional marriage amendment that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. The amendment would ban same-sex "marriage."
"There is nothing less controversial than preserving equal treatment for everyone in our constitution," Mary Oberst said, according to bend.com. "Our constitution is not the place to provide restrictions or limits on our neighbors, family members and friends."
The nation's largest homosexual activist groups are putting their resources in Oregon, hoping to defeat the amendment. Some two weeks after the vote, the Oregon Supreme Court will hear a case that could lead to legalized same-sex "marriage." The amendment's passage would make the hearing moot.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex "marriage," visit www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage.