Pro-Family Groups Grateful for Bush's Defense of Traditional Marriage
by Fred Jackson, Jody Brown, and Bill Fancher
(AgapePress) As expected, President Bush's endorsement of a move to outlaw homosexual marriage is getting mixed reviews.
At a Rose Garden news conference yesterday, President Bush left no doubt about where he stands on the issue of same-sex marriage. While calling for tolerance of homosexuals, he said when it comes to marriage, it needs to be restricted to the union of a man and a woman.
"I am mindful that we're all sinners," the president stated. "And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they've got a log in their own. On the other hand, that does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise on an issue such as marriage."
And while the definition of marriage is a divisive issue on Capitol Hill, President Bush made clear his feelings on the matter. "I believe in the sanctity of marriage," he said. "I believe a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or the other -- and we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that."
As expected, homosexual groups and their supporters are upset with the president for not supporting their goal of full homosexual marriage rights.
According to PlanetOut, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has called on the media to "scrutinize" the president's statement, questioning his use of the word "sanctity" -- which PlanetOut describes as a "religiously charged word." And the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) takes issue with the implication that homosexual men and women are sinners.
But some evangelical and pro-family leaders are praising the Chief Executive for his comments. One of those is Lou Sheldon of Traditional Values Coalition (traditionalvalues.org). Sheldon called it a "courageous stand" at a time when, as he put it, "the courts are conspiring with anti-family extremists to undermine our nation's most vital institution."
Sheldon added that political and religious leaders across the nation need to follow the president's example.
Colin Stewart of the Family Research Council (frc.org) agrees with President Bush that both the word and the institution of marriage must be defended.
"We cannot mount a true defense of marriage if we are willing to give away all its privileges to counterfeit legal arrangements bearing another name," Stewart says. "As the president heads into the campaign season, he will surely be asked to defend what he today called 'the sanctity of marriage.' Pro-family voters are counting on him to do just that."
Rev. Franklin Graham, in Orlando for the public memorial service for Campus Crusade for Christ founder Dr. Bill Bright, said "if the president doesn't intervene, and if he doesn't take leadership in this area, we could lose marriage in this country the way we know it."
But another pro-family advocate says the president's response still leaves questions about where the Administration stands on the controversy.
"Theologically, the president is correct that we're all sinners," says Gary Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families (cwfpac.com), "but that doesn't really tell us very much about how we must deal with the political demands of the radical gay-rights movement. And the president is certainly right that the major demand on that agenda is to redefine marriage so that men can marry men and women can marry women."
And while Bauer says he is pleased that Bush has again stated his support for traditional marriage, he remains hopeful the president will throw his full support behind the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.
"Given the radical decision issued by six justices of the Supreme Court a few weeks ago, it is clear that no mere federal legislation can likely stop this freight train," Bauer says.
The Time is Now
The efforts in American culture to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions has conservative pro-family groups scurrying to get support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Despite the fact that 60% of Americans oppose homosexual marriage, advocates of homosexual rights are using activist courts to push that possibility on the nation. Arizona is one of 37 states that has a Defense of Marriage Act law which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Recently, two homosexual men brought a suit to challenge the law in that state.
Jim Lafferty of Traditional Values Coalition says it is time for pro-family groups to really get busy.
"We think this just underscores the need for the Federal Marriage Amendment," Lafferty says. "The founding fathers never thought they'd have to explain [and define] in the Constitution what marriage is ... but I guess in these sad, dark days of our culture, that's necessary."
The Federal Marriage Amendment would protect the traditional definition of marriage and make it part of the Constitution. As yet, the Bush Administration has chosen not to support the amendment effort.