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October 26, 2005
Column #1,261

                  Deception in Fighting Marriage Amendment

Signs have popped up across Texas - "Families Matter. Vote Against Proposition 2."

What is Proposition 2?

It's a constitutional amendment to protect marriage: "Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Therefore, why do the signs say that "Families Matter. Vote Against Proposition 2?"

The gay lobby is cleverly deceiving Texans about the amendment, hoping to trick
unsuspecting, naive voters to protect families by voting against the ban on gay marriage.

On Monday millions of Texans picked up their phones and heard this taped message:

"Hello, I'm Rev. Tom Heger. (Gov.) Rick Perry and the Legislature made a blunder in writing the gay marriage amendment. Don't risk it. Vote against it. They left off words so that it would have applied only to gay marriage. A greedy insurance company, tricky divorce lawyer, or a liberal Austin activist judge can easily use these words to overturn traditional marriage and cause people to lose health insurance, tax breaks and pensions.

"The status quo protects everyone's marriage. Don't risk it. Vote against it. God bless you. Read it for yourself: SaveTexasMarriage.com."

Many Texans, who can vote early on the constitutional amendment, have dutifully gone to the polls and voted against a measure they fear could be used by tricky lawyers to "overturn marriage and cause people to lose health insurance, tax breaks and pensions."

The ad alarms Kelly Shackelford, President of the Free Market Foundation, an affiliate of Focus on the Family, who helped draft the amendment's language and fought for its passage.

He says the ad is a "blatant fraud. It is a clear attempt by homosexuals who hide who they are, who pretend they are for marriage, who deceive people that they are religious, that it is a Christian group calling them. It is a blatant and open attempt to defraud.

"The sad thing is it is working. People are being tricked into voting the wrong way."

Consider the name of the organization sponsoring the robo-called messages: "Save Texas Marriage." The ad ends with "God bless you," making it sound Christian.

On Tuesday, people opened newspapers to see a picture of Percy and Dorothy Casey, who have been married since 1942, holding a sign which shouted "63 YEARS OF MARRIAGE AT RISK. They were part of a press conference of those opposing the amendment. Army Captain Trampes Crow, a decorated 31 year-old veteran and a married graduate student said he fears that the amendment could be used to nullify existing Texas marriages.

Why? The Amendment's second sentence states, "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Not recognizing anything "identical" to marriage could mean not recognizing marriage,
argues Glen Maxey, a former state representative and gay activist behind the cleverly deceptive
ads.

"You'd have to go through a lobotomy" to reach that conclusion, says Shackelford. "This is an all-out fraud to deceive voters. It is really disgusting."

The purpose of the second sentence of the amendment is to prohibit "civil unions" that have been passed in Vermont which confer all of the advantages of marriage to gays other than the word "marriage."

The voter turnout for constitutional amendments, when no major political race is at stake, tends to be very low - only 7 percent the last time.

This is of profound concern to Shackelford. "They have raised $500,000 from
homosexuals around the country. This is the only state this year with a marriage amendment being voted on while there were 11 states last year. The media is with them. We are trying to wake our people up. If the church shows up, we win."

The "Austin American Statesman" editorialized that over five years, 635,000 Texas
divorces were filed "to end a marriage between a man and a woman. But Texans are being told that... they can defend the institution of marriage" - not by reducing divorces but by voting against same sex marriage. "A ban on gay marriage would do nothing - nothing at all - to protect traditional marriage."

That's not true. Legalizing gay marriage does erode real marriage. Scandinavian countries legalized gay marriage a decade ago and now a majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out-of-wedlock.

However, not one state that has banned gay marriage has done anything to reduce divorce, such as reform no-fault divorce laws. On that issue, the gays make a valid point.

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