Ballot Question 2: RESOLVED, That a new section designated Section 21 be added to Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Nevada to read as follows: “Only a marriage between a male and female person shall be recognized and given effect in this state.”
We can all learn a lesson from members of the gay and lesbian movement. They are strongly committed to their cause and will invest the time, effort and resources to further their political agenda. They will not sit idly by and not be heard. I guarantee you, I will receive dozens of e-mails, letters and faxes from the homosexual community once this column hits the streets. But don’t forget, the moral majority also has a voice, and if we exercise it, we can protect family values, our children and our very way of life.
Ballot Question 2 was put before the voters of Nevada in November 2000 and passed by an overwhelming majority (69.5 percent). Under Nevada law, it must pass a second time before it takes effect, so voters again have the chance this November to express their belief that marriage is a legal state entered into by a man and a woman. Is this important? Is it really necessary? Yes – for a number of reasons.
While Nevada law currently provides that marriage may only be between a male and a female, it is important to recognize that under the “full faith and credit” clause of the United States Constitution, Nevada could be required to recognize same-sex marriages entered into legally in another state. There are movements, from Hawaii to Vermont, to create “domestic unions” and recognize “domestic partnerships.” Eventually, some state is going to legalize same-sex marriages, and then we’ll have to deal with it, whether we like it or not.
Because Congress has authority to set parameters on the “full faith and credit” provision, it was able to pass the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage in federal law as the “legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife.” It also clarified that no state shall be required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. But – it only protects states that protect themselves by passing their own laws protecting marriage. That’s why Ballot Question 2 is important.
Those who want to legalize same-sex marriages claim gays and lesbians are being discriminated against, and say all they really want is equal protection under the law. This argument sounds reasonable at first glance. However, there is an old fable that may give us some perspective here: An Arabian merchant was crossing the desert with his camel. When they camped for the night, the merchant went into his tent to sleep, leaving the camel outside. Soon the camel started to complain of the cold, and begged, “If only you’d let me put my nose inside the tent, I could get warm.” Of course, he didn’t stop there, and by the end of the story, the camel was inside the tent and the master was outside in the cold. The moral, of course, is not to let the camel get his nose in, because the rest of him is sure to follow.
The plea for legal homosexual marriage is not about equal rights, and it’s not even about marriage. It’s about taking the next step to achieving an entire political agenda – an agenda that will have dramatic and far-reaching effects on our society. “If nothing else were done at all, and gay marriage were legalized, 90 percent of the political work necessary to achieve gay and lesbian equality would have been achieved,” wrote gay activist Andrew Sullivan in Virtually Normal. “It is ultimately the only reform that truly matters.”
As a conservative Christian, I believe we should have compassion for all our fellow citizens. We’re blessed to live in a democracy when differing views are freely expressed and laws are incorporated or changed to better serve the needs of society. I’m not opposed to change. What I object to is the erosion of values most of us embrace by a vocal minority with an aggressive political agenda. A stable family unit, based on a long-term relationship between a man and a woman who help raise children together, has been the basis of our society and our economy for centuries. It is already is danger because of high divorce rates, substance abuse and a general erosion of moral principles. Let’s not weaken it any further. We have a chance to take a stand now and say, “This far and no further.” Join me in voting “YES” on Ballot Question 2.