After two decades of propaganda about homosexuality and the "gay rights" movement, including one-sided media presentations depicting gay as great with no downsides (other than "homophobia"), the common sense of the public still prevails. According to a New York Times/CBS News poll (Dec. 21), there is widespread support for a proposed constitutional amendment that would preserve marriage as a unique relational contract between a man and a woman. The poll, which found "unease" about homosexual relations in general, also discovered that many of those who have supported "gay rights" oppose same-sex marriage.
The numbers break down along religious and secular lines, with religious believers who oppose same-sex marriage supporting a constitutional amendment by a large margin and secularists, who favor "gay rights," opposing an amendment by not as wide a margin. Under 30s and "those who know gay people" are most supportive of allowing them to marry, according to the poll.
This ought to be good news for social conservatives. But infighting among members of various conservative religious and political organizations threatens to frustrate the effort to win passage of an amendment. At several recent meetings in the Washington area attended by leaders of social conservative groups, there were disagreements over the wording of the amendment and doubt about whether Congress would pass it.
The debate divides those who believe the amendment should outlaw "civil unions" and those who think both traditional marriage and civil unions can coexist.
One group of social conservatives prefers language contained in a Nebraska law: "Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in the United States. The uniting of two persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership or other similar same-sex relationship shall not be valid or recognized in the United States."
One of the conservatives who attended the Washington meetings, which, he says, included a strategy session at the White House, says his group is working on language similar to Nebraska: "Marriage in the United States shall consist of the union of a man and a woman. Neither the United States nor any state shall grant or recognize the legal status of a spouse to any person in a relationship other than marriage."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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