Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
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Last week was a milestone in modern American political history. The election results (New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races) and the battle over healthcare show that the nation’s interest in social issues has not waned. New coalitions are forming around the pivotal legislative concerns of our day. From my vantage point, I am noticing a passion among individual citizens to engage in the political process - whether the topic is the economy, healthcare, or gay marriage. The average citizen wants not just to express their opinion, but also has become savvy in engaging the powers that be. The insight of these new activists is shown in their ability to organize and get results. Over 20,000 people came to DC last week to voice their concerns about healthcare.

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On Tuesday, I was personally focused on the battle for marriage in Maine. It’s old news that heterosexual marriage proponents were outspent by their adversaries who sent thousands of volunteers to wage “political war” in the tiny state. Considered intensely liberal and the most likely place where same-sex marriage advocates had a chance of winning, the nation was shocked at the resounding defeat of gay marriage advocates.

Like California, Maine upheld the common sense definition of marriage after same-sex “marriage” was forced into law against the will of its people. The vote on Question 1 upheld marriage by the exact same margin as the vote on Proposition 8 (5 full percentage points), even though the pro-marriage campaign in Maine was outspent by millions.

The victory of traditional marriage proponents was very convincing with success in 75% of Maine’s counties (12 of 16). More Maine residents voted for marriage (266,000+) than voted for Governor Baldacci (209,927) when he got elected in 2006. Importantly, in the state capital of Augusta, the definition of marriage was upheld by marriage advocates (53% to 46%).

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Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.