Wednesday, 22 June 2011

62 Percent of Americans Support Traditional Marriage, Poll Finds

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As the battle for marriage intensifies in New York, a new survey by the pro-family Alliance Defense Fund has found that a solid majority of Americans believe that “marriage should be defined only as a union between one man and one woman.” The ADF survey, which in mid-May polled 1,500 Americans about their opinions on marriage, found that 62 percent agreed with the traditional definition of marriage, with 53 percent “strongly” agreeing.

Commenting on the results of the survey, ADF senior counsel Brian Raum said that most Americans “recognize that marriage provides a strong foundation for a thriving society. The union between husband and wife benefits society — especially children — in unique ways that cannot be duplicated by any other relationship.”

Gene Ulm of Public Opinion Strategies, the organization that conducted the survey for ADF, said that the polling results were not surprising. “More than 63 million Americans in 31 state elections have voted on constitutional marriage amendments,” Ulm noted, adding that “40 million Americans in all — 63 percent of total voters — have voted to affirm marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council applauded the results of the survey, noting its findings show that “more than six in ten Americans have a deep appreciation for the unique benefits that marriage between one man and one woman brings to families and society. There is a broad understanding that marriage between a man and a woman fosters strong families and is indeed the bedrock of civilization.”

Perkins pointed out that the results of the survey come even as the state of New York is in the middle of an intense legislative battle over a bill that would legalize homosexual marriage. “As New York legislators debate a marriage redefinition bill, they should consider the impact on families, children, and religious liberty,” Perkins asserted. He recalled that in 2006, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that state lawmakers “have a legitimate interest in promoting responsible procreation and can ‘rationally’ believe that children need both a mother and a father.” Said Perkins, “Despite many years of lawsuits and public debate, the American people have not given up on marriage — but instead want to see it strengthened and preserved for future generations.”

In related news, on June 16 LifeSite News reported that the New York state assembly had, as expected, approved a bill legalizing homosexual marriage, leaving the fate of traditional marriage in the state in the hands of the state Senate, where Republicans hold a razor-thin majority. As reported by The New American, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made legalizing same-sex marriage a key priority of his administration, and over the past several weeks has targeted Republican state Senators who he thinks might be willing to side with him in passing the same-sex marriage bill.

So far, LifeSite News reported, Cuomo has succeeded in changing the votes of two Republican Senators, Jim Alesi and Roy MacDonald. “An unofficial vote count has the Senate split 31-31,” reported the pro-family news site. “If that count is accurate and the GOP allows the bill to come to the floor, then the tie-breaking vote would fall to [Bob] Duffy as lieutenant governor, resulting in the bill’s passage. Alesi has predicted that several more Republicans would join him if GOP leaders allowed them, resulting in an even wider margin of passage.”

By contrast, one of the strongest supporters of traditional marriage in the state Senate is a Democrat, Ruben Diaz, a Hispanic pastor from the Bronx who has been a vocal opponent of legalizing homosexual marriage. Diaz is the lone Democrat slated to vote against Cuomo’s pet legislation. Animosity toward Diaz has been intense, with one homosexual group confirming the typical maturity level of “gay” activists by sponsoring a “festival” of hatred against the pastor — the title and activities of which are too offensive to print.

“I continue to be the target of a vulgar campaign by seething extremists who oppose my defense of New York’s marriage laws,” said Diaz said in a recent press release. “As a Christian, of course I love those who hate me and I will continue to pray for their souls.”

Ruben said that his position “on marriage as defined between a man and a woman is no different than the position of many other Christians,” adding that the “United States Constitution guarantees us all the right to freedom of — not freedom from — religion.” The Democratic Senator called on Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to “take a close look at the hard core and vulgar tactics that are being used to change a law in New York State.”

As Cuomo and his team join with homosexual activists in an attempt to strong-arm New York into becoming the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage, they are finding formidable opponents in churches and clergy groups. Dennis Poust, communications director for the New York State Catholic Conference, said his group "has a network of more than 60,000 people across the state e-mailing and making thousands of phone calls to senators’ offices,” reported Fox News. “We’re trying to convince them, this is not right for the state,” Poust said.

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan said the actions of lawmakers trying to force the homosexual marriage bill through reminded him of something out of a communist regime. “Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America — not in China or North Korea,” Dolan wrote in a recent blog posting. “In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law.”

The National Organization for Marriage, a nationwide group that defends traditional marriage, “has pledged $1 million toward primary election challenges against any Republican lawmaker who votes for the bill,” reported the Christian Post, with the group’s leader, Maggie Gallagher, telling the online Christian news site that for most New Yorkers same-sex marriage isn’t even a priority issue. “The only ones pushing the Senate vote are homosexual advocates or those who have something to gain from it — notably [New York Mayor] Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo,” Gallagher said. “If the legislature really wanted to know where the people stood on same-sex marriage, they should put it to a vote of the people. That way they can get back to working on more pressing issues.”

Last month, as the marriage battle in New York heated up, Baptist Press News noted the importance of the state in the overall battle to defend traditional marriage nationwide. “New York is one of the top prizes,” reported Michael Foust of Baptist Press. “It trails only California and Texas in population, and its influence on other states, particularly those in the Northeast, is huge.” Additionally, with 19 million residents, New York’s population is greater than the combined populations of all five states that have legalized same-sex marriage thus far.

Jason McGuire, president of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation, warned that if his state should legalize homosexual marriage, it would mean that “it will be much easier for other states to fall in the future.”

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