Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Will Marriage Be a Major Issue in the 2012 Election?

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2012 May 10

Posted by Jim_Daly May 9, 2012




I’m obviously very pleased with the results of yesterday’s election in North Carolina, where voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I am less pleased, as you might imagine, with President Obama's announcement today that he has changed his position and now personally supports same-sex marriage.

To help put the vote and announcement in context, I’d like to share some comments and observations, which are excerpts from my recent Washington Post editorial on the subject.

Given all the discussion lately about marriage, I’d welcome your feedback. How do you see this issue today? Will it be a major issue in the upcoming election? Where do you see trends regarding marriage in the months and years to come?

Please post your comments below.

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Marriage Protection For The Well-Being of Children

Jim Daly

Marriage has long since become a hot-button political issue on which there is much disagreement nationwide, and people of good faith can come to different conclusions about it. But the presidency comes with a bully pulpit that ought to be used with respect for the will of the people -- and the will of the people on this issue is crystal clear.

North Carolina is the 32nd state out of 32 that have voted -- to protect marriage by a vote of the people.

You read that right.

Every time the issue of protecting traditional marriage (31 times via constitutional amendment) has been put before the men and women those constitutions were created to serve, it has passed.

Thirty-two for 32.

In “conservative” states like Mississippi, Utah and the Dakotas; “liberal” states like California and Hawaii; and those more ideologically up-for-grabs states like Florida, Michigan and Ohio, which routinely prove to swing presidential elections.

The perfect average of passage is a powerful statement about the will of the American people on this issue.

Unfortunately, that unanimous will has not been respected in some jurisdictions by a court system Thomas Jefferson once warned us views a foundational document like a constitution as “a mere thing of wax … which they may twist and shape into any form they may please.”

California is the most notable example, a federal district court judge declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional in 2010. An additional three courts have invalidated marriage-protection laws passed by state legislatures.

It is often argued, by those who oppose amendments like North Carolina’s, that to protect marriage is to persecute homosexuals. But at the root of that contention is an illogical assumption: that you can’t be “for” marriage unless you’re “against” homosexuals.

That is simply not true.

My support for traditional marriage is not rooted in distaste or dislike for anyone.

The social science confirms that the most stabilizing and enriching environment a child can grow up in is a home headed by his or her married mother and father. And since the health of any society depends on the health of those who comprise it, it is the responsibility of government to enact laws that offer the best chance for health to be passed from one generation to the next.

Traditional marriage is that best chance of creating a building block for a thriving society.

The American people, as evidenced again Tuesday in North Carolina, understand that truth. Let’s hope their decision is allowed to stand and not rendered moot by a court superseding the duties enumerated to it by the U.S. Constitution. If not, we’ll see another disturbing example of what Jefferson, who helped envision and write that Constitution, recognized as uniquely dangerous to our way of government and way of life.

“The opinion,” he wrote in 1804, “which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”

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