“HOW WE GOT HERE?  The story of how approximately two percent of the population has been able to impose its agenda on Americans and marginalize all opposition is one that can only be briefly summarized here–but it is a story we cannot afford to ignore.  The story begins in the 1960s–ironically, with heterosexuals.  The intervention of the Pill and the general loosening of societal mores and insistence on ‘rights’ in various spheres spawned a revolution in sexual attitudes.  Sexual self-expression, which traditionally had been regarded as a privilege, became perceived as a right–something to be expressed publicly, frequently, and outside of monogamous, lifelong marriage.  The consensus that ‘good girls don’t’ (and neither do boys) eroded.  Of course, promiscuity has always been with us, but previous generations shared an understanding that although sex outside of marriage happened, it should not be so.  With the onslaught of pornography, the Playboy philosophy steadily shifted the center of gravity from marital faithfulness to personal enjoyment.  Thus, if your mate no longer fulfilled your needs, you should have the ‘right’ to find someone who would.  To quote Lynn Vincent in World, ‘cohabitation began shedding its stigma, leading to a revolving door family structure that often left children fatherless and economically deprived.’  With divorce available for sake of convenience, the word family began to take on new meanings.  Now it was common for a mother to raise the children alone, or possibly with a new husband–or at least a new lover.  Meanwhile, the husband and father went off to pursue his own relationships which he deemed ‘best’ for him.  Children reared without their father’s love and protection became vulnerable to sexual experimentation and abuse.  Gradually, the notion of a family with a father, mother, and children, all living under the same roof, became something of a relic of a bygone era, at least in some quarters...Meanwhile, tolerance emerged as the one indisputable national value.  This word, which at one time meant that people should be free to believe whatever they wished, now meant that they could do whatever they wished, and it was improper to judge their conduct.  Tolerance now demands an affirmation of virtually all behavior, no matter how immoral, unnatural, and bizarre.  With these streams flowing into our national culture, much of America was ready for same-sex marriages.”  Erwin W. Lutzer, The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage, p17-18.

1996    The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is passed and signed into law, requiring that no state is required to accept another state’s definition of marriage.

 

1998    LDS Church spends $1.1 million to defeat same-sex marriage proposal in Hawaii & Alaska.

 

1999    LDS Church leads the Prop 22 efforts.  Soon after Prop 22 passes, the CA legislature passes a domestic partnership bill granting all the rights of marriage through civil unions.

 

2000    2/25 Stuart Mathis, a homosexual LDS returned missionary, shoots himself on steps of LDS chapel in Los Altos, CA.

 

2001    The Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage.

 

2003    6/26, Unbelievably, the US Supreme Court finds that the Constitution guarantees a right to sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas.  The court relied not on our own constitution but on what other neo-pagan countries were doing.  Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, stated that the continuance of sodomy laws “demeans the lives of homosexual persons” thus declaring, in effect, that considerations of morality and decency are irrelevant.

 

2004    LDS Church supports Fed amendment, but it does not pass.  Still, it generates significant opposition to same-sex marriage that helps bring conservatives to the polls

            Massachusetts legalizes same-sex marriage, relying on Lawrence v. Texas.

SF, CA Mayor Gavin Newsom orders county clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but this is halted by the CA Supreme Court.

 

Utah passes marriage amendment, supported by LDS Church.  12 other states pass similar amendments.  With four other states having previously passed amendments, that made 17 in all.

 

2005    July, Canada became the 4th country in the world (along with the Netherlands, Belguim, and Spain) to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the approval of the Civil Marriage Act

            Two more states pass marriage amendments.

            SF Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer rules that Prop 22 is unconstitutional.

2006    October, New Jersey Supreme Court extends the equivalent of same-sex marriage.

 

Alabama becomes the 20th state to pass a marriage amendment.  Seven other states pass similar amendments on Nov 7 (CO, ID, SC, SD, TN, VA, & WN).  Arizona becomes the first state not to pass such an amendment upon voting, losing narrowly 49% - 51%.

 

July, First District Court of Appeals overturns Judge Kramer’s ruling, affirming that Prop 22 is constitutional.

 

LDS Church supports Fed amendment, joining a coalition.  Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is among 50 prominent religious leaders who sign a petition explaining the need for it, “We are convinced that this is the only measure that will adequately protect marriage from those who would circumvent the legislative process and force a redefinition of it on the whole society.”

 

Summer, interview w/ Elders Oaks (LDS Church Quorum of the Twelve) and Wickman (LDS Quorum of the Seventy) on all of these issues.

            December, CA Supreme Court agrees to hear the Kramer case (in 2008).

2007    July, LDS Church posts a new pamphlet on homosexuality entitled ‘God Loveth His Children’

 

Sept, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the LDS Quorum of the Twelve reiterates the LDS church’s position that same-sex attraction is not a sin, only immoral actions.

 

2008    Early in the year, the Church joins w/ several CA religious groups to file an amicus (friend of the court) brief in early 2008 in defense of Prop 22.

 

5/15     Four activist judges in San Francisco strike down Prop 22

 

A very broad-based coalition of both religious and family organizations begins to spearhead a grass-roots effort to pass the CA amendment.  The group’s central web presence is www.protectmarriage.com. Endorsers are encouraged to be respectful and kind in all they do despite the accusations and slander.  Clearly, proponents must have great courage and faith.  Being politically correct and ‘approved’ by others is not to be valued over what is best for the nation and our children.

 

4/1       Coalition led by Catholic Bishops acquires 1 million signatures (700K required) to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

 

6/25     Over 1,600 pastors and Christian leaders join together to protect marriage in a CA Statewide Pastors Conference Call labeled "The California Pastors Rapid Response Team." Pastors gather at 101 locations across the state.

 

6/26     McCain announces his support for the CA marriage initiative; contrarily, Obama argues for legalizing same-sex marriages.

 

6/29     Letter read by all LDS Bishops in California stating the church’s decision to join the coalition and calling upon all of its members to give their ‘best efforts’ to support and pass a constitutional amendment.

 

6/?       Hawaii is asked to help Prop 8 with their means.  Roy Bauer (LDS stake president) notes, ‘We remember back in 1995 when many in California donated to help in preserving traditional marriage in Hawaii.’

 

7/10     “A Michigan man seeks $70 million from two Christian publishers for emotional distress and mental instability he received during the past 20 years from versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin.  Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a gay man, claims his constitutional rights were infringed upon by Zondervan Publishing Co. and Thomas Nelson Publishing, both of which, he claims, deliberately caused homosexuals to suffer by misinterpretation of the Bible…Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, claims the publishers are misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals, which made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of demoralization, chaos and bewilderment.”

 

7/16     ProtectMarriage.com -Yes on 8 wins a significant legal victory when the California Supreme Court dismissed efforts to have Proposition 8 thrown off of the November ballot.  ProtectMarriage filed an extensive legal brief vigorously opposing this effort to deny voters the ability to vote on this crucial issue.  Gay advocates had asked the highest court in California to remove Proposition 8 from the ballot on the theory that the measure constituted a constitutional revision rather than a constitutional amendment. Constitutional revisions must first be approved by the legislature before they may be submitted to a public vote. However, the Supreme Court delivered a significant blow to advocates of same-sex marriage as the Court dismissed their case outright by denying their request for a hearing.

 

7/?       Proposition 8 hires public relations professional Jennifer Kerns to serve as the Campaign’s communications director.  Kerns, the owner of K Street Communications, recently served as senior press secretary for California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. She also served as communications director for his election campaign, helping Poizner successfully win the endorsements of all 37 major newspapers in California in his landslide election over sitting Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.  She previously served as an assistant secretary of state and spokeswoman in the office of Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, where she represented the State on elections issues, crisis communications, voting system integrity, special elections, the 2005 Iraq elections and more. Kerns has also successfully served various Congressional and Mayoral candidates throughout California, as well as members of the California State Legislature.  Kerns can be reached at (916) 420-2888 or Jennifer@ProtectMarriage.com.

 

7/29     Attorney General Jerry Brown changes the language of the amendment, effectively undermining its passage.  An appeal was not successful because the secretary of state apparently has great discretion in this regard…it need only be defensible.  Many will have only one thing on their minds at the polls, the Presidential vote, and so this language change could have a significant impact.

 

7/29     The Massachusetts House repeals a 1913 law used to bar the marriages of same-sex couples who are residents of states which would not recognize their unions.  [Gov signed on 7/31]

 

7/30     Second CA Statewide Pastor’s Conference Call

 

8/4       Protectmarriage.com announces “Both labor organizations and businesses made significant contributions to NO on 8 – Equality California on Saturday. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU-California) made a contribution of $500,000, presented by United Healthcare Workers-West President Sal Rosselli. David Sanchez, president of the California Teacher's Association announced a contribution $250,000 on behalf of CTA. Ken McNeely, president of AT&T California, presented a donation of $25,000 from the telecommunications corporation. EQCA supporters at the event also pledged an additional combined $350,000. All of those contributions will help fund the NO on 8 campaign.  That's $1,125,000 from a handful of groups in just one night, plus another $500,000 the ‘Equality California’ group is transferring to the No campaign.”  Yes on Prop 8 will be funded by a grassroots effort only, hence the vital need for each of us to speak out and to contribute all we can.

8/4       Protect Marriage receives endorsement of California Catholic Conference.

To date, at least 44 of 50 states have either an amendment or a statute defining marriage as between a man and a woman.