After Election Day, the Vote Everyone Has Been Waiting For
Maine: 'I Don't,' Washington: 'I Do,' Ohio: 'You Bet!'
Maine voters rejected Maine's law on same-sex marriage. The law, enacted this year by Maine's legislature, would have allowed gay couples to marry, but did not force churches to perform marriage ceremonies. In a defeat for gay rights groups, 53 percent of voters said, "I don't."
Since the law passed last spring, Focus on the Family's political action committee in Maine spent $230,000 to get the referendum on the ballot and to promote its passage. Family Research Council Action (FRC) joined the fight in September, providing $41,000 for the effort.
In Wednesday's Focus on the Family broadcast, James Dobson praised Maine's voters.
"May their stand for righteousness spread throughout the rest of the country," he said, "and may we continue to see marriage preserved and protected as the sacred institution God intended it to be, between one man and one woman, committed for life."
Dobson also called on listeners to oppose efforts by President Obama and Congress to reverse the Defense of Marriage Act.
Tony Perkins of FRC also praised Maine's voters for their decision.
Same-sex marriage is not supported by most Americans, he said, and he hopes other states will follow Maine's decision.
"The institution of marriage should not be used to establish special rights for a select few at the expense of the natural family and future generations," said Perkins.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), pointed out that "every time Americans vote on marriage, traditional marriage wins." According to Wright, people reject same-sex marriage when they understand that "the true homosexual agenda … is not about equality but [about] indoctrinating children and discriminating against Christians."
Faith in Public Life (FPL), however, noted that while many religious groups opposed the Maine referendum, some "worked hard to protect the state legislature's marriage equality law." Citing polls that show support for civil unions, FPL concluded that "this issue is hardly settled."
The groups that supported the Maine referendum, however, faced a loss in Washington State, where voters approved the "All But Marriage" referendum. Based on current returns, 52 percent of Washington voters approved a bill that gives same-sex couples "the rights, responsibilities, and obligations … equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage."
Focus on the Family Action also opposed the referendum, claiming that if it passed, "Kids as young as kindergarten will begin to be taught about gay marriage, homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism in public schools."
FRC Action said that "a defeat … would essentially create counterfeit marriages across the state." After the referendum, FRC's Perkins said, "The defeat is an important reminder that we need to educate people that partner benefits and special rights are just as dangerous as an outright legalization of same-sex 'marriage.'"
Finally, Ohio approved its ballot proposition allowing casinos in the state. This decision received far less attention from advocacy groups, but Focus on the Family Action opposed the initiative.
VA, NJ, and (the once unknown) NY-23
Conservative candidates won two and lost one in key races this week.
In Virginia, Republican Robert McDonnell defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds by a 20-point margin. New Jersey's race was closer, but Republican Chris Christie defeated incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine 49 percent to 45 percent. Both McDonnell (an alumnus of Regent University) and Deeds were endorsed by FRC Action.