Before Checkmate: How the Battle to Redefine Marriage is Changing

Yesterday, we highlighted the cowardly actions of the law firm of King and Spalding who, under the intimidation of the seemingly powerful same-sex lobby bailed on the U.S. House of Representatives defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Today, two more stories reveal both more details and salient warnings of things to come in the defense of marriage, as well as highlighting a major development in the legal defense of Proposition 8 in California.

First, Al Mohler in his characteristically wise way reports on more of the details involving King and Spalding’s refusing to take on an “unpopular” case and offers a warning:

Gay rights groups hailed the law firm’s decision. Activist groups such as the Human Rights Campaign had lobbied King & Spalding to drop the case. The Weekly Standard obtained copies of emails sent by the Human Rights Campaign to supporters that read, in part: “Later that day we announced the elements of our campaign to show King & Spalding’ hypocrisy for taking on Defense of DOMA while touting their pro-gay policies – including their 95% score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. … In the meantime we also contacted many of the firm’s clients, LGBT student groups at top law schools and used social media to inform the public about K&S’s wrongheaded decision.”

The success of the group’s efforts to intimidate King & Spalding serves as a warning of things to come. This is the kind of intimidation that will be used against any organization or institution — or law firm — that takes a controversial case and opposes the agenda of the gay rights movement. Watch and be warned.

via AlbertMohler.com – A Warning of Intimidations to Come.

That includes you and me.  While, at this point in my career, I’m quite used to have the sticks and stones lobbed my way in the defense of life, marriage, and religious freedom, you need to be prepared to be likewise bullied when you dare take such a gracious stand at the water cooler, at the local market, or even at church.  It’s fair, I think, to believe that these efforts of intimidation will only increase in the coming years.

Second, lawyers in California who are defending Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, have filed a motion to vacate Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision that overturned the amendment passed by over 7 million Californians in 2008. (In legalese, to “vacate” an order means “to make as if it never happened, invalidate, overturn.”)

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Inequity in the App Store. Whatever.

For those of you with a love affair with Apple, have you been following the developments with the app-store and “offensive” apps being deleted?

As a matter of full disclosure, I love Mac.  I personally own a Mac Mini and just bought an iPad 2.  For work, I could not survive without my iPhone and MacBook Pro.  They are great, intuitive machines with not a little bit of the “cool” factor.  More importantly for this small business: these machines work.  As I heard an IT director say while waiting in line to buy the new iPad, “I spend all day fixing PC’s at work.  When I get home, I just want a computer that works.”

Still, my favor for Mac is frustrated by their willingness to be bullied – for that is precisely what it is – by activists that oppose a single word of disagreement from their ideology.

It started with the ousting of an app for the Manhattan Declaration last December.  Activists hated that a very broad majority of the religious community the world over dared to hold to the Orthodox belief that marriage is, and ought to remain, between one man and one woman.

Now, as of yesterday, it is an app for Exodus International.  Not an organization that has managed to steer clear of controversy, Exodus International exists to mobilize, “the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.”

Of course, that “sinister” mission is opposed by several who hold to a worldview strongly oppositional to that idea.  Hence, when Exodus International released their iPhone app on March 8, activists quickly launched a campaign to petition Apple to remove it.  According to one report:

The petition on the website change.org said the Christian group was using “scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions” of gay life, and promoting “the use of so-called ‘reparative therapy’ to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of ‘therapy’ has been rejected by every major professional medical organisation”.

via Apple under fire for ‘gay conversion’ app – Telegraph.

It’s not worth discussing the merits of the change.org petition.  Apple has made their decision to remove the app (at least for the time being – other apps have been removed and shown up again) and shown themselves more than willing to be intimidated by screaming activists.  It’s their company and they have a right to do as they please.  I get that and, while I’m disappointed in their decision – severely disappointed – they have that right.  (And before you demand I return my iPad, iPhone, or MacBook Pro, show me another computer company that is any better.)

Instead, I was curious if the standard Apple has laid down applies both ways.  So, I did a quick search.  The picture below paint a telling story.

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

The Threat to Religious Freedom: What Politico Didn’t Print

Candi Cushman at Focus on the Family Action’s Drive Thru Blog writes the following after being quoted in Politico regarding her and Focus Action’s objection to (1) the President’s address to the Human Rights Campaign, (2) the nomination of Chai Feldblum, and (3) the continued rule of Safe and Drug Free Schools czar, Kevin Jennings.

Candi tells the rest of the story:

Let’s take the three events one at a time:

President Obama’s speech to the Human Rights Campaign. Among other things, President Obama pledged to eradicate a federal law defending traditional marriage. We need only look to Massachusetts, the first state to legalize full-fledged gay marriage, to understand the threat this poses to both parental rights and religious freedoms. Parents in that state are now being told they can’t exempt their 2nd graders from lessons about same-sex marriage—even if it conflicts with their most deeply held religious convictions.

The intolerance of same-sex marriage advocates was on display for all to see during the debate over California’s Prop. 8, which added wording to the state constitution defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Prop. 8 supporters were subjected to vehement blackballing and even physical attacks. Church buildings were defaced and some people lost their jobs because of their stance.

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About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Marriage: Where did the right come from?

In today’s edition of the Charleston Gazette, the editors once-again spill a considerable amount of ink on the topic of same-sex “marriage.”  Let me quote to you the latest barb shot at people like you and me who arrive at our understanding of the definition of marriage from a Judeo-Christian worldview:

Currently, some gay-hating fundamentalists want to change West Virginia’s constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. . . . Undoubtedly, Bible Belt hostility to gays would be strong enough to pass an amendment and revise the state constitution.  However, this is another type of personal freedom that ultimately won’t be decided by voters. . . . Holding an election to resist inevitable cultural change is a waste of time.  Elections don’t decide personal freedoms, in the long run. [emphasis added]

If you want, you can read the rest of the Gazette’s editorial here.  And read my guest editorial that the Gazette has thus far refused to print.

I quickly recognize that this name-calling is merely a symptom of a clash of worldviews, but the Gazette is right about one thing: “Elections don’t decide personal freedoms.”  But they are wrong to conclude that marriage is  cultural, that it is an “inevitable” change, and most assuredly they are wrong that self-governance would be “a waste of time.”

Personal freedoms aren’t decided by elections.  That was settled long ago when, in the words of our Declaration of Independence, our rights – personal and otherwise – were “endowed” to us (not government) “by our Creator.”  Don’t miss the depth of that common quote.  You see if you believe, as the Gazette appears to, that the government by stroke of the judicial pen or vote of the legislator can create personal rights and freedoms, then that same government can quickly remove them as well.

But if you believe, as I do, that personal rights and freedoms were given “by our Creator” to you and me individually, then the only being that can remove those rights is “our Creator.”  The genius of this great American experiment in self-governance is that the citizens of the United States hold all the rights.  Some of those rights we have given to a central agency to govern, but even those, we never fully relinquished.  In fact, it is by the use of the electoral process and participation in an open form of government that we have the ability to steward those rights first entrusted to us by God himself.

Viewed in that light, the only legitimate body to decide the definition of marriage that we consent to be governed by is the people of these United State – specifically, West Virginia voters.  Recall the words from Article I, Section 2-2 of Constitution of the State of West Virginia, “The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the state and can be rightfully exercised only with their will and appointment.”

The Gazette suggests that this change is inevitable.  It is not.  Thirty (30) states have allowed voters settle the legal definition of marriage in their states.  Still, it is clear from the experience of several states that there is a coordinated effort to redefine marriage nationwide.

West Virginia is no exception.  Fairness West Virginia and the ACLU of West Virginia is working to counter our efforts to let the people vote on the definition of marriage.  Two days after the legislative hearing on marriage, the Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest same-sex lobbying arm – explained on their blog, HRC Back Story, that they were working closely with Fairness West Virginia to redefine marriage.  They proudly said“HRC worked with Fairness West Virginia on preparing testimony, including providing background research and message development.”

In other words, we were right when we suggested that there is a nationwide effort to redefine marriage and that effort has West Virginia targeted.  No doubt, we can expect multiple millions of dollars to infuse Fairness West Virginia and the ACLU of WV in the coming months by those who would redefine marriage – just like the $294,000 recently invested by such groups in Vermont.  (Interesting note: Vermont Freedom to Marry spent $294,286 to purchase the legislative redefinition of marriage in Vermont.  The combined total expenditures by traditional marriage proponents spent a mere $41,769.  I did the math for you, pro-marriage groups were outspent by $252,517.)

Thankfully, the Family Policy Council of West Virginia is advancing, defending, and equipping West Virginia’s families.  We are meeting Fairness West Virginia and the ACLU head-on in this battle for marriage in West Virginia.  Through your calls and emails to our state legislature and our continued presence in the press, at the legislature, and online, we form an invaluable, and formidable, partnership for marriage in West Virginia.

There’s an old saying in the law, “When you case is strong on the facts, pound the facts.  When it’s strong on the law, pound the law.  When it’s strong on neither, pound the table.”

The Gazette appears to be pounding the table.

Register for the Family Policy Council of West Virginia’s upcoming “Family Dinner” held at Stonewall on August 15. Click here to register online.


About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.

Maine Legislature OK's Marriage Redefinition, Will Governor?

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Legislature has given final approval to gay marriage and sent the bill to an undecided governor.

The Senate voted for the bill on Wednesday but not by enough votes to override a veto. Gov. John Baldacci (bahl-DAH’-chee) has 10 days to decide whether to sign it.

The bill would make Maine the fifth state to allow gay marriage. Voters could still overturn the law in a referendum even if the governor signs it.

via News from The Associated Press.

About Jeremy Dys

Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.