Category Archives: Civil Unions

The Burden of Proof is on Same-Sex Marriage Advocates

Family Action Council of Tennessee President David Fowler explains why those pushing to redefine marriage need to meet their burden of proof. And if they can't, the “marriage equality” argument has no foundation to stand on.

The issue is not whether homosexual conduct is good or bad.  It is not whether those who engage in homosexual relations can be productive members of society. And it is not about benefits. That is what same-sex marriage advocates want people to think. But those are not the issue.

Bride and GroomThe issue is whether our society should continue to embrace natural marriage – the union of a man and woman — or embrace other forms of relationships as marriages.  

However, the burden of proving that this change will improve our common good is on same-sex marriage advocates, not on those who support the long-standing meaning and value of natural marriage.

Those who support change just can’t be the “party of no” because they are against natural marriage. They need to tell Tennesseans what they are for so that Tennesseans can see how it “stacks up” in comparison to natural marriage.

And if same-sex marriage advocates want equality, then the burden is on them to prove that a same-sex union is essentially the same as a heterosexual union in all regards. Otherwise, everyone knows that there is nothing “unequal” or “unfair” about treating two different things two different ways.

If they can’t meet their burden of proof, then the whole “marriage equality” argument falls to the ground.

Read David Fowler's full commentary over on Citizen Link.


New Jersey to Defend State's Civil Unions Law


New JerseyLawyers for New Jersey are expected to defend the state's civil unions for same-sex couples as opposed to gay marriage.

Legal papers are due Friday in a lawsuit filed by gay couples and their children who say New Jersey's civil unions fall short of a court mandate that gay couples be treated the same as married couples.

The suit was expedited after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that invalidated key parts of a federal law banning same-sex marriage.

The advocates say New Jersey is now blocking them from getting rights granted by the federal government.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Marriage Redefinition Clears House Committee in Delaware

With the committee vote passing, the bill will soon make its way to the House floor.

From Delaware.Newszap:

House Bill 75, legislation for marriage equality, sailed through the House Administration Committee by a 4-1 vote Wednesday after two hours of impassioned discussion.

The bill, effective July 1, would convert all civil unions to marriages within one year. Same-sex civil unions would no longer be performed after that day.


Nicole Theis, president of Delaware Family Policy Council, said she and her constituents knew two years ago as they debated civil unions, same-sex marriage would be the agenda and could go further.

It is unclear when the bill will be presented to the full body for a vote, but Delaware citizens should not hesitate to contact their legislators today!

Video: CO Civil Union Author Sen. Steadman Claims that Christians "Want Separate Water Fountains" for Gays

State Senator Pat Steadman (D-Denver), co-sponsor of the Colorado same-sex civil union bill SB11, went to the floor of the Colorado Senate this week and lashed out at people of faith, claiming they want to "establish separate water fountains" for gay people and straight people in their churches and believe "My religion says I can't help [gays]. God told me to hate [gays]."

At another point he says people of faith "don't want gay people sitting on the bus next to them, they'd rather the gays stayed far to the back of the bus, far far away."

Steadman also argues that any person of faith with pro-marriage views should be forced to violate their conscience if they choose to continue operating their business (flower shops, bakeries, restaurants, photographers, banquet halls, etc) after the passage of same-sex civil unions. (He's right about one thing -- this civil unions bill poses a grave threat to religious freedom!)

Here is the transcript -- it is interesting to note how in the first paragraph Steadman claims his bill protects religious liberty (we see this claim made time and time again) and yet it is clear by the end how much he holds religion in contempt (and completely misunderstands it):

"We've written Senate Bill 11 to make sure this separation between religious belief and what's happening here in our state code, in our statutes, in our civil laws are kept separate. For Senate Bill 11 respects religious freedom, this bill does not reach into anyone's church or mosque or synagogue, you can have all the free exercise there that you want. Exercise it as you see fit. But don't let your free exercise run my life. Don't claim religion as a reason the law should discriminate. We have laws against discrimination. Discrimination is banned in employment, and housing, and public accommodations, and so bakeries that serve the public, aren't supposed to look down their noses and one particular class of persons and say "we don't sell cakes to you."  It's troubling, this discrimination. And it's already illegal.

So, what to say to those who claim that religion requires them to discriminate? I'll tell you what I'd say: "Get thee to a nunnery!" And live there then. Go live a monastic life away from modern society, away from people you can't see as equals to yourself. Away from the stream of commerce where you may have to serve them or employ them or rent banquet halls to them. Go some place and be as judgmental as you like. Go inside your church, establish separate water fountains in there if you want, but don't claim that free exercise of religion requires the state of Colorado to establish separate water fountains for her citizens. That's not what we're doing here."

Watch the video for yourself:

Please continue to take action and urge your state representatives to oppose same-sex civil unions by opposing SB11!

CO Senate Approves Same-Sex Civil Unions -- House to Vote Next

Please take action before the weekend and contact your representatives in Colorado demanding the protect marriage and religious freedom:

Civil unions for same-sex Colorado couples have cleared the state Senate for a third and possibly final time.

The Senate approved civil unions 21-14 without debate. All Democrats voted for the legal recognition for gay partners. Republican Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango joined them. The other 14 Republicans voted no. (AP)

Civil Unions Bill to Be Heard in Colorado Today

This report was filed last week:

State legislators will once again debate a bill that would allow for civil unions in Colorado.

State Sen. Pat Steadman (D - Denver) confirmed to 9NEWS political reporter Brandon Rittiman Thursday that he is introducing the Colorado Civil Unions Act. The bill will get its first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Wednesday.

Senate Bill 11 would "authorize any 2 unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union."

Last year, the Colorado House failed to vote on a civil union bill before the end of a special session of the legislature. (

Illinois Lawmakers Who Promised Civil Unions Would Be Enough Now Pushing SSM

Democrats in Illinois are now saying they may try to push for redefined marriage during the upcoming lame duck session in January.

The Illinois Family Institute points out some of these same lawmakers had promised that same-sex civil unions would be enough, and that they would not harm religious freedom:

"Multiple media sources are cheerfully reporting that supporters of marriage- redefinition may try to pass their same-sex “marriage” bill during the lame duck session of the General Assembly next month (January 3-9).

State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the chief sponsor of this anti-family legislation, used the lame duck session in 2010 to ram through a same-sex “civil unions” bill. It passed by razor-thin margins in part because many proponents of civil unions dishonestly promised lawmakers that the legalization of “civil unions” was all they wanted.

The ethically-challenged ACLU lobbied heavily for civil unions in 2010, but then in 2012 filed a lawsuit in Cook County on behalf of homosexual activists, complaining that the very civil union law they lobbied to create is unconstitutional.

The liberal activists who pushed for civil unions, including Representative Harris and State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria), also promised their colleagues that religious liberty and freedom of conscience would not be affected by the passage of “civil unions.” We have seen how those empty those promises were. "

Minnesota LTE Shows Our Opponents' Misinformation Campaign Worked

This letter to the editor in the StarTribune shows the misinformation campaign by our opposition worked. This individual thought the Marriage Protection Amendment would deny "financial and health protections" to same-sex couples, when all it would have done is place Minnesota's definition of marriage beyond the reach of activist judges and politicians:

"My heart sank when I learned that a movement to legalize recognition of same-sex marriage is gaining steam. I voted against the amendment, feeling that we should not deny state protections to same-sex couples, especially financial and health protections. At the same time, using the term "marriage" is so emotionally laden that it begs to be fought long and hard by those whose view is "traditional." Can we not just agree to provide legal protections to same-sex couples without calling it marriage? I believe there is enough support within the state that this could be accomplished without the amount of bloodshed we saw this last election. What do you think, Minnesota? Can we all agree to civil unions, and let the emotions have a chance to heal?"

Maine Coalition: "The Marriage Title Cannot be Shared or Appropriated Simply Because it is Not Ours to Share"

Peter Pinette of Woodland is a member of the local Coalition for Marriage Compromise and writes in the Bangor Daily News:

If there is a situation that is begging for a compromise, then it exists in the coming same-sex marriage referendum. We feel that compassion, understanding and consideration are the paramount issues in this referendum. If both sides of the debate give a truly heartfelt reflection on these issues then hopefully a just compromise can be achieved. A sincere understanding of each side’s rightful wants and consideration of values will lead to fairness.

Let us begin with the essential want of the traditional advocates. They want to retain the exclusive ownership of the marriage title. They believe it is their gift; it was ordained for those who are joined in the very foundation that God requires. They want to stress the sacredness and inalterability of the marriage title; a title that holds a deeply ingrained belief. It is the belief that marriage is a union both civilly and sacramentally of one man and one woman.

... Redefining marriage alters the basic foundation of a two-gender union that is required to merit the ordained marriage title. The marriage title cannot be shared or appropriated simply because it is not ours to share.

... In this referendum same-sex marriage advocates are looking to the people of Maine for compassion and understanding to grant them the right to marry with all the marriage entitlements. The privileges of marriage can be available to them under the title of civil unions.

Breaking News: New Jersey Says Ocean Grove Association Discriminated Against Lesbian Couple

New Jersey Star Ledger:

A state agency concluded Tuesday that an Ocean Grove association discriminated against a lesbian couple by denying their application to hold a civil union ceremony at its boardwalk pavilion.

In a 16-page decision, state Division of Civil Rights Director Craig Sashihara wrote that that the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association violated the state Law Against Discrimination in 2007 when it did not allow Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster to hold their ceremony at the pavilion, theAsbury Park Press reports.

Sashihara upheld a January decision reached by a state Office of Administrative Law judge.

“The laws of New Jersey prevailed,” Bernstein told the Asbury Park Press. “We’re delighted.”

... the state Department of Environmental Protection denied the association’s request for a tax abatement for the pavilion in 2008 because the structure was not available to all on an equal basis, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The association, which can appeal the decision within 45 days, has stopped renting out the pavilion for weddings since the incident, the Asbury Park Press reported.

AP Fact Check: Same-Sex Couples Already Have Visitation Rights

The AP fact checks a claim being made by gay marriage activists in Washington and finds it to be false. Hopefully other news outlets in Washington set the record straight and counteract the misinformation being spread by our opponents:

A second pro-Referendum 74 television ad from Washington United for Marriage implies that same-sex couples’ hospital visitation rights are at risk if voters don’t back the state’s gay marriage law.

The ad started airing Friday in Seattle and Spokane markets on broadcast channels and statewide on cable channels.

... ANALYSIS: Same-sex couples do already have hospital visitation rights under the state’s first domestic partnership law that passed in 2007, granting couples about two dozen rights, including hospital visitation, the ability to authorize autopsies, and organ donations and inheritance rights when there is no will.

First Civil Union Between Three Partners in Brazil Sparks Outrage

Gay activists say it is absurd to argue that redefining marriage to be genderless opens the door to legal polygamous unions. Now it has happened. So what do they say?

Controversy has been sparked as the first civil union between three separate partners was registered in Tupã, in the Northwestern region of Sao Paulo state, Brazil last week. The three-person union has shocked religious groups in the country, and sparked further concerns that the traditional family unit is being further eroded by the current day society.

The actual declaration of the union between the man and two women was in fact made three months ago, but it finally became public this week.

Notary officer, Claudia do Nascimento Domingues, has explained that the three partners lived together and wanted to publicly declare their status in order to guarantee their rights. Checks were conducted to see if there was any legal impediment to the unions and the notary office has confirmed that none were found.

Attorney Nathaniel Batista dos Santos Junior oversaw the legal process of creating the three-way declaration. -- Global Christian Post

Illinois Clerks Granted Right to Defend State's Marriage Law

The Chicago Tribune:

Two downstate county clerks have been granted the right to intervene and defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage against two lawsuits that claim the ban is unconstitutional.

A motion to intervene filed by the Thomas More Society — a public interest law firm that opposes same-sex marriage — was granted this morning by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall. The motion was unopposed by the gay rights group Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the groups that filed the lawsuits at the end of May.

The Thomas More Society will be representing clerk Christie Webb of Tazewell County in central Illinois and clerk Kerry Hirtzel of Effingham County in southern Illinois.

The Cook County state's attorney and the Illinois attorney general have said they agree with the lawsuits, so it was expected that an outside group would attempt to step in and defend the state's marriage laws, which bar same-sex couples from getting marriage licenses.

“We will have a full and robust defense of the marriage law,” Peter Breen, the society's executive director and legal counsel, said after today’s hearing.

Breen has also filed a motion to dismiss the complaints brought by Lambda Legal and the ACLU. The judge set a hearing on that motion for Sept. 27.

Thomas More Society: Illinois AG's Gay Marriage Support Part of an "Inside Job"

From a Thomas More Society press release:

Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, has responded to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s support of gay marriage, and is also planning to file legal papers:

“We are disappointed in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office for not defending this valid law, passed with broad bipartisan support in the General Assembly. While the plaintiff couples in this case are from hundreds of miles outside of Chicago, Lambda Legal and the ACLU sued only the Cook County Clerk and excluded from the case the local clerks for these couples. Today’s announcement by State’s Attorney Alvarez makes it clear that this lawsuit was an ‘inside job’ from the beginning, a crass political move to force same sex marriage on all Illinoisans without providing the residents of the other 101 counties an opportunity to be heard. The Thomas More Society is preparing legal papers to defend the law and prevent this collusive end run around the will of the people of Illinois and their General Assembly.”

Illinois Attorney General Backs Legal Challenges to Marriage Protections

The Chicago Tribune:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has filed a notice in Cook County Circuit Court saying it will present arguments in support of two lawsuits that question the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

The lawsuits, filed Wednesday, are against the clerk of Cook County and claim that his refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates those couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the Illinois Constitution.

Today's filing said that the attorney general will "present the Court with arguments that explain why the challenged statutory provisions do not satisfy the guarantee of equality under the Illinois Constitution."

Minnesota for Marriage comments:

Minnesota for Marriage (MFM) said the filing today of a lawsuit in Illinois by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) underscores the importance of Minnesota voters enacting the Marriage Protection Amendment to avoid marriage being redefined by a state judge here.

“Every day that goes by without a marriage amendment in our state constitution is a day that Minnesota’s definition of marriage is in jeopardy of being redefined by an activist judge,” said Chuck Darrell, communications director for MFM. “A constitutional amendment is needed because statutes can be changed by politicians or struck down by judges at any time. Today the ACLU filed a lawsuit in Illinois. They could file one tomorrow in Minnesota. There is already a case pending in our state courts to redefine marriage. The only way to make sure that voters always control the definition of marriage in Minnesota is to enact the Marriage Protection Amendment.”