October 23, 2008 Publishing Good News since 1884 Volume 125 Number 37

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‘Gay marriage’: The time to act is now!


The old saying was never truer: “It’s time to put up or shut up.”

The United States Senate is poised to tackle the “gay marriage” debate as it is scheduled to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment during the week of July 12. According to several sources, both Florida senators – Bob Graham and Bill Nelson – are opposed to the amendment.

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The question for Florida Baptists is this: What are you prepared to do about it? It’s long past time to stop cursing the darkness of the homosexual lobby and its successful march to prominence in our nation. It’s time to act – now!

Florida Baptist Witness has not been shy about helping educate our readers on the matter of “gay marriage” and the Federal Marriage Amendment. In addition to previous editorials by this editor (“The Marriage Amendment: A debate our culture needs,” March 4, 2004, and “Ten reasons to oppose ‘gay marriage,’” April 29, 2004), other commentaries and numerous news stories on the subject, this week’s issue – our last before the Senate is scheduled to vote – includes point-of-view pieces by two of America’s leading evangelical leaders, James Dobson and Chuck Colson. These pieces and the others published in the past make compelling arguments for the danger of “gay marriage” and the unquestionable need of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Unfortunately, this debate is not going to be won by those who make the best arguments; it will be won by those who demonstrate to politicians in Washington that senators and representatives who fail to protect true marriage will be held accountable for that failure.

The urgency of the moment cannot be overstated.

In the wake of the endorsement of “gay marriage” by a majority of one judge on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, this odious new institution is now operative in the Bay State. Unless a constitutional amendment is adopted to correct this abhorrent practice, it’s simply a matter of time before “gay marriage” will be required in the Sunshine State. There’s no doubt.

Florida Baptists should be very concerned about the posture of our senators on this and related matters. On June 15, both Graham and Nelson joined a majority of 65 senators in voting in favor of legislation creating a protected civil right class of “sexual orientation” in “hate crimes” laws. Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, rightly called this vote a “terrible precedent.”

Although the need for a constitutional amendment is critical, the odds of its success are truly daunting. Adoption of an amendment to the constitution requires the approval of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states. Nevertheless, the defense of the true institution of marriage is worth the effort.

Last month, the Southern Baptist Convention overwhelmingly adopted a resolution supporting adoption of the Federal Marriage Amendment. The loudest and longest applause for President Bush in his address to the SBC related to his comments urging adoption of the FMA. Further, the Florida Baptist State Convention adopted a resolution in 2002 defining marriage as “the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.” As valuable as these statements are, however, victory for the FMA will happen only if grassroots citizens get involved in the debate.

In preparation for the expected Senate vote, various Christian organizations have called for churches to observe “Marriage Protection Sunday” July 11 and “Call Your Senator Day” July 12 as means of educating and involving citizens in the “gay marriage” debate. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is co-sponsoring a “Battle for Marriage” July 11 simulcast which churches may participate in to galvanize Christians to action on this critical issue, at this critical time. Speakers will include Dobson, Colson and former SBC President Adrian Rogers. (For more information, see: http://dvstudios.sitestream.com/show_july11.html.)

Christians who stand on the sidelines today and allow “gay marriage” to become permanently institutionalized in our nation will have no right to complain about it later. The time for action is now.

Call, send letters, send email, send faxes or visit their offices in person – do whatever you can to urge Sen. Graham and Sen. Nelson that the only way they can demonstrate their opposition to “gay marriage” is to vote for the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Do it now!


524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone 202-224-3041
Fax 202-224-2237

2252 Killearn Center Blvd.
Suite 300
Tallahassee, Florida 32309
Phone 850-907-1100
TDD 850-894-2882
Fax 850-894-3222
Toll Free 866-418-9569
150 Americas Center
150 Southeast 2nd Avenue
Suite 1025
Miami, Florida 33131
Phone 305-536-7293
Fax 305-536-6949

625 East Twiggs Street, Suite 500
Tampa, Florida 33602
Phone 813-228-2476
Fax 813-228-2479

Washington DC
United States Senate
Hart Senate Office Building
Room 716
Washington, DC 20510
Phone 202-224-5274
Fax 202-228-2183

3416 South University Drive
Davie, FL 33328
Phone 954-693-4851
Fax 954-693-4862

1301 Riverplace Blvd, Suite 2218
Jacksonville, Florida 32207
Phone 904-346-4500
Fax 904-346-4506

US Court House Annex
111 North Adams Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
Phone 850-942-8415
Fax 850-942-8450
2925 Salzedo Street
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Telephone 305-536-5999
Fax 305-536-5991

West Palm Beach
500 Australian Avenue Suite 125
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Phone 561-514-0189
Fax 561-514-4078
225 East Robinson Street Ste 410
Orlando, Florida 32801
Phone: 407-872-7161
Toll Free in Fla. 1-888-671-4091
Fax 407-872-7165

Sam Gibbons Federal Court House
801 N. Florida Ave., 4th Floor
Tampa, Florida 33602
Phone 813-225-7040
Fax 813-225-7050