- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2009




President Barack Obama’s personal triumph over the generational legacy of a broken home has the power by virtue of example to heal and to strengthen marriage in America for the future of our children and grandchildren.

But we hope that the nation’s first black president will not allow great harm to be inflicted upon the future of marriage by aligning himself with those who falsely invoke the legacy of “Civil Rights” for the purposes of radically changing the definition of marriage.

Now an emboldened, radical Democrat Congress and its allies in the media are pushing President Obama to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the legal underpinning of state marriage amendments approved by voters in 30 states.

In the absence of the federal Marriage Protection Amendment, DOMA provides federal statutory protection to states against activists vowing to use the federal courts to force the destructive decisions of judges in Connecticut and Massachusetts on other states.

This statutory protection is now more important than ever, as witnessed by the rapacious lawsuits of radical activists in California. If federal DOMA falls, every state marriage amendment stands to be overturned by activists in federal court.

To truly appreciate the intense level of legal Armageddon certain to be unleashed if DOMA falls in Congress, one only needs to look to California.

In May 2008, in the name of civil rights, the California Supreme Court voided the 4.6 million votes of California voters who in 2000 democratically approved Proposition 22 - the California Defense of Marriage Act.

In response to this egregious act by four judges, California voters rallied again to place on the 2008 Election Day ballot a constitutional amendment to protect marriage. The amendment, known as Proposition 8, passed with over 70 percent of the African-American community voting “Yes” to define marriage as a man and a woman.

But like “Groundhog Day,” the very same four judges who voided the democratic votes of Californians voters last May are now deciding the same fate for Proposition 8. A court ruling voiding a second democratic vote on marriage in the nation’s most populous state would mark the beginning of the end for democracy in America.

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), one of the “Big Four” historic civil rights groups in America, believes the most important fundamental freedom for all people is the right to govern themselves. Once this simple ideal is realized, other necessary freedoms will automatically follow.

The abolition of the right of the people to govern themselves - or vote - is only a first step in the taking away of civil rights. Because wherever marriage has been redefined, the freedom of religion, association and conscience have been trampled upon in the name of a brave new social, cultural and legal norm that denies the importance of mothers and fathers for children.

When a Massachusetts court created “same-sex” marriage, Catholic Charities in Boston was forced to shut down its adoption services program because it refused to alter the program’s 100-year-old mission of placing children in homes with a home with a mother and a father. What happened in Massachusetts is simply a foretaste of what is to come to every state from California to Missouri to Virginia - with or without state constitutional amendments - if federal DOMA falls. That’s why the Congress of Racial Equality has partnered with the Alliance for Marriage to launch ProtectDOMA.org, to protect marriage for the future of our children and grandchildren.

While the battle over the repeal of federal DOMA may largely go unnoticed among a financially battered and worried general public, its outcome will undoubtedly leave a legacy for future generations well beyond the nation’s financial meltdown.

Western Europe’s wholesale embrace of a radical cultural chic and simultaneous rejection of traditional marriage has led to the demographic crisis in which it is currently embroiled. Europe’s population is expected to decrease from 728 million now to 658 million by 2050, due to declining birthrates. This phenomenon will put an overwhelming strain on the largess of Europe’s social welfare system and economy.

President Obama truly stands at a crossroads. Rather than destroy marriage, he can in fact be its great protector. It is America’s job to convince him.

Niger Innis is an advisory board member of Alliance for Marriage and National spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality

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