Focus on the Family discusses role in Maine gay marriage referendum

Colorado-based Christian advocacy organization Focus on the Family has laid out its role in the looming referendum to overturn Maine’s gay marriage law, but would not reveal how much money it was spending toward the effort. Sonja Swiatkiewicz, Focus’ director of issues response, declined to say how much money was being sunk into the campaign effort as a matter of strategy. Bob Emrich is a pastor, leader of Maine advocacy group The Jeremiah Project and central organizer of getting petitions together to prompt the people’s veto initiative to put gay marriage on the November ballot. He told Everyday Christian that Focus has mailed petitions to its constituents. “Most of our work so far has been to communicate with our constituents in Maine to alert them to the opportunity they have to restore marriage to the union of a man and a woman,” Swiatkiewicz said. Maine’s referendum drive is similar to Proposition 8 in California which negated a State Supreme Court ruling allow gay marriages. Focus helped efforts there, but for now is concentrating efforts on the Maine petition drive even though more than the number of signatures required by the state has been collected. “In the past we have worked on advertising in other states, but for now we are still working on the campaign to gather signatures before the end of July,” Swiatkiewicz said. “We will develop our on-ballot strategy after the People’s Veto has been certified for the ballot. At this time, have no plans for advertising before it’s certified.” She added that Focus is grateful Maine has an opportunity to overturn a gay marriage law. Earlier this year gay marriage became legal in Vermont and New Hampshire by legislative action. Iowa had gay marriage legalized via a State Supreme Court ruling. None of those states have constitutional provisions for citizens to generate referendums. “Maine should consider itself very fortunate for the opportunity it has to collect signatures and put it on the ballot,” Swiatkiewicz said. “Iowa, for example, has to go through a lengthy legislative process to have its law overturned. People in Maine have clearly expressed how fortunate they feel by their quick gathering of signatures already.” Swiatkiewicz also countered an argument frequently given by gay marriage advocates that the right to marry is a civil right and being denied it is tantamount to discrimination. “We believe fundamentally that children need a mother and a father,” she said. “The needs of children should outweigh the wants and desires of adults.” Thirty other states already have laws or amendments on their books which defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman. “We believe, and social science backs up, that the best family structure in which to raise and nurture kids is in a home with a a married mother and father,” Swiatkiewicz said. “Legalizing same-sex marriage, the Legislature and the governor have put their seal of approval on creating intentionally motherless and fatherless families. This is why we want to see in Maine marriage restored to the union of a man and woman the same as it has in 30 other states which have protected marriage protection by an amendment or by referendum as in California.” She said working to strengthen and protect marriages is one of Focus’ priorites. “Protecting the institution of marriage as between a man and a woman is one of our primary goals. We receive about 250,000 communications a month from folks who have very deep hurts, many of which are related to the breakdown of marriage and how that impacts mean, women and children. “We work to protect or restore marriages as closely as we do on the sanctity of life beginning at conception and protecting religious liberties.” Link: Focus on the Family:

Be First to Comment

  1. shadow_man said:

    The people who collected signatures in Maine to stop marriage equality did so by misleading people, lying, and using deception. These people who claim to be “right” or “moral” but then use evil, sinful, lying ways. Here’s what one of my friends from Maine told me. Sadly “Stand for Marriage Maine” collected many signatures by misleading people to believe they would not be able to vote unless they “registered” with those who were collecting signatures. At the Old Port Festival a woman at the top of Exchange Street was collecting signatures for the vote to ban gay marriage, but she was promoting it as if you were registering to vote. She said “Are you registered votes in Maine would you like to register here?” It was one sentence, she didn’t pause. I asked what we were registering for and she said “To determine if marriage is between a man and a woman or a man and a man or whatever.” Then came the best part, she said “Would you like to sign so you can vote?” As if I couldn’t vote if I didn’t sign. She wasn’t telling people that it was a petition to stop gay marriage by putting it to a vote, she was convincing people to sign thinking that they had to or they wouldn’t be allowed to vote. There was nothing that even indicated what or why people where to sign. It’s not about Gay Marriage, it’s about Hate and Control. The fact they collected signatures so quickly only proves they preyed on the elderly and ignorant. This only provides evidence that many Mainers still have much growing up to do. Do you really want to support people who lied to you, deceived you, who are trying to force you to spread discrimination and bigotry? Don’t let these anti-gay people control your lives and choices. Support marriage equality in Maine.

    July 14, 2009

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *