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>Who Will You Marry?

>This is he first part of three about marriage. Don is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while Julia is Catholic. We are friends living in America and France. We have tried, at least in the first part of this essay, to be neutral — to give marriage advice impartially, without regard to which church one belongs to or favors.

We hope you will enjoy reading all three parts of this article and that you will actively participate by commenting below. If you are not married — or even if you are — we’re sure you will have questions and we will try to answer them. We are writers, but we have both lived complete and full lives. From us you will be getting advice earned from a combined 174 years of marriage experience — great times and of course hard knocks, trial and error, and wonderful experiences that only the institution of marriage can offer. We heartedly recommend it.

By Sant Julia de Loria and Don White

Marriage Is an Important Covenant 

   Before you even think about marrying your friend or lover, answer the following questions. Find out who you are first. If you and your significant other are not compatible in most of these potential deal breakers, forget that relationship—it might explode in your face.
If you are far enough along in your relationship, discuss the following together:
1)     Do you insist on making all family decisions yourself?
2)     Do you believe women should decide when, how often, and how to have sex?
3)     Do you want to continue working? Would you like the other marriage partner to work and you take care of the children in the home.
4)     If you are a man, are you okay with the idea that your wife is smarter than you and makes more money? And if you are a woman, the same question.
5)     Do you know of any family diseases? How and when would you communicate this to your prospective spouse?
6)     Are you a stickler on having only boys, or only girls?
7)     If you’re a man, do you think the wife should stay in the home and do all of the chores, including after you arrive to your home from work?
8)     How neat and tidy are you? Some young men don’t even know how to make a bed.
9)     Are you willing to take a back seat to him/her, or do you always have to dominate every discussion, even in front of friends or guests?

10)    Do you like to compliment others? Do you always have positive thoughts about your prospective spouse, or sometimes are you irritated by him/her and at odds with what is said?

11)    Does your friend ever become violent? Does he or she have a temper? What is being done to eliminate that?
12)    Do you fight with others over things?
13)    If there’s not much money, where will your money go first? And does he/she agree with those priorities?
14)    If you went to college, would you provide your children – and even your wife or husband – with that same opportunity, if possible?
15)    What are your political and religious orientations?
16)    What is your position on hard work, morals and ethics, and on setting goals and obtaining them?
17)    If you and your friend are not of the same religious faith, would you be willing to change to maintain family unity and love.
18)    Is there anything you wouldn’t do to protect your spouse and children?
Family Home Evening Courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

19)    Would you as a woman like to rule the roost or would you rather be married to a man who ruled over you and provided the security a woman needs? There is a third alternative. In most successful marriages, husband and wife become a team. Together, they decide the big issues. They utilize what is called a family council. Family councils must not be interrupted, so many families now dedicate one day of the week to being with their family, discussing important issues, studying religion, and having fun, including playing games and singing songs. Latter-day Saints call it “Family Home Evening.” They turn off the telephones, let their friends and business associates know they are preoccupied and will not return the call until late that night or the following day. Nothing takes precedence over Family Home Evening except flat-out emergencies. The evening is not complete without refreshments. This is a fine pattern for parents to set because after children come, this time can be used to help educate them. The poet was right: All work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull kids.

 Do you have a testimony of God the eternal Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind? You may call your God something else, such as Alla, the Great White Father, deity, or divinity. If you are Hindu there are a hundred different words meaning God, such as Ananda–Supreme Bliss, Satya–Supreme Truth, Mahesha–the Great Lord, Tat–That, Tattva–Absolute Truth, or Eka–the One. Indeed Sanskrit has hundreds of such words to describe God.
20)     If you are not Jewish, Christian, Islamic, or Hindu, what religious and moral views do you have? It could be that both of you have no religion. You may even be atheists. That may work in marriage so long as both believe in the same principles and are willing to raise their children with these values.
People today don’t value religion as in days before. That is unfortunate, but if neither party is religious, if entering a marriage relationship you know that, it should not be an impediment for marriage and a long, happy relationship.

If marriage partners are of the same faith, this is one more pillar or stake tying the couple together. If your friend is a staunch Muslim and you a staunch Christian, sooner or later your love for each other may dwindle and fade because these religions’ teachings are not compatible. 

One of you should convert over to provide proper unity and harmony in the home or forget about this relationship. It is fraught with cracks and other signs of collapse to begin with. The soundest advice we could give is that people should refrain from marrying into a new religion unless she/he has thoroughly studied and lived that religion for some time. Statistics show that inter-religious marriages often end in divorce. Settle the religion issue before, not after marriage.


>Read Catcher In The Rye – Romance Novel


Romantic Writing Styles

I’m defining romantic writing as something that takes you into another world, often using love and mystery to help make the transition. J.D. Salinger always manages to take you into another world, almost like a fantasy writer. Holden Caulfield, for example, doesn’t live in the same world that you and I live in. As Charles Booker points out in The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, Holden is like a psychotic, he has no real relationships with anyone in the novel except his little sister, Phoebe. He lives in his own world.
J.D. Salinger Let’s look more carefully at Salinger the writer. When The Catcher in the Rye was published, Salinger moved to a small town in New Hampshire and retreated from the world. After he got married, he built a small concrete bunker about a quarter mile from his house, and he would go there to write, often staying away from his wife and kids for days and even weeks at a time! According to biographer Paul Alexander this infuriated his wife and caused her to feel alienated from him.

Read the reminder of this article found in

>The Wealthy Wynns Plan a Divorce


Steve, Elaine Wynn sell off two million shares

Alert Email Print Share By Wallace Witkowski

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chief Executive Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn sold two million shares of stock at $57 a share because of an anticipated change in their marital status, the casino operator said Tuesday. The sale, which occurred Friday, represents less than 10% of the couple’s total holdings. Shares of Wynn rose 4.1% to $55.04 in recent trading.

>Happiness From Helping People


LDS Gem Archives, May 2009


Sent each weekday, Daily Gems offer inspiration and increased gospel knowledge for both members and nonmembers with quotes from Church leaders on a variety of subjects.


Youth Gems – 29 May 2009



“Jesus Christ entered a garden called Gethsemane, where He overcame sin for us. He took upon Himself our sins. He suffered the penalty of our wrongs. He paid the price of our education. I don’t know how He did what He did. I only know that He did and that because He did, you and I may be forgiven of our sins that we may be endowed with His power. Everything depends on that. What then shall we do? We will ‘take upon [us] the name of [the] Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given [us]; that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us]’ (D&C 20:77). Everything depends on that.”

Lawrence E. Corbridge, “The Way,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 35

Topics: Atonement, Jesus Christ

Young Single Adult Gems – 29 May 2009

Make Time to Immerse Yourself in the Scriptures


“As I think about your schedules and the pressures you face at this time in your lives, I can understand why scripture study can so easily be neglected. You have many demands pulling at you. In some cases, just maintaining your social life is a full-time occupation. But I plead with you to make time for immersing yourselves in the scriptures. Couple scripture study with your prayers. Half an hour each morning privately studying, pondering, and communicating with your Heavenly Father can make an amazing difference in your lives. It will give increased success in your daily activities. It will bring increased alertness to your minds. It will give you comfort and rock-steady assurance when the storms of life descend upon you.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Be Strong in the Lord, and in the Power of His Might” (CES fireside for young adults, March 3, 2002), 3–4

Topics: Scripture

Church History Gems – 29 May 2009

Still, Small Voice


“Several years after Joseph Smith was martyred, he appeared to President Brigham Young. Hear his message:

” ‘Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.’ (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 23 Feb. 1847, 2 vols., ed. Elden Jay Watson, Salt Lake City: Elden J. Watson, 1968, 1971, 2:529.)

“The Lord has prospered this work and will continue to do so. He is close to His servants, even within whispering distance.

“This latter-day work is spiritual. It takes spirituality to comprehend it, to love it, and to discern it. Therefore, seek the Spirit in all you do. Keep it with you continually. That is our challenge.

“I pray that the Spirit of the Lord will be with each of you in your homes and families.”

Ezra Taft Benson, “Seek the Spirit of the Lord,” Ensign, Apr. 1988, 5

Topics: Holy Ghost, Spirituality

Family Gems – 29 May 2009

Marriage between a Man and Woman Is Sacred and Ordained of God


“The subject of marriage is debated across the world, where various arrangements exist for conjugal living. My purpose in speaking out on this topic is to declare, as an Apostle of the Lord, that marriage between a man and a woman is sacred—it is ordained of God. I also assert the virtue of a temple marriage. It is the highest and most enduring type of marriage that our Creator can offer to His children.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 92

Topics: Marriage

Daily Gems – 29 May 2009

Sufficient for Our Needs


“Throughout history, the Lord has measured societies and individuals by how well they cared for the poor. He has said:

” ‘For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.

” ‘Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in torment’ (D&C 104:17–18; see also D&C 56:16–17). . . .

“We control the disposition of our means and resources, but we account to God for this stewardship over earthly things. It is gratifying to witness your generosity as you contribute to fast offerings and humanitarian projects. Over the years, the suffering of millions has been alleviated, and countless others have been enabled to help themselves through the generosity of the Saints. Nevertheless, as we pursue the cause of Zion, each of us should prayerfully consider whether we are doing what we should and all that we should in the Lord’s eyes with respect to the poor and the needy.

“We might ask ourselves, living as many of us do in societies that worship possessions and pleasures, whether we are remaining aloof from covetousness and the lust to acquire more and more of this world’s goods. Materialism is just one more manifestation of the idolatry and pride that characterize Babylon. Perhaps we can learn to be content with what is sufficient for our needs.”

D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 39

Topics: Tithes and Offerings

Youth Gems – 28 May 2009



“Many of you are trying too hard to be unique in your dress and grooming to attract what the Lord would consider the wrong kind of attention. In the Book of Mormon story of the tree of life, it was the people whose ‘manner of dress was exceedingly fine’ who mocked those who partook of the fruit of the tree. It is sobering to realize that the fashion-conscious mockers in the great and spacious building were responsible for embarrassing many, and those who were ashamed ‘fell away into forbidden paths and were lost’ (1 Nephi 8:27–28).”

L. Tom Perry, “Let Him Do It with Simplicity,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 9


Daily Gems – 28 May 2009

Compassionate Attention to Widows


“Be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit in the use of that consummate privilege of acting in the name of the Lord through your priesthood. Be more aware of how you can make greater use of the power of the priesthood in the lives of those you love and serve. I am thinking particularly of individuals such as a widow in need who likely could benefit from the help of an understanding, compassionate priesthood bearer. Many such will never request help. Be aware of the range of challenges you could help meet in her home, such as the relief of anxieties through an inspired priesthood blessing or the need for small repairs.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 46

Topics: Priesthood Blessings, Serving Others

Young Single Adult Gems – 27 May 2009

Don’t Judge Yourself


“Don’t judge yourself by what you understand of your potential. Trust in the Lord and what He can do with your dedicated heart and willing mind (see D&C 64:34). Order your life more effectively and eliminate trivia, meaningless detail, and activity. They waste the perishable, fixed, and limited resource of time. Choose to emphasize those matters that have an eternal consequence.

“Permanent, worthwhile growth is attainable, but not without great effort and the honest application of truth. Worthy accomplishment is founded in integrity. Righteousness is fundamental to happiness and desirable attainment. Righteousness is rooted in a pure heart. And indeed it protects one from contamination and the filth of the world. Righteous love is the supreme motivation for constructive change. The examples of our Father in Heaven and the Savior and Their teachings are the perfect source of motivation and direction for life.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

Topics: Righteousness

Daily Gems – 27 May 2009

Happiness from Helping Others


“President Gordon B. Hinckley believed in the healing power of service. After the death of his wife, he provided a great example to the Church in the way he immersed himself in work and in serving others. It is told that President Hinckley remarked to one woman who had recently lost her husband, ‘Work will cure your grief. Serve others.’

“Those are profound words. As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.

“President Lorenzo Snow expressed a similar thought: ‘When you find yourselves a little gloomy, look around you and find somebody that is in a worse plight than yourself; go to him and find out what the trouble is, then try to remove it with the wisdom which the Lord bestows upon you; and the first thing you know, your gloom is gone, you feel light, the Spirit of the Lord is upon you, and everything seems illuminated’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1899, 2–3).

“In today’s world of pop psychology, junk TV, and feel-good self-help manuals, this advice may seem counterintuitive. We are sometimes told that the answer to our ills is to look inward, to indulge ourselves, to spend first and pay later, and to satisfy our own desires even at the expense of those around us. While there are times when it is prudent to look first to our own needs, in the long run it doesn’t lead to lasting happiness.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119–20

Topics: Serving Others

Daily Gems – 26 May 2009

Personal Revelation


“We can do the work of the Lord in His way when we seek, receive, and act on personal revelation. Without personal revelation, we cannot succeed. If we heed personal revelation, we cannot fail. The prophet Nephi instructs us that the Holy Ghost will show us ‘all things what [we] should do’ (2 Nephi 32:5). It was prophesied that in the latter days the Lord would pour out His Spirit upon His handmaids (see Joel 2:29). This will happen as we allow ourselves to be still enough and quiet enough to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught us that receiving revelation for our calling and in our personal lives ‘requires serious mental effort on our part. . . . Revelation is not a matter of pushing buttons, but of pushing ourselves, often aided by fasting, scripture study, and personal pondering.

” ‘Most of all, revelation requires us to have a sufficient degree of personal righteousness, so that on occasion revelation may come to the righteous, unsolicited’ (‘Revelation,’ First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 11, 2003, 5).”

Julie B. Beck, “Fulfilling the Purpose of Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 111

Topics: Revelation, Righteousness

Young Single Adult Gems – 25 May 2009

Try Your Faith


“If you have a feeling that an impression has come through inspiration, ‘try your faith’ by diligently living it. When it is truly a prompting of the Lord, there will be a confirmation that what you have done is right. You will learn what it feels like to have that witness.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 4

Topics: Holy Ghost

Church History Gems – 25 May 2009

Unlikely Beginning


“I hold in my hand a first-edition copy of the Book of Mormon. It was printed in 1830 on a hand-operated letter press at the E. B. Grandin Company in the village of Palmyra, New York.

“In June of 1829, Joseph Smith, then 23 years old, called on 23-year-old Mr. Grandin in company with Martin Harris, a local farmer. Mr. Grandin had three months earlier advertised his intent to publish books. Joseph Smith provided pages of a handwritten manuscript.

“If the content of the book did not doom it to remain obscure, the account of where it came from certainly would. Imagine an angel directing a teenage boy to the woods where he found buried a stone vault and a set of golden plates.

“The writings on the plates were translated by use of a Urim and Thummim, which is referred to a number of times in the Old Testament and described by Hebrew scholars as an instrument ‘whereby the revelation was given and truth declared.’

“Before the book was off the press, pages of it were stolen and printed in the local newspaper, accompanied by ridicule. Opposition was destined to excite mobs to kill the Prophet Joseph Smith and drive those who believed him into the wilderness.

“From that very unlikely beginning to this day, 108,936,922 copies of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ have been printed. It has been published in 62 languages, with selections of it in another 37 languages, and 22 more translations are in process.”

Boyd K. Packer, “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 62

Topics: Book of Mormon

Family Gems – 25 May 2009

Blessings Will Come When We Make Our Home a Sanctuary


“Let us make our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.”

Thomas S. Monson, “To Learn, to Do, to Be,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 61

Topics: Righteousness

Daily Gems – 25 May 2009

Assurance of the Lord’s Help


“President Thomas S. Monson remembered the promised words of the Savior as he blessed me six months ago to stand fearlessly in my calling when it seemed hard. These words of the Savior, which He gave to His tiny band of priesthood holders in this dispensation, came to the prophet’s mind as he laid his hands on my head: ‘And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up’ (D&C 84:88).

“The promise which President Monson remembered and quoted was fulfilled for me. Confidence replaced doubt, the Spirit came, medical helpers were inspired, my life was preserved, and I was borne up. Because of that blessing by President Monson, it will always be easy for me to remember the Savior and trust His promise that He goes before and beside us in His service.

“I know that the promise of angels to bear us up is real. You might want to bring to memory the assurance of Elisha to his frightened servant. That assurance is ours when we feel close to being overwhelmed in our service.”

Henry B. Eyring, “O Ye That Embark,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 58

Topics: Serving Others, Church Callings

Daily Gems – 22 May 2009

Equal Partnership


“The family proclamation states that a husband and wife should be equal partners. I feel assured that every wife in the Church would welcome that opportunity and support it. Whether it occurs or not depends upon the husband. Many husbands practice equal partnership with their companion to the benefit of both and the blessing of their children. However, many do not. I encourage any man who is reluctant to develop an equal partnership with his wife to obey the counsel inspired by the Lord and do it. Equal partnership yields its greatest benefit when both husband and wife seek the will of the Lord in making important decisions for themselves and for their family.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 45–46

Topics: Marriage, Prayer, Family

Family Gems – 22 May 2009

Priesthood Holders Should Honor the Women in Their Lives


“Of our wives, mothers, grandmothers, and sisters and other important women in our lives, President Hinckley declared: ‘Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth’ (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11). . . .

“I know the immense joy and happiness that come from loving, cherishing, and respecting my precious wife with all my heart and soul. May your use of the priesthood and treatment of the important women in your life bring you the same satisfaction.”

Richard G. Scott, “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 46–47

Topics: Womanhood

Church History Gems – 22 May 2009

Keys for Redemption


“Around the turn of the twentieth century two missionaries were laboring in the mountain region of the southern part of the United States. One day as they were walking along a ridge in the hill country, they saw people gathering in a clearing near a cabin some distance down the hillside.

“They discovered that there was to be a funeral. A little boy had drowned. His parents had sent for the minister to ‘say words’ at the burial of the little fellow. The elders stayed in the background to watch the proceedings. The little fellow was to be buried in the grave already opened near the cabin. The minister stood before the grieving father and mother and the others gathered and began his funeral sermon. If the parents expected to receive consolation from this man of the cloth, they would be disappointed.

“He scolded them severely for not having had the little boy baptized. They had put it off because of one thing or another, and now it was too late. He told them very bluntly that their little boy had gone to hell. He told them that it was their fault, that they were to blame—they had caused their son endless torment.

“After the sermon was over and the grave was covered, the friends, neighbors, and relatives left the scene. The elders approached the grieving parents. ‘We are servants of the Lord,’ they told the sobbing mother, ‘and we have come with a message for you.’

“As the grief-stricken parents listened, the two young elders unfolded to their view something of a vision of the eternities. They read from the revelations, and they bore to these humble, grief-stricken parents their testimony of the restoration of the keys for the redemption of both the living and the dead.”

Boyd K. Packer, “Come to the Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2007, 18–19

Topics: Temple Work

Young Single Adult Gems – 22 May 2009

Read and Ponder the Scriptures


“Your efforts to distill truth from reading and pondering the scriptures, from analyzing and striving to understand the inspired messages of the prophets, will provide you with an armory of truth. That truth will protect you from evil influences and lay a foundation for happiness, security, and purpose in your life. It will help you make correct choices. Initially these truths are accepted on faith. The confirming witness of their validity comes as you apply them in your life and as you express gratitude for the growth, maturity, and blessings that come from their use. That confirmation strengthens your capacity to discipline your life to avoid those things you know to be unproductive and harmful. Such a witness provides encouragement and the confidence to center your life in the teachings of the Savior and the plan of happiness of the Father.”

Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices” (CES fireside for young adults, Jan. 13, 2002), 3

Topics: Scripture

Daily Gems – 21 May 2009

Revelation a Constant Compass


“Continuing revelation is a fundamental feature of [the faith of our Father]. Joseph Smith’s first prayer is a powerful testimony of this. Revelation is a constant compass that keeps us always true to the will and the faith of our Heavenly Father.

“Our Heavenly Father loves His children. He hears the prayers of the humble and sincere of every nation, tongue, and people. He grants light to those who seek and honor Him and are willing to obey His commandments. We joyously proclaim that the faith of our Father is on the earth today.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Faith of Our Father,” Ensign, May 2008, 75

Topics: Children of God, Revelation, First Vision

Youth Gems – 21 May 2009



“Young men who officiate in the ordinance of the sacrament should be worthy. The Lord has said: ‘Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord’ (D&C 38:42). The scriptural warning about partaking of the sacrament unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:29; 3 Nephi 18:29) surely applies also to those who officiate in that ordinance. In administering discipline to Church members who have committed serious sins, a bishop can temporarily withdraw the privilege of partaking of the sacrament. That same authority is surely available to withdraw the privilege of officiating in that sacred ordinance.”

Dallin H. Oaks, “Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 20

Topics: Sacrament, Worthiness

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>Gays Win "Marriage" In Iowa Logical?


How Gays Won a Marriage Victory

For 7 Years, Activists Eyed a Seemingly Unlikely Target: Iowa

Qurt Lee, left, and Shaun Meoak embrace at a rally to fight California's ban on same-sex marriage. But the coasts no longer are the only battlegrounds.
Qurt Lee, left, and Shaun Meoak embrace at a rally to fight California’s ban on same-sex marriage. But the coasts no longer are the only battlegrounds. (By Marcio Jose Sanchez — Associated Press)

Same-sex marriage is "the civil rights cause of my generation," says lawyer Camilla Taylor, who scored a major victory in Iowa.
Same-sex marriage is “the civil rights cause of my generation,” says lawyer Camilla Taylor, who scored a major victory in Iowa. (By Steve Pope — Associated Press)


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Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009; Page A01

NEW YORK — For most of the country, the unanimous decision this month by the Iowa Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage was an unexpected and seemingly random victory for a movement that has long drawn its deepest support from major cities in liberal coastal states.

But for Camilla Taylor, a Chicago-based lawyer for the gay rights group Lambda Legal, it was the logical conclusion to a deliberate seven-year effort to make the Midwestern state one of the first in the country to allow same-sex marriage.

Coming just months after voters in California outlawed same-sex marriage, the decision was also a much-needed jolt for a group of loosely coordinated gay rights activists and legal experts who had been quietly building the case for marriage equality in states where they thought conditions were favorable, including Iowa and a handful in the Northeast.

>Obama Sides With Gays

>The Associated Press has learned that President Obama will sign a UN declaration calling for the decriminalization of Gay practices, something President Bush refused to sign while in office.

Thus, the forked-tongue president who publically says he does not favor the gay rights movement’s desire for marriage recognition will now go on record of supporting Gay rights. In the past, presidents recognized that heterosexual marriage was the only form of marriage that should be called “marriage.”

But with this new recognition, there will be nothing to stand in Obama’s way to create a legal fiction that two Gays can marry in a civil union ceremony; that, therefore, they have the same rights under the law as heterosexual married people including adoption of children, married couple tax benefits, and family and inheritance rights. Obama lied to the American people once again, to get in office, but once in the White House we find that he does not govern himself with the same principles he espoused on the campaign trail.
Read the AP story.

>In Defense of Heterosexual Marriage

>The 28th Amendment
It is time to protect marriage, and democracy, in America — Defense of Marriage Act may be in jeopardy.

By Robert P. George EDITOR’S NOTE: This article appeared in the July 23, 2001, issue of National Review.
Marriage is so central to the well-being of children-and society as a whole-that it was, until recently, difficult to imagine that it might be necessary to mount a national political campaign to protect the institution from radical redefinition. Yet today it can scarcely be denied that such a campaign is needed.

Everybody knows that marriage is in trouble. The rise of divorce, illegitimacy, and cohabitation have all taken a toll. If the institution of marriage in our society is to be restored to good health, a reversal of trends and tendencies in all of these areas is required. Still, there is something unique in the threat posed by the movement for “same-sex marriage.”

At the core of the traditional understanding of marriage in our society is a principled commitment to monogamy and fidelity. Marriage, as embodied in our customs, laws, and public policies, is intelligible and defensible as a one-flesh union whose character and value give a man and a woman moral reasons (going beyond mere subjective preferences or sentimental motivations) to pledge sexual exclusivity, fidelity, and permanence of commitment.

Yet any argument for revising our law to treat homosexual relations as marital will implicitly do what clearheaded and honest proponents of “same-sex marriage” explicitly acknowledge: It will deny that there are such moral reasons. Any such argument would have to treat marriage as a purely private matter designed solely to satisfy the desires of the “married” parties. If that is the case, there is no principled reason marriage need imply exclusivity, fidelity, permanence, or even a limit of two people.

Thoughtful people on both sides of the debate recognize this. It is evident, then, that legal recognition of same-sex marriages, far from making marriage more widely available (as well-intentioned but misguided conservative advocates of same-sex marriage say they want to do), would in effect abolish the institution, by collapsing the moral principles at its foundation.

So while it is true, as Bill Bennett among others has acknowledged, that marriage in the past 35 years or so has been damaged more severely by heterosexual immorality and irresponsibility than by homosexual activism, it is also true that same-sex marriage, were it to be instituted, would strike a blow against the institution more fundamental and definitive even than the disastrous policy of “no-fault” divorce.

It is noteworthy that proponents of same-sex marriage have sought to change public policy through judicial decree. Where they have won, they have won through the courts. Where the issue has been settled in the court of public opinion, they have lost. The lesson is clear: If the institution of marriage is to be preserved, a campaign to settle the issue democratically at the national level must be mounted-and quickly.

At the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted, it was taken for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman ordered to the rearing of children in circumstances conducive to moral uprightness. Its legal incidents and civil effects were part of the common law and regulated by the states.

There was no need at the time for marriage to be expressly defined or protected by federal law or the Constitution. Consequently, the word “marriage” does not appear in the Constitution (nor, for that matter, does the word “family”). Our forefathers shared the consensus of humanity, which viewed marriage as a union between sexually complementary persons-that is, persons of opposite sexes. The common law that we inherited from England was clear about marriage as the union of man and woman: “Marriage . . . includes the reciprocal duties of husband and wife.”

Only in the last decade has our country’s time-honored recognition that marriage is, in its very essence, the union of male and female come under attack in the courts. In the earliest phase of this campaign, activists tried to establish a right of marriage for same-sex partners through lawsuits in state courts premised on state constitutional guarantees. The strategy was to get some state supreme court to recognize same-sex marriage. Other states would then be compelled to recognize these “marriages,” because of the constitutional requirement that states extend “Full Faith and Credit” to one another’s “public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings.”

The supreme court of Hawaii, purporting to interpret the state constitution, went so far as to hold in 1993 that the state’s marriage law “discriminated on the basis of sex.” A lower court acting on its instructions then found the marriage law unconstitutional-but stayed its order pending appeal. In the end, though, the courts did not get the final say. In 1998, the people of Hawaii, by a very substantial majority (69 to 31 percent), enacted a state constitutional amendment affirming the heterosexual character of marriage. Hawaii’s same-sex marriage case had to be dismissed.

Undaunted, attorneys for homosexual activist groups continued to press the issue in other venues. In Alaska, a trial judge read that state’s constitution to include a fundamental right to “choose a life partner.” Again, the voters responded by backing a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman-by 68 to 32 percent. Other states, such as California, passed similar amendments by wide margins without even facing an immediate legal threat.

Having been stopped by the democratic process in Hawaii and Alaska, homosexual activists decided to press their legal case in a state where it is very difficult for voters to amend the state constitution: Vermont. On December 20, 1999, the Vermont supreme court decided that the Vermont constitution requires the state either to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples or to give them all of the benefits of marriage. The Vermont legislature chose the latter response to this judicial dictate: It passed, and the governor signed, a “civil unions” law that amounts to same-sex marriage in all but name.

The Vermont law, which took effect on July 1, 2000, contained no residency requirements for entering into a civil union. In the first six months, over 1,500 couples entered into civil unions. Only 338 involved at least one Vermont resident. The vast majority of Vermont civil unions, then, have been entered into by non-Vermont couples. Some of them will surely file suit in their home states to demand legal recognition of their Vermont status.

There is still an obstacle in the activists’ path. The U.S. Constitution explicitly gives Congress the authority to make exceptions to the Full Faith and Credit Clause. So in 1996, Congress passed (and President Clinton signed, albeit reluctantly and without fanfare) the Defense of Marriage Act. That legislation defines marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of a man and a woman, and says that no state is required to recognize another state’s same-sex marriages (though it does not forbid states to create same-sex marriages or recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages or civil unions). Subsequently, 34 states have enacted laws that deny recognition to same-sex marriages granted out of state.

But activists are putting forward a number of theories to persuade judges to declare the Defense of Marriage Act, and the state acts, unconstitutional. They may well succeed. The same year the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Romer v. Evans. The case concerned a Colorado constitutional amendment forbidding the state government or localities to pass “gay rights” laws. The Court concluded that the amendment could be explained only on the basis of irrational “animus” toward homosexuals. The Defense of Marriage Act could surely be characterized the same way by socially liberal federal judges.

There is also the prospect of same-sex marriage migrating from abroad. On April 1, 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage as such. The law requires only one of the parties to be a resident of the Netherlands. Ordinarily, a marriage validly entered into anywhere is valid everywhere. Our country has a public-policy exception to this rule, which allows states with a policy against same-sex marriage to decline to recognize it; but this exception may not cover states that-like Massachusetts-haven’t enacted explicit bans on the importation of same-sex marriage. In addition, given the current culture of the American legal profession, there is good reason to expect that many American judges will eventually reason their way around the public-policy exception in favor of the legal arguments crafted for them by activist attorneys and other supporters of same-sex marriage.

The momentum of the movement to redefine and, in effect, abolish marriage has brought America to a crossroads. Evan Wolfson, former head of the marriage project at the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, says he will file more lawsuits: “We have it within our reach to marry within five years.” The judicial assault on marriage is accelerating and encompassing every dimension of our legal system-state, federal, and international law.
The only sure safeguard against this assault is to use the ultimate democratic tool available to the American people: a constitutional amendment. Pro-marriage activists are inclined to back an amendment that would read: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”

The first sentence simply states that marriage anywhere in the United States consists only of male-female couples. This would prevent any state from introducing same-sex marriage by, for example, recognizing a Dutch same-sex marriage. The name and substance of “marriage” is reserved to husband and wife alone.
The second sentence seeks to prevent the judicial abuse of statutory or constitutional law to force the extension of marriage to include non-marital relationships. The word “construed” indicates that the intention is to preclude a judge or executive-branch official from inferring a requirement of same-sex marriage, or something similar, from a state or federal law.

The expression “legal incidents” is intended to convey the consequences “either usually or naturally and inseparably” dependent upon marriage. The Supreme Court has called “incidents of marriage” those “government benefits (e.g., Social Security benefits), property rights (e.g., tenancy by the entirety, inheritance rights), and other, less tangible benefits (e.g., legitimization of children born out of wedlock)” that follow upon marital status. Another example would be the marital privilege against being forced to testify against one’s spouse.

The amendment would not prevent private corporations from treating same-sex couples as married couples for purposes of health-care benefits, nor the extension of hospital visitation privileges to same- sex partners. If a benefit is not made to depend on marriage, it can be applied more generally. What the amendment prevents is the automatic, across-the-board qualification of same-sex partners for whatever marital benefits happen to exist.

The Federal Marriage Amendment has a very narrow purpose. It seeks to prevent one very specific abuse of power by the courts, to make sure that on an issue of this importance, they don’t confer a victory on the Left that it has not won in a fair contest in the forum of democratic deliberation. The amendment is intended to return the debate over the legal status of marriage to the American people-where it belongs. This amendment would have prevented the Vermont supreme court from ordering the legislature to grant the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples, but would not prevent a fair democratic struggle to decide the question of civil unions one way or the other in Vermont or any other state.

Why, some will ask, should we not go further, and use constitutional amendment to settle the issue of civil unions once and for all at the national level? While the legal recognition of non-marital sexual acts and relationships undermines the institution of marriage and should be opposed, the actual threat of the imposition of same-sex marriage and civil unions comes from the courts, not the legislatures.

The amendment is thus tailored to the threat at hand. Moreover, it does not depart from principles of federalism, under which family law is, for the most part, a state matter. State autonomy on family-law matters is preserved.

As a practical matter, the chances of passing a more comprehensive amendment are small. Moreover, some potential allies would perceive an amendment as offending democratic principles if it were to reach beyond the abuse of judicial power in this area.

We should not fear the democratic resolution of the question of marriage. If we lose the people on this question, constitutional law will not save us.

If state and federal judges remain free to manufacture marriage law as they please, the prestige of liberal sexual ideology in the law schools and other elite sectors of our society will eventually overwhelm conventional democratic defenses. The only sure means of preserving the institution of marriage for future generations of Americans is a federal constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Robert P. George is a professor at Princeton University.