Why Marriage Matters

Traditional marriage is the foundation of society and has served our state well since its inception in 1859. Oregon’s existing marriage laws exist to strengthen society, encourage monogamous and loving marriages and to provide an environment to nurture the well-being of children. Marriage matters, and so does your voice. Thirty states have voted on this issue and every single one decided against legalizing same-sex marriage and instead upheld traditional marriage. Oregon was one of these states.

Oregon voters overwhelmingly supported traditional marriage in the 2004 campaign for Measure 36 that placed language in the Oregon state constitution defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman by a 57% to 43% margin.

Oregon’s long-standing statute defines marriage as being the union of one man and one woman joined in traditional monogamous marriage and an institution of inestimable value to society. Current law says that Oregon has a compelling interest to nurture and promote the unique institution of traditional monogamous marriage in the support of harmonious families and the physical and mental health of children and that the State has the compelling interest in promoting the moral values inherent in traditional monogamous marriage.

The Threat to Marriage

Here in Oregon, gay rights advocates and special interest groups have already spent several hundred thousand dollars in preparation for a ballot measure to change the Oregon Constitution and legalize same-sex unions as marriage.  These special interest groups have indicated they will consider putting same-sex marriage on the ballot in 2014.

There are other profound consequences when gay marriage is legalized beyond the trashing of the role of marriage in society.

A wealth of examples have been identified by legal scholars who have pointed out the conflicts that will arise between the rights of people who sincerely disagree with homosexual marriage, and the rights of homosexual couples to demand that the state enforce gay marriage whether people support it or not. These conflicts can result in people losing their jobs, professionals be stripped of their professional licenses or being fined by the state, and churches losing their tax exemptions. Most troubling is the impact on children, particularly as the public schools begin the process of indoctrinating them on the subject of homosexual marriage.

These consequences are not hypothetical – they have already occurred in states like Massachusetts where homosexual marriage has been legalized.

In Massachusetts, which legalized homosexual marriage, children in second grade are taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage, that they can grow up to marry either a boy or a girl, that either option is the same. What’s more, parents cannot opt their children out of such “instruction.”

Marriage matters, and the consequences when homosexual marriage is legalized are real.