UPDATE – West Virginia’s DOMA law was overturned by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals late in 2014. Governor Tomblin immediately jumped to allow homosexuals to marry. Same sex could marry in our state. A month later, federal judge Robert Chambers made it official. Then the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Ohio’s marriage protection amendment restricting marriage to One Man One Woman. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will likely take up this case. They may very well decide that this is a states’ rights issue and if so, traditional marriage may again return to be the law of West Virginia.
With both the West Virginia (WV) Senate and House of Delegates now controlled by the republican party, it is hoped that we, WV voters, will be given an opportunity in 2016 to vote on whether same sex marriage will be allowed or not. 2015 should see bills from both legislative bodies to allow voters their say on this issue.
PRIOR HISTORY – A federal statute was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996, defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the federal DOMA law, no state (or other political subdivision within the United States) would be required to recognize as marriage a same-sex relationship considered as marriage in another state.
During a 2008 interview with MTV, then U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate stated “I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage.” After being elected, President Obama began his presidency in 2009 and continued stating each state should decide for itself on the question of same-sex marriage.
On February 23, 2011, President Obama then instructed his U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, to direct the U.S. Department of Justice to cease defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.
On March 16, 2012, President Obama has now stated he opposes a North Carolina ballot measure that would prohibit same-sex marriages.
“While the president does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples,” said Obama’s North Carolina spokesperson, Cameron French, last Friday. “That’s what the North Carolina ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.”
This tragic state of affairs on this critical public policy issue also exists in West Virginia and while not as tranparent as President Obama’s stance, nevertheless, has a nexus with the Democrat National Convention (DNC) and the WV State Democrat Party.
On January 11, 2012, during the 2nd Session of the 80th Legislature the Marriage Protection Amendment was reintroduced for the seventh consecutive year. (SJR-2) and (HJR-18) The results have continued to remain the same with this legislation being bottled up in committees and not being permitted to the floor for a full vote.
The excuses given consistently over these many years by majority leadership as reasons for not allowing this legislation to the floor for a full vote are two-fold as follows:
Excuse # 1
West Virginia already has a Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) law, therefore, the state statute is sufficient to protect the institution of marriage from homosexual activists attempt to redefine it.
The action by President Obama ordering U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, and the Department of Justice to no longer defend DOMA removes the very foundation States relied upon as a buckler for instituting their DOMA laws. Furthermore, President Obama’s stated opposition to North Carolina’s ballot measure prohibiting same-sex marriages on March 13, 2012, should leave no doubt to the majority party of the urgent need to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment immediately.
Excuse # 2
The WV Supreme Court has already issued a decision upholding a legal challenge to West Virginia’s DOMA law.
The legal opinion written by Steve M. Crampton, a renowned constitutional attorney and Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, dispels the fallacy of both of these arguments.
Now more than ever, passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment is critical during the 1st Session of the 81st Legislature in 2013!
FACT # 1
House Speaker Richard Thompson (D-Wayne), who previously was an ally by denying pro-homosexual legislation which passed the WV Senate to be permitted to reach the House floor for a full vote, has now agreed during the 2012 legislative session to the United Mine Workers of America and the AFL-CIO endorsement of the homosexual agenda. By supporting passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (EDNA) for homosexual behavior, Speaker Thompson guarantees any case reaching the WV Supreme Court will inevitably lead to a favorable decision for homosexuals challenging West Virginia’s DOMA law as being unconstitutional.
FACT # 2
Another organization introduced SJR-14 in the WV Senate on February 22, 2010 without any advance consultation with the West Virginia Family Foundation and then ambitiously campaigned statewide for several years to promote their marriage amendment language. Unfortunately, many West Virginian’s now believe if this amendment passes the WV Legislature and voters approve of this language at the ballot box, the victory will finally be won. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The reality is the majority controlled democrat party have now been provided language by this organization for reasons unknown which has laid the foundation to permit the liberal democratic leadership to accomplish their goal under the umbrella of passing a genuine marriage amendment. The fact is the language contained in this amendment is but one sentence and will allow for homosexual counterfeit relationships, protecting marriage in name only!
Despite our best efforts to work behind the scene to convince this otherwise fine organization to withdraw their amendment and support the comprehensive Marriage Protection Amendment drafted by Liberty Counsel, we have been unsuccessful.
It is our hope the majority party leadership on both side of the isle will take up and pass the Marriage Protection Amendment during the 2013 1st Session of the 81st Legislature and stop obstructing discharge of this legislation from remaining bottled up in committee as was done during the 2010 legislative session. HJR-5 2/23/10 RC#63 (68-30)
After seven long years and given the threat posed to traditional marriage by President Obama as well as an activist WV Supreme Court, the representatives for the citizens of West Virginia owe it to their constituents to pass this critical legislation immediately!
The West Virginia Constitution belongs to the people of West Virginia and legislators are privileged to serve their constituents in this entrusted position and should represent, protect and respect their wishes. As such, there is no higher priority or demonstration of this obligation and responsibility than by allowing their constituents the right to vote on the definition of marriage.
Below are things you can do to help promote the Marriage Protection Amendment during the 1st Session of the 81st Legislature -2013
• Pray for wisdom and courage for the members of the West Virginia Legislature to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment.
• Find your legislator and urge their support for the Marriage Protection Amendment. Tell them you will be watching this issue very closely and their support or opposition to this marriage amendment will be pivotal on your decision for their candidacy in the next election cycle.
• Call your legislators (1-877-565-3447) today and tell them support passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment to allow you to vote at the ballot box on this critical issue.
• Print copy and distribute the Marriage Protection Amendment Petition to your churches, friends, family and co-workers; then return the petition to help assist, communicate and promote this critical effort to others.
• Tell your friends, family, and co-workers about ProtectWVMarriage.com
• Give to the ongoing efforts to protect the definition of marriage and to prevent counterfeit relationships and the decline of the traditional family.