One Step at a Time

Same-sex "marriage" advocates know better than to try to push their cause on all of the people all at once -- two-thirds of Americans oppose it. In most places, they are now taking it one little step at a time. Maryland has taken its first step in that direction. After a fierce battle, the Medical Decision Making Act of 2005 passed the Maryland legislature. The bill allows unmarried couples to register with the state as "life partners," in order to visit each other in the hospital and make medical decisions for each other. The bill may sound innocuous on the surface. But in Canada, the road to same-sex "marriage" began with a very similar step: allowing marriage rights to unmarried couples. It's easy to see that this is where the Maryland bill is leading. These legislators clearly want to take it upon themselves to completely redefine the institution of marriage. And it's not just same-sex "marriage" that's at issue here: The bill applies to all unmarried couples. The effect is to establish every kind of sexual relationship as morally equivalent, and to dishonor marriage by allowing any two people its rights and privileges. As usual, legislators tried to obscure this crucial issue by personalizing the bill. Delegate Doyle Niemann spoke eloquently on the House floor about how he was voting for the bill on behalf of his daughter, a lesbian. Delegate Richard Madaleno Jr., who is in a long-term homosexual relationship, went so far as to chide his opponents, "I cannot believe you find me so repulsive" -- smear campaigns are easier and more effective than reasoned arguments. Of course, personalizing the issue can go both ways. For instance, House Minority Whip Anthony O'Donnell made this very good point about his own 18-year- old daughter: "Under the provisions of this bill, she may decide to designate a partner for life, because kids at that age sometimes think that their friends are going to be their friends forever. And should a tragedy befall my little girl . . . her mother and I . . . would no longer have any say, because the life partner would take precedence over us." Exactly. There's already such a thing as a "partner for life" -- it's called a spouse. The responsibilities and the rights of marriage go together. If we start granting those rights to nearly any relationship between two unrelated people -- no matter how temporary it might turn out to be -- we begin to strip marriage of its meaning and its desirability. Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich hasn't yet indicated whether he'll sign the Medical Decision Making Act. He still has time to veto it, and I sincerely hope he does. And Delegate Donald Dwyer is planning a referendum drive to bring the issue directly to the people of Maryland. So the good news is that this bill is not yet a law, and there's a lot we can do to help stop it from becoming one. I encourage you to visit our website to find out how you can help with that effort. Still, whatever happens, that the bill was passed at all is a sobering sign of just how far this culture has gone -- and just how much farther some people are willing to see it go. Watch out in your state. Be vigilant. The gay "marriage" advocates know that stealth is their best strategy today.


Chuck Colson


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