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The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana • Page 113

Publication:
The Timesi
Location:
Shreveport, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Page:
113
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

UU CONTACT CRAIG DURRETT 459-3281 or shreveportopiniongannett.com SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2004 CONSTITUTIONS NSIDERAHON CO Marriage amendment deserves strong support Amendment could have adverse consequences provide that marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman, that legal incidents of marriage siana. The proposed amendment prevents all unmarried couples from securing the legal protections for themselves and their children. Unmarried couples could be deprived of the right to visit their partner in a hospital or emergency room, claim the body of a deceased now confirming what the Bible has always said. Countless studies prove that traditional marriage is unquestionably best, healthiest, and most satisfying relationship for everyone. Children in stable, traditional, two-parent homes have less physical and emotional problems, do better in school, shall not be conferred on a member of any union other than such union, and that the state shall not validate or recognize a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals or any marriage contracted in any other jurisdiction which is not the union of one man undone woman.

By Mike Johnson On Sept. 18, the people of Louisiana have an historic opportunity to vote for decency and common sense, and to safeguard civilization's oldest and most important institution. Incredible as it may seem, the culture's assault on traditional values now requires us to pass a constitutional amendment to define and protect marriage. The proposed Defense of Marriage Amendment, which was endorsed in June by an overwhelming majority of the Legislature (119 to 19), will ensure that marriage Mike Johnson Opinion is limited in our state to "the union of one man and one woman." It will also prohibit the recognition of same-sex "marriages" from other jurisdictions and all other counterfeit legal arrangements. Radical homosexual advocacy groups are desperate for liberal judges, rather than the voters, to decide this crucial issue.

Thankfully, we were able to defeat them last month in their barrage of lawsuits to keep the amendment off the ballot. It is up to the people now, and we must make our voices heard as loudly as those in Missouri, and other states, where similar amendments have already passed by more than 70 percent of the vote. There are many reasons why we need this amendment. The recent debacle in Massachusetts proves what can happen when this matter is left to the courts. Like Louisiana, that state had laws on the books that prohibited same-sex "marriage," but the statutes were easily overturned by activist judges.

Without a prohibition in their constitution, a court was allowed to create same-sex "marriage." The state and its citizens have a compelling interest in preserving the integrity of the marital union by making opposite-sex marriage the exclusive form of family relationship endorsed by the government. Loss of this status will de-emphasize the importance of traditional marriage to society, weaken it, and place our entire democratic system in jeopardy by eroding its foundation. Society grants benefits and legal preference to traditional marriage, because traditional marriage benefits society. Simply put, sex of any kind outside of the marriage of one man and one woman is ultimately destructive. Social science is 0 the By Allison Jones It doesn't take much to defend a marriage.

Good communication, honesty, trust and a commitment to love, honor and cherish each other no matter how difficult times may get are nice armor. Marriage is best defended within, and anyone looking for outside legislation to save their marriage, is probably already in trouble. Simply put, same-sex marriage doesn't threaten anyone's marriage, and Dick Cheney was right when he said that consenting adults should be allowed to make consensual unions. But, we don't have to agree on the issue of same-sex marriage to ultimately agree that Constitutional Amendment No. 1 should be defeated.

Tilings aren't always as simple as they seem. The issues surrounding this proposed amendment to the state constitution are proof of that. Whether we like it or not, same sex marriage is already illegal. President Bill Clinton signed the "Defense of Marriage Act" in 19 and the state of Louisiana followed suit in 1999. There is simply no pressing need to amend the Constitution, which normally enshrines and protects rights of individuals, to accomplish something that is already accomplished by both federal and state law.

And the problem with the proposed constitutional amendment is not what it fails to accomplish; the problem is what Amendment No. 1 actually accomplishes. Passage of this amendment could have disastrous consequences for people who don't even know what the term "homosexuality" means. If one reads the amendment in its entirety, it becomes Allison Jones Opinion i clear that this amendment isn't about gay rights or homosexuality. The amendment's effect, and possibly purpose, is much broader, and, therefore, more far reaching.

Section 2 of the amendment states that marriage or the legal incidents thereof can only be conferred upon the union of man and woman. Section 3 provides that "a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be recognized. The 2000 Census reveals that 83,563 unmarried couples share a household in Loui- Turner is also president of the Society of Professional Journalists chapter and vice president of the English Club. "I will someday be fabulously rich and famous while teaching college and freelance writing for several magazines." Her philosophy: "Since God is in control, I can take my hands off the steering wheel." Ashley Young, a few weeks shy of 21, will graduate from Centenary College in May with a communications degree. The Shreveport resident plans to be in law school a year from now.

"My priorities are to work hard and take any opportunity to do something interesting or exciting." She toured China on a school trip this summer. Last spring partner or even attend the funeral. They couldn't receive many retirement or disability benefits, obtain coverage by many medical insurance policies, and exercise many rights of succession. A study by the good government watchdog Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana confirms these concerns. Furthermore, Constitutional Amendment No.

1 has the effect of eliminating a 200-year-old safety net doctrine known as the "putative spouse doctrine." Imagine finding out after 50 years of marriage that something went wrong on your wedding day, and the official who purported to marry you was unlicensed. The putative spouse doctrine would protect you. This doctrine was created to protect persons whose marriage may be null and void if there is a legal defect, such as an expired license of the officiating party or a prior marriage from which a divorce was never officially obtained, if the swuse is in "good faith." Although the marriage remains null and void, the spouse in good faith can continue to receive the civil effects of marriage. If Constitutional Amendment No. 1 passes, this doctrine is gone.

Such a result could have the effect of depriving good faith widows or widowers of retirement and medical benefits and property rights. It could deprive a young parent of medical care, alimony and housing. That really shouldn't be the goal of our state constitution. Our constitution should not be amended to reflect bad policy. This is one situation where the stated goal of the legislation is redundant and the actual result of the legislations is outright bad policy.

U't's face it. The law-is complicated stuff. It should articulate the ideals of our society and protect as many as possible. This proposed amendment does neither. Please vote against Amendment No.

1. Allison Jones is a local attorney with the firm Davidson, Jones Summers. she played the role of a psychic in The Magic of John Rabenhorst at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse. Young believes her generation's greatest attribute is "our general eagerness to take on leadership roles in our community." Weakness? Perhaps a "tendency to dismiss tradition as being obsolete without much thought." This is a solid group of thinkers who ought to give us something to ponder in the next months. From this vantage point, campus journalism looks to be in good hands.

So far, they all get an Craig Durrett is editorial page editor. Call him at 459-3281. Fax: 459-3301. E-mail: cdurrettgannett.com. and are less likely to live in poverty, get into trouble, or be the victims of physical or sexual abuse.

Same-sex "marriage" selfishly and deliberately deprives children of either a mother or a father. Children need both. Homosexual relationships are inherently unnatural and, the studies clearly show, are ultimately harmful and costly for everyone. Society cannot give its stamp of approval to such a dangerous lifestyle. If we change mar riage for this tiny, modern minority, we will have to do it for every deviant group.

Polyg-amists, polyamorists, pedophiles, and others will be next in line to claim equal protection. They already are. There will be no legal basis to deny a bisexual the right to marry a partner of each sex, or a person to marry his pet. If everyone does what is right in his own eyes, chaos and sexual anarchy will result. And make no mistake, the extremists who seek to redefine marriage also want to deny you the right to object to immoral behavior.

Our precious religious freedom hangs in the balance. Homosexuals have the right to live however they choose but they cannot redefine marriage for our entire society. The stakes are very high in this battle, and it is not "intolerance" for us to desire a healthy and prosperous community. God loves every sinner, but we model true compassion when we remain "pro-traditional marriage" and conscientiously opposed to all deviations from it. This follows common sense and five millennia of moral teaching.

No major civilization in the history of the world has expanded the definition of marriage to include any combination other than man and woman. We shouldn't be the first. Mike Johnson is an attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, who represented conservative groups and legislators in successfully defending the proposed marriage amendment against court challenges last month. politics to culture wars. Their opinions will be honed by their hometown upbringing and the campuses they inhabit.

Frustrated college professor that I am, I forced each of these newbies to knock out a few paragraphs about themselves and an assessment on their generation. By way of their introduction to you, here are some quick bios and pithy excerpts from their assignments: Candlce Leone, 21, is a senior journalism major at LSUS where she is editor of the student newspaper, the Almagest. Says the native Shreve-porter, "A defining moment in my life was when I was 8 and my parents got divorced it was then that I realized that life gets in the way sometimes "'''if) ii 4 Kki 3 ill mi iiiim iniiiii i iln ii mi I 1 1 in. a Si in UMlilnii.iliiiiM.iiiiMi.-.. iiiiiii iim.il inn Quartet of young pundits queues up to enliven Times Opinion Page 13 iO fc3f are my two passions." Her generation's best attribute youth can also be its downfall, Miles writes.

This demographic bunch is open-minded but "sometimes naive to what's going on in the world." Too much is too often taken for granted: "Many of us don't realize that freedom doesn't come free." Her pet peeve: Smiling faces who turn out to be back-stabbers. Marisa Darby Turner is from Eunice and is a senior English major at Grambling State University. She is in her second year as opinion page editor at the Grambli-nite. The married mother of two finds time to write short stories, ixetry and is "trying to complete my first novel." Friday's editorial pages will have some new faces beyond the usual crusty Washington pundits and New York-based attack dogs. How about a quartet of young journalists from Grambling, Ruston and Shreveport? In a continual Craig Durrett Opinion effort to provide a variety of voices and opinions that will alternately vex you or elicit a lusty that right!" if you prefer), The Times Opinion Page will rotate four new faces to weigh in on a variety of fronts, from if ,1 Leone Miles and love isn't always enough to save something that doesn't work.

My parents have always taught my sister and me to be independent, and that we can be anything we want which they still remind us of from time to time." Concerning her generation, she is most concerned about indifference when it comes to politics and current events. But that generation's greatest attribute is "the tolerant, oen-mindedness that most of us Turner Young possess. We are a generation with a laid-back, carefree outlook who knows that making mistakes is a part of living and growing up." Amber Nicole Miles, 21, is a Dallas native and a senior journalism major at Louisiana Tech. She is editor-in-chief of The Tech Talk, the first full-time varsity athlete to hold that time-consuming post. "Playing softball (three-year starting centerfielder for the Lady Tech sters) and writing.

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