The Liberator

Legal Update - April 2004

"Be Strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you." - 1 Chronicles 28:20

Dear Friend,

What's happening in America in the battle over marriage is not surprising. Last year I predicted the intensity would increase. However, I didn't foresee mayors who would intentionally disobey the law to push the same-sex marriage agenda. These lawbreaking antics were not part of the strategy of the same-sex advocacy groups, although now these groups ardently support San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and those who follow his example.

In an ironic sort of way, those of us who believe in marriage between one man and one woman ought to "thank" (tongue-in-cheek) Mayor Newsom. His brazen disregard for the law has sounded a wake-up call to America, and indeed, the world. Had the same-sex marriage movement methodically inched its way through the legal system at the rate it was moving, most Americans would have become desensitized, asleep at the wheel so to speak, and same-sex marriage would have become legal in 3 to 5 years.

However, the radical movement, intent on destroying marriage at all costs, moved too quickly. The arrogance of Mayor Newsom, and those like him, is not an aberration. He, in fact, epitomizes the radical same-sex marriage movement. In 1998, while a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, he passed a Resolution that declared anyone who says homosexuality is wrong, or that it is a choice which can be changed, is espousing hate speech, and such speech should be punished because there is a "direct correlation" between such speech and hate crimes.

Make no mistake. If you want to catch a glimpse of what America would look like if same-sex marriage were legal, look no further than San Francisco. People of faith and those who believe in traditional marriage would be silenced - their speech and actions criminalized. Pastors and churches would groan under the burden of lawless tyrants. Children as young as 5 would be taught to experiment with sex, especially same-sex, since some groups say it is less "threatening" for children of this age to "discover" their "sexual identity."

I have repeatedly said the same-sex marriage movement is not about tolerance - it is about dominance. It will destroy the culture and abolish marriage the traditional family. It will hurt people, but most particularly, children. Wake up America!

The majority of Americans who believe in marriage between one man and one woman is finally awakening. Once silenced by complacency and fooled by the camouflaged language of "tolerance", America is beginning to realize what's at stake. The same-sex marriage agenda advanced too quickly. Rather than be dismayed or discouraged, now is our time to act. Now is the time to draw a line in the sand to preserve the culture.

Consider with me the sequence of the events over the past several months that has brought us to this point:


•June 2003 - U.S. Supreme Court decides Lawrence v. Texas (striking down Texas same-sex sodomy law). Between June and November, numerous members of the Congress become co-sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
•November 18, 2003 - Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rules 4-3 that prohibiting same-sex marriage violates the state constitution.
•November 18, 2003 to February 3, 2004 - More than 14 states have filed legislation to amend their state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage, and Ohio became the 38th state since 1996 to pass a Defense of Marriage Act, which protects traditional marriage.
•February 10 to 25, 2004 - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announces he will issue same-sex marriage licenses, and he begins to do so on February 12. Liberty Counsel files suit on February 13. On February 25, President Bush announces he supports amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
•February to Present - More mayors defy their state marriage laws. More states file legislation to amendment their state constitutions to preserve marriage. Polls show the vast majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage.

God has placed Liberty Counsel in the center of the most important cultural battle of the decade, or even of the century. Since February 13, 2004, the following is a small sample of the current battles in which we have engaged:

•San Francisco, CA - Filed suit against Mayor Gavin Newsom. Still in litigation.
•Broward County, FL - Filed suit to intervene to defend an attack against Florida's Defense of Marriage Act, which I personally drafted in 1996. Still in litigation.
•New Paltz, NY - Filed suit against Mayor Jason West. The court orders West to cease solemnizing same-sex marriages. Still in litigation.
•Multnomah County, OR - Filed suit to block the county from issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Still in litigation.
•Seattle, WA - Filed suit to stop the Mayor from recognizing same-sex marriage.
•Manhattan, NY - Filed suit to intervene to defend an attack on marriage brought by homosexual advocacy group.
•Kanawha County, WV - Filed suit to intervene to defend an attack on marriage.

By the time you read this letter, the number of cases attacking marriage will likely have doubled. The number changes every day. This is a battle we can win. We certainly need your prayers, and now, more than ever, we need your financial partnership to wage this war. Consider the victories that have been won.

Since the mid-1970s, courts in 16 states, plus the District of Columbia, have ruled against same-sex marriage (AL, AK, AZ, CO, CT, D.C., GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, NY, NJ, OH, VT and WA), and three of these occurred in the last year (AZ, IN and NJ). There are forty states that declare marriage is between one man and one woman (AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NC, ND, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV), and thirty-eight of these, plus the federal government, have passed such laws since 1996. By popular statewide vote, four states have passed referendums protecting marriage (AK, CA, NE and HI). The rest of the states limit marriage to a "husband" and "wife", which obviously means a man and a woman. As I already said, in the past few months over fourteen states have filed legislation to amend their constitutions to protect traditional marriage.

I don't recall in the history of America where there have been such widespread and rapid efforts among the states to pass legislation and amend their constitutions around a single issue. If two-thirds of the U.S. House and Senate vote in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment, then three-fourths of the states (38) must ratify it for it to become the universal law of the land. More than thirty-eight states have already gone on record to support traditional marriage. Mayor Newsom and his colleagues will cause that number to mushroom.

Will same-sex marriage hurt my marriage? No, but it will hurt people, and it will destroy the culture. That's what I care about.

Don't be discouraged. We are in the midst of an enormously important cultural battle. Now is not the time to relax, to slack off, and certainly not the time to get discouraged.

We understand this is a spiritual battle. At the same time, we're mindful of the fact that God placed us here at this time in human history. My ancestors did not foresee this day, but I do. Our Mighty General has called you and me to the front lines. He is leading us into battle and we must follow. I do so with joy.


By His Grace,

Mathew D. Staver

PS Together we can stake a claim on the culture. Our legal team is working long hours and weekends, but we need additional attorneys and staff. Join with us. Extend your reach to each and every battle through the ministry of Liberty Counsel. Now, more than ever, we need your prayers and financial partnership.