Exodus, the Orlando-based network of ex-gay activists, joins the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and other anti-tolerance organizations in inventing a remarkably blatant lie about Congress:

Congress is poised to make homosexual marriage the law of the land.

In fact, no proposal to legalize marriage is before Congress or in effect in any state besides Massachusetts.

Instead of accurately reporting the situation, Exodus joins amend-the-U.S.-Constitution activists in asserting that anyone who votes against a Federal Marriage Amendment — in other words, anyone who opposes hasty changes to the U.S. Constitution or who opposes a religious-right attack on states’ rights — is pro-homosexual-marriage.

The activists also neglect to fully inform their audiences of what they are supporting in a Federal Marriage Amendment. One must look elsewhere to learn that at least two versions of a draft Federal Marriage Amendment are circulating in Senate committee.

One version of the FMA exploits the U.S. Constitution to prohibit state legislatures and courts from recognizing either marriage or civil unions for same-gender couples. Another version, S.J. Res. 30, permanently bans state legislatures from recognizing marriage for same-gender couples and prohibits any court (state or federal) from authorizing civil unions for same-gender couples.

It appears that the version to be voted in July may indeed ban civil unions. Conservative former congressman Bob Barr testified June 22: “The Federal Marriage Amendment, however, would invalidate any civil union provided by the Massachusetts state constitution, and of course would also invalidate all same-sex marriages in the state.

In a June 23 press release, the Family Foundation of Virginia declares (emphasis mine):

Of course, since we are affiliated with Focus on the Family and Family Research Council, we have taken some direction from Dr. Dobson and from Tony Perkins.

S.J. Res. 30, introduced by Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado, simply defines marriage only as the union of a man and a woman, and restricts the privileges to be conferred only to that relationship. While this amendment does not address other forms of same sex marriage such as civil unions, there is simply not enough support in the U.S. Senate for a more complete amendment.

However, we believe that the FMA, if passed, will do several things:

1) FMA will give us a foundation from which to work. The fact is that while it isn’t perfect, without it, we will lose this battle in a very short period of time. When the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision legalizing sodomy came down just one year ago this month, analysts said it would be years before we had to think about same-sex marriage. Instead, it was months. We feel that once the Congress and the states settle on the definition of marriage in an amendment, we will have the momentum to begin to take back what we have lost. We have to defend the definition while we are trying to protect the institution.

In other words, Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council view FMA as a first step toward re-enacting “what we have lost”: so-called “sodomy laws” — next time, perhaps, at the federal level.

2) The whole issue of civil unions is complicated. While we would prefer an amendment that included a ban, that is just not going to happen considering the current make-up of Congress. However, Virginia is in a very good position since we just passed a ban on civil unions. Consequently, other states may follow. This is a pure example of federalism at its best; the Constitution leaves to the states that which it chooses not to deal with.

The Family Foundation of Virginia is being more than a little dishonest here. The new Virginia law does not merely ban civil unions; it bans any contract, such as a power of attorney, financial agreement, or visitation consent, between two people of the same sex. And a preceding Virginia law already prohibited private companies from offering benefits to employees’ same-sex life partners.

3) Either way, a vote on FMA will put our Senators on record when it comes to marriage. This may prove very important in the Senatorial elections later this year. Focus on the Family and Family Research Council are heavily involved in educating citizens in those states that have Senators up for reelection that either oppose FMA or have not taken a position.

“Put our Senators on record” — that pretty much expresses the real intent of “Protect Marriage Sunday.” Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council — with Exodus and the Family Foundation of Virginia firmly in tow — view the U.S. Constitution as their only political football, in a desperate election year in which incumbents from both parties face possible ouster over a badly botched war in Iraq, a soaring incidence of terrorism, and the permanent loss of millions of manufacturing jobs.

Even the pro-life vote is slipping.

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