Four years ago San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom defied state law and encouraged the spectacle of nearly 4,000 same-sex "weddings" to take place in his city. On March 4 of this year, the California Supreme Court heard a case claiming that such unions are not only legal, but also morally right, and that Proposition 22, which bans them, should be overturned. The state high court has 90 days in which to rule.
I believe that the issue is much too crucial to be decided by seven judges.
That's why I'm urging my fellow believers in biblical marriage to join a coalition of pastors, pro-family groups, business people and many others working nonstop to get The California Protect Marriage Act initiative on the November statewide ballot.
What will The California Protect Marriage Act do?
The initiative asks voters to add this new language to the California Constitution: Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Eighteen other states have voted to amend their constitutions in a similar way.
True, California already has Proposition 22, which in 2000 won approval from 61 percent of voters and which bans same-sex marriage. But because the proposition enacted a statute rather than a constitutional amendment, it is more susceptible to legal challenge. (In fact, this is the law the state Supreme Court is reviewing.)
Therefore, to protect the ancient, biblical and true definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, we, the people of California, are collecting one million signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. If approved by voters, the language of Proposition 22 will be protected by the state's constitution. Once and for all. More importantly, the definition of marriage will be.
But first we need to turn in those signatures. According to ProtectMarriage.com, a coalition of national, state, and local pro-family organizations, churches and individuals, close to 900,000 signatures have been collected statewide so far.
But the deadline is approaching.
Have you signed a petition yet?
Marriage is not man-made
It's very important in the first place to understand why we're doing this. After all, if two people love each other, why shouldn't they get married? It's a private thing, isn't it? Why don't we just let people alone? Do we "hate gays"?
The gay-rights community is often quick to accuse us of bias, fear and hatred. In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union makes much of 2008 being the 60th anniversary of the state Supreme Court's historic 1948 ruling finding it unconstitutional to prevent people of different races to marry. Same-gender people say they should likewise have the right to marry.
But is the situation parallel? Absolutely not.
First, let me be clear that this campaign is not against gays and lesbians (or bisexuals, transsexuals or transvestites, for that matter) and their families. Jesus loves gay people and gave His life for them, just as He loves heterosexual people and gave His life for them, too.
But marriage is first and foremost not a human invention. It is not an ancient civil tradition, concocted up by the government as a way to keep society orderly. It is an institution designed by our Creator, who made human beings in His image.
The Bible says God told the first man, Adam, that He would give him a wife. The woman, Eve, was formed from a part of Adam—and all their lives they would strive to be one flesh. That was an intentional design. God created us male and female, in preparation for a marriage relationship, reflecting the full glory of His image.
However, as much as our present postmodern, self-indulgent, secular humanistic society ridicules the idea of Satan, I have to say it: There is a devil, and he is determined to obliterate that image (and have wicked fun doing it).
A spiritual battle
They're from the devil. San Francisco may laugh at that; Hollywood may mock me; but the Bible is clear. This is not a political battle, it's a spiritual battle.
Remember, the Apostle said that our "struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).
The devil wants to erode marriage. He is already very far along.
Last year Gov. Arnold Sschwarzennegger signed seven of eight bills passed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature and advocated by gay rights groups. One of these new laws was Senate Bill 777, which says that "no teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias" against people based on sexual orientation.
Regardless of how gay activists downplay it, SB 777 opens the door for major changes in what our children are taught about the basic nature of marriage and family. You can expect not to see Mom and Dad in textbooks in the near future.
The devil also wants to normalize homosexuality. Why?
One, to spread a destructive lifestyle that clearly damages people and their families.
Two, to undermine the biblical model of marriage, which is of a loving husband sacrificing for his bride, just as Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for His bride, the church.
And three, to shut up Christians.
What's this last one about? If society continues on the path it's on right now, Christians will soon be forced to stop preaching the truth. Saying anything "negative" about homosexuality will be demonized, if not criminalized. That includes free speech—inside the church walls or out.
The erosion of church rights has already started.
For example, a church-owned retreat center on the East Coast lost part of its tax-exempt status for refusing to marry a gay couple. In Canada today, if you preach Romans 1—the most famous and clear condemnation of homosexuality—you can go to jail. If you put it on the radio you will lose your license. If they deem your speech harmful they will judge your speech illegal.
It's already happening around the world. Pastors have already been arrested for saying what I am saying in this commentary.
Why do they have the right to do this? Because they are claiming that right. That's all! We have a right, though, to sign a petition and to vote. And that's what we're going do.
Will you join me?
McPherson, a former San Diego Charger, is senior pastor of the Rock Church in Point Loma, and founder of Miles Ahead Crusades. He's part of the pastoral leadership involved with the God's Design for Marriage campaign. For more information on the petition drive visit www.protectmarriage.com.
© Miles McPherson 2008 All rights reserved.