Happy New Years!
If you live in New Jersey, and if you believe marriage should remain the union between one man and one woman, I’ve got great news for you. Come to think of it, this victory is good news regardless of where you live. After all, what happens in one state ultimately impacts the rest of us. Here’s what happened.
A number of heavily funded groups in the Garden State with a radical agenda have been working behind the scenes to redefine marriage to include same-sex partners. Looking for the best window of time to carry out their plan, they targeted the so-called “lame duck” session in the New Jersey legislature last fall.
What they didn’t count on was the overwhelming groundswell of resistance from the grassroots. You see, Focus on the Family Action teamed up with the New Jersey Family Policy Council, FRC Action, and the Coalition to Protect Marriage, to alert New Jersey voters what was really going on in Trenton, the state capital.
When the truth of what was being planned saw the light of day, the people of New Jersey spoke. Loud and clear. The phones started buzzing off the hook in the offices of key legislators. State Senate president Dick Codey’s office received upwards of 200 calls an hour protesting the attempt to redefine marriage in the lame duck session. Stunned by the citizen feedback, we’ve learned that the same-sex “marriage” bill has been tabled, at least for now.
That’s a huge victory for the family.
I suspect that the fight between those who treasure traditional marriage verses those who wish to expand the definition to include same-sex partners will resurface during the 2008 legislative session. If so, I’m grateful that there’s a wonderful local team, the New Jersey Family Policy Council (NJFPC), on the front lines to defend the institution of marriage.
What you may not know is that the roots of the NJFPC can be traced back to a burden Dr. Dobson had some twenty years ago. Back in 1987, Dr. Dobson sensed the need to find how Focus on the Family might strengthen pro-family organizations at the grassroots level – in all fifty states. A tall order, indeed. Especially considering during the Eighties Focus on the Family didn’t have a public policy department as we do today.
Under the leadership of Tom Minnery, then founding editor of Citizen magazine, a plan emerged to foster a network of Family Policy Councils (FPC). Tom envisioned that these individual, independent organizations would be staffed and locally funded in each state. At the same time, they would benefit from their association with Focus in terms of the encouragement and expertise we could provide.
Today, I’m happy to report there are thirty-three states with FPCs (such as the NJFPC) working hard to defend the interests of the family in their local legislatures. How? By lobbying for family issues at the state capital – such as defending the definition of marriage; working with media outlets to ensure the pro-family position is properly represented in the news; and, partnering with churches to help distribute voter guides, voter registration, and educate the laity on key issues that impact the home.
Hats off to Len Deo, President of NJFPC, his team, and the thousands of concerned citizens in New Jersery for all you have done – and are doing – to fight the good fight! We stand with you.
For a complete listing and contact info for those states which have an FPC click here. To discover whether your state has passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, click here. And, to learn how to defend traditional marriage within your circle of influence, consider these two excellent resources: Dr. Dobson’s book Marriage Under Fire, and The Church & The Marriage Debate two-day broadcast on CD.