The ballot initiatives on November 4 demonstrated that Americans are still not ready to embrace same-sex marriage as law. They clearly favor legal protection and recognition, but not marriage. The most surprising vote of all was Proposition 8 in California. And perhaps the most surprising fact of the entire California issue was who voted for and against the measure. White, educated voters supported gay marriage heavily. African-Americans and Hispanics overwhelmingly opposed it. The same voters who supported Barack Obama in large numbers voted against same-sex marriage in very large numbers. Now the radical proponents are attacking groups like the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church, which remains a continual target of such groups.
Arizona and Florida also voted to approve an amendment to ban same-sex marriage, as have more than thirty states now. The simple fact is that most Americans still do not want same-sex marriage as law. For those who agree I would caution you to think that this somehow ends the debate. The overwhelming evidence is that younger voters disagree and unless their moral compass is altered they will eventually overwhelm the votes on this issue too. Every means possible will be explored and used until the promoters of this change get their way. I see nothing in the culture that will stop them, long term. I am no prophet but I think in ten years or less this issue will be altered quite a bit regardless of the initiatives approved by these several states.
What is particularly interesting is what happened to other "moral" initiatives that are linked to ethical issues the church is concerned about; e.g. abortion, stem-cell research and euthanasia. There were six abortion initiatives that would have limited them in some fashion and they all lost. South Dakota had a proposal that went the furthest in limiting abortions and it went down to defeat 55% to 45%. And Washington voted 59% to 41% to allow physician assisted suicide. Colorado voted 73% to 27% to reject an amendment that would have defined a human person from the moment of conception. With numbers that high you do have to wonder what people who do go to church have actually been taught and what they really believe about human life?
We need to be honest here friends. There is virtually no scenario on the horizon—and I mean for a long, long time—where the abortion situation will be altered by law. The facts are pretty clear. We will only save lives if we get deeply involved in personal ministry and compassionate action, not legislative action. I am not suggesting that we give up on all legislation but I am suggesting that we need to seriously rework the strategy of the pro-life movement, at least politically. I think it is time we not turn every election into a "pro-life" election and see what we can do to work with the leaders that we do have to reduce the number of abortions and to find ways to help mothers keep children in difficult circumstances. (I have argued for a long time that we not limit pro-life dialogue to Republicans only.) Saving lives is what we want to do and there are many effective ways to advance this goal without having totally sympathetic legislators. The pro-choice movement has won at the level of government and the courts but the real battle was never there in the first place. Anyone who thought so was not paying attention and does not understand how cultures are really changed anyway.