California is a state well known as a precedent setter when it comes to national debates and that has made it the target of pro-homosexual organizations seeking to redefine marriage. Sensing the potentially catastrophic effect of such a change in the law, the Alliance for Marriage (AFM) is reaching out to California’s most influential constituency—Latino Catholics—to enlist their help in defending marriage and the family.
Matt Daniels, the president of AFM, is convinced that many conservatives, who are typically associated with defending traditional marriage, don’t realize how perilous the situation is in California. He maintains that to stave off the assault on marriage, Latino Catholics must be included in the fight to protect marriage.
The Assault on Marriage
As an example of the way the fight for marriage has escalated, one only has to look at one of California’s most conservative cities, San Diego. Just two weeks ago, the San Diego City Council deadlocked 4-4 on a resolution to sign onto a Supreme Court brief aimed at overturning the state's ban on gay marriage. On Sept. 18, the chamber voted again. This time, gay marriage won, 5-3. After the vote, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who once pledged to veto the resolution, reversed his position on Sept. 19 in an emotional statement announcing that his daughter is a lesbian.
In 2000, Californians voters passed Proposition 22, an initiative that added the traditional definition of marriage to state law. Since then, homosexual litigators and liberal legislators have twice tried to overturn Prop. 22 demonstrating their clear disregard for how doing so will unravel society, not to mention the will of the voters of California.
Gov. Schwarzenegger declared on Sept. 18 that he would reject a measure that would overturn Prop. 22: "It would be wrong for the people to vote for something and for me to then overturn it," the governor said. "So they can send this bill down as many times as they want, I won't do it."
But Matt Daniels, president of Alliance for Marriage (AFM), www.afmusa.org said that unless conservatives wake up to the threat, "it's only a matter of time" before homosexual activists and allied public officials get their way.
"For many reasons defeat here will have national consequences," said Daniels. "If we lose in California, the media will tell us that the nation's most populous state is leading the way, that the debate over marriage has been settled by the people."
Both Matt Daniels and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the pastor and president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), see Hispanics as the key to protecting marriage in California and the nation.
“The Latino community holds the key to protecting marriage in California – and preventing the attack on marriage in California from having national fallout,” said Rodriguez.
Why the Latino community?
AFM’s president Matt Daniels gives several reasons why the most critical community in California's debate over marriage is the Latino community. "First, Hispanics are the fastest-growing demographic group in California and also in the nation. Second, they voted for Prop. 22 by a higher margin (65 percent) than any other group, including African-Americans, who have usually led marriage-protection vote tallies in other states. And third, they are social traditionalists who also command the attention of Democratic pollsters.”
Rodriguez also pointed out what he believes is another strong point for Latinos in the fight for marriage. "The media have, erroneously I believe, painted those groups as anti-homosexual". "But the Hispanic community is not known to be anti-homosexual. So when our community says, look, it's not about having some kind of phobia about another group—it's about family, it's about the survival of our community—we come with credibility."
Immigration and the Family
Daniels also had some political advice for some of his fellow defenders of marriage and the family. He told them that, “it has been a mistake for some leaders, operating under the banner of marriage and family, to take hard-line positions on immigration and alienate their most natural ally,” Hispanics.
"Marriage, the union of male and female, is the preeminent natural law or 'common grace' institution," he said. "It is not the private property of Americans or evangelicals or conservatives. I believe the marriage and family debate in this country is even more important than the immigration debate. Woe to us if we do not mobilize a coalition for marriage that reflects its transcendence across social and racial barriers."
For more information on the Alliance for Marriage please visit their website: