Spread over two full pages, the ad appeared on 5 June 2008 in three major newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Poll results on the The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property website - captured at press time - showing nearly as many supporters of gay marriage as opponents.
This amount of money would have fed countless hungry children around the world at this time of rising food prices, not to mention helping homeless and injured people in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake.
The campaign was obviously in response to the California Supreme Court decision of May 15, which legalised same-sex marriage. Weddings will start on June 17 and since California has no residency requirement, any couple from anywhere around the world can get married in the state.
New York, for example is gearing up to recognise out-of-state gay marriages such as those contracted in Calfiornia. Governor David Paterson has instructed all government departments to make the necessary changes to procedures and policies to this end, following a New York appellate court decision in February this year that ruled that same-sex couples must be legally recognised in New York, just as the law recognises those of heterosexual couples solemnised elsewhere.
Thunderous objections to same-sex marriage and homosexuality
The two-page ad by The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (text can be found at www.tfp.org) asserted that those who supported same-sex marriage "deny that the self-evident biological, physiological and psychological differences between men and women find their complementarity in marriage, just as they deny that the specific primary purpose of marriage is the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children."
This is a misreading of social history. Across cultures, marriage as a custom has mainly been for regulating power and property. That's why marriage has always been a public event involving an extended family or the whole clan, rather than a purely private matter between two people. It signals publicly who would in future have exclusive sexual rights over the body of the female, who - including mothers-in-law - would have power over the wife and offspring and who would have inheritance rights. Notice, for example, how common it is for societies to make a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children.
Christian Europe, for nearly two millennia, was no different in the way it treated marriage. The traditional marriage vow in Church ceremonies included the bride promising to obey and serve her husband, but not the other way around.
The newspaper ad then invoked a sense of threat. It said that by legalising gay marriage, "the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on Divine law and the natural order."
It was interesting how the above attempted to broaden its appeal by referring to "all people of good will," as if those espousing tolerance, inclusiveness and social justice aren't "people of good will."
The second half of the ad was aimed more at homosexuality in general, reminding readers of the "perennial moral doctrine that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil."
It also called on Catholics in public office to (ab)use their public office to advance the Church's position. "The Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favor of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
Finally, it rounds off its attack by threatening excommunication, suggesting that "A Catholic who accepts the practice of homosexuality and same-sex 'marriage' as good renounces natural moral law principles confirmed by Divine Revelation and thus breaks the vow of fidelity made to Our Lord Jesus Christ at baptism."
However, the most interesting sentences in the long advertisement were these: "Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society, for good or for ill. They play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior."
It's a tacit admission that people can get used to seeing gay persons and gay marriage as perfectly normal, and in the end see the fallacy of their doctrine.
Only the first wave of the campaign
More such public campaigns will come, not only from Catholic organisations, but certainly from evangelical Protestant groups too, as California gets closer to the November elections when voters are likely to be asked to decide on a constitutional amendment to overturn the recent Supreme Court decision.
In California, a simple majority is all that is needed to amend the constitution to define marriage as something between a man and a woman.
A recent opinion poll conducted by the Field Research Corporation indicated that this is likely to be a close-run thing. It found 51% approval among of registered California voters for the idea of same-sex marriage, with 42% disapproving.
When asked whether they favoured changing the California state constitution to define marriage as only one between a man and woman, 54% said they were against doing so. 40% said they were for changing the charter.
The poll was conducted among 1,052 registered voters in California between May 17-26.
Given margins of error, and the likelihood that opinions will shift over the next few months, the November ballot will probably be a crucial watershed. Stay tuned.
This result is great - it's despite the ridiculous slanting of the leading question towards the Catholic view. Polls are supposed to ask questions in a totally neutral way in order to have any credibility, something that I believe may have been forgotten in Singapore during the 377A debate.
As for the Church meddling, it didn't work in Spain. I suspect Catholic politicians don't like being threatened with excommunication and prefer to form their own view these days.
What is there so hard to digest? The answer, why they are so insecure is simple.
Haven't you heard of the famous hypocrisy of the Catholics? I
know I shouldn't be stereotyping them all, but it's hard to resist. d;-P
Anyhow I am quite impressed by this change, hopefully the rest of the other states will soon be liberal too, though I don't have much of an expectation that a state like Texas or Oklahoma will accept fundamental human rights in the next 10 years. Not if their 'god' is still playing the role as the only true god in the universe that can lead us all to happiness and heaven...
But wait, didn't Christianity encourage slavery according to the fictional bible story? Hmmm how obvious that we all can learn from the past that they don't care much for human rights, instead of human rights, they aim rather only to impose their beliefs on other people, that is only what they really care about...
Also if the pope and the Catholic church in general should concentrate all their energy on worthier causes such as poverty and child prostitution instead of mouthing off about homosexuality... but then again we are talking about a religion that is headed by a bigotted hillbilly prude in a fish hat who claimed that the solution to the prevention of aids was to stop using protection and to start abstaining from sex instead...what a twit
Has there been a precedent anywhere in the world?
We have seen so much that many religions are used to justify hatred, intolerance, bigotry and hollier than thou attitudes while using them as masks of hypocrisy.
We knows many Catholic pastors etc. are homosexuals in the closet themselves. It's better and happier for them to come out and yet serve whatever God they believe instead of hating gays
while being gays themselves.
It's time for all of us to abandon all superstitions and unscientific fairy tales faiths.
We have enough of them. We don't need any more hateful sermons.
Welcome to the enlightenment!
Since when did religion became a weapon against each other? Very saddening.....
"State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on Divine law and the natural order." & "perennial moral doctrine that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil" .. .those 2 statements are really shocking !!!
Church expect from us christians to be the living form of love and tolerance, but here they clearly try to persuade every one that homosexuality is so evil and stuffs ! Cant 2 people who love each other , may them be Hetero or Homosexual, be together and formalise it by marriage or any other contract ? There is nothing wrong in that...its so sad..
They're not making common sense decisions, and the more people that see that the more people will leave in droves. I mean, who is willing to put up with some guy standing there telling you that you should be tolerant, peaceful and not judging others when the same people turn around and do it on a large scale aimed at particular groups in society. Total rubbish.
The more people that know someone close to them that's gay the less power the Church as a whole will have so I dunno why they're trying to fight it. Non sense.
Come to think of it, I guess being considered a
"xhristian Satanist" is pretty apt these days in the face of such man made monstrosities, cos u know, "Satan" has in fact been the best friend the Church has ever had, as "he" has kept it in business all these years.
I genuinely believe that Man is just another animal, sometimes better, more often worse than those that walk on all-fours, who, because of his "divine spiritual and intellectual development," has become the most vicious animal of all!
Moral duty my foot. It's just another weapon evil men invented again to keep his enemies down.
Shalom & Om !
Not Of Christ = Anti-Christ (Satanist) + "xhristians"
Looks like the xhristian churches need more ad space to excommunicate 90% of the world's population. I wonder if aliens from another planet count. :P
I believe in the goodness and love of our Maker and I believe in the role, wisdom and redeeming qualities of Christ, BUT I'm definitely Anti-"xhristian" and anti-any religion, that imposes, controls & disregards the fundamental free will of human rights to basic existence and natural being .
So, essentially, in the eyes of these hypocritical pharisees, those who tolerate/love another fellow child of God whom the former group judges & detests, are probably branded "Satanists";- a people that oppose & attack the Divine Natural Laws of God. Sheez !
Who are the ones going to hell?? I'm sure God's embarrassed!
So the Catholic church cares more about protecting their precious sacred rights of marriage rather than helping..oh let's say..the poor..the sick..
I think there's more important things for the Church to worry about...
Do not fall into their trap by hating their religion. Instead, love their religion, forgive the people of this religion, bless them, love them to the most, and thus they will experience your deep love and forgiveness. If you can, believe in Jesus (not in a 'religion', but in a Person called Jesus). Eventually, they will find that their so call 'religion' is no longer effective in showing love, no more light to shine, and they will then realize they are on the wrong track..
Left wingers, let's fast and pray for the right wingers to have their spiritual eyes opened, realized that they are being used by the evil spirit...
the nerve of my brother not even asking me to be the best man though! what's that about?
also how to plan a gay bachelor party? why does that burden fall on me?
finally, I think we should hire a private detective to fully research this guy! he is much too perfect for me liking and everything is happening much too fast!
does my brother really love this guy or are they getting married now just because they legally can?
Wow, I need to devise a plot to stop them or at least slow them down!
if he gets married, now its gonna put too much pressure on me!
I mean I couldn't even find a date to go with me to Vegas for the Cher concert . . . how am I going to find someone to go with me and that person is going to be in all the wedding pictures!
weddings really suck, why did they have to make gay marriage legal so fast!
suddenly my life is so complicated and I am not prepared for all these gay weddings I am suppose to go to! 2008 is the year I get stuck with forking out serious cash to go to all these weddings and the gifts I am expected to give, etc.
where is fucking Miss Gay Miss Manners when you need him?
Plus, they're fascists -bent on imposing unto others their own phobias.
and hate others , what a strange mix .
well sure as we gays are spontaneous and not thought we are far more powerful and longer lasting that any religion.
if god exist let him come and explain what he has to say on the matter not all thes lost of a cause people.
they should put the cash to help the poor really , pathetic.
'Gay US bishop and long-term partner in civil union ceremony'
That's because sex is more important than saving lives (tongue-in-cheek) :p...bt you get the picture, their obsession with all things sex is near-lengendary :p