Tips for the Plebiscite

Our thanks to The National Organization for Marriage for these tips. NOM has been winning the battle to stop governments changing the definition of marriage in the USA.

Whenever the question of Same Sex Marriage is discussed, supporters of SSM often seek to change the subject to just about anything else: discrimination, benefits, homosexuality, gay rights, marriage rights.

When talking about marriage it is important to remember: Keep to the main topic: Marriage. Shift the conversation rapidly back to marriage. Don’t get sidetracked. Marriage is the issue. Marriage is what we care about. Marriage really matters. It’s just common sense.

These are tips for those who want to preserve Marriage between a man and a woman:

I. THE MOST EFFECTIVE SINGLE SENTENCE

Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is the following:

“Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose;
they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage.

II. STAY POSITIVE. AVOID NEGATIVE PHRASES LIKE “BAN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.”

When speaking about marriage, talk about the need to “protect marriage,” or say that you’re against “redefining marriage.” But be sure to stay away from phrases like “ban same-sex marriage” – such expressions have been showed in polls to be 10 percentage points less effective than more neutral language. The focus is not to ban, prohibit, or punish anyone or anything; but rather to protect marriage as we’ve always known it – the union of a husband and wife.

III. THE MAIN MESSAGE (“3X5 CARD”).

  • Marriage is between a husband and wife. The majority of people do not want marriage to be anything but that. We do not want government or judges changing that definition for us today or for our children tomorrow.
  • We need a marriage amendment to settle the gay marriage issue once and for all, so we don’t have it in our face every day for the next ten years.
  • Marriage is about bringing men and women together so that children can have both mothers and fathers.
  • Do we want to teach the next generation that one-half of humanity — either mothers or fathers — are dispensable, unimportant? Children are confused enough right now with sexual messages: let’s not confuse them further.
  • Gays and lesbians have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have a right to redefine marriage for the rest of us.

IV. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Are you a bigot? Why do you want to take away people’s rights? Isn’t it wrong to write discrimination into the constitution?
“Do you really believe people like me who think that mothers and fathers both matter to kids are like bigots and racists? I think that’s pretty offensive, don’t you? Particularly to the many Aboriginals who oppose same-sex marriage.”
“Marriage as the union of husband and wife isn’t new; it’s not taking away anyone’s rights. It’s common sense.”

Q: Isn’t the ban on gay marriage like bans in the USA and South Africa on interracial marriage?
“Bans on interracial marriage were about keeping two races apart so that one race could oppress the other. Marriage is about bringing two sexes together, so that children get the love of their own mum and a dad, and women don’t get stuck with the enormous disadvantages of parenting alone.”
“Having a parent of two different races is just not the same as being deprived of your mother or your father.”

Q: Why do we need a constitutional amendment?
“Lawsuits like the one that imposed gay marriage in Massachusetts now threaten marriage in several other US states. Do we want the same thing happening here? We need a marriage amendment to settle the issue once and for all, so we don’t have this debate in our face every day. This plebiscite allows the people to decide what marriage means.”

Q: What’s the harm from SSM? How can Adam and Steve hurt your marriage?
“Who gets harmed? The people who lose our right to define marriage as the union of husband and wife, that’s who. That is just not right.”
“If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then people like you and me, who believe children need mums and dads, will be treated like bigots and racists.”
“Religious groups like Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army may lose their tax exemptions, or be denied the use of parks and other public facilities, unless they endorse gay marriage.”
“Public schools will teach young children that two men being intimate is just the same as a husband and wife, even when it comes to raising kids.”
“When the idea that children need moms and dads gets legally and socially stigmatized as bigotry, the job of parents and faith communities trying to transmit a marriage culture to their kids is going to get a lot harder.”

Q: Why do you want to interfere with love?
“Love is a great thing. But marriage isn’t just any kind of love; it’s the special love of a husband and wife for each other and for their children.”

Q: What about benefits? Don’t gay couples and their kids need the benefits and protections of marriage?
“If medical proxies aren’t working, let’s fix that problem. If people need health care, let’s get them health care. Don’t mess with marriage.”
“The issue isn’t benefits, it is marriage. Local folks can decide benefits. This is about the meaning of marriage, our most basic social institution for protecting children.”
“Defacto relationships are already protected by our laws, giving defacto couples of any sex the same rights as a married couple. Giving gays the right to get married won’t change anything.”

Q: Isn’t divorce the real threat to marriage?
“High rates of divorce are one more reason we should be strengthening marriage, not conducting radical social experiments on it.”

Q: Are you saying gays cannot be good parents?
“Two men might each be a good father, but neither can be a mum. The ideal for children is the love of their own mum and dad. No same-sex couple can provide that.”

Q: What about older or infertile couples? If they marry why not same-sex couples?
“Every man and woman who marries is capable of giving any child they create (or adopt) a mother and a father. No same-sex couple can do this. It’s apples and oranges.

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