Defining Marriage: Is Traditional Culture in Danger?

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WASHINGTON -- Efforts are underway in nation's capital to wipe out the Defense of Marriage Act -- the federal law that defines marriage the traditional way.

DOMA also protects states from having to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and ensures federal benefits only go to married heterosexual couples.

Opponents question why the government is allowed to descriminate against homosexual couples.

But DOMA supporters say throughout history, governments have found it crucial to promote marriage as between one man and one woman.

Battle for Marriage

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Nov. 10 to move a bill forward that would get rid of DOMA.

Wednesday, the National Organization for Marriage claimed Democrats may try to pass the DOMA repeal in a full Senate vote by attaching it to the 2012 defense budget.

But Brian Weiss, a spokesman for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, told CBN News that’s “not true.”

"It is not true that Sen. Feinstein is threatening to attach [the DOMA repeal] to the Defense Authorization Bill,” he said in an email.

Last week, Feinstein said the DOMA repeal, “Really stops a pernicious discrimination.”

Supporting lawmakers also blasted those who want to preserve traditional marriage without allowing gay marriage.

"They know they're wrong in their hearts," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

For more on the importance of traditional marriage and how society views love, CBN News spoke with Tim Keller, pastor and author of 'The Meaning of Marriage.'  Click play for his comments following Paul Strand's report.

To challenge the fight against traditional marriage, the Family Research Council released a 30-minute DVD titled, "The Problem with Same Sex Marriage."

The video claims that in states like Massachusetts, where gay marriage has been legalized, schools are pushing the homosexual agenda on children through literature and lessons.

"Our children are being indoctrinated on same-sex marriage and the rightness, the correctness of homosexuality," Kris Mineau, with the Massachusetts Family Institute, said in the short documentary.

"I even put this concern to the chairman at the time of the school committee," added local parent David Parker. "A little girl saying, 'I love my girl friend; I must be gay.' And [the chairman] said, 'David, I have no problem with that whatsoever.'"

"'The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century' -- it tells kids how to perform homosexual sex acts," said Brian Camenker, president of

Harsh Criticism

Leading traditional marriage proponents told CBN News that condemnation is pouring down on their heads.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that the gay rights movement, the gay marriage movement, really does believe you're like a racist if you think marriage is the union of husband and wife," explained Maggie Gallagher, co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage. "They want to rip Genesis out of our Bibles."

"But marriage wasn't invented in the 1950s by a bunch of southern fundamentalists or something like that," added Jordan Lorence, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.

"I think many of the 'elites' -- and I've been in many debates with them -- do view this as sort of like they do have a more heightened understanding, a more advanced moral sensibility than 'the masses,' than the 'ignorant masses,'" Lorence explained.

Protecting the Future

DOMA supporters say there's a reason governments have continuously favored and promoted traditional marriage.

"Marriage really matters in itself," Gallagher said. "It's the way we teach the next generation that we need to bring together male and female so that children have a mom and dad."

"A child has the best potential for emotional, physical, financial well-being if they're raised by one man and one woman committed in the institution of marriage," added Bishop Joseph Mattera, with the New York Christ Covenant Coalition. "And that's sociological data. We're not even talking about the Bible."

"The experience of all these cultures [is] they say, 'We'll just leave people alone, let them do whatever they want when it comes to marriage and sex and children' ... Over time, the men act irresponsibly, they exploit the women, they neglect the children," Lorence explained.

"So the people who run these societies say, 'You know what? We're not going to sustain ourselves as a community if we continue doing this,'" he said.

The FRC documentary pointed out that gay couples raising children are "somewhere from five to 15 times as likely to be homosexual or bisexual as the general population."

Gallagher warned society is playing with fire when it condemns those who insist on one man, one woman marriage.

"And to have the government step in and redefine that view as a form of bigotry has immense consequences for every single human being living in a culture," she said.

--Originally aired November 16, 2011.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at