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the proposed marriage protection amendment on the November 6, 2012 ballot. Your station will be running a commercial beginning on October 18, 2012 titled, “Not Live and Let Live.” Though one is not required, this letter will provide substantiation for the statements made in this advertisement. Statement: “When same-sex marriage has been imposed elsewhere, it‟s not been live and let live. People who believe marriage is one man and one woman have faced consequences.” Substantiation: Same-sex marriage has been imposed by courts or legislatures in Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Iowa, along with the District of Columbia. It also exists in Canada and some European countries. Same-sex marriage has never been approved by the people in a public vote. When marriage is redefined, it does not exist in the law alongside traditional marriage. As noted in a scholarly review published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “…once the judiciary or legislature adopts „the union of any two persons‟ as the legal definition of civil marriage, that conception becomes the sole definitional basis for the only law-sanctioned marriage that any couple can enter, whether same-sex or man-woman. Therefore, legally sanctioned genderless marriage, rather than peacefully coexisting with the contemporary men-woman marriage institution, actually displaces and replaces it.” http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol31_No1_Stewartonline.pdf Legal scholars on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate acknowledge that a host of legal conflicts will arise when marriage is redefined. For example, a description of the scholarly book “Same-sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts” notes that, “A redefinition of marriage would impact a host of laws where marital status affects legal rights—in housing, employment, healthcare, education, public accommodations, and property, in addition to family law. These laws, in turn, regulate a host of religious institutions—schools, hospitals, and social service providers, to name a few—that often embrace a different definition of marriage. As a result, church-state conflicts will follow.” http://www.amazon.com/Same-Sex-Marriage-Religious-LibertyConflicts/dp/0742563251 In addition to conflicts with organizations holding religious views, same-sex marriage also causes legal conflicts for individuals, small-businesses and others. Several examples of these conflicts are mentioned in the advertisement airing on your station. Statement: “Small businesses fined. Individuals fired. Charities closed down. Churches sued. Same-sex marriage taught to young children in elementary school and parents have no legal right to be notified, or to take their children out of class that day.”
Substantiation: The advertisement highlights a number of situations where people, businesses and groups who do not support a same-sex marriage legal definition have faced consequences. These include: Jim and Mary O‟Reilly are devout Catholics who own the Wildflower Inn in Vermont. Vermont is a same-sex marriage state. The couple was sued by a lesbian couple for not enthusiastically supporting their lesbian wedding. The resolution of the case required the owners of the Inn to pay a $10,000 fine to the Vermont Human Rights Commission, additional sums to the lesbian couple and to agree to host no more wedding receptions in their Inn. http://www.citizenlink.com/2012/08/24/vermont-innkeepers-settlediscrimination-case/ Damian Goddard was a national sportscaster in Canada, a same-sex marriage locale. After a sports agent sent a Tweet about his support for traditional marriage, Goddard sent a personal tweet that he wholeheartedly agreed with him. The next day he was fired from his job. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/06/23/damian-goddard-sportsnethuman-rights-same-sex_n_883589.html Catholic Charities in both Boston and Washington, DC closed their licensed adoption agencies after same-sex marriage was imposed in their state and district, respectively. In announcing its withdrawal from providing adoption services, the Archdiocese of Boston said, “We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve. In spite of much effort and analysis, Catholic Charities finds that it cannot reconcile the teaching of the Church, which guides our work and the statutes and regulations of the Commonwealth.” See http://www.bostoncatholic.org/uploadedFiles/News_releases_2006_state ment060310-1.pdf Similarly, Catholic Charities in the District of Columbia said, “Although Catholic Charities has an 80-year legacy of high quality service to the vulnerable in our nation‟s capital, the D.C. Government informed Catholic Charities that the agency would be ineligible to serve as a foster care provider due to the impending D.C. same-sex marriage law.” See http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/samesex_marriage_law_forces_d.c._catholic_charities_to_close_adoption_pro gram/ The Diocese of Worcester, MA is an example of lawsuits filed against churches who refuse to countenance same-sex marriage. The Church declined to sell a former retreat center to a gay couple fearing that it would be used to perform same-sex marriages. The couple is suing the Church. http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2012/09/09/gay-couplesaid-church-denied-northbridge-sale-stop-same-sexweddings/QrdnHOSuZfWmb6keBwLnxK/story.html After Massachusetts redefined marriage, local school districts began teaching it to young children in public schools. In the Estabrook schools in Lexington, MA, parents objected that their children were read the book “King & King” in class. This animated storybook is about a prince who marries another prince, and features drawings of the two men kissing. It
was read in class to second graders. When the school refused to stop this instruction, or to even notify parents when it would take place or provide reasonable accommodation (such as an opt out) to children whose parents objected to it, the parents sued the school district. The courts in Massachusetts, including the First District Court of Appeal, ruled that the instruction may continue and that parents had no legal right to notice or to opt their children out of this instruction. See Parker v Hurley, http://www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/07-1528-01A.pdf Statement: “We can prevent this from happening here by voting yes on the marriage protection amendment.” Substantiation: The marriage protection amendment puts Minnesota‟s current definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman into the state constitution where it will be safe from being redefined by state judges of politicians. Only voters would be able to change the definition of marriage in the future. By preserving marriage, groups like those referenced above and many others would be protected from legal conflict, since same-sex marriage would not exist and thus would not pose the types of legal conflicts experienced elsewhere. In conclusion, the statements in this advertisement are factual and accurate, and are supported by a strong body of evidence. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Sincerely, ActRight Legal Foundation Barry A. Bostrom General Counsel