Focus on the Family's New Advertisements
by illinois062006, Tue May 30, 2006 at 10:11:14 PM EDT
Focus on the Family will air advertisements in 13 states in an attempt to pressure Senators who have opposed or have expressed opposition to the federal Marriage Protection Amendment. Here is Focus on the Family's list of advertisements and the Senators they plan to target:
Arkansas - Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor
Colorado - Sen. Ken Salazar
Florida - Sen. Bill Nelson
Indiana - Sen. Evan Bayh
Louisiana - Sen. Mary Landrieu
Maine - Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe
Montana - Sen. Max Baucus
Nebraska - Sen. Chuck Hagel
New Hampshire - Sen. John Sununu
North Dakota - Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad
Pennsylvania - Sen. Arlen Specter
Rhode Island - Sen. Lincoln Chafee
South Dakota - Sen. Tim Johnson
Bill Frist clearly coordinated this campaign with Focus on the Family before he announced the "priorities" of the US Senate for the month of June.
Here is Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery, who serves as that interest group's senior vice president of government and public policy:
"Our ads are direct and ask readers to contact their senators about their failing to support marriage between a man and a woman. ...While many of these senators claim to support traditional marriage, their actions speak clearly: They refuse to stand up and be counted in support of civilization's foundational institution. ...The American people are tired of the lip service our senators are paying to marriage. They are claiming they support marriage, but believe the states should regulate the institution. Unfortunately, that excuse expired last year, when a federal judge declared Nebraska's marriage amendment unconstitutional. The time has come for these wishy-washy senators to show their true colors - either they support traditional marriage and believe every child should have a mom and a dad, or they do not."
And here is Bill Frist on Fox News Sunday this past weekend:
That union between a man and a woman is the cornerstone of our society. It is under attack today ... [by] activist judges, unelected activist judges," he said.
So we have a unified message and a coordinated attempt to flood moderate Senators' offices with belligerent telephone calls, distracting them and the constituents they serve from gas prices, tax cuts, the increase of troop presence in Iraq and the dollar's terrible performance as compared to that of the yen and of the euro. And the list continues.
Although their advertisements are tailored for the specific state in which they will air, all ask the following question: "Why doesn't Senator ___ believe every child deserves a mother and a father?" And if the state's electorate passed a ballot measure, the advertisement raises the specter of the federal judge who overturned Nebraska's state marriage amendment, claiming that this too can happen in the state of the listener or the viewer.
But Focus on the Family, and I assume they are referring to a nuclear family comprised of two parents and the children they raise, neglects to acknowledge the following: putative red states have a divorce rate 27% higher than blue states. Directing their advertisements to states such as South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Montana and Florida, they are misplacing the blame for a child's lack of a father and a mother. And Senators Lincoln, Pryor, Salazar, Bayh, Baucus, Hagel and Nelson of Florida should be reminded of this fact. Gays and lesbians are not threatening marriage; those who are not prepared to fulfill the vows of that institution are undermining its integrity, or at least this is the case in putative red states.
And if we are to telephone Senators of putative blue states, we should remind them of the following: 43% of first marriages end within 15 years. Again, it is not gays and lesbians who are compromising the integrity of marriage; rather, it is the very people who prematurely engage in the ritual of matrimony.
If heterosexual divorce rates are responsible for an increasing number of children raised by one parent and not a "mother" and "father" as Focus on the Family claim, then Focus on the Family should address the problem of divorce, especially in the red states where this organization gains the majority of its support. To blame lesbians and gay men for a problem created by heterosexuals is not only dishonest; it is counterproductive, particularly for an organization that ostensibly focuses on the family.
Inform the targeted Senators of these facts, and ask Focus on the Family to focus on the real problem: young adults and teenagers who bear children who are not prepared for the institution in which Focus on the Family believes every heterosexual should partake. If we are to defend marriage as Focus on the Family and Bill Frist define it, we should educate those who impetuously engage in this ritual of its obligations and requirements. Blaming those who have not and cannot engage in this ritual does not address the problem their sanctified institution is facing, and this is why the federal Marriage Protection Act will be blocked by a filibuster every time Bill Frist invokes it on the floor of the Senate.
Remember to contact the Senators Focus on the Family will target.
Baucus (D-MT) 202.224.2651
Bayh (D-IN) 202.224.5623
Chafee (R-RI) 202.224.2921
Collins (R-ME) 202.224.2523
Conrad (D-ND) 202.224.2043
Dorgan (D-ND) 202.224.2551
Hagel (R-NE) 202.224.4224
Johnson (D-SD) 202.224.5842
Landrieu (D-LA) 202.224.5824
Lincoln (D-AR) 202.224.4843
Nelson (D-FL) 202.224.5274
Pryor (D-AR) 202.224.2353
Salazar (D-CO) 202.224.5852
Snowe (R-ME) 202.224.5344
Specter (R-PA) 202.224.4254
Sununu (R-NH) 202.224.2841
Tags: Activism, Arlen Specter, Bill Frist, Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Byron Dorgan, Chuck Hagel, Divorce Rates, Evan Bayh, Focus on the Family, John Sununu, Ken Salazar, Kent Conrad, Lincoln Chafee, Mark Pryor, Marriage Protection Act, Mary Landrieu, Max Baucus, Olympia Snowe, Senate, Susan Collins, Tim Johnson (all tags)