14-October-2011 -- EWTNews Feature |

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Bloomberg beneficiaries seen as vulnerable for turning against marriage

A group of New York state senators who switched positions to support redefining marriage may be vulnerable in primary elections, despite financial backing from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others.

"These senators campaigned with the promise that they would not vote to redefine marriage. Mark Grisanti, in fact, went as far as to promise churches that he would never vote to redefine marriage," said Christopher Plante, northeast regional coordinator for the National Organization for Marriage.

"But when they were shown the money, and they began to do the money dance, they betrayed their people's vote - for the money. Therein lies the problem."

Plante spoke to EWTN News hours before an Oct. 13 fundraiser that the New York Times reported could raise $1.25 million to finance the re-election of Mark Grisanti, James Alesi, Stephen Saland, and Roy McDonald.

New York's billionaire mayor will host Thurday's event, along with the wealthy homosexual activist Tim Gill and hedge fund managers Paul Singer and Daniel Loeb. Alesi told the New York Times their support showed "Republicans can vote for the right thing and live to tell about it."

But Plante predicted that Alesi, Grisanti, and the others would suffer for breaking their word to their constituents.

"Of course, they were promised protection - by Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo, and Tim Gill," Plante acknowledged. "And those folks are following through. They are providing the money."

"However, the money's not going to protect these senators when the people continue to understand, and continue to remember, that they were betrayed - that their senators showed a complete lack of integrity, and effectively lied to them."

The National Organization for Marriage has responded with a "Let the People Vote" campaign, calling for a popular vote on the controversial issue.

The campaign began with simultaneous rallies in New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo during the summer. It has continued with billboards urging voters to throw out representatives who flipped on the fundamental social question.

"The 'You're Next' message points directly back to the Ninth Congressional District, and Bob Turner," explained Plante. "Mr. Turner upset David Weprin in a seat that had been held by Democrats for something like nine decades. And marriage was one of the key issues in that race."

"David Weprin had been in the assembly and voted to redefine marriage. The Orthodox Jewish community, and many other marriage protectors, stood up and voted him out."

Plante believes the four senators whose votes achieved the legal redefinition of marriage will pay for switching sides after their election.

"The same thing will happen to Mark Grisanti and the other senators who betrayed their people's votes - who behaved like Benedict Arnold at West Point, and when they were showed the money, said 'Money's more important than integrity.'"

"The people in 31 other states, when given the chance to vote on it, protected marriage - and not just in referendums," Plante noted. Proponents of redefining marriage have never prevailed in a direct popular vote, but legislators who support the agenda have also seen their support drop.

"When you think about what's happening in New Hampshire, this is a message that's really important for the New York assembly," he noted.

"In New Hampshire, that assembly voted to redefine marriage. In the next election cycle, the people of New Hampshire completely flipped that legislature. This January, we are poised to repeal same-sex 'marriage' in New Hampshire. The people responded and voted."

But the prospect of wealthy donors buying off social conservatives remains a concern.

In July 2011, National Organization for Marriage chairman Maggie Gallagher told EWTN News that New York's vote to redefine marriage was part of an effort "at the elite level in the Republican party ... to make both parties functionally pro-gay 'marriage.'"

Plante admits that opponents of marital redefinition may face an "uphill battle," if opponents of marriage continue their effort to change the political landscape.

Yet he believes that battle is winnable - especially if marriage supporters can communicate the broader socio-economic importance of the institution that connects men and women with their offspring.

"Economic issues ... are driven by the welfare of the family," Plante pointed out. "They are driven by the welfare of moms and dads being united with their children. We have five decades of social science research that shows that the ideal place to raise a child is with their natural mother and father."

"When that environment is held together, when it's encouraged by state policy ... then the family becomes an economic driver."

He said voters and legislators who want to divide social issues from economic concerns should look at the economic effects of family breakdown.

"In 2008, as a result of divorce and unwed childbearing, Rhode Island lost $216 million," Plante said, noting the cost of lost tax revenues as well as welfare payments and judicial and correctional institutions.

"That same year, Rhode Island had a $239 budget deficit. The family drives the economy."

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=4154#ixzz1alQNqpSo

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