Excerpted with permission from Family News from James Dobson.

As you read this letter, a drama is being played out in California that has serious implications for the institution of the family, not only in the Golden State but throughout the nation. On March 7, voters will go to the polls to consider Proposition 22, known as the Protection of Marriage Initiative. If this pro-family measure passes, it will add these fourteen crucial words to the California Family Code: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

This electoral decision is monumental in scope. A "yes" vote by the citizens of our most populous state would affirm the validity of the traditional family as designed by God at the dawn of human existence. But if Proposition 22 fails, the unraveling of that time-honored institution would accelerate. Homosexual marriages that might become legal in other states would be binding in California as well.

The initiative is critical right now because a few weeks ago, the liberal Supreme Court of Vermont directed the state legislature to either allow homosexuals to "marry," or to establish some form of domestic partnership that would create a quasi-marital relationship. It was a major victory for gays and lesbian activists because it represents the first big domino to fall. They have lost previous efforts to redefine marriage at the voting booths in Maine, Hawaii and Alaska, demonstrating that the majority of the people in those states oppose their agenda. But as is so often the case, a handful of unelected, leftist judges have imposed their will on the culture. Now by defeating the Protection of Marriage Initiative in California, activists would achieve one of their greatest victories in an era of unprecedented gains.

Who would have believed even a decade ago that leaders in dozens of countries around the world would be moving toward so-called "homosexual marriage" and other objectives that had almost no support at the outset. Indeed, the president of the United States is personally committed to that radical agenda. Bill Clinton meets regularly with activists, speaking at their fund-raising events and promising vigorous support for their goals. On the print edition of this letter I have shown a picture of the president at a meeting last December 16, during which he pledged himself again to the principle of homosexuals in the military.

Clinton said during this event, "I ask you to stay with me and to make a good effort. I think we've got a much better chance to pass (pro-gay and lesbian legislation) in 2000, and I hope you will help me with that." Then he added, "I have said many times, I wish we could have done more [to promote the homosexual agenda,] but I'm glad we did what we did." Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a national leader who was this supportive of the traditional family and the moral principles that undergird it?

In keeping with his pledge, the president is expected to do everything he can to help his activist friends defeat Proposition 22 in the closing days before March 7. He will not be the only prominent Democrat to enter the fray. California's attorney general took it upon himself to change the name of the referendum from the Definition of Marriage Initiative, which was signed by 700,000 citizens who placed it on the ballot. Instead he called it "The Limit on Marriages Initiative." That revision will hurt its chances of passage, because Americans don't like to be "limited" in any way.

California's governor, Gray Davis, and a majority of state representatives are also committed to the gay agenda. They have crammed through radical bills in the past few months that wouldn't have had a chance four years ago. Sheila Kuehl, an openly lesbian assemblywoman in California, described herself as "euphoric" over what is happening to her movement. She said about the governor, "[His] action in signing [recent pro-homosexual] bills moved me beyond words. The importance of these laws to many thousands of people can't be underestimated." This comment illustrates the zeal and momentum that the pro-family community in California is facing as the election approaches on March 7.

Furthermore, we have just learned that homosexual activists in the Golden State are planning to capitalize on their victory if they are successful in defeating the Protection of Marriage Initiative. They have begun circulating petitions to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2000 ballot that would formally legalize same-sex marriage. Clearly, those with whom we disagree are committed to their cause. The question is, are we as dedicated to ours?