Marriage as the union of a man and a woman is the universal model and predates all nations, religions and laws. The heterosexual marital relationship reflects the fundamental essence of laws of nature and anatomy, and ensures procreation and the nurturing of children. Tens of thousands of studies have proven that the best environment for raising children is a father and a mother living in a lasting, committed marriage relationship.
No-fault divorce, the last social experiment to which the institution of marriage was subjected, has been a 30-year disaster. More than 50 percent of marriages now end in divorce and half the nation's children are living in motherless or fatherless homes. Children living without a father or a mother are more likely to be vulnerable to health problems and are much more likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems. Efforts are needed to strengthen the institution, not to further erode it.
Redefining marriage to accommodate homosexuals rejects and changes the proven formula for healthy families and children to satisfy the sexual desires of a small percentage of adults. Homosexual marriage - by definition - creates motherless and fatherless families. There is no substitute for having both a mother and father; it takes a mother and a father to create a child and every child has the right to be raised by a mother and a father. No child should be deprived of these inalienable rights as a matter of public policy.
On January 9, 2006, shortly after a news report of a paid signature gatherer alleging to the media she defrauded citizens, VoteOnMarriage.org sent a letter to the Secretary of State of Massachusetts asking his office to investigate the matter. The letter details that VoteOnMarriage.org sought to comply fully with all applicable laws during the signature gathering process and had been found in full compliance by the Attorney General.
The letter also raised grave concerns about the legitimacy of petition complaint reporting processes established by the organization KnowThyNeighbor.org. Both organizations offer searchable, online databases listing the names of marriage petition signers. Each website invites citizens to search their database and make a complaint to their office and/or to the offices of Secretary of State Galvin, Attorney General Reilly and state legislators if their name was listed but they did not wish to sign the petition.
While VoteOnMarriage.org respects the First Amendment rights of these organizations, their online complaint process itself allows fraud in that it fails to authenticate the identity of the citizens filing complaints. Any person may pose as a disgruntled marriage petition signer, in essence stealing a legitimate signer’s identity, and lodge a fallacious complaint of fraud.
In addition, VoteOnMarriage.org has received a significant number of contacts from petition signers who themselves have received harassing and intimidating live and automated phone calls, as well as mailings, from MassEquality. As has been cited in media reports, these citizens have been frightened that their identities have been stolen and believe the calls and letters are intended to harass and intimidate them.
“We have no objection to efforts to expose as-of-yet unknown instances of alleged fraud, however, we do object to the manner in which they are carrying out their anti-vote campaign,” said Kris Mineau, spokesman VoteOnMarriage.org and president, Massachusetts Family Institute.
The deadline period for filing complaints with the Election’s Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office related to the petition process was January 6, 2006. No formal challenges to the VoteOnMarriage.org signature-gathering effort were filed.