Cleveland Right to Life (CRTL) recently announced a change to its Mission to include support of traditional marriage as a companion issue to its long-standing pro-life positions. "We made this improvement after a great deal of thought and a belief that traditional marriage is at the core of the family and that it alone is the best environment to nurture children," commented Molly Smith, President of CRTL. "We view marriage and prolife issues as inextricably linked. We care about all human life: the unborn, the elderly and the handicapped... We also care about children after they are born. That is where the family comes in and why we have expanded our Mission."
This expansion of Mission means that CRTL supporters around the state will be evaluating political candidates based upon their positions on both issues. "This is important because Ohio will likely see a ballot initiative on gay marriage in the very near future," said Jerry C. Cirino, CRTL Board Member. "Candidates will not be viewed favorably by CRTL or its members if they are not solidly prolife AND against redefining marriage."
Smith and Cirino met with Senator Rob Portman on July 5th in Cleveland to discuss Senator Portman's recent change of position in favor of gay marriage. The meeting lasted about one hour and was cordial. Smith thanked the Senator for his continued support of the life issues. "He has had a solid prolife record and we are anxious for him to continue supporting this cause." But Cirino explained to Senator Portman that his new position in favor of gay marriage now puts him at odds with CRTL and its members.
The meeting concluded with both CRTL and Senator Portman maintaining their positions. "I then asked the Senator if he has decided what he would do when an initiative in Ohio takes place," noted Cirino. "He indicated that he would support an initiative to redefine marriage in Ohio to include gay couples as long as it had an exemption for religious liberty, allowing priests and ministers to decline performing gay ceremonies as a result of their religious convictions."
The Senator's support for gay adoption was also discussed. Senator Portman said that while he supports gay couple adoptions, he would like to see exemptions for religious institutions engaged in administering adoptions.
CRTL has learned that gay marriage proponents are, in fact, planning on including a religious exemption in their proposed initiative. Why this sudden interest by gay marriage proponents for religious liberty? CRTL believes that this is being included to broaden support for redefining marriage.
"This is a ruse," said Cirino. "If their initiative passes, they will immediately head to court to have the exclusion declared discriminatory and ruled unconstitutional. The recent rulings by the Supreme Court indicate their suit would succeed. That would leave Ohio with marriage redefined with no exceptions for religious liberty," concluded Cirino.
"Our improved CRTL mission is a clear message to all candidates in Ohio that we and our state-wide network will be watching their position on the marriage issue," notes Smith.
For information about Cleveland Right to Life, please click here.