Evangelicals Call Election ''A Clean Sweep on Marriage and Morals''

Amendments to protect marriage passed in 11 states, winning the overwhelming support from voters in the Deep South to North Dakota, while George W. Bush gained victory over the presidency with the highest number of popular votes than any other presidential candidate in history, on Nov. 2, 2004.

"The election is a clean sweep on marriage and morals,” exclaimed Matthew Staver, president and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel.

"The results just go to show that the citizens ... clearly understand the value of natural marriage," said Christina Rondeau, director of the North Dakota Family Alliance, one of the dozens of groups that voiced support for the amendment.

The marriage amendments, which define marriage as an institution between one man and one woman only, were placed on the ballot in six states mainly through petition drives led by conservative evangelicals and Christian citizen groups.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and key supporter of the amendment, applauded Tuesday’s outcome.

"Yesterday's vote reveals once again the broad support for protecting marriage among the American people. We've seen reports with passage in Ohio with 62%, Mississippi with 86%, Kentucky 75%, Michigan 59%. The people aren't waiting for the politicians to act to reign in activist judges who have no regard for the rule of law. The courts gave us abortion on demand in 1973, the American people stated today that they are not going to allow the courts to do the same by imposing same-sex 'marriage' on the people of this country,” said Perkins in a statement released on Nov. 3.

Nonetheless, Perkins cautioned against “unelected federal judges” that can overturn the victory.

"Almost a dozen and a half states have now refused to hold their peace and have spoken loudly against the effort of judges to force same-sex 'marriage' on them. However, the next Congress must pass a Marriage Protection Amendment to ensure that yesterday's overwhelming vote is not overturned by unelected federal judges,” said Perkins.

Amendment supporters across the States also predicted the possibility of court challenges by gay-rights activists.

"Will there be a challenge? Probably, probably," said Monte Stewart of the pro-amendment "Yes on Three Coalition" in Utah.

“Will it succeed? No,” added Stewart.

Staver also predicted that the battle to maintain the “morals and sanctity of human life” will continue.

“The move to amend the U. S. Constitution to preserve traditional marriage will move full steam ahead. Although the battle for the U.S. Supreme Court is not over, we now have the opportunity to appoint judges who will judge, not legislate from the bench,” said Staver.

Nonetheless, Staver added, “This election sets the future course of the Supreme Court for the next forty years. Marriage, morals and the sanctity of human life were the real winners in this election. The people have spoken. The politicians must now listen or find other employment."

Meanwhile, gay-rights activists said they were “disappointed” at the one-sided defeat.

"That certainly is disappointing news that many Kentucky voters would think it's appropriate to write discrimination into our constitution," said Beth Wilson of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, one of the largest pro-gay groups in the state.

Proposed amendments were passed in Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah; with the exception of the first three states, the marriage amendments banned all forms of civil unions as well.

President George W. Bush won with 274 electoral votes and 51% of the popular vote. In total, Bush received 58 million popular votes - more than any other presidential candidate in history. John Kerry conceded on Wednesday morning after a long night of vote counting.