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February 24, 2004

The Constitution, By George

Now GWBush looks as if he's gone and done it by asking for a Constitutional Amendment. Just as Sebastian Holsclaw has predicted, Bush has spun against 'activist judges' and the grandstanding in San Francisco.

Bush is rhetorically, just slightly out of bounds. In a way, he is paraphrasing MLK. A Gay Marriage anywhere is a threat to Marriage everywhere. Legally, this is true, but where is the imminent danger? (hmm, where have we heard that before?) The nut of his speech:

Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society. Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.

Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.

The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage. America's a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions.

It sounds as if he's been skimming my notes. I think it's a clever ploy. A Constitutional Amendment is a difficult thing to pass and it probably won't need to. The 'threat' of Gay Marriage is clear and present, but it is not a danger. I think he has simply raised the level of debate and is rattling a sword. In the end, it is not he the president, but the Congress and the States who would decide such a thing.

That said, I'm not sure I see the harm in enforcing what the Defense of Marriage Act is supposed to be about. So long as civil unions will provide equal standing before the law, by what right do activists seek to expand the definition of marriage? Again, we need to hear from the Church, not that it is likely any blonde journalists know a prelate from a pastor.

One more thing, because I keep hearing the grumblings of people who are ready to whinge on about failed marriages. I think there is a red herring being spawned. We are headed towards the age of the the apocryphal story that won't die: the perfect gay couple's travails as not-marrieds, in yet another instantiation of model minority madness. Beware.

In the largest sense, Bush is correct.

Posted by mbowen at February 24, 2004 09:26 AM

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Posted by: ddd at September 5, 2004 03:32 PM