President Bush announced his support for a Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Rather than rehash the same arguments I’ve made recently, I’m going to interpret today’s speech. I begin with this:
Eight years ago, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.
The act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14.
Those congressional votes, and the passage of similar defense-of- marriage laws in 38 states, express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage.
That doesn’t “express an overwhelming consensus” on this issue. It states the approximately 8000 legislators voted in federal and state legislatures. An issue like this hasn’t stood before the nation for a realistic tally. What we’re getting is legislators pandering to lobbyists for re-election dollars.
In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage.
Again President Bush engages in name-calling to desensitize people into Us vs. Them. It’s bad enough that he does this in international diplomacy. Is this the example we want of how Americans treat people?
In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender in May of this year.
Seems the President skipped Civics in school. Last time I checked, that’s how laws are interpreted in the United States. It’s ok for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to hunt with Vice President Dick Cheney, even though the Supreme Court is considering a case involving V.P. Cheney and Halliburton, but four judges in Massachusetts doing their job is activism? I’m disappointed that “obstructionist”isn’t in this speech, since that is quickly catching up to “activist” in the Republican name-calling.
And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty.
I’m a broken record, but all of those contributors to “uncertainty” are part of the American judicial system. It’s not acceptable to throw out the rules when they go against your beliefs.
After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization. Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity.
I think the courts are adding clarity. I also think the President is scared. Why are you scared, Mr. President?
Decisive and democratic action is needed because attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country.
Democratic action is already happening.
The Constitution says that “full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state.”
Those who want to change the meaning of marriage will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex marriages performed anywhere in America.
Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of Marriage Act by declaring that no state must accept another state’s definition of marriage. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.
Let me make sure I understand… The Congress figured it could pass a law (the Defense of Marriage Act) that overrode the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution. And that’s a good thing? And when that didn’t work, you’d rather just modify the Constitution? Good choice.
Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of Marriage Act will not itself be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a marriage.
You didn’t slip that “activist” by me, Mr. President. If I were playing the Republican hate speech drinking game, I’d be bombed. However, that part of the Defense of Marriage Act would be struck down because it’s unconstitutional. Maybe we should amend the Constitution to prohibit activist judges.
An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern, and the preservation of marriage rises to this level of national importance.
Yep, cause outlawing same-sex marriage is on the same level as abolishing slavery and allowing for equal suffrage.
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.
Unless you’re gay.
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.
I agree. Ram this baby through the Congress and the states and hope no one notices. Knee-jerk constitutional amendments are a great idea. Point of Reference: 18th Amendment. Also, I’ve read reports that the amendment process would be drawn out because that’s the way the amendment process works. Oh, really? The 26th amendment, proposed by Congress on March 23, 1971, was ratified by July 1, 1971. The difference is that the 26th amendment granted rights instead of restricting them.
The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.
President Bush is drawing a line in the sand to protect civil unions and spousal benefits for same-sex couples. That’s very big of you Mr. President. I know it’s not what you want, but you want this to pass quickly, so you made a concession.
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.
Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of marriage. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.
Yes, it does require that. A free society doesn’t encode a class system into the legal system. A free society respects every person as an equal. And the institution of marriage? Beware of defending “institutions. Slavery was an institution deemed acceptable in a free society.
We should also conduct this difficult debate in a matter worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.
In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and good will and decency.
Accept for “activist”. We know you reserve the right to continue using that.
In related news, Gov. Schwarzenegger is worried about potential violence because of same-sex marriages?
On Sunday, Schwarzenegger said he was worried about the potential for violence because of the controversial marriages.
“All of a sudden we see riots and we see protests and we see people clashing. The next thing we know is there’s injured or there’s dead people,” he sai
d on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Who do the President and the Governor think will be violent? And violence isn’t always physical.
Ultimately, I’m exhausted by this amendment. It’s irrational to amend the Constitution because of this issue. It denies rights to individuals. It is incongruent with the rest of the Constitution, in the same way that the 18th amendment is incongruent. The President, who has no legal involvement in the amendment process, is winding up his minions for an election year push. We’re setting ourselves up for disaster. Unbelievable.