Writing discrimination into the Constitution

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Aargh. It's bad enough that Bush wants to "protect" marriage:

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 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 is 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. We should also conduct this difficult debate in a manner worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.

In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and goodwill and decency.

But we also have to listen to the press lying about what the amendment would do:

Mr. Bush was not specific today about the wording he would like to see Congress adopt in beginning the constitutional-amendment process. He did not, for instance, mention legislation proposed by Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado.

The amendment that Ms. Musgrave and other lawmakers are backing in the House says: "Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups." The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said just before the president's announcement that Mr. Bush believed the Musgrave measure "meets his principles."

Most reasonable analyses of the Musgrave language state that it would ban civil unions as well, overturning even existing law. Here is a writeup from Yale Law professor Jack Balkin, and one from FAIR.

Do not trust the mainstream media to tell you the truth about this.

One last thought. The Democrats' (including Kerry and Edwards but not Kucinich) position on this, one of "we don't support gay marriage but we don't support the amendment either" is bullshit. This kind of splitting hairs is revolting when we're talking about civil rights, and they're going to be painted as homo-loving liberals by the GOP no matter what they do. Why not take a principled position rather than some stupid focus group-created one? I will hold my nose and vote for the Democratic candidate, but I can't say I'm excited about it, unless a miracle happens and we get Kucinich.

[A couple of links in this post are via Atrios/Eschaton.]

2 TrackBacks

even Log Cabin Republicans. And the Democrats are not blameless either. Bush has just now officially come out in support of a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. [but I no longer think so] First of all, the media has it... Read More

The news this morning is distressing. George Bush is going to try to amend the US constitution to enable him to treat queers as second-class citizens. While he's at it, he might want to insist that we travel at the... Read More


This whole thing pisses me off to no end. I'm a die-hard democrat, but Kerry's wishiwashness on this issue fuckin gets my goat - Kucinich gets my vote in the primary. But when it comes for election time - I'd throw my vote at Nader, BUT... we don't want Bush again, under any circumstances. The whole thing leads to GRrrrrr. Let's hope this, at the very least, gets queers and queer friendlies off their couches. I don't want to have to fall back on hoping beyond hopes that 2/3 house, 2/3 senate, and 3/4 states isn't tested.. What I'd really like to see is some good "unbiased" legal analysis on this issue, instead of media conjecture and political spin.

Hey Barry, I totally agree with you on Kerry and Edwards having "Focus Groups Campaigns" It totally sucks that elections come down to nothing but bullshit politics. BUT, I must say that I was very much against Gavin Newsom during the Mayors race in S.F. A lot of people saw him much like Willie Brown: a "a slick politics playing shyster" But then lookit what happened-- 3000 city sanctioned gay marriages??!?! Unbelievable. So what am I saying? Yes playing politics IS bullshit... But for the sake of getting that Punk Ass Bitch(Bush) out of office. I can handle a little waffling. Call me naive but I think that if Kerry or Edwards were elected, the whole amendment issue might die on the vine. Remember, Americans have VERY short Attention spans.

here's what i dont get - what "principled postition" from Kerry or Edwards are you looking for? Their focus groups and consultants didnt tell them to hold back on some principled postions of being FOR gay marriage - NO - they said don't piss off the fags by saying what they really feel - WHAT I GOT, MARRIAGE, YOU CANT HAVE BECAUSE YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME UNCOMFORTABLE, YOU ARE LESSER THAN ME, AND I PLAN ON MAKING SURE YOU STAY THAT WAY - fine, hold your nose and vote for them if you must, but dont fool yourself into thinking that somewhere deep inside they actually think we deserve to be treated fairly, equally, without reservation or conditions. This bullshit "oh, its always been this way, thats just what i feel" nonsense. They make me sick! Seriously, what's so friggin consistant about saying you are against gay marriage (the 2 leading democrats trying to get the nomination) and saying you're against amending the Constitution - you think queers shouldnt be allowed to get married, then whats the problem making certain they can't? They all make me sick - but once again we're expected to pick which one will make us slightly less ill.

I don't think most politicians really give a damn either way -- we don't have enough votes. Hilary Clinton and Chuck Schumer haven't bothered to say anything public yet or put it on their web sites, and both support DOMA.

Remember when Clinton promised a "Manhattan Project" to cure AIDS while he was running for President? Somehow he didn't get around to it during his eight years.

Do any of you honestly think that George W. Bush threw his support behind this hypothetical constitutional amendment because he really cares about the issue? Of course he didn't! It's a political move. It's an attempt to polarize the debate and get the Democrats to support an emotionally charged and unpopular stance.

Do you honestly believe that the publicly stated opinions of Kerry and Edwards reflect their deep personal feelings on the issue? Of course they don't! Kerry and Edwards simply refuse to take the bait.

Politics is all about balance and compromise. With so many varying opinions out there, all of which a politician has to take into consideration along with his or her own opinions, it's next to impossible to find a candidate who's views match one's own. Oh, sure. There are people in the political arena who stick strongly to what they believe and don't compromise. They have names like Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader, not to mention names like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They make good leaders of non-profit institutions and grassroots movements. They make crappy politicians.

Now, lest you think that I'm just a cynical, burned-out voter, let me state that I usually struggle with the choice between voting "my conscience" and voting for the candidate who doesn't share as many of my views, but still shares the basics, and has a shot at winning. This year, however, the choice is easy. It's strategy over idealism, with the single goal of getting George W. Bush out of office. It's crisis management time, guys. Who's with me?

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