Wednesday, July 14, 2004
The ill-conceived attempt by theo-cons to insert blatant bias into the Constitution came to a screeching halt today, when they couldn't even muster a majority of votes, let alone the 67 they needed. So for now, marriage laws remain under the purview of the states.
And thank God for that. This whole idea is so at odds with what the GOP is supposed to stand for. It's called federalism, fellas. The idea that the states are the laboratory of democracy. As opposed to the federal government sitting on the headboard of every bed in the United States. Besides, under the "public policy exception", states are not required to recognize marriages performed in other states. That pesky federalism idea the GOP claims they support just keeps popping up.
So far we have marriage in Massachusetts and civil unions in Vermont and Hawaii. Near as I can tell, the institution of marriage hasn't collapsed in a heap yet. I woke up today, and I was still married to my wife. In fact, I felt like staying married to my wife. I talked to all my married friends at work. The too reported that they were still, in fact, married to their wives. Someone should tell Santorum this. We must be an anomaly, becuase if you listen to Rick, the institution of marriage should be in tatters by now.
The plain fact is that opening marriage to gay and lesbian couple won't damage marriage at all. Mainly because it will still be what it is today: two people, non-related, of legal standing, who love each other, making a civil commitment to one another.
And make no mistake, it is a CIVIL institution. You may get married in a church, but it's the government who issues the marriage license. Frankly, religious opposition to gay and lesbian marriage means jack. Priests will never have to marry a gay or lesbian couple if they do not want to. If someone has a legitimate civil law opposition to it, I haven't heard it yet.
So this bad idea is rightly squashed, but not before throwing the GOP even deeper into the arms of reactionary fundamentalists who want to see their personal religious views imposed upon the entire nation. Be they for or against gay marriage, every Republican should have opposed this just on the basis of the federal government grossly overstepping its boundaries.
I'll just end it here with one of the few Republicans who can still rightly wear that title, Sen. John McCain:
The constitutional amendment we're debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans. It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them...[the amendment] will not be adopted by Congress this year, nor next year, nor any time soon until a substantial majority of Americans are persuaded that such a consequential action is as vitally important and necessary as the proponents feel it is today. The founders wisely made certain that the Constitution is difficult to amend and, as a practical political matter, can't be done without overwhelming public approval. And thank God for that.