July 15, 2004

Good Riddance to Bad Amendments

The egregious constitutional amendment defining marriage for the whole country just went down in flames today. Nice big legislative fireballs.

I would have been pretty exercised about this issue if I'd ever really believed that either 1) it had a prayer of passing, or 2) Bush was sincere about this hoo-ha, and wasn't just being told, "you've got to do it, Mr. President. The base won't show up if it doesn't look like you're making an effort." (And that's fair enough: it isn't as if he gets any credit at all for being more liberal than, say, Ronald Reagan. He's far more centrist than the Great Communicator was, but the liberal masses don't see that [any more than Ron Reagan, Jr., does].)

And my passion on this isn't even due to my being more "tolerant" on gay issues than many: I truly think this was an attempt to violate states' rights. I realize there are some folks I can have a civil discussion with who believe hetero marriage is a societal foundation, and that's cool. They must do as they see right. But a true political conservative must exercise reason and not attempt to use the Constitution to settle every argument that might cause social adjustment.

To put it another way: Roe v. Wade put an end to our national debate on abortion, and we no longer have this decided on a state-by-state basis. If a constitutional amendment were successful in doing this, wouldn't it only be a few degrees less grotesque than to solve the issue by judicial fiat? It's a "one size fits all" approach.

Here's Senator John McCain, whom I usually disagree with, passionately:

"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.

Says James of Outside the Beltway:

BoiFromTroi has a roundup of blogger and other reactions, including from the apparently semi-unretired Discount Blogger, Michael Demmons. He also links a statement by the Log Cabin Republicans. No word yet from the Mrs. Butterworth Libertarians.

From now on, my political affiliation is Mrs. Butterworth Libertarian. I expect to be so addressed in all debates. ("What you MBL nutjobs don't understand . . ." "You pro-war idiots betray everything Mrs. Butterworth was supposed to stand for." "Fuck you and your whole Butterworth Wacko crowd." "The thoughtful Butterworthians at least do their homework. You trounce on that tradition.")

Thank you.

UPDATE: The technical problems that kept BoiFromTroy from loading on my creaky old Macintosh computer have melted away into thin air, and now I can proudly link him—so you can see for yourself how he excerpted the Log Cabin Republican statement. Oh, happy day!

Posted by Attila at July 15, 2004 01:55 AM
Comments

It isn't so much about state's rights as the judicial overthrow of the legislative branch. We have gay marriages or the equivalent in several states. Good for them. A majoriy of states have laws explicitly outlawing it. Good for them. How long before these two conflicting laws reach a federal judge? And you KNOW which way it's going to go, cramming gay marriage down the throats of states who don't want it because a single judge says so.

The amendment was meant to prevent this scenario, which is definitely going to happen. I suppose it will be ressurected when it does happen, in which case we will have a more serious debate about it.

Posted by: whatever at July 15, 2004 07:47 AM


My understanding is that there is precedent for one state not recognizing a marriage performed (and sanctioned by) another. I'm sure one of the Bear Flag League members has more on that, though.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 15, 2004 02:17 PM


MB Libs? Oh, my side hurts!

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at July 16, 2004 04:46 PM


I know, I know. Sometimes I'm so clever I just have to sit back and admire myself. Come to think of this, it happens quite a lot.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 16, 2004 06:15 PM




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