Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Wayne Allard can jump up my butt

Wayne Allard- dumb as a sack of hair and twice as ugly.

I know Mr. Allard's pockets are lined by Focus on the Family money (you know, the group that thinks SpongeBob is swishifying our vulnerable youth) so he's just doing his duty here, but the truth of the matter is this: banning gay marriage will not make gay people go away, and it will not make the issue go away. Banning alcohol didn't make alcohol go away, banning black/white marriage did not make interracial couples go away and prohibiting women from voting did not make them stop trying. You cannot sustain a change in the Constitution that restricts the rights of a group.

The Constitution says nothing about gay marriage, of course, but it does say things about basic human rights. We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (I know that's from the Declaration of Independence, but it is more or less expressed in similar terms in the Constitution). The Constitution says that marriage law is a state matter, not a federal one. And finally, the Constitution is designed to protect the rights of a minority in a Democracy, which by its very nature, is ruled by a majority. The Supreme Courts of Massachussets, Hawaii and Vermont don't magically morph into a clutch of "activist judges" when they approve of civil unions, they are simply interpreting the Constitution.

But Wayne will have an uphill battle in Colorado, I believe. While we are the state that passed Amendment 2 back in 1992, we have come a long way and we do have a Dem-controlled state legistlature. Additionally, libertarians in the state, as vehemently homophobic as some of them are (not all of them) are not huge fans of amending the Constitution to cut certain people out of certain rights.

And really, true Republicans shouldn't be too thrilled at the idea, either.

But let's face it- Bush has framed the debate in such a way that while he has ceded ground on the gay marriage issue, he's still got the Jesus Freaks on a short leash. How does he do it?
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another," Bush told reporters at a White House news conference. "And we've got lawyers looking at the best way to do that." October 2003

"On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. Activist courts have left the people with one recourse. If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect marriage in America. Decisive and democratic action is needed, because attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country." February 2004

"But in explaining the president's position, White House spokesman Scott McClellan insisted that while Bush backed the amendment, he would also support the rights of states to provide various partnership benefits, including civil unions. Though the news emphasis has been on the former, the practical consequences of the latter are huge."
March 2004

"In an interview on Sunday with Charles Gibson, an anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC, Mr. Bush said, "I don't think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that's what a state chooses to do so." ABC, which broadcast part of the interview on Monday, is to broadcast the part about civil unions on Tuesday."
October 2004

"President Bush in his second term "absolutely" would push for a constitutional amendment that says marriage consists only of the union of a man and a woman, White House political adviser Karl Rove said.
Bush believes states can deal with the issue of civil unions between gay people, an arrangement that if enacted would grant same-sex partners most or all the rights available to married couples, Rove said on Fox News Sunday."
November 2004

So what does it mean if there is a ban on gay marriage, if they can still have state-sanctioned civil unions? It means that Bush has once again hoodwinked the religious right, hijacked their votes, and told them exactly what they want to hear knowing full well that he won't need to back his words with any deeds at all.

But what is, perhaps, most redeeming of this whole messy debate is that although the gay marriage vote is pretty much DOA, the religious groups who believe they have a mandate are all over the issue like Bush-- I mean, white-- on rice.

They're saying they won't back the Social Security "reform" unless Bush commits to banning gay marriage. There are two things wrong with this- first, they're basically saying they won't back one doomed issue unless another doomed issue is somehow un-doomed. Second, they're grossly, pathetically overestimating their clout within the administration.

In a confidential letter to Karl Rove, the anti-gay Arlington group wrote:
"Is he prepared to spend significant political capital on privatization but reluctant to devote the same energy to preserving traditional marriage? If so it would create outrage with countless voters who stood with him just a few weeks ago, including an unprecedented number of African-Americans, Latinos and Catholics who broke with tradition and supported the president solely because of this issue."

Again, their judgement of "public opinion" shows how little these people get out.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 60 percent of Americans support either marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples

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