Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Marriage Amendment

Another stupid amendment in the Senate. Sadly it's there for good reasons.
President George W. Bush, facing record low job-approval ratings, renewed his support for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages as he and his Republican Party seek to rally supporters ahead of the November congressional elections.

"You are here because you strongly support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman,'' Bush told a group of activists and supporters today at the White House. "I am proud to stand by you.''

Speaking just before the Republican-controlled Senate opened debate on the issue, Bush said amending the U.S. Constitution would prevent "activist judges'' from redefining the institution of marriage by striking down state laws limiting state-sanctioned unions to heterosexual couples.

Bush's ratings are pretty much irrelevant to the topic. But putting them into the report seems to be a way to ensure that the political aspects of the topic are elevated. This topic shouldn't be in the federal domain at all. It should be left to the states. Unfortunately, some judges have decided that they will play with state constitutions. Both policies are foolish. The state should define what marriage is relative to what their citizens desire. If they are honest with realities of the world they will at minimum ensure that there is an equivalence of rights for same-sex couples. If they don't, that still is the choice of the citizens (even if it's a poor one).

Personally, I very much doubt that the right thing will happen here. I believe that there are already eleven states with constitutional definitions of marriage as being between a man and woman. How they deal with same sex unions, I don't know. The federal judges have come out in a couple of cases stating these are unconstitutional at the federal level.

The politics of this is no great surprise. Of course it's a topic pandered to for the religious conservatives. But then you can't tell me that the liberal side isn't playing politics to their base on the topic at the same time.
"But there's an ugly truth: it's election season and down- in-the-polls Republicans are turning to their same old playbook - fear and division,'' Reid wrote. Senate Majority Leader "Bill Frist, in an attempt to appease extreme right wing elements of the Republican Party, has promised that the Senate will vote on the Federal Marriage Act.''
Can it be that Reid is just being an honest broker of truth? Or is it more likely that he's using the topic of "fear and division" to pander to the fears of his own base?

And why is he worried about voting on an amendment that doesn't have any chance of passing? Politics? Could it be that his worry is, in failing, this vote will motivate the conservative right to play in the upcoming election? Especially when you view Bush's poor numbers and the disenchantment of the conservative right.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike politics lately?

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