Saturday, July 10, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA
WHY EDUCATED PEOPLE ARE PUSHING FOR A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE
The debate in the Senate to ban gay marriage with a constitutional amendment opened today. A similar bill will be voted on in the House of Representatives sometime in September. Although everyone is well aware that both have no chance of passing, the Senate bill will be brought to a vote by the end of next week – mayhaps even as early as Wednesday.
Why, you might ask yourself, are intelligent, law-abiding, civilized people so gung-ho about restricting the rights of a small percentage of citizens through an actual change to the constitution of the United States? I can think of three reasons.
1. The Republican Party is running scared. They know there’s a very good chance that not only could President Bush lose the election, but control of the House and Senate could change hands as well in a Kerry sweep to power. By pushing the anti-gay marriage amendment they hope to force Senators and Congressmen to make a public stand on the issue in the hope that a public majority that’s uneasy about gay marriage will take notice and remove from office in November anyone who votes against the anti-gay marriage amendment. Yes, they truly think people are that stupid.
There’s a flip-side to this that many Republicans fear, however. They are afraid that their constituents will paint them as against human rights and against equal rights and see them as bigots, bound and determined to discriminate against gays and lesbians. They fear if they vote for it, they could be removed from office in November themselves. Unfortunately, this is considered the lesser of two evils.
2. Top religious leaders in this country are afraid they will lose a large degree of power if gay marriage is allowed on a national basis. They still have pie on their faces regarding interracial marriage, school segregation, and the overturn of state sodomy laws, all of which they supported. They feel they must strike while the iron is hot – while the majority of Americans are still uneasy about gay marriage. They know if gay marriage becomes accepted by mainstream America, people will recognize them as nothing more than religious power mongers like the Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ time. They will stop giving them money and stop supporting their unscriptural, unchristian, discrimination.
This is why they are encouraging church leaders everywhere to preach a sermon against gay marriage this Sunday. It is why, even though marriage in the United States is a civil institution more so than a religious one, they harp on the more easily defended idea of the “sanctity” of marriage.
3. Homophobes and gay baiters everywhere want the issue of gay marriage settled in congressional and state legislatures because they know that if State Supreme Courts and the Supreme Court of the United States have to take on the issue, they will have to rule just as they did in Massachusetts, that denying gays the right to marry is denying them equal rights under the constitution. If the issue is decided by the legislators, who supposedly speak for the majority, they see a chance to make an end run around those they refer to as “activist judges” in our court system.
Fortunately, this is wishful thinking. No legislature, state or congressional, can take away the power of checks and balances that the court system in our country has been given by the constitution. The Supreme Court of the United States has, and always will have, the last say about what is constitutional and what is not in this country.
These are the reasons why our Senators will be debating and voting on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage next week.
As an honest believer in the equal rights of ALL Americans, do keep track of who votes how on this issue. Then, remove the “Yes” voters from office in November.
©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
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