Debating the Marriage Amendment
Just a quick comment for the record on the ridiculous waste of time currently being engaged in by the "greatest deliberative body in the world." The Senate is spending several days this week (starting Monday, through at least Wednesday) discussing the proposed constitutional amendment that would define "marriage" as between a man and a woman. Everyone knows that the two-thirds majority vote to pass the thing aren't there, and yet Senator "I Want to be President" Frist is tying up the Senate's time just to allow the measure's proponents to jump on their soapboxes and stir up the so-called "conservative values voter" base before the fall elections.
President Bush has been out on the stump pushing for this amendment (two speeches in the last three days), and I watched for a little while in the Senate yesterday afternoon as Senators Allard and Brownback (two of the main sponsors of the amendment) droned on about how if this amendment isn't passed, the American family will wither away and cease to exist. Conservative groups are "watching carefully," as the NYTimes reports today, and will be using this issue as a "litmus test" for the fall.
First of all, I agree with the position taken by Senator McCain (as well as a majority of other senators, the vice president, etc.) that this amendment has no place in the Constitution of the United States. This issue should be left up to the states and allowed to work its way through the normal channels as it has been in recent years. While I may disagree with actions taken by some of those states (I personally have no problem whatever with gay marriage, having lived in Boston now for nearly a year and failed to witness the complete breakdown of the social order that opponents said would ensue), it is their jurisdiction which should apply here.
It is important for senators (from both parties, and all across the country) to understand that this amendment is hardly "conservative" in the true sense of the word. It is a radical attempt to insert divisiveness into the Constitution, and I think the Senate ought to hurry the debate along and get back to discussing issues of actual importance.