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President Bush has thrown his weight behind the proposed definition of marriage Constitutional amendment saying that it is vital for our nation to preserve the traditional family structure.

Anyone who has read me for any length of time knows how I feel on this issue. But in case you don’t, let me recap my two-point contention. 1) I have no problem with same-sex marriage and think it’s ridiculous to argue that such a thing would harm society, particularly when so many gay couples are already de-facto married, many with children�and society is doing just fine. 2) If we were to ever embrace legalized same-sex marriage, it should come only through popular consent via laws passed by elected officials and not from court decree.

All that aside, I find it enormously disappointing that the same President who refuses to embrace political demagoguery on the immigration issue can turn around and, with a serious expression, act like the future of our nation rests on keeping gay people from marrying. I understand that some people believe it is paramount that we keep marriage defined as one man, one woman, but I simply do not believe that anyone but the most out-of-touch think this is an issue that trumps the war, immigration, the deficit or any other issue of true national importance.

This is one of those moments in governance when the raw political machinations of our leaders are exposed for all to see. It’s election-year demagoguery. It’s base pandering. And it’s why our federal government continues on its long track of incompetence. When our leaders are more focused on pandering than they are in working to solve problems, the result is a dysfunctional government.

I’m not saying that this isn’t an important issue or that no national leader should take to the podium to discuss it. I’m saying that only the most critical problems should induce our leaders to propose and support a Constitutional amendment. Using the Constitution as a prop in election-year pandering may hardly be a new vice, but it’s made even more repugnant by the fact that we, at this moment in history, have far, far more pressing issues confronting us.

Fortunately, all predictions are for the amendment to fail. But that in no way excuses those who would elevate such election-year pandering to such unworthy prominence.

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  • wj

    On the other hand, consider what mischief they might get up to if they weren’t wasting time on this. I grant that, if the alternative was the Congress getting something useful accomplished, this would be a horrible waste of time. But with the current crop there? Probably we should count our blessings — even those of us who consider that the FMA would be a terrible idea if enacted.

  • DosPeros

    Very good point, WJ. I don’t see why the GLBT & whatever else community isn’t jumping up and down secretly thanking Bush. With his poll numbers, who needs friends when you’ve got enemies like this.

  • sleipner

    I disagree with your point about whether gay marriage should be through popular consent – since when do minority rights get decided by the majority? The courts have always been the protectors of minorities, from women to blacks to religious nuts. Of course the California legislature actually voted to be the second state to allow gay marriage, but the conservatives beat up Schwarzie until he said no.

    Not only that, but if we wait for people to grow up enough to vote for gay marriage, we’ll end up with a patchwork of individual states with civil unions of various degrees, marriage in a few blue states, and radical anti-gay constitutional amendments in many or most of the red states. The legal implications of moving from Massachusetts to Texas even now are tricky, what about when you have 40 different sets rules in the 50 states?

    The best way to handle it is a supreme court case that decides the issue in favor of gay marriage for the whole country. Not that this conservative-stacked court would actually vote that way, but I have high hopes for our next Democrat president in 2008 and beyond.

  • http://atheists.org Larry Carter Center

    The Bush Crime Family also has an entire state devoted to the hate of lesbians & gays, as such hate is necessary as a diversion to the highest unemployment rate & highest teen pregnancy rate & highest rate of high school drop outs & illiteracy…..YUP, YOU GUESSED IT, South Carolina where it is so important to make a State Constitutional Amendment to deny equal rights to any adult domestic partnership which is not a “married” man & woman. Insane xian voters will ignore their own heroic sons maimed & dying in muslim holy lands for their holy loyalty to the Bush Crime Family. Any religion which praises killing, discrimination & conquest is an evil religion. Theocracy is treason.