Friday, May 12, 2006

Gay "Marriage"--A Federal Constitutional Amendment?

Some think that the US Constitution should be amended to prevent gay "marriage." That may be a good idea; I'll settle for a State Amendment victory in November for starters, however.

Those who think that it should be a Federal issue:

Archbishop Chaput of Denver, Cardinal Egan of New York, Cardinal George of Chicago, Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore, Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angeles, Cardinal McCarrick of Washington, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City, Bishop Gomez of San Antonio, Bishop Nienstedt of New Ulm, Minnesota, Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia, Bishop Yanta of Amarillo, Texas, Archbishop John Myers of Newark.

Then there is Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church, and an impressive list of Protestant leaders: Charles Colson, James Dobson, Timothy George, Ted Haggard, Jack Hayford, James Kennedy, Gerald Kieschnick, Richard Land, Paige Patterson, Eugene Rivers, Rick Warren.

Add to that Jewish leaders of considerable influence such as Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Rabbi David Novak, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, and Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb.

In any case, their argument will be useful in the next few months here in Wisconsin:

Long concerned with rates of divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and absentee fathers, we have recently watched with extreme alarm the growing trend of some courts to make marriage something it is not: an elastic concept able to accommodate almost any individual preference. This does not so much modify or even weaken marriage as abolish it. The danger this betokens for family life and a general condition of social justice and ordered liberty is hard to overestimate.

Therefore we take the unprecedented stand of uniting to call for a constitutional amendment to establish a uniform national definition of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman. We are convinced that this is the only measure that will adequately protect marriage from those who would circumvent the legislative process and force a redefinition of marriage on our whole society. We encourage all citizens of good will across the country to step forward boldly and exercise their right to work through our constitutionally established democratic procedures to amend the Constitution to include a national definition of marriage. We hereby announce our support for S.J. Res.1, the Marriage Protection Amendment.

HT: First Things


Anonymous said...

Problem: "rates of divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and absentee fathers"

Solution: permanently deny loving and committed families the legal responsibilities and protections provided by a civil marriage or civil union

I'm looking forward to the 30-second spot on that one.

Anonymous said...

Dad29-As a conservative, you should be more concerned with encouraging personal responsibility among those people who can currently marry--all of those heterosexuals who contribute to divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and absentee fathers. An amendment about gay marriage has nothing to do with these problems. It's just not logical. You're sounding like a liberal: let's impose a constitutional amendment--big government--to try to control behavior.

It's laughable that restricting gay people from the stabilizing impact of marriage will address these other problems.

Are you sure it's not your own personal distaste or discomfort with gay people that leads you to support a Wisconsin amendment? Because it's sure not logic.

Dad29 said...

IF there is to be a Federal Amendment, it should be on the grounds of natural right order--just like the State Amendment will be.

As to Anony--the proposal does NOT "control behavior." As a liberal, you should know how to read.

The proposal instead ratifies right order.

Anonymous said...

"The proposal ratifies right order."

In other words, the text happens to be partially affirmative in its wording... And besides, gay people are icky.


Grim said...

My sense was and is that it's the gay-rights advocates who should be having to ask for an amendment to justify their preference. I see nothing in the 200+ years of tradition that suggests We the People have ever delegated to the government the right to define what marriage is. To adjudicate as to whether this man and this woman can marry, yes. To define whether marriage is between a man and a woman, or could include a union between a man and a dog, no.

Marriage predates the creation of the Union. Some powers relating to the execution of the institution of marriage were given to the government. The power to define the institution was not. I see no reason that those who wish to see the institution continue to maintain its historical form should require a supermajority of Congress and state legislatures. If you want to make a major change to its basic order, you should be the one required to go back to the People for new authorization.

Dad29 said...

Grim, I too believe that there is a limit to positive law--but the hubris of the legal "profession" won't stand for limits on their practice.

Rick, it's time you grew up.

allendrury said...

Civil rights have always been in the forefront in my thinking. I was drawn to the world of concern of Rosa Parks, and others like her, while in high school and never have forgotten the need to help insure all people are treated fairly in our society.

Today however the culture warriors are hell-bent on undermining the basic code of equality and what living in America represents. With large amounts of funding they are determined to add hatred into state constitutions and work to place federal judges with “constructionist’ views in power.

The general consensus across the nation from many Americans is that civil rights for gay people should be voted on by the masses. That did not happen for Rosa Parks, Catholics, the handicapped, or any other group in our history. Gay people, it appears, are to being judged for civil rights eligibility by an electorate that too often can’t name their local State Representative, or the basic concepts of democracy in America..

The lowest common denominators are making civil rights for many millions of Americans!

So let me see if I have this correct.

Gay teenagers can help decorate and promote the local high school prom, listen as their friends announce who their date will be, but are unable to take the person of their choice to the same dance.

Later gay people can invest time and money in weddings for those same friends, then await the announcement of children and show added support by buying presents for the youngsters.

As taxpaying gay adults they get the pleasure of insuring tax deductions go for the families of those who get to marry.

But then something strange happens. Many Americans find that loving relationships need to fit their model and decline to reciprocate with laws that afford equal rights to gay people.. Cultural warriors would like to convince us that gay relationships are bringing down the institution of marriage. One can read almost daily that gay Americans are somehow responsible for the decline in the moral underpinnings of America.

It should be noted here that many gay relationships have stronger underpinnings and longevity than that of the heterosexual community, but why mix facts in with a good old-fashioned cross-burning mentality as exhibited by James Dobson and his ilk.

In addition to blanket hatred that comes as a result of the cultural war against gay Americans comes the added insult of depriving many the rights that come with the marriage license.

If a city bus hit a gay person there is no spousal privilege to allow his/her partner to visit in the hospital. If that victim wanted to sue the bus company there is no testimonial immunity in legal matters for his/her partner. If they wanted to undertake rehabilitation through a local gym or YMCA there are no family discounts for gay couples.

In fact there are no family privileges for gay families riding the bus in the first place.

Where I live (a liberal island of sanity) it is not uncommon to see gay men and women walk down the street hand in hand. This is always a serious matter for the cultural warriors who denounce any such act as just “lewd activity.” What about the children they scream?

Well my response would be after watching the latest hatred through balloting measures that perhaps a dose of public love is required. It appears that hand holding upsets the religious right so much as it confirms that families come in variety of designs. And each of those families shares the bond of love.

The true measure of what we are as Americans will be shown by how strong we stand up to hatred and reject the simplistic and irrational arguments by the latest incarnation of those who wish for more Salem witch trials.

Grim said...

Many people have been drawn to the life of Rosa Parks, and want to think they're like her. Yet there is not, today, an inequity in American life to compare with the one she faced. There is no other situation that is equitable to the situation of Jim Crow America. You can't be Rosa Parks; you have to be yourself.

The tools that were fielded in the Civil Rights struggle, similarly, are too big for treating the far-lesser inequities claimed by various modern minorities. No one is being kept from the lunch counter. No one, save felons and the underaged, is being denied a vote.

All anyone is asking is that you not muck about with institutions that predate, not just the founding of the United States, but recorded civilization. If you can't point to any previous culture that has had gay marriage -- and in fact you cannot -- it's improper to suggest that it's a simple matter of "civil rights" to change the institution to suit gay-rights advocates. It's not. It's a matter of altering the base nature of a fundamental social institution.

That's no small thing. It should require careful argument, and the fullest consideration. I think the Constitutional Amendment process meets that standard for the United States. If you want to make that kind of fundamental change, you ought to undertake that thorough process.

Dad29 said...

Allen--you've spent far too many years getting paid by the word. Cut to the chase or your posts will be removed.

Homosexuals do not have "a civil right" to get "married." All your other civil rights are protected just fine, including your right to bleat endlessly about your "lack of rights."

No one requires homosexuals to buy presents or decorate hallways. There's no obligation--thus no corresponding "right."

Note the brevity of the responses from Grim and this blogger.



allendrury said...

All my rights are not protected. If my partner and I needed to see each other in a hospital there is no guarantee that would occur. You know that as well as I does. So you are incorrect to say we have all the rights we need. I am a Big Brother and the family the boy comes from is frightfully dysfunctional and yet the estranged father could visit his wife in the hospital even though he has beaten her in the past. My partner and I are in a long-term love relationship but our hospital visit would necessitate numerous hopes and prayers. Yes, there is much work to do for fairness and equality.

I trust this is short enough for you and your readers.

Dad29 said...

Yes, thanks! Brevity/wit--you know...

So: let's FIX the hospital-visit thing. That's an easy legislative remedy. There are other similar issues which ALSO can be addressed with equitable resolution in the legislative forum.

But NONE of them require Homosexual "marriage."

allendrury said...

Actually there are over 1,100 items that are in law that would need to be fixed by law for fairness and equality to be complete. I know from my work both in government and for this cause that there are genuine hurdles to cross in both directions. But as I talk to groups I find that many connect with the issue from decades ago of seeing inter-racial couples dating, holding hands in public, and exchanging wedding vows. I ask my listeners to wonder if anyone today would tell these couples to just “keep it private.” The shock, outrage, and often times violence that those couples had to endure are now being experienced by gay couples today. I harbor no illusions about the outcome in November. However, our history shows that progress is a forward moving process. Social progress prevails at every point in its time. I know gay marriage is something that will happen in my lifetime. I am 43 and will see it.

Every year college students are more and more accepting (just one example) and they are the future. And in time these discussions will all seem much like inter-racial marriage debates.