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Monday, June 05, 2006

Pro-Gay Groups: Offer Your Own Amendment

By Dennis Byrne

Here's a suggestion: If pro-gay groups don't like the Marriage Protection Amendment--declaring that marriage in America shall consist solely of a union of a man and a woman--they should offer one of their own that will settle the issue once and for all.

The amendment would be as simple as the long-debated and failed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, with the addition of one word and a small change to another:

"Equality of Rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sexual orientation."

Then, let's see where the chips fall.

Continue at


Anonymous said...

Interesting article but it misses the point. You are correct that a SOP would get nowhere. However, that applies to today. Who knows what public attitudes will be in 10 years, 20 years, etc. While the current right wing agenda is ostensibly driven by recent court rulings permitting gays to marry, the real concern of the right is the enlightnened attitude of younger Americans toward gays, which is essentially characterized by a shrug of the shoulders regarding sexual orientation and a knowledge that sexual orientation is irrelevant. When viewed in this context, the real concern of the right wing is what could happen in 10 years, or 20 years etc. without a constitutional amendment. Thus the current strategy by the right to amend the constitution to define marriage arises out of weakness and a knowledge that they are losing the battle to define gays as morally depraved, predators, evil etc. Essentially, the strategy is "we are losing now so let's get an amendment while we still have hope of getting one casue we won't in 20 years."

Also, the article's approach is interesting and can also be applied in other ways. For instance, if the right was genuinely interested in protecting marriage why not propose an amendment banning marriage for reasons other than the kind of love envisioned by the right. We could have marriage police to ensure that people do not get married for money, sexual attraction, or a myriad of other reasons that drive people to marry other than the reasons envisioned by the right ( which reasons seem to arise from the bible.) Imagine trying to muster public support for that one! I suppose that it can also be argued that heterosexuals have been terrible stewards of the institution of marriage given divorce rates and the history of heterosexual marriage ( arranged marriages, mariages for money and some may add here the oppression of women ). Given this history, if the right was genuinely concerned about marriage they would ban heterosexuals from marriage and let the gays take a shot at it!

Midwestern Progressive said...

What a load of hogwash. How are these "pro-family" types pro-family, anyway? Is Alan Keyes their spokesperson? He’s a fine example of a nice family fella, just ask his lesbian daughter. They are not “pro-family” at all – they are anti-gay. Especially when the “gay” in question is a member of their own family.

Nice “pro-family” rhetoric, but it is as false as your column (NOT article, which implies “truthiness”).

Have you noticed that most of these homosexuals were conceived in heterosexual marriages? Why not outlaw heterosexual marriage, then, to stem this tide of gays whose rights you seek to deny?

It is unambiguously immoral for the government to confer special benefits on some citizens based upon their legal right to marry the person of their choice, and then to seek an amendment to the Constitution to deny those same benefits to others.

Anonymous said...

It's normal and common for a people and its government to establish laws and statutes that preserve and build its purpose and longevity.

The first commenter is wrong prima facae; if sexual orientation is irrelevant, then the GLBT should disband.

The second commenter, in his dissent, proves the valid logic of the article.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea...

instead of wasting oh so much time and precious U.S. resources on debating an inane, assinine alteration to our nation's legal compact--which even the right-wing partisan panhandlers know will never pass--why don't we actually work on things that affect people's lives?

Oh, I don't know...actually working on an energy policy that limits our reliance on foreign oil?

How about figuring out ways to lower Medicare/Medicaid costs by tinkering with programs to provide preventative medicine though universal health care for children?

Instead, the GOP...out of ideas, and exposed for what they [read: Karl Rove] really are...choose to spend the summer on gay marriage, a hackneyed flag-burning amendment, and cutting more revenue in taxes to help the already wealthy.

About as transparent as Bill Frist on Dobson's show. Pathetic.

Midwestern Progressive said...


And the third commenter, with his nuanced refuation of everything that came before, proves that he is incapable of making a vaid point on this issue.

In other words, sit back and leave the real debate to people on both sides who are serious about debating it.

You've offered nothing here, and evidently have nothing to offer.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that one could write at such length on a single topic and manage to not say anything factual or even persuasive.

You mainly argue that the "GayEtc. Lobby" won't push for a constitutional amendment because it wishes to sidestep the will of the people. Apparently, you are sadly unaware of the fact that the ultimate will of the people has already been expressed in the U.S. and state constitutions.

Advocates of gay marriage do not need a constitutional amendment granting gays the right to marry because a fair reading of the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, which requires similar treatment of similarly situated individuals, already grants gays the right to marry. Further, in Massachusetts, the state constitution, as appropriaely interpreted by that state's supreme court, grants gays the right to marry. Consequently, it is the opponents of gay marriage who must resort to a constitutional amendment in order to revoke the right of gays to marry that already possess under the U.S. Constitution and at least one state constituition. Most opponents of gay marriage already know this, but somehow you managed to avoid acquiring this knowledge.

Irrespective of whether one believes homosexuality is wrong, almost all rational-thinking persons recognize that the high divorce rate of heterosexual marriages has absolutely nothing to do with the decision of two homosexuals to permanently commit themselves to one another.