Chris Field- Contributor
Field is Editor of Human
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Washington Post vs. Reality on the Federal Marriage
[Chris Field] 7/19/04
One of the
biggest political topics of the year -- and certainly the biggest
in recent days -- is the sanctity of marriage and
conservatives' attempts to protect it. As is well known, those
who would preserve the institution between one man and one woman
presented what they felt was the most effective way to protect
marriage from an out-of-control, activist federal judiciary --
they offered a constitutional amendment defining marriage as
the obvious, traditional institution that it is.
But liberals just
don't get it. Once again, the Washington Post's editorial page
was out of touch with the reality of the situation.
In their lead editorial Wednesday ("Kill
the liberal Post lambasted the amendment itself and the perceived
reasons for its recent consideration.
Considering the fact that the Post will never go back to this
editorial and correct or include any obvious errors or omissions,
I have, again, taken it upon myself to provide some doses of
reality in response to their editorial.
The Post's editorial follows, in pieces, with reality-based
POST: Considering the volume of work Congress has yet to do
before members leave town, the Senate's insistence on considering
a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is telling.
it is. Our elected officials are doing something the American
and can identify as a "real" issue.
has failed to pass a budget resolution or any appropriations
bills and remains deadlocked on such important
public policy issues as corporate taxation and class-action
reform? When did the Post begin seeing this as an "important public policy issue"?
Doing a quick search, I was unable to find any Post editorials
touting the importance of addressing class-action (tort) reform.
If the Post
wants the Senate to vote on it, great. Let's have a vote. One
question: Will Senator Edwards show up for it?
today, the Senate will take up a cloture vote on the
Federal Marriage Amendment.
No, the Senate
was taking up a cloture vote to end the Democrats' filibuster
on the motion to proceed to the bill, meaning that
the Senate would eventually have the opportunity to vote on whether
or not to even bring the amendment to a debate -- the liberals
wouldn't even let it come to the Senate floor.
knows that, in the Senate, the proposed amendment is well
short of the votes needed to send it on to the states;
even making it to a vote on the merits is highly unlikely.
a vote is "highly unlikely," because
the Left refuses to allow it to happen.
another thing -- if it's not going to pass, as "everyone
knows," why filibuster even the motion to proceed? Answer:
because the Left knows that most Americans oppose same-sex
marriage and would likely oppose any Senator who appeared
to support same-sex
marriage by voting against the Marriage Amendment.
reason the Senate is moving forward is politics of a particularly
crass and ugly sort: Gay marriage has become a
national electoral issue.
candidates need to let the country know exactly where they
stand on important issues -- including (especially) marriage.
Is there a better time to bring it up? Aren't such issues and
votes the reasons we elect the people we do?
Republicans believe it is one that can help President
Bush, who has come out in favor of the amendment, and make
life difficult for Sen. John F. Kerry (D), who not only opposes
but also hails from the very state -- Massachusetts -- whose
highest court provoked the current showdown with a decision
legalizing same-sex marriage.
the point. The Post fails to mention why letting Americans
know where the two candidates for president stand is
such a bad thing.
because of the weight conservatives have put on this issue,
today's vote, despite its preordained
has become deeply important. It requires senators to take a
public stand on a question of deep principle:
Post's claim that this cloture vote on the motion to proceed "requires senators to take a public stand on a question
of deep principle" does not jive with their claim near the
top of this editorial that "even making it to a vote on
the merits is highly unlikely."
Since when do Democrats care about principle?
Are they willing to warp the entire American constitutional
structure. . .
of our current American constitutional structure delineates
anything about marriage at all?
.to prevent people who love one another from marrying?
the Post's reasoning, these senators who are threatening
to "warp the entire American constitutional structure" are
guilty of warping the law as well with the Defense of Marriage
Act (DOMA) -- yet the Post doesn't point out the unlawfulness
Of course, the Post and other liberals don't argue against DOMA
because they know the Supreme Court is bound to declare it unconstitutional.
the way, if the Post's standard for getting married is
simply that two
love each other, what would they say about siblings
who love each other or men who love more than one woman?
(And don't give me that tripe about lumping incest and
same-sex marriage: it's a perfectly logical question if "love" is
to be the Post's only standard for marriage.)
all the talk of protecting the sanctity of marriage, that is
what this vote is really about. Few issues
historically have been more purely committed to state authority
in this country's system than family law.
here, ignores the biggest family law issue of all: abortion.
It was declared a constitutional right -- not by amendment
but by judicial fiat -- in Roe v. Wade, taking the important
moral issue out of the hands of the states. Of course, if Congress
tried to pass a law declaring abortion to be subject only to
state authority, the Post's editors would go into conniptions.
law already ensures that no state can be forced to recognize
gay marriages performed in another, and the federal
government withholds such recognition too.
Post, again, is referring to DOMA. If the Post believes
ought to be valid, they should be calling
for DOMA's immediate repeal on the same principle that they
oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment -- because it "prevents
people who love one another from marrying."
point of a constitutional amendment is to override the judgments
states that might choose to permit same-sex
No, the point
of the constitutional amendment is to protect the family and
the states that respect traditional family values
from activist courts, particularly the Supreme Court.
is no good reason to do this. We support gay marriage, though
we have criticized the Massachusetts high court's decision.
Post defends its opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment
by citing a law -- the Defense of Marriage Act -- that
runs contrary to their support of same-sex marriage.
if voters object strongly to what their court has done, the
decision will not survive. Moreover, for all the hysterics
of the proposal's supporters, the prospect of its being exported
to other states against the will of their residents seems remote.
possibility of same-sex marriage -- "against the
will" of the people -- "seemed remote" not long
Massachusetts decision, in other words, requires no federal
response whatsoever. . .
responses are now making law, trumping the authority of the
.let alone a grotesque rearrangement of the federal-state
forgot to mention other "rearrangements of the
federal-state relationship" like gun control, abortion,
minimum wage, and education, just to name a few.
combination of this proposal's radicalism. . .
the Post now considers traditional male-female marrage "radical."
. .and its consideration in the middle of an election year
commands a strong rebuke from those members who retain
enough shame to oppose a constitutional amendment whose express
purpose is to deny equal treatment to U.S. citizens.
argument that the amendment would "deny equal treatment" is
a fallacious one. There is no law that says homosexuals cannot
get married. The laws being debated prohibit two people of
the same sex from getting married to each other -- whether
homosexual or heterosexual. A homosexual or heterosexual
man can marry one homosexual or heterosexual woman -- as
they are not closely related (brother-sister, parent-child,
opponents of gay marriage, about which people of conscience
legitimately disagree, should balk at this measure,
prevent a democratic majority in any state ever from recognizing
The Post has forgotten about a few other constitutional amendments:
13th Amendment prevents people from having slaves, even if "a democratic majority in any state" were
to legalize it.
15th Amendment protects the rights of minorities to vote,
even if "a democratic majority in any state" were
to decide against recognizing it.
19th Amendment protects the rights of women to vote, even
if "a democratic majority in any state" were
to decide against recognizing it.
Post has also forgotten that, according to Article V of
no amendment can be added without "a democratic
majority" in at least three-fourths of the states ratify
A strong vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment. . .
refused to allow an actual up-or-down vote on the Marriage
Amendment when they blocked the attempt to even
bring it to the Senate Floor.
.would send a powerful message that amending the Constitution
is not a solution for
every non-problem that generates a bad
Post is apparently so out of touch with reality that they
-- contrary to the views
of most Americans -- consider the complete
destruction of the institution of marriage a "non-problem." CRO
2004 Human Events