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Chris Field- Contributor

Chris Field is Editor of Human Events Online [go to Field index]

Killing FMA
Washington Post vs. Reality on the Federal Marriage Amendment...
[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 This Amendment"), 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 interjections.

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.

Yes, it is. Our elected officials are doing something the American people care about and can identify as a "real" issue.

POST: Congress 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.

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?

POST: Yet 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.

POST: Everyone 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.

Such a vote is "highly unlikely," because the Left refuses to allow it to happen.

And 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.

POST: The reason the Senate is moving forward is politics of a particularly crass and ugly sort: Gay marriage has become a national electoral issue.

Good. The 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?

POST: And 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 it but also hails from the very state -- Massachusetts -- whose highest court provoked the current showdown with a decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Bingo. Exactly the point. The Post fails to mention why letting Americans know where the two candidates for president stand is such a bad thing.

POST: Precisely because of the weight conservatives have put on this issue, today's vote, despite its preordained outcome, has become deeply important. It requires senators to take a public stand on a question of deep principle:

Two things:

1) The 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."

2) Since when do Democrats care about principle?

POST: Are they willing to warp the entire American constitutional structure. . .

Which part of our current American constitutional structure delineates anything about marriage at all?

POST:. . .to prevent people who love one another from marrying?

Using 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 DOMA.

Of course, the Post and other liberals don't argue against DOMA because they know the Supreme Court is bound to declare it unconstitutional.

By the way, if the Post's standard for getting married is simply that two people 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 polygamy with same-sex marriage: it's a perfectly logical question if "love" is to be the Post's only standard for marriage.)

POST: Notwithstanding 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.

The Post, 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.

POST: Federal law already ensures that no state can be forced to recognize gay marriages performed in another, and the federal government withholds such recognition too.

The Post, again, is referring to DOMA. If the Post believes same-sex marriages 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."

POST: The point of a constitutional amendment is to override the judgments of those states that might choose to permit same-sex marriage.

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.

POST: There is no good reason to do this. We support gay marriage, though we have criticized the Massachusetts high court's decision.

Yet, the 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.

POST: And 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.

The real possibility of same-sex marriage -- "against the will" of the people -- "seemed remote" not long ago.

POST: The Massachusetts decision, in other words, requires no federal response whatsoever. . .

Federal judicial responses are now making law, trumping the authority of the states.

POST:. . .let alone a grotesque rearrangement of the federal-state relationship.

The Post forgot to mention other "rearrangements of the federal-state relationship" like gun control, abortion, minimum wage, and education, just to name a few.

POST: The combination of this proposal's radicalism. . .

Apparently the Post now considers traditional male-female marrage "radical."

POST:. . .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.

The 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 they are homosexual or heterosexual. A homosexual or heterosexual man can marry one homosexual or heterosexual woman -- as long as they are not closely related (brother-sister, parent-child, et cetera).

POST: Even opponents of gay marriage, about which people of conscience legitimately disagree, should balk at this measure, which would prevent a democratic majority in any state ever from recognizing it.

The Post has forgotten about a few other constitutional amendments:

--The 13th Amendment prevents people from having slaves, even if "a democratic majority in any state" were to legalize it.

--The 15th Amendment protects the rights of minorities to vote, even if "a democratic majority in any state" were to decide against recognizing it.

--The 19th Amendment protects the rights of women to vote, even if "a democratic majority in any state" were to decide against recognizing it.

The Post has also forgotten that, according to Article V of the Constitution, no amendment can be added without "a democratic majority" in at least three-fourths of the states ratify it.

POST: A strong vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment. . .

The Democrats 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.

POST:. . .would send a powerful message that amending the Constitution is not a solution for every non-problem that generates a bad cause.

The 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

copyright 2004 Human Events




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