Well, President Bush finally did it: he’s putting his support behind a Constitutional Amendment that bans marriage between homosexuals:
“After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization,” the president said in urging Congress to approve such an amendment. “Their action has created confusion on an issue that requires clarity.”
Bush, who has cast himself as a “compassionate conservative,” left the door open for civil unions as an alternative to same-sex marriages.
Criticism was immediate for his call for amending the Constitution.
Democrats accused Bush of tinkering with a document that is the bedrock of American democracy to divert election-year attention from his record ? an allegation the White House denied. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who hopes to run against Bush in this year’s presidential election, said: “I believe President Bush is wrong.”
“All Americans should be concerned when a president who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his re-election campaign,” said Kerry, who opposes gay marriage but will oppose the amendment if it reaches the Senate floor. Bush is “looking for a wedge issue to divide the American people,” Kerry said.
Well, as a supporter of the right of gays to be legally married, the President’s backing of an Amendment denying that is rather troubling. However, what’s more disquieting is the reaction from the Democrats.
It’s a bit disingenuous now to start complaining about “tinkering with the Constitution” when your party doesn’t believe in supporting the 2nd Amendment to it (the right to bear firearms). I also don’t recall seeing much outcry from the left when the Campaign Finance Reform bill was put through, which is a clear violation of the 1st Amendment. Yes, I know that McCain helped to draft it and Bush signed it, but the point remains that there’s a great deal of selectivity when it comes to how sacrosanct the Constitution is supposed to be.
It’s also funny that Kerry supports the idea behind it (that marriage should only be legal if it’s of two people of differing genders), but wouldn’t support the strongest possible way of making the idea into law. Is it ambivalence, or simply a lack of follow-through? Either way, it’s typical.
As angry as gays are about this issue, it’s important to remember that the President made it as much about judicial activism as he did the sanctity of heterosexual marriage. On that, I agree with Bush 100%: a few judges with axes to grind should not legislate what’s right for the rest of us.