|Marriage is love.|
(And thanks to The Mad Prophet for pointing me to this bit of code.)
This measure would amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, as well as invalidate all the protections that many families currently enjoy.
This amendment would invalidate all legal protections for unmarried couples--gay or straight. Those protections include basic safeguards against discrimination based on "marital status," state laws protecting unmarried elderly couples who refrain from marrying in order to hold on to their pensions, and even state laws allowing a person, in the absence of a spouse, to oppose the autopsy of a close friend because of the deceased person's religious beliefs.
I do not believe that the Constitution should be amended to limit states' expansion of civil rights. While I might not always agree with them on this, the Rehnquist Court's decisions over the last several years seem to show a similar trend.
The amendment proposed by H.J. Res. 56 would prohibit states from expanding their civil rights laws to protect gay and lesbian couples, or unmarried heterosexual couples, and their families. It would forbid states from serving their traditional role as testing grounds for stronger civil rights laws.
The Federal Marriage Amendment would reverse the constitutional tradition of protecting, not harming, individual freedoms. None of the current constitutional amendments restricts individual freedoms. In fact, the amendments to the Constitution have been the source of most of the Constitution's protections for individual liberty rights. The proposed amendment, by contrast, would deny all protection for the most personal decisions made by millions of families.
Moreover, "family" is a very broad category that has undergone considerable variation in history. (I'm a graduate student of history; I know whereof I speak.) One of the reasons our system of government has lasted far longer than the 25 years most pundits in 1789 would have given it is, I believe, because we have regulated only what we must in order to maintain public order. It is not my belief that same-gender marriage is such a matter. Yes, the so-called "religious right" opposes this idea. Unfortunately for what those people might like to believe, however, they do not represent the majority. But even if they did, this is an issue where the rights of individuals to make decisions for themselves must trump the will of the majority--precisely as our Constitution has always allowed. I see no reason to change 227 years of history now.
I am really concerned that officials of the Bush regime are now saying that it doesn't matter that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. Numerous claims were made to the American people prior to the war about the imminent danger that those weapons posed to the United States and the neighbors of Iraq. Now the present regime seems to be saying that none of those claims mattered because Saddam Hussein is a bad guy and that was reason enough to wage an illegal war.
But I beg to differ: the veracity of these claims does matter. It is one thing for me, as an American citizen, to distrust the Bush regime. It is quite another for that regime to publicly make itself the laughingstock of the civilized world. When that happens, the prestige of the nation suffers. When Bush lies in public, he casts doubt on the veracity of not only his government, but of this nation and its citizens as well.
George Bush and his chicken-hawk cronies trumped up a batch of phony excuses for foisting their war upon the rest of the world. Now that their tissue of lies is unravelling, it is only right and just that they should have to face the music. They paid the piper, so now they have to dance to the tune. If they can't stand the heat, they should get the hell out of the kitchen, in the immortal words of Harry Truman.
So why isn't Congress (or the American people as a whole) demanding an explanation for these inconsistencies? Wake up and smell the coffee, people!The Congress authorized this war on the notion that these weapons were an imminent threat to our national security. Now Congress needs to find out where those weapons are--in someone's imagination or elsewhere? We the people have the right (and the need) to know.
I want to know the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the U.S. and British attack. The existence of weapons of mass destruction was presented to the American people, the United Nations, and the U.S. Congress as a certainty. U.N. weapons inspectors did not find any evidence of such weapons. To date, U.S. and British military forces have also found no evidence of such weapons. (Nor have they been looking all that hard.)
The integrity of the Bush Administration is now, more than ever, in question. (Not that it had much in the way of integrity, of course.) Did they possess clear and compelling evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, or was speculative evidence exaggerated, manipulated or made up?
In the absence of an independent prosecutor, I urge the Senate to immediately establish a select committee to hold hearings, with full powers to compel testimony by all relevant individuals, and publicly publish its results. A hearing behind closed doors of the existing Intelligence Committee is no substitute for a serious probe. I am certainly not about to take the Bush regime's word on this question!