Democrats & Liberals Archives

Between A Man And A Woman

So, as I’m sure you’ve already heard, President Bush apparently wants marriage reserved for heterosexuals. Not just by creating regular laws - but by amending the Constitution.

[Correction to original article, 8/1/03 8am: thanks to Richard for pointing out in the comments that I interpreted the Reuters article too strongly. A constitutional amendment is one of the possibilities that the Bush administration is considering. Mea culpa. However, I stand by my conclusions in the lower three paragraphs.]

Wait a minute. Amending the Constitution? A major, civil rights amendment such as this hasn’t been ratified since the age of suffrage was dropped to 18 in 1978; and the last Constitutional amendment that negatively affected civil rights would be Prohibition, back in 1933.

And we all know how that turned out.

Of course, an amendment such as this would be extremely difficult to pass anyway: two-thirds of the House and the Senate and three-quarters of the states would have to agree first.

From my rather cynical viewpoint across the pond, Bush’s initiative seems to be no more than a publicity stunt to gain some credence with the more religious edge of the Republican party. He’s not even got a concrete suggestion ready - apparently,

“…we’ve got lawyers looking at the best way to do that.”

It’s the run-up to an election. Vote-winning pronouncements like this are to be expected from any leader, in any party, in any democracy around the world. There’s no need for gay rights groups and the ACLU to get too angry – at least until they see a draft of a bill emerging from the White House.

Posted by Thomas Scott at July 31, 2003 8:03 PM