Wednesday, July 14, 2004

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Hey, it's once-in-a-blue-moon day!

It's rare I get to say I said something prescient, so allow me the opportunity to highlight that fact.

In light of the Senate's rejection of a proposed gay marriage amendment, back in December I posted on "Why the Constitution will not ban gay marriage." The key sections:

For a constitutional amendment to pass, you need the both houses of Congress to approve the measure by a two-thirds majority, and then have three-quarters of the state legislatures approve it within a specified time period. It's an extraordinarily difficult and cumbersome process, with lots of veto points to stymie progress....

Another thing -- public opinion is fickle. Indeed, the attitudes about gay marriage have been extremely volatile over the past year....

I don't doubt that this will be a political issue for the 2004 election, just like flag burning was an issue in 1988. I also don't doubt that as a constitutional amendment, this won't fly.

Naturally, Andrew Sullivan has more.

posted by Dan on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM


Aside from appealing to the base, broaching the issue does, and did, nothing for the GOP.

posted by: Carleton on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

This is how are system is supposed to work. We should all be proud. I dont agree with the amendment but the people who do got their chance.

posted by: Mark Buehner on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

The amendment did exactly what it was supposed to do: put those ignoring their current laws in check.

posted by: aaron on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

Strictly from a tactical point of view, I'm not sure moving this amendment now was wise. Trying for a Constitutional amendment and falling so far short seems more likely to demoralize than fire up the GOP base. Three or four Senators could be targeted for blocking a popular measure; a dozen or more i smuch harder to target, and enough technical arguments could be raised about the wording of this amendment to obfuscate it on the campaign trail, making the issue of less value.

It should go without saying that President Bush will not be able to stir up much passion and outrage at this amendment's being defeated on his own.

posted by: Zathras on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

The WaPo made an excellent point on the opinion page today in "Kill This Amendment":

"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. 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. Yet today, the Senate will take up a cloture vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. 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."

Not to mention that the ban on assault weapons needs to be renewed before it runs out in September. This has been a huge waste of Congress' time.

posted by: Ellewiz on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

There is a better chance of Yao Ming begging me for mercy on a basketball court than the possibility of this amendment passing. At the very best, it might remind liberal judges to think twice before ignoring the will of the majority. I want this issue decided by the voters in each and every state. Most Americans seem to agree.

posted by: David Thomson on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

This has been a huge waste of Congress' time.

Speaking of a huge waste of time...

Not to mention that the ban on assault weapons needs to be renewed before it runs out in September.

posted by: h0mi on 07.14.04 at 03:55 PM [permalink]

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