Monday, September 13, 2004

A Stain on the Constitution

The Republican war on education in this country is finally starting to bear fruit. They've finally gotten a large pool of people who are so poorly educated on our Constitution that they'll happily tear it up just to enact the prejudices of a small cadre of insane busybodies.

A constitutional ammendment on gay marriage is a gross misuse of the ammendment system. The ammendment system is meant for two things. To extend, clarify and define the rights of citizens and to address technical issues within the Constitution. Not to limit the rights of citizens.

Don't believe me, then read the Ammendments, themselves. Overview of the United States Constitution and Ammendments

Of the 27 ammendments, only two ammendments have anything to do with limiting the rights of citizens. Those would be prohibition and the repeal of prohibition. The rest are ammendments that either extend rights to previously excluded groups (slaves, minorities, women etc.) or to clarify issues within the constitution (election rules, presidential term limits, presidential succession, income tax, etc.) So you can imagine my utter contempt for any group of people who would misuse the Constitution to cater to their particular brand of hatred.

That was the general scolding, now for the specific.

I find that most of the people that are against gay marriage haven't got the slightest clue about what marriage actually is. There are two types of marriage. The religious marriage, where two people form a "spiritual" partnership (for lack of a better term) and the LEGAL marriage, which does nothing more than dictate property rights. It's a legal partnership that is not substantially different from any other form of legal partnership. Anyone can perform a religious marriage, but you have to be licensed by the state to perform legal marriages. Every priest at every wedding you've ever attended has the power to form a legal marriage only because he threw down his schekles and got a license to do so.

So the main question is, why are people against two people forming a legal partnership on a personal level? I can understand a religous objection to holding a gay marriage at the local cathedral or what have you. But what possible difference does it make to you that two people who are as committed to each other as any heterosexual couple retain the right to inherit each other's property? Or to take advantage of benefits that they both paid taxes for and that any hetero couple can attain? What possible difference will it make in your lives?

So help me, if you say "Because the bible says so." or any version thereof, well I won't DO anything because this is a blog. But I would like to retort with the following:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So let's put on our thinking caps. Would you say making a law that conforms to a religious prohibition (especially the prohibition by any PARTICULAR religion) might just conflict with the first ammendment? It does. A constitutional ammendment that specifically denies rights to a particular group of people is anathema to the spirit of the document and a betrayal of all the people who have died to protect it.

Although I doubt that any fundie has made it this far, but for those diehards that did: No, I'm not gay. I'm a straight white male. But I'm also an American of good conscience. And any American of good conscience would never stay silent and allow the destruction of rights for other Americans. NEVER!

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