Friday, February 27, 2004

Federal Marriage Amendment

The Emperor has no clothes; and from the looks of it, no balls either.

So it was a pretty exciting week for you if you are gay, if you know someone who is gay, or if you totally hate gays. Our esteemed uniter -- NOT a divider -- of a President decided to put his full weight behind a constitutional amendment declaring that the word "gullible" is in the dictionary, and also that marriage is explicitly between a man and a woman. After a week of political and media-fueled grand mal seizures, it's pretty well understood that the sponsors of this constitutional amendment won't have nearly the number of votes necessary for the supermajority required to enact it. This is due in no small part to the fact that unlike the President, members of Congress have a political future to look forward to after November, and would like to not completely alienate the unspecified number of gay voters in their states and districts; nor do they wish to completely deface the Constitution by using it to legislate gay-bashing.

I can't imagine that this is something that Bush wanted to talk about so early on. I mean, it's much easier for him to talk about this subject than it is for his press secretary to answer questions about the economy, Iraq, or the President's confusing National Guard tour, but this kind of divisive and emotionally charged issue can't be what he'd want to discuss -- if he would even want to discuss it at all. It seems that he screwed himself royally by including it in the section of the State of the Union where he gave shout-outs to his conservative voter (and fundraising) base...the vagueness of his statement in the SOTU about gay marriage led to increasing pressure to clarify his position on the constititutional amendment, at the risk of some of his base staying home in November. Basically he got called out, and now has to play defense on his overt support of this stupid, bigoted amendment.

Not that the Democratic candidates' responses have been too impressive. Apparently both Kerry and Edwards have been sticking with the, aahh, limp-wristed talking points of "let the states decide," and "civil unions rather than marriage." Can someone smarter than me (that's all of you, incidentally) explain to me what the difference is between a "civil union" and a "marriage," apart from the number of words and how they're spelled? It's disappointing to see such a mealy-mouthed response from the Dem candidates; you don't have to be Sun Tzu to see that it's tough to expose how absurd something is when you propose an equally absurd alternative.

But, as expected, the President can't even come up with a coherent defense of the Federal Marriage Amendment apart from vague, gaseous arguments like "activist judges," "lending clarity to a confusing issue," and of course, "protecting the sanctity of one of our oldest institutions." Amazing, isn't it, how many different ways there are to say "God hates fags"? It's especially funny to hear Bush talk about his deep concern for "activist judges," immediately after his recess appointment of right-wing douchebag Bill Pryor to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals...and to see how precious the "sanctity of marriage" is to many of the people who would deny that right to homosexuals...and what, exactly, would happen to the fabric of american values should gays be allowed to marry? Is that as bad as crossing the streams?

The fact remains that there is no coherent defense for the FMA. It's undefendable. Indefensible. Whichever. It's transparent legislative bigotry, whether for ideology or for politics. And not only will the FMA fail, but the President is going to find out that there are plenty of gay Republican voters who are (if they haven't already) ready to jump ship, that there are plenty of Republican and Independent voters who have gay friends, relatives, or colleagues and who don't feel like letting this country slide one more inch closer to becoming a theocracy; where a President who justifies going to war by injecting "freedom" as every third word in his speeches is fully in favor of freedom, as long as you are rich, white, Christian, and straight. I'm not saying that this is stupid issue is going to hand the White House to the Democrats, all wrapped up like a delicious Hot Pocket, but it's certainly not going to make it any easier for Bush come November.

On second thought, perhaps marriage does need to be defended, at all costs.