Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01



House Holds Hearing on the Marriage Amendment
by Bob Roehr

This article shared 2720 times since Wed May 19, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

The House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on language of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) May 13, where proponents and opponents recycled arguments each had made previously.

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., the lead sponsor of the FMA, defended it 'only as the last resort.' She claimed 'the Constitution of the United States of America is on the verge of being amended, the only choice is whether it is by the voters or the courts.'

Robert Bork, the failed conservative nominee to the Supreme Court, echoed that sentiment. He asserted, 'We are going to have a nationwide rule' on same-sex marriage, either because of the courts or enactment of the FMA.

He said the second sentence of the FMA, which he helped draft, 'Was intended to say that the courts should not require civil unions, only legislatures can do that ... . We have no intention of trying to prevent any democratically enacted form of civil unions.' He supported modifications that have been made to the Senate version of the FMA but not yet to the House measure.

'The amendment has been wildly under-described,' openly gay Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., began in his testimony before the committee. It is not about stopping activist judges, 'This amendment says nobody in a state can enact same-sex marriage,' not a judge, not the legislature, not the voters in a referendum.

He reminded the committee of the 'predictions that chaos will ensue' from social conservatives any time antidiscrimination measures are proposed. 'None of those are ever true.' Most explicitly, those predictions made prior to the enactment of civil unions in Vermont have not come to pass.

Frank made his own predictions with regard to the outcome of gay marriage in Massachusetts. 'It will have an effect on those people who choose to get married, and it will have no effect on those people who choose not to.'

'By this time next year, litigation will be in suit in most states challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),' predicted Jay Sekulow with the American Center for Law and Justice. 'I would not like to let the institution of marriage rest upon the U.S. Supreme Court.'

'Unless the Court steps back, because it feels the public outrage, I think DOMA is an absolute dead letter on constitutional grounds,' Bork said. 'I suspect the vote against DOMA would be 6-3; I don't see any prospect of saving it.'

Rep Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, pressed Bork on the powers of the judiciary. Bork replied, 'Nobody wants to dispense with Marbury vs. Madison. Of course judges will have the power to override legislation that is unconstitutional. The problem arises when judges begin to depart from the Constitution and make up their own idea of the Constitution.'

Nadler asked about rights not explicitly in the Constitution that the Court has found. They include the right to marry and to bring up their children, 'Was the Court wrong to discover these rights?' Bork said he liked many of those decisions made prior to 1937.

Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., raised the latest conservative bugaboo, the cost of equality associated with same-sex marriage. He ticked off a list of federal benefits and said extending these to gay couples will 'just break the bank ... . It will cost billions of dollars.'

Rep. Musgrave said they haven't been able to have that discussion. Rep. Frank reminded the committee that judge Bork earlier had said he didn't believe that many gays would end up getting married, so the cost would be less. Furthermore, passing the FMA would preclude that debate that Musgrave claims she wants.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., the only open lesbian in Congress, told the story of a lesbian couple in Vermont raising a child named Trevor. One of the mothers stayed at home to care for the child. Then the working mom was struck and killed by a car. She asked, 'What is the cost to Trevor that he can't collect Social Security benefits for a lost parent? We have to weigh those costs too.'

'I'm concerned about judge-made law,' said Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. He asked, what is Congress' remedy for legislating from the bench?

'In the case of a blatantly unconstitutional decision, there is impeachment,' said Frank. He continued, 'This amendment is not a judicial restraint amendment, it's a specific subject amendment that says no one—no referendum, no state legislature—can allow same-sex marriage.'

The committee will have at least two more hearings in this area.

Latino Clergy

Social conservatives opposed to same-sex marriage have not had much success recruiting leaders of the Black civil-rights movement to their cause, but they have had some success in recruiting ministers. The Latino clergy has offered less fertile ground for those efforts. The reasons why are tied in part to the differing role and structure of the church within those communities.

'There is a different kind of religious leadership structure between Catholics and Protestants,' says Joseph M. Palacios, SJ, a Roman Catholic priest and professor of sociology at Georgetown University. 'The vast majority of Catholics don't have a tradition of spokespersons for religious and social issues as the Black churches do.'

Evangelical pastors within the Latino community 'are utilizing the methods of their Black counterparts, saying that they represent the average people,' he said. They are the ones that social conservatives have had some success recruiting to support FMA.

But 63% of Latinos in the United States are Roman Catholic. Rev. Palacios says a typical Latino Roman Catholic parish in Los Angeles has about 6,000 families, some 25-30,000 people in it. 'A large protestant church doesn't come near that.'

Martin Ornelas-Quintero, executive director of LLEGO, calls evangelical pastors who are supporting the FMA 'the fringe of the fringe' who do not truly represent the Latino community.

Many people say that Latinos in the U.S. have traditional or conservative values. But Rev. Palacios' study of 2000 census data contradicts that view.

Rev. Palacios sees 'a subtle lobby effort' on the part of pro-gay groups to minimize the role of the Catholic Church in the debate over the FMA. 'I think there is a kind of quid pro quo going on here: We won't go after the Church, if the Church doesn't go after us.'

This article shared 2720 times since Wed May 19, 2004
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...

Gay News

Russian leader Putin officially bans same-sex marriage 2021-04-08
- On April 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country, The Washington Blade reported. ...

Gay News

Global momentum for marriage equality surges,"Freedom to Marry Global" website created 2021-03-31
--From a press release - April 1st marks twenty years since the Netherlands ended the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, becoming the first of so far 30 countries worldwide to affirm the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Now, two ...

Gay News

WORLD Landmark ruling, Montreal's Gay Village, acid attack, anti-LGBTQ laws 2021-03-21
- In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court ruled that the government's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, NPR noted. Article 24 of Japan's constitution defines marriage as based on the "mutual consent of both sexes," which ...

Gay News

LETTER The Vatican's words and actions do not echo love 2021-03-18
- The LGBTQA community is responding with shock, anger and frustration at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith statement concerning same-sex unions. Many in our community can't understand why Pope Francis would allow such a ...

Gay News

Pope Francis documentary 'Francesco' to debut March 26 2021-03-16
- Pope Francis—in the news lately because of the Catholic Church's stance that it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage—is the subject of ...

Gay News

DignityUSA: Vatican denying same-sex blessings "Exacerbates pain and anger" 2021-03-16
--From a press release - March 15, 2021. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the church and society, is deeply disappointed by the Vatican's statement unequivocally denying blessings to same-sex coupl ...

Gay News

Vatican won't bless same-sex unions 2021-03-15
- The Catholic Church said it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, according to an NBC News item. The Congregation for the Doctrine ...

Gay News

Commission: Jamaica should repeal same-sex ban 2021-02-18
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the top rights body of the Americas, said in a symbolic landmark ruling on Feb. 17 that Jamaica should repeal its colonial-era gay sex ban, Reuters reported. Two Jamaicans ...

Gay News

Leading groups submit amicus briefs against discrimination against LGBT surviving spouses 2021-02-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON D.C.—AARP, AARP Foundation, SAGE and the American Society on Aging (ASA) filed amicus briefs today in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that the ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.