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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



SHAM 'MARRIAGE: Bush Panders on Marriage Amendment

This article shared 3507 times since Wed Jun 7, 2006
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President George W. Bush turned up his pandering to social conservative leaders by speaking out on the anti-gay Marriage Protection Amendment ( MPA ) to the U.S. Constitution. The legislation would ban same-sex marriage and is scheduled for debate and a vote on the floor of the Senate this week.

No one believes that the MPA will receive the 67 votes necessary for passage, and some believe less than half the Senate supports it.

Bush devoted his June 3 Saturday morning radio address to the subject, noting the importance of marriage throughout history. 'Unfortunately, activist judges and some local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years.'

And if the Defense of Marriage Act ( DOMA ) is overturned, 'then marriage recognized in one city or state might have to be recognized as marriages everywhere else ... . An amendment to the Constitution is necessary because activist courts have left our nation with no other choice.' It was a repeat of what he said in 2004 when the amendment was first before the Congress.

Bush added, 'Every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect, and dignity.' Conveniently absent from that list was any mention of the term equality—as exemplified in the words carved into the white marble atop the Supreme Court, 'Equal justice under law.'

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese was quick to respond. 'President Roosevelt started these radio addresses to unite Americans and President Bush is using them as a tool to divide us as a nation. It's wrong and it's un-American.'

The great—and almost comical—unspoken in this charade was the complete absence of any mention in Bush's speech of those who are 'threatening' marriage. The words, gay, homosexual, or even same-sex were not uttered. It was as if some great Leave-it-to-Beaver 1950s closet of silence had descended upon the White House.

Most Democrats have done no better. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada denounced 'divisive politics' that 'attempt to write discrimination into the Constitution.' Yet his widely distributed statement did not include the 'g' or the 'l' word, while marriage was mentioned only once.

The President offered up a second dollop of pandering on Monday when he met in the Roosevelt Room with social conservatives. White House spokesman Tony Snow said no openly gay people were invited. ( In part of his statement on Monday, Bush urged Congress 'to pass this amendment [ and ] send it to the states for ratification, so we can take this issue out of the hands of overreaching judges and put it back where it belongs: in the hands of the American people.' )

Snow asserted, 'The amendment still permits states to consider arrangements and institutions for same-sex couples that would not be called marriage.' Legal scholars are divided on that question.

In an open letter to President Bush, Log Cabin Republican president Patrick Guerriero said, 'Your White House event today further legitimizes the voices of intolerance who have made an industry out of denigrating gay and lesbian Americans. Your call for 'civility and decency' in this debate rings hollow because the effort to write discrimination into our Constitution is intolerant and uncivil.' Guerriero called the amendment 'a direct attack on the core Republican belief of federalism. And it's an affront to true conservatives and traditional Republicans who have always denounced efforts to play politics with the U.S. Constitution.'

Focus on the Family president James Dobson added fuel to the fire when he said during his June 1 radio program, 'marriage is under vicious attack now, I think from the forces of hell itself ... . I believe with that destruction of marriage will come the decline of Western civilization.' The mainstream media did not pick up on Dobson's comments.

Los Angeles Times reporter Ronald Brownstein wrote in a June 4 column, 'Whatever else Americans may think about gay marriage, few consider it one of the country's most serious moral challenges. By elevating it so prominently, this ... debate is likely to deepen the sense that Washington is fixated on the preoccupation of ideological minorities while slighting most Americans' day-to-day concerns.'

'The Federal Marriage Amendment is neither compassionate nor conservative,' said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office.

People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas opined that 'President Bush's press conference perfectly symbolized the desperation of his administration, stating that low disapproval ratings have propelled the president to take this course of action.

PFLAG ( Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays ) also communicated its outrage. 'Why doesn't President Bush believe that my daughter should have the same rights as his daughters?' asked Samuel Thoron, the national president of the organization. 'Simply because my daughter is a lesbian, the president sees fit to forever deny her full equality and use her ... as a reason to write discrimination into the Constitution.' Taking the activist route, PFLAG members have called their senators and have mailed thousands of postcards in anti-MPA moves. ( Speaking of postcards, almost a quarter of a million Vote No! postcards were delivered to Capitol Hill on Monday. )

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who became embroiled in a shouting match when a Senate committee was contemplating the measure, issued in a statement that Bush 'continued his politically motivated efforts to write discrimination into our Constitution.'

However, opposition to the amendment has come from unexpected individuals, too, including former Congressman Bob Barr, R-Ga., ( the man behind the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act ) and Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a lesbian daughter, Mary.

This article shared 3507 times since Wed Jun 7, 2006
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