To no one’s great surprise, the House of Representatives failed to pass the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA),which would safeguard marriage and the family from activist judges.
On September 30, the House voted 227 to 186 in favor of defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman–far short of the two-thirds vote needed for an amendment to pass Congress and go to the states for ratification. However, this was an improvement over action in the Senate in June, when a vote to end a filibuster failed–48-to-50.
On no issue is there a greater divergence between public opinion and the agenda of the elite–including the people’s supposed representatives on the bench and in Congress– than on the future of matrimony.
Every opinion survey shows the American people overwhelmingly support a federal marriage amendment. In the latest Wirthlin Worldwide poll, 67% favored the amendment, including 56% of Democrats.
State marriage amendments continue to advance. In August, Missouri voters wrote the traditional definition of marriage into their state constitution (by a vote of 71%). Louisiana voters did the same in September (by 79%). Marriage protection has never lost a statewide vote, even in very liberal states like California and Hawaii.
An additional 10 states could have marriage amendments on the November ballot. Thousands of volunteers collected millions of signatures to achieve this. In all likelihood, after this election, 42 states will have defined marriage, by amendment or statute.
House liberals–if you can believe it–attacked the amendment as a violation of states’ rights. The definition of marriage should be decided by the states, they solemnly declare.
How nice. After decades disparaging states’ rights as the last refuge of racists and reactionaries, suddenly, liberals are diligently defending the rights of the states from federal intrusion–in one instance only.
It is, of course, a red –or is that lavender?–herring. When liberals cry: “Leave the definition of marriage to the states,” they’re really saying: “Leave it to our friends on the bench.” (Defining marriage a la Genesis is the manifest will of the states, as reflected in the aforesaid referenda.)
Either the meaning of the word marriage will be settled by an amendment or by the judiciary. In Massachusetts, the high court of Kerry country ordered the state’s legislature to provide for homosexual marriage–based, if you please, on an 18th Century constitution.
If the Supreme Court overturns the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act as a violation of the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause, a gay marriage entered into in Massachusetts would have to be recognized everywhere else, even in states with amendments prohibiting the same.
Then, instead of Nevada divorces, we’ll have Mass. marriages. Four justices in one state will have determined the nature of marriage for the entire nation.
Or, given the dogmatism of the Supreme Court–as manifested in its decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which created a constitutional right to homosexual sodomy –I wouldn’t put it past the court to legislate gay marriage itself, as it did with abortion in Roe v. Wade.
One can almost admire the candor of the hard-core homosexual rights advocates such as Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.) who at least debate the issue on its merits. In answer to the argument that putting the state’s imprimatur on the union of Adam and Steve will destabilize marriage, Frank (in the words of a New York Times story) “barked on the House floor Ã?Â¢Ã¢â??Â¬ Â¦ ‘I’m sorry Rush Limbaugh has been divorced three times, but it isn’t my fault.'”
No, Barney it ain’t your fault (any more than it’s my fault that you once lived with a male prostitute who ran an escort service out of your apartment). But are we really expected to believe that turning marriage into an amorphous institution will strengthen it?
Society’s essential work of procreation and child-rearing will always be done, almost exclusively, by mom and dad, Mr. And Mrs., husband and wife. In light of that, they deserve special recognition and support unavailable to two of the Village People who met in a fern bar the evening before.
Anything that detracts from the millennia-old model, by suggesting any two (or three, or more?) individuals who have a yen for each other constitute a marriage necessarily will weaken an institution already rocked by decades of liberal social experimentation.