Last week, gay and lesbian couples in California began receiving marriage licenses in the wake of the state Supreme Court’s May 15 ruling that California’s law limiting marriage to one man and one woman was unconstitutional. Some analysts estimate that between 115,000 and 170,000 same-sex couples, including as many as 65,000 from out of state, will seek marriage licenses there over the next three years.
California’s redefinition of marriage could have national consequences. Yet although Congress can mitigate the harm done by California’s imperial court, it seems as if lawmakers are unwilling to show leadership.
To protect other states from being forced to recognize these judicially imposed nuptials, Congress could revisit the Defense of Marriage constitutional amendment, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Also, Congress could update the Defense of Marriage Act: It forbids the use of the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause to force states to recognize these California marriages, but it doesn’t protect states from the decisions of family courts in states that recognize same-sex unions.
Finally, lawmakers could consider a resolution encouraging the people of California as they amend their state constitution to restore the traditional definition of marriage.
So far, Congress has been silent on an issue that’s very important to voters who treasure traditional values. Message to Congress: Do something to prevent the other 49 states from being forced to recognize marriages imposed by California’s elitist judiciary.
Sen. Obama versus Sen. McCain
One way to measure the records of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain is to look at the bills these members have introduced. The bills introduced by both in this Congress show a vast difference in foreign policy objectives.
Take the Global War on Terror. McCain supports efforts to secure victory in Iraq. Obama, by contrast, is pushing efforts to make sure no military action is taken against Iran and has a bill to withdraw our successful troops from the ground in Iraq. McCain has authored a bill expressing the “sense of the Senate that the Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States mission in Iraq.”
Obama has a bill (S.J. Res. 23) stating that the “use of force against Iran is not authorized” by current law. Another Obama bill, the “Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007,” calls for a “phased redeployment of the Armed Forces” out of Iraq to the United States, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Lacking Leadership on Energy
President Bush has unveiled a four-point plan to promote domestic energy production, but it has little chance of passing Congress this year. The president wants Congress to:
• Expand drilling into the banned areas in the Outer Continental Shelf, estimated to contain 86 billion barrels of oil.
• Remove Congressional impediments to the production of Oil Shale (rock containing oil), estimated to contain the potential for 21 trillion barrels of new production.
• Allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, estimated to have 10.4 billion barrels of oil awaiting extraction.
• Expedite judicial and administrative procedures to stop liberal environmental lawyers from blocking new refineries.
The pain Americans feel when they fill up their gasoline tanks and open their electricity bills is a direct result of three decades of negligent energy policy. We need an aggressive and comprehensive policy to reverse the erosion of America’s energy infrastructure. Unfortunately, liberals have chosen to play politics with $4 a gallon gasoline rather than solve the problem.
Liberals have put forth numerous ideas they claim would lower the price of gasoline. One is to tax oil companies when they fail to drill in permitted offshore areas — the “Use-It-Or-Lose-It” proposal. Another would provide for a nationalization of privately owned refineries. But anti-free market socialist solutions won’t work any better today than they did three decades ago under the Carter administration. Taxing American oil companies and restricting markets will not lower the price at the pump
But not all is lost. In addition to the president’s proposal, House Republicans are pushing the “No More Excuses Energy Act,” which would expand offshore production of oil and natural gas and encourage construction of nuclear plants and refineries.
Republicans are not blameless. McCain has refused to tap Alaska’s oil resources, and President Bush has failed to suspend an executive order barring some Outer Continental Shelf production until Congress acts.
What’s needed now is real leadership.