Sunday, January 29, 2006

It’s Back

Raw Story reports that Sen. Bill Frist will try to re-introduce the “Marriage Protection Amendment” this summer.

The Marriage Protection Amendment was originally introduced by Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) in 2003, and leveraged as a wedge issue by the GOP during the 2004 election cycle as a way of mobilizing its base to vote against same-sex marriage.

Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), a co-sponsor of the 2005 joint resolution, has confirmed that Senate Majority leader Bill Frist (R- TN) will attempt to bring the controversial legislation to the floor this year for a full vote.

[…]

“Senator Bill Frist has indicated he will try to bring the Marriage Protection Amendment to a full vote again this year,” Allard spokeswoman Angela de Rocha told RAW STORY. “Senator Allard believes that a constitutional amendment is the best way to make it crystal clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

[…]

The public sentiment on same-sex unions differs greatly from the view of conservative groups pushing to amend the constitution. A Pew Research poll conducted in August of last year found that 53 percent of Americans polled supported civil unions, which would confer upon same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by married couples. Thirty-five percent favored gay marriage.

The Republican Party is likewise divided on the issue. . The emphasis on gay marriage and the “moral values” banner were conspicuously absent from the GOP’s 2006 agenda outlined by President Bush’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Republican National Committee political advisor, Karl Rove, during his Jan. 20 speech at the winter meeting of the RNC.

In the Senate, John McCain (R-AZ) and John Sununu (R-NH) have also expressed an unwillingness to support a federal amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

[…]

Frist rejected the notion that the amendment is politically motivated during a June 2004 vote.

“That’s the most common question: ‘Why do you bring up the marriage amendment at this point in time?’ And ‘These are for political reasons, coming into the convention.’ And the answer is ‘Absolutely, no.'”

Frist cited the attempts of “activist judges” to redefine marriage, and the need “to protect marriage for what it’s been in this country for hundreds of years.”

Actually, I would welcome this amendment back into the public forum because it would give me a chance to challenge the Republicans to provide me with the proof that two men falling in love and making a life together has threatened any heterosexual marriage. Show me one marriage — not counting the millions of closeted gay men who got married to women to avoid the stigma of publicly acknowledging who they really are only to get divorced years later when the reality of the sham became too much to bear — and I’ll concede that marriage, with the sterling examples of Britney Spears, Anna Nichole Smith, Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, and Roseanne Barr, not to mention the thousands of domestic abuse cases and child-custody battles already clogging the courts, needs protection from Adam and Steve.

Of course no one can prove that gay marriage will harm straight marriage. It’s nothing but a fear-mongering tactic used to frighten the weak-minded and the gullible, it’s nothing more than just plain bigotry, and as long as they pursue it, that’s what I will call it — and I’ll label any supporter of the amendment as a snivelling bigot. Hey, if the sheet fits…