05 June 2006

Gay Marriage Amendment

It is almost unbearable to watch the discussions on TV news shows about the same-sex marriage amendment which is being debated in the Senate today. One gay activist after the other is paraded on the nation’s liberal media platforms, with a ‘liberal’ sprinkling of so-called ‘actual gay families,’ to underscore the evil of discrimination against a ‘whole class of people.’ I had to switch CNN off this afternoon.

In the meantime, Democratic senators huff and puff that the whole discussion is a waste of time because other, more important concerns (that are more politically convenient for liberals) are not on the agenda: the war in Iraq, illegal wiretapping of US citizens, immigration reform, etc. Of course, all these senators make sure they use up the full allotted speaking time. Just to make a point about exactly how much of a waste of time this marriage amendment is.

I heard Senator Leahy complain that under US law the question of marriage is a state matter and could never be brought to a federal court anyway. So why are the Republicans suddenly abandoning federalism to ram a federal law through the voters’ throats? Besides, he said, if the amendment passed, the same “Republican judges” (his actual words) of whom the Republicans are so afraid would have to do the judicial mopping up of lawsuits arising out of the amendment. Of course, Leahy had argued that since the majority of federal judges have been appointed by Republican presidents, these judges themselves are Republicans too. In your dreams.

I believe a constitutional amendment against gay marriage is necessary. I am not sure whether this amendment is the one to go for because it does not go far enough and does not rule out civil unions. And that is quite apart from the fact that the amendment will not pass. For constitutional amendments 67 votes are needed. There are barely 55 votes in the Senate. Yet it is clear that within a few years, judges will rule in favor of gay activists and rule existing state bans unconstitutional. That is not so much because these bans are in fact unconstitutional but because many judges, who are on the bench already, believe in the “living Constitution” theory, which teaches that the Constitution means what the ACLU decrees it means. So, if the First Amendment talks about the government not passing any laws infringing on the freedom of religion, this living Constitution theory clarifies this text for the modern American (thanks to the ACLU) to read that Christians can only worship if they do so behind closed doors in their church building and do not profess their religious beliefs in public.

As we can see, with this sort of irrational philosophy being swallowed whole—because politically convenient—by scores and droves of jurists, even a constitutional amendment is not safe. But there is no better defense against the hallucinations of the gay rights movement. Leahy’s argument that the federal courts have no jurisdiction is absolutely laudable. I agree with him. But while the ACLU might agree that now outdated theories of the Constitution (theories that hold to the idea that the text means what it says it means) do also lead to this conclusion, more evolved human beings know innately that federal judges have the moral duty to ignore such narrow legalistic views and come to the aid of suppressed minorities. A higher law trumps petty rules such as the Constitution.

This state of affairs is pathetic. It means that the Democrats are in essence right when they say the amendment is superfluous. Yet the amendment is necessary just to bolt the door against activist judges. As the old Latin saying goes, “Who will guard the guards?” so the modern American saying goes, “Who will keep judges’ fingers out of the law?” If everyone played by the rules, such draconian measures would not be necessary. But Liberalism has long thrown out the rule book and plays only by its own rules.

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