Orange Gearle

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

the marriage protection amendment pt. deux

Ok, so I think it’s clear where I stand on the issue (see previous post). Today I read this on americanprogress.org. It’s worth a read. Basically it takes statements that Bush has made regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment and supplies “facts” as a response to his “myths”. For example, Mark Agrast, Sam Berger and Brodie Butland write:
[Bush statement]Today, 45 of the 50 states have either a state constitutional amendment or a statute defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

These amendments and laws express a broad consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage. The people have spoken.

FACT: These amendments and laws indicate that a majority of the people oppose same-sex marriage, not that they favor a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Indeed, on that question the public is evenly divided. Moreover, majority opposition to same-sex marriage continues to shrink. Before we convert the wishes of a transitory majority into a permanent amendment to our Constitution, we should be sure that the proposed change will stand the test of time.
I completely agree with the above quote. However, I want to take it one step further. Not only should there not be an amendment such as this added to the constitution, we should allow -- and dare I say -- embrace same-sex marriage between committed couples….just as we do marriage between one man and one woman. Why? This amendment is essentially “writing discrimination into the constitution.” Committed couples are committed couples. Period. Anyone in support of adding discrimination to our constitution, must hate America, right? :-) Center for American Progress has a statement on the issue dated February 25, 2004. This is more of what I am talking about.

The Constitution has been amended to eliminate slavery, to give women the right to vote, and to secure for every person the equal protection of the laws. It has never been amended to mandate discrimination. Nor should it be.

Read the entire statement here.

I am not married. I have actually experienced a bit of discrimination as a result of that (insurance, family leave, etc.). However, being heterosexual, I know that I cannot even come close to understanding what same-sex couples experience. Why is this our government's business?? Churches maybe...
While religious denominations must be free to decide what constitutes religious marriage under the tenets of their faith, the states should be free to decide whether to recognize civil marriage for their gay and lesbian citizens. Indeed, we believe that the time has come for them to do so. We should do all we can to strengthen and nurture all of our families as they struggle to overcome the storms and stresses of modern life.
Once again...I'd take it one step further. I don't think it's up to the states to decide, either. I think if a state or federal government decides to deny same-sex couples the right to marry their partner, they are denying them of their civil liberties. If there are any new amendments to our constitution regarding same-sex marriage, the amendment should require that all forms of government allow/recognize same-sex marriage, and for those couple's families, to have all of the benefits and protections that they are denied in our current system.

IMHO.

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