Friday, May 19, 2006

U.S. Senate Panel Backs Gay Marriage Ban

A Senate panel approved a controversial proposal to write a gay marriage ban into the US Constitution.

The proposed amendment will go to the full Senate on June 5 for what is expected to be a heated debate on a ban backed by President George W. Bush.
"The American people support protecting traditional marriage, and we should give this amendment due consideration through the full legislative process," Republican Senator Sam Brownback said. "We must continue to fight for the protection of traditional marriage."
The proposed constitutional amendment faces an uphill battle as it must be passed by two-thirds of senators, two-thirds of representatives in the House and then approved by two-thirds of the 50 US states.
However, the numbers of legislators, both for and against gay marriage, who say the matter is better left to the individual states, are too many to allow passage. A previous attempt failed in Congress in 2004.
The measure was approved Thursday by all Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy called the the proposal right-wing demagoguery. His colleague Russ Feingold called it a maneuver by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to mobilize the religious right prior to November legislative elections, which look increasingly difficult for Republicans.
A poll released in March showed 51 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage, down from a high of 63 percent in 2004.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, a group defending gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, 18 states have adopted amendments to their own constitutions specifically defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman and 27 others have laws to that effect.
Gays say that without marriage they lose important rights such as inheritance of property, immigration, adoption or making medical decisions for an ill or disabled partner.
Vermont and Connecticut allow same-sex couples to join in civil unions, which grant many of the rights of marriage.
Only one state, Massachusetts, now allows same-sex marriages, based on a decision handed down by its supreme court.
"I'm not prepared to surrender to the courts," said Republican Senator Wayne Allard, backer of the constitutional amendment. He said that a Senate debate was necessary to advance the cause of stopping gay marriage. "It's important to move the issue forward," he said.
In Maryland, which borders Washington, a judge found in January that local law prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional.
The legality of same-sex marriage is also before courts in the states of Nebraska, California, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

"...inheritance of property, immigration, adoption or making medical decisions for an ill or disabled partner."
Same-sex relationships provide no essential social good; instead they primarily address the personal or emotional needs and desires of consenting adults.
Same-sex marriages only hold the benefits of a fiscial or medical need.
How do same sex-marriages benefit the institution of marriage? What beneficial role does same-sex marriage hold for society?
I think James Q. Wilson, one of our nations most noteworthy political scientist and social thinkers, defined the benefits of marriage best when he said:
"[T]he purpose of marriage...has always been to make the family secure, not to redefine what constituates a family. The family is a more fundamental social reality than a marriage, and so pretending that anything we call a marriage can create a family is misleading...By family, I mean a lasting, socially enforced obligation between a man and a women that authorizes sexual congress and the supervision of children...There is no society where women alone care for each other and their children; there is none where fathers are not obligated to support their children and the mother to whom they were born. Not only do men need women, women need men" James Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families (New York: Harper Collins, 2002), pp. 24,29.


Blogger jennifer said...

Great post, Scia. I especially liked the quote from Wilson. He is right on.

9:03 AM, May 20, 2006  
Blogger SCIA said...

It all just makes sense Jenn, nothing more, nothing less.

6:54 PM, May 20, 2006  

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