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February 24, 2004

The Hate Amendment

By Byron LaMasters

Henseforth, on this blog, I shall refer to the Federal Marriage Amendment as the Hate Amendment. George W. Bush can't win this election on jobs or on foreign policy (because he's miserably failed in both regards), so he's playing the gay card. Blame it on the homos. Andrew Sullivan (someone who endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 if you all remember) has correctly declared (on his website, via a reader) that Bush's full endorsement of the Federal Marriage Amendment as a declaration of war against gays and lesbians in America:

The president launched a war today against the civil rights of gay citizens and their families. And just as importantly, he launched a war to defile the most sacred document in the land. Rather than allow the contentious and difficult issue of equal marriage rights to be fought over in the states, rather than let politics and the law take their course, rather than keep the Constitution out of the culture wars, this president wants to drag the very founding document into his re-election campaign. He is proposing to remove civil rights from one group of American citizens - and do so in the Constitution itself. The message could not be plainer: these citizens do not fully belong in America. Their relationships must be stigmatized in the very Constitution itself. The document that should be uniting the country will now be used to divide it, to single out a group of people for discrimination itself, and to do so for narrow electoral purposes. Not since the horrifying legacy of Constitutional racial discrimination in this country has such a goal been even thought of, let alone pursued. Those of us who supported this president in 2000, who have backed him whole-heartedly during the war, who have endured scorn from our peers as a result, who trusted that this president was indeed a uniter rather than a divider, now know the truth.

Amen to that (well, other than the fact that I never bought into the whole uniter crap in 2000). Never before has the United State constitution been amended to rewrite discrimination into that sacred document. It took hundreds of years to amend the constitution to do away with discrimination against African-Americans (XIII, XIV, XV) and women (XIX), and now the President of the United States, here in the twenty-first century wants to rewrite discrimination into the United States Constitution. This is not only a declaration of war against gays and lesbians, as Andrew Sullivan writes, this is a declaration of war against the United States Constitution.

There is some good news, however. Karl-Thomas wrote earlier that he wasn't sure if he could vote for Kerry in November based on some of his previous statements on the issue. Karl-Thomas, I'm here to tell you that you can gladly vote for Kerry or Edwards. Sure, neither of them support gay marriage (but then again, neither did Howard Dean), but both went on the record this afternoon as opposing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It's our job to hold them to it. The AP reports:

Democrats accused Bush of tinkering with a document that is the bedrock of American democracy to divert election-year attention from his record — an allegation the White House denied. Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites), D-Mass., who hopes to run against Bush in this year's presidential election, said: "I believe President Bush is wrong."

"All Americans should be concerned when a president who is in political trouble tries to tamper with the Constitution of the United States at the start of his re-election campaign," said Kerry, who opposes gay marriage but will oppose the amendment if it reaches the Senate floor. Bush is "looking for a wedge issue to divide the American people," Kerry said.

Campaigning in Georgia, where the state legislature is debating its own ban on gay marriage, Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites), D-N.C., said he was against the president's idea of a constitutional amendment. "I don't personally support gay marriage myself," he said. "My position has always been that it's for the states to decide."

Ok, so now I just need to decide which one of these guys I'm going to vote for...

Posted by Byron LaMasters at February 24, 2004 03:00 PM | TrackBack



Just a technical note. That quote above about the FMA being a declaration of war wasn't Sullivan's. It was up on his site, but it was an e-mail from a reader that he posted. Sullivan undoubtedly has similar feelings, but those exact words are not his.


Posted by: Sherk at February 24, 2004 03:21 PM

ok.. fixed it.

Posted by: Byron L at February 24, 2004 03:55 PM

I have enough faith in Americans that they will not vote for such an amendment. However, it will bring out the far right wing who are still pissed that Bush is spending left and right and losing jobs overseas.

Bush (Rove) wants them to focus on the non-issue of gay marriage.

Posted by: Tape Dispenser at February 24, 2004 03:59 PM

Looks like King George II needs his Willie Horton.

It seems that the Republican Party once again has become the standard bearer for bigotry. I can only hope they let Pat Buchanan speak at their convention like they did in 1992 (I doubt it - he ran against W in '00). For those too young to remember, Pat gave the most racist, bigoted, close-minded, intolerant speech at a National Convention in years. It turned a lot of people away from King George I in disgust.

They need to watch their rhetoric - their bigotry bit them in the ass in 1992, and it probably will again.

Posted by: WhoMe? at February 24, 2004 07:10 PM

Correction: The US Constitution actually *has* been amended to deny rights before.

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the manufacture, sale, transport, import and export of "intoxicating liquors". (aka "Prohibition")

The legal right to consume alcoholic beverages was denied from 1919 until the 18th Amendment was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment.

Posted by: Archivist at February 24, 2004 07:32 PM

Byron said "write descrimination into that sacred document." not deny rights. Prohibition isn't descrimination of anyone. Unless the alcohol was crying out in oppression.

Posted by: Karl-T at February 24, 2004 10:35 PM

Well, Edwards apparently doesn't know what DOMA is, from one of his answers at a past debate. So I'm not sure he is really someone we want at the wheel. Not that I'm excited about voting for Kerry either though...

Posted by: Jason Young at February 24, 2004 11:01 PM

It's interesting that the Democrats could have the upperhand here by opposing a constitutional amendment. Americans as a whole may be against gay marriage but i don't see them supporting this amendment. I think come October this will be a non issue in the campaign.

Posted by: Tek_XX at February 24, 2004 11:05 PM

Karl-T the Belligerent: The prohibition movement was heavily anti-immigrant, though in the end (of course) it effected everyone. But read some history books and learn things. It's fun!

Posted by: Aya at February 25, 2004 07:25 PM

I don't usually believe in outing folks, but when they're as antigay as Lindsay Graham, who so often rallied the troops against Clinton, shouldn't his hypocrisy, if he is indeed gay, be shown as he supports this Hate Amendment? I've been reading for two years that his homosexuality is a known fact on Capitol Hill. How come no South Carolinians seem to know?

Posted by: john taylor at February 25, 2004 08:31 PM

I've heard the Lindsay Graham rumors, but I don't have any sources on that to confirm it. I don't think it's worthy of a post, unless I hear significantly more on it.

Posted by: Byron L at February 25, 2004 09:50 PM

Well Karl-T, Amendment 18 codified discrimination against people who were previously enjoying their right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness by manufacturing, selling, transporting, importing and exporting "intoxicating liquors".

Hope that clears up further attempts at semantic tomfoolery.

Posted by: Archivist at February 26, 2004 11:17 AM
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