OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "Toying With Marriage
Just about everybody is skirting a genuine debate.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
If all goes as expected, the Senate today will vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment. But because it is a procedural vote, we won't be getting what the American people are really entitled to here: an honest, open debate."
I'm tired of both sides of the political fence using extreme measures to ram things through because they don't like what's going on. The flag burning ammendment. The California recall. This so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
Yes, marriage needs to be defended. But not from gays. From those stupid enough to get married capriciously (J. Lo, Britney, all 20-somethings with "starter marriages") and from those that refuse to stick through a rough patch. Marriage is difficult and people do make mistakes. But to divorce because you're bored or because your partner burned the toast once too often?
Let's tighten divorce laws before we prevent "them" from marrying. Anyone willing to make a committment to taking care of another emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically, etc. deserves the opportunity, be they black, white, gay, straight or Martian.
On a brighter note, I got this in an e-mail from a friend who knows someone at the DNC:
Hi folks -- while I think the proposed amendment is one the dumber things the Republicans have decided to do, it hasn't surprised anybody. That being said, the amendment should ultimately lose when the Senate votes on it this week. While there are Democrats and Republicans that support the amendment, at this point there are not 51 votes in the Senate to pass it. However, I should note one thing: the next vote on the amendment is a procedural one called "cloture." A cloture motion is one that needs 60 votes to pass and if successful allows the amendment to come up for general debate and an up or down vote. If "cloture" is invoked then the Senate will next take a vote on the amendment itself. 51 votes are needed to pass the amendment. The politics behind this effort are not that complicated -- the Rs want to embarrass the Ds before the D convention -- "see the Democrats are beholden to the homosexual agenda blah blah and we are the party of family values" However, on the R side of aisle there are "federalists" that believe the Constitution should be left alone and not expanded and will vote AGAINST the amendment. So when you do the math on the votes for final passage, the Rs do not have enough on their own side to win.