Waldlaw Blog

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Federal (Anti)Marriage Amendment

The Republicans are back to their old tricks.... As all heck (remember, there are children in the room) breaks loose -- with gas prices gone through the roof and new reports of atrocities by our military in Iraq and the economy looking everything but stable -- the President and Senate have decided that their biggest priority is to make sure that lesbian and gay couples can't get married. As I write this, the Senate is debating the "Federal Marriage Amendment" -- an amendment designed to strengthen the institution of marriage by keeping people who want to marry from being able to. This is obvious political gamesmanship, but what else is new. When the going gets tough, find a scapegoat. As noted on CNN on Friday: Guess what Monday is? Monday is the day President Bush will speak about an issue near and dear to his heart and the hearts of many conservatives. It's also the day before the Senate votes on the very same thing. Is it the war? Deficits? Health insurance? Immigration? Iran? North Korea? Not even close. No, the president is going to talk about amending the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage. This is something that absolutely, positively has no chance of happening, nada, zippo, none. But that doesn't matter. Mr. Bush will take time to make a speech. The Senate will take time to talk and vote on it, because it's something that matters to the Republican base. This is pure politics. If has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in gay marriage. It's blatant posturing by Republicans, who are increasingly desperate as the midterm elections approach. There's not a lot else to get people interested in voting [for] them, based on their record of the last five years.But if you can appeal to the hatred, bigotry, or discrimination in some people, you might move them to the polls to vote against that big, bad gay married couple that one day might [move] in down the street. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/02/sitroom.03.html If you aren't interested in being a scapegoat any more, or having your gay friends/family/co-workers be scapegoats any more, there are several things you can do RIGHT NOW: (1) Call your Senators. There is no doubt they are getting a lot of calls from those who oppose marriage equality. They need to hear from us too. To find the phone number of your senator, go to http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm (2) The Democratic National Committee has a petition for you to sign at http://www.democrats.org/page/petition/lgbtdiscrmntn (3) And here's the big one, folks. The Republicans can win their war against us with sound bytes. We can't win without doing the long, slow work of changing people's minds and hearts one person at a time. That work has to start today. Gay people need to be proud of our families. We need to be proud of them at church, at school, in the supermarket, at the movie theater. There are a ton of healthy gay American families out there. We are the dentists, the UPS guy, the police officer, the teacher and, yes, the lawyer. Our communities rely on us. They need to know that we rely on them too -- to do the right thing, and not allow us to be scapegoats any longer.


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