Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Wednesday | July 30, 2003

Buying more trouble

By Steve Gilliard

In a pointless exercise, the Bush Administration announced they would oppose gay marriage.

WASHINGTON, July 30 President Bush said today that federal government lawyers are working on legislation that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman.

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I believe we ought to codify that one way or the other, and we have lawyers looking at the best way to do that," Mr. Bush said at a news conference in the Rose Garden.


"As someone who's spoken out in strongly moral terms, what's your view on homosexuality?" a reporter asked the president.

"Yeah, I am mindful that we're all sinners," Mr. Bush replied. "And I caution those who may try to take the speck out of their neighbor's eye when they got a log in their own. I think it's very important for our society to respect each individual, to welcome those with good hearts, to be a welcoming country.

Why mess with this issue? A court will eventually decide, probably before fall, about gay marriage and the Supremes will have it on their docket in the next two-three years? This may sound like a smart political move, but it's dumber than a box of rocks.

First, don't ask, don't tell is going to fall to the wayside. There's no evidence to claim unit cohesion is affected.

There is no real legal justification for banning gay marriage which doesn't have a religious foundation. Given the realities of modern life, gay families will exist, legally sanctioned or not. Courts may well have to contort themselves to justify marriage between men and women exclusively.

Just because the idea of gay marriage is politically unpopular, doesn't mean one should actively promote banning it. If you had asked people in 1966 if interracial marriages should be permitted, many would have said no. Different cultures, people's biases, all kinds of sound arguments could be made. Morally bankrupt arguments, for sure, but sound.

There is a real political risk for the GOP here. The party doesn't need yet another reason to be called intolerant. Americans have always chosen fairness over bias, no matter how painful the process. Calling for a ban on gay marriage may cause a political backlash which is unpredictable. Who knows what Iraq War hero will declare their homosexuality and demand the right to marry? Or which Hollywood star will have a public gay marriage? The minute this issue becomes about people and not the idea of gay marriage, people will change their minds.

This is also gut check time for the Log Cabin Republicans and fellow travellers like Andy Sullivan. The GOP is pandering to the worst and most ignorant kind of bigotry as they take their money and support. So do they continue to support people who oppose their rights or do they go elsewhere?

The Bush political team is amazingly shortsighted. They go for the tactical gain while they miss the strategic downfall. Let the courts make the call, then go from there. I don't see any profit in pushing this and using loaded language to do so. Marriage is a state issue, letting the states and the courts decide it would be the safe political move. The EU will eventually permit it, Canada already does. Why take such a strong stand for such little potential gain?

Posted July 30, 2003 03:59 PM


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