Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Senate to Vote on FMA in July

Amendment's Chances Uncertain, Vote Could Backfire

Elephant's hill sources reveal that Senate leadership (led by Santorum), will schedule a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment for July. Current whip counts put opposition to the bill at somewhere near 44 votes, enough to ensure it doesn't pass. A defeat for the amendment, especially if moderate republicans and even a few conservatives vote no, would not fare well for the Administration. Opponents could use the vote to decry the use of gay men and women as scapegoats for the administrations problems in Iraq, the torture scandal, oil prices and such. (At least if I worked for the Dems. That's what I'd be advising them.)

Regardless of your position on gay marriage, incorporating such an amendment into the Constitution is a bad thing. If the Constitution gives the government the power to regulate a relationship as intimate as marriage, then the government could certainly ban home schooling, non-procreative sex, access to birth control and other personal decisions that arise from the right to privacy. Even if that proves to be an overstatement, when has the federal government ever stepping in and made a social situation better? Look at public housing? Or the impact of AFDC (Welfare) on families?

There's hundreds of other ways the government can strengthen traditional marriage. Like eliminating the marriage tax penalty, providing tax incentives for traditional marriage, providing tax deductions for daycare expenses, etc.

Think elephant is to 'liberal' on this issue, then see what ultra-conservative Bob Barr (former Congressman from Georgia) and author of the Defense of Marriage Act has to say.

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