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"Mr. Bush tear down this wall"

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
April 14, 2004


"The broadest and most prevalent error requires the most disinterested virtue to sustain it." — Henry David Thoreau

I'm sure readers knew it was only a matter of time before I weighed in on the gay marriage thing. Up till now I've listened to all the talking heads. From the Oval Office to the depths of Scarborough Country, people across the ideological spectrum continue to promote a policy of overt discrimination.

President Bush, always one to find a way to drive a wedge into families and communities has even gone on record calling for a Constitutional amendment, the sole purpose of which would be a prohibition on gay marriage. Yes Ladies and Gentlemen George W. Bush is proposing to limit the freedom of men and women in order to protect marriage.

The question is who will protect marriage from heterosexuals.

As the last form of socially acceptable discrimination, men and women who seek emotional and physical relationship from members of their own gender are now being vilified as a threat to the sanctity of marriage. Would that be the same sanctity of marriage endorsed by Brittany Spears, no fault divorces, green card marriages, and revolving door nuptials made famous by the immortal Elizabeth Taylor? You know what I'm talking about.

The debate over equal recognition of same-sex unions and the talk about constitutional discrimination got me thinking. What is the intent behind the Constitution anyway? The Declaration of Independence reads, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

All men are created equal is very clear. If the definition of happiness includes a government -licensed union between two people, the right to marry becomes an unalienable right. Denying individuals the right to marry based on the gender of the chosen partners is discriminatory, just as denying those same individuals the right to serve in the federal military is government sanctioned discrimination. The Constitution was never meant to deny people their rights.

After two centuries of progress (if one overlooks the Eighteenth Amendment) towards equal rights under the law (the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendment) George W. Bush, as a sitting president, is endorsing legal discrimination as a matter of federal policy.

The word Taliban keeps coming to mind.

Personally I don't see what the big deal is. If one really wants to measure the sanctity of marriage in America today, one needs only look at the grim statistics regarding divorce rates and domestic violence. And this is without same-sex marriages muddying the holy waters of cultural dogma. Even wrapped in religion, civic unions require governmental documentation in order to be deemed official. Such documentation affords these recognized unions other rights. Rights that should not be denied based on something as arbitrary as sexual orientation.

When announcing his support of a Constitutional Amendment banning the union of same gender couples George W. Bush stated " Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society." Who is actually attempting that? And what parent would not want their children enjoying the good influence of society. I'm certain Vice President Cheney doesn't want his daughter to be severed from her cultural, religious and natural roots.

If President Bush really believed that by recognizing and protecting marriage government serves the interests of all, as he said from behind his political pulpit, he would we also understand how allowing every citizen of the United States Of America equal recognition and representation of their chosen civic bonding further promotes the pursuit of happiness.

A Constitutional Amendment banning homosexuals from marrying is discrimination based on religious beliefs. And the last time I looked at the Constitution the First Amendment ensured a separation of church and state by prohibiting the establishment of a state religion. A Constitutional Amendment is as established as you can get. With Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and Venezuela as evidence, that last thing I would trust George W. Bush with is the Constitution Of the United States of America, and the pursuit of democratic ideals based on the promise of liberty and justice for all.

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