Friday, March 19, 2004

In Defense of Marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, signed by President Clinton, prevents federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and allows states to ignore same-sex licenses from outside their borders. Many would feel this is enough federal involvement on this issue, but read on and find out why it's not.

I have always maintained that keeping the federal government's involvement in our daily lives to a minimum is the ideal. The problem we face by keeping the legislative and executive branches out of an issue with such a wide impact on America, is we are not keeping the federal government out of it. We are simply removing the checks and balances established to keep one of the three branches of government from making law without the influence of the other two. Without Federal legislation, the United States Supreme Court will end up creating a law defining marriage by judicial fiat and without regard to the will of the people. Your elected officials will have no say in the matter. This will happen with the very first same-sex divorce where the parties are in different states and one of those states does not recognize gay marriage.

John Kerry believes the federal government should not pursue a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman - relegating this to states who feel compelled to do so. I disagree with Kerry. But, while this may seem to be a simple disagreement between John Kerry and me, there is actually more to it. John Kerry has managed, once again, to take several contradictory positions - not just two this time - to an issue important to America.

In an interview for The Advocate, September 16, 2003, Kerry states: "I was the only elected senator up for reelection to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996. It was a tough position to take, but I took it because I thought it was outright gay bashing."

Notice Kerry states his vote was based upon his belief that DOMA (Ironically, Doma is Russian for "Home") was discriminatory. Whether it was a tough position because it was not the position of President Clinton or because, as he states in the same article, "My argument is that marriage is a union between men and women as defined through centuries. End of argument. Period." is not clear.

Later in the same article, Kerry contradicts himself when answering a question regarding the difference between same-sex marriages and mixed-race marriages, which were banned in some states many years ago. Kerry says, "I don't know if [ban against same-sex marriages] it's discrimination. I’d have to think about that. I haven't done the comparison between the two. It's worth analyzing, but my quick reaction would be that there is a distinction between them. It's really about the integrity of a certain institution rather than a form of discrimination. But I’d have to go think about that a lot harder."

So, Presidential Candidate John Kerry unequivocally states DOMA is discriminatory, but it isn't - maybe. He'll get back to us. But he personally believes Marriage is between man and woman only, but he doesn't think we should pursue legislation to ensure it stays that way. Any questions?


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