Bush’s proposal immediately sparked debate
across our great land. Republicans cheered. Democrats jeered.
The rest of the public looked on in confusion. What exactly
does discriminating against a group of people accomplish? More
importantly, why write such discrimination into the Constitution?
The Kerry campaign immediately responded to Bush’s uncompassionate
conservatism, saying that Bush’s declaration of war against
the gay community is an example of the campaign strategy the
administration plans to employ—“wedge” issues
to divide and frighten the population.
Poll numbers have shown that a majority of the country, including
John Kerry and John Edwards, do not support gay marriage. However,
this majority suddenly disappears when asked if they would support
a Constitutional amendment for it. Maybe the rest of the country
understands what Bush does not. It is not good government to
tinker with the country’s most important document in order
to discriminate against a group of people, especially for political
The president probably doesn’t understand another historical
truth. The Constitution has only been amended 17 times, not counting
the bill of rights. In addition, the last amendment, the one
that prevents lawmakers from raising their own pay, took place
in 1992 but was proposed 203 years before it was ratified. Amending
the Constitution is difficult. Maybe the president understands
it after all? “Sometimes you win for losing,” said
John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Feehery
knows that this amendment idea has little to no chance of being
ratified but he also knows that Bush wins for simply proposing
it. It is not about getting the amendment passed. It is about
using the issue to scare people and divide the country and draw
distinct lines between Bush and the Democrats.
Some members of Bush’s own party cringed at the president’s
proposal. While most conservatives don’t support same-sex
marriage, they do not believe it should be written into the Constitution.
Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a co-sponsor
of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, said an amendment is unnecessary
since the law has already addressed the issue. A Sensenbrenner
aide told CNN that a constitutional amendment is “awfully
Luckily, some who supported Bush in 2000 have come forward
to oppose him this time. Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic
that he does not plan to support Bush again. “It [Constitutional
amendment] robs us [gays] of something no one in this country
should be robbed of—inclusion and equality in the founding
document itself,” said Sullivan.
Discrimination has no place in our Constitution and everyone
except Bush understands this. Never has the constitution been
amended to isolate one specific group of people with the intention
of denying them the same rights as everyone else. What Bush has
proposed picks one group and says: you are less than human and
do not deserve the same rights of those who are. This is sad,
reprehensible, and shameful. It is like taking a bomb and dropping
it on people you hate and despise.
One thing is crystal clear: Bush’s agenda here isn’t
really to amend the Constitution, although he would probably
celebrate continuously for days if he happened to succeed. Instead,
Bush really would like nothing more than to arouse the conservatives
with his school boy taunting of the gay boy in the hallway and
anger the liberals who hold the child’s hands and wipe
his tears. Bush claims to be a “compassionate conservative,” but
he has shown himself to be no more compassionate than Pat Robertson,
Jerry Farwell, and the rest of his radical friends.
This election season looks to be shaping up to be the bloodiest
battle in U.S. history.
Accusation after accusation has been
tossed from one side to the other in a never- ending attempt
to place the other in checkmate. Unfortunately, President Bush
has decided to use homosexuals as pawns in his twisted game