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Bush would legalize discrimination

by Loren Moreno, '05

The election season has officially begun, and President George W. Bush, on Feb. 25, decided to start building his campaign on the backs of homosexuals across the country.

At an official White House press conference, Bush called for a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage ignoring the fact that the Constitution exist to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Could Bush fine no better way to start a campaign than to further marginalize the already marginalized?

 

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 gain.

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 strong medicine.”

Luckily, some who supported Bush in 2000 have come forward to oppose him this time. Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic said 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 of chess.

 

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