Skip to comments.Some Conservatives Backing Gay Marriage
Posted on 02/14/2004 1:43:51 PM PST by gawd
BOSTON - In the battle over same-sex marriage, liberals have been front and center, pushing to give gays and lesbians the right to wed.
But there is at least a small block of conservatives who are on the same page, often for different reasons: They're loath to tinker with a constitution, for one, or they want to see more people gay or straight make commitments.
The stance is a departure from that of most conservatives, a division that supporters of gay marriage hope to exploit.
"I don't see the response to gay marriage as unified at all on the conservative side," said Glenn H. Reynolds, a supporter of gay marriage rights and publisher of the generally conservative blog Instapundit.com.
Most recent polls have shown fairly wide skepticism about gay marriage. Democrats are nearly evenly split on the matter, while most Republicans oppose it.
That split was evident this past week in the Massachusetts Legislature when three proposed amendments to the state constitution that would have banned gay marriage lost by a handful of votes each time. (Each amendment also would have allowed civil unions in some form.)
After two days of intense debate that went well into the evening, legislators failed to reach a consensus and decided to recess until next month.
If lawmakers pass such a constitutional amendment this year, it would put it on course to end up on the ballot in November 2006 two years after court-ordered weddings are to begin taking place in the state.
A vocal contingent of conservatives are furious that activist judges have forced a revision of the law, and adamant that the millenia-old institution of marriage should be reserved for heterosexual couples.
Gay marriage would not be "the end of civilization," said David Horowitz, a prominent conservative who once opposed a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage but has changed his mind in light of the Massachusetts decision. "But I am an opponent of judicial tyranny. And I think there's a lot of conservatives like me."
But while many conservatives oppose activist judges, they also resist tinkering with the state and federal constitutions. On states-rights grounds, prominent right-leaning columnists like George Will have opposed a proposed federal amendment, as have key lawmakers who otherwise oppose gay marriage, like Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga.
A few conservative commentators have articulated a case that goes beyond opposing a constitutional amendment, and actually support gay marriage.
"The conservative course is not to banish gay people from making such commitments. It is to expect that they make such commitments," David Brooks wrote recently in The New York Times, praising the virtues of fidelity. "We shouldn't just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage."
Brooks has been joined by a few fellow pundits on the right, notably Andrew Sullivan, and a handful of libertarian bloggers who say the government has no place meddling in the relationships of its citizens.
Sensing chinks in the armor, gay-rights activists are appealing to family values or a hands-off approach to the Constitution.
The gay-rights group Human Rights Campaign has touted the virtues of marriage both for gay families and America in ads that ran in establishment newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post.
But in the ads it ran in places like Omaha, Neb., and Indianapolis, Human Rights Campaign took a different tack, appealing to conservatives not to support a federal amendment banning same-sex marriage. In one, an elderly woman stares into the camera and says "I'm pretty conservative, but I can't support amending the constitution over this."
Seth Kilbourn, HRC's national field director, said his group believes the country's conservative leadership is split on gay marriage. His group is trumpeting the message that amending the constitution to discriminate is wrong.
"Under that message falls the conservative argument: You don't use the constitution to resolve these kinds of social debates," Kilbourn said.
The Log Cabin Republicans (news - web sites), a group of gay Republicans, is also focusing on the constitutional argument.
"We have found some conservative Republicans and a handful of senators, Democrats and Republicans, who are probably never going to be with us on equality but would probably cut their arm off before they'd mess with the constitution," said Mark Mead, the group's political director.
Social conservatives say such arguments betray the cause.
Genevieve Wood, vice president of communications for the Family Research Council, accuses Brooks and others of failing to be "true conservatives" when it comes to gay marriage.
While social conservatives and libertarians "agree on lower taxes, less government involvement," she said, "when it comes to redefining the family, we don't think that's for government to do."
That's a commendable trait for a politician, however having the cagones to make a decision for what they believe is best for the country as a whole is what they were elected for and is why they make the "big bucks" and are handed the helm on our behalf.
The argument had a suspiciously amoral quality to it.
Isn't the inherent definition of a conservative as one who wishes to "conserve?"
Conserving the covenants of the U.S. Constitution would be a logical activity of a "conservative."
With that being the said, I present Amendment IX:
"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Isn't obvious that a right "retained by the people" is to be "married" and/or have a sexual relationship with the person of your choice without any government interference?
If you do not like the "libertarian" nature of the 9th amendment, which is clearly part of the Bill of Rights, and thus wish to ignore it or demean it's significance, then do not be surprised when your oppenents, the liberals, ignore and demean the free exercise of religion clause of the 1st amendment, the right to keep and bear arms of the 2nd amendment, the security of your personal effects of the 4th amendment, the protection of your property stated in the 5th amendment, and your right to home school in the 9th amendment.
Remember, being free, loving liberty, and espousing the virtues of freedom applies to everyone as individuals, not to the majority, as defined by a "democracy."
Free people make their own choices and government has no business, jurisdiction, or power to the contrary.
NOPE, because the very people that wrote the Constitution made Sodomy a crime in their own states. EXPLAIN that. If the people that wrote the Constitution thought that homosexuality was a guarenteed right then I don't think they would have been so quick to make it illegal. Keep in mind they also banned: Adultery, Sex outside of marriage, Blasphemy, and Pornography. All of these things are libertarian "rights".
So who is more in tune with the Constitution. Modern Libertarians or the men that wrote it?
Not one libertarian has even been able to explain that little problem.
The founders understood that for Liberty to truely be Liberty then restrains must be placed on it. OTHERWISE liberty becomes license, and that is the problem we are at today.
"The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure, than they have it now, they may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty." John Adams
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
"Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom." Patrick Henry
Most of the Founders drew upon the ideology of Burke. Here is what Burke had to say about liberty.
The distinguishing part of our constitution is its liberty. To preserve that liberty inviolate seems the particular duty and proper trust of a member of the House of Commons. But the liberty, the only liberty I mean, is a liberty connected with order; that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle. Edmund Burke
In some people I see great liberty indeed; in many, if not in the most, an oppressive, degrading servitude. But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths. Edmund Burke
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite he placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot he free. Their passions forge their fetters. Edmund Burke
License is NOT Freedom, our founders understood this. As Judge Learned hand commented:
And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.
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