Federal Marriage Amendment

June 5, 2006

For what it’s worth, I don’t see much value in the current focus on the Federal Marriage Amendment. I understand the concerns over "activist federal judges" and I believe in a traditional definition of marriage, but I’m not all that interested in a congressional debate on an amendment to the Constitution about it, particularly an amendment that doesn’t stand much chance of ever being ratified.

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2 Responses to “Federal Marriage Amendment”


  1. A couple points about marriage:

    1. Traditional Definition of Marriage: If you look at the history of marriage it did not start as a religious act. In fact, marriage was originally (or should I say, traditionally) about land. Go ahead and look up the history of marriage and you’ll see that it has more to do with land and property than it does with God or traditional values.

    2. There Are No Activist Judges: This is a talking point that is brought up ONLY when somebody disagrees with a ruling. This “Activist Judges” charge is the same sort of thing that we saw when african americans wanted to vote, etc. Just because you disagree with a ruling doesn’t make it activist. You’ll notice that when it’s a ruling for the conservatives you never hear them talking about how it’s activist judges at work. It only applies when you’re the one that is wronged.

    3. Gay Marriage? A SIN!!: Yup … and so is divorce. If we’re going to say that gays can’t marry because it’s a sin then we need to be consistant, we need to make it so nobody can divorce, because that’s also a sin. But then, since divorce affects the politicians we will never see that made illegal. It’s just easier to pick on the minority since it doesn’t affect most people in Congress/Senate.

    4. Other Countries: Other countries have made gay marriage legal … and wow, nothing changed. I mean, NOTHING changed. Why? Because gay marriages don’t have an effect on straight marriages. We had a 50% divorce rate LONG BEFORE anybody uttered the phrase “gay marriage.”

  2. Jake Savage Says:

    Cyril,

    Brief responses:

    1. While I certainly believe that the state’s interest in marriage has historically had a lot to do with property, I also believe that the primary social purpose of marriage is to maintain the family as the fundamental unit of society.

    2. I agree with your take on “activist judges” usually being judges with whom a person disagrees, which is why I put the term in quotes. However, I do believe that there are legitimate concerns related to the willingness of judges to read their own politics into past law. Certainly you would agree that judges have, on occasion, interpreted laws in ways that are manifestly different from the intent of those who wrote the laws.

    3. There are lots of sins that are legal, and I believe that is the way it should be. The state should not enforce purely religious law and I would never argue that it should. I fail to see how you could have interpreted my post in that way. In fact, I support some type of civil union for gay couples that would provide the same benefits as traditional marriage in the state’s eyes. My main concern is that religious groups maintain the right to marry whom they want, which I don’t think is too much to ask.

    4. Hence my lack of interest in the federal marriage amendment, as specified in my post. This issue should be decided on a state-by-state basis and through the proper legislative channels.

    Thanks,

    Jake

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