Author Topic: The Federal Marriage Amendment: Unnecessary, Anti-Federalist,and Anti-Democratic  (Read 4217 times)

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LostInTime

Article here.

Excerpt:

Members of Congress have proposed a constitutional amendment preventing states from recognizing same-sex marriages. Proponents of the Federal Marriage Amendment claim that an amendment is needed immediately to prevent same-sex marriages from being forced on the nation. That fear is even more unfounded today than it was in 2004, when Congress last considered the FMA. The better view is that the policy debate on same-sex marriage should proceed in the 50 states, without being cut off by a single national policy imposed from Washington and enshrined in the Constitution.

A person who opposes same-sex marriage on policy grounds can and should also oppose a constitutional amendment foreclosing it, on grounds of federalism, confidence that opponents will prevail without an amendment, or a belief that public policy issues should only rarely be determined at the constitutional level.

There are four main arguments against the FMA. First, a constitutional amendment is unnecessary because federal and state laws, combined with the present state of the relevant constitutional doctrines, already make court-ordered nationwide same-sex marriage unlikely for the foreseeable future. An amendment banning same-sex marriage is a solution in search of a problem.

Second, a constitutional amendment defining marriage would be a radical intrusion on the nation's founding commitment to federalism in an area traditionally reserved for state regulation, family law. There has been no showing that federalism has been unworkable in the area of family law.

Third, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage would be an unprecedented form of amendment, cutting short an ongoing national debate over what privileges and benefits, if any, ought to be conferred on same-sex couples and preventing democratic processes from recognizing more individual rights.

Fourth, the amendment as proposed is constitutional overkill that reaches well beyond the stated concerns of its proponents, foreclosing not just courts but also state legislatures from recognizing same-sex marriages and perhaps other forms of legal support for same-sex relationships. Whatever one thinks of same-sex marriage as a matter of policy, no person who cares about our Constitution and public policy should support this unnecessary, radical, unprecedented, and overly broad departure from the nation's traditions and history.

Melissa

If you go to the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) website http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/fma_postcards, there is a form you can fill out to help with petitioning against this.  I filled it out a couple days ago.

Melissa
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 12:02:06 am by Melissa »

angelsgirl

Uhg. That's not good news.  So here's my next question: If I were to marry Jocelyn before she can be legally considered a woman, will our marriage be dissolved down the road when she transitions?  Or is this still a loop-hole?

Elizabeth

Lost in Time,

The primary reason that the far right wants a Constitutional amendment is because of Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution.

Quote from: US Constitution

Article IV

Section 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Every other state is obligated to recognize the marriages of other states, or divorces, anything in the public records. If one is married in Massechucettes, one is married everywhere.  It is only a matter of time before these laws, that states have passed to not recognize gay marriages of other states, will be found to be unconstitutional, when litigation eventually makes it's way to the US Supreme Court, under the "Full faith and credit" clause. It will most likely take a few years for that to happen.  The language is quite clear and unabiguous, states may not opt out of recognizing the laws of other states, or thier public records.

Interesting, Massechusettes Supreme Court ruled that marriage of same sex couples is only available to state residents, as it is only gauranteed by the state constitution.

Having said all of that, this amendment has no chance. It requires a 67% majority in both the House and the Senate, then it must be approved my 3/4 of all the State legislatures, which would be 33, and all of those votes must have a 67% majority.

This is just feel good legislation, for the far right, in an election year, just as the last time it was brought up.  No one really thinks it will actually become a constitutional amemdment. The Democrats will filobuster it in the Senate if need be. It really has no chance.

Love always,
Elizabeth

Chaunte

The following is the argument I used with my friends to urge them to sign this electronic postcard.  Hopefully it will convince a few of them to sign.

Chaunte

There is a drive in Congress for a Federal ban on same-sex marriages.  I'll be upfront and tell you that this petition drive is against this amendment to the Constitution.

Whether you are pro or against same-sex marriages, I want to urge you to sign this petition.  Let me explain why.

Our Constitution has always defined rights and liberties.  It has never successfully denied a liberty, nor has it successfully promoted a "moral position."  Prohibition is an excellent example of how an amendment to the Constitution denying the right to choose does not work.  An entire industry formed and thrived in defiance of that amendment.

This amendment promotes and enforces discrimination at the highest level.  It is based on the incorrect assumption that a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or <transgender> couple is incapable of a long-lasting and loving relationship.  This amendment could be used to prevent couples from receiving health care coverage, instance benefits and other benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy every day. 

This amendment also usurps States Rights in an area that has traditionally been left up to the states.  The Federal Government is taking our liberties away piecemeal through the ironically named PATRIOT Act.  Do we really want to let them take more?

Whether you agree or disagree with same-sex marriage, decide it at the state level! 

Our Constitution has always promoted liberty and justice for all.  Don't let it be used to force discrimination based solely on sexual orientation and gender expression.  This amendment is no different that a law banning marriages between couples of color or on national origin.  Discrimination is discrimination.

Don't let a few misguided and desperate Congressional legislators use our Constitution to provide a campaign issue!  This document is far too important and "secularly sacred" to be used in such a way.

Say no to using the backbone of our nation to deny life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The following are the "official words" of the Human Rights Campaign telling you how these electronic postcards will be printed out and delivered.

Whether you agree to sign this petition or not, thanks for listening to me.

+++++

Sign this postcard that will be hand-delivered to your Senators and Representatives this summer!  Congress is considering the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment and the Senate will vote in June.  HRC staff and volunteers will hand-deliver these postcards to Senators on June 5.  Take action today!

LostInTime

If the full faith and credit clause applied to everything then my conceal carry permit would have been valid everywhere.  I had to go through the local sheriff and submit to a federal review before it went through.  Not to mention the 12 hours worth of class time (which was very well done, very thorough on the laws and shoot/no shoot situations).  It is also a part of public records (hopefully those who steal cannot read).

The truth is that the states and the feds accept what they want and throw the rest out.  We are going to see it with marriages and then with drivers licenses unless the courts stop the madness now.

Are y'all aware that the Attorney General is now stating that ISPs should save all records of where their clients surf?


Posted at: June 05, 2006, 10:04:45 AM

angelsgirl,

In the U.S. it depends on where you live if the marriage is good after surgery.  However, most look at it like this:  whatever your birth gender is, you are no matter what you do or legal documents say. 

angelsgirl

Thanks for the info!  I'll have to check into that. 
Quote
However, most look at it like this: whatever your birth gender is, you are no matter what you do or legal documents say

While, I'm relieved that our marriage won't be made invalid, I'm also kind of sad that Jocelyn may never be recognized for being the woman that she is. 

Elizabeth

Hey everyone,

Today they voted to end debate and bring the "Defense of Marriage" ammendment to a vote. They needed 60 votes to end the debate and bring it to a vote. The vote was 49-48, just one more vote than they mustered 2 years ago and 11 votes short of the votes needed just to get the measure to the Senate floor for a vote on the actual ammendment. Had the ammendment actually made it to the Senate floor for a vote, it would have needed 67 votes to pass. They are 18 votes short. They knew this had no chance, but wasted the Senates time to appease the far right wing of the Republican party.

Acts of bigotry, hatred and segregation, in my opinion are not good subjects for ammending our constitution. Leaders that drives us apart as a people and a nation, extending rights to some, giving priviledge to the wealthy, while seriously curtailing rights for others is not the great America I was raised to beleive I live in. However, votes like this help keep me optomistic.

Love always,
Elizabeth

Chaunte

More importantly, from the Republican Party's point of view, it gives them something to hang their hats on come election time.  I can already hear them shouting, "Elect more Republicans so we can preserve the integrity of the family and the sanctity of marriage!"

It means that they are nervous about November.  This vote today was simply the opening salvo of the upcoming General Election.

Chaunte

Melissa

I don't know Chaunte.  The "Burning Bush" burnt the people and a lot of bridges.

Melissa

Chaunte

Melissa,

In my opinion, this issue goes beyond the Bush presidency.  This is the entire Republican Party looking for an issue they can use to beat back the Democrats in the next general election.  I can see the battle shaping us as the "Sanctity of Marriage" versus the "Iraq War."

Most Americans have strong feelings about the war, but how many are personally affected by it?  Now compare that to the number of heterosexual/homo-ignorant married couples in America? 

(By homo-ignorant, I mean people who know little to nothing about the LGBT community except what they see on shock TV and/or hear about on conservative talk radio shows.)

THe homo-ignorant population has been primed to be frightened to death.  We will hear all kinds of incorrect stories and outright untruths about the LGBT community as people use fear as their primary campaign tool.

Sorry.  I was paid to be a paranoid-pessimist for too many years.  Some of those "skills" still haunt me today.

Chaunte

jan c

Goes WAY WAY beyond Booshie Boy
These - what is your Klingon for it Chaunte, petaQs? - intend to hold on to this power forever. For EVER.
Democracy is SO OVER to these types. (Bush is strictly point-of-sale marketing, the guy you would wanna have a beer with as opposed to some dry stuffed shirt. He ain't even on the inside of it)
FEAR AND LOATHING. They know how to sell it, learned a few tricks from the Third Reich, et al.
Which is about what we're gonna be looking at unless people in this country can look past their own little trips.
(Like queers marryin', next thang it'll be sheep marryin', we don' need to get married do we bessie.)

 [sorry I'm a little off the hook today that's a natural fact.]


Melissa

Chaunte, the war wasn't the only thing Bush did wrong.  Here's a list of some of his greatest accomplishments he did while in office:

Attacked and took over two countries.
Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
First president in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in U.S. history.
After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
Set the record for most campaign fundraising trips than any other president in U.S. history.
In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in U.S. history.
Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in U.S. history.
Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in U.S. history.
Presided over the biggest energy crises in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
Presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
Cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
Set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
Dissolved more international treaties than any president in U.S. history.
My presidency is the most secretive and unaccountable of any in U.S. history.
Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history (the 'poorest' multimillionaire, Condoleezza Rice, has an Exxon oil tanker named after her).
First president in U.S. history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.
Presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud of any market in any country in the history of the world.
First president in U.S. history to order a U.S. attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation.
Created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
Set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any president in U.S. history.
First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the human rights commission.
First president in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the elections monitoring board.
Removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of congressional oversight than any presidential administration in U.S. history.
Rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
Withdrew from the World Court of Law.
Refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
First president in U.S. history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. elections).
All-time U.S. (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
My biggest lifetime campaign contributor presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
Spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in U.S. history.
First president in U.S. history to unilaterally attack a sovereign nation against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
First president to run and hide when the U.S. came under attack (and then lied saying the enemy had the code to Air Force 1)
First U.S. president to establish a secret shadow government.
Took the biggest world sympathy for the U.S. after 9/11, and in less than a year made the U.S. the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in U.S. and world history).
With a policy of 'disengagement' created the most hostile Israeli-Palestine relations in at least 30 years.
Fist U.S. president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
First U.S. president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the U.S. than their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
Changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
Set all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated U.S. law by not selling huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
Failed to fulfill my pledge to get Osama Bin Laden 'dead or alive.'
Failed to capture the anthrax killer who tried to murder the leaders of our country at the United States Capital building. After 18 months I have no leads and zero suspects.
In the 18 months following the 9/11 attacks I have successfully prevented any public investigation into the biggest security failure in the history of the United States.
Removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in U.S. history.
In a little over two years created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided the U.S. has ever been since the Civil War.
Entered office with the strongest economy in U.S. history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down.

DISCLAIMER:  Just so you know, I didn't type out any of those, so if you want to argue them, go ahead, but I won't respond, since they were not my thoughts.

I think he is the worst president we've ever had.

Melissa

Chaunte


Melissa - No argument from me on anything about your list!
I picked on the Iraq war because it is the most immediately visible failure.

Jan - Not all Republicans should be tossed out with the veQ.  Arlene Spector, voted against the proposal.

Chaunte

Melissa

There were a total of 7 republicans that voted against it.  The Federal Marriage Amendment would have been taking away our freedom of religion by forcing us to live legally by christian principles.

Melissa

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