Monday, June 05, 2006

How to really protect marriage

At least this move to throw a bone to the Republican base is being recognized for what it is, as can be seen in this headline from Yahoo News, as well as the overall tone of the article: US Republican majority uses symbols to woo its base

"This fundamental institution is under threat," Senate Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist said of traditional marriage. "Activist courts are usurping the power to define this social institution. And if marriage is redefined for anyone, it is redefined for everyone. The threat is real."
Yes, Bill. Be afraid! Be very afraid! After all, as I've already noted, "activist judges were instrumental in changing the definition of marriage back in 1967, and now people of different "races" can freely intermarry.

Our numbers are growing--admittedly somewhat slowly--but I think we're making real progress on our ultimate goal of world domination. We've started innocuously enough...quietly challenging people's preconceptions that normal couples must be color-matched. Oh, and of course having the cutest dang kids you've ever seen. But, slowly, gradually, we are changing the face of America to a gorgeous deep, golden tan!


Perhaps I've said too much...

On a more serious note, the sad thing about the current Republican party's idea of "marriage protection" is that it obscures the real threats to marriage and family in this country. As Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance and member of Clergy for Fairness wrote in a recent op-ed on this issue:
We cannot tolerate discrimination being written into the Constitution. So, for those people who want to protect marriage, let me offer a few suggestions: start by raising the public's consciousness of the dignity and importance of women in our still deeply patriarchal society; increase the minimum wage and offer tax breaks to the working poor so that spouses can see each other for quality lengths of time, rather than briefly passing on their way to two jobs; encourage family planning; start a plan to deal with domestic violence; and work to cover mental health care in medical insurance policies so serious emotional difficulties can be prevented from tearing marriages apart.

These are real world actions to deal with the real world problem of protecting marriage. All Americans who value the institution of marriage should unite on the above-listed goals to truly strengthen our communities and our country.

Freedom and equality are prerequisites for religious liberty to flourish in our nation. Yet, too often they are cast aside to advance one group's view of the world. The Constitution is not a party platform, but rather a liberating document that provides all Americans guaranteed rights and freedoms.

Those of us who value religious pluralism must send a unified message that freedom and equality go hand in hand with religious liberty. Congress has no business legislating one religiously-based view of marriage. In the interest of religious liberty, faith communities and houses of worship must be allowed to wrestle with the issue of marriage themselves.

Of course, I think most of us know that the Federal Marriage Protection Amendment is not about protecting marriage in any real sense. It is so obviously "red meat for the base" that headlines like the one I included above seem to be the norm.

The most honest response I've seen on this issue to date comes from the woman who answers the phone for Senator Martinez (R-FL)--as reported in a post at Americablog:

"The Senator is not interested in protecting marriage but in protecting the definition of marriage."