`Gay Marriage Amendment` Is The Wrong Tactic
In its lead story analyzing
President Bush`s endorsement of a constitutional
amendment to ban "gay marriage" last week, The
Washington Post wrote, "With President Bush`s
embrace yesterday of a marriage amendment, the
compassionate conservative of 2000 has shown he is
willing, if necessary, to rekindle the culture wars in
Move To Satisfy Conservative Base, By Dana
Milbank, Feb. 25, 2004, also
The Post`s lead acknowledges
what many of the president`s original supporters on the
right refused to see: that the phony
"compassionate conservatism" he smirked about when
running for president is incompatible with the
cultural conservatism to which the vast majority of
real conservatives adhere and which he is now
"rekindling" in order to get himself re-elected.
Mr. Bush fooled
most conservatives once in 2000. What he is doing
now is trying to fool them again.
We will hear a good deal more
gabble about the "gay marriage amendment" in the
course of the current election season, but that will be
the end of it.
For decades now, conservative
Republicans have trotted out one pet amendment after
another that never goes anywhere—the
Balanced Budget amendment, the
School Prayer amendment,
amendments to ban abortion, amendments to outlaw
burning the flag and probably several others I have
forgotten or never knew about.
Not one has ever even passed a
single chamber of Congress, let alone been ratified.
Why do conservatives propose them
or endorse them? Republicans peddle this constant stream
of amendments because they know very well they will
never go anywhere, that they will never be called on to
vote on them or
work for them, and that in the meantime the
grassroots constituents who demand them will be placated
by the simple rhetoric that "endorses" or
supports them. Amending the Constitution to correct
flaws conservative politicians are unwilling to confront
in serious ways is a cheap and easy way to make
everybody happy and make sure nothing is done.
In the case of homosexual
"marriages," I have no problem in refusing to
recognize them as real or legal. Persons of the same sex
can no more marry each other than dogs and cats can
become congressmen, but since the whole purpose of the
movement for "gay marriage" is to subvert
cultural institutions and normalize the abnormal,
there`s not much point in arguing about it.
Either you get it and oppose
"gay marriage" or you don`t and support it.
But a constitutional amendment is
the wrong tactic because, as I have just argued, it will
never pass, and even the conservatives who support it
will not push it seriously.
It`s the wrong tactic also because
it entirely misses the point.
You amend the Constitution when
there is something wrong with the Constitution. But
there is nothing wrong with the Constitution. What is
wrong is with the American political class and
especially the judges it keeps appointing and refuses to
There are ways to stop the judicial
legitimization of homosexual marriage without amending
the Constitution. We already have the
1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and states may (and
should) pass their own laws against same-sex marriages.
But most important is the measure
most Republicans will never embrace because it would
mean seriously fighting and even destroying judicial
liberalism once and for all.
That measure is based on the
provision of the Constitution that authorizes Congress
to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Court.
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution says,
"the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction,
both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under
such regulations as the Congress shall make."
Under that language, Congress cam
simply forbid the Court even to hear, much less rule on,
let us say, cases involving the marriage of persons of
the same sex.
Or cases involving
capital punishment. Or cases involving
flag burning. Or cases involving whatever the
Congress decides to forbid the
Nameless Nine from spending their vast
intellectual resources and
spiritual energies upon.
With a stroke of the congressional
pen, "judicial activism" could be ended, and it
could have been ended decades ago, had conservatives
been at all serious about what they claim to be serious
If Congress ever did use its powers
to curtail judicial misrule, the judges would get the
message, and those who didn`t would find themselves in
As it is, why shouldn`t judges hand
down the preposterous and socially destructive rulings
they have inflicted on the nation for the last 40 years?
No one—least of all
conservatives—has ever done anything to stop them or
Real conservatives who really want
to stop both homosexual "marriages" and the
judicial tyranny that has usurped unconstitutional
power in this country would be well advised to find
themselves another means of accomplishing those goals
than amending the Constitution.
While they`re at it, they might
find themselves another president too.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future and
Glynn Custred`s review.]