Thoughts of an American Centrist

Friday, May 13, 2005

Gay Marriage - Back in the Spotlight!

The American Centrist feels that U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon and the Gay Rights community have made a grave strategical misstep.

WASHINGTON - In the first time that a federal judge has struck down a state constitutional provision limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon on Thursday declared void a provision of the Nebraska constitution that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman and that banned same-sex civil unions, domestic partnerships and other similar relationships.

Even though this court ruling is an undeniable victory for the Gay Marriage movement, I can't help but shake my head at the thought of the inevitable swarm coming from the hornet's nest that just got hit by this rock.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, an advocate of a federal constitutional amendment to define marriage, reacted to Bataillon’s ruling by noting that, when the Senate debated the proposed federal marriage amendment last year, “opponents claimed that no state laws were threatened, that no judge had ever ruled against state marriage laws. They claimed that the states and their voter-approved laws defending marriage were under no threat. After today’s ruling, they can no longer make that claim.”

You mean the most vociferous socially conservative voice in the Senate (one who possibly condoned violence against "activist" judges), has taken issue with this? Gee, who'd'a thunk it?

A more discerning political palate would have realized that they gay marriage Amendment was, in actuality, a get out the vote effort for 2004. With its true purpose accomplished, the issue was then quietly brushed into a corner by the President and GOP Senate leaders.

The Gay Marriage issue was again allowed to progress on a state-by-state basis. First Vermont's anti-gay policies fell, then Massachusetts, then Connecticut, then Callifornia. Left to its own devices, intolerant laws would have become the exception instead of the rule within 10 or 15 years.

However, people with a cause cannot wait that long. They insist on accelerating their issues far more swiftly than that of the natural progression. Now starts the inevitable backlash.

Sen. Cornyn is correct in claiming that the whole dynamic of this issue has changed. No longer can we tackle this issue state-by-state (and in the state courts and legislatures). The decision by a federal judge, if upheld on appeal, will force the issue to take on a National vizard.

The argument that a Constitutional Amendment was simply unnecessary because no states law had previously been tread upon by the federal judiciary may not have been the Gay Rights Movement's most dramatic or compelling argument, but it was the single one with which they enjoyed the majority of popular support throughout the country. Most American's had not been swayed by the "due process" or "equal protections" arguments, but most were weary about changing the 'Tute on a hypothetical. Well it's no longer a hypothetical.

The Gay Rights Movement may have won this short term victory, but I'm not certain if they can withstand the gleeful retribution of the right. Thanks a lot, guys; you've just set us back another ten years.