Gay marriage is something that has been really hyped up in this election. The Republicans raised the issue of a federal marriage amendment, and the Democrats countered that it was not necessary, and furthermore that the Republicans were simply using this as a “wedge issue” to scare voters. On this last count I think the Democrats are correct – that the Republicans were using the specter of gay marriage to galvanize conserative voters.
First, a disclaimer. I am opposed to gay marriage, though am far from certain that it is the dire moral emergency that is made out to be, the do-or-die, make-or-break moral issue of our times. After all, state acquiesence to the gay agenda in this matter does not necessarily mean the Church must follow suit. I happen to think that the issue, for homosexuals, has a lot more to do with legitimization than with a deep desire for a thing called “marriage.” The foundations of marriage in our culture are rotting as it is – look at the divorce rate. The real danger, in my mind, has to do with adoption…. and down the road with the implications for religious organizations that do not, on moral grounds, want to hire practicing homosexuals or provide benefits for partners, etc. But I digress.
You see, I am not convinced that the Federal Marriage Amendment has much chance of passing. I’m not sure the Republicans want it to. Perhaps they need the issue to mobilize the base. Laura Bush, I’m told, came out opposed to it in an interview (she’s also opposed to overturning Roe v Wade). Dick Cheney famously demured when asked about the issue in the VP debates, saying only that he is proud of his lesbian daughter (who, with her partner, appeared on stage in celebrations), implying that he did not think the amendment was necessary. Lynn Cheney, Dick’s wife, turns out to have written a novel called Sisters that contains erotic lesbian love scenes (the heroine apparently finds a lesbian lover in her time in the cowboy west). If you don’t believe me, here’s the link to the novel. Or Google it – you’ll find exceprts on a fake White House website.
Now Bush himself may be inclined towards such an amendment, but it seems that many of his closest advisers are not. I’m afraid that conservative evangelicals may have been “played” in this regard. I hope that this isn’t the case, and that when it comes time to nominate Supreme Court justices, we get men or women with principles, who won’t legislate from the bench and will even undo some of the damage done (ie Roe). If that happens the federal marriage amendment won’t be necessary because the Supreme Court will actually allow the States to make their own decisions and won’t force feed a liberal social agenda. And I hope the administration and the Senate majority will have the backbone to fight for their confirmation. I’m just pointing out some ominous signs.
I hope this administration does not take “values issues” for granted because that is what got them elected. Would be shame to ruin it.