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Frist, Serves Red Meat With Pledge Of Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

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JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 11:41 AM
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Frist, Serves Red Meat With Pledge Of Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) told a partisan crowd that he plans to bring to the Senate floor a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage.

Frist, speaking on Feb. 10 at the Conservative Political Action Conference, said the amendment is needed to protect the majority of Americans, whom he said oppose same-sex marriage, from "the whims of a few activist judges" who seek to "override the commonsense of the American people."

Frist, a possible 2008 presidential candidate, may be trying to throw red meat to the conservative wing of his party -- the people most likely to vote in the primaries. Frist has distanced himself from President Bush on some issues of late, such as federal support for embryonic stem cell research. Fighting same-sex marriage would be an easy way for him to regain conservative credentials.

It's just a variation of a theme conservatives have pushed for years -- people in the "heartland" should care more about the legal recognition of a same-sex couple in Massachusetts than about crumbling schools, boys coming home from Iraq in caskets, jobs being outsourced or their inability to obtain affordable health care.

"Protect" Americans? What's more important for a poverty-level family in Tuscaloosa or Topeka -- having a job and being able to afford food and medicine, or the fact that Tim and Larry just got married in Worcester?

Let's set aside Frist's empty conservative spin, and take a look at the facts.

Massachusetts is the only state that issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

So when Frist complains about "a few activist judges," he meant that literally. (Note: "activist judges" is conservative code for "liberal judges." Conservatives never complain about activist judges who are conservative, such as new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.)

Vermont and Connecticut recognize civil unions. Four states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to formalize relationships through domestic-partnership registries.

Meanwhile, 18 states define marriage in their constitutions, many in amendments approved since 2003, when a Massachusetts court opened the door to same-sex marriages there. Other states could follow suit and try to pass referendums defining marriage in their constitutions. But it hardly seems to be a front-burner item for much of the country.

Why? Because the country is split on its support of same-sex marriage, same-sex civil unions or the need for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

-- A Pew Research poll from July found that 53% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. But the same poll found that 53% of Americans support same-sex civil unions.

-- A Boston Globe poll from May found that 50% oppose same-sex marriage, but only 45% support a constitutional amendment.

-- A USA Today/Gallup poll from May found 56% of Americans opposed to same-sex marriage, and 53% favoring a constitutional amendment.

Interestingly, when given a choice of supporting same-sex marriage, same-sex unions or no legal recognition, less than 50% of Americans chose "no legal recognition" in polls conducted by ABC News/Washington Post (40%), CNN/USA Today (45%), and CBS News/New York Times (41%).

But hey, you know that the facts won't get in the way of Frist and other conservatives trying to convince voters in Tuscaloosa or Topeka that they should care more about same-sex marriage in Massachusetts than the issues directly affecting their lives.

It's Frist who wants to "override the commonsense of the American people."


This item first appeared at JABBS.
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TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh yes...
the majority of Americans are threatened in some way by those of us who are gay who want to marry a partner some day.

If I found the love of my life and married him, it would not affect Johnny, Janie, their two children, cat, dog, and Johnny's mistress one whit!
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Just like fucking clockwork....2006 elections
Gawd, Guns and Gays......


And, it'll work on the idiot american voters, too.
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JABBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. didn't al franken say that the 2004 election was won with
smears and "queers"?
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. My Dear Senator Frist
The 'activist judges' you are so concerned about are all answerable to the Supreme Court, am I not correct? After all, individual states seem to be dealing with this 'problem' in their own way (and the activist judges in Mass. were so out of the mainstream that the State House and Senate immediately passed the first stages of the State amendment process (oh, wait, no they didn't, sorry). You have never voted against confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice, which means you think that Messers. Roberts and Alito are not 'activist judges'. So given that you think the two appointed by President Clinton are 'activists' And probably Justice Stevens, right? That still leaves 6 of the 9 appointed by Presidents Reagan and the Bush pere et fils

So say it loud, and say it proud, willya? President Reagan appointed justices to the Supreme Court who are activists. That's what you are afraid of, right?

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Hosnon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. This crap is total fluff. You can't even get an amendment barring flag
Edited on Wed Feb-15-06 12:43 PM by MJDuncan1982
burning and that is an issue that doesn't have a large PRO-Burning crowd - PRO-Freedom of Speech perhaps but very few people just want to burn the flag for the hell of it.

Gay-marriage and abortion both have large numbers of people in support of them.

NO WAY IN HELL HE EVEN THINKS THIS WILL PASS...just drumming up the ole "gay marriage scares regular people" crap.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-15-06 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. You can actually

break down the present spectrum of national opinion quite precisely into categories and percentages, into blocs from Right to Liberal according to what they support. These are about 40% (no recognition), 15% ('domestic partnerships'), 7% ('civil unions'), 8% (legalistic pro-marriage), and 30% (full marriage rights).

These also correspond to the status of citizenship these blocs give gay people in general. Of course.

I've thought about this state of affairs over the course of two years, and homophobia and arrogance/ignorance strike me as 99% of the explanation for the situation.

But as I've thought about it more, I've also come to think it is good and right that there be some principled, fairminded, resistance that forces us to give some tokens and demonstrations of the truth and rightness of what marriage supporters ask for. It's in essence an engaging in ritual, and the test and power of ritual is all-important in the asking for and granting of human dignity.
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