Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Putting Bias in the Constitution

The NYTimes piece on the Family Marriage Amendment (FMA) is somewhat telling in what it does NOT say. read:

"The Constitution has been amended over the years to bring women, blacks and young people into fuller citizenship. President Bush's amendment would be the first adopted to stigmatize and exclude a group of Americans. Polls show that while a majority of Americans oppose gay marriage, many would prefer to allow the states to resolve the issue rather than adopting a constitutional amendment. They understand what President Bush does not: the Constitution is too important to be folded, spindled or mutilated for political gain."

Note they go from saying how a majority feels into saying "many" agree with the author that the amendment is bad. I have a sneaky suspicion that this is because a (slim) Majority may also be in favor of the amendment. the Times certainly wants to keep that fact down (in the editorial page, at least). This gets to my complaint over this issue--it's too much, too fast. Gay Rights advocates, in my mind, are foolish to press so hard at this point. With a President looking for any issue he can hold onto (to cover himself on his own record), they are handing him a goldmine. Bush has a few hundred million dollars to fund this backlash and make it the centerpiece of the election year conversation. This gives Bush troops, a message, and a point that he might not have had before. I'm deeply concerned about the galvanizing effect that this might have for the people normally turned off by the bush legacy.

The Gay Marriage issue would have had MUCH more political mileage (with much less risk) in 2005. The advocates just couldn't wait that long and the GOP thanks you for it. The Post also had a few things to say. Notably, they too were unwilling to say that a majority of people may just favor the amendment:

"This reluctance is not surprising, said Andrew Kohut, whose nonpartisan Pew Research Center has polled extensively about gay marriage. Recent polls, including a new Washington Post-ABC News survey, show majorities oppose gay marriage, but the public is divided on the need for a constitutional amendment."

This has to be a concern of both sides.

No comments: