The argument continues on Craig Westover's blog
Craig responds to Chuck Darrell:
Then the question becomes why not an amendment that defines separation of powers and states to effect that "only the legislature shall have final authority to define marriage"? Why legislate through the constitution by passing an amendment that begs judicial involvement to determine what a "marriage-like" relationship is -- if reducing judicial activism is really the goal?
Chuck, I've defended the intent of the marriage amendment on liberal sites, believing that despite my disagreement with it, it would only prohibit same-sex marriage and not legally contracted agreements between same-sex partners. That was the original position of amendment supporters. Now it’s clear the overt intent is prohibit civil unions, which raises the question does the language prohibit an individual same-sex couple from contractually forming their own civil union?
You use the term “bait and switch” in regards to civil unions, but I don’t think there was ever any doubt that same-sex marriage is the end goal of the gay community. The difference between the “activists” you demonize (as would I) and people like Dale Carpenter is the former want same-sex marriage any way they can get it, the latter want same-sex marriage through legislation when society is ready to accept it.
I do not feel fooled by the gay community; however, I feel a “bait and switch” victim of those supporting the amendment. I fell for the rhetoric on the supporter side of this amendment that the amendment was only to prevent judicial activism. I’m trying real hard to see amendment supporters as “defending traditional marriage,” but the more pushback you (the royal “you”) get, the more your effort comes across as anti-homosexual, not a defense of marriage. For example, I found the tone of the Pastor’s Conference at least somewhat conciliatory; the CD included in the information packet was embarrassingly inflammatory and fear mongering.
Frankly, I am embarrassed to support a political party that as a matter of policy sees the same-sex marriage issue as necessary to bring out the voters supporting other conservative initiatives. If I believed in demonizing a group to achieve one’s ends, I’d be a liberal and demonize the rich to bring about social justice. If I believed the end justified the means, I’d be a Democrat and bring out the vote by scaring old people into thinking Republicans were going to take away their social security.
I agree with you, Chuck, that to avoid judicial activism on this issue a constitutional amendment perhaps is necessary. However, the amendment ought to be narrowly targeted at the separation of powers issue, and not a blanket condemnation and demonizing of a specific group. That is bad precedent more to be feared than the bogeymen unearthed on your CD.
I'm very much looking forward to obtaining a copy of this CD.