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Sunday, June 04, 2006

So-Called Marriage Protection Amendment Reprise

WaPO quoting HRC's Joe Salmonese:

"They understand that they are in deep trouble and they need to do anything they can to appease their people, which is the right-wing base," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization. "This is an age-old political tactic, which is when everything is falling down around you -- as it is for the administration -- you go for your base."

This is a very weak argument from Joe Salmonese, who represents the most well known and well funded national gay rights organization. This is a reason why I will ignore their latest solicitation for money.


In one North Carolina congressional district, for instance, Republican challenger Vernon Robinson has aired a radio ad attacking Democratic Rep. Brad Miller with mariachi music playing in the background: "Brad Miller supports gay marriage and sponsored a bill to let American homosexuals bring their foreign homosexual lovers to this country on a marriage visa. If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

Miller voted against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004, saying the matter should be left to the states. "The republic has survived pretty well for 220 years with marriage based on state law," he said yesterday. "I don't think we ought to amend the constitution every time a politician wants to campaign on an issue." Miller said he supports North Carolina law banning same-sex marriage but is open to civil unions between gay partners.

This ad doesn't just discuss gay marriage, it starts out with immigrant bashing.

Every night 7000 aliens rush into our country illegally and your ultra liberal congressman Brad Miller refuses to guard the border. Instead of deporting them, he votes for amnesty and throws them a party with your tax dollars..... These aliens pay no income tax and send their money back to Mexico, then they take to the streets waving the Mexican flag and demanding more.

I can imagine this ad will just help Brad Miller raise money.

WaPO continues:

The Marriage Protection Amendment would ban same-sex marriages, but sponsors say it would allow state legislatures to approve civil unions with similar benefits for gay couples. In its entirety, it reads: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

Now why didn't Joe Salmonese use his quote opportunity to refute this? The amendment still includes the legal incidents language - and invites litigation to interpret the meaning. Instead, Salmonese said the amendment is a distraction, without engaging people in why this amendment is a bad idea.

It's fair to make the point that this amendment is an attempt to marginalize an unpopular minority for political gain, but it's important to state why this amendment is a bad idea. Arguing that this is a distraction from the more important issue of gas price increases is not a good argument.