President Bush will promote a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on Monday, the eve of a scheduled Senate vote on the cause that is dear to his conservative backers. (CNN)
Nobody seriously believes it will pass. They can't even get 50 votes in the Senate and they need 67. So what's the point?
They're simply pandering to the Christian Right. They're willing to stand up and argue that we should enshrine discrimination into the Constitution just to shore up the base. You Republicans who oppose the Amendment (and most of you should) should be outraged and ashamed that your representatives are doing this in your name.
This is not some small issue that you can look the other way on, like the insipid Flag Burning Amendment or campaigning against violent video games. Those are pandering to essentially well-meaning people with perhaps misplaced priorities.
The Federal Marriage Amendment is not. It's pandering to the worst among us. Those who will turn out on voting day just to vote -- symbolically, mind you -- against the gays. Abortion, taxes, the war, terrorism, immigration -- none of these issues are enough to get these voters to the polls. (Remember, the purpose of the FMA is to bring out voters who otherwise would stay home.) Only the specter of big, bad, scary Gay Marriage will get them out.
When your grandchildren are your age, the failed Federal Marriage Amendment will be looked at the way we look at the proposed Anti-Miscegenation Amendment of 1912:
Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians ... within the United States ... is forever prohibited.
What will you tell them when they ask you how you could have voted Republican? What will you say when gay marriage is as commonplace and accepted as Black-White intermarriage is today? Will you pretend that you always supported it or will you be like the older racists still alive today and continue to oppose it? Will your children and grandchildren wince when the subject comes up in your presence?