Homosexual marriage ban rejected by the Senate
By Scott Tibbs, June 9, 2006
John McCain has been trying to mend fences with Christian conservatives after the harsh words he had for them in the 2000 election cycle. Ultimately, though, actions speak a lot louder than words and his vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment should prove to Christian conservatives that McCain is most certainly not an ally. Let's not forget that McCain broke his oath of office by ramming a "campaign finance reform" law through Congress that actually regulates the content of political speech. That alone is enough to disqualify him from occupying the Oval Office, and his vote against the FMA solidifies the disqualification.
What is unfortunate is that there was not even an up-or-down vote on the FMA, because Democrats managed to once again use the filibuster to stall Senate business. Since the Senate apparently does not have the 60 votes necessary to move the amendment forward, Democrats should allow an up-or-down vote and put every member of the Senate on record one way or another. As a Hoosier, I am disappointed (but not at all surprised) that Evan Bayh voted with Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton on the matter.
Former Libertarian state representative candidate Clark Brittain errs in his letter to the editor with the statement that "Congress is prevented by the Constitution from enacting laws regarding religion." What the Constitution prohibits is the establishment of a state religion. Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress or any other unit of government prohibited from including of religious principles in law.
Brittain writes, "if my congregation wishes not to recognize a same-sex marriage, it is just as valid a position (for my house of worship) as is yours if your house of worship does." The problem with this statement is that any house of worship already has the freedom to recognize a same-sex marriage. The government, however, does not recognize and endorse that marriage through a contract.
Some have said that the FMA is in the same unique class as Prohibition in that it "takes away rights" rather than granting them. This isn't entirely true, because the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery, restricting private citizens rather than government. But prohibiting the government from recognizing homosexual marriage does not restrict rights of individual people, who are free to get married should they find a church where the elders and pastors are in rebellion against God's Word. What the amendment does is prohibit government from recognizing those marriages.
Ultimately, I would prefer that the issue be decided by the states by passing a Constitutional amendment along the lines of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act allowing the states to set their own marriage policies. But while I have not supported the Federal Marriage Amendment in the past, I can definitely see the advantage of having a uniform national policy on marriage instead of a patchwork of same-sex marriage, civil unions and traditional marriage around the country.