“This amendment represents, I think, the democratic process or the democratic response to recent and widespread efforts by activist courts to change this age-old definition of marriage.”
— Bonehead Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo), as he resurrected the FMA proposal

With the White House in chaos and the crooks and thieves on the Hill in trouble, it’s time for a little diversion.

There’s a fresh push by the Repug homo-haters on the Federal Marriage amendment; the Senate Sub Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution is holding hearings today, receiving testimony from those on both sides of the measure. The oh-so-pious attempt to keep marriage out of the hands of the Homosexual AgendaTM was reintroduced in January after failing last year, and a House version was submitted in March.

An interesting witness in opposition to an amendment is Dr. Christopher Harris, assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He is a gay man, and has a 3-year-old daughter. His perspective, as a one of more than 750 pediatricians also opposed to the Federal Marriage Amendment, is that healthy families and kids result when gay and lesbian couples are able to form stable, legally recognized unions. And isn’t a stable loving family what the Right is ceaselessly promoting? (365gay.com):

Harris said he will tell the sub committee that he agrees with the findings of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that there are no relevant studies of the effect of parental sexual orientation on children that show any measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or the children’s mental health and successful socialization.

An analysis of the issue prepared for the AAP board of directors in July 2005, concluded, in part, that “Civil marriage is a social institution that promotes healthy families by conferring of a powerful set of rights, benefits and protections that cannot be obtained by other means.

Civil marriage can help foster psychosocial stability and financial and legal security as well as an augmented sense of societal acceptance and support. Legal recognition of a spouse can increase the ability of adult couples to provide and care for one another and fosters a more nurturing and secure environment for their children.”

Of course, bible-beater conservatives are feeling let down by this Administration for not using up some of the political capital (and “mandate”) the Chimperor had after the 2004 election to mount a campaign for FMA. Read the whining of Daniel Allott at Human Events. Saving marriage from the maurauding crowd of homos wanting to partake in oh, the little matter of civil equality seems to rank up there with Social Security reform in his mind.

Despite the perfect storm of judicial activism and vast public support for protecting marriage, a federal marriage amendment inexplicably continues to gather dust at the bottom of the president’s agenda.

In January, when asked about the prospects of a constitutional amendment, Bush simply shrugged and said it didn’t have enough votes, and “until that changes, nothing will happen in the Senate,” thus implying that there is nothing he can do. Since then, Bush has made no attempt to reassess the viability of an amendment.

While it is true that a federal marriage amendment does not yet have the support it needs to pass the Senate, neither did Social Security reform but that didn’t stop the president from spending enormous amounts of political capital to try and win over leery lawmakers and a reluctant public on personal accounts.

In truth, the reason marriage amendments have had the overwhelming support of the public in states as diverse as Michigan, Oregon and Utah is the same reason the public is skeptical of personal accounts. To most Americans, same-sex marriage represents an assault on an institution that has provided security and order to families and society for millennia. Americans understand that children fare best when raised by a mother and father, and have witnessed the deleterious consequences for children when the loving care and unique abilities of either is missing from the family unit.

That’s funny. Has Danny Boy heard about depraved adoptive (and heterosexual) parents, John and Linda Dollar, whose children were spanked with belts, paddles, switches and whips — and at least one occasion struck with a cattle prod? [The Dollars surrendered their parental rights in June.]

Or maybe Danny would prefer the healthy home of Cincinnati City Councilman Sam Malone, a Repug that just wanted to “whip the black off of” his son? I don’t think there’s a parenting book out there that will help Malone succeed at beating the melanin out of his 14-year-old son’s hide unless he’s got some kind of belt with magical, Neverland properties.

Maybe Daddy Dobson has a chapter on this in his child-rearing book.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world – and way too many people are parents that probably shouldn’t be, but they do have the right to procreate, of course. Then you have gay people that desperately seek to be caring parents that live in states that make it hard or impossible to foster or adopt. The inability to marry makes it all the more difficult to form and raise a family.

You can take action on this inane waste of time and tax dollars promoting homo-bigotry by going to the Human Rights Campaign web site and fill out the “FMA Hearings: Tell your Senator to STOP wasting time on the Federal Marriage Amendment” petition to counter the AmTaliban’s latest attempt to stir up a diversion from the corruption and thievery going on in this Administration.

Shakes Sis also has a good take on this.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding