Posts Tagged ‘same-sex marriage’

Defeat the Federal Marriage Amendment

George Will, Lynne Cheney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rudolph Giuliani, and Bob Barr are all on record opposing this wretched would-be Constitutional amendment, and they’re right. See Faith Bremner, “Conservatives opposing marriage amendment”, Gannett News Service/The Coloradoan, Dec. 11, 2003. For our earlier posts on the subject, see Feb. 20 and Feb. 25. For a comeback to the ripely absurd “FMA is needed to bolster fertility rates” argument, see Jacob Levy, Volokh Conspiracy, (Jul. 9); for some ribbing of social conservatives who seem determined to borrow the “precautionary principle” from enviro absolutists for this occasion, see Jane Galt’s co-blogger “Mindles H. Dreck” (Jul. 8, Jul. 9). “As for the gay Republicans whose votes Mr. Bush might then lose, Mr. Weyrich [Paul Weyrich, prominent in the Washington religious right] wrote, ‘Good riddance.'” (Carl Hulse and David D. Kirkpatrick, “Senate Braces Itself for Fight on Gay Marriage”, New York Times, Jul. 9). And the same kind sentiments to you, sir!

More: And the Chicago Tribune (Jul. 13), and the Wall Street Journal, and Richard Epstein…. Update Jul. 14: defeated 48-50 on procedural vote. Yet more: Dale Carpenter (U. of Minn. Law School), “The Federal Marriage Amendment: Unnecessary, Anti-federalist, and Anti-democratic”, Cato Institute White Papers, Sept. 23; Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), “The Marriage Amendment Is a Terrible Idea”, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 28 ($).

Virginia primitive, round 5

Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review Online (“The Corner”, May 18) has written in defense of the new Virginia statute, much criticized in this space, which declares null and void within the state not only civil unions but also any “partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage” (Mar. 19, Apr. 18, Apr. 23, May 12). As I noted two weeks ago, given the unclarity of the law’s drafting, a prolonged guessing game about its meaning may be inevitable; but some guesses are more plausible than others.

Read On…

Bush’s FMA mistake

“And if down the road the voters of some state opt for a legal regime [on marriage law] different than that favored by Mr. Bush, why should the Constitution impede their democratic choice? The federal Defense of Marriage Act already guarantees that no state has to recognize a same-sex union performed in another state.” (“Debasing the Constitution” (editorial), Feb. 25). Josh Marshall (Feb. 24) writes: “It’s his dad and the flag burning amendment all over again. Is there really anything that tells you more about a man’s character than this?” For more on this very bad amendment, see Feb. 20.

No to the FMA

Drafted with the specific intent (at least on the part of two of its best-known framers) of banning a wide range of legislatively enacted “civil unions” as well as same-sex marriage, the ghastly Federal Marriage Amendment is anything but conservative: it would succeed in damaging both federalism and the principle of separation of powers. (Jacob Levy, “Law Breaker”, The New Republic Online, Feb. 18). See Alan Cooperman, “Little Consensus On Meaning Of Marriage Amendment”, Washington Post/Constitution Center, Feb. 14 (“principal drafters” Profs. Robert George and Gerard Bradley acknowledge that they intended to ban some forms of civil unions); letter from several libertarian/conservative law professors opposing FMA (Volokh Conspiracy, Sept. 11).

Yet more links: (published by FMA supporters, but airing both sides); (also a mix of views); Volokh Conspiracy (numerous posts, use search function);;; Jack Balkin, Feb. 14; Prof. Bainbridge, Jan. 21 (endeavoring to defend Bush stance); Three Years of Hell, Feb. 11 (arguing that FMA would merely curb judicial activism on civil unions); David Horowitz, “Wrong Idea, Wrong Time”,, Nov. 24; David Brooks, “Give everyone access to the power of marriage”, New York Times/International Herald Tribune, Nov. 25.