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John Kerry Straddles The Same Sex Marriage Issue
by Ben Cerruti
15 March 2004

John Kerry has confused the issue of same sex marriage in order to try to satisfy those on both sides of it.

John Kerry has confused the issue of same sex marriage in order to try to satisfy those on both sides of it.  He says, "I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but I believe it's important in the United States of America that we recognize that we have a Constitution which has an equal protection clause."  What about the equal protection clause?   Let's take a look at its provisions in the 14th Amendment. 

"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."  

The provisions apply to the laws of the States and they direct the government to enforce the provisions of applicable State laws.  In the 38 States that define marriage as between a man and a woman, it would simply have the effect of ensuring that individual men and women would be treated equally in the process of being married.  Certainly same sex unions might possibly come under the equal protection provisions, if they were not given the same financial benefits provided to opposite sex unions, but that does not mean they have to be called a marriage.  Calling them something like a "civil union" that had these same benefits as a marriage should aptly meet the equal protection clause. 

It is clear, however, that these 38 States could not recognize so-called gay marriages, as it would violate their respective laws.  Thus, to assure uniformity among the States, it seems necessary to ratify into the Constitution an amendment to insure that all 50 States recognize marriage as between members of the opposite sex.

Kerry knows this but -- as has been the case on other issues -- he has decided to straddle this one in order to attempt to satisfy voters of each persuasion.  When confronted with a directed question he will frequently move in the direction of a response involving religion.  This occurred recently when a woman stated to him, "My point is homosexuality is an idea," she said. "You have never heard a doctor say, `Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, you have a bouncing baby homosexual.' It's an idea." Kerry replied: "Well, I know the deep beliefs, I respect, I'm a Christian, I've read the Bible, and I know you can find the clauses that go both ways. I'm not here to argue that with you." 

Using religion as a means to deflect such comments is a copout.  This is not a religious issue -- although some would like to make it one.  It is a legal issue where common sense should prevail. 

Obfuscating this issue should not serve Kerry well.  It shows him for what he is, an unprincipled politician, willing to move in the direction that he believes will win him the office he seeks.  We have seen this before with the likes of Bill Clinton.  Hopefully, this time the electorate will see through the facade and make their decisions based on those rational moral principles and practices that have served this nation well in the past.

Ben Cerruti operates his own web site at www.arationaladvocate.com.

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