Kerry Straddles The Same Sex Marriage Issue
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
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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