June 7, 2006

Can't Say We Didn't Warn Ya

Hatched by Dafydd

Sooooooooo, the Senate finally voted today on the much-ballyhooed Federal Marriage Amendment.

You remember the last time they voted (in 2004, I believe), the amendment -- which needs 67 votes to pass, and at least 60 even to advance to that point -- garnered only 48 votes. But since then, in the 2004 election, four more Republicans were elected to the Senate; now the body stands at 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and one Mugwump.

The predictions going into this were that the FMA would get 57 votes; in Free the Federal Marriage Amendment..., we noted what the proponents were saying about 57 votes (though we did not make it a "prediction"); we noted that Sen. Wayne Allard was lowering expectations to "a majority;" and we added something else:

The FMA will likely get about 57 votes in the Senate -- though supporter Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO, 96%) is now only willing to predict it will get "a majority," which means more than 50. 58 or more would be a huge victory; anything fewer than 55 would be an embarassing failure.

The FMA got 49 votes.

Is there any chance that the senators will figure out that at least one of the reasons it failed -- a major reason -- is that the FMA infringes the liberty of citizens of a state to vote to define marriage within that state? That if they were to switch to something like my proposed Defense of Marriage Amendment, they might do a heck of a lot better... and might even pass it?

Big Lizards Proposed Defense of Marriage Amendment

  1. For federal purposes, marriage in the United States of America shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.
  2. The Constitution of the United States of America shall not be construed to require any state, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as or like a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

Nah. Never happen. That would require Congress to consider giving up power, rather than grabbing more and more of it. Which means the amendment will continue to fail; and if ever the Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act, then we'll all be living in Massachusetts.

To quote Larry Niven: "Not responsible for advice not taken."

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 7, 2006, at the time of 3:34 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Captain Ned

I wouldn't count votes for a cloture motion (which was the vote you're speaking of) as votes for the amendment. Many Senators are quite happy that the failure on the cloture motion frees them from having to vote on the amendment itself.

The above hissed in response by: Captain Ned [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 5:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: JGUNS

I have to say Dafydd, I am almost with you again, although I am not completely there. one could make the comparison between this act and the liberals using the courts to ram through their agenda. However, there is ONE huge difference: Liberals use unelected judges to overturn laws and set policy based on their elitist viewpoints. The DOMA is basically a response to that circumvention of the american will, but it is still using voter elected representation to do so. Thus I believe that most conservatives CAN get behind the idea of passing this amendment as it is still being passed through the framework provided by the constitution. The only thing to really quibble over is the fact that it is being passed on a Federal scale rather than on a state by state basis. Nevertheless, states are getting their say by their duly elected representatives for BOTH the house and the senate. Therefore, although I can see the argument for passing this on a state by state basis, one has to keep in mind that Marriage is really a federal issue. It is something that is a societal building block and therefore I believe it is properly being addressed under federal governance.

The above hissed in response by: JGUNS [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2006 7:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: Don

I'm for leaving it to the states. If Massachusetts want's to legalize it - do it and be durned! But Alabama shouldn't have to observe it.

My problem was always the idea that a 4-3 majority of the Supreme Court of a single state makes the law for everyone.

What I would support is an amendment defining marriage as man-woman with explicit state option to overturn by decision of the state legislature.

The above hissed in response by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2006 7:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: On Lawn

I am not against your plan. I see a number of options and haven't decided on the best one yet.

But I am not sure that "defining" marriage inside a state is anything but an anacronism. I support the ability to regulate marriage on a state level, but the definition of marriage is something entirely different. I think our experiment of defining individual freedom on a state by state basis (i.e. slavery) ended in an undisputed failure. I think that individuals are inter-state entities as are marriages. Competing and incompatible definitions wind up wreaking havoc on a nation.

And just as individual freedom was defined and ensured in a constitution, I have no problem with it being defined federally.

Regulations such as when people are eligable for marriage, and divorce statutes, and even how many marriages one may have and still be recognized are all still state issues.

But marriage except for recently was never re-defined. Its a word, we reference the definition not make it up governmentally for everyone. Especially not a new definition.

The above hissed in response by: On Lawn [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 10:56 AM

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