The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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January 17th, 2005 · No Comments · Misc., Politics, Rants

I must say, I never expected Bush to become LESS AGGRESSIVE about the Federal Marriage Amendment AFTER winning re-election:

WaPo: Do you plan to expend any political capital to aggressively lobby senators for a gay marriage amendment?

G-Dub: You know, I think that the situation in the last session — well, first of all, I do believe it’s necessary; many in the Senate didn’t, because they believe DOMA [the Defense of Marriage Act] will — is in place, but — they know DOMA is in place, and they’re waiting to see whether or not DOMA will withstand a constitutional challenge.

WaPo: Do you plan on trying to — using the White House, using the bully pulpit, and trying to –

G-Dub: The point is, is that senators have made it clear that so long as DOMA is deemed constitutional, nothing will happen. I’d take their admonition seriously.

WaPo: But until that changes, you want it?

G-Dub: Well, until that changes, nothing will happen in the Senate. Do you see what I’m saying?

WaPo: Right.

G-Dub: The logic.

Now, with the FMA looking more and more like a pre-election ploy, advocates of marital equality in the US need to play it smart during this next stretch. DOMA isn’t perfect and it doesn’t do much to advance the cause of equality nationally, but it ALSO doesn’t do anything to make things WORSE. In a nutshell, DOMA just says that State X cannot be forced to recognize a gay marriage from State Y. And what the President has basically said here is that so long as DOMA passes, the push for the FMA will go away.

If folks do something foolish - like trying to challenge the Constitutionality of DOMA - they will force the Right to respond with a renewed (and this time SERIOUS) push for actual amendment and if that amendment passes, any chances for equality in the next thirty years go out the window.

So here’s your homework if you’re any sort of gay rights/civil rights/marital equality activist:

1) I know it’s hard - hell, NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE - but you need to applaud the President’s display of reasonable moderation here. This is a major victory for your side that he’s basically handing you without being at all compelled to do so.

2) Resist the urge to do something stupid and drastic. No court challenges to DOMA. No crazy demonizing of the Senate for passing it. No NOTHING. DOMA sucks, but it’s SURMOUNTABLE. Think of it as the Obi-Wan Kenobi of marriage laws. If you strike DOMA down, what returns in its place will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

3) Be patient. With DOMA in place, the crazy states will be placated and will return to kissing their sisters and worrying about NASCAR. Then, over time, the more reasonable parts of the country will fall in line. Gay marriage will be legalized in most areas. “Civil unions” will attain equal status under the law. The sky will open up and shower us with delicious Skittles brand candy. Sure, there’ll be holdouts, but do you REALLY want to visit those places anyway?

So that’s your assignment. I’ll get us started:

Mr. President - THANK YOU for making the right decision here. THANK YOU for not plunging our nation into reactionary fundamentalism. That said, it still makes my head hurt to read transcripts of you trying to explain anything more complicated than how you love puppy dogs.


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