The Federal Marriage Amendment

It looks as though Bush is now supporting an ammendment to the Constitution that would force states to define marriage as being between a man and woman and would not permit same sex marriages. The good news is that such an ammendment has no way of getting the two-thirds vote in the Congress that it needs, let alone the 38 states to ratify it, so it is a completely political move.

Even so, I just don’t understand the force of the argument behind the need for such an amendment. It seems to me that people in favor of this argue that it “protects the institution of marriage”. But it is not clear to me from what this institution needs protecting. How does same-sex marriage “corrupt” the institution of marriage? No one has been able to explain this clearly. It seems to me it’s nothing more than fear. But fear of what?

It is wrong to ban same-sex marriages and time will show that this is true. There was a time in this country when ignorant people wanted to ban interracial marriages and time has shown that interracial marriages do no more harm than intraracial marriages. I don’t see how same-sex marriages are any different.

The problem, in my opinion, the real danger, is the institution of marriage itself. Marriage is a religious institution that has been absconded as a social institution, but in this day and age, not everyone is religious. People get married because there is no other alternative. In my opinion, I don’t think there should be any state-sponsored marriage in the United States. Instead, I would propose a national “civil union” institution which would cover all unions, traditional, same-sex, whatever. People could still get married, but marriages would be on top of civil unions, and would be church-sponsored and not state sponsored. All legal benefits would stem from civil unions, not from marriage.

But for some reason, people are afraid of this, and to this, all I can do is fall back on my mantra:

Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain.