To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Leave My Constitution Alone

Conservative anti-gay marriage judge J. Harvey Wilkinson eloquently takes on the recent fervor to amend both the US and individual state constitutions to ban gay marriage in this Wa Post op-ed.
The Framers meant our Constitution to establish a structure of government and to provide individuals certain inalienable rights against the state. They certainly did not envision our Constitution as a place to restrict rights or enact public policies, as the Federal Marriage Amendment does.

Ordinary legislation -- not constitutional amendments -- should express the community's view that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." To use the Constitution for prescriptions of policy is to shackle future generations that should have the same right as ours to enact policies of their own. To use the Constitution as a forum for even our most favored views strikes a blow of uncommon harshness upon disfavored groups, in this case gay citizens who would never see this country's founding charter as their own.
He goes on to take this interesting (bizarre) stand against gay marriage:
Marriage between male and female is more than a matter of biological complementarity -- the union of the two has been thought through the ages to be more mystical and profound than the separate identities of each alone. Without strong family structures, there will be no stable and healthy social order, and alternative marriage structures might weaken the sanction of law and custom necessary for human families to flourish and children to grow.
I agree that strong families benefit children, but don't think that straight family dysfunction has anything to do with gay people wanting to marry. Anyway, I appreciate his missive and call to stop amending constitutions to restrict rights.