poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Courting Gay Marriage
By David Morris, AlterNet

Minnesota Republicans are pulling out all the stops in their effort to have a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall forbidding same-sex marriage. As of this writing similar efforts are going on in 19 other states. Before Minnesotans endorse this effort, they need to answer two questions.

The first was posed earlier this year by U.S. Representative Barney Frank. "When I go home from today's work and I choose because of my nature to associate with another man, how is that a problem for you?" he asked his congressional colleagues. "How does that hurt you?"

President Bush and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would undoubtedly tell Rep. Frank that his behavior hurts because it involves a distasteful, unhealthy and immoral activity and threatens their sense of what marriage should be. That's a fair answer.

The next question is harder. Are these personal objections sufficient to outlaw homosexuality or same-sex marriage? The President and Governor might respond that if a majority of voters agrees with them, the answer is yes. That's not exactly true. The actions of the majority are answerable to the Constitution. The founding fathers created an independent judiciary and a Bill of Rights in part to protect minorities from discriminatory action by majorities. This is not to say the majority can never discriminate against a minority but it must justify its discrimination before a court of law.


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