A number of Indiana’s Representatives are co-sponsors of H.J. Res. 88 proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Indiana co-sponsors are Chris Chocola (IN-02), Mark Souder (IN-03), Dan Burton (IN-05), Mike Pence (IN-06), John Hostettler (IN-08), and Mike Sodrel (IN-09).
The substantive portions of the proposed amendment would add the following language to the United States Constitution:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
So much for states rights. This proposed amendment would not only prevent recognition of gay marriage under federal law, it woudl prohibit the people of a state from constituting their respective governments so as not to discriminate against gays.
The broadest provisions of this proposed amendment reads as follows: “The Constitution of a State shall [not] be construed to require the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
Potentially, that could be read to mandate that if something is a legal incident of marriage, a state cannot required it to be conferred on a non-heterosexual union.
The Constitution is too important to be trifled with in this fasion.
That’s why it is so hard to change the Constitution. I doubt we’ll see this pass.
It does remind me of prohibition, though. Something that was more of a law-type thing being put into the Constitution, only to be removed a few years later.
The Senate version just failed cloture to reach a vote, and the Republicans lost two votes who had voted for cloture last time – Gregg and Sununu of NH.
Think this was all for the special election last night? Because this went way too fast. This is dead already and will be forgotten by July. How does thismotivate Conservatives in Nov.? Bush needs these issues to stretch out if he wants to gain any capital from them.
And that House motion will also be viewed as pandering and will get railed for the anti-state wording.
T B says
Dan Burton’s philandering is a bigger threat to marriage than are the gays.
…nor the Constitution of any state…
Whatever happened to the bit about the Federal Government having only the powers granted to it by the states?
It would take 3/4 of the states approving any ammendment before it is passed, so the states would be granting that power through that process.
When talking about trivial changes to the Constitution, it is intresting to note this:
“Over 10,000 Constitutional amendments have been introduced in Congress since 1789; in a typical Congressional year in the last several decades, between 100 and 200 are offered. Most of these concepts never get out of Congressional committee, much less get proposed by the Congress for ratification.”
The language Mark cites to seems to me even screwier than he suggests. Consider, “Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed . . .”. Why would anyone (other than for political purposes) put in the federal constitution a provision that in effect obligates state courts to read (construe) their own constitutions a certain way? Would this provision require a judge to uphold a state law (on state constitutional grounds) banning same sex marriage even if his state constitution explicitly stated that marriages could be between any two consenting adults? If the proponents of this amendment want to limit marriage to a man and a woman they should say so without this wormy language.
The US constitution limits state government authority in some areas, such as in granting of titles of nobility or defining who a citizen is, state constitutional provision notwithstanding, but limiting the effect of provisions of state constitutions seems different than saying that those constitutions must be read a certain way (no matter what they might say). The exercise strikes me as akin to moving to Wonderland and having a conversation with the Queen of Hearts.