A funny thing happened on the way to the Constitutional Amendment
Rick Perry is all over this change the constitution thing; he wants amendments put in, taken out, original wording changed, who know what he’ll do when he’s done; if he gets the chance. It’s almost a conveyer belt, and what with all that pesky lining up 3/4s of the states stuff, it might be a busy and fruitless four years for the man.
Still, there’s a raft of other Republicans out for at least one or two other amendments. One is for a balanced budget. Yes, well, that could be good. It’s rather easily decided, actually. “Yes” the budget should be balanced and the government spend no more than what it takes in in taxes, or “No,” the government should spend us into penury through gargantuan debt and deficits? Seems simple, but not really. What of times of “crisis”? And how is that to be decided? And by whom? All of a sudden it gets complicated doesn’t it? Yep.
Though still, if the Congress wanted to spend more, there’s not much to stop them from raising taxes and balance themselves into oblivion. Indeed, the Congress might decide to double government spending and treble the taxes and run a surplus! And too bad for the people eh? For the amendment’s dear warning to balance the budget will have been met. So perhaps there should be a Tax Cap Amendment – that is, a “Congress shall tax no more than 20% of the nation’s wealth, and then they can spend that only and no more” amendment. For one can balance a budget of trillions if one could only tax 100% of the nation’s wealth. Yes, a Tax Cap Amendment might work far better. We should think about this.
Then there’s the “marriage” amendment. Which is odd to make such a thing which would do absolutely nothing to preserve, protect, save or even continue marriage. For instance, would such an amendment outlaw divorce? Hmm, that would be intriguing, for if the language isn’t done quite right, it might well do that. Would the amendment require heteros to get married? Doubtful. And thus, in a way, since heterosexuals seem to be getting married less, and later, but having kids all the same, it seems that an amendment that “marriage is only between a man and a woman” might not keep the thing at all anyway. For it’s heterosexuals who will be doing the marrying, or, if recent studies be true, not at all, and we putting up the flowers.
Here, no, not recent, but from 2001 – http://www.unmarriedamerica.org/CensusHouseholds/States/VTpress.htm
American Association for Single People Comments on the Diversity of Vermont Households as Documented by the New 2000 Census Report: Press Release — Embargoed Until May 17, 2001 — Census Report: 2000 Census Report Shows a Marked Decline in Married-Couple Households in Vermont.
And so, if heterosexuals aren’t getting married as much, but oh still churning out the children, certainly, even killing more than a few each year and abandoning others – well, what will this newfangled “Marriage Amendment” do? I mean, you can’t make the boys and gals hook up can you, Ms. Bachmann? Will you make arranged marriages for those who hit, say, oh, 25, and haven’t trooped to altar, Mr. Santorum? You know, shotgun weddings? For it’s not gay folks who are abandoning marriage – we clamor for it, apparently – it’s heterosexuals with the very strange lifestyles that are not doing it. How then is merely defining the word “Marriage” to be boy-gal of any use at all?
Why, it might turn out that soon enough the whole bunch of you be shacking up and playing musical bedrooms. The latter sport not at all impeded by any such laws or amendments that might be proffered, if Newt Gingrich is to be the example, or Buddy Roemer, or Donald Trump. Why, these three thought three marriages were sufficient for their purposes, and the second two, for each, with nary a child come out the union. Lordy may, ain’t that sumptin’?
Meanwhile, the few millions who are to be denied the use of the word “marriage” by the government can still use it with our friends and family, no? Or will that be banned too? Will the very utterance of the phrase, “Jim and Michael are married” be banned? That’s going to take a lot of policing, one would think. Particularly if the more churches, family and friends keep showing up at our weddings and declare us married whether the government recognizes it or not. For if “marriage” is “only” between a man and a woman, and all us gay guys keep saying “Hey, we’re married,” and the culture, which sure as shootin’ is coming our way, agrees, well, then what will the government do about it? Assign us a 24/7 minder to make sure we or our church, friends and family don’t utter the word?
Still again, if we’re denied the recognizing of our couples as “Marriages” what’s to stop us from clamoring for, oh, “gayiage” or “twainage,” or even “qumquating” for that matter? Why, we might still convince the nation that there’s such a thing as gay couples. Which most seem to agree exist, obviously, or otherwise the debate about whether to recognize the things would not be had. And then, suppose, oh, 20 or 40 years hence, rational people get into office and the laws passed, and then the amendment’s alleged purpose, to keep the recognition of couples only to boy-girl thingies, would be mooted, and be but excess verbiage cluttering up a heretofore elegant document.
And then suppose, even just a day after the thing passed, some bright scientist has the Eureka moment and goes, “OMG, I found the gay thing, I found the factors which make this so friggin’ natural as to be beyond question!” And proves it thus, then wouldn’t the amendment be quickly superseded by reality, and either repealed or amended itself to say “OK, Marriage for heteros, gayiage for gays.” Why, it’s quite possible, and stranger things have happened.
Now, suppose these bright upstarts on the Republican hustings get ¾s of the states to agree to a Constitutional Amendment – what happens to all the marriages that exist, legally, in the states? Or is this just the Federal Government which precludes itself from recognizing gay marriages, and every state in the union might get the thing? For how could the Federal Government tell the states that they can’t pass their own “We love gay marriage” amendments, or just plain ol’ laws? Or will those be banned? And then, back to the word thing, suppose the 50 individual states passage “Twainage” or “Gayiage” Laws, would those be prohibited, too?
And of the marriages that exist – are they to be just evaporated, without any legal proceedings? I mean, some states seem to be fine with it, and more are sure to come, and all eventually, without doubt, and the laws be made, the contracts signed – how could legal contracts simply be evaporated? Would all the gay couples be hauled into court and made to “divorce” themselves? Or swear on a Holy Bible that they were just kidding and they knew there was no legal mumbo-jumbo to think about? It presents a sticky wicket, and even an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder aspect to it – for the new Amendment would run afoul of the original wording of the fine document crafted – no bills of attainder, and the new Amendment would simply target a select few, penalize them, and render verdict without judicial proceedings. Hmm, that’s a problem, no?
Yes, I do believe a little more thought might go into the matter before we go mucking up the Constitution, of which there’s a lot of discussion already, without adding more vague and indeterminate language that would be open for endless discussion and court cases.
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