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    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Rejoice! Well, for a minute anyway until they reintroduce it again...

    Earlier today, the U.S. Senate voted 49 to 48 to defeat the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment. THANK YOU for all you did to stop this ridiculous attempt by the religious right to write bigotry into our Constitution.

    This is the third time that religious extremists have pushed this Amendment to a vote in Congress. While once again the measure failed, the religious right is committed to continuing their campaign to violate the rights of gay and lesbian Americans.

    Furthermore, the Federal Marriage Amendment is only one piece of their larger agenda. Their
    successful efforts to stop stem cell research, force bible classes into our public schools, and attack our children's science education leave no doubt that the religious right is on the warpath.
    Thank you for your efforts to stop them today. The religious right is not backing down, and neither are we, but we need your help. Ask a friend or family member to join you and DefCon in our fight to stop people like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Tony Perkins. Simply click here to tell a friend to join the Campaign to Defend the Constitution.
    You'll be hearing from us soon on what's next. Until then, keep up the fight and stay tuned to the DefCon Blog for more updates.

    Clark, Jessica, and the rest of the DefCon America team"

    Why do Government folks write to you AFTER they've done what you didn't want them to do?
    Senator Jim Talent wrote me a letter yesterday because I wrote to him asking him to please vote against writing discrimination into the constitution by rewriting the definition of marriage to say only between one man and one woman. I couldn't help but to write him back.

    Here's what he wrote me:

    "Thank you for contacting me regarding your opposition to the Federal
    Marriage Amendment. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your
    views with me, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
    This issue is upon us because the Massachusetts Supreme Court decided,
    with no input from the citizens of Massachusetts, that same sex
    marriages should be permitted. Because of the way our federal system works,
    it is likely that other courts will force people in other states to
    recognize same-sex marriages contracted in Massachusetts, and the federal
    courts may force it upon the people in a national case.

    Marriage is our oldest social institution. It is older than our formal
    religions and our systems of property and justice, and it certainly
    predates the Constitution and the existence of the United States. And
    marriage may be the most important of all these institutions because it
    represents the accumulated wisdom of literally hundreds of generations
    over thousands of years about how best to lay the foundation of a home in
    which we can raise and socialize our children. This does not mean that
    every child is or can be raised as the product of a traditional
    marriage. It just means that, for reasons which we cannot fully explain but
    which have been overwhelmingly validated by social science, the idea of
    marriage is tremendously important to the fabric of civil society.
    In other words, marriage is what it is because our society has
    collectively judged over centuries that marriage as so defined is the best way
    to perpetuate and perfect the mores of good individual and social life.
    And according to the traditional definition, everyone has the right to
    get married but not to anybody he or she may choose; you can't marry a
    sibling, for example, or a person who is already married-and this is
    true regardless of the perceived justice or injustice of such
    restrictions in particular cases. The same has always held true for same-sex
    marriage, and we don't have anywhere near enough experience with
    same-sex couples to say that we should discard this restriction. To the
    extent we have experience with same sex marriage, the results have been
    disquieting. In the Scandinavian countries which have permitted same sex
    marriage, marriage of all kinds has systematically declined. The more
    malleable the definition of marriage becomes, the less respect people
    have for it, and the less important it is as part of family life.

    But apart from all this is the question of whether courts should be
    deciding these issues. The first and most basic political right is the
    right to self government. This means, among other things, that courts
    have no authority to issue and enforce decrees upon the people of this
    country unless they act on the basis of some law which was enacted with
    popular consent. Of course, a court decision actually based upon the
    Constitution would have a basis in the consent of the people. But on
    what intellectually honest basis can it be said that the constitution of
    Massachusetts requires the people of that state to change their marriage
    law in such a radical way?

    The only way to justify such a decision is on the theory that the
    people intended to vest in judges the right to govern by decree-to rule as
    they see fit, regardless of what the Constitution and statutes actually
    say, were intended to say, or have always been understood as saying.
    The question is not whether judges should be strict or liberal
    constructionists, but whether the judicial function is still one of construction
    at all, or whether judges should be allowed to make the law up as they
    go along. This can not be admitted without discarding the first
    principles of representative government.

    I voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment because a Constitutional
    amendment is the only sure means now remaining for trying to preserve the
    traditional definition of marriage. If the courts complete the process
    of imposing their views on the people, their decisions will be
    irreversible through any process other than Constitutional amendment.
    Again, thank you for contacting me. If I can be of further assistance,
    please don't hesitate to call or write.
    Thank you for your email. To contact me on this or any other subject,
    please go to http://talent.senate.gov/Contact/default.cfm

    Senator Jim Talent"

    My return Letter to him:
    Mr. Talent,I realize that you are a busy man, but I am confused.I hope you can clear this up for me please.

    You say that you voted for the marriage amendment, creating a block on freedoms, forcing one view on all people, and going against the wishes of those you represent because you don't like the idea of the government being able to make decisions to force apeople to accept the freedom of others. You also say that you beleive in a representative government.

    I realize that you are skilled in the double talk used by all career politicians, however, I wonder if you realize that you just contradicted yourself? I will keep you vote in mind for the next election,and I wish you the best in your new career, whatever that may be. *smile*


    TheRambleman said...

    I like the letter you sent back to him. If the sheople of Missouri have any guts at all, then they'll not only vote him out, but all the right-wing radical extremists (dems and repubs) out of office come November. One can hope anyway.

    Arthur_Vandelay said...

    It just means that, for reasons which we cannot fully explain

    Did he actually just say that???

    There's your evidence, if further evidence were needed, that the anti-same-sex-marriage side of the debate is mired in truthiness.