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Gay Marriage - The Bush Constitutional Amendment
Last uploaded : Friday 27th Feb 2004 at 02:38
Contributed by : The Editor


I know that my Orthodox Jewish friends will be disappointed and dismayed that I have taken this view, but I do not feel in my heart of hearts that the nature of marriage should be legislated.

In the strictest of religious terms, male homosexuality is viewed as an abomination. In these columns we have been supporters of the actions taken by the Bush Administration to avert world terror and to liberate Iraq. However, the powerful Christian fundamentalist movement in the United States interprets the biblical law as stated and will enthusiastically support President George W Bush?s proposed amendment to the United States Constitution outlawing gay marriage.

What is interesting is that in recent days, since the President?s announcement, activist Republicans have made the point that in 2000 Governor Bush lost the popular vote and will do so this year if he loses the support of several million gay Republican voters.

Several weeks ago I attended a discussion at a local Progressive Movement synagogue about the approval of gay marriage ceremonies in that shul. The proceedings were heated and divisive. One had the impression that a small number of erstwhile members might resign their memberships if such ceremonies went ahead. The belief that male-female union is the only acceptable one is a passionate one, and the anger displayed at this event indicated that families can be divided by the issue.

Notwithstanding this, the post-Shoah, post 9/11 world is a deeply troubled place and the angst with which the gay marriage issue is being greeted is in my view excessive. My greatest passion is the fact that 43 million Americans are not able to obtain health insurance and that millions of Americans are dying because they cannot afford their prescribed medications, whilst here in the UK doctors and hospitals serve us for free and a patient?s pills cost a flat $10 per scrip whatever the potion.

If two women or two men wish to be married to each other at my local city hall I am not bothered and I will not lose sleep over the news. Perhaps this is the effect of a liberal upbringing by two enlightened and highly educated, intellectual parents of whom I remain proud long after their passing. My elderly Jewish mother, in her seventies, berated ME because I expressed indifference about being an AIDS buddy!

That President Bush wishes to take the extreme step of amending the Constitution of the United States to prevent gay marriage is a sad moment in American history. Drunk drivers have killed and maimed many more innocent victims than have gay couples. In my lifetime I have seen enough battered wives and miserable husbands to know that homosexual unions should be given a chance to prosper.

I wondered, as President Bush spoke, what Benjamin Franklin would have thought. He might have pointed out that sodomy is as old as humankind. The private desires and dreams of loving couples, some of whom are more settled and principled than their homosexual counterparts, simply cannot be legislated.

As Revd Al Sharpton said tonight in the Democratic Presidential debate in Los Angeles, I do not care who a citizen sleeps with, but I do care that they will wake up in the morning knowing that they have a job.


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