Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Leaguers, you know I do not often touch upon the political in this column.

Just thought I'd post this Amendment which certain folks in DC are currently trying to tinker with.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

On Wednesday, our Senate will be seeking to repeal Amendment IX of the Bill of Rights. The Senate shall be voting to decide whether or not citizens from our nation will be able find wedded happiness, or whether homosexuals will be relegated to the status of a second-class citizen. In deciding whether or not homosexuals can marry, our representatives are taking steps to ensure that they are the first congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment which can deny a portion of our citizenry the same freedoms given to others. If this Amendment passes, it will be the first sweeping law by our government to institutionalize discrimination with no chance of appeal.

This act is the single most egregious affront to liberty to face the United States in my lifetime. This is not an act being perpetrated by our nation's enemies. This is an attack on the freedom of our own citizenry by our own representatives.

I urge all Leaguers to visit the MoveOn.org web-site and sign the petition to stop the passage of the proposed Amendment banning Gay Marriage.

It's been stated in the media that the Senate doesn't have enough votes to get this Amendment through, and this is a largely parliamentary procedure, meant to divide the Democrats or the public, or some body of people who cannot agree on the issue. And the introduction of the Amendment is certainly an appeal to social conservatives, so in an election year, it's been reported to be a win-win political move. Consequently, the media is more or less writing this whole ordeal off as a bit of showmanship.

I don't agree. I apologize for breaking from the usual nonsense in these pages, but I do have a small (minute, by all counts) readership, and if I didn't say something on this issue, I don't think I'd be doing my duty as a citizen. I love the US for its potential and its promise and its unending ability to deliver to its citizens a chance for hope and prosperity. I recognize that these are things which are not possible in much of the rest of the world.

I am ashamed to witness the Senate's acts this week, whether for partisan favor, or out of genuine distrust of our own American citizenry. The contempt that the Senate shows for the American population with this proposed Amendment is no less dehumanizing than the Jim Crow Laws.

We were given an amazing document in the Constitution. But it could not be ratified without the Bill of Rights. These rights granted us the basis of the freedoms which we purport to enjoy, but somehow cannot abide our neighbors enjoying. The document has withstood the scrutiny of more than two-hundred years, withstanding the batterings of the times and even an ill-fated Amendment or two. The proposed Amendment does little more than weaken Amendment IX, and, by default, the Bill of Rights.

Our Constitution was designed to limit no one but our government, protecting the citizens from the excesses of the ambitious. No one vested in the freedom of our citizens should agree our citizenry can be told by their government that they are forbidden to engage in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

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