Friday, November 12, 2004

Sanity about the FMA

John Tabin writes in the American Standard:

Federalism lights the way out of this conundrum. The recognition of gay unions should be entirely a matter for the states, and state parties should be free to differ as to the proper political approach; if a constitutional amendment is necessary, it is to restrain the courts rather than to define marriage for the nation. (Senator Orrin Hatch was toying earlier this year with introducing an amendment that would be ideal.) Likewise, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade ought to be the end-point of the pro-life movement on the federal level; abortion after Roe should become -- as it was before Roe -- a state matter.

I'd better admit that I'll be on the opposite side of many conservatives in these state-level battles: I favor gay marriage, and though I'd love to see a judiciary that would overturn Roe, a proxy for so much judicial mischief, I'd prefer to see early-term abortion stay legal. But we'll remain bound on foreign policy and economic issues in a strong Republican coalition despite our differences. And that's the point, isn't it?
(Emphasis mine)

Even if you think that abortion should be illegal at the Federal level (as I rather do) making it a state issue seems like a good first step. But my real point in citing this passage is that this is one of the few times I have heard a proposal in support of a constitutional ammendment to restrain the judiciary. To be sure, it is in the subjunctive mood and I suspect that Tabin might not agree that it is necessary. But at least the notion is on the table, hmm?
(Via Randy Barnett at the Conspiracy.)

Also note this interesting study on why the FMA has not produced the groundswell of support that some religious conservative leaders have predicted:
The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press completed a poll of 1,703 American adults concerning the FMA and other topics. Margin of error is about 2.4%.

In question 37, they found that:

32% favored allowing same-sex couples to marry
59% opposed allowing SSM
9% had no opinion or refused to answer.

They then asked only the 59% who opposed same-sex marriage for their opinion on the FMA:

36% favor the FMA to ban SSM
21% oppose the FMA
2% had no opinion or refused to answer.
So, over a third of people who oppose same-sex marriage also oppose the FMA. I would like to see that number climb, of course, to the point where we can safely ignore the matter and focus on conservative approaches to establishing a just society. Time will tell.

No comments: