Gay Marriage Amendment: Meaningless and Mean-Spirited

| Tue Jul. 18, 2006 2:04 PM EDT

AP reports:

A proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was headed toward a House vote Tuesday with supporters resigned to another losing effort but determined to highlight it in this fall's elections.

"This vote will serve as an opportunity for each and every member of this body to go on record in support or in opposition to protecting the traditional definition of marriage," said Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., at the opening of the debate on the proposal to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

Opponents disparaged the measure as both meaningless — the Senate last month decisively rejected the amendment — and mean-spirited.

"This bill, to put it simply and bluntly, is about adding discrimination and intolerance to the United States Constitution," said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass.

If you missed it the first time around, Richard Ford had a piece in Slate last week in which he wondered, a propos the recent proliferation of gay marriage bans, if they reflected not so much anti-gay bigotry as a "deeper-seated anxiety about gender and gender roles," which earned him a good mauling from a number of Slate readers. (I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest they probably stem from...a bit of both.)

P.S. Meanwhile, a Colorado gay-rights group yesterday accused Focus on the Family founder James Dobson of manipulating research data to say gays and lesbians are not good parents. The NYU sociologist whose research is an issue called Dobson's interpretation "a direct misrepresentation of the research." The group, Soulforce, set out to march 65 miles to Focus H.Q. in Colorado Springs to confront the man himself. (AP)

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