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Marriage amendment, we hardly knew ye

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Last week the Republican-controlled Senate failed to ratify a Constitutional amendment prohibiting women with crew cuts and men who genuinely love Capri pants from visiting their significant others in hospitals, collecting on deceased loved ones’ pensions, taking paid leave to care for a sick partner or any of the other roughly 1,049 federal benefits that legally married couples enjoy.

Gay couples still cannot have these things, as no states have as of yet given gay marriage the go-ahead. But it’s good news for Adam and Steve, we suppose, that their lifestyles will not be forbidden by the Constitution.

It’s a step, or maybe a misstep, in the right direction.

For the record, there are currently no gay full-time staffers here at YES! Weekly ‘— or maybe there are and we just don’t know about it. Either way, we don’t really care as long as everybody makes their deadlines and hits their goals.

And those of us who are married are unable to see how gay marriages pose a threat to our relationships.

None of us, however, are confused as to why this particular piece of legislation even saw the light of day: Elections are coming up and once again the Republicans are trying to mobilize the righteously indignant, just as they did before the 2004 presidential election.

But while homophobia proved to be a valuable tactic in that contest, this time around the fear mongering may come at a cost.

Everybody knew that this move for a Constitutional amendment was a dog, from the twinks walking the street to the old guard GOP senators like John McCain who hinted last week that he hoped he and the rest of our elected officials could soon get back to more pressing business, items like the defense authorization bill and’… oh, I don’t know’… health care?

Even W himself is rumored to be sick of all this ‘“gay talk’” on the Hill ‘— a personal friend used an expletive to describe just how little the president cared whether Heather could have two mommies or not.

And yet they trotted out this old horse and put it on the block anyway, hoping it would rally the church supper faction to the cause while blowing smoke over the most recent allegations of inhumane conduct on the part of some of our soldiers overseas.

But these same social conservatives have seen this song and dance before: Wasn’t it on the ballot in 11 states in ’04? Has there been a significant reduction in gayness since then?

We don’t believe there has.

So those who will base their vote in November strictly on the gay thing likely recognize that the administration doesn’t actually plan to do anything about it except bring it up every two years or so to cause a stir and, apparently, waste valuable time during a finite lawmaking session. And those who adhere to a more strict definition of the label ‘“conservative,’” who lean towards policies that embrace less spending and borrowing, more personal freedom and smaller government, have one more reason not to vote the Republican ticket in November.

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