Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Monday, June 26, 2006

Allard Attacks the Constitution

In his defense of my challenge to his proposed anti-gay marriage amendment, Colorado Senator Allard did not respond directly to my fundamental point. I'll try to make that point more clear here.

The position against gay marriage is a religious position. The loudest voices on this issue come from religious leaders like James Dobson, and the politicians trying to suck up to them. At the same time, there are religions in which gay marriage is celebrated. For example, in the Unitarian church several ministers have performed gay marriage (and been arrested for it!). Clearly, when leaders of one religion believes one thing and leaders of another religion believes something else, this is a matter of religious belief.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman, violates the First Amendment in two ways. First, it violates the establishment clause. It is a law passed by Congress that mandates the beliefs of a certain set of religions (in other words, establishes those beliefs as law). Second, it violates the free exercise clause, by preventing members of those religions that support gay marriage from freely exercising their religions. Arresting a minister for practicing her beliefs is in direct contradiction to this core principle laid down by our founding fathers.

What about putting the gay marriage ban into the constitution? Doesn't that get around this problem?

Well, Senator Allard and all of his peers took an oath, which reads, in part:
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States ... and ... I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same
This means placing respect for the Constitution at the highest level. Authoring an amendment that violates the principles of the First Amendment seems to me to be the exact opposite of supporting and defending the Constitution. Attempting to change the will of our founding fathers does not seem to exhibit true faith and allegiance, but rather a religious-based attack.

In fact, I would maintain that Allard's amendment, even if it were to pass, would not be Constitutionally valid. Because the introduction of Allard's amendment to the Senate is tantamount to making a law that violates the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment, that act in and of itself is unconstitutional and should not stand.

Let me be clear here. My position is not anti-religious. It is pro-religious. I encourage Wayne Allard to believe and practice the religion of his choice. The history of mankind is full of examples of people using religion to accomplish great things. However, our country was founded on the principle that no religion can have supremacy, and that the beliefs of the minority need to be protected against the tyranny of the majority.

Senator Allard, get your religion out of my Constitution!

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