Wednesday, February 25, 2004


In response to my comment that an amendment to ban gay marriage would be the first time the US constitution has been amended to limit, rather than expand, human rights, KiwiPundit says:

The constitution has been amended to limit rights before: the eleventh amendment (limitation on lawsuits against states), the sixteenth amendment (income tax enablement), the eighteenth amendment (prohibition) and the twenty-second amendment (cannot elect the same president more than twice), all limit rights of citizens in various ways.

Piffle. Most of that is minor constitutional deck-chair rearranging, and none of it is about human rights. The closest is Prohibition, but it's nowhere near as fundamental or significant as what is being proposed. And the fact remains that an amendment to prevent gay marriage flies in the face of the great progressive trend in the US constitution, from the original Bill of Rights (which was a landmark for the world to follow), through the thirteenth (abolition of slavery), fourteenth (equal protection), fifteenth (no denying the vote on the basis of race), and nineteenth (women's suffrage) amendments.

But, if people want to be anal-retentive, please consider my original post amended to "specificly limit, rather than expand...".

(And sadly, I'm nowhere near as sanguine as KiwiPundit about the likelihood of this amendment failing. Pre-Bush, I would have agreed with him, but with the way the whole tone of America has changed during his presidency, I can no longer be so sure)