Editors' note: This piece is co-authored by Ken Klukowski.
Same-sex marriage is back as a front-burner issue in American politics.
On August 4, a federal judge in San Francisco held that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down part of the California Constitution defining marriage as one man and one woman. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ordered an expedited schedule to consider this case, with arguments to be held in December.
Now former RNC chairman and 2004 Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman came out this week, announcing he’s homosexual, and pushing the Republican Party to support the homosexual-rights agenda. Republicans leaders are beginning to weigh in on where they stand, including on the agenda’s centerpiece: Redefining marriage.
The Republican Party has an official position on same-sex marriage. It’s found in the 2008 GOP platform, which is the clear and uncontestable Republican position until the 2012 convention. When one of your authors (Blackwell) was serving as vice chairman of the GOP Platform Committee, there was a singular focus on producing a party platform that fully reflects the vast majority of Republican Party members.
The GOP platform could not be more explicit: Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. The fundamental institution of human civilization should be preserved as it has been known through the entirety of American history and Western civilization. Supporters of same-sex marriage had the full opportunity to make their case to the party. They made it, and they lost.
But whether same-sex marriage should be legal is a completely separate issue from whether there’s a right to same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution. A person can support same sex marriage, but admit that it’s a state issue to be decided locally, not a right that can be imposed on a state—or the nation—by federal judges.
That’s where supporters of same-sex marriage cannot have it both ways. Central to the Republican agenda is that the U.S. Constitution must be interpreted according to its original meaning. If the Constitution must be changed, then we do so democratically through the amendment process. Republicans demand that judges interpret the Constitution as written, not rewrite it from the bench.