Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court discovered that the state constitution – written in 1780 – requires the state to allow gay marriages. The court gave the legislature six months to rewrite the law to comply with the heretofore unnoticed gay marriage provision in a 223-year-old constitution, leaving countless gay couples a scant six months to select a silverware pattern. Out of respect for my gay male readers, I'll resist the temptation to characterize this ruling as "shoving gay marriage down our throats."
The Massachusetts Constitution was written by John Adams, who was quite religious. It is the most explicitly Christian document since the New Testament, with lots of references to "the great Legislator of the universe." Adams certainly would have been astonished to discover that the constitution he wrote provided for gay marriage – though one can see how a reference to two men marrying might get lost among the minutiae about the common good and "duty of all men in society, publicly and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe."
The main lesson from the court's discovery of the hidden gay-marriage clause is that these judges are in the wrong job. If they can find a right to gay marriage in the Massachusetts Constitution – never before detected by any human being – we need to get them looking for Osama bin Laden. These guys can find anything!
And if we don't get Massachusetts judges out of the country soon, we could start reading headlines like:
The Democratic presidential candidates reacted with glee to the court's gay-marriage ruling, relieved that they could talk about gay marriage instead of their insane ideas on national defense. But then they realized this meant they would have to talk about gay marriage.
Except for the nut candidates who always forget to lie about their positions, all the Democratic presidential candidates earnestly insist that they oppose gay marriage. They are for "civil unions" with all the legal rights of marriage. But not marriage! No sir.
As governor of Vermont, Howard Dean actually signed a bill providing for these magical "civil unions." Having already been forgiven for his remarks about the Confederate flag by both of the black people currently living in Vermont, now Dean wants to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their flower shops. But even Dean emphasized that Vermont's civil union law does not legalize gay "marriage."
And even in Ben-and-Jerryville, it took a court to force the state to recognize civil unions by discovering that right in the Vermont Constitution. (WHERE'S OSAMA?)
The big argument for "civil unions" – but not marriage! – is that gays are denied ordinary civil rights here in the American Taliban. This is where gays usually bring up the argument about all the straight couples living in "sham" marriages, but I see no point in dragging the Clintons into this.
The classic formulation was given by John Kerry in the Democratic debate earlier this week: "What we're talking about is somebody's right to be able to visit a loved one in a hospital, somebody's right to be able to pass on property, somebody's right to live equally under the state laws as other people in the country." You would think there were "Straights Only" water fountains, the way Democrats carry on so (as if any gay man would drink non-bottled water).
Apparently, health care in this country is better than we've been led to believe if so few Americans have ever been to a hospital that they think there's a guest list. In case you don't know: Gays already can visit loved ones in hospitals. They can also visit neighbors, random acquaintances and total strangers in hospitals – just like everyone else.
Gays can also pass on property to whomever they would like, including their cats. Every few years you read about some daft rich widow leaving her entire estate to a cat. It's perfectly legal. You just need to write a will. Liberals have figured out how to get abortions for 13-year-old girls without their parents' permission. But we're supposed to believe that they just can't get their heads around how a gay guy could leave property to his partner.
As for "living equally under the state laws as other people in the country," unless Kerry is referring to the precise thing he claims to oppose – gay marriage – gays do live equally under the state laws as other people in the country. There are no special speed-limit laws or trespassing laws or murder laws for gays. There is, however, some evidence of gay profiling with regard to the enforcement of fashion "don'ts."
What gays can't do is get married – something all Democrats swear up and down to oppose. Instead, the Democrats demand "civil unions" and then throw out a series of red herrings to explain why. In fact, the only difference between what the Democrats claim to support (civil unions) and what they claim to oppose (gay marriage) is the word "marriage." As John Kerry explained: "I think the term 'marriage' gets in the way of what is really being talked about here."
Republicans ought to try that: We don't support "guns" – the term "gun" gets in the way of what is really being talked about here – we want choice in personal security devices. We don't want a "ban" on partial-birth abortions; we just don't want there to be any of them. We don't support "tax cuts"; we support a "union" between people and about 60 to 70 percent of their money. We don't support "war" with Iraq; we are talking about somebody's right to be able to visit a loved one in a hospital.
Except the difference is: All those positions are popular with voters, so Republicans don't have to lie. The Democrats' purported opposition to gay marriage is like all their other phony policy statements that are the opposite of what they really believe.
When they're running for office, all Democrats claim to support tax cuts (for the middle class), to support gun rights (for hunters) and to "personally oppose" abortion. And then they get into office and vote to raise taxes, ban guns and allow abortions if a girl can't fit into her prom dress.
The common wisdom holds that "both parties" have to appeal to the extremes during the primary and then move to the center for the general election. To the contrary, both parties run for office as conservatives. Once they have fooled the voters and are safely in office, Republicans sometimes double-cross the voters. Democrats always do.