Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Gay Marriage: State of the Union of Two People

For those who missed it, the entire 2004 State of the Union speech is transcripted here.

Here’s the “gay marriage” portion:
A strong America must also value the institution of marriage.  I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization.  Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton.  That statute protects marriage under federal law as a union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states.

Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives.  On an issue of such great consequence, the people’s voice must be heard.  If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.  Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.  (Applause.)

The outcome of this debate is important — and so is the way we conduct it.  The same moral tradition that defines marriage also teaches that each individual has dignity and value in God’s sight.  (Applause.)
Items of note:
  • Nowhere does he say what the issue is.  You have to know what he is talking about to know what he is talking about.  Certainly can’t mention gays and lesbians!
  • This is the only place Clinton was mentioned in the speech.  Implication: “Look, Dems!  Even your hero was against this!”
  • Technically, the Defense of Marriage Act just says that State A doesn’t have to respect what State B says about same-sex marriage-type stuff.  That’s a bit different from State B is not allowed to redefine what marriage means for other states.
  • I’m sure there are people who believe DOMA is constitutionally valid simply because it hasn’t been challenged in the courts.  When there’s been nothing to enforce (until Massachusetts), there’s been nothing to challenge.
  • “Activist judges” are anyone who doesn’t decide in the way you want.  As opposed to, say, judges who decide that votes don’t really have to be counted.

Updated on November 12, 2010

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