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The Defense of Marriage Act
A Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage
Many members of congress have expressed support for an amendment to the constitution that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman. This idea came about in response to the various states that are now allowing homosexuals to get married. This amendment would prevent those states from performing these types of marriages, and would nullify all of the marriages that have already been performed.
Do you Agree with Gay Marriage?
Are you For or Against Gay Marriage?
Problems with the Defense of Marriage Act
I see two main issues with a constitutional amendment defining marriage. The first is a freedom of speech issue. I mentioned this briefly in my Hub "Stupid Things Rick Santorum Says", because Mr. Santorum one of the politicians who really thinks that this is a good idea.
We can not have a constitutional amendment to the constitution that limits our first amendment right of free speech. I know that it seems far-fetched to think of it this way, but rights don't ever get taken away in one fell swoop. Rights are slowly eroded away, bit by bit, and it usually starts with something small, something that a majority of the population doesn't care about anyway. We have already begun to lose our rights with the Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Supreme Courts most recent ruling that anyone arrested for even the most minor offense can be legally strip searched. Now there are ideas to limit the freedom of speech. We could no longer say things such as "he is married to his work" or "that painting has the perfect marriage of blue and green" or any other phrase that mentions marriage outside of the constitutional approved usage of "between a man and a woman".
This constitutional amendment would technically make any other usage of the word illegal. In today's society, we most likely wouldn't be arrested for "improper usage" of this word. However, is this a chance that we are willing to take? And if it starts with defining this word, where will it end? This seems like the start of a movement to 1984 to me. It is a horrifying thought.
The second reason why all Americans should oppose the Defense of Marriage Act is that it limits the rights of Americans. We should never add an amendment to the constitution that limits the rights of any group of citizens. Many people support this amendment, but what if it were YOUR group that was losing a right? It could very well be next time. This is another slippery slope. I understand that many people are against gay marriage due to religious reasons, and that is fine. If you think gay marriage is against your religion, don't participate in gay marriage. The first amendment guarantees freedom of religion (even though that is another right that they are trying to strip from us, but I digress) and even if your religion vehemently opposes gay marriages and homosexuality, not all religions do, and not all people do. Don't let your religious beliefs strip the rights from others.
Dont Support the Defense of Marriage Act
Please. Even if you don't personally agree with gays getting married, don't let our congress pass an amendment to the constitution that could potentially limit the rights of everyone. Think about the possible repercussions. Write your congressman and tell them that you DO NOT support an amendment to the constitution defining any word, including marriage.