The Fourth Choice

Ending the Reign of Activist Judges

If you are looking for a reason to vote for Ralph Nader, the way both parties are handling the “gay marriage” issue should give you lots of data.  John Kerry, when asked his opinion of “gay marriage,” looks like a dog getting a bath, as Chris Hitchens puts it.  Kerry says he personally opposes “gay marriage”—but he favors civil unions, which are exactly the same thing.  The states, he says, should decide the issue, but he voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was specifically designed to allow each state to reject marriage licenses issued in other states.  Even President Bush, who seems to have the advantage on the issue, is ill at ease.  He vacillated for months and then proposed a constitutional amendment banning “gay marriage” but condoning civil unions: “The amendment,” he said, “should fully protect marriage while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.”  The status in other states of a New Hampshire civil union is left to the courts—the same “activist courts” who, the President said, were so irresponsible that they made the amendment necessary in the first place.  Neither Kerry nor Bush has a coherent position.

How did the issue of “gay marriage” come to the fore of social and political debate? ...

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