Marriage on the Rocks

By Neumayr, George | The American Spectator, February 2004 | Go to article overview

Marriage on the Rocks


Neumayr, George, The American Spectator


(The GOP needs counseling)

SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES asked officials at the White House last year to issue a proclamation endorsing "Marriage Protection Week." The White House initially refused, they say. Officials worried that the proclamation might lead to unfavorable PR for the president. Its squeamishness over such an innocuous gesture stunned social conservatives. They had to bring pressure from some of their most powerful members to bear on the White House before it finally issued the proclamation. "Our leaders had to call the White House and say, 'You won't even do this?'" says a Washington, D.C. activist. The White House bitterly resented the lobbying. A prominent White House official angrily called one activist and said, "You will get your proclamation," and then hung up.

The incident leaves social conservatives concerned that the White House will show similar ambivalence about a constitutional amendment to protect marriage. They say that White House officials would prefer if President Bush simply punted on the issue.

"White House officials will spend political capital on issues like the Medicare entitlement bill," says one. "But they won't spend political capital on protecting marriage." This social conservative fears that if the White House does support a marriage amendment in 2004 it will do so cynically, without bothering to fight for it. "The White House will probably support the amendment, knowing that it will fail, and then go to the base and say cynically, 'Look, we tried,'" he says.

Asked if the White House would support a constitutional marriage amendment with the same intensity it pushed the Medicare prescription drug bill, a prominent operative who works closely with the White House responded to TAS: "You mean, the anti-gay amendment?" A telling reply. Evidently some at the White House equate support for traditional marriage with homophobia. Pressed further, the operative's final answer was, "I don't know." Not enough polling has been done on the issue yet, he said.

On Capitol Hill Republican support for a marriage amendment isn't as flaky. But deep division and confusion still exist on the issue. A Capitol Hill insider present at meetings amongst House and Senate Republicans on the marriage amendment describes the mood as one of "stunned confusion." Strategy sessions about the marriage amendment are "a total mess," with Republicans going in all directions at once. There are disagreements on everything from the need for an amendment to the wording of it. A White House draft of a marriage amendment circulating in December shocked social conservatives in that it "almost invites the states to pass civil unions," as one put it.

EVEN A TOOTHLESS MARRIAGE AMENDMENT-One that bans homosexual marriage but would permit de facto homosexual marriage in the form of civil unions-isn't guaranteed to pass through a controversy-averse Republican Senate. Activists say Republican senators are either "clueless" or "treacherous" (some Republican senators with ties to homosexual groups are showing up at the meetings) on the amendment. "I was up on Capitol Hill and met with a bunch of senators. None of them appeared to have read or been briefed on the implications of the Supreme Court Lawrence decision," says a leading activist. "Republicans are at best unserious and often defeatist when it comes to debating anything that is central to the culture war."

Democrats appear ready to oppose an amendment. But homosexual marriage leaves them deeply skittish too. The issue has produced ironic inertia all around: most Democrats are too afraid of public opinion to support homosexual marriage; many Republicans are too afraid of public opinion to oppose it.

Judicial activists, meanwhile, are not as bashful. As Republicans dither over whether to advance a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, courts are dismantling it. The Massachusetts Supreme Court last year discovered a right to homosexual marriage in the Massachusetts constitution that John Adams apparently missed. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Marriage on the Rocks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.