Family and The Constitution

This hails from 2004 when, I think folks were going on about a Constitutional amendment to define family.

Despite the emotional rhetoric, “Traditional Marriage” is not under attack in America. “Marriage Protection” implies that expanding the legal definition of a civil union somehow harms conventional marriage. I think family is the bedrock of society and the foundation of civilization, of which traditional marriage has been a very important part. In light of the various statistics that put the divorce rate at around 50% and a 2003 Rutgers study that 40% of married Americans as not happily married, perhaps we need some alternatives. It just surprises me that traditional marriage has fallen to the point where it is need of an amendment to the United States Constitution to prop it up.

The only thing being attacked here is the position that only certain configurations of family can be rewarded the government seal of approval. This is a religious issue that has once again been turned into a political one. I know for a fact that those who seriously advocate alternatives to conventional marriage are not in any way asking religions to alter their beliefs. Those religions that have a problem with the alternatives can choose, as a group, to simply not allow it “on their watch”. It is wrong to write marriage doctrines and religious ritual into the constitution, thus forcing a particular version of family on the rest of society. Perhaps this is another case of organized religion believing that it has the only rational course for society to follow in order to produce positive results and using the power of the government to make sure everyone follows that course. Families come in many forms and it should be the government’s job to identify those structures that work, and not limit itself by religious doctrine. The alternatives available to establish family units are not going away, regardless of how much legislation is thrown in its path. To modify the Constitution of the United States to codify a religious view of what constitutes family is an insult to our Constitution and turning a blind eye to alternatives. Perhaps those alternatives could work to help some of the many victims created by our limited view of what constitutes a legal family. The improved definition of family should establish parental rights and responsibilities, grant next-of-kin status for such purposes as medical decisions, and insure legal rights with regard to property and taxes. We should also be working harder to address those problems that make it hard for any family to be successful. Lets talk about getting families out of poverty, enhancing air quality, demanding cleaner food, better education for failing schools, affordable health care, and using our tax dollars wisely. Contemplate the possibilities for beneficial programs to help families in light of the expected $200,000,000,000 (yes Billion) we are likely to spend in the Invasion/Occupation of Iraq in service of America’s petroleum addiction.

If you have not registered to vote, do it tomorrow. Please be an informed voter and don’t forget to ask for a receipt, you might need it.

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