Anti-Gay Rights Legislators Seek Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage

While the Supreme Court recently decriminalized gay sex, Congress is considering a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Though marriage is already defined by the federal Defense of Marriage Act as the legal union of one man and one woman, on May 21, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) sponsored an amendment to the Constitution stating, “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state under state or federal law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.”

Although the amendment has little chance of making it to the Constitution, as it would need to be ratified by three-fourths of the states, it is already garnering support from top Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday he would support the amendment. Discussing the matter on ABC’s “This Week,” Frist stated, “I very much feel that marriage is a sacrament, and that sacrament should extend and can extend to that legal entity of a union between-what is traditionally in our Western values has been defined-as between a man and a woman. So I would support the amendment,” according to the Associated Press.

Gay rights advocates, including gay Republicans, have already expressed their outrage over the proposed amendment. As Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Patrick Guerriero told Gay.com, “Following last week’s Supreme Court decision affirming our fundamental privacy rights and calling for basic respect for gay and lesbian Americans, we expected a backlash from the radical right. We expect better from thoughtful elected representatives. They need to get their priorities straight.”

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Gay.com 6/30/03; Associated Press 6/30/03

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