"They Wouldn't Want Her to Marry Meth-Head Eddie Either"
Yesterday I found one of my all-time favorite editorials about this issue. The Chetek Alert, up in Barron County, took a position against the amendment. Whoever wrote it has some great lines and really knows how to boil down the issue.
Here's the full text:
November 01, 2006
Editorial: Amendments waste time, resources
Added to a host of potentially close election races on Tuesday's ballot are two state amendments. Both have been hot-button topics for citizens, one for over 100 years and one more so in the past two decades. But what percentage of the masses is truly affected by these
One amendment regards the union of marriage. With a "yes" vote, only a marriage between "one man and one woman" will be recognized as valid in Wisconsin. Approval of the other amendment would enact the death penalty for cases involving first-degree intentional homicide, if supported by DNA evidence.
The Assembly voted 62-31 to approve the Republican-sponsored marriage amendment in February, sending it to the voters statewide on Tuesday.
Wisconsin could be the first state to defeat such a gay marriage ban.
Fifteen states have amended their state constitutions to define or redefine marriage, and three others have passed amendments to void same-sex marriages.
The death penalty amendment would reverse a ban that was instated in 1853, the longest such ban in the nation. DNA appears to be the deciding factor, as critics say that type of evidence is only available in less than half of homicide cases.
Legislators, and not just Wisconsin's, have rehashed these issues over and over. And like a bad case of the gout, they go away for awhile and come back with annoying regularity.
Meanwhile, taxpayers move to different states seeking affordable housing, the noose tightens around the necks of school districts, hundreds of thousands go uncovered because of unaffordable health care, and there's still a huge flushing sound in the Middle East. Yet
the discussions about who should marry whom and whether to reverse a 153-year-old law linger on. Are these discussions legislative attempts to avoid the real issues that plague our citizens?
There are dozens of reasons critics are using to oppose the gay marriage and civil union ban, including the rash of benefits that would be lost to happily unmarried couples. But both amendments can be construed as attempts to legislate our morals and ways of thinking.
This is conservative northern Wisconsin. While we like to say we're open-minded, we are also aware there are many Mel Gibsons-in-hiding. Most don't want their daughter marrying her college roommate. But they don't want her marrying meth-head Eddie down the street, either. Don't suppose you'll see that on any ballots in the near future. Will we soon try to govern a divorce rate that escalates at unbelievable rates each year? Our forefathers would've never guessed we'd reach this point.
These are types of legislation that should take place in a living room, not a legislative room. Some voters no doubt carry these issues close to their hearts for personal reasons. But don't you wish your lawmakers were spending their money and time on other topics of interest that affect you every day?