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THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Constitutional prohibition of same-sex unions unneeded

Voters in Alabama overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution that bans same-sex marriages — even though homosexual unions are already illegal in the state.

Forty-five states have now acted to define traditional marriage in ways that ban same-sex unions. A vast majority of Americans believe marriage to be the union of a man and a woman exclusively.

But, at the same time, an equal majority of Americans believe the issue does not require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, according to the most recent polls.

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. But sponsors of the Senate proposal vow to revisit the issue, and the House plans to bring it up next month.

The rhetoric surrounding the divisive issue is impressive. Proponents of a constitutional gay-marriage ban claim that same-sex unions are a threat to traditional marriage. They claim failing to ban homosexual unions at the federal level will somehow destroy traditional marriage.

The truth is that same-sex marriages are no threat to traditional unions. Right or wrong, there are many couples of the same gender — some of them married in states where such weddings are legal — who have loving, lasting relationships. Those couples have no hostility to traditional marriages.

In reality, the politicians promoting a constitutional amendment know that gay unions are no threat to their own marriages. But they also know that the issue always activates the conservative bloc on Election Day.

This country has more important issues that need attention. Let's refocus the energy expended in the gay-marriage fight toward meaningful issues that actually affect everyday Americans.

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