- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 25, 2003

The advocacy of gay activists who want the same recognition and status as heterosexual couples has fueled a national debate that is leading Republicans to consider opposing homosexual marriage in their national platform. “There is a lot of energy out there, a lot of concern about gay marriage,” Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said. “So it wouldn’t surprise me if it were addressed in some form or fashion in the platform.”

On the other hand, although several Democratic presidential aspirants oppose same-sex marriage, such as Sens. Joseph Lieberman, Bob Graham, John Kerry, John Edwards, Rep. Dick Gephardt and Gen. Wesley Clark, the Democratic National Committee has remained silent on this issue, so as to not offend that key constituency. Only three Democratic presidential contestants — Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun and Rep. Dennis Kucinich — say they believe federal law should approve same-sex marriage.

Currently, there are seven cases pending in Massachusetts in which homosexual couples assert a 14th Amendment, equal-protection clause right to same-sex marriage. This litigation puts in dispute the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by Bill Clinton, which attempts to pre-empt state law and outlaw same-sex marriage.

Although President Bush has endorsed marriage as a union between one man and one woman, many social and religious conservatives are divided on whether the sanctity of marriage should be protected through a constitutional amendment. Further differences remain concerning the language of such an amendment.

Homosexual advocates accuse those who oppose same-sex marriage of being intolerant of their “lifestyle” and seek to discriminate against them. Mr. Gillespie says the opposite is true: “Tolerance is no longer defined as my accepting people for who they are,” Mr. Gillespie said. “I think when people say, ‘Well, no, that’s not enough that you accept me for who I am, you have to agree with — and condone — my choice,’ that to me is religious bigotry, and I believe that is intolerant. I think they are the ones who are crossing the line here.”

Mr. Gillespie’s analysis is correct, and we support the GOP’s desire to preserve marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Marriage, as of one man and one woman, has been the bedrock of civilization from the beginning of recorded history. We should not allow intolerance by the few to pre-empt the settled moral judgment of civilization.

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