- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 13, 2004

The left has always controlled the rhetorical playing field on which we debate the issue of homosexual rights. By seeking a constitutional amendment to define marriage, Republicans are playing into their hands. Not only are they dignifying a preposterous issue with debate, they have elevated it to the majesty of a constitutional question.

Until very recently, same-sex “marriage” has been considered only as farce. The modern homosexual movement gives us little reason to take it more seriously.

Compulsive promiscuity is one of the defining characteristics of the “gay lifestyle.” The well-known Bell/Weinstein study found 74 percent of homosexual men reported having more than 100 partners during their lifetimes, 41 percent reported more than 500 partners, and 28 percent more than 1,000 partners. Long-term coupling among homosexuals is rare, while a lifetime monogamous relationship — i.e., the traditional definition of marriage — is statistically nil.

“Marriage,” on the other hand, is a word plainly understood in every culture for all recorded history. Instead of treating the Massachusetts judicial rulings with hand-wringing consternation, our leaders should respond with the impatience such childish inanities deserve. Judges who pretend they cannot understand the meaning of the word “marriage” should not be judges. Even if Republicans were to succeed in constitutionally defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, some judge somewhere would soon discover a novel meaning for “man” or “woman” or “between” or “relationship” or any of the other dozen words that might appear in the amendment.

Instead of trying to debate the left’s absurd issue, Republicans should seize this opportunity to put two very serious issues on the table: (1) the extreme health risks attendant to the homosexual lifestyle; and (2) the need to impose checks on the judiciary.

Our public health institutions — like the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, etc. — are well aware of the dangers of homosexual behaviors, which far exceed those of smoking cigarettes. If these institutions began issuing warnings similar to those about smoking, the homosexual cult soon would lose much of its glamour. That is something to put on the table for discussion.

The second issue will have more far-reaching consequences, and begin freeing Americans from the elitist juristocracy dictating our laws. The lack of checks on the judiciary is a problem dating from the Founding of the republic. Thomas Jefferson railed against this deficiency in the Constitution. He recognized impeachment was a “scarecrow” and warned repeatedly that federal judges were “sappers and miners” who over time would erode our liberty until we came to live in a judicial tyranny.

We have arrived at that point. Judges who whimsically overturn the foundations of civilization are not “activists.” They are wildly corrupt — drunk with power.

The first step in restoring power to the people is to pass a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to overturn Supreme Court decisions, either by the same method currently used to override presidential vetoes or by simple majority vote. We also have to introduce an easier way to remove errant federal judges. Life-time appointments should be subject to eight-year confidence reviews by Congress.

Enacting these measures at the federal level, or simply debating them, will have immediate repercussions for the state judiciaries. Whether or not these proposals pass, shifting the debate to solid ground will have Republicans stimulating the public imagination and emboldening conservatives.

But if Republicans persist in slogging through the liberals’ muddy playing field — trying to craft a judge-proof definition of marriage — they will sink into a mire of nonsense and risk further undermining the institution they are trying to save.

ROBERT SEIDENBERG

Mr. Seidenberg is a writer in Aleandria, Va.

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