Gregg Underheim, a former Republican representative from Wisconsin explained his vote during debate on the amendment for Wisconsin to ban "gay marriage". This topic strikes me as one that will get more an more attention, hopefully in the Obama administration and in coming years, as so many loving couples cannot marry and have to try and set up documents that give them equal rights. But rarely, do you find someone who is not part of "the movement" for GLBT marriage who provides an well-written statement. Although this one is over two years old and this Senator ultimately resigned, I wanted to credit Mr. Underheim for his words:
"Constitutions protect individuals from undue intrusion into their lives by government. The right to free speech is a constitutional prohibition on governmental restriction. Freedom of religion is a restriction that says government can’t prevent you from worshipping as you want. Passing this today will change the nature of the Constitution. This is anti-constiutional."
"Constitutions ought not treat gay people differently than anyone else. This ban moves us from protecting people to disenfranchising them."
"What we are doing today is wrong."
"This is an anti-constitutional act. In virtually no other area do constitutions prohibit indivduals from participating in a specific activity. We today are singling out a group of people and saying you will be restricted from engaging in a specific activity. What or who is next? We are now saying that it is acceptable that this document single out specific people. It is the wrong thing to do."
"What social policy are we going to put into the Constitution next? When the constitutions are evicerated, some college professor is going to look back, and ask, “How did this happen?” It was Republicans that decided to do that. How did that happen? The one thing the Democrats never did was this. They never wrote a constitutional amendment that ensconced social policy. The never sat down and said they were going to put social policy in the constitution."
"Today, we are crossing a line, a line the matters."
"We are crossing a line that says it is okay to put our policy preferences in the constitution for perpetuity. That is not the role of this document. We are so overstepping those bounds, it is frightening. We should not be doing this, and I hope that people on my side of the aisle will vote with a clear conscience."
[Hat Tip: Tom Scharbach, author of The PurpleScarf]