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08/12/2010

Video: 'More God and less government'

by Jeremy Hooper

On his official campaign website, Independent Congressional candidate Jeffrey A. Clark comes out in full support for a federal marriage amendment:

Marriage Amendment
The Founding fathers made it very difficult to amend the constitution of the United States. I think that before resorting to amending the constitution we should do everything possible to resolve the issue at the state level. With that being said I think with an activist federal judiciary trying to implement social reform by subverting the legislative process it is necessary for the people to take drastic measures to stave off this assault on our values.

I would rather see our legislative and executive branches of government intervene and abolish activist courts such as the 9th circuit court of appeals. This move would send a message to the rest of the federal courts to stop legislating from the bench. Our country was designed to be governed by a constitution and not judicial precedence. I will stand in support of an amendment to constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. I will do so in hopes that the wave of growing support for this movement will cause our government to take action to protect marriage and put an end to judicial activism there by rendering the need for the amendment irrelevant.

Issues [Jeffrey A. Clark]

But last night, in a debate with the man who currently holds that Virginia 5th District seat, Rep. Tom Perriello (D), Mr. Clark took a different approach. Sure, he still talked about his personal belief in "one man, one woman"-iness. And yes, he used the offensive word "lifestyle" at one point. But his schpiel was all about LESS government and non-discrimination, not the nothing-if-not-discriminatory FMA.

Then the incumbent Democrat, Perriello, failed to do much better. Especially when he said that in marriage, we need "more God less government," even though the same-sex marriage equality conversation revolves 100% around CIVIL marriage, not the ancillary (even if oft-utilized) component of religious ceremony.

Watch both men here:

There is no single issue where politicians, on either side of the aisle, so often come across sounding so misinformed/irreconcilable/quixotic/impractical/disingenuous/political. In the case of Clark: He clearly felt convicted enough to come out for the uber-controversial FMA on his site. Yet when he actually has to verbalize the stance to actual human beings, he goes much more mealy-mouthed. And he's all over the place too. He says he's been married for twenty-five years, which means he should fully understand the civil rights and civil protections that come from the system. Yet he uses his familiarity with the ties that bind to say that this strengthens his resistance to gay citizens' own unions? WHY!?! There is never any good reason stated for why he thinks a separate system of civil unions would be needed for certain swaths of the population. And there's even less reason given for why he moves on to the unlikely-to-ever-happen idea that the state should get out of all marriages altogether.

Which brings us to Tom "God and less government" Perriello. Again: We might be willing to have that conversation about changing the way we Americans put the state in our marriages. But that conversation is well down the road, if ever. In the meantime, we live in a world where the state *is* in marriage. And a world where certain kinds of couples are unfairly discriminated against by most states (and all of us by the federal government), a form of civil bias that is typically based around other people's personally-held faith views. So when having this conversation in the here and now, political figures have a responsibility to ably state and deal with the facts on the ground! And since those facts concretely show that we gay folk are only seeking CIVIL MARRIAGE -- that's it, period, end of story -- we absolutely refuse to sit here and have people like Clark and Perriello tell us that we should forfeit our current, increasingly successful fight for the 100% civil variety of marriage and hand it completely over to churches! NO. GAY. ACTIVIST. IS. THREATENING. ANY. FAITH. COMMUNITY'S. RIGHT. TO. DISCRIMINATE. IN. THE. WAY. THEY. HONOR/PERFORM/SOLEMNIZE. MARITAL. UNIONS! So no alternate wording like civil unions or differentiated contracts like domestic partnerships are needed to deal with CIVIL recognition, and no church needs any added "protection" for a sense of religious freedom that's not in anyone's crosshairs. In fact, the only true religious freedom being stifled by America's marriage laws lies with the faith communities and leaders who want to pronounce a gay couple legally married by a state-invested power, but who are legally prevented from doing so!

The bottom line:
You either support the right of all couples to have a civil marriage regardless of gender or you don't. Yes and no are both answers. But these verbal dances -- especially ones that always let the churches lead -- are getting really, really old! Plus they're stepping all over Lady Liberty's toes.

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