March 03, 2004

With Apologies to Publius

Who are the kids who go to these schools going to marry? Our historical memory is so short that the Republicans can't remember the Walter Jenkins affair (1964), much less the nancy culture produced by centuries of single-sex education in "jolly" old England.

Jibbenainosay customarily doesn't talk about politics. It's temporal. But his Representatives In Government keep using the word "marriage," which, like "phlebotomy," is a word they should never, ever use in their official capacity -- so it's time to carve my sign in the flesh of the internet.

Reader, if you are confused about this same-sex marriage affair, as I suspect you are, do what you should always do when you are confused by political culture: read the U.S. Constitution. In the case of confusion, this is usually the most important moment: Amendments, Article 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Think about this: it's very, very important. If the Constitution doesn't mention something -- for example, the word "marriage" doesn't appear in it at this point -- then the issue is in the hands of the States or in the hands of the people. In the current debate, both "parties" tell you that decisions about marriage should rest in the hands either of the federal government or in the hands of the States. Right now, because neither is specifically designated as a regulator (this debate itself has for the moment deprecated the offensive "Defense of Marriage Act"), this power is still, effectively, in the hands of "the people."

Better to have no reference to things like marriage. Worst case, there is only one amendment to the Constitution that an individual with any sense of self-preservation or human sympathy could approve: "The right of citizens of the United States to marry shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

All you buckrahs I grew up with in Kentucky out there, having trouble tolerating this post, just remember this: Article [XVIII], Section 1: "After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited." Your born-again oil baron administration can't wait to re-up that one -- with minor modifications, it's their last line of defense against alcohol-powered cars.

Also, please notice that my proposed Amendment will allow you to marry your sisters.

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