Throughout the history of the United States, only one constitutional amendment restricted the rights of Americans. That amendment went into effect in 1920 and it made the production, distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages illegal. It passed with the backing of conservatives and religious leaders who thought that criminalizing alcohol would solve crime, poverty and other social problems. It was repealed in 1933.
Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2006 and another amendment is up consideration. The Senate is considering an amendment that would illegalize gay marriage. Like the prohibitionists of yesteryear, the supporters (conservatives and religious leaders) of the anti-gay marriage amendment have proposed that that passing this amendment will solve all kinds of problems Ã¢â‚¬ËœobviouslyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ caused by the Ã¢â‚¬Å“rampant spread of homosexualityÃ¢â‚¬Â.
The biggest difference is that this amendment is not widely supported and is unlikely to pass. Should it pass, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to go through ratification before going into effect and it will still be challenged by those who see it for the ‘soft’ bigotry that it is.
So, why press it? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rather simple. Bush and the Republicans used it as a political maneuver quite successively in the 2004 election. Ohio, the state that tipped the election, was one of several states that had a gay marriage ban on the ballot that year. This non-issue drove many to vote for Bush even though Kerry (and the Democratic Party) held the same opinion about gay marriage.
The question is Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwill it work again?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s possible, as Americans tend to be capricious and disgracefully uninformed when it comes to issues. As of now, several states are putting gay-marriage bans on their ballots this coming season.At the same time, opposition to homosexuals is decreasing across the board while more Americans are becoming concerned about the war, the cost of gas and other issues that affect them personally.
We can only hope that they will not falter and not be side-tracked by what seems to be a last ditch effort to retain power by the Republican party.