Published Humanitas, Volume XVIII, Nos. 1 and 2, 2005

The nearly invariable response of those who are frustrated by court-imposed assaults on America‚Äôs traditional culture is to propose constitutional amendments crafted to maintain the status quo ante. In 2003, for example, a state court struck down the Massachusetts law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Activist officials in several other states soon employed the Massachusetts court ruling as an excuse for performing much-publicized, though plainly illegal, ceremonies purporting to join homosexuals in marriage. In reaction, citizens in many parts of the country mounted successful drives to protect, by various means, traditional marriage in their states. Yet the danger remained that the federal courts, and particularly the U.S. Supreme Court, would strike down traditional marriage laws throughout the land in much the same way that the High Court had negated state laws restricting or banning abortions back in 1973. To ward off this possibility supporters of traditional marriage, including President George W. Bush, saw little to be done except to call for a federal¬†constitutional amendment. But success in such a course is doubtful. The Framers, viewing constitutional…


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