Notes: Last week, George W. Bush endorsed passing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He had recently stated that he thought such an amendment should be passed only if it became absolutely necessary. His change of heart supposedly came about over the need to throw a bone to his right-wing base. These are social conservatives, religious right and right-wing ideologues who have become disgruntled with Bush over the deficit, out-sourced jobs and his immigration policy. Moreover, it's an election year, and this is Bush as candidate, not acting presidential.

An issue that should be of concern to all of us is the act of amending the Constitution. A New York Times editorial on February 25, noted that such an amendment would "It would inject meanspiritedness and exclusion in the document embodying our highest principles and aspirations." The piece continued, "The president, who believes so strongly in states' rights in other contexts, should let the states do their jobs and work out their marriage laws before resorting to a constitutional amendment." The editorial ended by noting that other amendments brought people into the rights of the constitution while anti-same-sex amendment "would be the first to stigmatize and exclude a group of Americans."

A Washington Post editorial of the same day was headlined, "Debasing the Constitution." The editorial ended with the following words: "The President closed his endorsement of the amendment by insisting that 'our government should respect every person' and requesting that Americans 'conduct this difficult debate in a manner worth of our country ... with kindness and goodwill and decency.' In the context of a divisive proposal, this request didn't just ring hollow; it clanged."

Whatever happened to Dubya and states' rights?
02.29.04