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GOP is wasting our time
Republicans blather on about same-sex marriage and flag burning, but Democrats have no ammo of their own

 Activists with the Human Rights Campaign protest a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment that would have formally established marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The measure got one more vote in the Senate than it had during a previous try, but ultimately failed.
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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 6/18/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

SAME-SEX marriage. Really, who cares? Something like 45 states have some sort of prohibition on the books. Besides, if Jack and John or Jill and Jane want to tie the knot, whether the unions are recognized under the law or not, how is that going to affect anyone else, or ruin society in general?

Generally, if there's something you're against, the worst thing you can do is draw attention to it. But that's what some people do once they choose today's moral Armageddon.

Same-sex marriage is in the news now because a small group of right-wing Republican leaders--at President Bush's behest--wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban it. They think they can rally the party's core supporters for the off-year elections this fall. That's right, to generate momentum for the whole GOP, this Republican subgroup is pushing an issue that only 0.5 percent of American voters have on their radar of primary concerns.

The Republican contingent knew the measure's chances were slim at best. Are they not seeing the polls that everyone else does? But they pursued it instead of anything worthwhile, such as learning why FEMA has paid more than $1 billion in fraudulent Katrina claims, or arranging to drop a couple of 500-pound bombs on Ann Coulter for taking conservatism to new lows.

After being voted into oblivion by the Senate, which wasted three legislative days on it, the same-sex marriage amendment is still due to come before the House of Representatives in July for the sole purpose of providing political ammunition in an election year--ammo that would hardly inflict a flesh wound on the opposition.

After the plan goes nowhere in the House, perhaps there should be a vote to change the meaning of "GOP" from "Grand Old Party" to "Gluttons of Punishment."

Father's Day is an appropriate day to consider this issue. I reflect today on how fortunate I am to have two wonderful kids who are our pride and joy, in spite of the burden they add to our major household appliances. My focus is on them, my own family, my own neighborhood. How others choose to lead their lives is not my concern.


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