Frank Federalism - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Frank Federalism

A constitutional amendment to protect marriage is not an attack on federalism but an exercise of it. The amendment power exists in our federalist Constitution for a moment as dire as this one. The nation’s judicial tyrants, who operate like the legal arm of ACT-UP, will continue to hack up marriage unless the people stop them through a constitutional amendment.

Seeking to dupe conservatives into confusion and passivity, homosexual activists like Congressman Barney Frank hector them about their supposed failure to uphold “federalism” if they support the amendment. Since when has Frank been an expert on federalism? Earlier this year Frank said Texas didn’t have a right under federalism to prohibit homosexual conduct. But now that the autonomy of his own state (which amounts to the autonomy of Massachusetts judges) is under discussion, he is suddenly talking about the states as laboratories of democracy. And don’t worry, says Frank, our experiment won’t blow up in your face. “Vermont filed civil unions. No state has said that civil unions done in Vermont are binding in my state. It hasn’t happened,” he said on ABC’s This Week, arguing that states don’t need a constitutional amendment to prevent the transportation of homosexual marriage to their states.

It is too bad no one on the panel bothered to ask Frank: So does this mean you won’t try and transport homosexual marriage to other states? Does this mean you and your activist friends won’t challenge the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (the half-hearted Clinton bill)?

Obviously they will. They won’t respect the opposition of states to “homosexual marriage” for the simple reason that the activists believe it is a constitutional right no state should be able to prohibit. It is only because a constitutional amendment protecting marriage would foil judges in their pocket from making it a national right that these activists have to fake an interest in federalism for the moment. The it-won’t-come-to-your-state reassurances are coming from charlatans like Frank who have every intention of bringing it to your state.

The choice is clear here: either the people make traditional marriage the law of the land through a constitutional amendment or activists will make homosexual marriage the law of the land through judicial tyrants.

It is absurd to say that if the people use a power contained in a Constitution belonging to them on such a vital matter to ward off judicial tyrants they aren’t respecting federalism. This constitutional amendment, on an issue far more fundamental to our civilization than other issues that occasioned constitutional amendments (such as letting 18 year olds vote), is a fulfillment of federalism — the people in the states coming together to salvage a Constitution a handful of judges are busy shredding. It is hard to imagine the authors of The Federalist Papers advocating that the people sit on their hands while judges foist homosexual marriage on them.

Antonin Scalia’s dissent in the Lawrence decision underscores the urgency of a constitutional amendment. The Supreme Court, in its reasoning, is already committed to homosexual marriage (and polygamous marriage, as Utah polygamist Tom Green had his lawyer recently argue: “It doesn’t bother anyone [and with] no compelling state interest in what you can do in your own home with consenting adults, you should be allowed to do it.”)

Moreover, the court is immersed in a legal culture that, as Scalia says, “has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda.” He notes the “fact that the American Association of Law Schools (to which any reputable law school must seek to belong) excludes from membership any school that refuses to ban from its job-interview facilities a law firm (no matter how small) that does not wish to hire as a prospective partner a person who openly engages in homosexual conduct.”

To think that judges who emerge from this culture will protect the federalist right of states to refuse recognition of the marital status of same-sex couples in Massachusetts and Vermont is delusionary. The judicial elite are in the business of closing down conservative laboratories of liberty and mandating labs of license.

Scalia warned Americans to discount the Supreme Court’s claim that the Lawrence decision wouldn’t lead to homosexual marriage. The “Court says that the present case ‘does not involve’ whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter,” Scalia writes. “Do not believe it?This case ‘does not involve’ the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court.”

The only thing standing between this judicial juggernaut and homosexual marriage is a constitutional amendment. To resist one on supposed federalist grounds will not protect any state’s right to maintain traditional marriage but guarantees that the states lose it to judges — judges whose respect for marriage is about as deep as their respect for the Constitution.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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