Not satisfied that gays are already one of the most vilified and discriminated against groups in the country, Bush, in a bow to his far-right wingnut base wants to codify their bigotry and hatred by desecrating one of the most admired documents in history: our Constitution. This is a document that, throughout its history, has been a beacon of freedom. That history has not always been perfect, but the trend has been towards a greater protection of equality for all, towards a greater provision and protection of rights to Americans.
No matter how the amendment is phrased, no matter what Rethugs say about their intentions, no matter how mealy-mouthed Democrats blather on about marriage versus "civil unions," this is about denying equal protection under the law to a group of people. It would be a direct repudiation of the 14th amendment. It would be a horrid stain on the source of all of our freedoms.
What can you do? Write and/or call your congress person. Write and/or call the White House. Write letters to your local newspaper. Call in to local talk shows. If you love this country, if you really want to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," if you love your freedoms - then exercise the responsibilities that come along with them!
Congress.org has a search function allowing you to get the addresses and phone numbers of everyone in the federal government you might want to contact. Go there now. Tell them all that you want to protect and enhance rights and freedom for all citizens, NOT to restrict them.
UPDATE:The following is the text of the letter I sent to my representatives in Congress through the Congress.org website. I hope you've clicked through and sent a letter as well.
When I entered West Point in 1979, and again when I entered the Regular
Army in 1983, I took an oath to "...protect and defend the constitution of
the United States..." so did President Bush. I am not as familiar with the
oaths - if any - required upon being seated as a member of Congress, but I
would imagine the intent is much the same.
I believe that the above House Joint Resolution is a direct attack on the
Constitution which it is all of our duties to defend. If this resolution
passes, an amendment is sent to the states for ratification and it passes,
it would be the first amendment to restrict the rights of a group of
citizens in the modern history of that document.
I urge you to vote against this resolution, I urge you to fight it in any
way that you can. Do not fall prey to those who would codify their hatred
and bigotry into a document that has been a beacon of freedom to our
citizens and to the people of the world since it was first written.
Thank you for your consideration in this incredibly important matter.
Charles O. Perez