Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 7 November 2004

That didn't take long ...

... I've been reading nonsense in a number of right-wing US-based blogs and websites over the past few days, since the US Presidential elected concluded. The nonsense being that there was no direct correlation between the success of President Bush in his recent re-election bid and the desire of evangelical Christians to make marriage between gays, or civil unions, impossible and indeed generally to make life as difficult as possible for 'homosexualists'. Rather it has been suggested that the desire of said evangelical Christians was merely to reflect their support for what are supposed to be some anodyne 'family values'; they want us to believe that this had little to do with dislike for gays, but take care not to talk about what they do mean by these amorphous 'family values' or 'moral values'. The fact that there was intense political advertising pre-election demonising gays is conveniently overlooked; writers of this nonsense must believe we suffer from severe short-term memory deficiency; this may be my fate in years to come, but not yet awhile ...

Now it seems that Mr Karl Rove has told Fox News Sunday:

"Without the protection of that amendment, we are at the mercy of activist federal judges or activist state judges who could, without the involvement of the people, determine... that marriage no longer consists of a union between a man and a woman," Rove told Fox News.

"Marriage is a very important part of our culture and our society. If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal.

"And the ideal is that marriage ought to be and should be a union of a man and a woman."

to emphasise that 'Bush would "absolutely" push the Republican-controlled Congress for a constitutional amendment, which he said was needed to avert the aims of "activist judges" who would permit gay marriages'.

He went on to say, referring to the statement by the President that he supports civil unions, that:

"He believes that there are ways that states can deal with some of the issues that have been raised, for example, visitation rights in hospitals or the right to inherit or benefit rights, property rights.

"But these can all be dealt with at the state level without overturning the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman," Rove said.

"We cannot allow activist local elected officials to thumb their nose at 5,000 years of human history."

- but this presupposes that States will, without a Federal law to force them to, wish to enact such legislation. Indeed it is clear that the amendments passed last week to various of the State constitutions run in entirely the oppposite direction. Unless I, as a non-American, am overlooking something pretty fundamental about the way the US operates then I think that Mr Rove is indulging, yet again, in an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes! And I would like to see him justify that last bit about "5,000 years of human history", as the period of time during which our notion of marriage has existed is very considerably shorter than 5,000 years! Even 500 years might be pushing it!

Further, I think this clears up satisfactorily any confusion as to true motivation. No doubt some right-wingers with aspirations to belonging to a media elite (even of the right-wing variety!) find it embarrassing that the notions they have been peddling are in reality of the 'redneck' variety, masquerading under the cloak of piety and evangelical values; it is good that Mr Rove has cleared the matter up.

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