(Toledo, OH) With poll numbers for President Bush and the GOP sinking, Karl Rove and Company are apparently fanning the flames of the gay marriage controversy in order to solidify support among religious conservatives for the fall elections.
Many pundits, including me, believed that illegal immigrants were shaping up to be the 2006 bogeymen. Of course, both parties have now outdone each other in stirring up the citizenry about the nation's porous border, so illegal immigrants will likely turn out to be a neutral factor in November.
The so-called "Marriage Protection Amendment" is the most hollow, shallow, and ridiculous piece of legislation ever dreamed up by an American politician, as it drags the Constitution into family law and morality. These areas have never been - and should never be - the purview of federal law.
The real issue, however, is the soulless political pandering in which a stigmatized group - in this case, gays - is further demonized for political gain.
I watched in shock in 2004 as nearly two-thirds of Ohioans supported Issue 1, which forbade the state of Ohio (or any of its political subdivisions) from recognizing unmarried relationships that intended "to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
At the risk of hyperbole, I felt the way that I imagined good-hearted Germans felt watching the Nuremberg Laws unfold in the mid-1930s.
Regardless of the fact that Issue 1 was poorly-written law (and has generated bizarre, unintended consequences), the campaign to "protect" marriage in Ohio also created a hostile environment for gays in the state.
All in the name of political gains for office-seekers courting social conservatives.
I trust that in 2006 people will see through the shameless ruse of the "Marriage Protection Amendment," and instead focus on electing leaders who will strengthen the economy, bring home our troops, and place greater emphasis on improving health care, education, and the environment. I, personally, am much more concerned with these issues than I am with what happens in the bedroom of the house next door, or whether a same-sex couple has the word "union" or "marriage" on the document they received after a civil ceremony.