The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Same-sex marriage amendment needless

Regardless of one’s personal opinion on same-sex marriages, people need to recognize that a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage is not only unlikely but unnecessary and unacceptable. President George W. Bush’s tepid stance on supporting such an amendment “if necessary” exposes his flimsy position on the issue as more political stratagem than moral conviction – an attempt to maintain support from his conservative Christian base while falling just short enough of intolerance to avoid alienating moderates.
Bush’s crusade to “defend the sanctity of marriage,” which he urged the nation to take up by upholding traditional male-female unions, confuses lawmaking with moral policing.
While some heterosexual people may feel repulsion or even abhorrence toward the idea of gay marriage or civil unions, the claim that such legal unions threaten the sanctity of heterosexual marriage is unfounded. It would be equally ridiculous to assert that marriage by a justice of the peace cheapens marriage in a church. Far more damaging to the sanctity of marriage is the overwhelming divorce rate, as evidenced in a study by Americans for Divorce Reform which predicts that 40 to 50 percent of current marriages will end in divorce.
Instead of clamoring for constitutional changes, concerned conservative heterosexuals should focus on remedying current marital problems if their goal is to defend the sanctity of marriage.
Furthermore, Bush’s mention of the matter in the State of the Union address was anything but an urgent call for an amendment: “Activist judges have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process.”
The ambiguity of this statement, which hinges completely on the word “if,” demands no immediate action. In fact, members of Congress contend that Bush’s message relegates an amendment to low priority, according to the Hearst News Service.
Even if the pending amendment – which is being sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., and Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., were given priority, it is unlikely to receive the required two-thirds approval by both House and Senate, according to Jonathan R. Siegal, J.D., an expert in federal and state government relations.
Bush has little to lose by professing lukewarm support for something which likely will never come to pass; proponents of the amendment will view him as a potential ally, and the opposition will note his lack of enthusiasm, leaving no group completely alienated in a shrewd political move.
However, the pressing issue of legal unions for homosexuals remains.
As the “will of the people and their elected representatives” should be considered sovereign in this issue, as Bush stressed in his address, it seems obvious that the best way to handle gay marriage is to leave the decision up to the states.
“There is a very strong argument that this is a state matter; even some prominent conservatives have already written articles that a constitutional amendment would be a bad idea because marriage has traditionally been regulated by the states,” Siegel told U-Wire.
States are already handling gay marriage according to the wishes of their constituents, which is a much more effective way of dealing with a diverse population subject to changing opinions. Most states forbid same-sex marriage, according to USA Today, which makes a change to the Constitution superfluous.
By leaving the matter under state jurisdiction, Bush and Congress allow regional differences to shape legislation in a more accurate reflection of the will of the people. While 37 states have laws against same sex marriage and Alaska, California, Nebraska and Nevada prohibit it in their constitutions, many of the legal rights granted to married couples are bestowed on same-sex couples in New Jersey, Hawaii and California.
Vermont’s same-sex unions are legally equivalent to marriages in terms of rights and benefits.
In short, states are more attuned to the particular needs and wishes of their constituents and therefore more qualified to make a decision concerning same-sex marriages.
A constitutional amendment would federally sanction discrimination against homosexual couples by robbing them of basic property and inheritance rights, survivor pension benefits and even hospital admittance or emergency contact as next of kin. As USA Today points out, a constitutional ban on gay marriage “would create an inferior legal status for a class of Americans for the first time since the end of slavery.”
That seems a contradictory change to make in the Constitution that was established to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

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