September, 7th 2007

Thompson backs a federal marriage amendment

– Liz Mair

I'm not overly enthused about this. Ryan Sager is reporting that Fred Thompson has decided to back a federal marriage amendment. Not necessarily the Federal Marriage Amendment, mind you (at least not so far as I can tell right now). But still, he wants to do an amendment that would restrain judges and prevent states from having to recognize gay marriages sealed in other states.

This from a guy who has on the "Principles" page of his website "Federalism."

I will say this: what Fred could be talking about is enshrining the Defense of Marriage Act in the Constitution. I still don't like the idea, if so, because it does undercut federalism. But I like it much better than the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would very likely be construed to outlaw not just all gay marriages (which isn't the biggest deal in the world to me), but also all civil unions, and possibly even partnership agreements-- which I see as totally unacceptable interference by the government with individuals' rights to enter into private contracts and have them enforced by the courts. It would, of course, also undercut federalism, making it even worse in my opinion.

As long as Fred is not talking about backing the Federal Marriage Amendment, which does all this, then this isn't going to really put me off of him-- but it does put me off of him a little. The guy has always been big on federalism, and evidently it will continue to be a big campaign theme. In my opinion, it is totally inconsistent, therefore, for him to support something that would have the effect of flushing federalism down the toilet-- all to get some votes from social conservatives.


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