The first step was a classic bit of Republican fearmongering, the constitutional amendment against gay marriage. As we all know, the Constitution is currently suffering from a surplus of rights, responsibilities and rules for good governance, and it's high time we cram some good old fashioned discrimination and hatred into it.
Thankfully, we have a new batch of small-government conservatives who are more than happy to get the federal government into the marriage business. While I think Sen. Rick Santorum's bill concerning the regulation of DJ playlists for wedding receptions -- the "No Parking on the Dance Floor Act of 2006" -- is unnecessary, I do applaud Sen. Wayne Allard's efforts to outsource the construction and maintenance of our nation's wedding cakes to Halliburton. With new pieces of legislation like these, we can finally rest easy knowing that Big Brother is cuddled up with us in our bedrooms every single night. But not in a gay way.
Tragically, it seems that the cornerstone of the new Global War on Fabulousness has failed to win enough votes in the Senate.
WASHINGTON - The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, dealing an embarrassing defeat to President Bush and Republicans who hoped to use the measure to energize conservative voters on Election Day.Well, clearly, our straight marriages are in jeopardy. Just the other night, Malibu Stacy and I were out having a lovely marital dinner when we were brutally assaulted by the sight of two middle-aged men in a loving, longterm relationship -- and they were, with God as my witness, holding hands! (I apologize if you're eating lunch as you read about such an unspeakable horror.) At the time, I was so overwhelmed by the spiteful viciousness of their gay love that I almost divorced my wife on the spot and ran off with our waitress Julia. Luckily, Julia hadn't brought my steak yet, so I bit down and stuck with the marriage. But, boy, it was close.
Supporters knew they wouldn't achieve the two-thirds vote needed to approve a constitutional amendment, but they had predicted a gain in votes over the last time the issue came up, in 2004. Instead, they lost one vote for the amendment in a procedural test tally that ended up 49-48.
"We were hoping to get over 50 percent, but that didn't happen today," said Sen. David Vitter, R-La., one of the amendment's supporters. "Eventually, Congress is going to have to catch up to the wisdom of the American people or the American people will change Congress for the better."
"We're not going to stop until marriage between a man and a woman is protected," said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.
Given the very real, not-at-all-politically-motivated crisis confronting us, the abject failure of the No Gays Allowed Act of 2006 was, of course, a tragic blow to the brave men who will let nothing -- and I mean nothing, not even their first or second ex-wives -- stand in the way of their defense of marriage.
Luckily, their colleagues in the House of Representatives will soon take up the Holy Cause again. To be sure, the old Defenders of Marriage -- Bob Barr (two divorces), Newt Gingrich (two divorces and an affair), Bob Livingston (affair), and Henry Hyde ("youthful indiscretions" in his 40s) -- are no longer manning the ramparts. But Majority Leader John Boehner (R-No Giggling) is set to take up the good fight soon enough. Godspeed, you hatemonger. Godspeed.
Until the next vote, the fight is being waged on the airwaves. If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out Bill Bennett's appearance on The Daily Show last night. I think we can all agree that Bennett took a bit of a gamble in going on the show, but he acquitted himself well:
Stewart: So why not encourage gay people to join in in that family arrangement if that is what provides stability to a society?With Bill Bennett standing guard against the assault on traditional values and, of course, watching out for a chance to take the Hard Eight on a new roller, I think we can all sleep the sleep of angels. Straight angels.
Bennett: Well I think if gay..gay people are already members of families...
Stewart: What? (almost spitting out his drink)
Bennett: They're sons and they're daughters..
Stewart: So that's where the buck stops, that's the gay ceiling.
Bennett: Look, it's a debate about whether you think marriage is between a man and a women.
Stewart: I disagree, I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.