Following the Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage, Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), a member of the House of Representatives, has introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn the decisions. The only positive feature of this bill is that it is very simple, consisting in its entirety of just two sentences:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
His bill has already garnered 28 Republican co-sponsors, the usual group of dead-enders though I was astonished that wild-eyed crazy person Michele Bachmann was not among them, not yet at least. Such people never realize when history has passed them by and their views will disappear only when they die.
The party leadership likely wishes fervently that the same-sex marriage issue will disappear soon because it is a loser for them and this proposed amendment will be a purely symbolic gesture that will only serve to keep the issue in the headlines. It also has the downside of further cementing the impression among young people that the Republican party is the party of anti-gay zealots.
This bill will put the Republican leadership in a bind. They will make every effort to prevent this coming to the floor for a vote but may be forced to do so to placate the angry religious nuts that they depend upon who will be outraged if they are prevented from even voting on an issue that is so dear to them. After all, the bill’s supporters can argue, the leadership has brought their futile efforts to repeal Obamacare to a vote an incredible 38 times, so it is not as if they are averse to symbolic gestures.
It will be fun to watch the leadership squirm and try and wriggle their way out of this. But they must also realize that their religious base has a single-minded determination that will be hard to thwart. And if it is brought to a vote and the entire Republican caucus does not vote yes, the dissenters will face their wrath.