Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Upholding the Constitution

It is a rare moment when I find myself in agreement with Juliane Appling, President of the Family Research Institute. In fact, I can't think of a single occasion. Until now. In a January 18 article in the LA Times, Ms. Appling was interviewed regarding her opinion of the recently passed supplement to the oath of office, allowing Madison officials, after taking the oath, to vocalize their dissatisfaction with the recently passed amendment banning same sex marriage. Ms. Appling is quoted as saying, "This is a trashing of democracy. Officers have to uphold the Constitution. They don't get to pick and choose." I couldn't agree more. And that is why I am hopeful, based on the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause (contained within the 14th amendment), that Ms. Appling will begin work immediately to overturn the ban on same-sex marriages that she fought so hard to pass last November.

There is relatively little question that the recently passed amendment is unconstitutional and that it is inevitable it will be overturned. In the meantime, it is a shame that Ms. Appling is more concerned with a non-binding, supplementary statement that Madisonians can voluntarily choose to include following their oath of office, than with taking action on her eloquently stated desire to uphold the Constitution.

I never imagined that she and I could work together toward a common goal, but I now find myself prepared to do so. "Uphold the Constitution." Sign me up: it sounds like a really good idea.

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