Brain dead discussion of the marriage amendment has begun. Xoff thinks its gay bashing because ... well, just because. The constitution he says is supposed to give people "rights" as if "rights" were in and of themselves good. The more, the better. Watchdog Milwaukee says its about "hate." Soglin says the GOP is just being "neo-Nazi" again. (Now that's original.) Yada, yada, yada.
The problem with all of this is that proponents of same-sex marriage or of the modification of civil law in ways that might be beneficial to same-sex couples have been hoisted on the petard of judicial activism. Doyle and others who say that the amendment is unnecessary because same-sex marriage is already illegal are either disingenous or naive. Proponents are going to be able to argue that an amendment is necessary because a court may decide to impose same-sex marriage on the state as has happened in Massachusetts and almost happened in Hawai'i.
Proponents will be able to argue that the "second sentence" is necessary, in part, because it is also possible that courts will impose same-sex marriage in all but name as happened in Vermont.
I have some real questions about the amendment as a whole and about the second sentence in particular. But, as I posted below, there are serious issues around the recognition of same-sex relationships or the creation of a marriage-like status for them. There are ways in which same-sex relationships are the same, but there are also ways in which they are different, most notably the fact that they cannot result in the creation of children. Much of the rules, policies and social norms surrounding marriage arise directly or indirectly from that fact (whether or not all married couples do or even can have kids). Those rules, policies and norms are critical to society. The disassociation between having children and marriage over the past fifty years has had a devastating impact on children, most especially poor children.
There are reasons to be concerned that, taking an institution that has pretty much at all times and places been limited to opposite sex couples and extending it - in name or in fact - to same sex couples might change some of those rules, policies and social norms in ways that might work fine for same-sex couples but further weaken marriage.
Quite, frankly, I don't know about this amendment. But I do know that having this discussion is critically important, particularly for the poor folks and minorities that the left cares so much about and who have arguably been harmed by nothing more severely than they have been by the decline of marriage. Calling people names impedes that discussion. It doesn't advance it.