Every once in a while, I hear an argument from folks opposing the marriage amendment that is so sublimely confused that I can't decide if they are being willfully obtuse or engaging in creative obfuscation. With a cagey political consultant like Bill Christofferson, its best to bet on the latter. Here's the latest.
Mark Green told the Log Cabin Republican says that he would oppose the use of the marriage amendment's sentence to eliminate the right of gays and lesbians to "visit their partners in the hospital under the hospital visitation statute or make medical decisions about them through medical power of attorney."
One Wisconsin characterizes this as opposition to "using the second sentence of the amendment." Xoff says Green wants to "pass the amendment and then ignore it."
What is actually going on is that Green doesn't believe that the second sentence would take away these rights. No one else supporting the amendment does either. In no state that has passed an amendment has anyone, to my knowledge, ever claimed that such rights are in violation of the amendment.
And if they did, they would lose. You can identify anyone you want to visit you in the hospital and give anyone you want a medical power of attorney. This doesn't create a relationship between you and that person which is substantially similar to marriage.
So Green has simply said that, as Governor, he will not use the second sentence to prohibit things that it doesn't prohibit. Xoff and One Wisconsin are trying to turn his common sense reaffirmation of the second sentence's limited purpose into an admission of its supposed "danger."
In a way, I admire the effort but it's pretty weak beer.