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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Quit pointless battle on gay-marriage ban

They're fiddling while Washington burns with far more important issues to resolve.

Republicans have chosen an election-year tap dance for their core constituency rather than tackling crucial issues of security and economics, with their political posturing on gay marriage and flag-burning.

It's clear that any constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag-burning are doomed to failure; and it's disgraceful to see that Congress would spin its wheels while the immigration debate festers at home and the violence increases in Iraq.

These amendments deserve to fail.

It's unconscionable that the express purpose of the U.S. Constitution would be twisted to inserting restrictions of our freedoms rather than protecting them.

Yet the House is promising more of the same next month, according to its majority leader, U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"We have significant numbers of our members who want a vote on this," said Boehner, "so we are going to have a vote."

Clearly some folks in Congress have their eye on boosting sagging poll numbers, in time for the fall election.

Political rhetoric aside, the proper place for the debate of gay marriage is precisely where it's been occurring: in the state legislatures and courts.

Under the Defense of Marriage Act, Congress already has ensured that no state is compelled to recognize a same-sex marriage sanctioned by another state. Polls show that while 58 percent of Americans oppose legal gay marriages, a majority also believes it's a matter best left to the states.

Senators: Are you really listening to the electorate? If so, focus on the real work.