News - Bill Stephens, John Bulloch and Don Cheeks

For redundant, anti-gay pandering

There are some legitimate questions to be confronted in how best to confer spousal rights to gay couples prepared to enter into a legally recognized committed relationship with each other. Civil union, domestic partnership, full-on marriage?

A lesson in how not to confront this issue in a meaningful way is currently being conducted by state Senate Majority Leader Bill Stephens (below) and a pair of his knuckle-dragging cronies who have proposed the "Georgia Defense of Marriage Act."

As you'll recall, the original Defense of Marriage Act was a federal law penned in 1996 by our own oft-wed Congressman Bob Barr. It exempted states from having to honor gay marriages performed in other states.

Now come these clowns, who want to amend the Georgia Constitution to define marriage strictly as the union of a man and his first cousin — oops, we mean a woman.

The amendment is necessary, they say, because existing state law is unclear on the matter. Here's the ambiguous wording of current law, as it appears in Section 19-3-3.1.(a) of the Georgia Code: "It is declared to be the public policy of this state to recognize the union only of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state."

Yes sir, damned if we can make heads or tails of that mishmash of legalese. And the next section explains in equally mysterious fashion how gay marriages from other states will not be recognized in Georgia.

While their measure is utterly superfluous, it afforded Stephens and crew the chance to send out a press release pandering to Bible-thumping conservatives. Democratic turncoat Don Cheeks, R-Augusta, says he wants to ensure that hetero-only marriage "can never be challenged by those who want to interfere with the morals the citizens of this state hold dear." He declines to say which morals are under attack.

Not to be outdone, Sen. John Bulloch, blockhead from Ochlocknee, claims that his "constituents are good, God-fearing people," and that "our nation was built on the foundation of Godly principles" — without actually explaining how that is relevant to the issue of whether to allow gay couples to enter into a legal marriage contract. Apparently, Bulloch is unfamiliar with the notion of separation of church and state.

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