Bush's Uncivil Union

The President Has Proposed Amending the Constitution to Define Marriage as a Union Between a Man and a Woman. Divided?

image NameRich Kiamco, 34
Resides Manhattan
OccupationPerformance artist

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I was just thinking about this. In making the announcement, Bush said, "In two centuries of jurisprudence and a millennia of humanity" and I thought, "Tell me you didn't say that." Really, Bush is saying that we've been here for 200 years, and officially this is the way things are and always will be. The world is still flat, women should walk two feet behind the man, don't blend fabrics, don't eat shellfish, only a man and a woman can sit in the front of the bus. I also think "civil unions" has become a second-class term.

image NameMichelle Boylan, 23

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I'm absolutely furious. I couldn't even watch the announcement on the news. I can't look at Bush's face. I think he recognizes only rich white Christian Republicans. It's very frustrating as a woman to be watching these assaults on our bodies. Ashcroft seizing abortion records. It's one more violation of privacy. And civil unions are insulting because they promote the notion of separate but equal. A civil union is like wanting french fries from Wendy's but having to settle for potato chips.

image NameRaymon Heard, 47
OccupationInsurance planner

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I think Bush should do it. If he doesn't, there will be other organizations like NAMBLA showing up and claiming marriage could be expanded to include a union between a man and a boy. And I don't think civil unions are necessary because you can appoint anybody—your lawyer, your partner—as your proxy. In terms of benefits, unions and insurance companies should work out who's covered. They can do whatever a federal law would do.

image NameArturo Garcia-Costas, 40
OccupationEnvironmental consultant

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?Oh my God. As a gay environmentalist, I can't imagine a worse president. Issues of fairness and equal protection aside, the notion that he would sully the Constitution by working discrimination into it and disenfranchising millions of taxpaying Americans is mind-boggling. The polls say 64 percent of Americans are against gay marriage. They want to protect marriage from what? Marriage is a bundle of rights that every American has access to except for gays and lesbians, and civil unions are an acknowledgment of second-class status. I'd like to ask John Kerry and John Edwards why they're uncomfortable about gay marriage.

image NameEsther Bell, 29

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?He's showing his true colors. Finally. Maybe this will wake the country up. I'm appalled. Ashcroft is going after women's medical records . . . what's next? My father's gay and I'm trying to find him someone to marry. The bigger picture is equal rights and legal protection.

image NameDave Guh, 28
ResidesStaten Island

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?Personally, I think a marriage is between a man and a woman. Civil unions are perfectly fine, love is love. Marriage should be defined, and if it's recognized that way it should be in writing. I heard somewhere that something like 4 million evangelical Christians didn't vote last time. Maybe this is Bush's way of reaching out to them. I don't like Bush, but the definition of marriage can't be a blur.

image NameRob Brown, 43

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I think that people are going to do what they do and the government doesn't have the right to intervene. Bush doesn't have a say in who you choose as your partner. People aren't born homosexual, it's conditioning. Children mimic the dominant parent. If you're a young boy and you live only with aunts and women and no father figure, and you see your mother bringing men home, you're going to think that's normal and mimic it.

image NameAmy Pacifici, 29
OccupationSocial worker

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I don't think it's the federal government's role to define marriage; it's up to the states to do it and they should be flexible. If we're talking about a commitment between two people who love each other, then what's the problem? I think the only reason people are uncomfortable about this is that it's generally a taboo subject. When people think about what happens in the bedroom they become very homophobic.

image NameDavid Rothenberg, 70

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?Aside from the fact that civil unions are enough because they provide legal and financial protection, I think it's a miscal-culation on the part of gay activists to seek to move into the mainstream. Why emulate oppressive aspects like adultery and abuse? Why emulate people who are just going to get divorced a year later?

image NameIan Campbell, 24
OccupationTattoo artist

What do you think of Bush's proposed marriage amendment?I don't think he should touch the Constitution. One of the last times they did was Prohibition, and look how well that worked out. Bush would do this regardless of whether this was an election year. I think it's been on his list anyway. He takes a lot of direction from other people, but he also has to try and please his base, which is the Christian right.

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