The Plank

Wrong Said Fred

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The New York Sun's Ryan Sager reports today on Fred Thompson's proposed constitutional amendment which would not federally ban gay marriage, but merely allow states to not recognize gay marriages or civil unions approved in another states. On its face, it seems to be a constitutional amendment version of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In justifying his support for such a measure, Thompson said:

"What we're seeing here is a totally judicial created problem," he said, to a loud round of applause.

"Do you know how many states have affirmatively approved gay marriage, the state legislatures? ... Zero, zero."

This is wrong, seriously wrong, on its face. In September of 2005, both the California House and Senate approved gay marriage, only to have the bill vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Earlier today, the Senate sent the same bill to the Governor, which he is again expected to veto.

The most populous state in the country passing a gay marriage bill is significant. In this case, anti-gay marriage forces cannot claim that a cabal of unelected liberal judges are enforcing their will upon the country. If Thompson wants to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, he should get his facts straight.

--James Kirchick

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