Convenient Knot | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Convenient Knot 

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Homosexuals, homosexuals, homosexuals. Will American society never tire of its strange fascination with homosexuals?

While the rest of the industrialized world, a few New England states and our Canadian neighbors have accepted the fact that, besides being attracted to members of the same sex, homosexuals are basically the same as everyone else, our Puritan strain won’t let this issue die. We argue what sorts of rights should be accorded gay men and lesbian women without answering this central question: Why on earth should heterosexuals decide what homosexuals can and cannot do?

Take light comfort, then, that, according to the Deseret Morning News, two organizations at rather disparate poles have taken up the banner against the Federal Marriage Amendment, a proposed 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give marriage the iron-clad definition of a union only between man and woman. Those two organizations are the gay rights organization, The Human Rights Campaign, and a conservative political group (lost above the din of right-wing religious organizations) called Citizen Outreach. Aside from the draconian Patriot Act, there are precious few issues where the left and right join forces. Thankfully, this is one of them, with the Human Rights Campaign and Citizen Outreach sharing the same ad campaign against those arrogant enough to push this pushy constitutional amendment.

Reading over Citizen Outreach President Chuck Muth’s various on-line essays against the Federal Marriage Amendment is more than a breath of fresh air, it’s a blast of common sense that conservatives of old used to espouse: “The problem isn’t keeping gays out of marriage, but keeping government out of it,” Muth states, and adds, “The Constitution was never intended to serve as a tool of social engineering.”

Tell that to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, who’s been freaking out ever since the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered state law rewritten to allow for gay marriage. Of course Hatch talks of supporting a constitutional amendment to “safeguard” traditional marriage. He’s also talked of blowing up people’s computers if they swap copyright music files, and has probably spent more time stumping for his inane amendment to the U.S. Constitution punishing flag burners (there are so many of them) than he has fighting Democrats over judicial nominees.

Of course, in Utah, the issue of gay marriage and gay rights in general will not subside until people realize they are powerless to control human behavior on a large scale. This time last year, state Sen. Tom Hatch, R-Panguitch, was set to sponsor a resolution backing the Federal Marriage Amendment. More than $1 million has been spent by the LDS Church to see “same-sex” marriage initiatives defeated in Alaska and Hawaii. During Utah’s last half of the ’90s, court cases involving the Division of Child Family Services, East High’s Gay/Straight Alliance and Wendy Weaver ate up precious time and resources. What a pity they were even battles in need of fighting. And what a pity more gays and conservatives such as Muth can’t find common ground.

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