Jan 222004
Authors: Kyle Endres

Healthy is one of the new buzzwords in Washington, D.C., but

this healthy has nothing to do with a new dieting fad or workout

routine. It has to do with marriage.

The Bush administration has proposed a plan to promote marriage

by spending $1.5 billion on helping couples, especially low-income

couples, develop interpersonal skills that maintain “healthy

marriages,” according to a New York Times story last week.

But given Bush’s comments regarding same-sex marriages in this

week’s State of the Union address, I think we all know what he

defines a “healthy” marriage as – one between a man and a woman.

There has been a lot of talk the past couple weeks about the Bush

administration banning homosexual marriages.

But there’s an inconsistency in this. On the one hand, the

administration is working to increase the number of long-lasting,

successful marriages – a noble effort indeed – and on the other

hand it wants to prevent certain segments of the population from

having those same long-lasting, successful marriages.

It appears the United States is making an effort to keep some

people married and at the same time is making an effort to keep

other people from marrying.

Whatever happened to “All men are created equal?”

“This is a way for the president to address the concerns of

conservatives and to solidify his conservative base,” one of Bush’s

advisers said in the New York Times story.

Ah, now we get it.

But should that really be his main concern?

It may be naivety on this writer’s part, but shouldn’t $1.5

billion be spent on something that is the right thing to do, not

because it helps a politician’s reelection chances?

The problem with the same-sex marriage debate lies in the fact

that there is no reason for a debate at all. One couple’s marriage

shouldn’t bother you if YOU don’t let it.

There’s no sense in arguing whether homosexuality is right.

That’s a whole other issue. The issue at hand is that in a free

society, as ours purports to be, one person should be allowed to do

whatever he/she wants as long as it does not hinder or harm another

person. It’s a matter of basic civil rights.

John Stuart Mill once wrote that the “only purpose for which

power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized

community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

Who can honestly say that what two people do in the privacy of

their own home has any effect on the outside world? If you think

you can, you’re kidding yourself.

“Our nation must defend the sanctity of marriage,” President

Bush said in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

But what gives him the right to define the “sanctity of


The American Heritage College Dictionary defines the word

sanctity as “the quality or condition of being considered sacred;

inviolability.” Ask any homosexual couple whether they would

satisfy this definition if given the opportunity to marry. Most

likely they would say yes.

We like to think that we’ve come so far from when our schools

were segregated and different races had to use different bathrooms

and drinking fountains. Some of us are astonished that such

narrow-minded and pigheaded thinking could have occurred in the

past 60 years.

Unfortunately, this could be what our children and grandchildren

think about us in the future.

Interesting side note: This controversy over same-sex marriages

has come about largely because of the recent Massachusetts Supreme

Judicial Court decision ruling it unconstitutional to ban gay

marriages. Many have pressured Bush to pursue a constitutional

amendment banning gay marriages.

Bush answered this question last month by saying, “The position

of this administration is that whatever legal arrangements people

want to make, they’re allowed to make, so long as it’s embraced by

the state, or does start at the state level,” according to ABC


Well the Massachusetts ruling did start at the state level, so

what exactly is the problem?

I guess it’s just more inconsistency.

Kyle is the campus editor for The Collegian. He is a junior

studying technical journalism.

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