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Same-Sex Marriage: Back in the Headlines

On Wednesday (June 7), an amendment to the Constitution that would ban gay marriage failed to accumulate the two-thirds Senate vote needed for it to pass. Even though the Defense of Marriage Act seems perpetually on the backburner of domestic politics, the recent resurgence of interest in the topic is seen by some as an attempt by President Bush to bolster his diminishing approval ratings. With crucial congressional elections coming up this November, issues of “family values” are back on the agenda for the first time since the last presidential vote in 2004.

On The Daily Show earlier this week, Jon Stewart debated the context of gays in society at large with conservative pundit Bill Bennett, saying the debate isn’t just about marriage, but about “whether you think gay people are part of the human condition or just a random fetish.” Though the same-sex marriage amendment has been killed in the Senate for the rest of the year, it has actually been gaining in popularity among members of Congress since the last time it was voted on in 2004.

Watch Jon Stewart and Bill Bennett debate on The Daily Show, then see what people are saying about the topic.

“President Bush dearly wants to shift the focus from his subterranean poll ratings with a solemn-sounding stand on family values. He also wants a volatile issue that will mobilize his restless base of religious conservatives. It’s a diversion aimed at steering voters away from the wreckage of his overseas wars, mounting federal debt and an addiction to foreign oil, to pick among his failures.” Op-Ed, San Francisco Chronicle

“As much as I like Jon [Stewart], I have to dissent on this interview. Jon was very O’Reilly-ish at this point, and he simply filibustered and bullied Bill B. Personally I’m against gay marriage because the whole debate is bogus. Marriage, or at least the states involvement in marriage, is a privilege the state affords you — not a right. Let’s not make what is obviously a morality debate into rights debate.” — kingkhan,

“Our country cannot function with radically different definitions of what constitutes this sacred union. If the Founders could have imagined a time when same-sex ‘marriage’ would be forced upon the people by judicial fiat, they would have established a uniform rule of marriage in the Constitution just as they did for naturalization and bankruptcy.” — Concerned Women for America (CWA) Chief Counsel Jan LaRue, Christian News Wire

“Frankly, as a gay mom with kids, I’m glad the Republicans are trumpeting this issue so much. As awful as it is to sit here and listen to them trash people like me, I think they’re showing themselves splendidly. John Stewart articulated it brilliantly. So I say, BRING IT ON, ZEALOTS!! You are digging your own grave.” — rwhiteside,

Talk: Is same-sex marriage a truly crucial issue, or are the conservatives just rolling it out in this important election year? COMMENT