The attempt to pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, which failed in the US Senate on Wednesday, was an exercise in political cynicism and reaction organized by the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in Congress. In the end, the move to cut off debate in the Senate and bring the measure to a final vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, fell 11 votes short of the 60 needed. The outcome, give or take a vote or two, was a foregone conclusion. The decision to bring the amendment before the Senate shows that the Bush administration hopes to alleviate its current political woes and avert a Republican debacle in the November mid-term elections by playing on the insecurity and prejudices of one section of the population at the expense of the basic rights of another. Even sections of the American media acknowledged the anti-gay measure was a sop to social layers whose support for the current administration has cooled. Polls indicate declining support for Bush both among moderate Republicans from 81 to 56 percent since December and conservatives from 93 to 78 percent.
Members of gay groups said it was the first time an openly gay man or a lesbian had been chosen for appointment by any Republican administration. But the White House officials, even as they disclosed a step that seemed intended to appeal to gay voters, refused to discuss Mr. Evertz's sexuality or its significance in either politics or policy, saying that Mr. Bush did not take such concerns into account when making appointments. Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor who is now secretary of health and human services, will take over the office as its role expands to coordinate all domestic and international H. Evertz, a Roman Catholic who has been a fund-raiser for the Wisconsin Right to Life anti-abortion group and for a Catholic AIDS ministry, said in an interview today that he was pleased to be the first openly gay appointee in a Republican administration. Evertz said.
Republicans want racial supremacy and to install a king — but Democrats have the tools to stop them
Bush stands when it comes to their rights. So far, they don't like what they see. But many agree it's unclear how Bush will deal with these issues when he reaches the White House. During his campaign for the governorship, Bush defended the state's sodomy law, which makes sexual activity between same-sex adults illegal, as a "symbolic gesture of traditional values. It is commonly believed that Bush derailed a Texas hate-crime bill in because it included protections based on sexual orientation.
Now he's the nation's most prominent openly gay Republican and the latest member of the George W. Bush administration to support extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians. Mehlman has been working as a fundraiser and strategist for the American Foundation for Equal Rights -- a group that supports same-sex marriage and is suing to overturn California's Proposition 8. But whether Mehlman's high-profile outing and support for gay marriage will trigger a broader shift within the GOP is far from certain.