updated 7/13/2004 4:01:16 PM ET 2004-07-13T20:01:16

I really can't believe President Bush is renewing his call for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage—an amendment he knows will fail and certainly should fail.  To be clear, you can oppose gay marriage and also oppose a constitutional amendment on the issue. 

To be honest with you, I am more concerned about the Constitution than I am about the issue.  The Constitution has only been amended 17 times since it was enacted in 1791 and in almost all cases, it has been amended to create a better, more accurate voting system, to ensure equal rights, to better delineate who does what in the government.

The framers intentionally protected the sanctity of the Constitution by making it more difficult to amend.  You need two-thirds of both the House and the Senate followed by three-quarters of the states.  This is not even close to being an issue that justifies tinkering with our jealously-protected Constitution. 

Furthermore, this latest effort by the administration is really antithetical and that is what conservatives generally advocate; allowing states to determine their fate rather than having the federal government dictate what they can and can't do.  That's exactly what the president is attempting here, to prevent states from deciding this issue on their own.

What's the rush?  Most legal scholars agree no state is obliged to enforce a same-sex marriage from another state, and there's even a federal statute on the books to try to ensure that remains the case. 

This amendment won't pass, it shouldn't pass.  President Bush should stand up to the fringes, seeking to unnecessarily change one of our most cherished documents.

Dan Abrams is the host of MSNBC's legal hour, "The Abrams Report." The show airs weeknights, 6 p.m. ET.


Discussion comments