Constitution's Flexibility Is What Makes It So Great
Letter to the Editor
Monday, May 12, 2008
I must comment on the article by Kathleen Chapman dated April 18 entitled "Gay-marriage-ban push under way." I'm fascinated by the twisted rationalization applied by those who want to change the Florida Constitution.
First, I'd like to address a remark made by Sidney Lanier, a retired Florida Highway Patrol officer who said: "But some things are never meant to change, because they define us as human beings." What exactly qualifies this man to make that judgment? "Us" constitutes homosexuals and heterosexuals; agnostics, atheists and people of all faiths; and people of many colors and cultures.
Our society has been evolving for more than 230 years. Imagine what this country would be like if the Constitution were changed in the 1850s to state "only white men and women are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The likes of Colin Powell, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou and Barack Obama would never have had the opportunity to accomplish everything each achieved in service to this country with their unique God-given gifts of insight, compassion, intellect, faith, wisdom, generosity and courage.
Our forefathers had it right when they authored the Constitution. It should be fluid enough to accommodate the evolution of our culture.
Finally, the article states that Virginia Brooks, a local co-chair of Florida4Marriage, said that she just wants to protect "what people have assumed for eons is right." Yes, like how it was "right" for women to not be allowed to vote 100 years ago or how it was "right" that people of color were enslaved in the South 150 years ago. I wonder if she would be willing to give up her right to vote in order to revert back to that "norm."
Perhaps if those, especially women and people of color, who have elevated themselves to be the moral police for all of us would consider what their lives would be like had amendments not been made to the Constitution over the past 200-plus years that ensured them equal rights, they would be less apt to campaign for those of other minorities or marginalized groups to be discriminated against.
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