As George W. Bush traveled to London Nov. 18, he learned of the decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upholding gay marriage. It had been dreaded, expected and awaited for months, giving the president plenty of time to decide whether to endorse an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Yet, he uttered only pro forma disapproval of the Massachusetts decision, pledging to defend "the sanctity of marriage."This is an issue so one-sided in the court of public opinion that already more than 30 states (including California, for heaven's sake!) have passed on version or another of the Defense of Marriage Act. And yet the White House can't figure out what to do. The administration can rest assured, however that there will be no politicking their way out of this one:
Aides said President Bush wanted to concentrate on his mission in Britain without distraction by a domestic social issue. However, he has long since returned to Washington (and made a round trip to Baghdad), without revealing his intentions. In fact, the White House is divided, as is the Republican Party, on an issue Bush cannot avoid.
This is a yes-or-no choice for the president, with a middle course not possible. Without a constitutional amendment, gay marriage will become part of the fabric of American life.If the administration refuses to take a stand, it will find itself (much like the President's father found himself) without the Christian wing of their party come election time--and they will not win without them.