Stephen's Statements A little bit of everything from Stephen Duncan Jr, a Programmer/Web Geek working in the defense industry

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

FMA Wording

Michael Totten on Instapundit and Eugene Volokh disagree over the implications of the Federal Marriage Amendment and whether Bush's acceptance/support of civil unions is in conflict with supporting the FMA. Is this a matter of reading comprehension? No. It's a matter of which version of the text we're looking at. Totten is using this version (emphasis added by me):

Neither this constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

Volokh, on the other hand, is using this version:

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Volokh mentions that he quotes from the Mar. 22, 2004 version. I believe that Totten's version is the original, older version. Anybody know when the text was changed, or where to look for the latest version? Both interpretations I believe to be correct, based upon the text each was using.

Update: After I sent an e-mail to Mr. Volokh, he updated his post to mention that he got his version from thomas.loc.gov. A search for marriage amendment will reveal that S. J. RES. 40 is the current version, and has been placed on the calendar. That version is the version quoted on Volokh Conspiracy. So, good to see that at a minimum, some of the worst of the original wording has been taken out, though I doubt such a rediculous amendment to the constitution, even still, could pass.

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