February 24th, 2004

Dancing Thru

Civil rights and the Constitution

Isn't it interesting how the Constitution can be perverted to take away rights, rather than ensuring them? But such actions have never ultimately stood the test of time. The one that most people think of is Prohibition, but it was not the first.
Until 1868, there was no explicit barring of woman's right to vote---until it was written into the Constitution in the same amendment that granted voting rights to blacks, a shocking slap in the face to the feminist movement of the time. But, of course, we know what happened a little over 50 years later. Victoria Woodhull, who ran for President in 1872, lived to see it. Susan B. Anthony, who was brought to trial and convicted, for daring to vote in the 1876 elections, did not.

I've been thinking of this in terms of the recent gay marriage issues, and the call for a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Based on previous history, ultimately, if it could be ratified and added in, the chances of its standing the ultimate test of time is not a favorable one---fortunately. But based on what I know of history, I cannot say that an amendment is not possible. (And this is, after all, the same country that could never pass an *appropriate* amendment guaranteeing women equal rights under the law.) I only hope that common sense (not to mention states rights) prevails.
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