In a “Dear Colleague” letter, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) urged members to support a constitutional amendment that would grant states the right to decide whether to legally recognize gay relationships. Referring to the fact that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court might soon set a national precedent and legalize gay marriage, Akin argued that a constitutional amendment was needed to prevent “supporters of same-sax unions” from foisting their agenda on the remaining 49 states.Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) responded to Akin in a strongly worded statement. “I was disappointed to see how vehemently my colleagues oppose same-sax unions,” Frank said. “I assume they will be patrolling nightclubs in their districts to prevent any such duet from undermining public morality. My question is whether they are willing to allow clarinet-saxophone liaisons. The more traditional preference would be the piccolo and the tuba.”
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.