The following is Patty Murrays' response to a constituent's request for more information about her position on the Marriage Protection Amendment.
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Marriage Protection Amendment. I am glad to know your views on this matter...
The Marriage Protection Amendment would have amended the Constitution to recognize marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In addition, it would have prohibited the Constitution or any State constitution from granting marital status or its legal benefits to unions not composed of one man and one woman. I recently voted against a procedural motion on the Marriage Protection Amendment. The Amendment did not garner the required two thirds of the Senate to put forth a constitutional amendment.
I am opposed to this constitutional amendment that would deny same-sex couples the rights and protections that other Americans enjoy, and I am deeply concerned by efforts to use the Constitution to take away the rights of individuals. Amending the Constitution is a serious step--one we have taken just 27 times in the 215 years since the Constitution was ratified and 17 times since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. With the exception of prohibition, which was repealed 14 years later, the Bill of Rights has never been amended to restrict our rights.
America is a strong nation, and our diversity only makes us stronger. But if we are to remain so, we cannot afford to waste time or energy dividing and conquering each other. Our nation will be best off when we appreciate each other's differences and treat all Americans with respect and dignity.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to call on me in the future if I can be of assistance.
This response shows that Senator Murray is comfortable reading rights into the Constitution based on public opinion and her personal beliefs and feels that rather than protecting marriage, the amendment deprives same-sex couples of constitutionally protected rights.
She makes her point in a particularly obnoxious way, first by condescendingly providing a lesson on the content of the amendment - as if the writer would not have known what she was writing about - and follows up with another lesson on the history of amending the Constitution. Because, you know, she was a professional educator, so she's smarter than you.
Then, she chastises the writer for wasting her time and finishes off with a dose of self-satisfied moral superiority by implying that the writer is sadly lacking in respect for other human beings.
I'm sorry to say that in 2004 Senator Murray was re-elected with by a margin of 55 to 43. As I've mentioned before, politics in Washington is so dominated by Democrats that there is a severe shortage of Republicans with statewide name recognition. Her lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union is 3.11 (and, hey, she's not our most liberal legislator). It would seem like, even in Washington, a record that extreme would make her vulnerable; unfortunately, I am not aware of any Republicans that could mount a serious challenge (other than possibly Dino Rossi, who is denying at this point that he'll ever again seek public office).
Cross-posted at It's Only Words