Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Massachusetts Betrayal

Anyone who thinks we do not need a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman should rethink his position after Massachusetts legislators, defying tradition, ignored a mandate from the people in denying them a vote on this issue. Why does this matter? Because when government approves a certain behavior, i.e. abortion or welfare, government endorses and encourages it. The purpose of marriage is the survival of civilization - to provide a stable environment that protects and nourishes children and thereby promotes a law-abiding citizenry.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Betray Constituents on "Same-Sex Marriage"
By Newswires
Jun 17, 2007

Washington, D.C. — Despite broad support and almost two hundred thousand petition signatures, Massachusetts lawmakers thumbed their noses at constituents on Thursday and voted by just over a three-to-one margin (151-45) to prevent the citizens of Massachusetts from voting on a constitutional amendment in 2008 which, if passed, would have properly restored the definition of marriage to one man and one woman.

Addressing the vote, Matt Barber, Policy Director for Cultural Issues with Concerned Women for America (CWA), said, “In its 2003 Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court circumvented the constitutional process and arbitrarily imposed ‘same-sex marriage’ on the people of Massachusetts through a brazen and contemptuous act of judicial activism. Now members of the liberal Massachusetts state legislature have surrendered to the demands of the radical homosexual lobby and have betrayed their own constituents and the democratic process by precluding them from weighing in on this crucial issue.

“What are they afraid of? Well, we know the answer to that question. They mustn’t allow the voters to decide on marriage because ‘gay marriage’ proponents almost universally lose when the voters have their say.

“Thousands of years of history, every major world religion and good ole’ fashioned common sense dictate that legitimate marriage exists only between a male and a female and that it is a sacred and fundamental cornerstone to any healthy society.

“After the Massachusetts Supreme Court — through judicial fiat — miraculously divined that the framers of the state constitution really intended that Patrick Henry could marry Henry Patrick, many in Massachusetts — embarrassed by the court’s unprecedented leftist extremism — felt that their state had become a laughingstock and initiated the constitutional process in an effort to undo this insanity.

Although this ballot initiative wasn’t perfect in that it would have grandfathered existing ‘same-sex marriages’ in the state, the citizens of Massachusetts should have at least been allowed to speak. But instead, Massachusetts lawmakers have arrogantly and disdainfully told their own constituents to shut up and go home.

This just underscores the need for a federal constitutional amendment which would protect the true definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman,” concluded Barber.


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At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Russ - but I have to disagree with you. Like it or not, the Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled that Gay people have a civil right - Based in the Massachusetts Constitution - to marry so as to allow them to create the same voluntary family relationships that non gays have. If somebody finds that offensive, then the "remedy" is to recall or impeach the Judges to get a new court ruling - or amend the Constitution. The remedy is NOT to have a public referendum or vote on the issue of the minority's rights. In America we do not vote on the question of civil liberties for minorities. That's because civil liberties are often unpopular and the minority will usually lose that vote. That's the whole point of a Bill of Rights. "Congress shall make no law" means Congress shall make NO law - regardless of what the "vast majority" wants or thinks. When the Courts in America struck down the laws banning interracial marrage, we didn't put that to a vote or referendum. Are you arguing that we should have?

Roy B.

At 4:51 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

But Roy, this was a constitutional amendment to be put through the difficult process any such amendment rightly faces. It was not a vote to bar this form of marriage. Our Massachusetts forefathers probably never even considered the possibility of same-sex marriage. We do amend our constitution occasionally.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes it was an attempt to Amend the Massachusetts Constitution and it failed at the first step (which is a legislative one). My comments were directed torward Barber's concept that it was somehow self evident that the populace should have been allowed to "weigh in" on this "crucial issue".

What Barber didn't "get" was that Goodridge wasn't a statement about the pros or cons of gay marriage or homosexuality. It was instead a statement about the rights of a minority group that many are prejudiced against. That is not something in America that we ever have put to a vote. That we know that the results of the vote will be against the minority (as Barber brags) is not a reason to have the vote. It's instead the reason we should not. That's why 151 legislators, some Republican, voted as they did. Only 45 did not.

I keep asking how the political/legal process on Gay Marriage is different from the political/legal process of overturning miscegenation laws - and nobody wants to discuss that. Those laws existed for our forefathers, and long after adoption of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Our slaveowning forefathers never considered that such laws would not exist - nor did Lincon when he freed the slaves. Until the mid 20th century the idea of interracial marriage would have been treated with even more derision than Barber heaps on Gay marriage. The laws that banned it were ultimately declared unconstitutional by the exact same judical process that the Goodridge court used. Why didn't we put that "crucial issue" to vote? Didn't we know what the results of that vote would have been?

We enjoy a number of civil rights and civil liberties that our forefathers didn't consider the possibility of: interracial marriage, right to birth control information and devices, right to free counsel, protection against electronic eavesdropping, and many more.

We may disagree with some or all of them. But when somebody suggests that the public has a "right to vote" on the rights of a minority - then they do not understand what a constitutional democracy really is.


At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred Thompson believes this is a Federalist issue and should be left to the states to decide, I agree.


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