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Maine: Rights shouldn't be subject to a popularity contest

By Jo-Ann Armao

Maine’s vote to repeal the state’s law allowing gays and lesbians to marry is sure to revive the debate in D.C. about whether to submit this issue to voters. The District is on the verge of enacting legislation permitting same-sex marriages, but opponents think the voters should decide. They trumpet a supposed devotion to democracy but overlook what I think is the far more powerful argument of city officials who are resisting a referendum: that the inalienable rights of human beings cannot -- and should not -- be subject to a popularity contest.

The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 is now before the D.C. Council, and there are more than enough votes for its passage. The bill follows the success of Council Member David A. Catania (I-At Large) in winning passage of a law recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Efforts by opponents to nullify that law ran into a brick wall when the Board of Elections and Ethics ruled it couldn’t go on the ballot because it violated the city’s human rights law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. In essence, the board said that, just as you can’t put the rights of women or African Americans or Jews to a vote, neither can you hold a plebiscite on the rights of gays and lesbians. No doubt it will make the same determination when it is petitioned to hold a referendum on the soon-to-be-approved law allowing same-sex marriages.

In looking at Tuesday’s heartbreaking results in Maine -- which joined 30 other states in sanctioning discrimination -- I have to wonder about the strategy of gay-rights groups going state by state in an effort to build popular support for their cause. Maybe they will have a better chance with efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage and can be overturned without voter approval. Or even better, maybe the courts will recognize the fact that these are rights that are given, rather ones to be granted. Yes, I know that so-called activist judges are held in disfavor, but think what would have happened if the residents of Topeka, Kansas got to decide whether to desegregate their schools in 1954.

This isn’t a question of trusting the people to do the right thing. It’s just not their business.

By Jo-Ann Armao  | November 4, 2009; 4:12 PM ET
Categories:  Armao  | Tags:  Jo-Ann Armao  
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Comments

The purpose of government is to serve the will and interests of the people. What happens when government chooses to ignore the will of the majority? If laws are created and forced upon a population, against their will and better judgment, then one should fully expect that that government will not stand. New politicians will be elected who reflect the views and beliefs of their constituency, constitutions will be amended to reflect the will of the people, change brought by a majority vote, as was the case in 1776 as is the case in 2009.

To suggest that the people should mind their own business and leave governance to minority interests, is to suggest a return to anti-democratic tyranny. Not only is it the people's business to concern themselves in this matter, it is their civic obligation.

Posted by: SUMB44 | November 4, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

SUMB44. The people should engage themselves in these affairs. They should stand up, but they should be standing up to get government out of people's lives. Democracy is certainly about the majority (or at least the plurality), but the majority isn't always in the right. I don't know how it can be right to deny people civil rights.

If it's about "marriage is between a man and a woman", then work to come up with another arrangement that provides the same rights at the same time as you say "no". I don't think it's enough to say "no" and then wait for someone else to come along and put forth a civil union or other similar bill.

What's so special about marriage that you should get a tax benefit/penalty for it? Why shouldn't everyone be able to pass their estate to their family? There's simply no excuse for bigotry.

Posted by: sinesk1 | November 4, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the people already speak, that should be respected and stop blaming it on someone or somebody, be realistic it is the will of the people. The majority speak and you need all to accept and respect it, period.

Posted by: alvin1435 | November 4, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

WRT:
"
The fact that the people already speak, that should be respected and stop blaming it on someone or somebody, be realistic it is the will of the people. The majority speak and you need all to accept and respect it, period.

Posted by: alvin1435 | November 4, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse
"

Democracy without minority rights is like three wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. That's just mob rule.

Posted by: tweldy | November 4, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I feel the paternalistic attitude that the majority of Americans don't know what is best for our country, family and community is the outrage, not the fact that there is democracy in action. I guess democracy is fine when we get the answer we like, but if the un-enlightened, under-educated masses don't get it "right" let's take it to Daddy...

Posted by: bflatoff | November 4, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

A strict view that a democratic government is only loyal to the will of the majority is pretty naive and a pretty strong indication that the person has never learned much about government past 8th grade civics. The will of the majority is often dangerously selfish when it comes to the treatment of the minority. Government is obligated to ensure the rights of the minority. The legitimate debate here is whether marriage is an inalienable right.

Posted by: sxc87 | November 4, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

WRT:
"To suggest that the people should mind their own business and leave governance to minority interests, is to suggest a return to anti-democratic tyranny. Not only is it the people's business to concern themselves in this matter, it is their civic obligation."

To suggest that minority rights are not inalienable is anti-American. This is a Republic, not an anything-goes Democracy, thankfully.

Posted by: tweldy | November 4, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

WRT:
"
I feel the paternalistic attitude that the majority of Americans don't know what is best for our country, family and community is the outrage, not the fact that there is democracy in action. I guess democracy is fine when we get the answer we like, but if the un-enlightened, under-educated masses don't get it "right" let's take it to Daddy..."

Democracy is fine when applied equally. If the majority votes to deny all redheads bank accounts, you think that should be legitimate?

Posted by: tweldy | November 4, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the measure failed in Maine. Though you gays can claim a significant victory in North Carolina.

Once again, North out-bigots South.

You didn't lose by much so now is not the time to quit, nor blame the President.
He's an elected leader, not a King.
Barack Obama has never supported gay marriage.
He added gays to the Hate Crime protections. You won't get much more from him unless Congress passes a national law allowing marriage. He would sign it if they did.

Don't throw hissy fits, just keep fighting.

Posted by: captainkona | November 4, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Many people talk about the rights of gays to marry but what people fail to construct is where this right exists and why it exists. If you listen to the arguments used by homosexual activists, you could use the same arguments for polygamy and many other variances of marriage. This gay right is a myth and holds no true foundation for the good of society.

Marriage between a man and a women provides a structure for society to reproduce and raise the next generation. Homosexual relations ultimately do not benefit society.

Posted by: eagle7 | November 4, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

So since when was marriage ever a "right?" Marriage means a matrimony between a man and a woman. Complaining that gays can't be called "married" is like complaining a dog can't fly. A man and a woman is NOT the same as two men or two women, and I don't want the forced definition change codified into law. Forcing the public, our system to "recognize gay marriage" is akin to being forced to call a dog's tail a leg. Or to say that a crow is white. A couple you may be, but "married" you are not. Please don't codify insults to the people's intelligence.

Posted by: kogejoe | November 4, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. The proletariat should just be pro. Pro for letting the "ariat" erudite decide these liberties. Why do we even allow voters from Hicksville, Arkansas and Provo, Utah express their 19th century opinions at the ballot box on issues that shouldn't concern them? Send them to Russia so they can experience what decisions made by the technocrats really feels like if they don't like ones we have made for them!

Posted by: skitarghee | November 4, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. The proletariat should just be pro. Pro for letting the "ariat" erudite decide these liberties. Why do we even allow voters from Hicksville, Arkansas and Provo, Utah express their 19th century opinions at the ballot box on issues that shouldn't concern them? Send them to Russia so they can experience what decisions made by the technocrats really feels like if they don't like ones we have made for them!

Posted by: skitarghee | November 4, 2009 6:41 PM
=========================
No need to send anyone to Russia. We're experiencing more of Russia and China here thanks to our wonderful "progressive" leadership.

Bush did a lot of things wrong but at least he stood up for America and ruined the democrats plan to ratify Kyoto and bow down to corrupt UN leadership. Sorry but the progressives want worldwide socialist government they can go to europe and push it from there.

European countries just lost more of their sovereignty. Good thing Gore didn't win or we would know their pain.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Legalizing "gay marriage" is about redefining the definition of marriage, which has LEGAL consequences for the rest of us. For example:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0617/p01s03-usju.html

The homosexuals are not content to live quietly and peacefully in their immorality. They want to drag the rest of us into it, leveraging the strong arm of Federal Government to get their way. It is worth noting that Obama and the Democrats in Congress have publicly stated that they want to repeal DOMA and federally mandate "gay marriage" in all 50 states.

There are EXPLICIT religious protections in the Constitution that have been there since the beginning. No such mention of homosexuality in the Constitution. Increasingly, people of faith are being force to choose between their God and the demands of radical homosexuals. In many ways the radical homosexuals are like the Nazis of the 1930's. People tried to appease Hitler to avoid conflict, but in the end a bitter moral battle had to be fought.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | November 4, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

As the debate slides down the slippery slope of how to define marriage, how should we - or the courts - differentiate between competing definitions of marriage? Which definition is correct? Man and woman? man and man/woman and woman? Men and women? By what criteria do the courts decide to enshrine the rights of same gender marriage and deny similar civil rights to polygamists who similarly do not endanger civil society?

Posted by: SUMB44 | November 4, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

People who go on about marriage being for the sole purpose of procreating and for the benefit of society need to really give it a rest. That would mean that all those 'straight people' who marry with no intention of having kids should have their marriages annulled or penalized for not having kids and divorces should not be allowed. These same bigoted types obviously have no problem with gay people paying local, state and federal taxes to subsidize their ignorance.

Posted by: jamesbaie | November 4, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I just have to add a comment for those people who are forever going on about 'God' Who has your God ever saved? Did he save the millions of Jews who died under Hitler calling out his name? Did he save the Christians before they were eaten by the lions in the Roman arena? Did he save the woman being beaten by her loving husband or the boys being abused by Catholic Priests? or the 58,000 soldiers killed in Vietnam? The short answer is No! The reason the answer is no is because religion is a crutch for weak people without the mental wherewithal to live life on its own merits.

Posted by: jamesbaie | November 4, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

They should be thankful, that they were given a chance to be heard, by putting it to the referendum. And, they lost, people should be man enough to accept the truth that marriage is only for a man and a woman. Should you all wish to be together forever, so be it and be thankful. But not putting the blame to our president. And if people said that a union of man and man or woman and woman is legal, then the president will signed it into law without questions.

Posted by: alvin1435 | November 4, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

The continued bigotry and discrimination directed at gay people seeking equality in this country makes it clearer and clearer that, once again, the courts are going to be required to step in to protect another minority from the ignorance and religious paranoia of the majority of Americans. There is not, nor has there been, even one rationale advocated against same-sex marriage that is not rooted in religion, or in a seemingly-willful refusal to accept the simple fact that gay people are no different, no better, no worse, than any other group of tax-paying American citizens and deserve to be treated as such. As the results of the legalization of gay marriage in those enlightened states where mob rule does not prevail have shown, the world does not end when two gay people pledge their hearts to each other publicly. Despite that, a majority of allegedly fair-minded Americans would rather indulge their bigotry once again than accept that reality.

Posted by: pilch62 | November 4, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I just have to add a comment for those people who are forever going on about 'God' Who has your God ever saved? Did he save the millions of Jews who died under Hitler calling out his name? Did he save the Christians before they were eaten by the lions in the Roman arena? Did he save the woman being beaten by her loving husband or the boys being abused by Catholic Priests? or the 58,000 soldiers killed in Vietnam? The short answer is No! The reason the answer is no is because religion is a crutch for weak people without the mental wherewithal to live life on its own merits.

Posted by: jamesbaie | November 4, 2009 7:05 PM
=============================
I'm agnostic so have no skin in the game. However judging by your posts I can guess you likely subscribe to the liberal religion including the laughable climate change religion.

Just because there isn't an official god doesn't make the liberal religion of ignoring facts, history and precedent to pursue naive ideals any better. Just a reality check.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

First, there is NO right to same sex marriage because SODOMY is not a right! The declaration of Independance states that our rights come from God. When did God ever give two men the right to marry one another? NEVER! In fact, God hated this sin so much he destroyed whole cities because of it. Have ytou not heard of Sodom & Gomorrah?

Second, one does not even need to be religious to see that same sex relationships are wrong! In fact, they are sexual perversion by definition! Why? Because a males sexual organs are not designed to be used on another male. That is a BIOLOGICAL FACT! And no amount of lies or cunningly devised fables put forth by homosexual activists can change BIOLOGICAL FACTS!

Finally, honmosexual activists love to try and deceive the public into believing their plight is the samne as that of blacks in the '50's. This is nonsense because having dark skin has nothing to do with morality because it has nothing to do with BEHAVIOR! Homosexuality on the other hand has everything to do with behavior!

All this is in the end is an attempt by UNREPENTANT SODOMITES to justify their sin and REBELLION against GOD!!!

Posted by: GodsLion | November 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The continued bigotry and discrimination directed at gay people seeking equality in this country makes it clearer and clearer that, once again, the courts are going to be required to step in to protect another minority from the ignorance and religious paranoia of the majority of Americans. There is not, nor has there been, even one rationale advocated against same-sex marriage that is not rooted in religion, or in a seemingly-willful refusal to accept the simple fact that gay people are no different, no better, no worse, than any other group of tax-paying American citizens and deserve to be treated as such. As the results of the legalization of gay marriage in those enlightened states where mob rule does not prevail have shown, the world does not end when two gay people pledge their hearts to each other publicly. Despite that, a majority of allegedly fair-minded Americans would rather indulge their bigotry once again than accept that reality.

Posted by: pilch62 | November 4, 2009 7:08 PM
=======================================
No people like you are not preaching tolerance you are preaching acceptance. Guess what people don't have to accept it. It is perfectly legitimate to think it is wrong. The "born with it" defense is irrelevant. People are born with many different behavior deviances. It doesn't make them a bad person but it also doesn't make room for celebration.

Violence or other invasive discriminatory means against gays is wrong but there is nothing wrong for not wanting to accept it and teach it to your children. Not redefining marriage has nothing to do with "equal rights" regardless of how many times you squawk.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

As for those homosexual activists who try and compare same sex marriage to interracial marriage: every public official swears to uphold the laws of this land and the Constitution by placing his hand on the Holy Bible. In that same Holy Bible God defends the marriage between Moses and a black/ethiopian woman. When does He ever defend the marriage of two men? NEVER!!!

Posted by: GodsLion | November 4, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Old Testament: "For a male to lie with another male as he would with a woman is an ABOMINATION!" says the Lord God Almighty Leviticus 18:22

New Testament: "Don't you know that the WICKED will not inheret the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! No adulterer, no fornicator, no sodomite, no drunkard, no thief, no reviler has any inheritance in the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you ( God says here that not only are sexually active homosexuals wicked but also that homosexuals can change - contrary to current lies about orientations) 1 Corinthians 6:9

If we love homosexuals,as we are commanded to do, we should be doing everything we can to encourage them to get out of same sex relationships, so thay won't be damned to hell. We should not be encouraging them to stay in these relationships - those who do so are unknowingly supporting the damnation of thier souls!

Posted by: GodsLion | November 4, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Maine is on the wrong side of US History, the Bill of Rights, and their own best interests.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 4, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

No people like you are not preaching tolerance you are preaching acceptance. Guess what people don't have to accept it. It is perfectly legitimate to think it is wrong. The "born with it" defense is irrelevant. People are born with many different behavior deviances. It doesn't make them a bad person but it also doesn't make room for celebration.

Violence or other invasive discriminatory means against gays is wrong but there is nothing wrong for not wanting to accept it and teach it to your children. Not redefining marriage has nothing to do with "equal rights" regardless of how many times you squawk.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

===========================================

You make my point perfectly: bigotry and discrimination based on ignorance and and a willful refusal to accept reality that there is NOTHING "wrong" with being gay. I hope you don't have gay children--your bigoted attitude against them will forever blight their lives, as it blights the lives of all gay people whenever they come up against it.

White people in times gone by thought it was perfectly legitimate to believe black people were inferior. How is this bigotry any different?

Posted by: pilch62 | November 4, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The reason gay marriage was repealed in Maine had nothing to do with Obama's "lack of engagement" or "scary ads". It is really very simple. The overwhelming majority of Americans do not support gay marriage. Its that simple. This is a democracy. The majority rules. The majority does not support gay marriage. The gay marriage lobby needs to accept the fact that most people don't support their cause and stop trying to force a minority upon the majority.

Posted by: physicianexec | November 4, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

The illegitimate and unrelenting attacks of godbothering fanatical and homophobic religious and political misleaders on the Citizenship Rights of gay and lesbian US Citizens, is not acceptable to those who truly honor our US Constitution and the the Inalienable Rights and Freedoms guarrantied therein. We must no longer allow these religious bigots and homophobes to deny full Constitutional Rights to gay and lesbian US Citizens, most notably US Armed Forces service members. It's time to end the oppression of our fellow US Citizens by religious zealots and their craven political lackeys!

Posted by: MrTruth | November 4, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

It is not bigotry to agree with God that a marriage is between a man and a woman - its righteousness!!!

Its not discrinmination to prevent two men from marrying one another - its honoring God!

Its not hatred to be against men having sex with other men or women having sex with other women - its holiness!

The same Holy Bible that our public officials swear on states the God Almighty created the institution of Marriage not man - thats why its called HOLY MATRIMONY! -=Therefore no MAN has the authority to change what God has created!

The UNMITIGATED ARROGANCE of homosexuals who beleive they know better than God as to what a marriage should be is breathtaking!

Posted by: GodsLion | November 4, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Explicit RELIGIOUS protections??? What would those be outside of not establishing a religion that all have to follow. That is IT. The constitution of the USA does not even specify a belief in GOD or that people HAVE TO believe in GOD. Nor does the constitution specify that you must accept Jesus Christ as your savior.
Futhermore, the constitution explicitly says that everyone is entitled. It does not specify religious only nor straight only. For many years, those rights were denied to Afraican Americans, Hispanics and Women - but that is getting better now.
NO, the only document that is ever used to deny civil rights and human rights is the BIBLE and someone's interpretation of what the Bible says. Some have used the Bible in the past to deny many things and to justify others. Justification for owning slaves; Denial of black people to vote; denial of women to vote and own property; justification for abuse of children; justification of spousal abuse...all these and more have found passages in the GOOD BOOK that provided them succor there.
The one thing that the Constitution provided for is the separation of Church & State - for this very purpose. They knew that some religions were not into civil rights - that some would use the constitution to deny others rights. The only argument against homosexuality is BIBLICAL. We are a secular nation - because we have many, many other religions here besides Christianity.

Posted by: gjkbear | November 4, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The UNMITIGATED ARROGANCE of those who presume to speak for god!

The presumptive ignorance of those who assume they know who's a homosexual and who has been happily married to the same woman for nearly forty years.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 4, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Homosexual sex is SEXUAL PERVERSION by definition because a males sexual organs are not designed to be used on another male - that is a BIOLOGICAL FACT!!! Therefore, homosexuals act against the designs of their own bodies. They are therfore peverting the use of their own bodies. And NO amount of lies or cunningly devised fabes from liberal activists can change biological fact!

Posted by: GodsLion | November 4, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Now, not only is there a quote-unquote right to redefine marriage, but said right has attained the exalted status of quote-unquote inalienable.

Oh, the inanity.

You have an inalienable right to subscribe to the notion that marriage can be changed to mean anything or nothing. Likewise, you can believe that 2+2=5 or up is down or any fool thing you can imagine. Your imaginings have no bearing on the reality that 2+2=4 and marriage = husband + wife. There are two distinct complementary sexes and they aren't interchangeable. Marriage is a public, social institution predicated on the complementarity of the sexes and beyond the reach of politicians.

And yes — hate to break it to ya — the earth really is round like a ball and spins like a top, no matter what other hypotheticals your imagination supplies you.

Can we stop wasting time on this ridiculous topic? No, it has nothing to do with rights, tolerance, love, hate or anything else. It's just the facts of life. Grow up.

Posted by: thebump | November 4, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

No people like you are not preaching tolerance you are preaching acceptance. Guess what people don't have to accept it. It is perfectly legitimate to think it is wrong. The "born with it" defense is irrelevant. People are born with many different behavior deviances. It doesn't make them a bad person but it also doesn't make room for celebration.

Violence or other invasive discriminatory means against gays is wrong but there is nothing wrong for not wanting to accept it and teach it to your children. Not redefining marriage has nothing to do with "equal rights" regardless of how many times you squawk.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

===========================================

You make my point perfectly: bigotry and discrimination based on ignorance and and a willful refusal to accept reality that there is NOTHING "wrong" with being gay. I hope you don't have gay children--your bigoted attitude against them will forever blight their lives, as it blights the lives of all gay people whenever they come up against it.

White people in times gone by thought it was perfectly legitimate to believe black people were inferior. How is this bigotry any different?

Posted by: pilch62 | November 4, 2009 7:33 PM
==============================
Sorry but your SUBJECTIVE viewpoints don't govern my life. On the flip side if a religious person tells you you have to accept their religion as being correct and teach to your children that it is correct what are you going to say? It's the same situation if you got the chip off your shoulder maybe you could see it.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry you don't get to define perversion.

However, all those catholic priests, the jimmy swaggerts of the world, and all the other "False Profits", who use god as a facilitator of their perversion, deserve prosecution to fullest extent of the law.

There has been more murder, pillage, and perversion done in the name of god through human history than any other societal factor. Religeous perverts think that was all ok.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 4, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Wow, some of you sure have a strange concept of what “individual liberty” means. Individual liberty is the political condition that reflects a man’s fundamental natural right to his life; all other rights proceed from this first. This means the freedom to choose and act free of force or coercion, so long as he does not violate the same rights of other men. As Ayn Rand said, “A right is the sanction of independent action. A right is that which can be exercised without anyone’s permission.”

And to collectivists: liberty is not democracy, nor is it theocracy. Democracy is majority-rule, or two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for supper. The “inalienable” rights in the Declaration of Independence refer to rights that are absolute, i.e., they cannot be granted or denied by any mortal man or group of men. First and foremost, these rights belong to man because he exists, and not primarily because they are granted by some religious deity.

Government’s only (arguable) legitimate purpose is to protect individuals from force and fraud; marriage is a voluntary contract that involves neither. For more, read this on My Rational Reality. http://myrationalreality.com/?p=252

Posted by: jeffwashpat | November 4, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Au contraire. Homosexual behavior has never been a "right" under English common law or any other foundation to our legal system, nor has such a union been called "marriage." I am not surprised that elites in the courts, congress and various legislatures would try to change the meaning of words and create a "right" where none existed before. To quote Lincoln, "You can't fool all the people all the time."

Posted by: Thinker1 | November 4, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

@ TWELDY--- You are correct that democracy is 3 wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for dinner. That is indeed mob rule. And quite wrong. Fortunately we live in a Constitutional Republic. That is 3 wolves and a sheep with a 12gauge shotgun deciding on what to have for dinner.

Posted by: Dionysis | November 4, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

==============================
Sorry but your SUBJECTIVE viewpoints don't govern my life. On the flip side if a religious person tells you you have to accept their religion as being correct and teach to your children that it is correct what are you going to say? It's the same situation if you got the chip off your shoulder maybe you could see it.

Posted by: Cryos | November 4, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

=======================================

Again, I hope you don't have gay children, because it's clear you would despise them, and they would certainly end up hating you. Ánd NO ONE is imposing a religion on anyone, except YOU: you impose the religion of heterosexuality on gay people.

Maybe we *should* impose a state religion. You say you're agnostic, so the imposition of a state religion shouldnt bother you. Oh, and let's also vote on whether you have to support the state church you don't believe in--you shouldn't have a problem witht that either.

Becauase of course this is EXACTLY what you expect gay people to do: the state religion of heterosexuality is imposed on all gay people, whether they like it or not. Gay people pay taxes to support things--like marriage--that they are denied. And anyone can change their religion: gay people can't change who they are. Sorta like African Americans can't change their skin color, or woment their sex.

Again, ignorance, religious intolerance, and bigotry--they will have to be overcome just like African Americans, women, and other minority groups have done so, and against the same kind of racist, sexist stupidity from white males that existed up until a few decades ago, and the homophobic stupidity taht exists now about gay people.

Posted by: pilch62 | November 4, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less who other people want to marry or sleep with, presumably because I don't have that busybody tendency that so many Americans exhibit driving me to project my personal beliefs onto the rest of the world. My generation grew up on Sesame Street and the idea that being different is a-ok, and not to be morbid, but the bulk of the entrenched, anti-gay voters are simply going to die off over the next 10-20 years and the social landscape is going to shift left. Heck, I live in a pretty conservative area, and I don't know anybody at or even around my own age that harbors any ill will toward gays and lesbians. The vote in Maine is just a symptom of a slow (but steady and inevitable, nonetheless) transition toward people getting used to homosexuals. Give it 10 years and we won't even be bothering to talk about gay marriage. It'll be like talking about female CEOs is today -- utterly shrug-worthy.

Posted by: ponkey | November 4, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Marriage evolved with humanity because it was the most successful way for us to survive. The biological family(child and mother and father)is integral to humanity. As such, it was established before our laws were. Gay relationships are not marriage. Therefore, there is no "civil right" to have them treated as marriages.

Posted by: allamer1 | November 5, 2009 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Denial of civil rights to a minority based on a rather thin majority in a special election isn't democracy. It's mob rule.

In 1967, the Supreme court ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, even though the great majority of the country was against mixed marriage.

They should step up and do the same today. That's not "legislating from the bench" but rather doing their job, namely ensuring fair and equal protection under the law.

Posted by: PaulG2 | November 5, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

So if the majority decides to repeal the 19th Amendment, that's OK, it's the people's will? How about the Civil Rights Act? I know, let's bring back child labor! And what was so bad about slavery, anyway?
Homosexuals are the last group in the USA that it's OK to discriminate against under the law. Why? It's our backwards, slavish, irrational obeisance to religion. It matters not to me what people chose to believe in, or to what "faith" they belong, but stay out of other people's rights. How in the world can my heterosexual marriage be affected by someone else's homosexual marriage? There's no connection. There's just another couple who have committed themselves to each other in love and get the benefits and responsibilities of a relationship sanctioned by the State. They are entitled to equal protection under the law.
So here it is: if you are against gay marriage, you don't get to hide behind your conception of morality, or your religion, or "traditional values" or anything else. It doesn't matter if "some of your best friends are gay." You are still standing for bigotry. That makes you bigots. You are no different than the folks that claimed that interracial marriage was "against God's plan" and should remain illegal. You are no different than the men that claimed that women were subject to "hysteria" and shouldn't be granted the right to vote. You are no different than those who view other races as "subhuman," fit only to be slaves.
Here's the good news: no matter how much you try to poison the minds of your children, young people get it. Gay or straight, black, white, brown, whatever, they just don't care. It may take ten or twenty years, but the homophobia of the frightened older generations will be replaced by the tolerance and vision of the young. Oh, yeah, and a lot of religious nonsense will also fade away. I have thirty or forty years left, I feel confident I will live to see the day.

Posted by: babsnjer | November 5, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Inalienable rights of human beings cannot and should not be subject to a popularity contest!
Yeah, that's the ticket, I'm in love with three women and they are more than willing to marry me, it works fine in Islamic countries why must my family be broken due to the majority here?
I love my sister and she wishes to marry me, I have documentation to prove my visectomy so there is no danger of a genetic problems being passed down, it is only a social stigmatazation of us that prevents us from being married, it is your problem you incestaphobes! When the The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act finally passes, it had better include us too or it will just show their ignorance, religious intolerance, and bigotry they will have to be overcome just like African Americans, women, and other minority groups have done so, and against the same kind of racist, sexist stupidity!

Posted by: Zerohour | November 5, 2009 3:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, I forgot to say, you can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time; What you are seeing is the rejection of the profane and absurd, this is not a human rights issue at all, it is the rejection of the tyranny of the maladaptive minority trying to establish sacredness with the profane: it is ugly, it was ugly, and it will always be ugly, no matter how brainwashed some people get and it will never last, this is not even a phobia, it is just seeing it for what it is, and that is what makes these gay/lesbian advocates so angry, deep down they know it too, that is why they are so desperate to have it made acceptable to society, to indoctrinate your kids in school, to make honest letters like this into hate speech.

Posted by: Zerohour | November 5, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It is not a union between same-sex couples. Anyone who says different is distorting the truth.

Neither is it a civil rights nor a discrimination issue. African Americans have no choice. They can't choose to change their skin color. Women cannot change their genes or chromosomes. They are women.

One cannot compare sexual orientation to either of those types of discrimination (one has a choice while the other two do not).

Marriage is also (among other things) for the purpose of procreation, and has the potential for it. Heterosexual couples may choose to not have a child, but there is always the biological potential to have a child. Homosexual couples do not have that same potential.
If you want legal status of some type, then fine, seek it. Just don't call it marriage. They are not the same thing.

When all 50 state legalize same-sex marriage, you will begin to see the judgements of God fall upon this nation as judgement fell on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sexual perversions. The particular judgments may be different, but they will fall nonetheless.

Posted by: JJOhio | November 5, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

There is no constitutional right to a specific type of marriage. What constitutes a marriage is up to state legislatures. e.g. It has been decided that unions involving three partners will not be recognized as marriages. What we have here is yet another attempt to bully people into approving something they do not want. As is typical of liberals, all opponents are attacked and smeared.
As also is typical of liberals - approval is sought in the courts to over ride democratic processes.

Posted by: scvaughan | November 5, 2009 6:58 AM | Report abuse

The characterization of the vote in Maine as "heartbreaking" is spot-on. Even more sad -- and astounding -- is the attitude evidenced in these posts that it is okay to deny certain human beings the rights and privileges other human beings hold just because a majority says it is okay. Although a tired comparison, this is exactly the attitude that was manifest and which supposedly justified the slavery of blacks, the retention of Japanese citizens in camps during WWII, the retention of Native Americans on reservations (to say nothing of the "gifts" of smallpox infested blankets to them in order to eradicate them as a race), and the abuse of Chinese workers on the West Coast during the Gold Rush and building the railroads, to cite only a few.

The individuals who write that gay marriage will be the clarion call for the Horsemen of the Apocalypse to come on down are relgious fear-mongers at their best. What any God cares about is not whether two individuals who love each other will bond - and any God who cares certainly doesn't care if they get a tax break for doing so. What any God who cares actually cares about is whether we treat each other with integrity and respect. The vote in Maine is, in religious terms, a manifest disrespect.

We seem to be, as a nation, running as fast as we can from the precepts of our Founding (Deist) Fathers, one of which was to keep religion distinctly separate from government. They wanted to ensure that the devotion to religious principles would not be forced on - or deny privileges to - those who do not subscribe to the religion of the majority.

And as for that - there is a difference between a "Democracy" and a "Republic." Those of you who think that "majority rules" in our form of government are completely wrong. We pledge allegiance to "the Republic for which it stands..." "Democracy" and a "Republic" are two forms of government. They are not only dissimilar but antithetical. There is a sharp contrast between a Democracy which is the rule of the majority, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The individual and the minority, and a Republic wherein there is a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of the individual and the minority. We are a Republic - the majority does NOT rule.

Posted by: Telin | November 5, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Marriage is not an inalienable right. Unless one follows the Bible and believes that God ordained that mankind should marry, it is a civil, that is to say governmental and therefore political institution. (Ironically if one does believe that marriage is ordained by God then one might easily be trapped into the bibilical definition of marriage.)

The best case for same sex marriage is equal treatment under the law, which may or may not be an inalienable right.

Marriage is different from human coupling which is a part of nature and therefore is an inalienable right. Marriage institutionalizes human coupling as a special class of human relations: the family. While family grouping has a long history, the modern disaggregation of civil man into less permanent and looser "families" -- watch "Friends" -- and increasing governmental regulation of family relations over the last half century suggests that it properly is a civil institution.

Therefore if marriage is not an inalienable right, but rather an civil institution it is subject to political interpretation to its scope and purpose. Things that are subject to interpretation are fairly the province of the People to decide.

A side note: those who argue that marraige "evolved" with human beings because it was "the most successful way for us to survive" do not understand evolution. Evolution is not driven by survival but only by the ability to reproduce and propogate. (The genes of individuals and groups that survive to reproduce survive.) If that is the case, the best way to reduce population would be to eliminate marriage.

Changing environment changes our needs: I only need to worry about the coyote outside my house, not a pride of lions. So over the eons man has evolved (joke -- really developed) other more effective political institutions for his survival. One of them is democracy which opens such decisions to the will of the people. Given that, democratic governance is now the height of evolution and necessary for our survival.


Posted by: krush01 | November 5, 2009 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Ayah, Looks like maw than just a few well heeled tourists will be headed fuh Cape Cod and Long Island to avoid any homophobic issues in "Vacationland." Ayah, and hows about all those antique shops, fine dining, hotels, and etc.? Ayah, too bad Pepperidge Fahm ahn't the only ones who'll remembah. Ayah, say gubye kids, headed fuh a state whayah they can be free to be. Ayuh.

Posted by: MrTruth | November 5, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

If interracial marriage were placed on the ballot in all fifty states next year, it would be outlawed in at least half of those states. Let's not kid ourselves. The "people" are under-educated morons, bigots, racists, sexist, homphobic cretins. Americans by lot are fat, stupid, lazy, and retarded. When you ask the "people" to make a decision, they are led by their nosehairs by TV ads, equally retarded neighbors, pedophile ministers, or whatever local bigot they choose to follow because they are mentally incapable of making an infomred decision. The "people" are pathetic, and that is why we have representative democracy. The Founding Fathers understood this simple concept. The representative makes the informed decision that the "people" in all their stupidity, ignorance, bigotry, and bias are simply not bright enough to make. "Let the people vote" means let this important decision be decided by the least qualified, least educated, least prepared individuals we can find. The people should pay their taxes and shut up. They should watch their TV, buy things, breed their DNA cesspool moronic children, and be happy that the rest of us keep them safe, and warm, and fed. They exist by the largesse and effort of their superiors, most of whom are LGBT people, and their educated and talented friends who keep this country running. The people, my friends, are simply inferior jerks.

Posted by: gilbert6 | November 5, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Jo-Ann:

We won :-)

Posted by: hoplite2010 | November 5, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse


And in so doing, you lose.

Posted by: Telin | November 5, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

The rightwingnuts on here are still upset the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 were not put to a popular vote after passage.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 5, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You'd be happy to go with the "will of the majority" if the majority agreed with YOU.

Posted by: Ynot1 | November 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

There is no discrimination here. A gay man can marry a woman any day of the week. A gay woman can marry a man any day also. Marrage is the union of a man and a woman.

Posted by: iblain | November 6, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

This is actually a very good argument, actual rights should not be up for public deliberation. They're granted by God and exist independently of elections.

But the talk about "equal rights for gays" doesn't apply here.

Gays and straights already have equal marriage rights. Men can't marry men and women can't marry women, regardless of sexual orientation.The law applies the same to both gays and straights.

So all this talk about "equal rights" is hogwash because everything is already equal. Just because you have different preferences doesn't mean you have unequal rights, contrary to what many people in our postmodern society wish to believe.

Posted by: JohnMackeyGreene | November 6, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The thinking here is so confused it is hilarious. Okay, so where should the right for gay marriage come from, prey tell. the constitution, they say.

But of course if you go to the constitution, the problem is that constitutions are also created... by the people. And this might come as a great shock but the vast majority of constitutions are not very gay tolerant.

Oh, but that is assuming you are going for what the constitution actually says. of course many on the left feel that the state constitutions and the federal constitution are all living documents. So how, pray tell, are those rights discovered in the relevant constitutions? Well, by the vote of judges.

And who chooses judges? well, it depends on the jurisdiciton. Sometimes they are popularly elected. Sometimes they are appointed. and then of course the officials who appoint or confirm them run on a platform that they will appoint and/or confirm judges who fit a certain philosophy. So you get the weird specticle of democratic candidates arguing that they must be elected to office to ensure that the people are not allowed to choose whether there is a right to this or that. "elect me and i will take away your power!"

I mean if you assume the author is not asking for us to go to a dictatorship, that's the only way to read this.

Which begs the question, why would anyone think that is a better way to decide the issue than just letting the people decide? and the answer is this: because democrats like the outcome better.

Posted by: awalker1972 | November 6, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Btw, there is a slight difference between this situation and topeka, 1954: the constitution actually demanded the outcome we got in Brown. I'm not saying the reasoning was activist, but the outcome was percisely what the founders intended. it was activism that restrained the 14th Amendment from achieving this result.

Posted by: awalker1972 | November 6, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

First of all, marriage is not an "inalienable right" as many here have stated. Second, if you don't want gay marriage subject to a popular vote, then what you are arguing is that it should be forced upon the people via judicial fiat or by a Progressive legislature who think they know what's best. These tactics are akin to Hugo Chavez and Venezuela forcing its will on his people. But of course, this is acceptable, as displayed by the Prop 8 opponents in CA who demonized people to the point of getting them to give up their livelihood and attacking Prop 8 supporters. The same happened to a person who appeared in an ad in Maine. It furthers gives lie to the fact that this is about "equality" since a gay couple and a straight couple can never be "equal". Nor can the government on a dime restate biology and civilization just to meet the whims of a liberal lobby group.

People are willing to give gay couples the same benefits of married couples (though I don't know why as this discriminates against all other forms of couples and relationships. I guess we are to allow gays in with the straights, but keep out the polygamists, bigamists, monogamists. Oh, wait, we're actively trying to redefine that word too. Oh yeah, and we will discriminate against straight relationships prior to marriage, but then we'll expand the definition of "domestic partner" thus rendering marriage obsolete), but gays want to redefine culture so as to make their behavior acceptable and mainstream.

In essence, gays and their supporters invent discrimination where there was no discrimination and then perceive a "right" that is to be forced upon people in order to address the invented discrimination all in the name of "equality". This is not democracy, but minority authoritarianism.

Now, I am ready for all of the standard name calling that the Left does. Yes, Lefties, I am a homophobe, a racist, a sexist, a killer of animals, a right-wing terrorist, and a global warming denier. Well, the last one is true, but I think that everyone will attribute all of them to me. :P

Posted by: cmb551 | November 6, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

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