Priorities

It’s kind of absurd for gay marriage advocates to still try to get Prop 8 repealed when there are real legislative battles to be won in New York, New Jersey, and DC. I mean, if it gets repealed all the better, but there’s only so much money and energy in the movement, and I figure we’d be better off adding more stars to this flag rather than winning back one that got scrubbed off.

4 thoughts on “Priorities

  1. If the attorney general is right that Prop 8 is invalid because it attempts to eliminate fundamental rights that are outside the reach of the initiative process, then it is hardly “absurd” to work to overturn it. We don’t leave invalid, harmful laws on the books just because there are other things to worry about at the same time. And Prop 8 is harmful, because it is currently in effect, and is denying fundamental rights to people, every day. Allowing it to stand, because there are other things to think about, would be a travesty.
    People can and should work to equalize the law in the states you mention — and also work to reverse Prop 8, whether in court or at the ballot box.

  2. If the attorney general is right that Prop 8 is invalid because it attempts to eliminate fundamental rights that are outside the reach of the initiative process, then it is hardly “absurd” to work to overturn it.
    Well, given its very narrow passage — and the clarity of the evidence as to which way the wind is blowing (ie., anti-gay measures are getting much tougher to pass, etc) I’d say a plausible argument can be made that the best course of action is to get it repealed — or to get an affirmative, pro equality measure enacted — via the democratic process (instead of a court challenge) in the near future. Now, reasonable people can differ — especially if one’s own personal rights are at stake. But I just think there is nothing better than an anti-democratic (let’s be honest in our terminology) court ruling to energize the right. This makes lots of worthy goals harder to realize, with precious little in the way of gains (at least, if you believe as I do, that it really is obvious which way the wind is blowing, and that same sex marriage is going to be available nearly everywhere in the near future).

  3. In 1978, the United States Supreme Court declared marriage to be “of fundamental importance to all individuals.” The court described marriage as “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man'” and “the most important relation in life.” The court also noted that “the right to marry is part of the fundamental ‘right to privacy'” in the U.S. Constitution. Affirming similar rulings in state courts and extending the application of this language to gay cases is absolutely essential to securing marriage rights under law. Is this less “democratic”? Only if you accept the notion that fundamental rights should be put to a vote, and that’s not what a constitutional republic ought to allow under any circumstances. I also have to object to the notion that legislative and court actions can’t be handled simultaneously. There are marriage equality movements in every state and I expect, in light of what happened in California, they will more energized and much better funded than they ever have been before.

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