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Big win for SSM in Massachusetts:

By an overwhelming vote of 151-45, the Massachusetts legislature just rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The amendment needed 50 votes to get on the ballot for a November 2008 referendum. Though it's still possible for anti-SSM activists to press for an amendment in the next session they would have to begin the long, multi-year process all over — and their fortunes have been moving steadily in the wrong direction for three years now.

What's so striking about the vote today is how dramatically support for SSM has grown in the legislature (and in state public opinion polls) since the state supreme court ordered the recognition of gay marriages in 2004. Back then, before the state had any experience with such marriages, there was overwhelming opposition to the idea. Only about a third of the state's 200 legislators fully supported gay marriage. The only real disagreement was whether the state should constitutionally ban both civil unions and gay marriages or just ban gay marriages. Opponents of gay marriage back then gambled that they could hold out for a broad ban — a tactical decision that cost them.

The delay allowed gay-marriage supporters time to mobilize politically and to let the initial anxiety subside. More than 8,500 same-sex couples got married in the state with no obvious or immediate effect on Massachusetts families or existing marriages. (And most people understood that, however regrettable, Boston Catholic Charities' exit from the adoption field was a consequence of pre-existing state anti-discrimination policy and of the group's own decision to stop serving gay couples — not gay marriage.) Anti-gay marriage legislators were defeated in elections. Others, like the Republican senate minority leader, actually became gay-marriage supporters as time passed.

While SSM opponents gathered 170,000 signatures for a petition to have the issue placed on the ballot, the state's amendment process requires that at least one-fourth (50) of the state's legislators vote to send such a citizen initiative to a vote and to do so in two consecutive sessions. Legislators correctly understood that in such a process, by design, they are not merely "pass-throughs" for a ballot fight. Under state law, they were entitled to, and did, exercise their own judgment about the issue.

Now, even the watered-down ban on gay marriages has only anemic and collapsing legislative support. As recently as January, there were still about 60 votes in the legislature for a ban. A few weeks ago that had dwindled to the low 50s. Today it's at 45.

An even bigger win for SSM, in my view, would have been a successful referendum vote in November 2008. But it's clear there's now a secure beachhead for gay marriage. And thanks to this decisive legislative support, it now has a democratic imprimatur it would not have had absent a strong political challenge to the 2003 Goodridge decision.

Much opposition to gay marriage has been based on hypothetical and not unreasonable fears about an important and untried reform. As time passes, it is growing more and more difficult to make these arguments. In one state, at least, gay marriage is here to stay.

Truth Seeker:
...and a big loss for democracy. But what's more important?
6.14.2007 4:31pm
whackjobbbb:
Now, why am I not surprised that the People's Republic of Massachusetts scorns straight-up citizen ballot initiatives, and rather prefers that a few black-robed fascists set public policy?
6.14.2007 4:33pm
plunge (mail):
So does this call into question the "you shouldn't try to use the courts to change social and civil rights policy because there will be a legislative backlash" idea? It seems to me that it weakens it considerably. Sure, there was a backlash... but then prior to that that was simply because there was nothing to backlash against: gay people didn't have marriage rights and probably would not today in any case.

The Court case, instead, seems to changed public opinion at least in Mass, and done what many anti-gay marriage people probably understand to be the deathblow to their case: it has created thousands and thousands of gay marriages (CALLED marriages too) that no one is eager to break asunder, all while calling the bluff of social decay and disaster.
6.14.2007 4:33pm
plunge (mail):
Ah yes, Truth seeker and whackjob, I remember those two when they were railing against the undemocratic injustice of Bush winning despite losing the popular vote in 2000. They were so outraged I tell you!

Seriously guys, can the pathetic rhetoric. You can make a decent case that the court ruling was undemocratic (though court rulings on civil rights are not necessarily always supposed to be such, or else we wouldn't need courts at all), but the case that this particular legislative outcome is undemocratic is hella weak. The public DID vote: it voted for increased representation from Democratic state leg and governors who supported gay marriage. Worse, even if this issue did get on the ballot, it actually looks like it might lose in any case, which honestly would be a far more crushing blow to your movement that you are likely to want. So be thankful that our Democratically elected representatives have now saved you the shame of that.
6.14.2007 4:38pm
Truth Seeker:
The question for the rest of America now is, "Do you want to elect Democrats who will appoint left wing judges who force their agenda on you or do you want to elect Republicans who will appoint judges who will allow the legislatures to legislate.
6.14.2007 4:38pm
JunkYardLawDog (mail):
If it had *really* changed public opinion the the pro-gay agenda legislators wouldn't have been afraid to let the people VOTE on the amendment.

A very UNDEMOCRATIC power grab that shows yet again why judicial activism is such a force for Tyranny and undemocratic action.

Says the "Dog"
6.14.2007 4:39pm
FC:
What two adults do in their own penumbra is no business of the state.
6.14.2007 4:40pm
Erasmus (mail):
Truth Seeker, given the last election, we know America's answer to that question. (And the next election is not looking so hot for you either.)
6.14.2007 4:42pm
AppSocRes (mail):
Your first sentence is false. Whether it's a deliberate lie or not, I won't speculate. Corrected, it should say that today the Massachusetts legislature prevented the voters of the Commonwealth from deciding whether or not to amend the state consitution. The state's legislative leaders and governor obtained this end through parliamentary manuevering and illicit pressures including threats and bribery. My impression is that the polls greatly overstate popular acceptance of court-mandated, same-sex marriages in Massachusetts. The process will start over again. Also, what happened in Massachusetts may energize the movement for a federal constitutional amendment. I wouldn't start gloating this soon.
6.14.2007 4:45pm
plunge (mail):
"If it had *really* changed public opinion the the pro-gay agenda legislators wouldn't have been afraid to let the people VOTE on the amendment. "

You could make that argument for virtually any piece of legislation anyone cares about. If Bush wasn't such a big coward crybaby, he'd let the public vote on stem cell funding directly. And so on.

The public picked those very pro-gray legislators to represent them. Unless you either made a huge fuss over every other issue that legislators have decided instead of direct votes and the "unfairness" of the electoral college and so on, I think you'd better concede that this is legitimate democracy operating by the rules and stop whining about it.
6.14.2007 4:47pm
Arvin (mail) (www):
I'm confused. The LEGISLATORS refused to permit the amendment to go on the ballot. Right? It's not like they did, and then the courts said, ha ha, don't think so. So what's all this rhetoric about undemocratic judges making policy? Maybe that's what happened a few years ago, but how's that the case today? And can't legislators be voted in or out of office? How did these "pro-gay agenda" offices get into office, if not because people voted them in?
6.14.2007 4:48pm
Steve:
Hilarious. A democratically elected legislature votes by an overwhelming majority, and the usual suspects can only rant about judicial activism. Everything's tyranny if it doesn't come out their way.
6.14.2007 4:50pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
Yes, I find it hard to believe that those upset about this really believe that every major decision in a state (or the US as a whole) must be decided by direct democracy to be legitimate.
6.14.2007 4:51pm
MA Citizen:
Truthseeker: Five of six current sitting justices of the MA SJC were appointed by GOP governors. You may think MA republicans are RINOs, but you really can't blame the democrats for the current composition of the court.
6.14.2007 4:51pm
JSinger (mail):
My impression as a Massachusetts resident: it's turned out to be a complete non-issue. There was a backlog of couples looking to marry, and a handful continue to do so. Despite what you'd think from the media, there simply aren't that many gays.

Looking back on the hysteria about the issue at the time between the court ruling, both sides got way too carried away. The pro's insisted this was going to be the next Brown vs Board of Education, the anti's insisted society would break down. The reality is that most people have no social contact with any S-S married couples.
6.14.2007 4:52pm
whackjobbbb:

Ah yes, Truth seeker and whackjob, I remember those two when they were railing against the undemocratic injustice of Bush winning despite losing the popular vote in 2000.


Hey big guy, if you're still concerned about the 2000 election results, you might take it up with the guys who created the electoral college... in a democratic process.



You can make a decent case that the court ruling was undemocratic


To say no more...



(though court rulings on civil rights are not necessarily always supposed to be such, or else we wouldn't need courts at all),


This is a strange statement, but indicative of how the black-robed fascists find enablement, I guess.


but the case that this particular legislative outcome is undemocratic is hella weak.



Well, it's "democratic" as far as the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I suppose, but I'd have preferred to see that referendum go to a popular vote, similar to other states with a more citizen-involved referendum process, as opposed to Mass preference for fascistocracy.



Worse, even if this issue did get on the ballot, it actually looks like it might lose in any case, which honestly would be a far more crushing blow to your movement that you are likely to want. So be thankful that our Democratically elected representatives have now saved you the shame of that.



Actually, the "crushing blow" to my "movement" came about when the black-robed fascists grabbed power, and unfortunately some here seem to celebrate that type of grab. The shame is on all of us, for allowing such tyranny.
6.14.2007 4:58pm
Randy R. (mail):
JSinger: " The reality is that most people have no social contact with any S-S married couples."

Exactly. And now the anti-SSM crowd are crowing that democracy itself has fallen, which is more hysteria.

I have a bit of advice for those who are against SSM: Don't get married to someone of the same sex. Problem solved!
6.14.2007 4:58pm
Daniel950:
Well, since this is the way it's going to be, I'd suggest that anyone in Massachusetts who wants to commit incest sue to do so, and also to marry between incestuous couples. Then they can sue to get rid of age of consent laws. I'm sure NAMBLA will have loads of success up there. And then they can sue to get rid of consent entirely, so necrophiliacs and other people who want to have sex and marry preschoolers can experience the same rights granted to all.

Fire and brimstone are coming to Massachusetts eventually.
6.14.2007 4:59pm
plunge (mail):
I have no beef with the electoral college. It was set up by the very same process that set up the Mass requirements for getting constitutional ballots: requirements that have now failed.

"This is a strange statement, but indicative of how the black-robed fascists find enablement, I guess. "

I'm sure that you would have had the same thing to say about the Loving decision. :)
6.14.2007 5:02pm
Daniel950:
whackjob,

Obviously, I share your distate of courts. If I had my way, I'd replace Article 3 with something entirely different in order to regulate disputes that we find in courtrooms today. Maybe we'd have duels, or something. At least then we wouldn't be ruled by the black robed fascists.

But let's not kid ourselves. Even if Massachusetts banned homosexuals masquarading in public in a fake so-called "marriage", the Feds would've just overturned it because of "animus." The root problem is not homosexuals per se, but their use of the courts to trample over all decent people in society, along with the rest of the multitude of left-wing special interests.

If society is going to hell, I'd prefer to know that it's there because the people want it to be there, not because we were taken there by some black-robed fascist judge who doesn't know better than the first 100 people in the phone book.

I've long came to the conclusion that the Court system in America is irreversibly evil,. because they are drunk on their own power. It's just one of a multitude of evils infecting society today, such as certain public acceptance of derranged sexual activity.
6.14.2007 5:05pm
noops:

Do you want to elect Democrats who will appoint left wing judges who force their agenda on you or do you want to elect Republicans who will appoint judges who will allow the legislatures to legislate.


I mean think of the children!. This is hysterical stuff.

Not to mention the fact that Massachusetts STILL has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, while Bible Belt states have the highest by state and Born Again Christians have the highest divorce rates by demographic.

It must be something those commie liberals are doing.
6.14.2007 5:06pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
Daniel950, can you do us a favor and explain your theory of judicial review by applying it to Brown v. Board?
6.14.2007 5:08pm
noops:

Fire and brimstone are coming to Massachusetts eventually.


So are you arguing that the Biblical law should be part of this decision making?
6.14.2007 5:09pm
Steve:
Your first sentence is false. Whether it's a deliberate lie or not, I won't speculate. Corrected, it should say that today the Massachusetts legislature prevented the voters of the Commonwealth from deciding whether or not to amend the state consitution.

Well, that's the procedure set forth in the Massachusetts Constitution, like it or not. For a proposed constitutional amendment introduced by initiative petition to get on the ballot, it needs to be approved by at least one-fourth of the legislature.

Apparently, even though it's right there in the state constitution, some people can't accept this requirement. Everything is illegitimate if it gets in the way of their desired result. In the real world, if the people of Massachusetts had wanted each and every petition to automatically come before the voters, they could have written their constitution that way.

These legislators are 100% accountable at the next election, of course. If this vote was truly such an affront to the sensibilities of the people, they are completely free to vote in new representatives with different views. Last I checked, that's how representative democracy is supposed to function.
6.14.2007 5:10pm
Daniel950:

So are you arguing that the Biblical law should be part of this decision making?


No, but I do think that a society that thumbs its nose at the Natural Law will probably regret it eventually. Go ahead and destroy marriage in Massachusetts, and then wonder at the possibilities for all the unforeseen consequences.
6.14.2007 5:16pm
Oh My Word:
Once you grant some people rights or benefits, it is almost impossible to take them away later on in a democracy. That's just a political economy fact of life. Most people, as well as the legislature, in Massachusetts recognize this and are just moving on.

The "beachhead" comment was very revealing, however. The Mass SC knew this would happen (they would cram gay marriage into the law with the knowledge that it would get too established for anyone to be able to turn the clock back while legislative hashing rocked back and forth and the years roll by), then let it spread to other states who will slowly have to accept it by not having taken a stand against it earlier.

This is why the federal government wisely took a hard line against polygamy 100-odd years ago. Once it got started and established and slowly seeped across the borders over the years, it would be virtually impossible to uproot.

On this Father's Day weekend, the importance of fathers takes another hit. Women can have lesbian marriage and pick out a stud sperm donor and do away with men altogether.


---

Mass probably has the lowest divorce rate because it has a very low marriage rate.
6.14.2007 5:17pm
Daniel950:

Daniel950, can you do us a favor and explain your theory of judicial review by applying it to Brown v. Board?


I'd much rather live in a universe where the many rule, than rule by the few. Injustices will happen in each. If you're content being ruled by black robed fascists, then enjoy your life as a slave.
6.14.2007 5:19pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Does anyone have current Mass. public opinion polls on support for this amendment? My guess is that the proportions are about the same as before, but the anti-SSMers have mostly lost interest in the issue, for reasons JSinger points out. Even a minority opinion can prevail in a legislature, if the minority's feelings are much more intense than the majority's.

I don't see any process problem with a legislature adopting a strongly held minority position over a weakly held majority one. What is interesting to me is how the political process has essentially followed the lead of the courts. Seems to indicate that "resist judicial tyranny" isn't a winning campaign slogan. For the record, I'm an apathetic anti-SSMer.
6.14.2007 5:20pm
jvarisco (www):
So the governor gives out jobs to kill the amendment...and pro-gay groups spend millions...and you call it a victory for SSM?
6.14.2007 5:22pm
plunge (mail):
6.14.2007 5:24pm
kormal:
But let's not kid ourselves. Even if Massachusetts banned homosexuals masquarading in public in a fake so-called "marriage", the Feds would've just overturned it because of "animus." The root problem is not homosexuals per se, but their use of the courts to trample over all decent people in society, along with the rest of the multitude of left-wing special interests.


So the root of the problem isn't gay people, but they're by definition not "decent people" in our society? Or is there self-trampling going on? Or is it pointless to try to discern meaning in your pathetic rants?
6.14.2007 5:25pm
Spitzer:
It is interesting how integral the judiciary has become in the political process. Despite high-minded appeals to "justice," courts have become a primary avenue for legislative change over the past half-century or so. Whether the individual decisions are "good" is irrelevant to my observation: procedurally, the increasingly legislative role of judges has blazed a trail for circumventing legislators in the creating of law. Again, setting aside whether the decisions are "good" or "bad", which is essentially a political judgment since the decisions themselves are essentially political, it is certainly a change from the theoretical role of the judiciary, and it has also had some effect on the judiciary itself (as well as on the legislature). First, I would suggest that the legislative interventions (for lack of a better phrase) have made the courts' role more explicitly political, a fact that has at once empowered courts willing to use that power while also exposing judges to the tools of political criticism. Thus, judges are increasingly expected to take legislative or political stances with respect to certain cases, and journalists and politicians alike increasingly confuse a judicial decision with a simple political one even where such confusion is inappropriate. For instance, a judge who rules in favor of an employer in an employment discrimination case might be said to be anti-employee rights - regardless of the merits of the case - and a judge who rules against a union in a CBA dispute might be said to be anti-union, while a judge who rules against a plaintiff in a racial or sex discrimination suit might be said to be racist or sexist. Moreover, this confusion has bled into the judicial nomination process, raising the apparent stakes of judicial nominations and rendering the process more starkly political. Contrast this with the markedly sedate process by which British judges (who have no constitutional power and precious little practical power to overrule Parliament). This is to be expected: people who act like politicians, and who are able to exercise power similar to that of politicians, will be treated as politicians. Judges who don't act as such also find themselves treated as politicians because the expectations of others (journalists, law professors, politicians) have shifted.

The politicization of the judiciary has also had an effect on politicians themselves. The most obvious effect may be the way in which politicians treat judges - where once even Supreme Court nominees may have received a fairly sedate reception on Capitol Hill, today Court of Appeals nominees are greeted with a firestorm of controversy, and it may only be a matter of time before district judges (who, arguably, exercise even greater authority in practice than judges on higher courts) are treated in like manner. A second effect may be seen in the treatment of proposed bills - where once it was said that Congress and the President both had proper authority and responsibility to determine the constitutionality of bills they were considering, today the impression is that such determinations have been left entirely to the judiciary. Although this evolution in legislative irresponsibility may have many fathers, the increasingly interventionist nature of modern courts may have reasonably convinced legislators that their opinions on a bill's legality are somewhat immaterial.

To reiterate, I am not commenting on the substance of any particular act of judicial lawmaking. Rather, I am simply noting that the trend of such lawmaking must be having an effect on the nation's power structures, and a study on such changes (cut loose from the emotive decisions that have blinded so many opponents and proponents of the process) may be interesting and useful.
6.14.2007 5:26pm
Daniel950:
kormal,

I think it's pretty well understood that homosexuals are sexual deviants, hence, not decent people.
6.14.2007 5:26pm
kormal:
I think it's pretty well understood that homosexuals are sexual deviants, hence, not decent people.


With gems like you as voting citizens, I'm all for more judicial activism to keep views like this from ever becoming the law.
6.14.2007 5:29pm
Daniel950:

I'm all for more judicial activism to keep views like this from ever becoming the law.


Contrast this with my statement above that I'm content for society to go to hell if that's what the people want.

But nakedly admitting your fascism for everyone to see is fine, too.
6.14.2007 5:31pm
Ron Mexico:
Daniel950, you forgot about the impending man-goat marriages. Please, won't anyone think of the kids?
6.14.2007 5:31pm
rarango (mail):
I now understand why Professor Carpenter limits SSM posts to 100 postings! I do feel the argument about democracy failing is a bit over the top, precisely for the reason that Plunge responds about the Electoral College--there is a legislative process and that process was met. The battle is not, of course, as the next test of democracy is the electoral fate of those who voted to not ammend the constitution. Will be interesting to see what happens to them.
6.14.2007 5:32pm
rarango (mail):
AAARGHH: I consistently misspell amend! apologies (and please dont count this in the posting limit)
6.14.2007 5:34pm
noops:

I think it's pretty well understood that homosexuals are sexual deviants, hence, not decent people.


Really, is this based on religious views? I'm not being sarcastic. I want to know the auspices under which you believe gays are deviants? Biblical? Cultural? Personal? All of the above?
6.14.2007 5:34pm
Steve2:

If you're content being ruled by black robed fascists, then enjoy your life as a slave.



Daniel... I fear your kind more than I fear Al-Qaeda. Worst Al-Qaeda'll do to me is kill me. Your kind, I fear, only wants to kill me if you fail to make a slave of me... and then you insult the judges who do their duty in stopping your kind?
6.14.2007 5:34pm
kormal:
But nakedly admitting your fascism for everyone to see is fine, too.


Yes, if by "fascist" you mean that I've admitted that certain unelected persons in society should have the power to limit the realm of permissive legislative activity to leave out particularly disordered ideas.

Hey, you admit you're a bigot, I admit I'm a fascist; that seems about right.
6.14.2007 5:38pm
Colin (mail):
Daliel950 said:
"Even if Massachusetts banned homosexuals masquarading in public in a fake so-called "marriage", the Feds would've just overturned it because of "animus."
. . .
I think it's pretty well understood that homosexuals are sexual deviants, hence, not decent people.

I think it's pretty will understood that your policy goals are, in fact, mere animus.
6.14.2007 5:40pm
byomtov (mail):
The state's legislative leaders and governor obtained this end through parliamentary manuevering and illicit pressures including threats and bribery

Care to back that up?

My impression is that the polls greatly overstate popular acceptance of court-mandated, same-sex marriages in Massachusetts.

Well, then the polls must be wrong.

Also the court did not mandate SSM. It permitted it.
6.14.2007 5:41pm
RichC:
there is a legislative process and that process was met.

Exactly. While I'm pro-gay marriage, I believe the Goodridge decision was a tortured (to say the least) reading of the state constitution. So I'm glad to see the state legislature has legitimized the decision through its action. The state Constitution says that 1/4 of the combined legislature has to approve a proposed-by-petition amendment in consecutive sessions. It doesn't say the legislature is to be a rubber stamp, obliged to approve anything that comes before it.
6.14.2007 5:42pm
jimbino (mail):
Wow! What with the Gay Marriage rules and the Universal Health Coverage, Mass is the state to move to if you become either gay or sick or both.
6.14.2007 5:42pm
Arvin (mail) (www):
No, but I do think that a society that thumbs its nose at the Natural Law will probably regret it eventually. Go ahead and destroy marriage in Massachusetts, and then wonder at the possibilities for all the unforeseen consequences.

Bravo! Everyone knows that gay marriage causes fewer pirates which in turn causes global warming. Shame on Massachusetts for not caring about the earth! (Or wait! If the earth gets warmer, soon it will be as hot as hell -- that's the nefarious plan!)
6.14.2007 5:43pm
Ella (www):
If the Daniels of the world are to be believed, society's been going to hell - in a moral sense - since at least the Roman Empire. I suspect we'll still be on our way to the fiery pit a thousand years hence.

(And to answer your question, no one's forcing all those sinners to have deviant and/or extramarital sex, so I'd have to say the people have spoken. They're comfortable with "hell" and are having a great time going there.)
6.14.2007 5:45pm
Daniel950:

Daniel... I fear your kind more than I fear Al-Qaeda.


Riiiiight. Because whereas Al-Qaeda will commit mass murder on a global scale to impose an Islamic caliphate that would kill any homosexual in society, here I am all scary in opposing homosexual marriage but content if society goes to hell if that's what the people want. Oh, the horror.

Worst Al-Qaeda'll do to me is kill me. Your kind, I fear, only wants to kill me if you fail to make a slave of me...


If this is what you think of people who oppose homosexual marriage, then you're seriously derranged. I don't know where you get the idea that I want to enslave and, failing that, kill you. Maybe I missed the new Sexual Politics 101 where, a lack of freedom to engage in the most deviant sexual behavior in public is now considered "slavery." Is this kind of like how radical feminists redefine words where "all sex between a man and woman is rape"?

and then you insult the judges who do their duty in stopping your kind?


Duty to stop my kind? So not only do you enjoy being a slave, you're carrying water for your masters? Sheesh. I've seen pathetic before, but that takes the cake. Look, bub, if judges want to act like politicians, they shouldn't be surprised if they're insulted. They certainly deserve it. Secondly, if they were really judges, they wouldn't have a duty to any view other than that imposed by law, which represents the views of the people and not those "laws" that they create out of thin air.
6.14.2007 5:45pm
Federal Dog:
"An even bigger win for SSM, in my view, would have been a successful referendum vote in November 2008."

That would have been the only possible win for SSM. What happened today was an admitted loss. No one needs to bribe people and block votes if their position will prevail on the merits.
6.14.2007 5:46pm
Daniel950:

I think it's pretty will understood that your policy goals are, in fact, mere animus.


Colin,

Oh please. My disgust at homosexual behavior is only one of many reasons why I oppose gay marriage. But you miss my point entirely: I don't have to describe my reasons to you. All I have to do is win, in a level playing field. You want the courts with their thumb on the scales. Blind justice indeed.
6.14.2007 5:48pm
Cornellian (mail):
If it had *really* changed public opinion the the pro-gay agenda legislators wouldn't have been afraid to let the people VOTE on the amendment.

If public opinion on this issue were really what you think it is, SSM opponents would have taken control of the legislature in the last election. Instead, several SSM opponents were defeated in their bids for re-election while not a single SSM supporter lost his seat.
6.14.2007 5:51pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
OK, looks like we have an initial answer from Daniel on his theory of judicial review:

Secondly, if they were really judges, they wouldn't have a duty to any view other than that imposed by law, which represents the views of the people and not those "laws" that they create out of thin air.


This is why I started with my challenge to criticize or justify Brown. Don't you agree that judges have occasionally done the right thing in going against the will of [some majority] of the voters and their representatives? And done the wrong thing by refusing to overturn the people or the legislator? Or do you claim that Brown was merely a correct application of the law established by some past majority or Congress?
6.14.2007 5:52pm
A.C.:
For the person who asked about marriage rates in Massachusetts, I couldn't find a chart of the percent of each state's population that is married (does anyone know of one?), but my theory on why people in Massachusetts don't get divorced much (or have many abortions) is that:

1) A lot of the residents are Catholic, and
2) The state is richer and more educated than average.

Both these attributes are associated with low rates of divorce and abortion.

The one gay couple I know that has married in Massachusetts matches the state demographics pretty well. I assume they won't be getting divorced, and I would bet a great deal of money that they won't be having any abortions.
6.14.2007 5:54pm
Daniel950:
I've admitted that certain unelected persons in society should have the power to limit the realm of permissive legislative activity to leave out particularly disordered ideas.


So I want to exclude from marriage those engaged in a deviant behavior, whereas you want to exclude, via an unelected body of elitists, from legisltive activities any "disordered idea." And I'm the badguy?

Are you the last descendent of George III?
6.14.2007 5:55pm
John D. Galt (mail):
What I want to know is when some gay couple that married in MA and then moved to another state files a (pardon the expression) "Dred Scott case". That is to say: the Constitution directly requires states to recognize marriages performed in other states, and does not give Congress any power to grant exceptions to that requirement, as Congress has attempted to do by passing the Defense of Marriage Act; so in my estimation that Act is null and void on its face.

Maybe the ACLU can redeem its tattered pro-liberty credentials by representing the plaintiffs in such a case.
6.14.2007 5:56pm
Steve2:

Riiiiight. Because whereas Al-Qaeda will commit mass murder on a global scale to impose an Islamic caliphate that would kill any homosexual in society, here I am all scary in opposing homosexual marriage but content if society goes to hell if that's what the people want. Oh, the horror.

If this is what you think of people who oppose homosexual marriage, then you're seriously derranged. I don't know where you get the idea that I want to enslave and, failing that, kill you. Maybe I missed the new Sexual Politics 101 where, a lack of freedom to engage in the most deviant sexual behavior in public is now considered "slavery." Is this kind of like how radical feminists redefine words where "all sex between a man and woman is rape"?

Duty to stop my kind? So not only do you enjoy being a slave, you're carrying water for your masters? Sheesh. I've seen pathetic before, but that takes the cake. Look, bub, if judges want to act like politicians, they shouldn't be surprised if they're insulted. They certainly deserve it. Secondly, if they were really judges, they wouldn't have a duty to any view other than that imposed by law, which represents the views of the people and not those "laws" that they create out of thin air.

Individual liberty cannot coexist with any goal of social conservatism, as liberty requires the freedom to ignore tradition without sanction. I stand by my statements.

Change "Islamic Caliphate" in your sentence to "Christian Nation" and yes, that is what I believe of American social conservatives, which you appear to be. As far as I can tell, the only substantive difference between the values and goals of, say, Kansas's Senator Brownback and Iran's President Ahmadinejad (not Al-Qaeda, but islamo-fascist and dangerous nonetheless), is in their opposite stances on the existence of Israel.

As for "any view other than imposed by law", you familiar with the 9th Amendment? "Rights depend on the outcome of no elections" ring a bell?
6.14.2007 5:57pm
Cornellian (mail):
Well, it's "democratic" as far as the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I suppose, but I'd have preferred to see that referendum go to a popular vote, similar to other states with a more citizen-involved referendum process, as opposed to Mass preference for fascistocracy.

Are you also waiting for referenda on Title VII, The Americans With Disabilities Act and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
6.14.2007 6:02pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
DOMA never went through a referendum process either...
6.14.2007 6:05pm
Cornellian (mail):
That is to say: the Constitution directly requires states to recognize marriages performed in other states, and does not give Congress any power to grant exceptions to that requirement, as Congress has attempted to do by passing the Defense of Marriage Act; so in my estimation that Act is null and void on its face.

Care to point to the language in the Constitution that imposes this requirement on the states and prohibits any Congressional involvement on the issue?
6.14.2007 6:06pm
Daniel950:
Don't you agree that judges have occasionally done the right thing in going against the will of [some majority] of the voters and their representatives? And done the wrong thing by refusing to overturn the people or the legislator?


Everyone loves to think that doing evil for good ends results in good. But history has shown time and time again that it never works that way. You cannot do evil, even for good ends, because by doing evil you end up eventually doing evil for evil ends. It always works out that way, without fail.

This corruption is part of the human condition. The solution is to do good, and suffer the consequences of that good even if it results in a bad thing. Evil is not permitted, period. But suffering is a part of life.

Regarding judges, even if they engaged in antidemocratic activities for the good of the people, in time it's inevitible that such activities would be corrupted so that the will of the people is thwarted purely because the judges want it so. Thus, you find yourself in the situation America finds itself today, where it doesn't matter which laws are passed by the people's representatives because the only ones that truly matter are the ones that meet the approval of the Judges. And if laws aren't passed by the people, the Judges create them on their own.

You tell me if this increasing antidemocratic trend is a good thing. 100 years ago, how many laws were overturned as unconstitutional? How many today? How many do you think will be overturned in 100 years, if the system surivies until then? By the Supreme Court, and by "lowly" district judges? And now, by state judges?

Judges have been engaged in so much wrong, so much evil, for so long, that it's time to find another way.
6.14.2007 6:10pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
You're saying Brown was wrongly decided? It was evil for the Supreme Court to mandate the end of school segregation, because most people believed in it, and the laws allowed it?
6.14.2007 6:13pm
whackjobbbb:

A second effect may be seen in the treatment of proposed bills - where once it was said that Congress and the President both had proper authority and responsibility to determine the constitutionality of bills they were considering, today the impression is that such determinations have been left entirely to the judiciary. Although this evolution in legislative irresponsibility may have many fathers, the increasingly interventionist nature of modern courts may have reasonably convinced legislators that their opinions on a bill's legality are somewhat immaterial.


That was a fine post, Spitzer, especially the above portion.

Once, federal politicians debated the legitimacy of their actions... before even taking an action... but no more. In fact, the current president has tacitly acknowledged that he'd signed a bill with the implied understanding that it was unconstitutional... and would be overturned by the courts. I'm sure you know which bill... and it concerned matters of fundamental importance.

Yes, it's the black-robed fascists at work... but they are being enabled by others... such as the guy gleefully celebrating the "beachhead" the black-robed fascists created here.
6.14.2007 6:15pm
Steve:
Are you the last descendent of George III?

Just so we get one thing straight in this thread, Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of George III; he has a great many living descendants.
6.14.2007 6:16pm
Dave N (mail):
Spitzer made some very intelligent observations on this thread about the nature of judicial activism. Too bad it got lost in the on-going food fight between a small group of posters.
6.14.2007 6:16pm
Daniel950:
Individual liberty cannot coexist with any goal of social conservatism, as liberty requires the freedom to ignore tradition without sanction. I stand by my statements.


That'd be news to George Washington, James Madison, Edmund Burke, Thomas Aquinas, and a host of other people much, much smarter than you. I'd wager that they're right, you're wrong, and the only reason why you think liberty conflicts with tradition is because tradition is clearly on the side of telling you that your activities are wrong and you don't like that. If you want to abolish all tradition, as the Communists did, then you'll find yourself a greater enemy of freedom than those who uphold tradition.

As far as I can tell, the only substantive difference between the values and goals of, say, Kansas's Senator Brownback and Iran's President Ahmadinejad (not Al-Qaeda, but islamo-fascist and dangerous nonetheless), is in their opposite stances on the existence of Israel.


Then you're a blithering nutcase, because you refuse to see that Brownback, me, and other Christians, do not murder people, period. And that this anti-murdering stance is based on our values, whereas the goals and values of al-Qaeda are murderous precisely because of their values.

I'm also calling Goodwin on you, because this is basically Goodwins law using al-Qaeda as a proxy.

As for "any view other than imposed by law", you familiar with the 9th Amendment? "Rights depend on the outcome of no elections" ring a bell?


There is no Constitutional right to engage in homosexual behavior, period. Try to find me a statement of that sort of thing from the founding, and you'll find nothing.
6.14.2007 6:17pm
Oh My Word:
Cornellian: Full Faith and Credit Clause?
6.14.2007 6:17pm
Daniel950:
You're saying Brown was wrongly decided? It was evil for the Supreme Court to mandate the end of school segregation, because most people believed in it, and the laws allowed it?


What is this homage to Brown to which people must continuously bow? I'm not going to worship at that secular altar. Apart from Roe v. Wade, or Lawerence, Brown was the most idiotic decision I've read in my life, as if the Constitutionality of a law depended on psychological examinations of children. The law is what it is, and the law is either right or wrong irrespective of what some Quack doctor says it does to children.

Brown was a "right" decision using the "wrong" ends. Is that so hard to understand? I thought that was very commonly acknowledged these days.
6.14.2007 6:23pm
whackjobbbb:

Are you also waiting for referenda on Title VII, The Americans With Disabilities Act and The Age Discrimination in Employment Act?


If they involve changes to my State's constitution... yes.
6.14.2007 6:25pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
Hey, you're the one claiming it's "evil" for judges to invalidate laws.

Should Brown have come out the other way?
6.14.2007 6:26pm
whackjobbbb:
They didn't "invalidate" this law in Mass., the black-robed fascists CREATED it. There's a difference.
6.14.2007 6:28pm
Ella (www):
George Washington and James Madison were conservatives? Really? Leaders of the armed rebellion against the existing government? Care to rethink that statement? Or perhaps look up the definition of "conservative"?
6.14.2007 6:31pm
VA Gamer:
Daniel, what your posts lack in intelligent thought, they certainly make up for in sheer bigotry. How can you claim that today's decision by the legislature of Massasetts is an example of the tyranny of "black-robed fascists?" You either did not read this post, or you are just obtuse, but you clearly do not understand the process.

In 2004 the SJC of Massachusetts made its famous ruling. Those who disagreed with that decision decided to try to change it by amending the constitution of Massachusetts. A group gathered the necessary signatures to force a public vote on amending the constitution. According to Massachusetts law, the legislature had to pass this proposal for two years in a row with 25% of the assembly. Note, Daniel, that this is only 25% - not a simple majority of 50%.

Last year SSM backers tried to avoid voting on this issue. There was enough of a backlash that the legislature did indeed vote, and the measure passed (I forget the numbers, but it was with 50% approval). This year, the legislature voted again, but they did not even gain 25% percent of the votes needed. Thus the amendment process failed, and SSM remains a reality in Massachusetts. Had it passed today, the issue would have been put to a public vote next year.

Daniel, if enough bigots like you would have passed this measure, then SSM in Massachusetts would have been rescinded by amendment. You failed. Thus SSM is a reality in Massachusetts because of the legislature, not your "black-robed fascists."

Now go crawl back into whatever backwater hole you came from.
6.14.2007 6:31pm
Cornellian (mail):
Full Faith and Credit Clause?

FF&C does not and has never mandated that a marriage valid in State A must be recognized by State B. If it did, Loving v Virginia could have been decided on FF&C grounds since the couple in that case married outside Virginia, but they never even made the argument. Even today different states have different rules for what constitutes a valid marriage (e.g. age of consent, marriage between first cousins etc.), something that would be impossible if FF&C worked the way that you think it does.
6.14.2007 6:31pm
Cornellian (mail):
VA Gamer, I'd also point out that there was an election in between the Goodridge decision and today's vote in the Massachusetts legislature not to proceed with a referendum on a constitutional amendment. If the voters of Massachusetts were intent on amending the state constitution to reverse the Goodridge decision, they were free to elect legislators who were willing to do so. Instead, they defeated several SSM opponents but not a single SSM supporter.

I predict those who criticized Goodridge by saying they just want the matter to be decided by an elected legislature instead of the courts will now move to a fall back argument and say that a decision by an elected legislature isn't good enough either, and the matter must be decided by a referendum of the voters.
6.14.2007 6:40pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Daniel950: All I have to do is win, in a level playing field.

You don't win like that. You win by tipping the field. That's the real game. The rest is just a fomality.
6.14.2007 6:40pm
Daniel950:

George Washington and James Madison were conservatives? Really?


Yes, they were. In any event, they would never sanction a judge saying that a state was required to recognize so-called homosexual "marriage." They would not sanction the "least dangerous branch" effectively ruling the country as it does today.

You either did not read this post, or you are just obtuse, but you clearly do not understand the process.


I understand that the "process" is bunk, because the judges declared it via fiat and this was a failure to override that (which, as I said, if it were successful it would've been struck down by the Federal judges). You seem to labor under the delusion that gay marriage was passed in massachusetts by popular sanction. It wasn't.
6.14.2007 6:41pm
Ella (www):
Cornellian - Full Faith and Credit is generally interpreted to, among other things, require states to recognize marriages validly consummated in other states. Mississippi has a lower age of consent for marriage than Maryland (or used to), but if someone below the age of consent for Maryland enters into a marriage in Mississippi, Maryland has to recognize the marriage. There's an exception permitting states to not recognize acts that would be repugnant to their public policy and there's a decent argument that Congress can set the boundaries for what requires recognition and what doesn't, but all else being equal, a state would ordinarily be required to recognize marriages contracted in another state.

I suspect the reason FF&C wasn't argued in Loving was that the primary issue wasn't whether Mississippi could refuse to recoognize the marriage, but whether a law criminalizing such unions, wherever contracted, was valid.
6.14.2007 6:41pm
Kendall:
It seems to me that Massachusetts had an election last year. They could've elected anti-gay marriage legislators, but the PEOPLE of Massachusetts elected pro-gay marriage legislators. People are complaining because over SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT of the legislature voted to not overturn the SJC's decision (more technically to not allow that question on the ballot, but either way has the same impact). That's what a Legislature is FOR.
6.14.2007 6:43pm
whackjobbbb:
Somebody refresh my memory, which state was it where that judge(s) ordered certain types of public policy be brought about (re education, I believe it was), then issued another ruling directing the municipality to raise the necessary funds to enact his decision... through taxes as necessary?

Maybe we can get those Mass. judges to take care of budgetary issues there, too. They've certainly demonstrated their ability to pass legislation, for sure.
6.14.2007 6:43pm
Daniel950:
You don't win like that. You win by tipping the field. That's the real game. The rest is just a fomality.


I repeat, for the 3rd time, that I am content with losing as long as the game is fair and that society is willing to go to hell on its own volition. Didn't your mother ever tell you that winning isn't everything?

Old rules: Due process. One man, one vote. Popular sovereignty.

New Rules: You win by tipping the field.

Does anyone else think that this is not the best way to run a democracy? Perhaps the lawyers commenting here, so used to kissing the @&&of the courts here, would prefer a society run by elitists?

You guys are seriously disturbed.
6.14.2007 6:45pm
Ray82 (mail):

I'd wager that they're right, you're wrong, and the only reason why you think liberty conflicts with tradition is because tradition is clearly on the side of telling you that your activities are wrong and you don't like that.


You mean like traditions that say its ok to keep slaves and beat your wife for back talking, so long as you use a stick no thicker than your thumb? What about traditions that women should wear burkas, lest they tempt men? What about the tradition of hanging black men to talk to white women? Tradition is often a very ugly thing.
6.14.2007 6:45pm
Ella (www):
Daniel

My mother was right, one should never argue with an idiot or a liar. Madison and Washington were not conservatives. They were revolutionaries. And no doubt they would disagree with many things we do today - not least, banning slavery and allowing black men to have sex with white women (gasp!). That doesn't magically transform them into conservatives or fundamentalist Christians. Stop trying to claim people who died a century or more before your particular brand of political religion even existed as fellow travelers.
6.14.2007 6:47pm
Kendall:
Daniel - This IS popular sovereignty. The duly elected representatives of the people of Massachusetts voted. if the people don't like the performance of their legislature they are free to remove them.
6.14.2007 6:49pm
VA Gamer:
Thank you for pointing that out, Cornellian. I was perhaps a bit more zealous with Daniel than I usually am, but anyone who calls gays immoral and deviant is a knuckle-dragging bigot in my book. He may find homosexual sex deviant from his interpretation of his religion, or he may say that we are all imperfect, sinful, deviant people (again according to his religious views). However, to call one specific group -- gay people -- deviant and immoral is wrong.

I agree, Cornellian, that social conservatives will start crying for a public vote on marriage. Living in the South, I often wonder how many Southern white people would have voted for the Civil Rights measures that were mandated by the courts. Heck, sometimes I even wonder what the vote for re-instating slavery would be.
6.14.2007 6:50pm
Daniel950:

They were revolutionaries.


I suggested earlier on that I want to abolish Article 3 of the US Constitution. Isn't that a bit revolutionary? And yet, at the same time, I'm a conservative. Oh, the horrors of paradox.

That doesn't magically transform them into conservatives or fundamentalist Christians. Stop trying to claim people who died a century or more before your particular brand of political religion even existed as fellow travelers.


Who's a fundamentalist Christian? I'm Catholic. Sheesh. The things people assume... In any event, Mr. I don't Claim People as Fellow Travelers, Washington and Madison were "revolutionaries" but they were not capital-D destroyers of tradition like Steve2 and others, making them "revolutionary" in that way. So they were conservative as well.
6.14.2007 6:53pm
Perseus (mail):
Madison and Washington were not conservatives. They were revolutionaries. And no doubt they would disagree with many things we do today - not least, banning slavery and allowing black men to have sex with white women (gasp!).

"I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting."--George Washington, Letter to Robert Morris, 12 April 1786

"We have seen the mere distinction of colour made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man."--James Madison, Speech at the Constitutional Convention, 6 June 1787
6.14.2007 6:57pm
Zzyzx (mail) (www):
Without judicial review, what's the point of having a constitution? It's not that judges are saying a law is unfair; they're saying that a power is incompatible with the founding document. People can agree or disagree with the interpretation but judges have to have the right to strike down laws or there's no point in drafting constitutions in the first place.

Many of the same people who hate activist judges love it when they strike down gun control laws after all.
6.14.2007 7:02pm
Daniel950:
Tradition is often a very ugly thing.


So's judicial tyranny. I prefer a well-grounded, good tradition, as Edmund Burke described. I'm not defending all tradition, just Western tradition understood through its Judeo-Christian heritage.

Still, you act as if you have no understanding of human nature. How successful is it to force people to abandon their tradition via the state (it, at the point of a gun)? Have you considered, perhaps, that while it MIGHT be successful in the long run , maybe, it will involve some very nasty short-term effects? Or were you asleep in history class?
6.14.2007 7:02pm
Kendall:
Why speak of judicial tyranny continuously? Surely it's clear that whatever you thought of the Judicial ruling the fact that the legislature is not going to allow an attempt to over turn it suggests that the legislature endorses the ruling (and thus increases it's legitimacy).
6.14.2007 7:08pm
Daniel950:
Without judicial review, what's the point of having a constitution?


A constitution is just a piece of paper, you know. It has no meaning unless the people BELIEVE in it and live by it, voluntarily. If the legislatures around the country started assuming Executive powers, and no one complained about it, the Constitution would be worthless to stop it. Judges are assuming Legislative powers around the country, and only a few are complaining about it, and the Constitution is worthless to stop it.

Still, if you can see no point to having a constitution other than to allow Judges to treat it as their plaything, then we might as well tear it up entirely and give them a crown.
6.14.2007 7:09pm
Zzyzx (mail) (www):

If the legislatures around the country started assuming Executive powers, and no one complained about it, the Constitution would be worthless to stop it.


A better example is if Congress, say, passed a law making it illegal to speak out against Congress. If it gets passed, what mechanism exists to enforce the First Amendment if the court can't point out that they don't have that power?
6.14.2007 7:12pm
KMM:
Daniel,

I just have to jump in here for a minute in an attempt to clarify what it is you are saying. Let's for the moment put aside Goodrich and look at the current situation.

1. Citizens got together, using the unquestionably proper procedure, to ask the legislature to decide whether to put a Certain Issue to a referendum.

2. The duly-elected legislature voted, using the unquestionably proper procedure, and no referendum was required for that Certain Issue.

What is your beef with this set of circumstances?
6.14.2007 7:13pm
Tulkinghorn:
Daniel950:

Marbury v. Madison? That train left the station 203 years ago.
6.14.2007 7:14pm
Steve2:
How does taking away the crutch of government's coercive power, which props up traditions, at all "force people to abandon their tradition via the state"?

Without the law penalizing people who don't want to live by the traditions for violating those traditions... hmm... they'd be free to live how they want.

I've advocated the destruction of nothing... except the misuse of government to bind people into living how they do not want to and would not except for the punishment (for instance, inability to get medical insurance for their partner of choice) imposed by the law.
6.14.2007 7:14pm
Ella (www):
No, the founders weren't destroyers of tradition at all. They just led an armed rebellion against their divinely ordained ruler, instituted an unprecedented constitutional republic . . . modest, incremental changes in centuries of precedent, really.

And maybe I should have left the slavery thing alone, but I stand by the founder's likely horror at black men having sex with white women and raise you their probable disapproval of allowing women to vote. My point is that sharing some of their late 18th century mores and prejudices doesn't mean that Daniel can invoke their intelligence in support of his position. Or claim them as conservatives. I repeat - look the word up in a dictionary.
6.14.2007 7:18pm
Daniel950:

If it gets passed, what mechanism exists to enforce the First Amendment if the court can't point out that they don't have that power?


Point out? Heh.

Congress: "You may no longer criticize us."
Court: "Pardon me, but I am at pains to point out that, on the issue in question, don't you think it seems clear that according to this piece of paper here, you don't actually possess the requisite authority to initiate such an action? Oh, and do you have any Grey Poupon?"
Congress: "SCREW THE PAPER! AND WE'RE STRIPPING YOU OF YOUR JURISTICTION, AND YOUR SALARIES TOO!"
Court: "Oh, dash it all, now what?"

For those who paid attention in civics, there's something called "checks and balances." The Executive has to enforce the law, and back in the day, Washington and all those other Founders understood it to be a proper duty of the Executive to determine if a law was constitutional or not. Now, based on reasons that Spitzer has outlined earlier in this thread, people look to the Courts to do that, and the executive is merely a robot to do what legislatures tell it to do. It has not proven well for our society.
6.14.2007 7:20pm
Perseus (mail):
I predict those who criticized Goodridge by saying they just want the matter to be decided by an elected legislature instead of the courts will now move to a fall back argument and say that a decision by an elected legislature isn't good enough either, and the matter must be decided by a referendum of the voters.

As a conservative, I will do no such thing. The MA legislature acted within its discretionary constitutional authority. However, I do fault the MA legislature for acquiescing to the MA Supreme Court's overreaching in the Goodridge decision.
6.14.2007 7:24pm
Cornellian (mail):
As a conservative, I will do no such thing. The MA legislature acted within its discretionary constitutional authority. However, I do fault the MA legislature for acquiescing to the MA Supreme Court's overreaching in the Goodridge decision.

That's a plausible and defensible position if the proposed amendment would have restored the status quo ante, that is to say, held that the law as it existed before Goodridge did not recognize SSM but that the legislature was free to enact it.

If however, as I suspect, the proposed amendment would have prohibited SSM, even if the legislature wished to enact it, that's an entirely different situation. Then the amendment would not have been an amendment to overturn Goodridge, but rather a stealth amendment to take SSM out of the hands of the legislature in the guise of merely overturning Goodridge.

Every anti-SSM state constitutional amendment that I have seen has been in the latter form, that is to say an amendment that purports to "defend" a state against judicially imposed SSM, but in fact is worded to "defend" against an elected legislature enacting it. The people behind these amendments can see, but won't admit, that their real problem isn't the judiciary, it's a culture that's gradually slipping away from their point of view.
6.14.2007 7:41pm
JosephSlater (mail):
So, the critics of gay marriage in Mass. in this thread have to either proclaim the increasingly minority opinion that homosexuality is per se dangerously deviant, or they have to disagree with the whole concept of judicial review, which is probably an even smaller group, plus disapproving of Mass.'s chosen method for changing it's constitution, or, all three.

As the brother of a wonderful woman married to another wonderful woman in Mass. (an event that, curiously, did not undermine my marriage at all), I'm delighted to hear this news.
6.14.2007 7:43pm
Thief (mail) (www):
Spitzer, you've been saying what I've been thinking:

The logical conclusion to that is to require all judges to be directly elected, state and federal, up to and including the Supreme Court. I think the nation would be much poorer for it (notably, in the areas of campaign finance for judicial elections and the partisan affiliations of judges). It is a sub-optimal solution. But one must admit that it is, at least, honest about what judges do and are expected to do.

To the topic at hand...

I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands. There are two equal and opposite errors into which humans can fall when discussing social engineers. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. Readers are advised to remember that the social engineers are fundamentally liars. Not everything that the voice below says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle. There is wishful thinking among tyrants, too.


"Comrades and fellow-travelers:

"Phase I of our offensive against traditional marriage is now complete, same-sex marriage has become law at the business end of a gavel, our Massachusetts beachhead has been consolidated, the last pockets of resistance are being mopped up through public obloquy, to be permanently subdued by the use of hate speech laws when their remainder, and that of their sympathizers, have recanted or left. Now, the remainder of our campaign plan:

"Phase II will begin with a carefully chosen test case involving the most picture-perfect gay couples imaginable, the better to win public sympathy - our dedicated vanguard. These couples will marry under Massachusetts law, and then migrate elsewhere in the country, most likely to the South and Midwest, where the laws and people will initially be quite unfavorable to them. After acquiring residency, the couples will then petition for a recognition of their marriage by their new states of residence under the Full Faith and Credit clause of Article IV, ss.1. These states, being run by fundamentalists, traditionalists, and other undesirable elements, we predict will balk at this and launch a full frontal attack relying on the Federal Defense of Marriage Act. Just how well our vanguard couples manage to get in these engagements is irrelevant; even a failed assault upon State Supreme Courts will lay the groundwork for future actions.

"In Phase III, our vanguard couples, supported by our dedicated legal artillery, will launch simultaneous assaults into as many U.S. District Courts as time and resources will permit. We will have two possible axes of attack in this phase. The first axis will be to attack DOMA directly by way of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Our other axis will be to challenge the state gay marriage bans under our all-purpose secret weapon, the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which our crack team of legal scientists, both of our own forces and those of our allies, have long since modified into a supremely powerful weapon capable of obliterating even the most well dug-in social and public policies. In both axes, the legal artillery will play a crucial role, both in the use of direct fires, as in the new Lawrence taboo-penetrating rounds, as well as the use of obscurants, most notably our old standby, Loving smokescreen rounds.

These district courts and the appellate higher ground surrounding them are both chock-full of our sympathizers and agents, and we anticipate being able to give the Enemy a brutal surprise reception. Yet even in a worst case scenario, all we will need is a single District Court, and then a single Circuit Court of Appeals to establish the high ground for our culminating attack upon the Supreme Court, the territory so long denied to us, and which, despite recent setbacks, remains firmly in our grasp. I need not remind you that the Supreme Court is the linchpin of the Enemy's defenses. All of our formidable legal and aerial artillery, our most crack divisions of lawyers, our intelligence and propaganda machinery, must be focused at this one single point. The enemy will defend this territory, and hard. Already our subversion department is hard at work laying the groundwork for this offense. We must strike hard, and we will.

"Once our decision has been handed down, it is all over for our enemy. In Phase IV, every single defense remaining against our forces will be thrown into chaos and disarray, and we will no doubt have sufficient capability remaining to do what we have done in Massachusetts - gradually wear down all resistance, and ultimately corner them and force their capitulation through hate crime laws. There is, however, a danger left that even we cannot prevail against. With a strong enough mass mobilization, the Enemy could easily take the Consititutional Highlands, and from there establish a Constitutional Amendment that, if passed, no force of ours could be capable of resisting. I need not remind you that our Intelligence reports the enemy continuing to lay its own groundwork for such an offense.

"Therefore, constant vigilance and strict operational security must be maintained among all Commands. Every opportunity for denial and deception must be taken. And of course, I remind you all that these plans are to be considered most secret and not to be discussed outside this room unless you are specifically sanctioned, and among those who have no other loyalties but to our cause. There have been too many cases of those who believe in those pesky little things called "traditional morality" and... "majority rule." But as an aside, isn't it quaint the way these people now believe it is impossible for a minority to tyrannize a majority? In establishing this non-fact as fact, and in similar work, our Political and Ideological departments make our task so much easier, and for that we owe them a great deal.

"My fellow travellers, we have won a great victory. Even greater victories are to come. We shall continue forward, until all oppressors feel our oppression, and society is ours for the re-making. Glory to the Ideology! Now, are there any que$%*#$^@&$([CARRIER LOST]
6.14.2007 7:52pm
Ella (www):
Readers should also remember that anonymous posters who claim to have secret information about a conspiracy, but refuse to reveal the source of said information, the identity of the conspirators, or even the identity of the author of the information, are fundamentally either loons or liars.
6.14.2007 8:04pm
Kendall:
Thief - You exposed our secret! and we've worked so hard...
6.14.2007 8:05pm
Tulkinghorn:
If any of these smartasses who think that Massachusetts is a huge den on iniquity wants to stand behind their assertions, they are welcome to come here and try to make a living practicing divorce law. They will surely starve to death, as there are not nearly enough divorces to keep the local bar gainfully occupied.
6.14.2007 8:12pm
Randy R. (mail):
Daniel" Who's a fundamentalist Christian? I'm Catholic. Sheesh"

Well, then. Perhaps you should read the Catholic stance on homosexuality, which states that you are treat all people, including those who are gay, with "great respect," in the words of John Paul II.

But that's okay -- we really don't want any respect from someone who has such a blind hatred of gays.
6.14.2007 8:13pm
Caslim (mail):

This will always show that Dale and Jon are completely unpersuasive, and Dale is only here after the mark to claim some of the spotlight. Jon came out just a few days ago affirming faith in the people, yet the lobbyists and others didn't care. Its not their plight to hear, just yours to accept whichever of their contradictory messages might work on you.

The legislative tally, in spite of Dale's tendency to pat himself on the back, were stronger than the last amendment. The pro-civil union vote (which Dale asserts as his conservative plan) got 92 votes the first time, and 39 votes the second time around. This one got 62 the first time, and 45 the last time.

This shows the Civil Unions are only a temporary step, a bad faith comprimise, and honestly Dale isn't shy to tell you that. He has no real interest in them except as a way to condition the US public. Not just to the acceptance of them in society, since even he remarks their visibility (aside from media amplification) will be very small. Their participation rates continue, and will continue to be small even among gay people.

But just as the back-room deals are hid with Dale's enthusiasm of hearing himself talk (because I assure you they aren't listening to him), the conditioning he argues for is only a cover for the hope that as the society that already has large portions where cops do not patrol, will get used to even more decay.
6.14.2007 8:17pm
Steve:
I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence which I now offer to the public fell into my hands....

I find it astonishing and quite revelatory that someone actually took the time to write all that. Talk about trying too hard.
6.14.2007 8:27pm
Caslim (mail):
How we got here:

Lets not forget the road here. The Goodridge decision was made, in part, by a Supreme Court Justice who fully expressed her intention to one day bring same-sex marriage to Massachusetts. One would expect someone of such express opinion to recuse themselves, for propriety in the judicial review process. But that would be against her ideals.

The decision came down, and the legislature asked immediately for clarification. This isn't judicial review anymore. If the legislature handed the court a criminal and said, "give them a fair hearing, and hang them" they would be tampering in the judicial process. Instead we have a similar crossover, give this decision its due legislative discourse, and then write this specific legislation.

A court challenge was offered, and it started in the lower courts. The challenge was not only to the courts self-imposed power but their deadline which directly circumnavigated any democratic due process on the issue. The lower court, correctly (but ironically) said it had no authority to question the supreme court. So it went to the Supreme court, who instead of ruling on the merits of the case instead ruled on the merits of his decision. Yes, they said, he didn't have authority to question.

Meanwhile judges and lawyers everywhere are wondering just what judicial reasoning is in that decision. Subsequent efforts in other courts found no one willing to follow the Goodridge reasoning. I don't think it wound up persuading anyone, nor did it seem to have any semblance of a foundation of its own.
6.14.2007 8:28pm
Ramza:
Correct me if I am wrong, but can't the citizens of Massachusetts get rid of the 151 legislatures (but keep the 45) in the next election, following the election the new legislatures can revote on the same issue after the next Massachusetts election? They can then get the 25% of the legislature approval, and then bring the amendment up in front of the people to do a direct ballot initiative?

If so, democracy still exist and thus certain very mouthy and repetitious people need to really shut up, and start organizing political campaigns.
6.14.2007 8:31pm
whackjobbbb:
A constitution is just a piece of paper, you know. It has no meaning unless the people BELIEVE in it and live by it, voluntarily.


There, Daniel950, I've corrected your foolish statement to bring it in line with the proper interpretation... that of the black-robed fascists.
6.14.2007 8:37pm
zzyzx (mail) (www):
Correct me if I am wrong, but can't the citizens of Massachusetts get rid of the 151 legislatures (but keep the 45) in the next election, following the election the new legislatures can revote on the same issue after the next Massachusetts election? They can then get the 25% of the legislature approval, and then bring the amendment up in front of the people to do a direct ballot initiative?



They'd have to get signatures of 150,000 people again to make the cutoff be only 25%, but yes, they could do this. The problem is that with each passing year, more and more people are learning that it's no big deal which makes this harder to do.
6.14.2007 8:38pm
Daniel950:
...which states that you are treat all people, including those who are gay, with "great respect," in the words of John Paul II.


You're right, I was intemperate in my use of "decent people" because it implied that, apart from the deviancy of their buggery, homosexuals otherwise couldn't be decent (aka: nice, or otherwise socially presentable). Sorry about that.
6.14.2007 8:40pm
whackjobbbb:

Every anti-SSM state constitutional amendment that I have seen has been in the latter form, that is to say an amendment that purports to "defend" a state against judicially imposed SSM, but in fact is worded to "defend" against an elected legislature enacting it. The people behind these amendments can see, but won't admit, that their real problem isn't the judiciary, it's a culture that's gradually slipping away from their point of view.


Cornellian, no doubt, in Michigan our amendment proscribes legislative behavior... and also the behavior of any stray black-robed fascists out there, who would attempt to do their own unique brand of proscribing... absent constititutions, ballots and anything else that interfered with their tyrannical ways.

It sailed through, by the way, in a lefty state, so I think you better think again about the whole "slipping away" thing. And yes, it was all in response to those Mass judges' tyranny... that was the root of the referendum effort. The gay marriage supporters really shot themselves in the foot with that business.
6.14.2007 8:44pm
Caslim (mail):
Can they?

Not in today's political climate. The cola wars, red v blue, have people reacting to much different stimuli, and not (for my taste) enough reasoning. For instance, same-sex marriage is a bad idea that has been proven over and over. People know this and believe it. Even Dale admits that at best it won't change the outlook and understanding of marriage for the worst -- for everyone.

Any more proof needed than look to Dale himself? Someone who personally professes to believe in a strong ideal of marriage, yet believes that is for others. That he won't change their ideal to his ideal. But he is hoping to change the state's outlook to his admittedly less than (at least what the others feel) responsible outlook towards procreation.

But it isn't about logic, or reason. Its about hoping that society will absorb this loss of marriage ideal for the selfish sake of homosexuals like Dale.

Meanwhile the ordinary rank and file can't find it in them to switch parties unless it is dire, and this issue so nuanced and generational isn't as immediate and stark as the others (admittedly).

But don't take this to say that I think the people wouldn't vote for the amendment, I think they would. I think that the backbone of society still exists in Massachusetts, and they understand the arguments and why same-sex marriage is just a bad idea. All I'm saying is that the legislature is betting that they will get away with it, and most likely they will. They see blue and red, in a blue state. But mostly they feel detached enough from the day-to-day of politics to really put pressure on the legislature to do the right thing.

Anyone here want numerous examples of how out of touch and run-away the legislature there is?
6.14.2007 8:46pm
Ramza:

They'd have to get signatures of 150,000 people again to make the cutoff be only 25%, but yes, they could do this. The problem is that with each passing year, more and more people are learning that it's no big deal which makes this harder to do.

Oh I understand it is less likely politically, I am just saying they still have this option, it isn't like those fascist legislatures or judiciary are stopping them from doing it.
6.14.2007 8:52pm
Steve:
It sailed through, by the way, in a lefty state, so I think you better think again about the whole "slipping away" thing.

With the offhanded comment that Michigan is a "lefty state," I think you reveal just how far outside the mainstream you are yourself.
6.14.2007 8:53pm
Caslim (mail):

Fascist legislators? No the judges were, they were the ones that wouldn't allow any due democratic process on the policy they demanded.

And no, the fascist legislators are not keeping them from gathering signatures, but where is the faith in the people that Jon expressed? It isn't there. It is the government working on the people, hoping they will peacefully accept their lot in life if their hand is slapped away from the self-determination jar long enough.
6.14.2007 8:57pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Daniel950: I repeat, for the 3rd time, that I am content with losing as long as the game is fair and that society is willing to go to hell on its own volition. Didn't your mother ever tell you that winning isn't everything?

The game is fair. You are just not playing the real game. Tilting the field is the real game, and the gays have outplayed you. Of course winning is everything. Think of it this way: the gays are happy they have won the game. You are happy you have not played the game. That's a win/win.
6.14.2007 8:58pm
Caslim (mail):

I should also note that avoiding tyranny is not just democratically accomplished, but also logistically. Massachusetts has had one of the worst (if not the worst) declining populations of any state. Considering the robustness of the economy there, and other opportunity, it is no wonder that people are simply fleeing rather than accepting what the government is giving them there. Coordinating a democratic coup is no match for moving somewhere else.
6.14.2007 9:02pm
whackjobbbb:

With the offhanded comment that Michigan is a "lefty state," I think you reveal just how far outside the mainstream you are yourself.


What can I say, big guy? I've lived here all my life, and know how we vote... and we're a lefty state. No magic in that assessment, just reality.

And by the way, in this lefty state, I'm well in the mainstream... and voted to block the black-robed fascists on this issue... like so many others. It's the mainstream thing to do, when confronted with tyranny.
6.14.2007 9:03pm
Caslim (mail):
Re-reading some of the recent comments I should also point out the obvious. No one doubts that the most valid and unquestionable solution would have been to let the people vote.

That Dale celebrates such a self-representative opportunity lost for the sake that his homosexuality demands, shows just how twisted the movement has always been. And Dale is supposed to be one of the respectable commentators to add credence to the movement for those upright defenders of democracy still out there.
6.14.2007 9:06pm
Guest44 (mail) (www):
Plenty of people doubt that letting the people vote is the best way to address issues of social policy. The Federalist No. 10, by Madison, is a great example.


We have a lot of history of decisions by various bodies: direct democracy, state legislatures and judges, and the federal Congress and judiciary. We have plenty of examples of good and bad decisions from each of these. I just don't see how people can be so absolute in their view that decisions are only legitimate if made or supported by direct democracy. I also don't see how they can miss the fact that today's (in)action in MA was legislative and in accordance with the state's constitution.
6.14.2007 9:16pm
whackjobbbb:
That's a pretty good video you attached to this discussion, Carpenter. It reminded me though, with all the money those Bee Gees have made over the years, you woulda thought by now they'd spend some of it and FIX THOSE JACKED-UP TEETH!
6.14.2007 9:25pm
Cornellian (mail):
No one doubts that the most valid and unquestionable solution would have been to let the people vote.

Why? Title VII wasn't enacted by referendum, nor was the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or any other civil rights legislation. Marriage statutes themselves weren't enacted by referendum, nor was any aspect of marriage, such as no-fault divorce, community property, allowing married women to own property and sign contracts etc. What exactly is so different about SSM that it can be decided only by referendum and not by elected legislatures?
6.14.2007 9:29pm
Caslim (mail):

The decision was in accordance to their constitution. I say that for the benefit of those that think that people who disagree with the decision have missed that fact. They haven't.

I haven't seen anyone say it was illegal, just not the correct decision. Nor even the most legitimate decision. Especially for the "conservative case" followers that want a more populist change to occur, showing faith in the people.

Many were happy just to see the judicial branch vote, some then thought the legislature would give more validity to the decision, and the people more yet. It seems that the only constant with these people is that it is good enough if it is enough have same-sex marriage. A conclusion waiting for justification to happen.
6.14.2007 9:33pm
Caslim (mail):
It goes without saying that the more controversial the subject the *more* need for democratic process. Fundamentally altering marriage away from its socially recognized purpose through the ages is not some trivial matter, and the debate has played out across the nation to show just how controversial it is.

But the legitimacy sought by Dale and others is the camel's nose. As much as they can take, when they can take. And making real points for the people to express is only a metered process of social engineering, rather than the self-determination that it was always intended.
6.14.2007 9:36pm
Daniel950:
Elliot123: "Tilting the field is the real game, and the gays have outplayed you. Of course winning is everything."

I've seen some lunacy before on this blog, but this takes the cake. Will no one else condemn this?

I've said that Article 3 should be repealed, and something else done to replace it. You want to INSTITUTIONALIZE corruption, in Machevellian terms, just so you can get homosexual "marriage." This is the definition of insanity, or of evil.

What influence will the KKK have under your system? What influence will terrorists have under your system? Will anyone be able to sue a large corporation any longer, which has a lot of power at its disposal? No one will be able to vindicate their "rights" at all, because the only rights will depend on who is willing to do the most nefarious, devious thing imaginable and slap a coat of paint on it and call it "justice."

Well, fine. Two can play that "game" you know. If you're willing to destroy the judicial system, such as it remains, to get the results you want, then I am all but willing to do the same. I will not be a victim to such one-sided attacks. I am Sicilian, you know, and so I know a little about how this "real game" is played.

What will it take? Bribery? Blackmail? Murder? Do you really want the mafia to control the courts in this country? I assure you, gays won't hold a candle to the people who can really play that game. You really have no idea what Pandora's box you're opening up.

If this is what you want, there is nothing stopping anyone from bribery, blackmail, or murder of judges, politicians, police officers, and anyone else it takes to get the job done. Tilting the field? You don't know the meaning of the word. And the gays will lose out big time.

I've never seen anyone so dumb to admit on a legal blog that they would prefer corruption to fairness and equality before the law. What insanity...
6.14.2007 9:38pm
Kendall:
THIS IS NOT AN ISSUE CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. Today's vote was by the LEGISLATURE following their duties as the constituency that elected them indicated by the fact they elected pro-gay marriage legislatures.
6.14.2007 9:52pm
Cornellian (mail):
It goes without saying that the more controversial the subject the *more* need for democratic process. Fundamentally altering marriage away from its socially recognized purpose through the ages is not some trivial matter

So you'd be fine with little or no democratic process once SSM hits a certain level in public opinion polls?

Marriage statutes themselves were enacted without a popular referendum. So has every change to marriage, including giving married women a separate legal existence from their husbands, allowing interracial marriage, allowing no-fault divorce, enacting community property laws, to name just a few. Many of those changes were highly controversial at the time. In fact the rhetoric against SSM today is virtually indistinguishable from the rhetoric against interracial marriage in the 1950's and interracial marriage had less public support in the 1950's than SSM does today.
6.14.2007 9:54pm
Hovsep Joseph (mail) (www):
I think you better think again about the whole "slipping away" thing. And yes, it was all in response to those Mass judges' tyranny... that was the root of the referendum effort. The gay marriage supporters really shot themselves in the foot with that business.

SSM advocates took a risk in generating lots of litigation and publicity before the public was on their side. One of the results was the quick "backlash" of state constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage (and the possible secondary effect on other elections from attracting more social conservatives to the polls). However, the other, subtler (and more gradual) effect of publicizing the plight of same sex couples was to generate greater sympathy and respect for gays and lesbians. Polling shows that despite litigation and constitutional amendments, public support for same sex marriage continues to grow, especially among younger voters.

The problem with states with liberal referenda rules is that the constitution can be easily changed as soon as public support for a measure pushes above 50%. Its an unfortunate hurdle for same sex couples to be sure, but I think over the next 10-20 years, social conservatives are going to experience a "backlash" of their own as today's gay-loving 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds become the dominant voting block, a block who will associate advocates of judicial restraint with people who call gays and lesbians non-decent and deviant.
6.14.2007 10:01pm
A.C.:
JosephSlater -

Glad to see someone else here who has actually met gay people who have married under Massachusetts law. People can drone on and on about theory, but seeing the fact of the situation drives home the point that it is all really NO BIG DEAL.

Well, it is a big deal to the extent that any wedding is. The families get together, and there are strong emotions and sometimes tears. There's a fuss about the vegetarian entree, and some people don't like the band. But it's all exactly the same kind of fuss as with any other wedding.

And then the couple goes home and starts a life together that they hope will last till death. It's not about the sex... they were already doing that. It's about all the other things that marriage involves.
6.14.2007 10:02pm
Caslim (mail):
THIS IS CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, no matter how you slice it you cannot rewrite the history of that state. Were it up the the legislature it is doubtful that they would have enacted a removal of marriage from its socially accepted purpose.

And to correct more historic fallacies, in 1950 interracial marriage was banned in less than half the states of the union. It is no comparison to interracial marriage and removing marriage from its important purpose that will ever be accepted.

I'm sorry, gays are not the new blacks. Blacks need fathers and mothers just like everyone else does. It is a racial, heritage that is preserved when responsible procreation is promoted.

Gays just need government socialization and subsidization for their own lifestyle. Rather than lifting the artificial restrictions placed on them by a portion of society, homosexuality needs pampering to make them pretend to be the same as a heterosexual couple, and they call it equalization.
6.14.2007 10:02pm
Smokey:
I personally don't care about this issue one way or another. But from reading these posts, I've found out one thing for sure: everyone has 'gaydar.'
6.14.2007 10:03pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

And to correct more historic fallacies, in 1950 interracial marriage was banned in less than half the states of the union. It is no comparison to interracial marriage and removing marriage from its important purpose that will ever be accepted.


And we probably won't get a federal court decision recognizing gay marriage until it to is "banned in less than half the states of the union." Look at how few states banned sodomy laws when Lawrence was decided. When around that number are the only states that don't recognize gay marriage, that's when the Supreme Court will recognize a "federal" right to it.
6.14.2007 10:06pm
Steve:
What's ironic is that anti-democratic measures in the federal and state constitutions most often work to the advantage of conservatives, as they constrain, by design, the passions of the moment. If we had a system where everything is subject to revision based upon the transitory whims of a majority of the public, that would certainly favor those who want to make radical changes in society. Strange, then, that government by referendum has become primarily a tool of conservatives. I doubt they'd like the results if the principle were applied across the board.
6.14.2007 10:06pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Why? Title VII wasn't enacted by referendum, nor was the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or any other civil rights legislation. Marriage statutes themselves weren't enacted by referendum, nor was any aspect of marriage, such as no-fault divorce, community property, allowing married women to own property and sign contracts etc. What exactly is so different about SSM that it can be decided only by referendum and not by elected legislatures?


Indeed, in a strict technical sense, we are not a democracy but a republic.
6.14.2007 10:11pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Daniel950: "If this is what you want, there is nothing stopping anyone from bribery, blackmail, or murder of judges, politicians, police officers, and anyone else it takes to get the job done. Tilting the field? You don't know the meaning of the word. And the gays will lose out big time."

Welcome to the great game. Better late than never. Good luck.
6.14.2007 10:12pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Considering the robustness of the economy there, and other opportunity, it is no wonder that people are simply fleeing rather than accepting what the government is giving them there. Coordinating a democratic coup is no match for moving somewhere else.


Oh God save us. How terrible the neighborhoods of Cambridge, Massachusetts. With all of the productive and civilized people moving away, I'll bet real estate prices there will get real affordable in the near future.
6.14.2007 10:15pm
Kendall:
"THIS IS CONCERNING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM, no matter how you slice it you cannot rewrite the history of that state. Were it up the the legislature it is doubtful that they would have enacted a removal of marriage from its socially accepted purpose. "

you misunderstood me. It WAS about the judicial system. Their decision invalidated marriage laws as written and essentially required a change. The legislature FIRST reacted (after enacting gay marriage as apparently required) by ultimately voting to place the gay marriage question before voters as many states have done.

Today's decision however reversed that trend. Today's decision was the legislature taking responsibility and essentially saying the Court made the right call. How else to read it?
6.14.2007 10:25pm
Tulkinghorn:
Massachusetts has a demographic problem because young families can not afford to buy houses there. Also, the schools are not as great as they are claimed to be. But taxes are low, and if you get a good professional job you can live a nice middle-class existence. Since the competition is such that you need a graduate degree for a middle class lifestyle, people marry later, and marriages between older, better-educated people last longer.

This is the same population that supports same-sex marriage. Mitt Romney railed against it, and he left the state without leaving a wake behind him. The Mass GOP is nearly non-existent, and due to George W., cultural conservatism is discredited. No one but cranks and dedicated irrationalists opposed same sex marriage in the public marketplace of ideas, and the result was today's vote.

As before, when Massachusetts disrupted traditional marriage with the married women's acts of the 19th century, as Massachusetts goes, so does the rest of the country within a generation.
6.14.2007 10:29pm
Cornellian (mail):
Considering the robustness of the economy there, and other opportunity . . .

Perhaps part of the reason for that robust economy might have something to do with a culture that hires people based on what they can do, rather than with whom they are sleeping.
6.14.2007 10:36pm
Cornellian (mail):
As before, when Massachusetts disrupted traditional marriage with the married women's acts of the 19th century, as Massachusetts goes, so does the rest of the country within a generation.

And in the generation after that, people who call themselves conservatives will be busily explaining why support for SSM was the truly conservative position all along.
6.14.2007 10:38pm
Mark Field (mail):

What's ironic is that anti-democratic measures in the federal and state constitutions most often work to the advantage of conservatives, as they constrain, by design, the passions of the moment. If we had a system where everything is subject to revision based upon the transitory whims of a majority of the public, that would certainly favor those who want to make radical changes in society. Strange, then, that government by referendum has become primarily a tool of conservatives. I doubt they'd like the results if the principle were applied across the board.


Peronista-style plebiscitary government has always appealed to certain conservatives.
6.14.2007 11:06pm
Aleks:
Re: If you're content being ruled by black robed fascists,

Wow, this is a first! I thought only ranting leftwingers used the word "fascist". Is "socialist" getting too stale for the rightwinger ranters these days?

Re: That is to say: the Constitution directly requires states to recognize marriages performed in other states

Um, no it does not. In fact, in the past the courts have held exactly the opposite.

Re: What is this homage to Brown to which people must continuously bow? I'm not going to worship at that secular altar.

Apparently "Justice" was left out of your catechism. But here's a hint: in traditional Chrsitian moral thought, Justice is one of the seven cardinal virtues, and it is not "optional". Those who revel in injustice without repentence are doomed to hell. Are you prepared for that trip?
6.14.2007 11:23pm
Stephen Clark (mail):
Where were the "let the people vote" folks when opponents of same-sex marriage were demanding a Federal Marriage Amendment? That Amendment would have become part of the U.S. Constitution if ratified by the requisite number of state legislatures notwithstanding that the U.S. Constitution does not provide any mechanism for ratification by popular referendum. Why is ratification of an anti-marriage amendment by state legislatures ok, but blocking an anti-marriage amendment by a state legislature is not ok? Why weren't the people entitled to vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment too?

Worse still, drafters of the Federal Marriage Amendment had a choice of two ratification alternatives and they selected the less democratic one. The U.S. Constitution provides for ratification of amendments either by state legislatures or by special conventions of members specially elected solely for the purpose of voting on ratification. (The amendment repealing Prohibition was ratified by the second method.) That second method was as close as the Framers were willing to go to direct democracy in the amendment process. Interestingly, however, opponents of same-sex marriage, who purport to be so worried about ensuring that the people have as direct a voice as possible in the amendment process, did not choose the more democratic ratification option for the FMA. That measure provided for ratification by good ole state legislatures, like the one that acted in Massachusetts today.
6.14.2007 11:25pm
Ramza:
On another note all the Democrat presidential candiates support civil unions and repealing Section 3 of DOMA (the part that says only one man one women for federal purposes of marriage). Dennis Kucinich is the only one who supports full marriage equality.

Link on the Dem candidates positions on many gay issues in response to the Human Right's Campaign questionnaire.

The question is if a D is elected will they actually fight on these issues and fulfill a campaign promise?

Also all favor repealing DADT for a policy allowing open serving gay service members.
6.14.2007 11:45pm
Daniel950:
So no one else has condemned Elliot123's call for the judicial system to be run by the mafia. Par for the course on this blog, where only outcomes matter.
6.15.2007 12:14am
Chairm (mail):
--> The state Constitution says that 1/4 of the combined legislature has to approve a proposed-by-petition amendment in consecutive sessions.

Close but not quite right.

The 1/4 is the requirement for approval of the vote on an amendment; it is not meant as approval of the amendment itself.

This nuance is lost nowadays. A member of the state constitutional conference could approval a petitioned proposal for a vote without actually supporting it on its merits. In fact, there used to be a felt duty to put contentious issues before the people out of respect for the foundational principles of self-governance.

Nowadays the legislators go the other direction and defer to judicial diktat. And no, Goodridge was not interpretation and it was not judical review but was rather a highly political opinion that should embarrased SSMers who value intellectual honesty.

This latest stunt by the Massachusetts legislators is no less stinkatrocious and corruptive of the democratic process than the previous procedural obstructions that prevented a vote on state amendments prior to, and in the immediate aftermath of, the Goodridge opinion. It is the judiciary that did the grunt work for the SSM campaign in Massachusetts. The rest of the political maneuvering was just the setting the stage for the diktat and then subsequently thwarting a democratic answer to it.

SSM argumentation is very weak, as illustrated by the Goodridge opinion itself. It is however carried by a campaign which uses namecalling and ad hom as its first weapon of choice; it is a campaign to win via issue fatigue and thus repeats ad nauseaum a littany of false equivalencies. SSM argumentation has not won the day in Massachusetts; but the corruptive tactics of the campaign have stomped all over the very foundational principles in whose name SSMers claim to seek imposition of their pet project.

What has happened in Massachusetts has happened elsewhere. The SSM tactics are similair even as the SSM argumentation sinks in its tracks. To attack the nature of marriage has gained currency and to defend marriage has been villified. Tolerance of a good argument, even if badly put forth, is one thing, however, intolerance of the prospect of a genuine argument is quite another. The SSM campaign has no courage and only bluster. Today in Massachusets the bluster has won a small victory.

It ought to sicken any republican (small r) and any democrat (small d) who values intellectual honesty and a vigorous democratic process.
6.15.2007 12:15am
Ramza:

Close but not quite right.

The 1/4 is the requirement for approval of the vote on an amendment; it is not meant as approval of the amendment itself.

This nuance is lost nowadays. A member of the state constitutional conference could approval a petitioned proposal for a vote without actually supporting it on its merits. In fact, there used to be a felt duty to put contentious issues before the people out of respect for the foundational principles of self-governance.

Or they nuanced legislator could feel there is a difference between a republic and a democracy, and some issues should be decided directly and some issues shouldn't, he would later cite federalist 10 (as someone did above) and other similar arguments. (For it threatens individual rights and liberty)
6.15.2007 12:26am
Tulkinghorn:

Daniel950:
So no one else has condemned Elliot123's call for the judicial system to be run by the mafia. Par for the course on this blog, where only outcomes matter.


I am with you on that one, but I am thinking of the blog proprietors, not the commentariat.
6.15.2007 12:26am
Chairm (mail):
Carpenter: And most people understood that, however regrettable, Boston Catholic Charities' exit from the adoption field was a consequence of pre-existing state anti-discrimination policy and of the group's own decision to stop serving gay couples — not gay marriage/

Misrepresentation.

The push to impose anti-Catholic policy on Catholic Charities did not pre-exist the Goodridge opinion. The agency retreated from adoption services as a consequence of the emboldened SSMers who demanded such an imposition even though this new pro-gay policy remains utterly nonsensical.

Gay identity politics distorts plenty of history but why do you feel so compelled, Mr. Carpenter, to distory very recent events in your little aside in a post about a "big win" for SSM?

No, it is not because you are simply mistaken and have misremembered the facts. It is because, as your current post illustrates, you are quite prepared to back SSM, right or wrong.
6.15.2007 12:27am
Ramza:
Note what I am saying is there are multiple reasons why a legislature may be for or against the amendment (one of the reason why I usually frown on the use of legislative history as an interpretative measure). It isn't black or white, it isn't are you for direct democracy or are you not, it isn't are you against judicial tyranny or are you not, it isn't are you for gay marriage or are you not. There are multiple positions on why a legislature can vote the way he does, and he doesn't even have to have a singular reason.
6.15.2007 12:29am
Randy R. (mail):
What's interesting is that opponents of SSM can no longer say that it 'destroys marriage,' since people in Mass are still getting married and living happy lives in matrimonial bliss. So now they have to argue that the wrath of God will come down on them.

What will they say once that doesn't happen?
6.15.2007 12:30am
Kendall:
ChairmThis latest stunt by the Massachusetts legislators is no less stinkatrocious and corruptive of the democratic process than the previous procedural obstructions that prevented a vote on state amendments prior to, and in the immediate aftermath of, the Goodridge opinion.

Funny, I'd say what the legislature did is enact the will of the people. After all, citizens had an election to put in place gay marriage opponents. However, no pro gay marriage legislator lost and several anti-gay marriage legislators did. I'm not sure how affirming the vote your people wanted you to cast is corrupting democracy though. I can tell you're not fond of the vote but they had every right to cast it and it WAS the democratic process.
6.15.2007 12:31am
Chairm (mail):
--> difference between a republic and a democracy

Well, given that Massachusetts is a republic with provisions for direct democracy, I guess your either or is very ill-informed.

No, the legislator's traditional role in approval of the opportunity for a direct vote is not about approval of the proposed amendment.

When other states choose other methods of forming constitutonal conventions, rather than simply converting legislative houses into conventions, it is because of the principle that provision for direct votes on issues (usually contentious and in need of increased legitimacy) is meant to serve bringing governance closer to the source of self-governance -- the consent of the governed.

The legislative branch is not intended to legislate at a convention -- i.e. approve or disapprove proposed amendments -- but rather to serve the function often characterized as pouring hot tea into a saucer to cool. The SSM campaign promoted a different approach -- spill the tea onto the ground each time it is brought to them.

The legislator's role is not intended to be the rejector of amendments proposed form outside of the legislative branch. It is not a mere rubber stamp -- because the convention does not ratify the proposed amendment but merely sets it forth to meet its fate before a direct vote of the people.

Can that now-quaint notion be turned inside out. Apparently so. And with much very revealing applause from supporters of SSM.
6.15.2007 12:39am
Tulkinghorn:
Chairm:

What the hell are you talking about? What the legislature may or may not do is based in the constitution. If the leg. can deep-six an unpopular initiative because debating it will be divisive and involve a lot of dishonest propagandists from out of state (whether Rome or Houston) trying to turn the state into a zoo, they have every right to do so.

Do you really think there was a chance of this amendment passing when less than 25% of the legislature supported it? Look at the procedure set up by the constitution, and it is clear that it is established in order to keep frivolous attempts to amend the constitution off the ballot. It works wonderfully.
6.15.2007 12:48am
Daniel950:

What's interesting is that opponents of SSM can no longer say that it 'destroys marriage,' since people in Mass are still getting married and living happy lives in matrimonial bliss...


So-called homosexual "marriage" destroys marriage. It is the power of the state expressly telling its citizens that being a father or mother doesn't matter, and families don't matter. The state is basically in fundamental denial about the social role of marriage as an incubator for the future generation of well rounded people.

I expect most normal people to leave Massachusetts eventually, and let it become a festering swamp of crime and depravity, like San Francisco is today.
6.15.2007 12:50am
Cornellian (mail):
Nowadays the legislators go the other direction and defer to judicial diktat. This latest stunt by the Massachusetts legislators is no less stinkatrocious and corruptive of the democratic process than the previous procedural obstructions that prevented a vote on state amendments prior to, and in the immediate aftermath of, the Goodridge opinion.

If you don't like the decision of the Massachusetts legislature, feel free to move there and work to elect enough legislators who are willing to take a different course. As conservatives are fond of saying, elections have consequences.
6.15.2007 12:52am
Chairm (mail):
If the legislature had done the will of the people it would have enacted SSM prior to Goodridge and even in its immediate aftermath. No amendment to the applicable statutes has been enacted by elected representatives -- to this day.

The imposition of SSM stands on the muddled argumentation (not interpretative analysis) put forth by the slim majority of 4 judges in the Goodridge opinion. An administrative change (just for one-sexed twosomes) in deference to the judicial diktat (which by its nature was and remains hyper politicized) does not advance SSM argumentation. Nor does it express the will of the people.

Carpenter said above, the elected representatives did not support merging SSM with marriage recognition.

What in SSM argumentation has changed? Nothing. It is all bluster and namecalling and false equivalencies that serve first and foremost to turn off argument, to turn off the People, and to turn off the republican form of self-governance that includes provison for direct democracy. In addition to its other corruptive influences, the SSM campaign has repeatedly disparaged the amending process in the name of thwarting a ballot vote.

As for claiming legitimization through representation, I guess the concept of republican government has been lost on some SSMers. A legislator sitting in the house is not performing the same function as a when he or she sits in a constitutional convention.

Single issues are legitimately treated seperately from general elections of representatives -- in no small part for this very reason.
6.15.2007 12:56am
Caslim (mail):
It seems the people who actually care about society and our civil rights are the ones who condemn the decision. The rest seem to hope that reworking marriage to follow the needs of gender segregationists is itself a right.

Still I haven't read anyone actually tell why such a change in marriage is a good thing. Marriage is already destroyed for Dale Carpenter, who decided that the institution as it is would not serve him, so he must make it serve -- him. And his self-proclaimed identity. He makes a great marginal case, how about you? What keeps you from getting married if you want it so much? Why do you need Goodridge to make marriage into something different, something so adult-groovey, something so indifferent to gender segregation and so welcoming of making children into a commodity to be purchased.

Has the debate slipped so far that all we need to make it right is a government-jackboot?

People are leaving Massachusetts in droves. The long heralded influx of gay talent has not turned that tide. Nor has it turned the tide of marriage there. While people deride that people are getting married there at all, and imagine that contradicts what marriage defenders expect, they miss the fact that nothing Dale predicted would happen to marriage has. And he expects it to take generations, making his own expectation that the end must happen in three years most intellectually self-serving.
6.15.2007 1:00am
Chairm (mail):
--> Look at the procedure set up by the constitution, and it is clear that it is established in order to keep frivolous attempts to amend the constitution off the ballot. It works wonderfully.

The procedural role of the attendees of a constitutional convention is not a legislative role.

When a proposed amendment is accompanied by more than twice the number of signatures on pettition than is required, it is convenient absurdity to describe the proposal as frivolous.

You have again demonstrated how the SSM campaign has attacked not only the nature of marriage but also the nature of self-governance.
6.15.2007 1:01am
Ramza:

Well, given that Massachusetts is a republic with provisions for direct democracy, I guess your either or is very ill-informed.

Just because the people have the power to do a direct initative doesn't mean you should use it, making the choice to use it is a judgment call, a judgment call that was built in the system as a power of the legislature(the 25% majority and having to do it twice, thus a procedural piece of work to prevent really "stupid" amendments.)

The proposed amendment failed. You may thought it was worth being brought to the voters, but then again you are biased (as all of us), but 75%+ of the legislature did not (this procedural tool is done to lower the chances of biased, similar to the system advocated in federalist 10).

Like you said, a "saucer" (though I prefer the Madison Anchor comment for unlike the "saucer" that one is groundly rooted as being said by Madison in his letters, while there is no evidence besides the story being repeated so much that Washingtion talked to Jefferson about the Saucer and the Senate)
6.15.2007 1:01am
Kendall:
Chairm: as I understand it you believe the SJC acted outside the bounds of their authority. Surely you don't dispute that the Legislature acted WITHIN their authority. If that's true, then wouldn't you concede that this decision brings legitimacy to the SJC's decision by affirming that it will not be overturned, at the least for a good long while?
6.15.2007 1:02am
Kendall:
Still I haven't read anyone actually tell why such a change in marriage is a good thing.

On its face I'd say giving marriage rights would be beneficial for many couples and individuals. One example is Mary Cheney's son. In the truly unfortunate event of her untimely death, Mary's longtime partner would have no right to keep the child and raise it as her own (compared to a step parent who would be able to do so). I would say that on its face the child would certainly benefit from this continuity of being raised and having the extra protection for his non biological parent.
6.15.2007 1:05am
Chairm (mail):
--> If you don't like the decision of the Massachusetts legislature, feel free to move there and work to elect enough legislators who are willing to take a different course.

It was the decision of a constitutional convention which is not empowered to ratify a petition-proposed amendment.

See the point about putting single issues on the ballot, seperate from general election of representatives.

Look, a judiciary has a role in a democracy. This role is best protected from over-reach through restraint -- on the court itself. Likewise, the legislative branch has its role in making laws -- and likewise is meant to show restraint in terms of rejection of legitimately proposed amendments brought by citizen petitions. Both forms of restraint depend more on principled adherence to constitutional government than to seeking loop holes in procedures.

If this rejection had not been preceded by the various other procedural obstructions that stood in the way of previous proposals, you might have more credibility in making your recent comment. But that does not fly today. You can thank the SSM campaign for undermining your claim.
6.15.2007 1:10am
Kendall:
Likewise, the legislative branch has its role in making laws -- and likewise is meant to show restraint in terms of rejection of legitimately proposed amendments brought by citizen petitions.

Apparently though the legislative branch is not able to decide against something being on the ballot? If that's the case then what's the point of voting on it in the first place?
6.15.2007 1:13am
Chairm (mail):
Kendall, this latest stunt is one in a series and so, no, it does little more than provide a fig leaf -- a sort of plausible deniablilty -- without actually seeking legitimacy via a valid ballot vote.

As I said, the argument for SSM has not advanced beyond the political meanderings of the Goodridge opinion.

The bar was set very high for the defenders of marriage but set very low for the proponents of merging SSM with marriage recognition. This is not justified by the strange reasoning offered by Justice Marshall and has not been buttressed by better arguments made in the legislative halls -- where no SSM amendments have been enacted to marriage statutes.

The sky was not falling prior to Goodridge so I really think the SSMers need more than to repeat that tired old cliche post-Goodridge.
6.15.2007 1:19am
Cornellian (mail):
I expect most normal people to leave Massachusetts eventually, and let it become a festering swamp of crime and depravity, like San Francisco is today.

Don't hold your breath waiting for people to leave a state that is more affluent than nearly any other. Besides, its competitors on that scale are all other blue states like California and New York that are already on the brink of having SSM themselves.

And check your crime statistics, San Francisco is one of the safest major cities in the US. As for depravity, people in SF prefer to think of it as letting people live as they wish.
6.15.2007 1:21am
Kendall:
Chairm - this latest stunt is one in a series and so, no, it does little more than provide a fig leaf -- a sort of plausible deniablilty -- without actually seeking legitimacy via a valid ballot vote.

A stunt? or a duly elected legislature following the law? Cause, see, I call that a VOTE. They were required to vote on this by the end of the legislative cycle and they did so. You simply dislike the outcome.
6.15.2007 1:23am
Randy R. (mail):
Kendell, notice how Chairm ignored your common sense analysis that the legislature acted within it's authority, and it ratified the court's decision?

Also, we must notice the increasingly hysterical pronouncements: marriage is destroyed, people will flee Massachusetts, it will become a swamp of crime and so on. (just curious Dan -- ever been divorced? Your marriage okay?)

Daniel has proven again and again he has a raging hatred towards all gay people and would deny us our any and all our rights. He's just mad because not every one hates us as much as he does. As he said earlier, he believes it common knowledge that all gays are deviants and perverts, and incapable of being decent human beings. That people -- straight heterosexual people -- don't share this warped view of us is what really gets him angry. No amount of arguing will change it or affect it, so I won't even try anymore. I actually feel sorry for people who wish misery upon another group of people (in this instance, the entire state of mass.). What a sad person he must be.
6.15.2007 1:25am
Chairm (mail):
--> what's the point of voting on it in the first place?

It is a check, for sure, but not on supposedly "bad" or "unpopular" proposals.

When it comes to citizen proposals, there is an inherent danger in simply transforming a legislative body into a constitutional convention. That's why plenty of jursidictions convene differently for consideration of constitutional amendments.

So, lacking a different composition, we are left with the expectation that legislators, acting as a check on ballot measures, will show restraint and show considerable leeway for petitions that have gained the level of support that this marriage amendment had gained -- as demonstrated in the available test of signature gathering. (Opinion polls do not appear in the constitution). There is no hard and fast rule, of course, because this is a guiding principle based on the felt duty of a servant of the public.

The 1/4 rule is really about getting some nominal agreement that the ballot vote would be on a substantive question. It is slightly more than a rubber stamp -- in spirit. But, sure, when procedural wrangling is the chief feature of attacks on a legitimate petition -- and its predecessors -- even this can be turned inside out.

This provision is not meant to be a decisive test on the content of a proposed amendment in the way that the supermajority rule in the federal amending process is intended. I think if you consider the difference in the share of votes need to put a federal amendment on the ballot versus a state amendment in Massachusetts, you might concede that there is a different role for the legislator-acting-as-conventioner.
6.15.2007 1:30am
Kendall:
I definitely noticed it Randy. It's quite amusing that somehow the legislature acting within it's authority is pulling a "stunt" rather than following the law.
6.15.2007 1:30am
Kendall:
The 1/4 rule is really about getting some nominal agreement that the ballot vote would be on a substantive question. It is slightly more than a rubber stamp -- in spirit. But, sure, when procedural wrangling is the chief feature of attacks on a legitimate petition -- and its predecessors -- even this can be turned inside out.

and the anti gay marriage amendment couldn't even get THAT.
6.15.2007 1:31am
Cornellian (mail):
This is not justified by the strange reasoning offered by Justice Marshall and has not been buttressed by better arguments made in the legislative halls -- where no SSM amendments have been enacted to marriage statutes.

Wait for it - the California legislature has already passed SSM twice. They'll do it again and whoever is governor after Arnold will not veto it.
6.15.2007 1:34am
Ramza:
The 1/4 rule is really about getting some nominal agreement that the ballot vote would be on a substantive question. It is slightly more than a rubber stamp -- in spirit.

This provision is not meant to be a decisive test on the content of a proposed amendment in the way that the supermajority rule in the federal amending process is intended. I think if you consider the difference in the share of votes need to put a federal amendment on the ballot versus a state amendment in Massachusetts, you might concede that there is a different role for the legislator-acting-as-conventioner.

I agree, and the fact that it couldn't get 1/4 the legislature to vote for it, means it isn't a substantive issue.
6.15.2007 1:36am
Caslim (mail):
I wonder what Dale thinks of Mary Cheney's son. I haven't read anything. A woman who payed a man to have a child and then remain anonymous to that child for the rest of his life? I wonder if that is the arrangement (as is so many other so-called homosexual "having" children tales) or if this is triple parenting, which Dale denies happens due to the impetus behind gay marriage. If he is condoning paying fathers to be anonymous to their children, or triple parenting, then he has joined the voices of people who do not believe in responsible procreation. The actions will have spoken louder than their words, not that anyone in the future will really look back and think that the push to gay marriage required logical consistency, integrity, or even "playing by the rules".

So why is Mary Cheney paying off the father? So she can pretend a lie, but not just the now (presumably) payed off anonymous father but the state to be forced to have every state office see it as just the same as real responsible procreation.

In other words, thanks for that example. I can't think of a better example of the maleficence behind Dale and other's push for altering marriage. The endorsement, nay enforcement of fraud on children is one of the greatest homosexual needs in this whole kettle of rotten fish.
6.15.2007 1:50am
Caslim (mail):
I think the amount of effort involved in pushing the vote down below 1/4 makes this issue less than the endorsement of the judicial fiat then some here are trying really hard to spin it to be.

But either way its not a big deal. They didn't trust the people to decide, that is what the vote says more than anything else. Neither, as Chairm says, do they feel that they need to repeal their own laws in accordance to Goodridge.

There really is no spin to give at that point, they didn't trust the people. They didn't trust the conservative case, just their own politic and their own arm twisting. And now they hope the people, having their hand slapped away from the jar of self-determination, will learn their lesson.

It truly is a travesty to democracy, one that all to many here are celebrating.
6.15.2007 1:54am
Chairm (mail):
--> a duly elected legislature following the law?

No, you are still missing the point.

A duly elected legislature enacts legislation and deals with statutes.

This was a constitutional convention composed of representatives from the legislative body.

The elected legislators take off their lawmaking hats and put on their convention hats.

That's the idea especially when it comes to consideration of petition-amendment proposals.

As I said above, this can be tripped up far too easily nowadays. It was never a pure process so I don't think you can now claim that this stunt (yes a stunt) is a pure expression of the people's will. It is far from that.

The legislature did not ratify the Goodridge opinion. Now, if you claim that is so, then, your case for SSM stands on the content of that opinion. But that's absurd since the opinion is so shallow and political.

Rather, as your comments demonstrate here, you stand on the imposition by diktat and reject the consent of the governed. And that is based on the false equivalencies concocted to provide at least the appearance of rights-based claims.
6.15.2007 1:56am
Kendall:
Caslim - Do you object to IVF for infertile heterosexual couples? In any case you did not ask me for the morality of these issues. The question was asked "who benefits from gay marriage?" and I'd say Mary Cheney's son benefits more from it than not. Because either way he's her son whether or not you approve of the method of his conception.
6.15.2007 1:56am
Chairm (mail):
Cornellian when the California legislators make a better argument for SSM, let me know. Those legislative sessions did not advance SSM argumentation. It remains stuck in the mud.

Also, the legislature cannot over-ride the direct vote of the people in that state. So what you applaude amounts to yet another stunt.
6.15.2007 2:00am
Daniel950:
That people -- straight heterosexual people -- don't share this warped view of us is what really gets him angry.


Don't be absurd. I don't give a crap what other people think. Homosexual behavior is deviant by its very nature. It doesn't matter if I'm the last man on earth to think that way. It will still be true. Even still, it is undeniable that the country agrees with me more than it agrees with you. The majority of the country thinks homosexual activity is wrong, and deviant. Too frigging bad.

Randy, I don't want to deny you "all your rights." I oppose gay marriage, and I think that gay activists like you will stop at nothing to achieve it. I oppose gay marriage because it's clear to me that it destroys traditional marriage (as evidenced by the people on this blog who have no problem with destroying all tradition, and letting the courts be run by criminals). If you want to make me into your personal bogeyman, that's your problem.
6.15.2007 2:00am
Kendall:
This was a constitutional convention composed of representatives from the legislative body.

The elected legislators take off their lawmaking hats and put on their convention hats.


Sophistry, but in any case the members of the constitutional convention are free to accept or reject referendums. That's why they vote.

As I said above, this can be tripped up far too easily nowadays. It was never a pure process so I don't think you can now claim that this stunt (yes a stunt) is a pure expression of the people's will. It is far from that.

Has the process for approving or denying referendums changed considerably in Massachusetts recently? In what manner? Personally I think a bar of 25% for approval is rather low especially compared to the process for amending the federal constitution.
6.15.2007 2:01am
Caslim (mail):
I am against third-party parenting for both hetero and homosexual couples. In short, every couple.

And Mary Cheney's son benefits from being commodity, just how exactly? The alternative would be to marry the father, and that option is already available. I don't find any need in Cheney's life to justify the way she's attempted to have children. And that is true for anyone else seeking to pay a real parent to not be a parent for their children.
6.15.2007 2:02am
Chairm (mail):
--> couldn't get 1/4 the legislature to vote

It was NOT a legislative vote. It was a vote at a constitutinal convention regarding a citizen petition for placing a citizen proposal on the ballot.

Where is the actual legislative vote in the Massachusetts legislature where SSM was enacted?

Brave SSM silence speaks very loudly.
6.15.2007 2:04am
Kendall:
And Mary Cheney's son benefits from being commodity, just how exactly?

That's not the issue, is it? Even without being in a marriage with Heather Poe Mary was still able to have her son. Whether or not you agree with the process of his birth, objectively he will exist without the parents he's going to know (the biological father is apparently not involved and therefore not the issue in this case) being married or with them being married.

I see more benefit for him living with his married parents Mary and Heather Poe (or Mary and Heather Cheney) rather than living with his unwed parents Mary Cheney and Heather Poe.
6.15.2007 2:09am
Cornellian (mail):
I oppose gay marriage because it's clear to me that it destroys traditional marriage.

I'll be interested to hear how gay people are going to cause you to get divorced (or have already done so).
6.15.2007 2:09am
Cornellian (mail):
Cornellian when the California legislators make a better argument for SSM, let me know. Those legislative sessions did not advance SSM argumentation. It remains stuck in the mud.

Oh, to live in that public policy paradise where legislative enactments needed to be supported by good arguments - 80% of everything legislatures enact would be invalidated out of hand.

You couldn't pay me enough to listen to state legislative debates.
6.15.2007 2:12am
Caslim (mail):
By the way, one needn't find homosexuality deviant to object to altering marriage from its focus on responsible procreation. They simply need (as I do) to find it not something of all that great importance to altering marriage in its image, for the sake of the pursuit of freedom of identity politics (or choose from any of a number of conflicting reasons).
6.15.2007 2:13am
Chairm (mail):
--> Personally I think a bar of 25% for approval is rather low especially compared to the process for amending the federal constitution.

Is lower due to the difference in the purpose of the procedure.

The convention does not approve the citizen-proposal. It passes it on for a ballot vote. See the points about self-restraint.

It is a sophistry to now claim that the vote was ratification of the amendment. If the proposal made it to the ballot, would you claim that it was approved by the legislature?

I realize that some of you are laboring under the confusion that was spun by the SSM campaign on this event. But come on, consider the reasons that might have been behind the 1/4 provision that would not fit the supermajority provison in other types of proposed amendments and in the process for considering these types of proposals in, say, the US constitutional amending process.

It is not ratification nor is it rejection that is at the heart of this 1/4 provision. But I can see how SSMers will buy the disparagement of this process to the extent that they cannot possibly imagine how the tables could so easily have been turned.

Suppose you did not have that 4th vote on the SJC's Goodridge opinion -- and the SSM campaign sought the opportunity to amend the constitution in favor of SSM. Do your really believe that the legislators are supposed to act as if they were ratifying the amendment? Do you really believe that an actual campaign would be irrelevant to winning the argument in your favor? We hold campaigns on single issues for good reason -- campaigns matter. That's the spirit -- and the intent -- behind a direct vote provision that does not depend on a legislature initiated proposal.
6.15.2007 2:15am
whackjobbbb:

but I think over the next 10-20 years, social conservatives are going to experience a "backlash" of their own as today's gay-loving 20-year-olds and 30-year-olds become the dominant voting block, a block who will associate advocates of judicial restraint with people who call gays and lesbians non-decent and deviant.


Wishful thinking, I'd say. I doubt you'll ever find advocates of judicial restraint falling out of favor, bud. The black-robed fascists might be your friends, and might even find favor in certain far left havens such as Massachusetts, but across the length and breadth of this land, they eventually get slapped down. That Michigan referendum was targeted SPECIFICALLY at those idiots you're worshipping. I see many here disparaging citizen referendums... and funny thing is, in the next breath they give praise to the behavior of these same few black-robed fascists, in this case. How sad.

If you want tyranny, you certainly got it in this case, that's for sure. Nothing happens without your friendly neighborhood judicial tyrants to kick it all off.
6.15.2007 2:15am
Caslim (mail):
The issue of how the child came to be, and how that as a policy is encouraged, subsidized, and given government socialization enforcement, is exactly the issue.

The baby is, the policy is. The baby isn't bad, no one is saying it is. The policy is bad, and I don't see anything in what you wrote that even tries to justify it. It is not something to politely look away, only to not taint celebrating the results.
6.15.2007 2:17am
Caslim (mail):
Someone wondered above how gay marriage caused them to get a divorce.

I would like to ask them, how having equality in marriage (both genders playing supportive and loving roles to each other in integrated harmony) caused a homosexual couple to break up.
6.15.2007 2:21am
Chairm (mail):
--> 80% of everything legislatures enact would be invalidated out of hand.

Out of whose hand?

I asked for an SSM argument that was better than what has been offered. In Massachusetts the Goodridge opinion is about as good at they can make it. And that's a very low standard. So is the California legislators advancing SSM argumentation or just stuck in essentially the same mud as the SSMers in Massachusetts?

No matter, the legislature cannot over-ride the direct vote that was recently held.

But your comments point to a comparison. The California legislature performed its stunt as a way to influence the consent of the governed, right? They cannot change what the people have already decided on this matter. The flouting of the California constitution is shamefull, but supposedly it is meant to gain some tactical advantage in an ongoing campaign to win impositon of SSM.

Now, here we have Massachusetts SSMers doing the opposite. They have thwarted the opportunity to influence the consent of the governed and have instead marginalized the governed -- with gusto.

The tactics are the substance of the SSM campaign, not the SSM argumentation that is put forth.
6.15.2007 2:24am
Ramza:

The baby is, the policy is. The baby isn't bad, no one is saying it is. The policy is bad, and I don't see anything in what you wrote that even tries to justify it. It is not something to politely look away, only to not taint celebrating the results.

So we suddenly give more marriage rights if they reproduce naturally, and the children have the same DNA as their parents? Please identify a benefit, right or responsibility that is different from parents who have adopted kids, iv kids, or natural biological kids.
6.15.2007 2:24am
Steve:
It was NOT a legislative vote. It was a vote at a constitutinal convention regarding a citizen petition for placing a citizen proposal on the ballot.

Have you even read the state constitution?

When an initiative petition seeking a constitutional amendment is properly submitted, the legislature meets in joint session, and if one-quarter of the joint session votes to approve the amendment, it goes before the people.

That's it. There's no language designating this as some sort of "constitutional convention." There's not one word suggesting the legislators are supposed to employ some special, deferential standard. It's simply a joint session of the legislature, and either one-quarter of them approve the amendment or they don't.

If the people disapprove of this legislative action, that's what elections are for, just as with any legislative action.

If you don't think the legislature should be allowed to disapprove an amendment, or if you think their decisionmaking should be constrained somehow, then it's a real pity you weren't there to help write the state constitution.
6.15.2007 2:24am
Steve:
I am against third-party parenting for both hetero and homosexual couples. In short, every couple.

I was adopted at birth. I have not one, but two parents whom I've never met, and never will meet. What an abomination you must consider me.
6.15.2007 2:27am
Daniel950:
I'll be interested to hear how gay people are going to cause you to get divorced (or have already done so).


What a straw man argument. It's not about divorce. It's about never getting married in the first place. Marriage means NOTHING to people today. It's destruction not by divorce, but by denigration and not reserving for it the respect it deserves. Marriage was once an incredibly important social event. Now it's all about state recognition of today's politically correct deviant sexuality. Marriage was once about "settling down," starting a family, finally entering into adulthood. Now, it's all about prolonging one's juvenile adolescence by extending to it every disgusting sexual perversion in the universe. Pretty soon we'll have group marriage, marriage between incestuous couples, or God knows what. Marriage is no longer about family, kids, and society, but about the state verifying the politically correct choices of a deviant minority. Children, especially, are given last place in state views on marriage today. Why get married when there is no sigma to raising a child out of wedlock? Why get married when the state tells you that there's nothing special about having a father for your child, or having a mother, or that a mother/father relationship is ideal? Why get married when the only argument secularists can come up with is a tax advantage, that will be passed on to anyone via civil unions (another sham marriage system)? Why let your child know its father or mother when the state tells you fathers or mothers aren't especially important? People are getting married later in life, if they get married at all, because there's nothing special about it. It's merely a "phase" in their relationships, not a life-altering even that has consequences forever.

Divorce? That's only the output side. There's much more happening on the "input" side that gay marriage has destroyed. Homosexuals who argue for gay marriage probably have little intention of actually getting married anyway. They're just people who, like the commentators in this thread, want to destroy tradition.
6.15.2007 2:29am
Caslim (mail):
I think its funny that to look at the third party parenting by Mary Cheney, that someone wishes to debate based solely on the grounds of the parents -- being the ones left with the child. Their rights are not in question, in all cases they are being pampered to. In fact, the less natural the process -- the more state resources given to equalize them with the people involved in the natural process.

Yet looking around there are more people involved, the father who was payed to be anonymous (I suppose) to his child. Where are his rights? He sold them. The child's rights to know their real parentage (for medical reasons and having access to their heritage) are sold with it. All as a commercial enterprise. The real winner is the industry, the real losers are the people selling their parental status. And that is equally true, yet taking responsibility for your own children and playing the real parental role in their lives seems immune to that travesty. Amazing...
6.15.2007 2:31am
whackjobbbb:

(as evidenced by the people on this blog who have no problem with destroying all tradition, and letting the courts be run by criminals).


Hey, I thought our courts were ALREADY run by criminals? =;-)

By the way, the 25% legislative approval figure evidently called out in Massachusetts is not the norm, I believe. True citizen ballot initiatives are meant to BYPASS the legislative process... and not be obstructed by it. In Michigan, the greaseball legislators have to sit and watch as that initiative passes them by and goes in front of the People, which is the way it SHOULD be. That don't stop the multitude of court challenges, of course, but in the case of Taxachusetts, you get court challenges AND a legislative chamber feverishly manuevering to deprive the people of that vote, by whatever bare count required.

...and as mentioned, the judicial tyrants to kick off the festivities.
6.15.2007 2:33am
Caslim (mail):
I also see someone who thinks that adoption is an abomination (surely he projects that onto me to show the continued sophistry and bad faith in the argumentation for altering marriage to a homosexual ideal).

He need not think so. People are in a case for adoption for many reasons; like death and inability to support their own children. Those are real dire straights for a child, there wellbeing is in danger.

What an abomination it is then, to pay someone to play the same role as an abandoning father or mother. Not because of inability or tragic circumstance, but because of the commercial need some have to be homosexual as if they were heterosexual too. The child, as you should have read (others did at least), isn't the abomination. I never said they were.

But the adopted needy child is different than creating an abandoned child because of another parent's wants.

Do not suppose I can't see the difference between the two cases. And you should be able to also. If you can't then just let me know, say it out loud that you cannot see the difference between a child who's mother had an indiscretion and cannot support a child at 16, and a mother who wants to pay the father to be anonymous because she is the type of mother who wants another mother for her own orientation. Everyone who can't see the difference, just let me know.
6.15.2007 2:40am
Kendall:
By the way, the 25% legislative approval figure evidently called out in Massachusetts is not the norm, I believe. True citizen ballot initiatives are meant to BYPASS the legislative process... and not be obstructed by it.

Funny, I thought that was defined by state constitutions. Apparently Massachusetts has a different view than you.
6.15.2007 2:40am
Chairm (mail):
--> When an initiative petition seeking a constitutional amendment is properly submitted, the legislature meets in joint session, and if one-quarter of the joint session votes to approve the amendment, it goes before the people.

Okay, so you agree that my comment was correct. Good.
6.15.2007 2:43am
Chairm (mail):
--> If you don't think the legislature should be allowed to disapprove an amendment, or if you think their decisionmaking should be constrained somehow, then it's a real pity you weren't there to help write the state constitution.

And if you read my comments more carefully you would not have written that if-then sentence.

Retraint. Not constraint.
6.15.2007 2:47am
Kendall:
Chairm can I ask what exactly the point was with your distinction? Ok, so in your opinion it's a constitutional convention (composed entirely of the joint legislature) does that alter the fact they acted within their authority?
6.15.2007 2:52am
Steve:
If you can't then just let me know, say it out loud that you cannot see the difference between a child who's mother had an indiscretion and cannot support a child at 16, and a mother who wants to pay the father to be anonymous because she is the type of mother who wants another mother for her own orientation. Everyone who can't see the difference, just let me know.

I don't have the slightest idea why I was given up for adoption. Maybe there was a tragic circumstance. Maybe my biological parents sold me for a few rocks of crack. Heck if I know. It's apparently important for you to believe that all adoptions result from some tragic situation suitable for a Lifetime movie, but in fact, it ain't necessarily so.

It really makes no difference. My adoptive parents couldn't have a child naturally, so they went to the adoption agency and got someone else's. I'm sure my parents would have preferred, if they had the option, to have a child that had the DNA of at least one of them; but according to you, it would be a monstrosity to do such a thing. Adoption is pure, though. Two parents surrendering their rights instead of one, what could be more beautiful.

You surely have a right to live your life as you choose, but I feel fortunate to live in a country where people like you don't get to impose your views on me.
6.15.2007 3:00am
Caslim (mail):

I for one am glad when couples prefer, rather than paying another parent to abandon a child, to help one that is already in need such as was the case of a commenter here.

It is one thing to aid those hurt by tragedy, it is another to create tragedy to suit your own needs. A parental preference does not justify creating tragedy, and paying people to abandon their parental status.

Just how is this, someone should tell me, going to enervate marriage and restore marriage to responsible procreation again? I believe that is the argument some have presented about gay marriage, perhaps the cases such as Mary Cheney wasn't known to them at the time. Or perhaps they really do see the parental trade as justifying the change in marriage.

I don't believe I need to belabor this point, yet others trying to deflect the nature of the matter require adjustment back to the basics of the point at hand.
6.15.2007 3:17am
Chairm (mail):
Kendall, restraint comes from within and is not imposed from outside. A decision to act as a responsible conduit, rather than as the ultimate decision-maker, requires restraint.

On the other hand, a constraint would be like the provision whereby a legislator awaits a citizen proposal that has garnered the required number of signatures.

I think deference is especially due when a legislative body has failed to enact the change that was imposed by the judiciary. There was no legislative vote in favor.

Rather than serving as the intermediary between citizens and the judiciary, in a sense, the legislators abdicated responsiblity. They went hands-off.

Now, when a citizen petition is valid and manifest a hands-on approach from the governed, I think it is due deference. Moreso in light of the abdication by the elected representatives.Moreso given the over-reach of the judiciary.

So it is odd that the legislators were suddenly expected to become so hands-on. Vet, sure, but to thwart? This was not a frivolous initiative.
6.15.2007 3:48am
Kendall:
I agree with you regarding restraint Chaim. However, in it's wisdom (and with the backing of the people of Massachusetts) the Constitutional convention (legislature) acted and decided not to pass on the referendum to voters. They were required to vote on the issue, and they did so.

No one can say the outcome was legally invalid though. You can criticize the end of the process. Heck, you can criticize the process itself. You can talk about how the legislature SHOULD have deferred to the will of the people, or about how the legislature pulled a "stunt," as well you can talk about "citizens petitions" as of course is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US constitution. However, no where am I aware is there a requirement for such a petition to become a ballot issue, at least in Massachusetts.

That's the system, if you don't like it you can work within the process to change the system. Gay marriage advocates for a long time dealt with the mere expression of belief that homosexual sex should be illegal, and we fought against that perception. Now, suddenly we managed to have 3/4ths of a state legislature (constitutional convention) affirm that a decision which led to gay marriage and affirmed that marriage is a fundamental and gender neutral right is the policy of the state (by failing to approve a measure that would overturn the decision) and you want to talk about restraint vs constraint?

Constraint is living in a state where private sexual conduct between adults is considered a sex crime. Restraint is living in a state where you're merely forbidden from legitimizing your union.

You talk about the right of the people to be heard, and they WERE heard, in elections last November. The people elected the legislature that failed to add the question of a gay marriage ban to the ballot. The people are fully allowed and I'd say encouraged to repeat this process until they get a legislature that apparently, in your view, will finally express their will. But personally? I wouldn't hold your breath.
6.15.2007 4:19am
Cornellian (mail):
Now, it's all about prolonging one's juvenile adolescence by extending to it every disgusting sexual perversion in the universe. Pretty soon we'll have group marriage, marriage between incestuous couples, or God knows what.

You forgot dogs and cats living together, etc. etc. Good luck keeping the whipper-snappers off your lawn.
6.15.2007 4:24am
Chairm (mail):
--> it's a constitutional convention (composed entirely of the joint legislature) does that alter the fact they acted within their authority?

Is that a fact?

Nope.

I gather that you may be asking if the lack of constraints invalidates the duty to exercise restraint. Is that so?
6.15.2007 4:26am
Kendall:
Chairm: they had no legal duty to excercise "restraint" did they? as far as I can tell the duty of the Legislature (lets not play semantics again, the convention is composed of the legislature, etc etc etc) was to vote. If their duty was to rubber stamp their approval of the measure then they wouldn't be permitted to vote on it.
6.15.2007 4:38am
Chairm (mail):
1. Judicial over-reach imposes SSM.

2. Administrative deference accomodates the diktat.

3. Procedural obstructionism thwarts remedy.

4. Delegitimization of the amending process stymies a citizen-proposed amendment.

Gay identity politics corrupts all that it touches, it would seem, including the social institution of marriage and even our form of self-governance.

The motto of the SSM campaign: SSM right or wrong.
6.15.2007 4:40am
Kendall:
1. You ALMOST, and I mean ALMOST have a case here. So CLOSE.

2. The administration is bound by the SJC's decision until a referendum is passed to overturn them or the judges in question are removed and a new ruling is reached. That's called separation of powers. Or, of course, they could've attempted to pull an Andrew Jackson and ignored the ruling entirely.

3. You mean people in politics actually use the rules set up to govern debate? Horror of horrors.

4. Following procedure the constitutional convention fails to pass on an amendment. over 75% of the convention supports this decision.
6.15.2007 4:45am
Chairm (mail):
--> If their duty was to rubber stamp their approval of the measure then they wouldn't be permitted to vote on it.

Permitted to vote? It is not that long ago that SSMers were denying that such a vote was even required.

Now you seem to make out as if they were so eager to vote and thank goodness they were permitted to do so.

I did not claim that their "duty was to rubber stamp their approval of the measure".

But they are to vet, and to serve as a responsible conduit, for the amendment proposals that originate with the citizen petition. It is like a rubber stamp in the sense that their vote does not enact the amendment as it might in the case of normal legislation.

Their vote places the proposed amendment on the ballot. Big difference. Direct vote and all that. The decision making role is quite different. This is not just semnatics.

The marriage issue is not just any run-of-the-mill issue. For that reason, and for the other reasons I've mentioned, deference was due. It was due even before the Goodridge opinion was written. Moreso subsequently.
6.15.2007 4:53am
Kendall:
But they are to vet, and to serve as a responsible conduit, for the amendment proposals that originate with the citizen petition. It is like a rubber stamp in the sense that their vote does not enact the amendment as it might in the case of normal legislation.

And they fulfilled that role. The fact that decided not to pass this on to voters does NOT suggest that they were either irresponsible or failing to vet the decision.
6.15.2007 4:56am
Cornellian (mail):
Procedural obstructionism thwarts remedy.

How long did it take you to think up this tortured euphemism for a legislature voting "no?"
6.15.2007 4:58am
Kendall:
The entire argument is rather tortured. The whole bit about marriage requiring "deference" as if it should be an automatic lock to be on the ballot is particularly priceless. I'm sure every champion of every referendum is convinced their issue deserves "deference" and should be placed on the ballot.
6.15.2007 5:01am
Chairm (mail):
--> The administration is bound by the SJC's decision

No such constraint exists. The SJC cannot force this compliance. It conceded that in the case of this amending process, as well.

However, restraint and deference is expected. In the aftermath of the Goodridge case it was not due, given the weakness of the majority's opinion and the pending consideration of the citizen proposed amendment. The procedural obstructionism and the lack of a stronger arugment since Goodridge both serve to reinforce the position that the SJC's opinion could have been safely put on the shelf. The legislators could have forced the issue, I guess, by voting to enact changes to the marriage statute, but that was avoided for obvious reasons.

The procedural obstructionism, that is well-known, did not serve to "govern debate" but to evade a required vote on the proposal. But lacking constraint, no vote was held, although the vote would have supported placing the amendment on the ballot. So restraint was due but disowned by a key few.

Inaction is not ratification, as some SSMers have tried to claim. Issue fatigue is not endorsement either. But both are the basis upon which the SSM campaign has moved -- lacking anything stronger than the anemic Goodridge opinion.

And it is on that the SSM campaign in Massachusetts stands. Not the consent of the governed.
6.15.2007 5:09am
Kendall:
Inaction is not ratification, as some SSMers have tried to claim. Issue fatigue is not endorsement either. But both are the basis upon which the SSM campaign has moved -- lacking anything stronger than the anemic Goodridge opinion.


Issue fatigue? The legislature voted. They voted NOT TO PASS IT ON TO VOTERS. If they were truly opposed to the issue then they would have voted TO pass it on to voters. They did not.
6.15.2007 5:13am
Chairm (mail):
--> The fact that decided not to pass this on to voters does NOT suggest that they were either irresponsible or failing to vet the decision.

They were irresponsible, in this case, sure.

I did not say they failed to vet. The amendment was valid, as proposed.
6.15.2007 5:17am
Kendall:
And they made a decision, as was their right. There is NO law or legal requirement for them to pass THIS specific referendum on at all. You wanted it passed because you believe the SJC decision was wrong, the legislature disagreed. That's what democracy is all about.
6.15.2007 5:19am
Chairm (mail):
--> How long did it take you to think up this tortured euphemism for a legislature voting "no?"

Heh.

So would you stand on the merits of the Goodridge opinion? It needs no remedy, in your view? Okay.
6.15.2007 5:20am
Chairm (mail):
--> The whole bit about marriage requiring "deference" as if it should be an automatic lock to be on the ballot is particularly priceless.

Marriage is a social institution. Maybe you favor deinstitutionalization, as many Massachusetts SSMers do when they cling to the Goodridge opinion. In that case, I can see why you might find it funny to show deference in this context.
6.15.2007 5:25am
Kendall:
Marriage is a social institution. Maybe you favor deinstitutionalization, as many Massachusetts SSMers do when they cling to the Goodridge opinion. In that case, I can see why you might find it funny to show deference in this context.

Actually I greatly respect marriage. however, I also respect state legislatures and their wisdom and ability to represent their state. I also believe that if a decision by the legislature is extremely unpopular with the citizens of the state the legislators who supported that decision will be removed. See, the difference between us is I'm willing to work within the process to achieve my goals. If something doesn't go my way I'll resume the process where I failed to achieve my objective.

You seem to believe the process should be tilted towards your world view rather than the perspective of the Massachusetts legislature. Your attitude seems to be "how could they make such a stupid decision?" rather than respecting their right to make such a decision. So in my opinion it is you that does not respect such social traditions as representative government, the rule of law and majority rule.
6.15.2007 5:33am
Chairm (mail):
--> The legislature voted. They voted NOT TO PASS IT ON TO VOTERS. If they were truly opposed to the issue then they would have voted TO pass it on to voters. They did not.

Yeh, they voted. And how might that negate what I had said? It doesn't.

But you reinforced a point I made earlier. This was not a vetting. And SSMers now are treating this vote as if it was a substitute for an actual legislative Yes vote to enact SSM.

But you say it is not about issue fatigue. That is not what SSMers said leading up to this day. Look, it is obvious that the SSM campaign is about wearing people out and throwing around the namecalling and so forth. The merger of nonmarriage with marriage is "inevitable" blah-blah-blah. The idea is turn off people. It is not about seeking the consent of the governed. Really, that is not the SSM campaign's forte. Quite the contrary.

If it was really about winning through SSM argumentation, they would have advanced beyond Goodridge. They haven't. They probably can't. They are stuck in the mud and so resort to the sort of armtwisting and other nonsense that had legislators voting to evade what should have been put on the ballot.
6.15.2007 5:40am
Chairm (mail):
--> You seem to believe the process should be tilted towards your world view rather than the perspective of the Massachusetts legislature.

Well, no, but tilted toward the principles of self-governance rather than being led by the nose by a politicized judiciary.

What is the perspective of the legislature, by the way? To evade the issue that citizens wanted on the ballot.

That brings us back to the difference between vetting a citizen proposal and shutting it down instead. Not all citizen proposals merit being put on the ballot, but this one is not just any old proposal. And it got more than enough signatures -- twice as many as required. And this is not the first time this has been obstructed. It adds up to showing greater deference. All that good stuff about seeking the consent of the governed.

Your attitude seems to be "how could they make such a stupid decision?" rather than respecting their right to make such a decision.

It was irresponsible, in the sense of what is best for marriage and what is best for self-governance, but mistakes happen. In fact, I did say that there have been errors in need of remedy.

To hear the SSMers today, this vote was the needed remedy to the lack of ratification of SSM, yet they had obstructed such a vote previously, and have run away from a direct vote to settle the issue.

Come on. I don't buy the new line. It rings so false.

So in my opinion it is you that does not respect such social traditions as representative government, the rule of law and majority rule.

Hang on. So now you are on about social traditions rather than explicit constraints.

Representative government entails the principles I discussed in regards to the amending process. I haven't tossed that aside.

I also do not stand on a flimsy judicial opinion that disrespected the rule of law and the consent of the governed. I do not stand on the diktat that presumes the deinstitutionalization of a foundational social institution. These SSM basics are an affront to representative government and self-governance in general.

Majority rule is it? So you now abandon claims that majority rule is tyrannical. Not end-gaming, right?
6.15.2007 6:02am
Tulkinghorn:
As a matter of the morality and alleged tyranny of majority rule, there is a tremendous difference between a majority granting equal rights and status to a historically discrete and insular minority, and a majority denying rights and status to said minority.

The only minority left are the bigots. Listen to them whine. Listen to them come up shifting, contradictory ex post facto justifications why the people and the constitution and the courts and leaders of the civil society are wrong, perverse, cruel and dictatorial.

You lost the debate. The very terms of the debate are not even relevant or recognizable to the majority of the population under the age of 40. Enjoy your pointless rear-guard actions over the next 30 years, as you have lost the "culture war" as surely as the South was lost after Gettysburg. Make a choice between dead-end nostalgia reaction and living in the present.
6.15.2007 7:33am
devoman:
For those with some semblance of an open mind on this issue, you might read the words of one Massachusetts legislator who previously opposed SSM and who now voted to support it.

Here... One legislator's words
6.15.2007 8:46am