DC Marriage Equality Law Stands

An important legal victory for marriage equality– from today’s Washington Post…

The Supreme Court has declined to revive a lawsuit intending to allow a voter referendum on the District’s same-sex marriage law.

Local courts have said the District’s Board of Elections and Ethics was justified in denying attempts by opponents of same-sex marriage to put the issue to a vote. Without comment, the justices said they would not review the latest decision upholding the board’s decision by the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Religious and conservative legal groups had sued to put the issue of same-sex marriage to a ballot.

Putting the rights of a minority to majority vote is not democracy. Democracy is more than majority rule– the will of the majority is tempered by rights that belong to each citizen regardless of social status.

Today, interracial marriage is a personal decision, not a political controversy. But if the Supreme Court had not decided in 1967 to abolish laws forbidding it, where would we be? Would we be watching a vicious battle state to state that only demagogues would win? Reading history– the kind we would like to forget– gives a stomach-turning dose of the hysterical accusations of ‘miscegenation’ and the imminent fall of the ‘white race’.

The Supreme Court spared DC a divisive and distracting battle that would only have brought out the worst in American politics…

The D.C. appeals court majority said that the board “correctly determined that the proposed initiative would have the effect of authorizing” discrimination.

And the court said the council “was not obliged to allow initiatives that would have the effect of authorizing discrimination prohibited by the Human Rights Act to be put to voters, and then to repeal them, or to wait for them to be challenged as having been improper subjects of initiative, should they be approved by voters.”

Again, demagogues and extremists would have been the winners if this issue had been dragged out.

Forty-three years after the Supreme Court declared interracial marriages equal, marriage endures and most people, as always, choose to marry within their own race. A glance at the New York Times wedding page on any random Sunday shows happy couples, the vast majority same race, opposite sex. And that’s in wicked New York.

Rhode Island is getting ready to consider a marriage equality bill. There are groups locally, and nationally, like NOM, that will be disappointed if we don’t have an acrimonious fight. If we recognize the unions of committed couples, and let them take legal responsibility for each other in the contract of marriage– my prediction is that nothing much will change for most of us. A minority will gain legal equality, and the rest of us will focus on our own families.

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10 responses

  1. Hello nn,

    In 8th grade health class, circa 1962, the context of the classroom lecture was such that I posed this question.

    I prefaced my question with the qualifier I knew only males and females could reproduce biologically, however since the institution of marriage was a legal construct how come people of the same sex couldn’t marry since in effect it was a paperwork issue?

    I won’t go into the response other than to say it was negative, very negative.

    I still don’t understand why this is an issue. Can’t we move on to something new? I’m stuck in a world of reruns.

    Pax,
    Ellis,
    neophytethegrey1

  2. If the Lord was really as upset about same-sex marriage as some claim, why hasn’t Provincetown fallen into the Atlantic yet? You’d think it would make a tempting target for a lightning bolt.

  3. There are many things God is upset about but if you’re talking about the JudeoChristian God He placed a specific timeframe for when He’d return, and it didn’t seem predicated upon what types of injustices were going on. Instead, He seemed to intimate that life would continue to spiral down a road far from Him and His Words.

    In any event, Nancy I don’t believe you when you use the rights of the minority…blah, blah, blah. Instead I think it’s just a nicety you’re using in this instance wouldn’t even try to use on an issue you didn’t agree with.

    If I’m wrong, I’d love to hear you use this same justification for an issue you don’t agree with. We have a system of laws and even voter referendums for a reason. I’m fine with legislatures deciding this but prefer the people. Why? It would be more binding either way and ‘laws’ can be changed much easier than say a state constitution.

    And again, for many people this issue isn’t a rights issue and none of the arguments you have are convincing, such the same way as their arguments won’t persuade you.

    So who gets to set the terms of debate?

    1. Sometimes Nancy thinks I’m uncivil with her.maybe I am,but it’s because she often avoids dealing with a direct question that would reveal her underlying agenda.
      I don’t care enough about the same sex marriage issue to comment.
      What I did care about(still do)was that when I brought up that one of my objections to the health care bill was the lack of a specific section prohibiting access to the program by anyone not a citizen,permanent redient,or refugee,IOW preventing illegal aliens from getting benefits.
      She went off on a tangent saying it didn’t matter if a few thousand people got in view of the greater good.
      First of all it’s not about a FEW thousand people-more like hundreds of thousands or millions.
      Secondly,why not include that provision?It’s really simple.
      She wouldn’t address that.I suspect she is in favor of open borders and no immigration restrictions,but lacks the intellectual integrity to just say so.
      One worlders are always trying to get rid of immigration laws here,although no country in the world exists without them.

  4. I just finished a book about the civil rights movement in Selma, AL. Black people were denied basic rights using the machinery of the law under the cover of majority vote. It was essential to use corrupt methods to deny registration, otherwise the Black voters would have had some power. Still, a central legal argument was that civil rights of a minority cannot be voted away.
    The language around miscegenation was so hysterical and charged the fear was used to justify the worst kind of abuses.
    If we had to decide interracial marriage state by state how long would we have been fighting over it?
    If we do the fair thing, and let people make their marriages legal, the whole thing will settle down.
    Religions can refuse to bless same-sex unions, or divorced couples, or non-believers.

  5. Hello Observer and Don Roach,

    Two points:
    First point to Observer: Please stick to the issue. The issue or topic, if you prefer, was same-sex marriage, and not health care.

    Second point to Don Roach: Your first paragraph, according to the reasoning of Professor Emeritus Harry G Frankfurt is bullshit!!!

    Read Dr Frankfurt’s little essay titled ‘On Bullshit’: (ISBN 0-691-12294-6). I will let Dr. Frankfurt respond to your post I’m too tired to deal people who don’t reason and speak without knowing what they say. Your comment is posturing.

    Pax,
    Ellis,
    neophytethegrey1

  6. Ellis-the topic is something I can’t decide on at all.It has no relevance to my life and I never cared one way or the other how consenting adults wanted to form a relationship.
    I thought it was a good juncture to bring up an example of why it can be difficult to debate here.
    Once,a good while back,I said that Arthur Handy,a state rep,and Steven Brown of the ACLU were in effect enabling pedophiles by opposing Jessica’s Law.
    My comment was removed by nancy and Kirsten after they e mailed me expressing concern about the “legal”implications of what I said.
    Now,if I’d accused either man
    of sexual misconduct without proof,they’d be right,but I didn’t even suggest such a thing.
    I attacked their public position taken on a bill before the Assembly(which passed with all but two votes)and the potential consequences of their position if successful.
    That is not what I call a free exchange of ideas.
    My prediction on this topic is simply that the gutless General Assembly will have their fingers to the wind and will again find a way to avoid committing themselves to a vote.
    They’re REAL good at proclamations extolling the virtues of the winning little league teams or the annual bake sale in some town.

  7. Observer,we need immigration reform. We don’t need to obstruct health care reform because of fear that an ‘illegal’ might get help when they are sick.
    Also, we are just a few people who run a blog. We have to moderate comments according to our best judgment. It will be us who get sued if we publish anything actionable.
    Having been accused of enabling human trafficking because I opposed arresting prostitutes, and having been called a baby killer because I support reproductive choice, I know that a person can be accused of a lot of things for having reservations about what the law should do. There are unintended consequences sometimes to the best intentions. Steven Brown helped stall what would have been a law making prostitution illegal, and what we ended up with recognizes trafficking victims and is much better than what we started with three years ago.
    We need the ACLU to serve as a defense lawyer to our rights. Just because they defend the rights of Nazis to freedom of speech does not mean they are Nazis, or that they like Nazis. It doesn’t mean they are always right. But you need defense lawyers for the system to work.

    1. I actually once shared an elevator in the Dirksen Federal Building with the entire American Nazi party,their Jewish ACLU lawyer,and two GSA security agents.I was on my way to the Public Health Service to get treated after being bitten by an alien during a fight and they were going to a hearing for the Skokie march.
      The ACLU defended them precisely to show how “fair”they are,knowing the “Nazis”were a small group of maladjusted nitwits.The ACLU doesn’t defend conservatives who are mainstream.
      You still avoid the point-putting in the provision barring illegals from getting health care would not prevent ONE eligible person from getting it.
      You just have this misplaced sympathy for people who ignore our laws because it’s politically correct in your circles.
      Not one thing I said regarding Jessica’s law and the two men I mentioned was remotely actionable.
      Truth is a defense to any accusation,and they openly opposed a good law that protects children(and adults)from sexual predators.
      I didn’t accuse them of wrongdoing-just being wrongheaded,and that is a legitimate form of criticism.
      As far as you being accused of human trafficking because you opposed arresting prostitutes(off street0,that is so stupid on its face,why eevn refer to it.
      I arrested human traffickers for a living,and I also opposed the off street prostitution law because I thought it was a poorly thought out feelgood piece of garbage.So does that make me a human trafficker.
      That professor from URI who ramrodded the law is an ignoramus on the subject of human trafficking,as I discovered when sparring with her on the Dan Yorke Show(I called in)-she had no clue what human trafficking was about.
      So Nancy,consider the source-being called something derogatory by a dope is not worth getting upset over.
      as far as I know,no one in their right mind is against providing emergency care to anyone.Illegal or not.If someone is having a stroke,you don’t ask for their green card,but if they want a knee replacement,they should damn well be asked for it.
      I think the Republican House may refuse to fund health care until it’s modified.Just guessing here.
      I know you hope Sarah Palin will run and ensure an Obama victory,but I bet her name will not even be on the ballot in almost any state primaries in 2012.Her shelf life isn’t that durable.She could’ve taken the time to learn a few things,but she seems to enjoy cheerleading more.

      1. she won’t run. she has a good gig being the outsider.

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