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.