Thursday, February 16, 2012
Anti-democracy and anti-marriage
Let's call the badly misnamed pro-family and pro-marriage groups on their shenanigans — a.k.a. hypocrisy, lies, bigotry and worse. Let's call them on those regularly and re-apply as needed.
We learned that the full New Jersey legislature enacted same-sex marriage today. You know, that's representative democracy, the hallmark of American politics and the epitome of states' rights.
The highly ambitious governor, Chris Christie, has sworn a quick veto. The unaccomplished reactionary who would be Mitt Romney's VP nominee is deep in that morass of more-conservative-than-thou stupidity. At the moment, the legislature in the Garden State does not have votes in either house for the two-thirds veto override majorities. On the other hand, they have until the end of 2013 to assemble those honorable and compassionate men and women from among the scalawags and cowards midst them.
Meanwhile, over in Washington State, another Chris (Gregoire) signed her legislature's SSM bill into law and spoke of her personal journey that brought her to embrace civil rights in the form of marriage equality. She has offered to discuss the issue with Christie as a Catholic who separated doctrine and policy.
Yet even in her state, the anti-LGBT/anti-equality forces want to put a repeal measure on the November ballot to rip away the rights. That's what we can learn from the status of this process. The anti-gay sorts don't give a tinker's dam for democratic process, separation of powers, representative democracy, or even marriage. All they want is to harm, hurt and hinder homosexuals.
As we have seen in numerous states, when the co-equal courts declare a conflict between forbidding SSM and equal rights, the anti people go elsewhere. They demand a referendum on rights or a bill from the legislature.
When the legislature passes SSM, as in CA or WA, they look to the courts or a ballot initiative or both. However marriage expands slightly to include homosexual couples, the plug nasties will turn elsewhere. Not only do they not want more people married, they can't tolerate that messy, evolving process of democracy.
Now we see that our own Cap'n Brylcreem, Mitt Romney is trying to separate himself from his Massachusetts-ism by saying every state needs a plebiscite on SSM. That is so cowardly knowing how the anti-gay crowds have rallied to retract gay rights of any type at every chance. You'd like to think he'd be ashamed, but then again, he's a career-long politician masquerading as a business type, and one who grew up filthy rich and privileged. He's likely incapable of shame or compassion.
The facts are that marriage equality is coming and coming faster than anyone had predicted. The hateful types are not ready to be, if you pardon the expression, Christian about it. If courts decide for marriage equality, they'll look elsewhere. If legislatures enact it, they look elsewhere. If they are in the half of states with ballot initiatives, they'll try that when other impediments fail.
We need to let them know that most of us live in an America of democratic process and one with three co-equal branches of government.
At the very least, these sleazy and cruel tricks should reinforce the truth that the populism of the early 20th century that led to ballot initiatives needs fine-tuning. Putting any identifiable group's rights up to plebiscite is, say it plainly, anti-American.