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A Great Leap Forward for Human Rights

from Andrew Sullivan:

I'm still pinching myself. What happened yesterday didn't get much press, but it's an earthquake. It was the day that marriage equality came to America for good. A reader exults:

I fully expect that the social right will react just as you predict, claiming that only a popular vote could give gay marriage genuine legitimacy. But the fact of the matter is that there have been multiple popular referendums here in Massachusetts on the issue, in the form of elections to the Legislature. If there were really a hidden swell of opposition, presumably it would have punished the politicians who supported gay marriage, ushering in a new class of legislators dedicated to overturning it. What we've seen is the opposite: anti-gay marriage politicians being voted out en masse in favor of those who support it. The people have spoken, over and over, and the result is one we can all be proud of, a wonderful example of our republic in action.

And this is a victory for HUMAN rights even more than gay rights. The way people lose their freedom is when some group decides it's better than somebody else and that those people don't deserve the rights they enjoy. America has come a long way and the legal recognition that gays and lesbians are...gasp!...people with rights ranks right up there with the glories of the civil rights movement of the 60s.


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Comments (3)

superdestroyer:

What spin. The single issue voters on gay rights are the pro-gay marriage people like Andrew Sullivan. Those against gay marriage are generally not single issue voters. But if the issue is on the ballot by itself they would have voted it down.

That is why the single issue, special interest lobby worked so hard to keep it off the ballot as a referendum.

I wonder if a single politicians in Mass. was really voted out of office because they were anti-gay rights. Since no example was given, I seriously doubt it.

Paul Hamilton:

SD, Sullivan's point was that there has been no electoral backlash against the legislators who *did* vote for this legislation.

And regarding the issue of gay marriage itself, I personally believe in the separation of marriage and state. Marriage is properly a matter for churches since it's defined as a covenant, and clearly that's something that the state cannot regulate. Instead, the only way government should be involved is in the recognition of legal relationships between persons -- the civil union. If a church chooses not to solemnize a gay union, that's their business and the government shouldn't be able to force any church to do anything. But conversely, if a particular church *does* have gay marriage, what business is it of the state to say no?

And I already touched on the reason why I believe this is much more than just an issue of gay rights. Tyranny always starts with demonizing some group or another. Hitler had the Jews, the KKK had blacks as well as several others. The defining element of a theocracy is that they deny ordinary human rights to classes of people based on their beliefs. That's true of nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran but if religious influences would deny the right for gays and lesbians to have a legally-recognized relationship, how are we any different.

Maybe you don't like gay marriage. That's fine with me, but YOUR preferences should end at the tip of your nose. There is simply no constitutional basis to deny anyone rights on the basis of their sexual orientation, and the more of these inexcusable restrictions we eliminate, the better we become as a society.

superdestroyer:

Paul,

Your forgot that the first person to mention nazis always loses the election.

I am still waiting for the name of an anti-gay marriage Democrat who lost his seat.

Of course, as the U.S. becomes a single party state, I predict that the government will use consent decrees, lawsuits, and other non-democratic methods to ensure that the leftist elite get to do all of the social engineering that they want and there will not be anything that the voters can do about it.


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