Maddow: “Rights are not supposed to be open to popularity contests”
In arguing in support for same sex marriage, Rachel Maddow‘s blog (the post is actually written by Steve Benen) actually makes the case that The Government, and we’re looking at mostly elected Democrats, should back off on gun control
Rights are not supposed to be open to popularity contests. Throughout American history, if all contentious decisions over civil rights were left solely to popular will and the political process, progress would have been very slow, indeed. It’s precisely why Americans have turned to their last available option — the courts — as a way of ensuring their rights are protected.
What Benen’s referring to is Justice Samuel Alito’s “provocative” question on whether the Court should be ruling on same sex marriage, as there is no data on whether it is good or bad, since it is “newer than cell phones and the Internet.” Well, guns are a lot older than any of those, as is the Right as written in the Bill Of Rights, and the Right is not subject to a popularity contest into restricting that Right.
And, really, marriage of any form is not in the Constitution. One could look towards the Declaration of Independence to see “pursuit of happiness”. Now, I’ve always said that I support civil unions for same sex marriage: this is America, founded on the principles of Classic Liberalism, where if it isn’t harming you, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be legal. Why should people who love each other be denied the ability to be recognized as joined in the eyes of the law? Leave marriage, a religious institution, to the religious organizations.
That said, if gay marriage wins, will The Government require churches to perform them, an obvious violation of the 1st Amendment? Will churches, mosques, synagogues, pastors, priests, clerics, etc be held liable for criminal and/or civil penalties if they refuse to perform a gay marriage? Would one be charged with a “hate crime” if they refuse?
Second, if gay marriage is OK, why not polygamous/bigamous marriage? One of the main arguments for same sex marriage is that it denies the right of equality to same sex couples. Yet, those who want to voluntarily engage in a polygamous/bigamous marriage have been denied under law for hundreds of years. It is a felony to be married to more than one person at a time. What if these people love each other? Is it hurting anyone else? Where’s the equality? You may think that’s a specious argument, but, it shows that certain forms of marriage have been banned under the law.
BTW, Megan McCardle says same sex marriage opponents should understand that this is the best it’s going to get
…this is a landmark victory for the forces of staid, bourgeois sexual morality. Once gays can marry, they’ll be expected to marry. And to buy sensible, boring cars that are good for car seats. I believe we’re witnessing the high water mark for “People should be able to do whatever they want, and it’s none of my business.” You thought the fifties were conformist? Wait until all those fabulous “confirmed bachelors” and maiden schoolteachers are expected to ditch their cute little one-bedrooms and join the rest of America in whining about crab grass, HOA restrictions, and the outrageous fees that schools want to charge for overnight soccer trips.
Oh, and keep your filthy hands off my guns: my rights are not open to polls and popularity contests.