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Liberal Scholar Favors Massachusetts Marriage Referendum

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:55 pm - January 8, 2007.
Filed under: Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage

While the New Republic, like many left-of-center opinion outlets, frequently publishes angry anti-Bush pieces, I maintain an online subscription to the magazine because it occasionally offers thoughtful liberal critiques of the president and Administration — and unlike most of those on the Left today, puts forward numerous policy proposals.

In short, there is often substance to its criticisms and ideas in its articles.

And sometimes, it posts pieces with which I totally agree. Today, the magazine published a piece by Brookings Institution guest scholar Benjamin WIttes which echoed a point I made six days ago. Wittes, like me, favors placing an initiative on the Massachusetts ballot which could “overturn the same-sex marriage rights created by that state’s highest court in 2003.” (This article is available to New Republic subscribers only.)

While WIttes supports same-sex marriage, he thinks the referendum would be a good thing:

I may even have joined those who voted to advance the amendment, not out of any desire to see it pass, but out of deference to the right of the people to govern themselves–a right that has taken a beating over marriage in Massachusetts. Indeed, the fight for gay marriage in the Commonwealth has acquired a serious anti-democratic flavor–one that should disturb even those who support marriage equality. If gay marriage has a future, as I very much hope it does, denying opponents any democratic say in the matter cannot be it.

He has noted that while polls in the Bay State “are promising,” he acknowledges that defeat of this referendum is “far from a sure thing.” Still, he notes, “same-sex marriage proponents need to ask themselves how many layers of disregard for popular sovereignty they are willing to tolerate in order to preserve marriage rights.

He concludes:

supporters of gay marriage have no choice in the long run but to persuade their fellow citizens. At some point, in other words, they have to start winning referenda. One of the country’s most liberal states, having had the benefit of several years of marriage equality to raise public comfort with it, is a good place to start. Pulling out the stops to prevent a popular vote in such a state is not a show of strength.

I agree.

As this article is only available to New Republic subscribers, I can’t very well say read the whole thing, but can encourage you to subscribe to the magazine. While its politics may be left-of-center, they are often responsibly so.

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47 Comments

  1. Now let’s wait and see how many of the “enlightened” readers of the New Republic will call this person a homophobe and an ignorant shill of the breeding class. However, I hope I’m wrong about that.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 8, 2007 @ 1:19 pm - January 8, 2007

  2. Wow. Those are great excerpts you’ve chosen, Dan. We have been saying a lot of those same things …. if not as eloquently…. here for two years!

    I especially like this:

    “same-sex marriage proponents need to ask themselves how many layers of disregard for popular sovereignty they are willing to tolerate in order to preserve marriage rights.”

    Indeed!

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 8, 2007 @ 1:22 pm - January 8, 2007

  3. Thoughtful commentary, GPW. I was struck while reading it, though, by an issue that’s not being debated as part of this – voter referenda. At what point do we trust our legislators and stop tolerating referenda drives funded and pushed by the few. It seems to be sort of the opposite end of the judicial activist spectrum. That is, instead of letting unelected judges decide, we let the electorate decide as a whole. And if we do that, why bother electing representatives at all, especially if these referenda are growing in popularity. (Are they? I don’t know – just posing it as a question to think about.) What is the point of electing legislatures if we’re going to take more and more decisions out of their hands? Don’t we already have a voter recourse for changing policy we don’t like – by changing representation?

    Your posts on our need to convince people that marriage is right for gays, having definitely generated some good discussion, GPW. I think it could be argued that these refernda are the other side of the coin – the religious right are unsuccessful getting candidates elected that will ban gay marriage, so they force the issue into the hands of the voters directly. What is the long term outcome? More legislators who respond to polls? (As if that situation isn’t bad enough. LOL) Something to think about is all I’m sayin’.

    Comment by Mike — January 8, 2007 @ 1:27 pm - January 8, 2007

  4. Sigh. If only we could have an enlightened, progressive Republic – meaning Plato’s Republic, run by a revolutionary vanguard of academes and Botox Bolsheviks – and could just shoot all those hicks who refuse to be taught, gay marriage would be assured!

    /sarc

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 1:30 pm - January 8, 2007

  5. #3 – Mike, you’re right, in the sense that anything can be taken to an extreme. In CA, we have “referendum madness” where 10-20 special interest referenda are on every election ballot, and the Legislature doesn’t do squat.

    Having said that: Marriage is a pretty big issue, and in MA, the legislators as well as the judiciary have been pretty elitist and non-responsive to a pretty significant percentage of the electorate. That’s the situation referenda were made for.

    And I have to reluctantly confess that at the end of the day, I’d rather have unprincipled, poll-obsessed politicians than politicians who feel insulated from the people’s will – or worse, a dictatorship.

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 1:36 pm - January 8, 2007

  6. At what point do we trust our legislators and stop tolerating referenda drives funded and pushed by the few.

    Never.

    The cornerstone of our democracy is that people have the right, if they feel passionately enough about an issue, to push it forward for vote and enact it with popular support.

    Legislatures in that context are a convenience, not a requirement. We, the people, create them and endow them with responsibility as our proxies so that we do not have to spend all our time on the minutiae of government.

    The reason we in California have “referendum madness” is because, through individual inaction and deliberate gerrymandering, our politicians have essentially made themselves immune to being removed from office in regular elections. Now they’re fighting the term-limits law that prevents them from running in perpetuity (also a voter-passed initiative).

    What’s even worse is the game of musical chairs they play that even neutralizes term limits. Cruz Bustamante, for example, started in the Assembly, moved to Lieutenant Governor in 2002, ran for governor and lost in 2004, and then ran for state treasurer this year, vacating his position so that state Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, also a former Assembly and Senate member, could fill it, and won, replacing the current state treasurer, Phil Angelides, who unsuccessfully ran for governor.

    The long and short of it is that no elected California politician, especially in the Democratic Party, feels the need to listen to their constituents, since they’ll be re-elected regardless of what they do and can simply move to a new position when they term out. That’s why none of their actions really have to do with the state per se and are geared more towards pandering to leftist special interest groups.

    If you took out the referendum process in California, you’d basically complete the emasculation of democracy in this state.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 8, 2007 @ 2:11 pm - January 8, 2007

  7. #6 – Many states do just fine, better in fact, without a referendum process. In California, “referendum madness” is an indirect component of the political ecology you describe, NDT. It means grassroots activists invest their energy at the referendum level and the Governor level, letting the Legislature stew in its own gerrymandered, revolving-door corruption.

    Having said that: A special kind of referendum is also part of the MA political ecology – it has been in their Constitution for over 200 years – and if the anti-gay-marriage referendum was put on their ballot accordingly, so be it. Let it happen. Let gay marriage advocates use tactics of persuasion.

    In CA, personally I would like to see the referendum process stay, with modifications. It should be harder to win a referendum, i.e., the winner should have to get something like a 55% or 52% supermajority, so the people must speak clearly before referendum X wins. And I’d like to see gerrymandering abolished, for meaningful Legislature elections. And I’d like 3 million dollars please. 😉

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 2:29 pm - January 8, 2007

  8. Point well made, NDT. What I was getting at, and perhaps didn’t express it clearly, is not that we should eliminate referenda (for they do serve a valid and important demorcatic purpose), but rather that we should be demanding more accountability of our legislators to the voters. In a representative deomcracy, referenda should be closer to a last step, not the first, and I think there is an inclination now to make it the first step. And that perhaps is reflective of a belief that legislators are not responsive.

    I don’t live in CA, but it seems the discussion by you and Calarato of your state’s situation is an excellent illustration of what I was getting at.

    Comment by Mike — January 8, 2007 @ 2:31 pm - January 8, 2007

  9. Didn’t New Republic endorse Lieberman for President in 2004, and heartily support the war in Iraq? That’s not really very liberal, is it?

    NDT, many in CA are trying to get an amendment on the ballot that would repeal the state’s domestic partnership law and also repeal the law which allows co-parent adoption in CA. Do you support that?

    Comment by Carl — January 8, 2007 @ 3:02 pm - January 8, 2007

  10. Indeed, the fight for gay marriage in the Commonwealth has acquired a serious anti-democratic flavor–one that should disturb even those who support marriage equality. If gay marriage has a future, as I very much hope it does, denying opponents any democratic say in the matter cannot be it.

    So according to you….Inter-racial marriage should have been VOTED ON by the people? A woman’s right to VOTE should have been voted on by MEN? Black Civil rights should have been VOTED on by the people??? Sometimes you CAN NOT TRUST the majorioty to CARE enough about the Minority to do the RIGHT THING! …or is itbecause OUR case is different/ we’re not the typical Minority..not the “In your face”, color difference…thats obvious? ..so for this reason, the PEOPLE should vote? …and what if they do ammend thier Constitution to forbid Marriage Equality.? What happens to the 8000+ cpls who married…..? Thier marriages would be ….what?

    Comment by sad american — January 8, 2007 @ 3:12 pm - January 8, 2007

  11. Those things may not have been changed by a vote, SA, but they did change according to overall public opinion. Women got the right to vote after many years of activism and a general feeling by the public of “why the heck not”. Was it universal. Of course not. We’re some people still very much opposed. Absolutely.

    Same with Blacks, with civil rights and voting. There were localities that required intervention, National Guard and all, but it wasn’t against overall public opinion.

    Comment by Synova — January 8, 2007 @ 5:19 pm - January 8, 2007

  12. NDT, many in CA are trying to get an amendment on the ballot that would repeal the state’s domestic partnership law and also repeal the law which allows co-parent adoption in CA. Do you support that?

    Sure. I absolutely support their right to raise a voter petition to do both, and if the state government tried to obstruct it as did the Massachusetts Legislature, I would tell them to get the hell out of the way and let people vote on the matter.

    And then I’d vote against it.

    Of course, given that the attempt to gather enough signatures to actually hold a referendum on the matter has already flopped twice — once in 2003 and again in 2005 — it’s not an extraordinary leap of faith on my part.

    What I find particularly amusing is how gay leftists try to shove bills through the Assembly — although never during an election year, mind you — but are terrified at the thought of raising our own voter referendum to repeal Proposition 22 (California’s ban on gay marriage).

    Perhaps they know that, minus the gerrymandered Legislative districts and servile puppets of leftist causes that we call California Democratic politicians, they haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting what they want, not when gay leftists like Sheila Kuehl are demanding standards for teaching lesbian sex in public schools, but are actively trying to torpedo ones that hold their leftist teacher buddies accountable for teaching math, science, and English.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 8, 2007 @ 5:47 pm - January 8, 2007

  13. I am not a huge fan of voter referendums. There is a reason we have a representative republic, we choose representatives to develop and pass laws.

    But in the case of Mass, where there is a referendum proccess, and where the voter was shut out by the courts, and really even the legislature was shut out, I actually think a referendum is a good idea, since the gay marriage decision was essentially a “you must allow marriage and have until X date to write a law reflecting that.”

    If Mass did not have a referendum proccess, I can’t say that I would support creating one, in order to push this to a vote, but the proccess is there, it should go forward.

    Comment by just me — January 8, 2007 @ 6:45 pm - January 8, 2007

  14. #10 Why do we discriminate against siblings who wish to marry? If two sisters want to marry (for whatever reason, from tax incentives and employee benefits to a statement of some kind of love), would you oppose them and if so, why? How about a father/daughter marriage? A 45 year-old man and a 14 year-old boy? If discrimination is what you oppose, then using your logic, how long can the idea/institution of marriage mean anything? If your argument is based purely on a libertarian view of individual rights (judicial fiat, the stroke of a legislative pen) and rejects culture (referenda), then you cannot simply draw a line at the point at which gays who wish to marry are included.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 8, 2007 @ 7:19 pm - January 8, 2007

  15. Dan, as you might know, here in Michigan we had a referendum on “preserving the sanctity of marriage” in 2004 and it won overwhelmingly (59-41%) in an election year that favored Democrats. I didn’t vote for it, I lobbied and engaged in voter education efforts to defeat it, but when the vote was rendered, I supported the outcome. But then, I believe in democratic institutions –unlike my liberal friends.

    The liberals and GayLeftBorgTypes here in Michigan are STILL fighting to find a way to reverse or at least vitiate that expression of popular will.

    Similarly, in an equally pro-Democrat favored election this fall, we had a ballot measure that ended 30+ years of preferential racial quota treatment by our state higher ed institutions, local govt and state govt. The popular will expressed was 59-41% in favor of ending racial preferences.

    Guess what? The liberals –this time joined by the water-carrying GLBTs– are trying as hard as possible to overturn or vitiate THAT expression of popular will also. They went “judge shopping” for an activist, liberal Federal judge who knee-jerked a reversal only to be stopped on appeal by more reasoned jurists. Thank God. Reagan appointments, by the way.

    Seems like doing the “work of the people” for liberals and the GayLeft means NOT listening to “the people’s voice”.

    BTW, I’ve subscribed to the NR since high school; it’s a thoughful mag with a checkered and uneven past. And the Economist –when it was still shipped from the UK rolled up in a slippery paper sleeve. Both worthy of reading today. Not following, just reading.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 8, 2007 @ 7:33 pm - January 8, 2007

  16. Sad that equality under the law no longer exists in this country. Now that conservatives have given a good beating to the last segment of the population to whom it’s ok to discriminate against, what will be their next referendum of hate to get republicnas back in power?

    Comment by Kevin — January 8, 2007 @ 9:52 pm - January 8, 2007

  17. NDT, I thought that gay conservatives always said things like Prop 22 shouldn’t be put into a repeal effort because that would cause backlash.

    -Having said that: Marriage is a pretty big issue, and in MA, the legislators as well as the judiciary have been pretty elitist and non-responsive to a pretty significant percentage of the electorate-

    Yet, the electorate haven’t gotten too upset. In 2004, in the legislature, Republican candidates outspent Democratic candidates by a 3-1, 4-1 margin in many races. Many of those Republicans used gay marriage as an attack. Yet, all of them lost – no Democratic incumbents were defeated, and most of the open seats went to Democrats.

    The only reason this passed was because a small fraction of the legislature was all it took. And now, James Dobson and Mitt Romney and their friends will spend many millions to demonize gays in Massachusetts, drive up hate and fear of gays, for the next 2 years. What fun.

    Comment by Carl — January 8, 2007 @ 10:18 pm - January 8, 2007

  18. #14 – But Hardhobbit – Why exclude any of the cases you brought up? I mean, even if there were no issue today about gay marriage?

    You can’t claim Biblical sanction for our current marriage laws… because the Old Testament clearly provides for polygamy (male chauvinist form), and the New Testament (Jesus) definitely forbade divorce. In other words, marriage is already whatever society-at-large decides it is.

    The 18th/19th-century concept of marriage was basically “A permanent, exclusive union between 2 unrelated persons of the opposite gender and same race”. (a man could marry someone under 16 – but not of a different race; divorce rare and highly frowned upon).

    The 20th-century concept of marriage was “An exclusive union between 2 unrelated ADULTS of the opposite gender”. (envisioning both parties over 18 or at least 16; dropping the same-race requirement; allowing easy divorce)

    We now propose to change it to “An exclusive union between 2 unrelated adults.” (dropping the opposite-gender requirement)

    It’s just a change. It’s actually a smaller change than, say, going to polygamy would be. And either society-at-large will agree to do it, or it won’t. But my point is: The definition of marriage is already somewhat arbitrary. It already isn’t Biblical (if you happen to be concerned about such things). It has already changed over time. It will change again in the future. Allowing gay marriage does nothing to worsen that situation. There is nothing about gay marriage that magically implies you would then also have to allow polygamy, incest, etc. It’s a ridiculous argument.

    It’s a free country, so interested people can argue for incestuous or polygamous marriages if they want, but even after gay marriage, those other people are still wrong and we have no logical reason to go along with them.

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 10:18 pm - January 8, 2007

  19. (cont) To put it in your words: we CAN simply “draw a line at the point at which gays who wish to marry are included.”

    Hopefully, we have rational public policy reasons for where the line is drawn. I can think of several reasons (able to withstand scrutiny) for why the good of society would require marriage to remain exclusive between 2 people, who are unrelated adults. But I can’t think of any reasons (able to withstand scrutiny, I mean) for why the good of society would require marriage to remain between 2 people of the same race, or for that matter, 2 people of the opposite gender.

    Comment by Calarato — January 8, 2007 @ 10:28 pm - January 8, 2007

  20. #16 You’re asking the very question I’m asking. If we are to extend marriage to homosexuals, why not pedophiles?

    The argument I was responding to concerned minorities vs. majorities and whether individual rights are absolute in the libertarian sense or whether popular will (and by extension, culture) should determine limits to rights granted to individuals and individuals belonging to certain groups. Yes, society discriminates. It discriminates against criminals, against the indigent, against the fraudulent, the violent, and yes, against homosexuals. It also discriminates against other sexual minorities. One cannot logically argue in favor of discrimination against a minority engaged in behavior one finds abhorrent while conversely arguing against discrimination concerning the behavior oneself engages in that a group larger than one’s own finds abhorrent. Remember: the bigot always rings twice.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 8, 2007 @ 10:52 pm - January 8, 2007

  21. NDT, I thought that gay conservatives always said things like Prop 22 shouldn’t be put into a repeal effort because that would cause backlash.

    I think it is obvious that you don’t know much about what gay conservatives are saying.

    The backlash is caused when gay leftists like yourself try to force things into place over the voters. Meanwhile, I will let Common Cause explain why election results in Massachusetts have little relation to voter opinions:

    When legislators are busy shifting lines to eliminate potential competitors, electoral competition suffers. And the last thing Massachusetts needs is less electoral competition. Our state is almost dead last in the Union in terms of how often voters have more than one choice of candidates to send to Beacon Hill. Once in office, nearly seven in ten House members don’t even face a challenge in the next election. No state Senator has been defeated in 4 consecutive election cycles.

    Remember, Massachusetts was where gerrymandering was invented — and it seems they’ve been improving the process ever since.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2007 @ 3:22 am - January 9, 2007

  22. I sure hope that a referendum is placed on all 50 states ballots to make sodomy illegal. It is such an important issue, especially since the homosexuals spread disease.

    Comment by sean — January 9, 2007 @ 4:58 am - January 9, 2007

  23. #9

    Didn’t New Republic endorse Lieberman for President in 2004, and heartily support the war in Iraq? That’s not really very liberal, is it?

    I was thinking that Wittes can expect to have his teeth kicked in by the “tolerant progressives” someitme soon.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 9, 2007 @ 5:27 am - January 9, 2007

  24. Direct Democracy A.K.A. mob rule
    Yikes. Nothing is scarier than that type of crap. A reactionary populace can simply vote in ANYTHING!
    The founders made our country an indirect republic for a reason.

    Fear the mob, do not embrace it.

    Comment by keogh — January 9, 2007 @ 9:54 am - January 9, 2007

  25. “mob rule”

    This is the perennial counter-argument against direct election of the President.

    If an issue’s importance is directly proportional to the desirability of its being voted on by the people directly, why not get rid of the Electoral College? Nothing is more important than the Presidency.

    Comment by vaara — January 9, 2007 @ 10:14 am - January 9, 2007

  26. So keogh, the mask finally come off… you’re a liberal snob of the John Edwards Lurch Kerry type. “Fear the mob”? Those are the voters that gave us the current Congressional leadership bubba. They’re YOUR people.

    The “founders” as you call them didn’t make “our country an indirect republic for a reason”… learn your political science terms and history before you try giving out lessons in how America became a nation.

    Hasn’t it been the mantra of the GayLeftBorgTypes here for the last two years that “most Americans don’t support the war… so we need to cut & run now”? You guys have been saying Bush needs to follow the polls on the war like Slick Willy used to use the polls to steer his presidency. Seems like popular will only has utility when it’s fashioned to your liking.

    Now, be a good little Borg and put back on the mask –you’re scaring the children and voters.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 9, 2007 @ 10:20 am - January 9, 2007

  27. “America is a republic, not a democracy.” Do those words ring a bell, MM?

    Comment by vaara — January 9, 2007 @ 10:25 am - January 9, 2007

  28. The original posting is just about what I think. Massachusetts is one of the most liberal states in the country & gay marriage has been occurring for nearly 4 years now. If we can’t pass gay marriage by popular vote in the Bay State-we can’t pass it anywhere (before any wiseacres pipe up “what about Arizona? they voted against an anti-gay marriage amendment & not FOR gay marriage). I hope the GLBT community in Mass. get their fingers out & start doing big time persuading. Don’t depend on the SJC to save your butts.

    Comment by Jimbo — January 9, 2007 @ 10:45 am - January 9, 2007

  29. #20 – “One cannot logically argue in favor of discrimination against a minority engaged in behavior one finds abhorrent while conversely arguing against discrimination concerning the behavior oneself engages in that a group larger than one’s own finds abhorrent.”

    Hardhobbit – Kindly explain why not. The claim, on its own, makes no sense.

    It only makes sense if your basic philosophy of life is subjectivist, i.e., “there is no truth, only points of view”. A notion I reject.

    As I said earlier (and you haven’t touched on at all):

    Hopefully, we have rational public policy reasons for where the line is drawn. I can think of several reasons (able to withstand scrutiny) for why the good of society would require marriage to remain exclusive between 2 people, who are unrelated adults. But I can’t think of any reasons (able to withstand scrutiny, I mean) for why the good of society would require marriage to remain between 2 people of the same race, or for that matter, 2 people of the opposite gender.

    Comment by Calarato — January 9, 2007 @ 11:47 am - January 9, 2007

  30. P.S. It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway, that society-at-large gets to debate all the reasons claimed or put forth by anybody (including me). And then, at the end of the debate, whatever society-at-large decides marriage is, is what marriage is.

    Comment by Calarato — January 9, 2007 @ 11:53 am - January 9, 2007

  31. Matt,
    If you truly believe that the founders wanted a direct democracy you should read Fed. Papers #10.
    That may stop you from talking nonsense.
    Further:
    Are “liberal snobs” the 2007 version of “bourgeoisie”
    Democracy is the road to socialism. -Karl Marx
    Democracy is indispensable to socialism – Lenin

    Further Still:
    “You guys have been saying Bush needs to follow the polls on the war”

    That’s the point. He does not have to submit to the public.

    Just as gays should not submit themselves to the whim of the mob

    Comment by keogh — January 9, 2007 @ 12:01 pm - January 9, 2007

  32. I sure hope that a referendum is placed on all 50 states ballots to make sodomy illegal. It is such an important issue, especially since the homosexuals spread disease.

    Feel free to raise one, sean; that is your right as a citizen.

    Nothing is scarier than that type of crap. A reactionary populace can simply vote in ANYTHING!

    You’re right, keogh. And that IS their right under the Constitution.

    Madison’s point in Federalist #10 was that a republic would to some degree limit factionalism. But nowhere stated in it is that an unpopular minority should have the power to deprive other citizens of the right to vote just because the unpopular minority doesn’t like the outcome.

    And gays are an unpopular minority, keogh. Not so much by virtue of being gay, but because leftist gays like yourself have made being gay synonymous with unlimited abortion, antireligious bigotry, public sex, hatred of Republicans and conservatives, and a myriad of other leftist causes.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 9, 2007 @ 12:36 pm - January 9, 2007

  33. #29 – #30 – continued –

    Hardhobbit, to put it another way: Under your claim that I quoted, we have no business fighting Islamism.

    Why? We (U.S. of 300 million people) disagree with al Qaeda (maybe 30,000 people worldwide) about the propriety of blowing us up. We find them abhorrent. But – a much larger group, worldwide Muslims (1.3 billion, of whom much more than 300 million support the Islamists) find our culture and position abhorrent in turn and applaud al Qaeda’s actions against us. Your claim would imply it is illogical (as in wrong) for us to find al Qaeda abhorrent and ignore the fact that a larger group of Muslims (outnumbering us) has publicly or privately applauded them. Reductio ad absurdum.

    Comment by Calarato — January 9, 2007 @ 3:03 pm - January 9, 2007

  34. #32
    Its the left’s fault gay are unpopular?!?!
    ……
    I choose to blame Bisexuals. Those guys ruin it for everyone!

    Comment by keogh — January 9, 2007 @ 4:34 pm - January 9, 2007

  35. #29 You’ve missed my point entirely. I encourage you to read the initial post to which I was reponding (#10). Once you’ve read that, hopefully you’ll understand that I am arguing in favor of societal (cultural) determination of the definition of marriage and not in terms of the absolute right of the individual. Once again (for your benefit), you cannot claim to consistently uphold the rights of individuals if you demand that ‘rights’ be extended to some but not to others. Even an incestuous relationship involves individuals. Post #10 makes the argument that the minority suffers if the majority determines the rights it enjoys. I’m making that argument that the individual is society’s smallest minority. If an individual is the standard by which all laws are written, aren’t we reduced to anarchy? Isn’t this kind of obvious? It makes sense to me, but I cannot predict you’ll understand it. Go back and reread the thread before you accuse other participants of misrepresenting the issue or making no sense.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 9, 2007 @ 5:06 pm - January 9, 2007

  36. -Meanwhile, I will let Common Cause explain why election results in Massachusetts have little relation to voter opinions:-

    Funny, some people said that Republicans wouldn’t lose Congress because the House was too gerrymandered.

    They lost anyway.

    If the people in MA were upset, then Democrats would have lost at least 1 or 2 seats, don’t you think? When they were being outspent 4-1?

    Comment by Carl — January 9, 2007 @ 5:27 pm - January 9, 2007

  37. And yet, Carl, you are terrified that you are going to lose this referendum.

    What you saw in Massachusetts was that people were faced with a choice; vote for the Republican who was against gay marriage, or hold your nose and vote for the Democrat who supported the hate-filled gay leftists, but was still a Democrat. This is, after all, the state that still elects Barney “Ethnic Cleansing” Frank on a regular basis, you know; party affiliation tends to trump competence for office more often than it should.

    But, in a voter referendum, none of that matters. Party no longer clouds the issue; it’s a simple question of voting on whether or not you want gay marriage.

    That scares the hell out of you and other gay leftists, because you know very well that people in Massachusetts are upset — and now you can’t hide behind party or your gerrymandered districts.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 10, 2007 @ 2:03 am - January 10, 2007

  38. -And yet, Carl, you are terrified that you are going to lose this referendum.-

    What is the “you” exactly? I would hope that all gays would hope that this referendum is defeated.

    Sure, any time that anti-gay legislation is on the ballot, I would worry. I remember a few years ago in Ohio when an amendment against unmarried couples passed that was so extreme, people ended up getting domestic violence charges thrown out of court if they weren’t married to the people they were abusing. Any time that something which can be warped into “save marriage!!!!” is on the ballot, then I’m cautious.

    -This is, after all, the state that still elects Barney “Ethnic Cleansing” Frank on a regular basis, you know; –

    You do realize that Frank only represents a district, right? Not the entire state?

    It’s funny how the state elected GOP governors from 1990-2002, yet you believe they’re so terrified of Republicans that they could not bring themselves to give Republicans even 1 new seat in the state legislature in 2004 or 2006 elections.

    Comment by Carl — January 10, 2007 @ 5:13 am - January 10, 2007

  39. keogh, thanks for the suggestion that I read the Federalist Papers, esp #10. I have. YOU ought to read our Constitution –and the Articles of Confederation, keogh. They are far more instructive on point.

    Voters are fickle creatures… easily swayed by the bias of the MSM, often misled by politicians, rarely engaged enough in the big issues of our day to even study the candidates’ views on issues and instead take cues from thrid party sources.

    I have no illusion about the “wisdom” of voters. But we do live in a democracy that allows public referenda and for the liberal elite to try to overturn popular sentiment expressed at the polls is wrong.

    Try the Articles of Confederation, first keogh. And try Russel Kirk’s “Roots of the American Order” next. Then move on the Constitution… it’ll do wonders for even someone as liberal as a socialist like you.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 10, 2007 @ 7:23 am - January 10, 2007

  40. It’s funny how the state elected GOP governors from 1990-2002, yet you believe they’re so terrified of Republicans that they could not bring themselves to give Republicans even 1 new seat in the state legislature in 2004 or 2006 elections.

    The governor is elected statewide, Carl, with no legislative gerrymandering being possible.

    What is the “you” exactly? I would hope that all gays would hope that this referendum is defeated.

    I am not in the least terrified of losing, Carl; if it happens, that’s that.

    Probably because I can see positive outcomes regardless of what happens.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 10, 2007 @ 12:49 pm - January 10, 2007

  41. NDT, what is the positive outcome in gay people in Massachusetts being told they can’t get married or have civil unions? I think the amendment bans both. That will have a bad effect on many lives in MA. I guess since you don’t live there it’s no big loss to you.

    Republicans can win seats in a state legislature even with very Democratic gerrymanders. It’s not some magical accomplishment, really, especially when the Republicans outspend their opponents by 3 or 4 times.

    Comment by Carl — January 10, 2007 @ 6:25 pm - January 10, 2007

  42. NDT, what is the positive outcome in gay people in Massachusetts being told they can’t get married or have civil unions?

    It will teach you and your fellow leftists who the true power in our system is — the electorate.

    After that, you won’t waste your time on frivolous lawsuits to force your will through undemocratically, or on backing homophobic candidates like John Kerry. Instead, you’ll finally have to go to the one group of people who you and your fellow leftists have spat upon, called superstitious and ignorant, mocked as uneducated, and treated as totally inferior……..the voters.

    And in doing so, you’ll figure out real fast that your attitudes don’t play well in Peoria, and that you have a choice; learn to treat others with respect, or continue to lose.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 10, 2007 @ 11:34 pm - January 10, 2007

  43. -It will teach you and your fellow leftists who the true power in our system is — the electorate.-

    NDT, Bush was put in the White House in 2000 by the Supreme Court. Not the electorate. If you support President Bush, then you can’t really say that leftists need to be taught a lesson about the electorate.

    -you won’t waste your time on frivolous lawsuits to force your will through undemocratically, –

    Like the anti-gay activists in Massachusetts who filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against legislators who opposed the amendment? Do you support that?

    -called superstitious and ignorant, mocked as uneducated, and treated as totally inferior……..the voters.-

    Like the voters who supported pro-gay marriage candidates at the polls in Massachusetts in 2004 and 2006?

    So basically, you want gay people to suffer just because they don’t support allowing any random type of harmful legislation on the ballot. That’s nice to know.

    -learn to treat others with respect, or continue to lose.-

    I don’t remember you taking that tack when Republicans lost Congress.

    Comment by Carl — January 11, 2007 @ 3:37 am - January 11, 2007

  44. The other part that makes me wary of this process in Massachusetts is to get something on the ballot, you only need a relatively small number of petitions (some of which were obtained through false pretenses, according to some who signed the petitions) and then 25% of the legislature. So that means basically anything can get on the ballot, with enough money.

    I had wondered why there was so little discussion here of this ban, beyond complaining about liberal gays. I guess now that I know some people here want the ban to pass, the lack of discussion makes more sense.

    Comment by Carl — January 11, 2007 @ 3:48 am - January 11, 2007

  45. NDT, Bush was put in the White House in 2000 by the Supreme Court. Not the electorate.

    LOL…that’s right, Carl, i forgot; you worked under Democrat standards, in which a blank ballot, a double-punched ballot, or any other type of spoiled ballot was automatically a vote for Gore. Sort of like demanding that, when you’re losing a basketball game, that hitting the rim counts for one point and that sitting on the bench should be worth at least two points.

    What happened in 2000 was that Democrats didn’t like how the election turned out, so they used the leftist Florida Supreme Court to change the counting rules so that blank ballots, etc. counted for Gore. The Supreme Court told them to buzz off.

    Like the anti-gay activists in Massachusetts who filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against legislators who opposed the amendment? Do you support that?

    What did happen to that lawsuit? Oh, that’s right, it was withdrawn after the Legislature voted.

    Now let’s see your friends the gay leftists start withdrawing their lawsuits.

    So basically, you want gay people to suffer just because they don’t support allowing any random type of harmful legislation on the ballot. That’s nice to know.

    Ah, but you see, Carl, there’s nothing random about this. The voters followed the rules; they raised a petition, they got the requisite number of signatures, and they jumped through all the necessary hoops. And now, just like you leftist Gore supporters did before, when you lose, you want to try to change the rules.

    What you are saying, leftist Carl, is that even if voters follow the outlined process to amend their Constitution and meet the necessary requirements for signatures, etc., that they should be denied that right because you don’t like it.

    Just say it, Carl; the Constitution should be ignored and the voters deprived of rights because gay leftists like you think it’s inconvenient.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 11, 2007 @ 3:20 pm - January 11, 2007

  46. NDT, I seem to remember Republicans in Florida stopping the vote count. If Democrats did that, I doubt you’d have a positive reaction.

    -What did happen to that lawsuit? Oh, that’s right, it was withdrawn after the Legislature voted.-

    So you don’t mind frivolous lawsuits as long as they’re withdrawn after the plaintiff gets what they want? That’s what happened in this case. To me that seems like abuse of the legal system.

    -The voters followed the rules; they raised a petition, they got the requisite number of signatures-

    Actually a number of the signatures were fradulent.

    NDT, do you really even care about this issue or are you just upset because the gay left is involved? That seems to be your only reason for commenting on this. If only gay Republicans were going to lose marriage rights, would you still support this amendment?

    Comment by Carl — January 11, 2007 @ 6:42 pm - January 11, 2007

  47. NDT, I seem to remember Republicans in Florida stopping the vote count. If Democrats did that, I doubt you’d have a positive reaction.

    You bet I would — especially if they were, as the Democrats were, counting blank, double-punched, and otherwise spoiled ballots as votes for the candidate in question.

    So you don’t mind frivolous lawsuits as long as they’re withdrawn after the plaintiff gets what they want? That’s what happened in this case. To me that seems like abuse of the legal system.

    Not quite. Abuse of the legal system is when gay leftists lose, but continue to file lawsuit after lawsuit.

    Actually a number of the signatures were fradulent.

    Again, I repeat myself, Carl; the voters followed the rules; they raised a petition, they got the requisite number of signatures — as verified by local election clerks.

    Fraudulent signatures are nothing unusual on petitions; that’s why signatures are verified. The Massachusetts petition backers got twice the number of verified signatures they needed to get the issue on the ballot, as outlined in the Massachusetts Constitution.

    And I repeat: what you are saying, leftist Carl, is that even if voters follow the outlined process to amend their Constitution and meet the necessary requirements for signatures, etc., that they should be denied that right because you don’t like it.

    Just say it, Carl; the Constitution should be ignored and the voters deprived of rights because gay leftists like you think it’s inconvenient.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 15, 2007 @ 9:46 pm - January 15, 2007

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