It has been reported:
A federal judge in San Francisco decided today that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.
U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The California Democracy is not what this country was about – it is a Republic. We have a representative government for a reason – in that the majority should never dictate the rights of others. Don’t make this about the issue of gay rights, but about the law and how pure democracy is affecting these Republic of ours. There are differing opinions (here, here, here, here and here) of course.
I am reminded that a majority deciding the rights of others was something that the Founding Fathers feared. They wanted to establish a Rule of Law where the Law decided the rights, not elections.
“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths…”,
“We may define a republic to be … a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison, Federalist No. 10, (1787)
Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations; but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes. – Speech at the Virginia Convention to ratify the Federal Constitution
“If it be admitted that a man possessing absolute power may misuse that power by wronging his adversaries, why should not a majority be liable to the same reproach? Men do not change their characters by uniting with one another; nor does their patience in the presence of obstacles increase with their strength. For my own part, I cannot believe it; the power to do everything, which I should refuse to one of my equals, I will never grant to any number of them.” Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America
If we are to be a nation of Laws, in which above all political whims, the Law will prevail, then we must start somewhere. Be mindful then, that if the minority so depraved of liberty become the majority, then what shall they do to those who once denied liberty. We have an equal protection clause of Rights. Let the Rule of Law then defend the rights of you and me, regardless if I find the behavior of choice sinful and disgusting or so many find my behavior as such.
By the way, the Judge was a Republican appointee..