Prop. 8

Okay, I can’t let go of this constitutional amendment declaring some people unequal. Thankfully, neither can the rest of the No on 8 people.

So, historically, in a democracy such as ours, people vote for representatives and for laws. But there is a check on the hateful, ignorant, or misguided attempts of one group to hurt another. When the people enact a law that goes against the principles of the Constitution, the judiciary backs us up and makes us take back the law and start over again.

So the people pass a law. The Supreme Court says, um, you can’t do that. It’s not constitutional. And the people are supposed to say, damn. I wish I could have it my way, but I respect the constitution. But now, in the era of executive dictatorship, the people write a Constitutional Amendment to make their unConstitutional law into an unchecked and unassailable law?

There was a time that Americans wrote laws saying it wasn’t okay for blacks to marry whites. And the Supreme Court said, um, you can’t do that because all people are equal.

And we are.

So now people write laws saying one man can’t marry another man and one woman can’t marry another woman. And the Supreme Court said, um, you can’t do that because all people are equal. And instead of saying, aw shucks, it sucks to live in a country where all people are equal but I guess I’ll have to, people then write a Constitutional Amendment and say all people are equal except people who love similarly gendered people?

How did 52% of Californians say that people aren’t equal if I don’t like who they are?

How did 52% of Californians say, if this law is un-Constitutional, let’s change the Constitution?

Some Americans used to say that blacks were not equal and shouldn’t have equal rights, and they were wrong. And now they say it about gays, and they’re wrong again.

Know what totally sucks? By percentages, in California it was overwhelmingly African Americans who voted that some people aren’t equal and shouldn’t get to marry.

That’s at least Alanis Morisette ironic, even if not literary ironic.

I mean, it’s not surprising that the Church is willing to be on the wrong side of a civil rights issue again. Religion has been the excuse for oppressing women and for enslaving human beings. So I’m not shocked that the church groups are pouring their tithed dollars into making their rules seem like the only rules that are acceptable. But African Americans turning around after having the civil right to marry whomever they want, and take that away from another group? Tsk tsk, Californians. Tsk tsk.

Don’t hold your breath on your high horse, there, Utah. We’ll undo this miscarriage of justice soon.

activist judges

So if a court, especially the Supreme Court, makes a ruling you disagree with, it’s activism? It’s legislating from the bench? Just because you disagree? Ever consider that those judges are professional legal scholars and you aren’t, and it’s their job to decide if what we do is legal? If a majority of Americans come together and vote for a law that goes against the Constitution, against everything the country was founded upon (say, for instance, Jim Crow separate but equal, or modern, homophobic separate but equal), then it’s the Court’s fault when they strike down that law? By judging a law unconstitutional, the judiciary does not create laws. They are not legislating. They are judging. It’s their job. And if you don’t like what they decide, you can’t just raise the specter of out of control judges by saying they are legislating. It’s simply not true. Declaring a law unconstitutional says that the people are simply not allowed to make the law they made. It’s judges’ job to decide if what we do is legal.

But if you say that’s activist judges at work, whatever. I mean, I’ve disagreed with the Court’s findings before, and will again. But I don’t consider their decisions activism. I consider their logic flawed and their opinions wrongheaded. But I know they vote exactly the way we could have predicted them to, since their logic is usually the same throughout their career, and their wrongheadedness consistent. That’s why Presidents choose the justices they do.

It seems more than a little ignorant to say that voters can pass laws in favor of slavery, or bigotry, or inequality and expect that Justices will uphold those laws.

btw, Prop 8 has nothing to do with religious freedom. Prop 8 amends the California State Constitution to take away a right that all Californians have. It uses the will of the many to exclude a few. And that’s unAmerican. Not religious or free. That’s ignorant hatred of people who are different than you are. There is no separate set of rules for the majority or for the minority. We all get the same treatment. That’s the point.

Here’s a little secret. If you open your mind to new ideas, it’s not as though your brains will fall out of your head, or that your old opinions will go away. Consider the new ideas. And if you don’t like them, discard them. But for heaven’s sake, just try the ideas out for a little while. You might be surprised at what you find.