Wednesday, January 21, 2004

State of the Union and Gay Marriage 

The Human Rights Campaign has published this statement concerning Pres. Bush's State of the Union references to "activist judges" and the constitutional process regarding gay marriage. The HRC statement provides a compact analysis of the history and role of the judiciary in the social progress of our country (ending segregation, ending miscegenation laws, etc.).

I'll just add that my own feelings border on outrage at his characterization of the situation as one in which "judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people." He clearly didn't read the incredibly well-reasoned and expressed opinion of the Massachusetts SJC in the Goodridge case. This case and resulting opinion did not spring from the whims of the court. It was the result of a legitimate constitutional issue brought into the judicial system through the established channels for resolving these issues, with both sides competantly argued and supported by amicus briefs from a variety of organizations. It was a case on behalf of 14 representatives (7 couples) of the people.

Does he truly not understand the role the judiciary plays in protecting citizens from the sometimes oppressive will of majorities? Or does he feel that his agenda is worth misrepresenting current and historical events and the system of checks and balances which defines the essence of our system of government? The Constitution lays out protections to which American citizens and others in our country are entitled; such an amendment would instead establish a right for certain groups to impose their prejudices on others.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:51 AM