January 29, 2012

The Will of The Majority vs. The Rights of The Minority.


Governor Christie has always vowed to veto any gay marriage bill that passes his desk. What’s more, to compound his blatant ignorance, he publicly remarked on the progress towards marriage equality made by the New Jersey State Senate Judiciary Committee, whereby he implied that the civil rights headway made in the 1960s by courageous lawmakers should have instead been passed by public referendum, not by forceful legislation.

(Photo By: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

His now-infamous comment goes as follows, “People would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.”

Despite the overwhelming amount of bigotry and stupidity that was spewing from his cakehole, it appears he, too, has forgotten a few chapters from his days in law school.

The Will Of The Majority v. The Rights Of The Minority

According to The Principles of Democracy, “majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression;” in other words, you cannot utilize public referendums to vote on civil rights! Furthermore, these referendums (and subsequent laws) are a complete contradiction to several cases that have fallen before the Supreme Court over the past sixty years — cases that explicitly state that marriage is a fundamental human right under the Equality Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Yet, in 31 states we have used majority rule to justify the oppression of LGBT Americans.

The Conservative Right has offered us an olive branch with a separate but “equal” system, marriage for them, and civil unions for us. Gay marriage has become the water fountains of the 1950s: LGBT individuals are separate but by no means equal.

Thanks, but no thanks.

If religious leaders and other naysayers want to keep the so-called sanctity of marriage intact, they should demand a constitutional ban on divorce. Such a ban will ensure that our country would preserve the sanctity of marriage. With a divorce rate higher than 50 percent, heterosexuals have shown us that most unions cannot stand the test of time.

cough, Newt Gingrich, cough

If the majority wanted to keep marriage strictly as a religious institution, then so it should be, albeit with the understanding that a marriage has no legal merit. Marriage would simply become a union of one man and one woman under God.

In order to receive the benefits that the LGBT community has been deprived of, all couples would be required to get a civil union. This would be equal. This would be fair. Because Churches and other religious institutions do not receive federal aid and will no longer be able to perform a ceremony with legal merit, our country would experience a genuine separation of church and state.

This, however, is only half the battle. Even if all 50 states pass laws allowing same-sex couples to marry, LGBT individuals will continue

(Photo By: stevebott)

to be denied federal marriage benefits.

In 1996 when the United States Congress passed the ‘Defense of Marriage Act,’ signed by President Clinton, the federal government started denying same-sex couples all federal benefits and defined marriage as one man and one woman. So, regardless of how tolerant our state government may be, our country will still have a separate and unequal system under DOMA.

How can the Supreme Court allow states to segregate by way of public referendum? They continue to do so even though Justice Antonin Scalia, a foe of gay rights, wrote in Lawrence v. Texas: “What justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution”? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry”

Gov. Christie, pay attention here: The U.S. had this same debate for another ‘class’ of individuals until 1967 when the Court unanimously overturned laws of more than 20 states that prohibited interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. There is no logical argument to justify the inequality that exists today for same-sex couples.

The LGBT community has suffered through relentless oppression, violence and inequality under the law for long enough. It is time to change this country and bring the U.S. out of a puritanical mindset and really look at who is and who is not “destroying” the “sanctity” of marriage. Don’t you worry; I have a call into Newt’s… uhm… one, two, three, four, fi… No, uhm, yes, third mistress for more details about the definition of “sanctity” and “marriage”!


Edited by Jennifer Cusano.


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