It’s been a lot of fun to listen to the various reactions, all around Boston and in the media, to yesterday’s affirmation of gays’ right to marry. As you’d expect, the most amusing group of people has been the nutjob representatives of the religious right, ready and willing to decry the “pro-homosexual agenda of the Court” that aims to “knock out the underpinnings of modern society as we know it.” (I actually heard some hysterical intolerant utter this phrase on the radio today.) There’s plenty of fear and loathing coming out of the far right, predicting the downfall of Massachusetts, America, and the entire Western way of life if a ruling stands which lets gay people enjoy the same rights as their straight brethren.

While the fear generally makes me laugh, the people that make me cringe are those who try to convince otherwise reasonable people of their ways with arguments that are based on a fabulously flawed understanding of the American system of government. For example, I’ve heard a handful of opponents of gay marriage say that the Court “ignored the will of the people of Massachusetts with its ruling,” as if any court’s purpose was to interpret the law according to public opinion. (The fact that there are two women and a black man on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is a fine testament to the fact that past courts ignored public opinon and gave people who weren’t white men the right to vote, as well as own property, receive public money, and attend school.) Others claim that “law shouldn’t be made in the courtroom,” as if interpreting the law is the same as creating it. (The fact that the Court threw the issue back to the legislature is a good demonstration of the differences between the two branches.)

Have as jackassed a perspective on the rights of man as you want, but don’t try to blame views that don’t mesh with your own on an overexuberant judiciary; a major part of the true foundation of this country has always been the existence of a branch of government that’s concerned more with the rights of the people than with their opinions.




• Posted by: TheBrad on Nov 19, 2003, 10:40 PM
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