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06/15/2007

They the people: FOF gets Wite-Out happy

by Jeremy Hooper

This is the image that Focus on the Family is using to highlight their coverage of yesterday's Massachusetts decision:

 Images 07 06-14-07

Okay, well, first of all -- It's not really an accurate photo, as the Massachusetts state constitution's preamble doesn't being with the words "We The people," but rather "The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government..." However, we'll let that one slide, as there is a much bigger issue to address. That issue: Does Focus not consider gays and their allies to be "people" as well!? After all, the "We the people" parts of constitutional preambles are dealing with the populace of that particular state or federal district. By changing the word to "lawmakers," they are presenting the idea that the legislature acted in a manner serving only themselves. However, by voting the way they did, the lawmakers (elected by "the people") actually worked to preserve what they feel to be the fair and just way to serve ALL of the citizens. They were working not just for themselves and not just for gays, but also those who understand (a) that the rights of a minority must be protected, not left to a public referendum; and (b) that this particular proposal would've run counter to the principles of both their state and nation!

Contrary to what seems to be Focus on the Family's belief, "the people" spectrum is not limited only to heterosexual, Republican creationists. "The people" also includes that sizable, influential portion of America that they typically write off as gays, liberals, evolutionists, Hollywood types, atheists, secular progressives, communists, Rosie O'Donnell, abortionists, or the media. By voting the way they did, the Mass. legislature protected the gay community in particular from having their rights trampled upon. However, they also protected the "pro-family" crowd from themselves!

Massachusetts Lawmakers Silence Voters on Marriage [FOF Citizenlink]
*EARLIER: Tony Perkins on the same situation [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

Plus by referencing the US Constitution they ignore the fact this is Republic we live in, not a democracy. The People express their wishes through their elected representatives, not directly. That's Government 101 but apparently these folks skipped that class. If the People of Massachusetts are that outraged and want to ban same-sex marriage, they are free to vote out those wanting it and put in representatives who will vote to ban it. Unless that does happen, the People have indeed spoken in the manner this country was founded upon: by vote of the Legislature.

Posted by: John | Jun 15, 2007 12:45:05 PM

I live in California. The legislature two years ago, voted to grant marriage rights to gay couples, although it had been on a ballot in 2000. However, the courts, at the ninth and eleventh district, ruled that the ballot initiative WAS based on animus, and that the measure itself didn't PRESERVE marriage, and there was no 'third party' damage to other married couples or their intentions for marriage.

And the ban of marriage DID have adverse affects on gay couples, and in the absence of legal marriage, created OTHER and ALTERNATIVES to marriage that could be detrimental.

The courts then gave over the issue to legislative vote, and they voted two years ago, to allow gay marriage by a two vote margin.

And the governor vetoed it, saying that the decision should rest in the courts. And that he'd abide by that decision.

Now the legislature has voted in favor AGAIN, this time by a much larger margin.
And again, the governor has vowed to veto it.

In other states, the reach of anti marriage legislation, disqualified powers of attorney, personal wills and medical directives-and in some places, unmarried heterosexuals were affected.
However, the law wasn't ENFORCED against those couples, mostly because of common law protections of their relationships.

Anyone who is examining these laws could conclude, that regardless of the law....the anti gay don't CARE in what way or how unfairly these laws are created or enforced, just so gay people have NO options whatsoever.

This comes finally down to the protections regarding the tyranny of a majority. A majority that cannot claim or prove any compromise to THEIR options for marriage, nor any damage in abstraction, to the institution itself done by gay couples exclusively.
And ONLY gay PEOPLE, in all areas of law, ARE excluded.

Indeed, this is the first time, since black slavery in America...has an entire class of people been banned from the option and the protection of their children, by marriage. And this ban is based on a SINGLE characteristic exclusive to this group. However universal and indigenous to human life.

And this is the first time, that a class of people are KEPT from performing the FULL duties and responsibilities to their significant others and children.

Even as it's impossible to prevent the dissolution of a marriage or the abandonment at will of spouse and child, these laws have reversed the right to a legally protected consenting adult and children.

Is it just me, or is this a supreme example of why this country was founded in the first place?
Or faith in equality and justice has served it better than intractable religious philosophy?

Evidently, no matter how gay people conduct their lives, the laws are created to deliberately strain and compromise that life, instead of enabling the citizen to enhance their responsibilities.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Jun 15, 2007 1:42:23 PM

This ridiculous position by Focus on the Family reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw years ago: The "Moral Majority" is neither.

Posted by: Robin Reardon | Jun 15, 2007 5:08:43 PM

The framers of the Massachusetts Constitution determined that if a constitutional amendment could not gain the support of 25% of the legislators in two consecutive years, the proposed amendment was not worth a vote. Apparently, Focus on the Family believes that any amendment that they support is worth a vote, even if it can't gain a paltry 50 votes in the legislature. How very undemocratic of them.

Posted by: JonboyDC | Jun 15, 2007 7:36:56 PM

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