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01/16/2009

What's right? Marriage equality. What's far-right? Majority tyranny.

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images 200803031640-1-1Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg, who you may remember for once expressing a desire to export homosexuals from America, is now questioning the possibility that we gay equal rights proponents will be able to achieve marriage parity in all six New England states by the year 2012. One News Now quotes Sprigg like so:

"There remains no state where same-sex marriage has ever been adopted through the democratic process," [Peter Sprigg] points out, "and yet these homosexual activists seem optimistic that they will be able to achieve that in four more New England states just in the next four years."

Sprigg believes activists are overestimating public support for such a radical change. GLAD claims the "Six by Twelve" initiative is not a result of the Prop. 8 loss, but a celebration of the fifth anniversary of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that legalized homosexual marriage in Massachusetts, a case won by GLAD lawyers.

Same-sex 'marriage' enthusiasts target New England [ONN]

But here's the thing that Peter Sprigg is overestimating: The role of public opinion in civil rights fights! Would we win in all six New England states if we had to put minority rights up to majority opinion? No, not in all of them. But that is not the scenario. In some states we are going to the courts, while in others we are going to the legislature. In two of these New England states, we already have civil unions, and are hoping to fully bump them up to an equal marriage system. And we are not waiting until we have 50+% of public opinion on our side -- we are pushing for the rights that we are rightfully owed, regardless of whether or not a majority have yet to realize it. Mob rule might work for chasing vampires out of town, but the torches and pitchforks will never chase us out of the equal marriage arena!!

What scares folks like Peter Sprigg is that ever positive legislative development, every equality-granting court decision, and every conversation we get to have about why our rights shouldn't be subject to majority tyranny (and that's the one plus from Prop 8 -- that these conversations are put in the national consciousness) helps bring public opinion over to our side. The ONLY thing they have to cling to is the so-called "will of the people," with their safety coming in the fact that they, through their campaigns of "protect the family" disinformation, have been able to dupe a larger number into supporting discrimination. That's why they hate when these things go to the courts, and hate when progressive lawmakers lead us forward on this issue: Because they won't stagnancy, or, better yet, regression. And if possible, they would like to put a freeze on the ability of people to turn 18 and obtain the right to vote, as the young people are on our side by a VAST margin.

While a bit of a cliché, it's both accurate and fair to say that history is littered with situations in which public opinion is still on the wrong side of an issue even after that issue is decided by judges and/or lawmakers. It is the same with marriage equality. We will win this, hopefully with a majority of our fellows coming around to see that our worth is something to be both valued and respected. But even if the public feet-dragging continues, we will not drag our own. We will be peaceful-yet-fervent eye-openers, not passive-and-timid victims of our yet-to-be-enlightened times!

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Your thoughts

I think basically they are afraid of LGBT people achieving equality and respect because if that happens they might have to rethink what the bible has to say on the matter. And once that happens they might realize that it's really just a badly written and terribly edited book.

Assholes like Sprigg are a dime a dozen. He doesn't get the basic concept of protecting a minority from the tyranny of the majority. Too many big words I suppose.

Posted by: John Ozed | Jan 16, 2009 10:52:05 AM

Exactly, just like the fact that Obama's parents marriage was ILLEGAL in 16 states still when he was born. MISCENAGATION was against the law! You would hope that would make him more understanding, and in a way I think it does because he and Valerie Jarrett were raised in areas without racial prejudice. Actually in Hawaii, there was/is prejudice against 'haolis' whites... Just as by 2050 the haolis will be the MINORITY here in the lower 48 too!

Yes, I think the 'loss' of PROP H8 is becoming a bigger win each day. PS I got notice from Calif Surpreme Court that there were 15 Amicus Curiae Briefs filed yesterday. Labor and Council of Churches and Jewish and others 'in support of petitioners.' (e.g. us) and Margie Reilly, lawyer James J Lynch,Church of Messiah,Michael J.McDermott (own counsel) 'in support of interveners.'

Posted by: LOrion | Jan 16, 2009 1:52:52 PM

Hello, I have always loved your blog. I'm an ELCA Lutheran in full support of marriage equality, and I blog about it over here www.sokatie.com if you want to check it out.

Good luck to you, and one day we will prevail!

Posted by: Katie | Jan 18, 2009 8:34:54 PM

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