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Jeremiah's not a bullfrog, but his civic views are bullcrapola

by Jeremy Hooper

Jeremy-DysThis fundamental misrepresentation of our constitutional representative democracy/federal republic comes courtesy of the West Virginia Family Policy Council's Jeremiah Dys:

This summer, legislators heard from a variety of experts on the topic at a standing-room-only hearing. At that hearing, former Delegate Carrie Webster indicated that it was essentially the job of the Legislature to protect West Virginians from themselves. She posed an interesting hypothetical question to me. "What if," she said, "we took a poll next year that indicated 90 percent of West Virginians wanted to vote to reinstitute slavery. Should we let them?"

Setting aside the apples-and-oranges nature of such a question for the moment, and putting aside that the founders did not implement the voting process to be dependent upon which subject matters individual legislators morally approve - and the fact that, in reality, West Virginians would soundly reject slavery if put to a vote - there's a more foundational question, which I could ask of Delegate Webster herself: "What if next year we took a poll in your district, and 90 percent of the people there want to vote for you. Should we let them?"

This is a good question because the very process that West Virginia voters use to put lawmakers in office is being denied to the same voters when it comes to deciding an issue with which many lawmakers are at odds with the will of the people.
Jeremiah G. Dys: Voters should rule on marriage[Charleston Gazette]

Okay, if we want to talk about apples and oranges: How about Jeremy's direct comparison between a vote on a minority's civil rights and voting on an elected delegate's term of office?! Because the latter is a key to our representative democracy/constitutional republic, while the former runs contrary to the same!! It is not only offensive to LGBT people to suggest that the process by which we elect our representation is the same process that some would use to vote against our marriages -- it's also downright offensive to the founding principles of this nation! Forget malic acid vs. citric -- Dys' comparison is actually more like apples and torches.

But if we did want to make a direct comparison, and consider a hypothetical in which a poll assured us that voters would side with marriage equality at a 90% margin: Well guess what? We would STILL oppose such a vote! Because the bottom line is that our liberty under the law is not provisional! We are owed access to equal civil marriage, and we are demanding nothing less! We're not asking for our voting friends to give it to us, and we're not asking our voting foes to take it away. We're DEMANDING that our government sort it all out in the swiftest way possible. This can mean that our elected lawmakers remedy the inequality in their states, eventually leading the federal government to do the same, or it can mean that our judiciary uses their informed knowledge of the documents that govern this land to (accurately) pave the way for fair treatment -- both the legislative and judicial tracts are in line with this nation's system of governance. But it NEVER, EVER, EVER means a public vote in which a 50%+1 margin uses their personal (often faith-based) whims to weigh in on our ring fingers! We are a nation of people, not ruling mobs.

What this really highlights is the crucial need to put civics education back into public schooling. Perhaps if our organized opposition was not so focused on the supposed "indoctrination" attached to Heather and her two mommies, they would join us in remedying this actual public school issue!

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Your thoughts

Radical anti-gay activist Dys is advocating religious tyranny, not democracy. And that's unamerican. As you correctly point out, it is not up to the people of the US to vote on fundamental rights for other citizens. "All men are created equal" we are promised. Not just those who support the counterfeit-religious belief that taking away rights from gay taxpayers is "love."

Posted by: Michael | Feb 8, 2010 10:12:35 AM

"Setting aside the apples-and-oranges nature of such a question for the moment,"

two things: 1. Every single time a bigot has it pointed out that they're using the exact same tactics as the racists used they claim that was completely different. I've never heard an actual explanation that doesn't boil down to "They weren't gay" but they'll still keep insisting racial discrimination can not be compared in any way.

2. I think one of the reasons the bigots don't want to acknowledge their similarities to the racists of the past who also demanded 'the will of the people' be obeyed is because they know alot of their followers are racists who WOULD like to ban interracial marriage again.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Feb 8, 2010 1:34:13 PM

No bigot ever thinks they're a bigot. There's always some perfectly good reason why what they think and say isn't bigotry, despite its having all the hallmarks of it. See, in the past, bigots never really believed in what they said. They secretly knew they were wrong. And that's why THIS isn't bigotry: because they REALLY BELIEVE what they're saying and they totally know they are right. Therefore, not bigotry. Perfectly obvious.

Just writing that made my head hurt.

Posted by: Aconite | Feb 8, 2010 7:02:08 PM

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