Thursday, November 5, 2009

Maine Majority Votes Against Marriage Rights Of Gay Minority

Following the upholding of Proposition 1, Maine has become the latest state to reject marriage equality by repealing a law recognizing the right of gays to wed. Worse than the outcome of the vote was the fact that a vote was held at all, in which the majority was allowed to decide whether to grant civil rights to the gay minority. By that logic, voters, and not the Supreme Court in 1967, should have been allowed to decide the fate of anti-interracial marriage laws.

The injustice of such a ballot question was put by Jennifer C. Pizer, marriage project director of Lambda Legal: “They tend to marginalize the group that is being targeted and inflame people’s passions in a way that is at best divisive and at worst terribly cruel. Our founders did not intend to allow a majority to take basic rights from a minority.”

When the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional, it invoked the "duty to ensure equal protection of the law." Gay marriage should be treated as the legal issue it is, not a popularity contest. As such, the courts and state legislatures are the proper forum for addressing this ongoing blatant injustice.

No comments: