Monday, October 20, 2014

Jan Brewer Is Wrong: Same-Sex Marriage Cannot Be Voted Upon

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona is unhappy that U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ruled in favor of marriage equality in her state. She stated, "It is not the role of the judiciary to determine that same-sex marriages should be allowed. Historically and traditionally, that power belongs to the states, and to the people. If society wants to recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, that decision should be made through our elected representatives or at the ballot – not the courts." Jan Brewer is wrong.

"States' rights" is the same argument that was used by segregationists in their resistance to full civil rights for African Americans. Rights, however, are inalienable; they are a legal matter that cannot be decided by popular vote. Further, minority rights must be protected from the tyranny of the majority under the principle of equal justice under the law. No one reasonable today would consider putting interracial marriage up for a vote. Voting on same-sex marriage is equally unjustifiable. Same-sex marriage can only be decided in the courts-not through a ballot. Arizona apparently has a governor who doesn't understand this.


Michael J. Mand said...

Actually, Brewer's first statement is actually correct. (The rest...not so much.) It should not be necessary for the judiciary to determe that same-sex marriages should be allowed. As I have said in the past, I am not personally in favor of same-sex marriages. But that is my opinion; and that opinion belongs only to me. I have no right to impose my beliefs on others, unless, that is, the issue affects me personally. The issue of same-sex marriage does not meet that requirement. My solution: I will not enter into a same-sex committed relationship other than friendship. You do whatever you want with or without my approval. You don't need it. In the end, I believe, once we accept our differences, we will wonder what all the fuss was about. Remember, we once argued about whether people who don't own property should be allowed to vote. (Not to mention women!)

Jeff Tone said...

I don't think that Brewer's first statement is correct. Whether necessary or not, it is indeed the role of the judiciary to determine the legality of same-sex marriage. Rights cannot be determined by the ballot.