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ISSUE 117 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/5/2003

Mass. Court fuels gay marriage debate: Judges trump ballots

By Julie Gunderson
Sports Editor

Friday, December 5, 2003

The new ploy of subverting democracy in a mad dash effort to institute liberal policies from the decrees of kangaroo courts is fast becoming a favorite maneuver for America’s far-left. It therefore, came as no surprise when the Massachusetts’ Supreme Court was even considering the issue of gay marriage and then ruling with overwhelming consent (in a 4-3 decision) to radically redefine the institution of marriage by allowing same-sex marriages. It was a clear and decisive victory for gay rights activists. The American people had definitely spoken … oops, I mean four justices on a liberal court in a liberal state that holds less than one-fortieth of the American population.

So what if the Court’s historic decision discounted history altogether? After all, the institution of marriage predates the law and the Constitution. But who cares if every civilization since the beginning of time has always defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman? Such a restrictive definition undoubtedly does not fit within the bounds of our progressive society. In the name of enlightenment, perhaps the court would be willing to lift all legal limitations on marriage, such as allowing for both heterosexuals and homosexuals to marry children, close blood relatives, people who are already married, and multiple partners.

It’s clear that America’s push for progress cannot be trusted to the common man; therefore, new-wave liberalism now declares populous movements passé. All that is needed to correct today’s societal ills is a good lawyer and a sympathetic judge. No need for ballot initiatives, grassroots advocacy, or political accountability. Yeah, sure American civil rights activists of the 1960s built up a groundswell of public support, marched by the thousands on Washington, and stormed into Congress demanding that politicians take notice. However, in this age of newfound justice, gay rights activists need do nothing of the sort. They have at their disposal something much more powerful – the no hassle, no majority needed, quick fix guarantee of the judicial system.

The bumper sticker slogan “takin’ it to the people,” which at one time was used to mobilize millions of Americans, has worn off. In fact, when it comes to deciding many social issues liberals would rather take “it” away from the people rather than take “it” to them. Nevermind that 61 percent of Americans are against legalizing gay marriage: the Massachusetts Court ruled oblivious to public opinion. Who cares that 60 percent of Americans are in support of the measures taken by Bush to ensure our nation’s security? There has to be a judge out there somewhere that disagrees with the Patriot Act. So what if 70 percent of Americans supported banning partial-birth abortions and Congress (which just happens to be what liberals fear the most – an elected body) passed it? Bouncing around from court to court until a favorable opinion is rendered is a much better way of making a law.

With its ruling, the Massachusetts Supreme Court made it obvious that they were in the law making business. The four justices arrogantly asserted themselves above our country’s legislative process by hamstringing the state’s legislators. The Court’s opinion shut down the compromise alternative for allowing gay civil unions, and the ruling left legislators no other option but to ratify what the Court demanded, regardless of their constituents’ feelings. The four renegade justices went further in their ruling than any state has ever gone before. Both state courts in Hawaii and Alaska approved gay marriages, but neither so blatantly undermined the democratic process. Consequently, both states’ legislatures wound up passing constitutional amendments restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.

If gay rights activists are so convinced that same-sex marriage is the right social policy for America’s future, why, then, aren’t they out trying to convince Americans of this. If their goal is to go about changing a centuries-old institution, it would seem logical that they would employ the ageless art of democratic persuasion to change their minds. Why then must this social change be delievered through judicial fiat? The truth is that judicial tyranny is the only way activists can impose same-sex marriage as the law of the land. Virtually no major national politician or major political party supports the idea, including all of the Democratic presidential frontrunners. Even liberal progressive icon Howard Dean does not subscribe to the idea. What are activists bound to do if Congress succeeds in trumping the Massachusetts Court’s out-of-the-mainstream edict with a national constitutional amendment preserving the sanctity of marriage? They’ll probably react the only way they know how – by calling a lawyer.

Sports Editor Julie Gunderson is a junior from Omaha, Neb. She majors in integrative studies.

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