Friday, February 06, 2004

so here's bullshit

the washington post editorial page piously claims to endorse gay marriage but wags a finger at the "judicial arrogance" that is "forcing gay marriage down people's throats in undemocratic fashion."

first of all, i wonder, how could judges force something down people's throats in DEMOCRATIC fashion? by taking a vote? by taking turns?
that aside.

nothing makes me angrier in this debate than the argument that judges are somehow outside their rights when they make decisions based on precedent and evidence that change some detail about our society. my impression was that is exactly what they're paid and appointed to do. this kind of thing --
Given the moral and religious anxiety many people feel on the subject and the absence of clear constitutional mandates for gay marriage, judges ought to be showing more respect for elected officials trying to make this work through a political process.
-- is preposterous. judges should show respect for elected officials? i thought the legislative body was a separate and distinct entity for a reason.

politicians answer to the people. they can only be as radical as their consciences and purses allow. judges, however, have a responsibility to look forward, beyond the current political climate, and make strong, declarative decisions that pull our society forward. and hurrah for them. if judges in the 50s and 60s had bowed to that kind of pressure and waited to implement civil rights legislation until politicians/the country were "ready" for them, we'd still be living in a segregated country. well, a country even more segregated than the one we live in now.

like with civil rights legislation, of course there will opposition at first. that doesn't mean it's not good or just or, most importantly, the wave of the future.

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