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8 September 2005

Can they get their stories straight?

Eventful couple of days on the gay marriage front.

First, the Mass. attorney general certified a ballot petition yesterday. What this means is that opponents of gay marriage can now go out and collect just under 70,000 signatures and qualify a constitutional amendment for the 2008 state ballot.

Second, the California legislature sent a bill legalizing marriage between “two persons” to the governator, who has indicated that he will veto the bill.

Arnold noted in his announcement that he would veto the bill that he thinks that this issue should be left to the courts or to a ballot of the people. The first part of that statement is the exact opposite of what gay marriage opponents often advocate; they DON’T want the courts to decide, preferring to let legislatures or popular elections decide the question. And what are legislatures for, if not for representing the people (obviating the need for an election on every issue of public policy)?

This is obvious. No one wants to come out and say, “Gay people are less desrving of the right to make civil contracts like the rest of us, and we therefore prohibit them from the right of civil marriage.” So instead they engage in buck-passing, saying that the decision should be anywhere other than where it is, under the guise of being more “fair”, “proper”, or “legitimate.”

So what’s more fair, proper, or legitimate: courts, legislatures, mass ballots? Why?

And so some of my cards are on the table, I think initiative petitions are bad public policy, and the evidence suggests that they are more captive to “special interests” than the regular legislative and judicial processes.

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One Response to “Can they get their stories straight?”

  1. *Christopher Says:


    I come from the state that invented that program during the Progressive Era: The Oregon Plan they call it. And you know, I agree. Initiatives are bad public policy, especially those tied to funneling monies a certain way. They bind the hands of the legislators in doing their job in passing a budget and allocating funds. And then we get the whack jobs…