Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Marry Who You Choose in California -- For Now

Since we have taken up this issue of the MCPS sex-education curriculum, we have found that it is interwoven with other issues where a certain rightward-leaning element is determined to impose its own values on the rest of the country. That is really the issue here, in Montgomery County, where the holier-than-thous cannot stand the thought that our kids would learn, in the public schools, that anyone behaves outside the bounds of their own narrow proscriptions.

Personal freedom is under attack everywhere you look, it seems. Like, can you believe that anybody really feels the federal government needs to pick anybody's marriage partner for them? Wouldn't you think that here in America you could just fall in love with someone and marry them, without asking the government if they meet the official criterion?

Ah, so here's this judge in California, where the voters said they want the state to make sure nobody marries anyone of their same sex. The law gets appealed, the case goes to this judge -- Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer -- and he says, strangely enough:
"It appears," he wrote, "that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage . . . to opposite-sex partners."

Of course, the "family values" crowd is outraged that a judge would rule in favor of the outrageous freedom to choose who to marry.
Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, which is battling same-sex marriage in several states, blasted Kramer's decision as "judicial arrogance."

"You've got one judge that thinks they know better than the 60 percent of Californians that voted" for the 2000 ballot initiative, Perkins said. "It underscores the need to rein in these rascals in robes with a national marriage amendment." Calif. Judge Backs Same-Sex Marriage: Ban Ruled Unconstitutional; Appeal Likely

Now, this is a fascinating argument, that everyone should do what the majority does. Granted, most people are straight, some people are creeped out by two guys kissing or whatever. OK ... so what? Ya gotta make a law against it? According to these guys, yes.

Let me point out, it is a judge's job to interpret the law in terms of its constitutionality. The whole reason this process exists -- this important process we call "checks and balances" -- is just so that the majority doesn't impose its own preferences on the rest of us. In common conversation, the name for this is "freedom." I know it sounds weird these days, but people have something called "rights." In America, you don't have to do whatever the majority does. It's called "liberty," and we'd better take it back pronto.

Of course this story is not ended. Somebody is going to have to contest this. If you just let people marry whoever they want, uh, they might choose somebody "the majority" doesn't approve of, which would lead immediately to the downfall of our society, I'm sure.


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