Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Congratulations, Maine!

(CNN)~Same-sex marriage became legal in Maine on Wednesday as Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill less than an hour after the state legislature approved it.

It looks like the close-mindedness* of California('s Mormon Church) has been overshadowed by the East Coast once again. This makes four: Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa have already legalized gay marriage, and Vermont has passed a law making it legal in September.

California's High Court is, thankfully, scrutinizing Proposition 8 to see if its discriminatory nature is constitutional or not (it isn't). Hopefully soon all 50 States will break away from their discriminatory past.

*Closemindedness refers to the discriminatory nature of Proposition 8, not to religious beliefs.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/06/maine.same.sex.marriage/index.html

18 comments:

bluepitbull said...

James,

It's dumb shit like that which negates all of the smart things that you say. There was no need to preface anything with "closed minded".

The prop was put to a vote in CA. and was voted down. If it passed in Maine after a vote, cool. If it was more legislation from the bench, it was wrong. That's the way things are supposed to work. We vote, majority wins.

You calling it closed minded is just your opinion.

James' Muse said...

Not necessarily true, Pitbull.

Majority vote will always leave the minority in the cold. The judicial branch is supposed to look at existing laws and see if that fits in precedent and the Constitution. We have ruled that discrimination is wrong before.

Discrimination in any form is close minded, Bluepitbull. Same for race as well as sexual orientation.

This is separate, however, from the question of religious marriage. Churches can do anything they want within their church.

But as a state institution it should not be denied to any humans. Denying it is discriminatory by definition, and therefore closeminded.

bluepitbull said...

That is the most poisoned look at a democratic vote I've seen. Majority wins. Legislating from the bench is wrong. It's not really discrimination unless you are looking to establish them as a separate race or religion.

One of the key problems of acceptance in the gay community is that it seeks to be a sort of subculture. It is not. And, although it is a lifestyle, it doesn't mean that they should be entitled to more rights than others.

If the majority votes against it, it doesn't mean they are closed minded. Many if not most religions are very descriptive in their views on homosexuality. Many people just find it wrong and aren't afraid to say as much. I myself have gay friends and don't care about the issue at all. What I do care about is the will of the people being followed, as do most Americans.

James' Muse said...

I have no problem with religions not agreeing with it and not allowing it within their institutions...

Its not legislating from the bench. Certain laws can be unconstitutional. Many laws have been ruled unconstitutional. California, for example, passed a law that made it illegal for homeless people to sleep outside. The Court decided that was unconstitutional because it discriminated against a group of people (and there just wasn't anywhere else for them to go)...that's the courts' job. It isn't legislation if they look at existing laws and rule upon them. Legislation from the bench is different. That would be creating new laws, like what happened with Roe v. Wade, where the new law took the whole issue out of the hands of the States.

Asking to be allowed to marry isn't asking for more rights than others. They are asking for equality. This reminds me of back in the 1950s when interracial couples could be arrested. It was discrimination, plain and simple. It was close minded.

Remember, just over a hundred years ago the will of the people was to enslave other people. We live in a Democracy, yes, but with checks and balances. By only using majority rule, one could argue that with majority rule we could do anything, including bring back slavery.

James' Muse said...

Also, I changed my post to show more of what I was referring to when I said "close-mindedness".

Dave Miller said...

Ah, but blue, we do not live in a direct democracy, as many believe.

Our country was not founded on majority rules, as the founders feared the electorate was not smart enough to vote against their personal interests when it would benefit the majority.

The "elitist" founders actually feared what was then called direct democracy mob rule.

bluepitbull said...

Voting = majority rules. It is very much legislation from the bench.

I don't know who Dave Miller is, but I assure you that I won't be reading anything else on here if his lame comments stay. Elitist?

James, you're more objective than that.

bluepitbull said...

The idea that the supreme court of any state can ignore the will of the people is infuriating to me. Anytime you force legislation, there is backlash. It will come, and it shouldn't.

James' Muse said...

Blue, just because you don't agree doesn't mean its "lame." Also, I don't delete comments.

He wasn't being literal by saying "elitist."

He was pointing out that we aren't, and have never been, a direct democracy. The whole point of having a judicial branch is about looking at legislation and judging it. Otherwise, why do we have the Supreme Court?

Majority cannot always rule, Blue. As I pointed out, the majority has ruled some pretty silly things in the past, i.e. slavery, jim crow laws, not giving women the vote, etc. The Judicial branch was set up to "legislate" as you call it, by interpreting existing laws in light of the Constitution and ruling. By ruling on a law passed by the people and deeming it constitutional or not is exactly what the judicial branch is supposed to do.

James' Muse said...

The "will of the people" is still subject to the Consitution. The Judicial Branch, both federally and by the state, is set up to keep the will of the people within the Constitution.

James' Muse said...

Blue, I know you don't like wikipedia, but here is an article that mirrors what we were taught in history class:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers#United_States:_three_branches

It describes, quite well, what the duties of the three Federal branches of the government are, which the states all mirror.

Judging a law unconstitutional, such as a ban on same-sex marriage, is not "legislating from the bench" and is within the scope of what the Judicial Branch was set up to be. One of those duties given to the Judicial branch of the US government is to judge whether a law is unconsititutional or not.

bluepitbull said...

James,

As asked I read the article. Wouldn't want to be a hypocrite. Here is what the Judicial Branches responsibilities are:

* Determines which laws Congress intended to apply to any given case
* Determines whether a law is unconstitutional
* Determines how Congress meant the law to apply to disputes
* Determines whether what Congress has legislated is unconstitutional
* Determines how a law acts to determine the disposition of prisoners
* Determines how a law acts to compel testimony and the production of evidence
* Determines how laws should be interpreted to assure uniform policies in a top-down fashion via the appeals process, but gives discretion in individual cases to low-level judges. (The amount of discretion depends upon the standard of review, determined by the type of case in question.)
* Polices its own members
* Is never immune to arbitrary dismissal by Congress through impeachment proceedings

The legislative branch enacts laws. Therefore it would still have to go back through the legislative process.

James' Muse said...

Exactly, but ruling that a law is unconstitutional (such as Proposition 8) would be within their scope. Then a new law could go through their legislation that is constitutional.

bluepitbull said...

Well, then that still stands my first point. The judicial system may rule on a point of law, but still has to be ratified in congress. But, good catch. And I'm not always averse to wikipedia. I just think that their mission statement says alot about the people and they are biased about everything.

James' Muse said...

I still think that not allowing couples to be married (by the state) based on race or sexual orientation or anything else is discriminatory and therefore closeminded.

On the same token, I do not think the State should tell Churches who they can and can't marry. Within their walls, if they do not wish to marry a homosexual couple based on their historical values thats okay.

What I am referring to is the state institution, tax breaks, etc. The legal part should not be restricted just because some people are offended religiously. Thats another reason why we have separation of church and state.

bluepitbull said...

James, if you've read any of my earlier stuff, I am not against Gay Marriage.

The reason that many people don't want this is simple. The next special interest group that comes along will want their union recognized. Men and chickens? Women and horses? NAMBLA? From that perspective, I understand their worries.

James' Muse said...

The difference here is that it is two humans. Human rights. And jumping from two humans wanting their union recognized to interspecies is just ridiculous. Those same arguments were made against letting white people marry blacks, because they likened blacks to animals. Likening homosexual unions to bestiality is just plain ridiculous and an invalid fear, bordering on hysteria.

Plus bestiality is illegal in the first place.

James' Muse said...

Ok, so I just googled NAMBLA and immediately regret it. Sickos. All of them. Damn.

But the difference is that NAMBLA is trying to legalize pedophilia...and gay marriage is trying to legalize a marriage contract between two legally consenting partners.