It is not for the state’s supreme court justices to decide whether same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry.
State justices were never elected to their posts, and it is not for them to legislate willy-nilly the interests of?Californians. Even if these justices were elected officials, they could not enact laws for intentions that have again come into question. This cannot be allowed to happen a second time. A powerful few cannot again dictate what the majority does not want.
People will talk more about gay marriage in a few weeks when same-sex couples engage in what will be sham nuptials. Whether marriage between two individuals of the same gender is morally right will be debated by talking heads on TV. Life is not so clear-cut, and two sides will make obvious cases for or against same-sex marriage that are easy to defend.
What the focus of the same-sex marriage debate should be is whether people with power should be allowed at the table. Remember, the fiasco began when San Francisco officials spit on the law when they married same-sex couples in 2004. Four thousand couples happily wed only to have their legal unions voided, breaking their hearts.
New York Gov. David A. Patterson recently decided his state would recognize same-sex married couples from other states. In other words, it is only a matter of time before voters in New York void the legal marriages of newcomers to the state.
What government officials should remember is that they are not paid to champion issues they are not capable of handling. The will of the people should not be superseded by beliefs of public officials, who should keep quiet and fill out paperwork. A recent poll indicates most Americans agree. This is why the new state initiative to ban same-sex marriage is important.
To allow officials and talking TV heads to twist the debate into a matter of right or wrong will only result in more uncertainty. After all, moral judgments on social issues change with the wind, so the present will of voters is more practical to consider. Framing the debate in any other way allows government officials to sanction and void what they have made sham weddings.
Thomas Paine said, “That government is best which governs least,” which means people should be able to govern themselves. College students especially should champion making decisions about issues that will have the most impact on their lifetimes. The interests of a powerful few should not determine same-sex marriages, new campus fees, or student body presidents.
Walls of ignorance must be brought down through discussion and awareness of the humanity of all members of the community. Though these walls are sturdy and do not give easily, they will eventually come down and allow most people to vote accordingly.
Same-sex couples should not settle for empty and intermittent victories for their legal rights to pursue happiness.