are rights unalienable or democratically bestowed?

Prop 8 the constitutional ban of same gender marriage in California is being reviewed by California’s State Supreme Court.  The question that is being debated is who determines what is a right?  —The majority of the people or some other authority like inherent human rights.    The ban was voted in by 52% of the voting population making null and void 18,000 marriages that were committed when the Supreme Court ruled that the legislative ban against same gender marriage was unconstitutional. 

It’s an interesting question and one that could have dire consequences across the country.  Could there be a constitutional amendment in a state that wants to ban say immigrants from working and residing in their state? I am talking about immigrants that have visas.   There is such a groundswell of anti-immigrant fever in Mississippi and Alabama that such a change in the constitution could be voted in by a simple majority of the voting population.  It sounds preposterous.  But that is the argument being made in California, the majority decides what is a right. 

Bigotry should never be considered constitutional.  Nor should racism.  Yet that is the argument in California because 52% of the people voted with their bigotry.   They voted against the the religious rights of those faiths, including Unitarian Universalists,  who believe that all marriages are to be honored and blessed regardless of gender. 

A majority vote does not make it ethically right.  It just means that bigotry is alive and well.  If California’s State Supreme Court rules in favor of this constitutional ammendment then it will be the first time that equality rights were rescinded in America.   I know that there are states that have passed constitutional ammendments against same gender marriage but those states never recognized the human right to love whomever in the first place.  So, the states weren’t rescinding they were simply adding more barriers to codify their bigotry.   What other rights will be rescinded by majority vote?

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One Comment

  1. I believe that legal rights are given by the Constitution. Nobody is banning homosexual marriages. Proposition 8 simply states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” This means that the traditional definition is the only one the state will legally recognize.

    This does not mean that homosexuals cannot have “marriage” ceremonies or make vows to each other. While some may find such things abhorrent, these activities are not “banned” or “illegal.” No right has been taken away.

    All this aside, however, I really feel that the passage of Prop 8 in California had less to do with homosexuals wanting to marry each other than it did with people feeling indignant about having the liberal agenda shoved down their throat (pardon the pun) by liberal, activist judges.

    If you want a brand new Constitutional right, you shouldn’t get it by going through the courts and having activist judges “discover” it for you and put it into law. You should go through the democratic process and have your state congressmen and state senators vote on it, and have the governor sign it into law.

    When this system fails or is circumvented, as was the case in California, it seems to make sense to let the people speak for themselves, regarding how they want things to be.

    This is not codified “bigotry,” it is an effort by the majority to protect what they perceive to be their traditional culture and values. You may disagree with others’ views, but disrespecting them by twisting their views and scorning them is intellectually dishonest and intolerant.

    The irony, here, is that liberals decry “intolerance,” while failing to tolerate opposing points of view and decrying those points of view as “unethical.”

    Noel: Interesting response. I have decided to respond about this as a post. Thanks for writing.


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