Sometimes the stragglers at the tail end of this slow march of progress need a boot to get them moving forward. When the legislatures haven't provided it, it has been the judiciary's job to deliver it instead, as marginalised groups were never meant to have no recourse against discriminatory practices, even if the will of the majority is to extend the codified biases in perpetuity. Just because something is popular doesn't make it right.Read the whole thing here.
And so came the howling about "activist judges". But in Maine, it was not left to a judge to decide the fate of same-sex marriage, but instead to the state legislature. And then – what a surprise – that wasn't good enough, either. It still had to be brought before Maine's voters, so that every straight person in the state would be allowed to cast their own opinion on whether their gay neighbours should be allowed their rights, which is only fair. On some planet where "fair" means "deferential to the tyranny of the majority so as not to hurt their precious wee feelings".
This country is not, and never has been, well-served by leaving the civil rights of the minority in the hands of the majority. Putting that up to a vote which is subject to deeply held prejudice is ruling not by democracy, but by mob mentality.
Posted by Melissa McEwan at Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I've got a new piece up at The Guardian's CifA: