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October 26, 2006

“gosh, grandpa, were there really three branches of government back when you were growing up?”

Some of you are old enough to remember a time when movies cost a nickel, children could walk the streets alone in safety, and state legislatures were in charge of legislating.

Today, movies cost nine bucks ($47 including a small drink and popcorn), children can't walk the halls of Congress alone in safety, and (in New Jersey at least) the courts are now in charge of legislating, mandating that a law be written within 180 days establishing either gay marriage or equivalent rights under a civil union  (although in fairness, they are allowing the legislature to write the law all by themselves and even vote on it, in a kind of adult version of “playing pretend.”)

Long-time readers probably already suspect that we here at Planet Moron don’t much care who marries whom, whether it’s men wanting to marry men, women wanting to marry women, or  Thetans wanting to marry Katie Holmes.

However, we do have a kind of nostalgic affection for elected legislators doing most, if possibly not all, of the actual legislating.

Some will argue that the court is merely upholding the constitution and in fact, in its decision it specifically argues that:

“The Court holds that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed same-sex couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the civil marriage statutes.”

Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey state constitution reads:

“All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.”

What?  You don’t see it? Why, it’s right there in the penumbra, where all the really important parts of constitutions are kept. So important in fact, that the framers of these constitutions DARED NOT ACTUALLY WRITE THEM DOWN!

Because, you know, who knows what would have happened then.

As “luck” would have it, we have a constitutional gay marriage ban amendment on the ballot this year here in Virginia. Those who are fighting the ban marshal five arguments against it: 

  1. Gay marriage is already banned, so why bother? 
  2. It would ban gay marriage, so, you know, just in case point number one changes (which it won’t) you don’t want to do this (even though it doesn’t matter) because it could some day (but really never). 
  3. Hey, you can still get married in church, it’s not like that’s going to change. 
  4. It’s unfair! 
  5. Everyone else thinks it’s unfair so you should too.

So, as you can see, the New Jersey decision probably wasn’t the shot in the arm these folks needed.

There are those who claim that the New Jersey ruling is just another example of liberal judges out of control. Liberal? Is that what you call the GOP’s biggest “get out the vote” booster this election cycle?

Forget Karl Rove. If Republicans hold on to Congress, call the New Jersey Supreme Court “The Architect.”

J.

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October 26, 2006 at 03:11 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink

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