As much as it kills me to say this - I have to agree with the National Organization for Marriage on something. Shocking, yes I know. Maggie just released a blog post where she states...
Here's the weirdest position of all that pro-gay marriage advocates have settled on: it's okay for the legislature to vote on gay marriage, but "unconscionable" for the people to do so.
I have actually been thinking about this and was going to write on it eventually. Maggie makes a great point; are LGBT right activists being hypocritical when we applaud legislators voting on gay marriage, yet at the same time if a voter referendum occurs we cry that "our rights as a minority are never supposed to put up to a majority vote".
Are not people voting on our rights either way? When does a vote become a suppression of a minority by the majority? Is it any way different because a smaller group (which still must reach a majority vote) is doing the voting?
What branch of government is designed to protect against the tyranny of the majority? Any reader of political theory would recognize that it is not the body elected by the people (the Legislative branch). The Founding Fathers even realized this when they stated in the Federalist Papers that the most dangerous branch to the liberty of the American people was the Legislative. You see, the legislative branch is still controlled by the majority; they are elected by the people of their state. The fact that it is a smaller body does not eliminate the overall majorities control. It is for this reason that the Constitution gives us an independent judiciary, a body whose job is to ensure that a majority is never tyrannizing a minority.
Though I will continue to be happy when states and cities give gays and lesbians the same rights that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, this revelation will ensure that I will not applaud too much. For if I applaud and am overjoyed at a legislative victory, I am giving my assent to the precedent that my rights can be voted on.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts...are we being hypocritical as the LGBT community to applaud one type of voting, but not the other?