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Religion aside, what's the big beef against gay marriage?
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1922

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote

Quote:
However, ballot initiatives specifically call upon the electorate to exercise direct democracy......otherwise such initiatives are pointless.


Yes, but still subject to rulings on Constitutionality by the courts as are laws (as schandler pointed out) such as a health care mandate.

In Colorado, we actually passed a referendum by popular vote back in the 90's that allowed discrimination based on sexual preference. This was because the electorate was convinced that if the referendum did not pass, gays would be allowed status as a minority group. As you might guess, a fairly conservative State Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional.

As Dan pointed out, that is why our system of checks and balances helps maintain the level of rights we enjoy.
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DanWeiss



Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 1928
Location: Connecticut, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
However, ballot initiatives specifically call upon the electorate to exercise direct democracy......otherwise such initiatives are pointless.


Not true. Direct democracy lacks constitutional jurisprudence. As such, our republic retains a check on any form of legislation, no matter the initiating source. Again, separation of powers. For example, even a successful ballot initiative declaring a state religion would be rendered unenforceable by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Majority view simply cannot be accepted as sufficient for all forms of legislation. Thankfully, our governments in America are structured to prevent mob rule.

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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2551

PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how much support you will receive for the proposition that ballot initiatives are not direct democracy. That is precisely what they are. Through ballot initiatives the electorate can directly change or create a law at a local or state level rather than relying on their elected representatives to do so. I do not regard that orderly and direct expression of the will of the people to be "mob rule". Of course any such measures are subject to Constitutional scrutiny, just as are those passed by Congress at a state or federal level. However, as has been stated previously, that scrutiny is a narrow one.....restricted to compliance with the words and intent of the Constitution, and should not be tainted by the personal predilections of the unelected officials charged with performing that review.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3488
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
However, ballot initiatives specifically call upon the electorate to exercise direct democracy......otherwise such initiatives are pointless.

If we had a ballot initiative which called for ZERO income taxes, would it pass?
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boggsman1,

Quote:
Through ballot initiatives the electorate can directly change or create a law at a local or state level rather than relying on their elected representatives to do so.


Was the key sentence.

Income tax is not a local issue.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2586

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

boggsman1 wrote:

If we had a ballot initiative which called for ZERO income taxes, would it pass?

We'd never know. The people employed to count the ballots would be outta work.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3488
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

California has zillions of ballot initiatives, many of which are voted on at various times , not in November. It is a joke. Many of the initiatives are issues that should just be handled by the many people that were democratically elected. Electing someone is one thing, making policy decisions sitting in front of Fox News drinking a case of Busch is another.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2551

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not share the contempt that you and others on the left of this forum have expressed for the electorate. I see much more common sense present in ordinary voters than I do coming out of our elected representatives in Washington. I have spent a great deal of time in many counties where the "mob" would, and do, literally die for the system we have here.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 4998

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A proponent of restricting gay rights claimed:

Quote:
I do not share the contempt that you and others on the left of this forum have expressed for the electorate.


How did something that nobody on the forum has said get posted as a way to dismiss gay rights? Oh, I get it, the right is spinning. The Republican party has recognized that divisive efforts such as ballot initiatives on gay rights, and restrictions on voting that it claims are necessary to stop voter fraud, galvanize the base and particularly the religious right. They have used these devices to increase turnout and contributions.

The record that was before the Federal courts in the California initiative made it clear that animus was a pretty significant factor behind the fund-raising in Catholic and Mormon churches to fight gay marriage. Now it is unfortunate that the term marriage is used to define both a religious ritual and a celebration in a secular society that accords certain rights. And I would accept the arguments of the religious zealots more openly if they had not also fought civil unions. If civil unions afforded all of the rights of marriage in governance, we could all let religious zealots defend their bigotry with scripture. That is not the case.

The right does not have to agree that the courts have said that marriage is a fundamental right. However, to change the forum of discussion from the protection of fundamental rights, which is constitionally the role of the courts, to an argument that voter initiatives should allow the voting public to abrogate those rights, is a deeply flawed argument.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5698

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Income tax is not a local issue."



techno900, while Texas doesn't have an income tax, California certainly does, to include the majority of other states in the union. When you move to North Carolina, you will find out that you'll be paying state income tax too.
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