Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Maryland Pride!

Mark sent me this article this morning, which alternately thrilled and horrified me.  I love the idea of our little conservative catholic state recognizing gay marriages performed in other states; but I am horrified at the idea of a referendum on the issue.  It is not up to the people of Maryland to decide what is best for other Marylanders.  The legislature generally listens to constituents, hears testimony from experts and laypeople alike, and redrafts legislation based on testimony.  On average, it takes three years to pass a bill.

Voters don't go through this process.  They don't know that studies show that children raised by gay parents are not any worse off than children raised by straight parents.  They don't know the horrifying state of Maryland estate taxes for gay couples.  They don't understand family law and gay adoption and what not being able to be married can do to a couple.  (I know these things; but I have spent 3 years in law school.)  Voters, on a whole, as we have seen, have a very hard time figuring out where their personal opinion ends and somebody else's legal rights begin. 

How do you feel about the referendum process when it comes to gay marriage?  Is it an important way to make sure we make the right decision as a state?  Or is it simply something that shouldn't be up for a vote?

4 comments:

  1. Uh, this is always so frustrating for me. Since I see it as a civil rights issue, I don't think it should even be on a state by state basis. I think it should be a federal thing so everyone in the country can have it. Personally, going state by state seems like it will take forever and I can't even begin to imagine what that must be like for the gay couples waiting to be recognized.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Could not agree more. It angers me so. I seems so unjust.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think the people should be voting on it. In civil rights cases, the majority should not be deciding/voting how a minority lives. It's up to the government to protect the rights of the minority. I just can't understand why this these conservatives who don't want government interfering with people's personal lives feel that it's OK to interfere in the lives of gay people. Just make it a federal goddamn law already folks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ugh, I think California has proven that referendums on the issue are not effective. In fact, I think California has proven that referendums in general are not effective in our society. In my opinion, we're just too big to really function in any sort of direct democracy capacity, and I would rather leave those kinds of decisions up to people who understand the issue.

    I also agree that gay rights should have a federal solution. I would love to see a pro-gay rights constitutional amendment even though that shouldn't be necessary because the 14th amendment really ought to be enough, but anyway, I don't see that happening any time in the near future. It's so sad. You'd think people would learn from our past civil rights issues that gays are going to get their rights eventually, and then we're all going to be ashamed that it didn't happen sooner, so we might as well give them total equality now.

    ReplyDelete