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Thursday, June 14, 2007
posted by Timotheus | 2:58 PM | permalink
MA lawmakers decided to deny their citizens the right to vote on whether gay marriage should be allowed in MA today. As you may know, Romney fought for the right of the people of his state to have the right to vote on gay marriage.

"Former Gov. Mitt Romney, now running for president, called the vote 'a regrettable setback' and said it makes it more important now to pass a national amendment banning gay marriage.

'Marriage is an institution that goes to the heart of our society, and our leaders can no longer abdicate their responsibility,' he said."

"'We believe it's unconstitutional not to allow people to vote on this,' said Rebekah Beliveau, a 24-year-old Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary student who stood with fellow college-age amendment supporters across the street from the Statehouse."

Governor Romney recognizes that the appropriate way to solve the question of gay marriage is to look to the sovereign, the people. Unfortunately, the lawmakers in MA are scared of democracy. It is nice to have a man running for president who realizes that the authority to govern comes from the consent of the governed.
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As a Massachusetts resident, I'm stunned, although maybe I shouldn't be. One of my first thoughts was that if Mitt had been re-elected here, this would not have happened today. But if the amendment had made the ballot, I'm not optimistic that it would have passed a popular Massachusetts vote. I chalk this up to one more place where Massachusetts is just to liberal a place for Mitt get the things done he really wants to. Bring on the Federal Amendment!

While I believe voting on issues is good, I see very little good in allowing a majority to vote on whether or not a minority should get rights.

Plus, didn't MA voters already decide when they voted in tons of pro-gay marriange state legislators and a pro-gay marriange governor?

By Anonymous Tom Stein, at June 14, 2007 at 10:08 PM  

I am most definetly employing some hyperbole, but the similarities and coincidences are too numerous to ignore. Please follow this line of logic:

I was reading up on Abraham Lincoln and noticed that there are striking similarities between Mitt and Lincoln. Lincoln was constantly escoriated by the print media with venom for changing positions (over a few decades), war with Mexico vs. war with the South, adamantly felt that while slavery was wrong that the states should not be compelled to ban it and yet later within a couple of years declared all slaves free, fought the most important war for civilization in the 19th (hello, war on terror), was a religious misfit of sorts, very articulate speaker, wife was stricken with a debilating illness, fanatic work ethic, viewed as a moderate but in reality was a strict constitutionalist, and faced a once in a lifetime social crisis which threatened the constructs of society (the fight for Marriage anyone?).

In these trying divisive times, it looks like unintentionally, Mitt is on the Lincoln path if he wins the nomination.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 15, 2007 at 2:32 AM  

More similarities:

Buchanan seen as an incompetent, accidental president. Executed a spectularly unpopular war. Also, although, there was constant talk of the collapse of the union over the issue of slavery (war on terror), many were complacent and did believe it would boil up as a full fledge civil war.

The presidential primaries and election were a wide open race. Party divisions were severe and would not form behind a single candidate. Lincoln was a compromise candidate.

Bottom line, for any Republican to win in 2008, they must be one who most closely fits the Lincoln model. I see a lot of those qualities in Rudy with some flaws. Although not perfect, I see a lot of that in Mitt. And finally, I don’t know enough about Fred to form an opinion, but I do see some promising attributes in Fred too. I just don’t see it McCain though.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 15, 2007 at 3:12 AM  

Tom- The issue here isn't really a matter of simply voting on minority rights. One can imagine a system (in fact most Commonwealth governments work this way) where the Constitution is determined by a majority of parliament. We have a written Constitution in MA and in the US though. That document was written and adopted with the understanding that it would form the rules by which we would be governed. When judges undertake to change it by judicial decree, they are undermining the very foundations of the social contract. On the other hand, when the sovereign people undertake to change it and do so, nothing could be more legitimate. The is the big problem in MA. The Supreme Council changed the social contract outside of the agreed upon method. This is nothing short of tyranny. 170,000 people petitioned to put a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. The legislature declined to do so. There is a sense in which you could say that if the people of MA failed to get the legislature to put it on the ballot then they have failed in the agreed upon process. But in this instance, they are merely trying to give the gay marriage question a fair vote after the Supreme Council broke the rules. This illustrates a further problem with judicial fiat on Constitutional matters, it is often very hard to amend the Constitution and it isn't exactly playing fair when they impose their views on the society.

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