Let the People Decide – As Long As They Agree with Us

A frequent complaint from opponents of same-sex marriage is that courts shouldn’t meddle in the issue – even though courts are charged with enforcing the equal protection of rights under the law. But anti-gay activists were pleased enough when courts in New York and other states rejected the claims of gay couples. How serious are anti-gay activists about letting the elected legislature decide?

Perhaps that logic only applies when the legislature comes down on their side. Last week, the California-based Campaign for Children and Families decried as “undemocratic” a bill to establish same-sex marriage going through the legislature. (It passed last year, but the governor vetoed it.)

And yesterday, the Family Research Council managed to juxtapose, in the same paragraph, their opposition to Washington, D.C.’s elected representatives getting to decide the issue and their claim that marriage in Maryland is “the province of the legislature”:

Hoping to avoid any “congressional meddling,” the D.C. City Council is testing the waters for a same-sex marriage bill in the District. After passing a string of pro-homosexual legislation, the Council believes this to be the next logical step. While federal lawmakers have been all too receptive to the city’s recent actions on “gay rights,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who will soon chair the committee overseeing D.C. affairs, said the issue is not expected to surface. Congress has 30 days to challenge any law passed by the District government, and with the country’s near sweep of marriage protection amendments many believe the move would be frowned on. In neighboring Maryland, the state Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in the case to uphold a ban on same-sex marriage. Plaintiffs will continue to argue that a social issue of this magnitude is the province of the legislature–not the courts.