Voters in Maryland and Washington this year voted to affirm their state’s marriage equality laws after anti-gay activists collected enough signatures for a referendum to overturn them. Mainers also approved marriage equality, reversing a 2009 “citizens’ veto” of the state’s marriage equality law, and Minnesota voters defeated a GOP-backed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
But since opponents of marriage equality went 0-4 on Election Day, now Star Parker of CURE is angry that voters had a say at all.
One significant development in the recent election was votes in four states approving same-sex marriage initiatives. Until now, all previous state referenda to approve same-sex marriage – 32 of them – failed.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page – a place where conservatives usually turn for intellectual capital – saw this as cause for celebration.
According to the Journal, marriage definition should come from voters, not from court orders. Americans, they argue, have “shown themselves more than capable of changing their views on gay marriage the democratic way.”
In other words, our definition of marriage should follow process, not principle. Let voters decide.
While Parker mocked the Journal’s editorial board for its “let voters decide” message, that is the exact same sentiment her allies in the Religious Right have expressed: Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage clearly stated that “we support letting voters decide this issue,” and Jeremy Dys of the Family Policy Council said “voters know that there is no legitimate reason not to let the people vote on the definition of marriage.” Apparently, anti-gay activists are only okay with voting if their side wins.
Parker went on to compare voting to legalize same-sex marriage to voting to enact slavery, arguing that they are both “evil” and lead to “moral chaos”:
In the 1850s, Stephen Douglas proposed solving the dilemma of whether slavery should be permitted in new states by suggesting that they should just vote. What could be more American than submitting the question of slavery to the democratic process of each state?
To this Abraham Lincoln observed: “God did not place good and evil before man telling him to make his choice. On the contrary, He did tell him there was one tree, of the fruit of which he should not eat, upon pain of certain death. … I should scarcely wish so strong a prohibition against slavery in Nebraska.”
Lincoln’s rejoinder to the idea of “popular sovereignty” – that states should vote to determine if slavery would be legal – was that there are core truths – truths that define right and wrong, good and evil – that precede the democratic process.
To reject this premise is to buy into moral chaos, which is what we are approaching today.
The claim that somehow it is a sign of a healthy, free society that by way of the vote we can rewrite our language, our dictionary, our oldest, time-tested traditions is a sign of how lost we are.
Same-sex marriage advocates argue that their efforts will save the embattled institution of marriage. But this takes a symptom of the disease and calls it a cure.
As American society has become more self-centered and materialistic, family and marriage have been imploding.
To deal with the crisis of the collapse of family and marriage by redefining what they are is the sign of a society losing its way.
Fortunately, America is still a free country. Individuals can make their own choices about how they choose to live.
But taking personal choices to deviate from our social standards of right and wrong, true and false, and decide to change those truths and standards, so that nothing is any longer considered deviant, is a bridge to nowhere.