NOM BLOG

Jacoby: Let The People Keep Voting!

 

Jeff Jacoby, op-ed writer for the Boston Globe:

"Rights should not be put to a vote," same-sex marriage advocate Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, was still insisting the day after the election. But I suspect we'll be hearing that argument less and less, as activists embark on fresh ballot campaigns to amend the many state constitutions that now block same-sex marriage. Unless, of course, the Supreme Court intervenes, and tries once again to impose a resolution by short-circuiting the workings of democracy.

I don't claim that voters are always right, or that the people can't make mistakes. By my lights, voters in Maine, Maryland, Washington, and Minnesota made a grave one last week. I believe same-sex marriage is a bad idea. But I also believe that political legitimacy derives from the consent of the governed. "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves,"wrote Thomas Jefferson after a lifetime in public affairs. "If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion."

Gay marriage shouldn't be treated as sacrosanct, too lofty for mere politics. Let the debates, the struggles, the compromises, and, yes, the votes continue. Until the people work it out politically, this issue will never be settled. -- TownHall