Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why a referendum is a terrible idea

In New Jersey, a marriage equality bill has now been approved by both houses of the legislature     neither by veto-proof majorities. Governor Chris Christie will presumably veto the bill this afternoon. Christie and some members of the legislature have called for a public referendum; something that they think will perpetuate inequality.

Our first reaction is always that matters of civil rights should not be subject to the whims of the electorate. That is true but I have a more immediate concern:

What is the potential effect of a hard fought referendum campaign on gay children?

We all know that such a campaign will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent on TV commercials. Undoubtedly, NOM would bring back Frank Schubert to run a campaign based on the notion that gays present a threat to children. The reality is that our opponents will base a campaign on the general disparagement of gay people. They need to dehumanize us in order to make people feel it's OK to diminish our rights.

Gay children already have fragile egos. How much hate must they endure so that the GOP can continue to pander to the religious right? Just how much deprecation must they be subjected to so that a cynical governor can hedge his bets on his political future?

What is the potential outcome of all of this anti-gay drivel? Is it just temporary neuroses  or could it be something more tragic?
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1 comment:

  1. Let me make it simple: it needs to be voted on, so it can be kicked to the curb. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman -- thats what it IS. Anything else is NOT a marriage.

    To legalize gay marriage is to legalize polygamy and incest marriage. I do not wish to live in a society that would ever do such a thing.

    Yes, you are correct that a ballot issue will waste tens of millions of dollars -- money that could go to education or jobs or infrastructure.

    And it would not have to be spent, if socially engineering legislators were not hellbent on destroying marriage to appease a tiny number of extremists.

    ReplyDelete

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