Monday, July 14, 2014

Verdugo: Marriage equality 'denies citizens their constitutional rights'

Anthony Verdugo
Only a profoundly nutty Christianist organization could advance the theory that marriage equality denies citizens their constitutional rights. Anthony Verdugo, head of Florida's Christian Family Coalition, in a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, seems content to advance that narrative.

Apparently Verdugo's theory is that courts do not have the right to overturn the will of the people expressed at the ballot. Were that the case there would never have been a Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, or United States v. Windsor. Whether the will of the people is expressed directly or through their elected representatives it is sometimes unconstitutional. That will has been expressed in the past (and present) as racism, anti-Semitism, Islamphobia and homophobia.

Last Friday, CFC sent out an email to supporters expressing the same theme. Apparently they think that email to a judge is going to alter her legal opinion.

Judge Zabel will never see these emails. They will be intercepted by one of her staff. Nevertheless, Verdugo's notion that it is appropriate to attempt to influence a judge by a virtual petition is offensive and insulting to our legal system. Equal protection and due process are not derived by a popularity contest. My guess is that, in the coming days or weeks, Mr. Verdugo is in for a shock. The electorate does not get to decide constitutional rights.

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