Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Check the Judges

I will be voting "yes" on the marriage amendment, albeit uncomfortably. My reasons have less to do with marriage or the aspirations of homosexuals and more to do with protecting our system of checks and balances. Increasingly in our country, our constitution is being undermined by judges wishing to creatively interpret the document to further political objectives. In doing so, they are removing power from voters, and upsetting the proper and delicate balance of power. This problem is a great threat to our country and it should worry you regardless of your political orientation. Today it is primarily liberals creating novel interpretations of our constitution. Tommorow it could be conservatives. The threat of runaway judges is far more dangerous than gay marriage. I will be voting "yes" to protect our way of life, where voters and their representatives make the laws, while judges refrain from policy making.


eric said...

Denis, first let me thank you for inviting me to participate on your blog. I think you can tell I enjoy the exchanges here. As I said when we met, I enjoyed your RJT commentaries because they were principled, well thought out, and well supported. Your blog is of the same standard.

On the marriage ammendment I respect your position but find myself reaching a different conclusion, at least for now, and I will vote "no". First, my understanding is that current law states a marriage is constituted between a husband and a wife, and that the concern is activist judges are liberally interperting that language to mean you can have same sex marriages (i.e., the husband and wife roles can be performed by the same sex, therefore two people of the same sex can be married). I am in total favor of stipulating a marriage is only between a man and a woman. However I wonder if we need to amend the constitution to do so? Why not change the language of the current law to stipulate "male husband" and "female wife"? If we amend the constitution, does this mean we also should/must amend that only females can be mothers, and only males can be fathers? We can change the law through our representatives and/or use elections to remove judges.
I also believe that for 99% of the population nature determines sexuality. Both hetrosexual and same sex couples should be able to enter into domestic partnerships/ civil unions and those legal unions should entitle the couples to some legal protections and eligibility for some benefits.
Therefore, I find the last portion of today's proposed marriage amendment a potential problem in that I believe if passed it could provide the legal basis for denying protections and benfits to some domestic partners. We are forging ahead into new territory and I'm not sure the outcome no matter the referendum result, but I do know my intentions, only a man and a woman can be married, but all couples can be domestic partners and civily united if they wish and take the appropriate legal actions.

I still blog on JT sometimes, but because of the broad array of participants I usually just use some combination of my initials, often SLE, or the more sarcastic Les.

Denis Navratil said...

Thank you for your comments Eric. Interestingly, our views are remarkably similar though we voted differently. I have no ill will towards homosexuals, and I would be supportive of their interest in hospital visits, inheritance issues etc... but I think most, if not all of this can be achieved already. If my vote helps remove any rights presently held by homosexuals, be assured it was not my intent. Unfortunately, I think this vote was necessary in a way to preempt activist judges. I am not sure if legislative changes defining a husband as a man and a wife as a woman would carry the same weight as an amendment. But as I said initially, I voted "yes", albeit uncomfortably.

eric said...

I thought the same thing, that we agreed on the issue but decided to vote differently. I think that was probably caused by the language of the amendment.

On a related note, it is nice to be able to vote differently and have a respectful conversation about it. In my adult life I often find that individuals really agree on some subject but are arguing with each other over some obscure aspect of the subject and they've forgotten what the original subject was. Perhaps the root of your observed "strawman" stratedgy? Arguing over some obscurity seems a waste of time for me, but perhaps if you have to write to fill papges everyday these are the types of techniques you employ (stoop to)in order to fill the pages and 'stir the pot'.

Denis Navratil said...

It seems that civil discourse is largely a thing of the past. So it is refreshing to have respectful consideration and debate concerning the issues of the day. Who knows, Eric, perhaps we can be a part of a healthy backlash against the harsh angry rhetoric that is tearing apart our country.