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Archive for May 16th, 2008

We know that a majority of the California State Supreme Court and probably a substantial percentage of California’s residents support the legalization of marriages between same-sex partners.

But how do the three presidential candidates stand on the issue?

Each one has said in the past that the issue is one for the citizens of each individual state to determine.

If a marriage between same-sex coulees is a civil right, and most Americans accept it as such, the states’ rights position of the candidates is a cop-out. It accepts a denial of civil rights to some but not all Americans, depending on one’s residence.

The American concept of civil rights and equality under the  law is no longer a matter of moral and constitutional principle. It’s an invisible line in the sand. Live in Arizona but can’t get married to a partner of your choice? Step across the border and, abracadabra, you’ve got civil rights. How’s that for magical transformation? “Beam me over, Scotty.”

Historically, states’ rights has been used to retard the social and economic progress of a variety of ethnic groups. The most prominent example is the legal maintenance of separate but equal facilities for Blacks and Whites.

Why, then, do Barack and Hillary fall back on states’ rights regarding the same-sex marriage issue? Appealing to states’ rights is nothing more than a strategy of avoidance.

It’s a safe approach, however. By arguing that “the people” should decide, Barack and Hillary neatly distance themselves from controversy. What is more fair and reasonable than permitting the people to decide their own destiny?

At it’s heart, however, the strategy hides a rather disturbing outcome. Some states will approve same-sex marriages while others will not. Rev up the time machine, H.G. Nineteenth century here we come.

Is that the effect Hil and Barack want? Let’s hope not. After all, Democrats are supposed to support social progress not retard it.

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