Sovereignty of the people

Posted in Canadian life, Gay rights, Politics at 9:40 am by ducky

Recently, the California Supreme Court heard arguments in a case designed to overturn California’s Proposition 8, which overturned the judicial decision that gay and lesbian people had the right to marry.  While I didn’t watch the hearings myself, I understand that Ken Starr (the defending attorney) basically put forth the belief that a majority vote could strip rights of  minority.

People who are better than I at guessing what the outcome will be by examining the questions, tone, and body language of the justices think that they will rule against overturning Proposition 8, in part because they think that the California Domestic Partnership gives all of the same rights as marriage.  Essentially, they are fighting over a word, with Starr’s side saying that a bare majority of the citizens can take away gay and lesbian people’s right to use the word “marriage”.

There was a Canadian political figure, Stockwell Day, who seemed to have similar beliefs in the rights of the majority over the rights of a minority.  He pushed for a law that would have required a referendum on any proposal supported by a petition signed by 3% of Canadian voters.  He stopped talking about this when Rick Mercer (sort of Canada’s Jon Stewart) called for a national petition forcing Stockwell Day to change his first name to “Doris”.

Perhaps the correct response to Proposition 8 is to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot requiring Ken Starr to change his first name to “Brenda”.

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