Sat May 17, 2008 at 02:36:02 PM PDT
Opponents of the recent California Supreme Court ruling to legalize same sex marriage in California present many arguments against this ruling. One of their most often repeated is that a handful of judges have overruled the wishes of the majority of the people. The majority of the people are often wrong.
On April 18, 1775, the majority of the people of the British colonies in North America opposed separation from Great Britain.
On April 19, 1775 colonists at Concord and Lexington fought with British troops in the first military action of the American Revolutionary War. Even after fighting began, many colonists continued to oppose independence.
On April 11, 1861, the majority of the people of the US opposed a possible war between the northern and southern states.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter.
On September 21, 1862, the majority of the people opposed emancipation of the slaves.
On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the first of two Emancipation Proclamations.
In 1919, the majority of the people opposed giving women the right to vote in the US.
On May 21, 1919, the US House passed the Nineteenth amendment; on June 4, 1919 the US Senate passed the Nineteenth amendment. During the summer of 1920, Tennessee became the last of the 36 states needed to ratify the amendment giving women the right to vote.
On December 6, 1941, the majority of the US opposed entry into WWII.
On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan attacked US forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
On February 18, 1942, the majority of the US knew that Americans of Japanese decent were a danger to the war effort.
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, allowing for internment.
On May 16, 1954, the majority knew that separate but equal educational opportunities for white and black students were perfectly OK.
On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court ruled the opposite in Brown v. Board of Education.
On June 11, 1967, the majority knew that it was wrong to let people of different races to marry.
On June 12, 1969, the US Supreme Court ruled the opposite in Loving v. Virginia.
History has proved over and over again that the majority can, and often are, wrong on any number of issues, for any number of reasons.
Sometimes it takes an elite leadership (Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, and Paine) to drag the majority kicking and screaming into the future. Sometimes it takes one brilliant and brave man (Lincoln). Sometimes it takes a shock to the system (Pearl Harbor). Sometimes it takes Congress, the President and the states (Emancipation). Sometimes it takes the courts.
Today in the US, the majority believe it is wrong for persons of the same sex to marry.
The Massachusetts and California Supreme Courts know the majority is wrong and have said so.
Someday, the US Supreme Court will do the same.
I hope that day is not far off.
(polybi: now think of some of the other things that the majority of people think are wrong, immoral, and the downfall of society. Yes, I'm talking about those things.
Maybe....in our lifetimes, folks...