Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Conservative victory in Georgia same-sex marriage ruling

Posted by Craig Westover | 11:16 PM |  

Although some conservative blogs are running this article as something negative -- It can happen here -- isn’t the judge’s rationale exactly what the claimed rationale is for an amendment? Isn't the judge saying, "let the people decide"?
ATLANTA, May 16— A state amendment banning same-sex marriage was struck down Tuesday by a judge who upheld the voters' right to limit marriage to heterosexual couples but cited procedural flaws in the wording of the amendment, which was approved by more than three-quarters of voters. . . .

The Georgia amendment defined marriage as between a man and a woman, banned same-sex civil unions and said that same-sex unions performed in other states would not be recognized. The judge, Constance C. Russell of Fulton County Superior Court, ruled that the amendment violated Georgia's single-subject rule, which limits each amendment put before voters to one topic.

"People who believe marriages between men and women should have a unique and privileged place in our society may also believe that same-sex relationships should have some place, although not marriage," the judge wrote. "The single-subject rule protects the right of those people to hold both views and reflect both judgments by their vote."
The judge’s ruling essentially says that the combination of defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman AND banning civil unions (the legal equivalent of marriage in Minnesota terms) effectively prevents voters from voting for a ban on same-sex marriage but voting against a ban on civil unions. In other words, people holding both those positions were denied a right to vote their conviction.

How can a conservative that believes the people should decide questions about who can and cannot marry object to a ruling that assures each and every voter that ability?