The Tyranny of the Majority

Polls are indicating that the marriage amendment will pass.

I agree – and I’ll too bet that the amendment will pass.

The majority rules.

But there is something called “the tyranny of the majority”.

Jefferson, Washington, Patrick Henry, all lived in a time and social context and I doubt they would have voted against this amendment either. However, were these men living today and in today’s context, and with the intelligence, and enlightened points of view they possessed, I wonder that they wouldn’t support gay rights? I wonder that they wouldn’t support the reality and the science about our homosexual citizens? I wonder that they wouldn’t see the more basic concepts of liberty, freedom, equality, to be inclusive of this minority that exists within our midst?

And what now for our fellow citizens who are homosexual? Who have endured the years of discrimination, bias, and prejudice that were the result of ignorance and fear? Are they to disappear back into the anonymity of their closeted lives? To try and blend in unnoticed into the general population?

And what permission will this win give to those who may now act out their fear and their ignorance against the gays in their communities?

I, for one, won’t see this as a great victory for the best traditions of our heritage. I won’t see this as a victory for democracy.

Comments

David said…
And what permission will this win give to those who may now act out their fear and their ignorance against the gays in their communities?

You are absolutely right that this is the objective (at least for the leadership) of the push to pass this amendment. And, as has been the pattern in other states facing anti-gay ballot initiatives, there could be an escalation of anti-gay violence leading up to election day. We have experienced a hate crime already in Loudoun this weekend. It is impossible to separate this incident from the climate that has been created in which pro-amendment leaders are repeating horrible things about the gay community in order to demonize us and incite fear and panic in voters.

It doesn't have to be this way. The polls you are reading have been grossly misrepresented, in particular the Mason Dixon poll released Sunday. That poll didn't ask about the amendment that will be on the ballot in November, it only asked about the first sentence of that amendment. When voters read the whole thing, support drops well below 50%. We can defeat this amendment if voters understand that they need to read the whole thing. Don't give up yet.

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