Even the court that created the fiction of gay marriage in Massachusetts says the Legislature can out an amendment definitively banning the practice on the ballot.
A gay activist group had filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent consideration of a ballot measure at the Constitutional Convention on Wednesday that would ban gay marriage. The plaintiffs had claimed that the state constitution bans any voter-initiated amendment that seeks to reverse a judicial ruling (as if they care what the constitution says; the constitution also forbids the courts from re-defining marriage).
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the proposed amendment is not a “reversal” of the court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage but a proposed change to the state constitution, which can be legally done through a citizen initiative.
“The underlying substantive law is simply changed to reflect the present intentions of the people, and that new law will be applied thereafter in any subsequent case or cases,” the court said in its ruling.
Of course, the court did not actually create gay marriage. It ordered the Legislature to pass laws creating it by May 17, 2004, and when the Legislature failed to do so, Gov. Mitt Romney ordered city and town clerks to start handing out the marriage licenses anyway. What a mess! Of course, today’s ruling does not mean that the high court’s justices have suddenly come to their senses. Logic evidently still escapes them.
Justice John M. Greaney, in a concurring opinion, warned that approving an amendment banning gay marriage would be discriminatory because it would remove the rights of same-sex couples to the legal, social and financial benefits of marriage.
Sorry, Justice, but every single person in the commonwealth has the same right to marry. There is no discrimination. You just don’t have a right to change the definition of marriage. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman and if you’d like to marry someone of the opposite sex, the state won’t stop you. But under Greaney’s conception, it would be discrimination for the commonwealth to declare any desired union to be illegal. A father could marry his daughter, two brothers could marry, a brother and a sister, and so on. Marriage itself would become meaningless because if every union is marriage, then none is.