Texans, We Aren’t All Idiots, We Just Elect Them

Other than Kansas, which is having its own political issues at the moment over “morals”, Texas seems to be leading the pack in… well many words come to mind but I think lunacy will do the trick. I had a post a couple of weeks ago regarding Texas HJR 6 which seeks to ban same sex marriages. It passed the House yesterday and is on its way to the Senate. Burnt Orange Report has a live blog of the debate posted here, along with links to several other live blogs. You can read the Houston Chronicle’s article on the issue here. I can not say that I am surprised really, just disappointed. What else could I expect from a state that re-elected DeLay? And of course the big W argument goes without saying.

–Jane, almost stopped listening to the news this morning in disgust… almost

2 thoughts on “Texans, We Aren’t All Idiots, We Just Elect Them

  • April 28, 2005 at 1:34 am

    Disparaging Tom Delay . . . . What a novel idea! Who says librarians aren’t original thinkers!

    Actually, Texas is far from “leading the pack” when it comes to disapproving gay marriage. On this issue, Texas is firmly in the mainstream.

    At present 42 states have “Defense of Marriage Acts” on their books explicitly defining marriage as the union of a male and female. A 43rd state, Oregon, also has prohibited same-sex marriage, not by statute, but by constitutional amendment.

    Since 1998 eighteen states, including liberal Oregon, have elevated the prohibition against same-sex marriage to the level of a constitutional amendment, making the ban impervious to judicial incursion: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, and Kansas.

    In those eighteen states, the average vote was 70% in favor of the ban and 29% against. No proposal to ban gay marriage ever failed on a statewide ballot.

    The Hawaii case is especially instructive: In 1998 the Hawaii courts declared unconstitutional that state’s law against gay marriage. The people of Hawaii, a reliable liberal bastion, responded by passing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage by a vote of 69% against gay marriage and only 29% for gay marriage. (All these polling results are courtesy of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (PDF).) As in Hawaii, the recent spate of 13 state amendments banning gan marriage was precipitated by contrary court decisions. If state courts continue on that path, as some seem inclined to do, we can expect more states, like Kansas and Texas, to follow suit.

    By the way, no state legislature of any state has ever enacted a law allowing same-sex marriage.

    Only two states, Vermont and Connecticut have enacted laws approving civil unions for same-sex couples, the former five years ago (in response to a judicial fiat) and the latter (without benefit of judicial instruction) just last year. Gay “marriage” is fully legal in only one state, Massachusetts, where it was–not suprisingly–imposed by judicial fiat.

    Nationally, public opinion opposes gay marriage by about a 60/40 split. National public support for a US constitutional amendment banning gay marriage varies, depending on the poll and the poll question, but a clear majority either favors a ban or favors allowing individual states to decide the issue. If federal courts begin to declare state gay marriage bans unconstitutional, that would clearly increase the impetus for a US amendment proscribing gay marriage. As noted above, when the issue is decided at the state level, the results tend overwhelmingly to go against gay marriage.

    My aim here is not to suggest that a majority automatically determines the true rightness or wrongness of an issue. (I may be a red-state moron from Texas, but I ain’t that stoopid!) Instead my aim is to point out the arrogance of your suggestion that Texans’ and Kansans’ views on this question are a particular indication of lunacy . . . and also gently to suggest the possibility that the inclination to dismiss as lunatics those who disagree with you, especially when their number is so great, indicates that their arguments might be more persuasive than yours . . . if you could slide down off your high horse long enough to consider them.

  • April 29, 2005 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you for your well reasoned post. I do appreciate it. I am from Texas, actually, so I do not think we are all morons. Please keep in mind that there is a certain tongue in cheek tone here. I do not think that all people who disagree with me are idiots. Those that know me, will be the first to tell you that I love a good political discussion and respect other people’s opinions, especially if I disagree. Most of my friends are not of the same political stripe as me (I do live in Texas) and I love them for it.

    That being said: I still disagree with the actions of my state legislature and I stand by my opinions, as I expect you to stand by yours. I do not think the state has the right to say who can enjoy the benefits of partnership, but I do believe it is ok for churches to make that distinction. I believe in the differences between the institution of marraige in the state and the institution of marriage in the church. They are two completely different things.

    Just my two pennies.

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