Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heckuva job Harsanyi!

David Harsanyi May 19th,

Judicial Activism Won't Benefit Gay Marriage

No one can blame gay Americans for celebrating the California Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn a voter-approved ban on gay marriage.

At first glance, the case appears to be a key victory for same-sex marriage proponents. But, in truth, any judicial action that strikes down a democratically enacted law is a step in wrong direction — both tactically and ideologically.

There is no way around it. At some point, a majority of American voters, rather than a slight majority of judges, must be convinced that gay marriage deserves legal recognition.

The Washington Post May 28,

For the first time in decades, more California voters approve rather than disapprove of allowing same sex couples the right to marry, according to Field Poll results released Wednesday.

The idea of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry is now approved by 51 percent to 42 percent statewide, according to the survey of about 1,000 voters conducted this month.

I'm sure that right now David Harsanyi is reflecting on the fact that he not only got the basic facts of the case wrong but also completely misjudged the underlying political forces. I expect any day now he'll grace us with an eloquent column admitting that he was completely wrong and his concern-trolling column from May 19th was short-sighted and ill-informed. He'll no doubt apologize to his readers and promise that in the future he'll be more careful about providing actual analysis and not just knee-jerk paint-by-numbers demagoguery.


1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Importantly, pro-gay marriage judicial decisions, outside California which have shown that the sky does not fall when gay marriage is legalized, and this decision itself, which gives moral authority to gays claiming a right to marry by saying so in a definitive opinion, probably has changes public opinion.

Sometimes the courts follow public opinion, but equally often they lead it. The same sort of pattern, which judicial decisions and enactment of laws changing public opinion on race issues that did not have majority public support when issued or adopted, is recurring this time around with gay rights.

The anti-gay marriage ballot issue in California this year has only about 42% now and support generally wanes for all ballot issues as elections get nearer.