Georgia: Raw Judicial Activism vs the Overwhelming Will of the People to Protect Marriage

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Today columnist Kevin McCullough used his weekly article to say the following regarding a Superior Court Judge’s unfathomably flawed ruling in Georgia

With one stroke of the pen, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell defied the will of the overwhelming majority of people in his state, and concluded that their collective voice should not be recognized in the matter of marriage in the state of Georgia. He did so even though seventy-six percent of the voters in that state had spoken in one of the largest turnouts in state history.

But Judge Russell is not the first, nor will he be the last in a series of what could be up to nine state challenges to state constitutional amendments or state statutes that give the voters of those states the right to permanently define marriage for the welfare of their society. There could possibly be up to nine such acts of tyrannical judicial arrogance.

McCullough discusses the fact that Russell’s judicial edict undermines the principle argument against the Marriage Protection Amendment in 2004 and should offer incontrovertible proof that America needs to amend the U.S. Constitution. He says:

In the last go around [debating the Marriage Protection Amendment] Democrats argued over and over -- and who could ever forget bumbling Ted's slurred speech -- that "marriage was not in trouble in America." The argument they reiterated about three dozen times was that federal legislation to protect marriage was unnecessary given the power the states have to independently regulate such an institution state to state. "Who were they," they argued, "as the federal government to be sticking their noses into the matter." The voters responded in eleven states in 2004 by going to the polls and resoundingly voting in state constitutional amendments to define marriage strictly as that of a union between a man and woman.

But now the liberal judges strike down those amendments and leave the states with no options. It is important to point out that in every state where such a poll has taken place that those voting in favor of strict marriage definition have ranged in margins of 60-80%. The poor voters in Massachusetts have been polled repeatedly and they register consistently in the 70% range in terms of strict marriage definition - yet they never had the chance to vote at the ballot box on the issue. Instead four rogue judges put on their robes of arrogant tyranny and thwarted the voice of the people.

McCullough then mentions that the Marriage Protection Amendment is coming up for a vote on June 5th and currently 54 of the 60 votes are lined up. He discusses the possibilities for picking up the remaining 6 by leveraging various campaigns to commit on the issue (such as Menendez in NJ).

The Family Foundation also had some thoughts on the Georgia Judge’s decision to overturn a constitutional amendment passed with unprecedented support. Here is some of what they had to say about the rulings implications in the Commonwealth:

What are the implications for Virginia? First, we do not have such "single subject" rule that same-sex marriage activists can use in court. However, amendment opponents are very much trying to separate civil unions from marriage, as if they are somehow different.

We cannot allow opponents to the marriage amendment to get away with their linguistic gymnastics. Civil unions or domestic partnerships or whatever you want to call them are marriages, plain and simple. The citizens of Georgia understood that when 77 percent of them voted in favor of their Constitutional amendment. Virginians must understand the same thing.

Yet again, we see why we must protect marriage in the Virginia, and ultimately in the United States constitution. We cannot allow a few activist judges to radically redefine the nature of marriage itself (against the will of the people) resulting in harm to our children, families, and religious liberty. Virginia needs the Marriage Amendment on the ballot this fall, despite the confusing rhetoric and semantics coming from same-sex marriage activists.

The full Family Foundation Information Alert is below the fold.

The Family Foundation Thursday, May 18, 2006 Information Alert: GA Marriage Amendment struck down

Earlier this week, a state court judge in Georgia overturned that state's two-year old marriage amendment.

How, you may ask, can a "Constitutional" amendment, voted on by the people and passed with 77 percent of the vote, be "unconstitutional"? Good question.

Georgia has what is called the "single subject rule." According to Georgia law, a Constitutional amendment must include only one subject. Opponents to the amendment, who lost overwhelmingly at the polls, immediately ran to court and argued that the amendment violated the rule because it included bans on both same-sex marriage and so-called civil unions. Those are separate issues, according to same-sex marriage proponents. One judge agreed, so the vote of 77 percent of Georgia voters is tossed - at least until the case is heard by the next judge.

The Georgia case points to two subjects: 1) Once again, an activist judge has rejected the will of the people and, 2) Marriage and civil unions are ONE issue!

Remember, when a heterosexual couple decides to get married at the courthouse instead of a church, we don't call it a civil union - we call it marriage! That is exactly what homosexual activists are seeking - government recognition of their relationship - something we have always called marriage.

What are the implications for Virginia? First, we do not have such "single subject" rule that same-sex marriage activists can use in court. However, amendment opponents are very much trying to separate civil unions from marriage, as if they are somehow different.

We cannot allow opponents to the marriage amendment to get away with their linguistic gymnastics. Civil unions or domestic partnerships or whatever you want to call them are marriages, plain and simple. The citizens of Georgia understood that when 77 percent of them voted in favor of their Constitutional amendment. Virginians must understand the same thing.

Family Conference
The Virginia Family Strengthening Conference will be held next Tuesday - Thursday, May 23-25 in Fredericksburg. This conference will focus on issues such as gang prevention, fatherhood and strengthening families. Speakers include Wade Horn, a member of the Bush administration, Speaker of the House of Delegates Bill Howell and U.S. Senator George Allen.

For more information or to register go to www.regonline.com/92336

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2 Comments

Charles said:

I don't know what it means to have "54 of the 60 votes needed", you need a 2/3rds majority in both houses for a constitutional amendment.

Sophrosyne said:

Hmmm... My mistake, sorry.

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