The Times’ response to the passage of laws defining marriage as consisting of a man and a woman

“Even as the nation shattered one barrier of intolerance, we were disappointed that voters in four states chose to reinforce another.” That is from the lead editorial in yesterday’s New York Times, a.k.a. Pravda on the Hudson, a.k.a. The Village Voice with Jacket and Tie. Though I must say the comparison is unfair to the Voice, since even when the homosexuality-drenched Voice was in its heyday (it’s now become a free paper containing little more than trashy ads), it never threw around the “bigotry” charge the way the Times has systematically done for the last 16 years. For the Times, literally any position which is not its own is based solely on bigotry, ignorance, or cynicism.

Emphases are mine.

Equality’s Winding Path
November 6, 2008

Amid the soaring oratory about the presidential election, it was Barack Obama who put it best late Tuesday night. “That’s the genius of America, that America can change,” he said. “Our union can be perfected.”

But as Mr. Obama’s victory showed, the path to change is arduous. Even as the nation shattered one barrier of intolerance, we were disappointed that voters in four states chose to reinforce another. Ballot measures were approved in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and California that discriminate against couples of the same sex.

We do not view these results as reason for despair. Struggles over civil rights never follow a straight trajectory, and the ugly outcome of these ballot fights should not obscure the building momentum for full equality for gay people, including acceptance of marriage between gay men and women. But the votes remind us of how much remains to be done before this bigotry is finally erased.

In Arkansas, voters approved a backward measure destined to hurt children by barring unmarried couples from becoming adoptive or foster parents. In Arizona, voters approved a state constitutional amendment to forbid same-sex couples from marrying. Florida voters approved a more sweeping amendment intended to bar marriage, civil unions and other family protections.

The most notable defeat for fairness was in California, where right-wing forces led by the Mormon Church poured tens of millions of dollars into the campaign for Proposition 8—a measure to enshrine bigotry in the state’s Constitution by preventing people of the same sex from marrying. The measure was designed to overturn May’s State Supreme Court decision, which made California the second state to end that exclusion of same-sex couples. Massachusetts did so in 2004.


Far from showing that California’s Supreme Court was wrong to extend the right of marriage to gay people, the passage of Proposition 8 is a reminder of the crucial role that the courts play in protecting vulnerable groups from unfair treatment.

Apart from creating legal uncertainty about the thousands of same-sex marriages that have been performed in California and giving rise to lawsuits challenging whether the rules governing ballot measures were properly followed, the immediate impact of Tuesday’s rights-shredding exercise is to underscore the danger of allowing the ballot box to be used to take away people’s fundamental rights.

I have several comments. First, when the Times speaks of “the danger of allowing the ballot box to be used to take away people’s fundamental rights,” what it is plainly stating is that the fundamental laws under which people live should not be made by the people or the people’s representatives, but by an unelected, unaccountable liberal elite. Remember that Prop. 8 amends the California constitution, the highest law in that state. If the Times thinks that the people of California should not be able to make and amend the California constitution, then the Times must also think that the people of the United States should not be able to make and amend the Constitution of the United States. For example, if a federal constitutional amendment were passed which said that “Marriage in the United States shall consist of a man and a woman,” the Times, using its above reasoning, would have to say: “The immediate impact of this rights-shredding exercise is to underscore the danger of allowing the ballot box—by which the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures that ratified this bigoted amendment were elected—to be used to take away people’s fundamental rights.”

As the above suggests, and as I’ve been arguing for years (see this, this, this, and this), the ultimate end of liberalism is the elimination of democratic self-government and majority rule, because as long as a majority of the people in a society are making the laws of that society, the majority is in a position to take away the “rights” of a minority. Indeed, the very fact of a majority having more power than a minority is unequal and therefore wrong and oppressive. Therefore the ultimate source of a society’s laws must be, not the people, but an unelected, unaccountable elite such as now rules the former sovereign nations of the EU. Only such an unelected elite can assure everyone’s “equal rights.”

Second, consider the notion that America “shattered a barrier of intolerance” by electing Barack Obama. The reality is that the very first time a plausible black candidate ran for president, he was nominated and resoundingly elected. So where was the “barrier of intolerance” that prevented the election of a black? The notion that there was a barrier, and that the barrier was shattered, is sheerest myth—the liberal myth that constructs human reality, or at least that part of human reality known as the United States of America, as a system of bigotry which must constantly be overcome—and no matter how many times the bigotry is overcome, it is somehow still intact and must be overcome again, so that each time the bigotry is overcome it is as though it had never been overcome before, it is as though America had been imposing horrendous bigotry until this moment.

Third, consider the Times’ idea that to define marriage as consisting of a man and a woman is to “enshrine bigotry.” Given that the very nature of marriage is that it joins together a man and a woman, what the Times is really saying is that the institution of marriage is in itself bigoted, since by its very nature marriage means a man and a woman, not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or two men, a woman, and a sheep. Marriage, the basis of our entire existence as civilized human beings, is a form of hatred and oppression, and it will only cease being a form of hatred and oppression when it is redefined by unelected judges as something that it has never been. Such is the liberal war against humanity.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 07, 2008 10:11 AM | Send

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