Our e-mail box was flooded this morning with desperate pleas to call our state senator and demand that gay marriage come up for a vote during the special session of the New York state legislature called his week by Governor Paterson.
But we wondered, just days after a legislative victory was overturned by voters in Maine, and a year after California voters did the same, can something like that happen here?
If a vote is called on the gay marriage bill (looking likely, sometimes next week), and if it passes (looking less likely), won’t apocalyptic dipshit Maggie Gallagher and her ilk bring their circus to New York and whip up enough voters to overturn the law, amend the constitution, or alter the space/time continuum in some other way to stop gays from marrying?
Not possible, as one legal expert tells us: “Unlike states that allow referenda (i.e., states like Maine and California), New York does not have a referendum system. Therefore, the majority of people cannot take away marriage if the legislature passes it.” In terms of changing the New York State constitution, “it’s a long process that generally requires the legislature twice passing the amendment followed by a popular vote.” This is similar to Massachusetts, where gay marriage was not overwhelmingly popular with the electorate when it started. But by the time it could be changed, gays had been married long enough without the state sliding into the Atlantic or being destroyed by a meteor, so people felt uncomfortable about taking away a right their gay neighbors had grown accustomed to having.
It’s a similar case nationally. Eventually and inevitably, all this nonsense will end when the Supreme Court is put on the spot and has to admit to the only constitutionally consistent position, that denying gay marriage violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment. At that point, all the mean-spirited state efforts like California’s Proposition 8 will be swept away, and nothing short of a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution will be necessary to make gay marriage illegal in the land of the free. And from your high school civics class, you know just how difficult that is, with two thirds of state legislatures, etc. Not going to happen.
For now, however, we’ll just see what happens in Albany.