Letters to the Editor

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MARRIAGE: What counts as a popular support?

Letter by Wren D. Nessle Buck, Tacoma on May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm | 50 Comments »
May 17, 2012 12:46 pm

Apparently, news of Washington’s, not to mention New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire’s, protection of same-sex marriage by elected officials (as opposed to judges) has not reached the Georgia State University, or at least not columnist Eric Segall.

Segall (column, 5-17) argues that a U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting same-sex marriage will generate backlash – because same-sex marriage lacks popular support – but that Congressional action to protect same-sex marriage would not. He specifically states that “no state has protected same sex marriage by a vote of the people,” discounting completely votes to do just that by the state legislators in the above-mentioned states.

It seems to me his argument is fundamentally inconsistent: if legislative protection of same-sex marriage at a state level does not count as a “vote of the people” demonstrating popular support, then why would congressional action at a federal level count, let alone be any better at defusing backlash? If anything, with polls showing the public’s respect for Congress at abysmally low levels, congressional action would fuel just as much backlash.

Unfortunately, haters gonna hate. It is unconscionable to permit the haters’ claims of government intrusion into religion to delay the long-overdue elimination of barriers to the civil right of marriage to all adult couples who wish to exercise that right. I am extremely proud of state legislators in Washington (home), New York (where I grew up) and the other states that realized their duty is to ensure equal protection of the law for all citizens.

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