The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More on Perry v. Schwarzenegger

I keep seeing arguments against Judge Vaughn Walker's opinion in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Federal court case contesting California's Proposition 8. As I expected, the fact that Judge Walker is gay figures in a lot of the arguments, and probably he should have recused himself, but it is still a good decision which I hope will prevail when it gets to the Supreme Court.

The usual argument against Judge Walker's decision, though, has to do with judicial activism; the people voted to pass Prop. 8, the people should be sovereign, thus Prop. 8 should be allowed to let stand. But suppose this was a case involving segregation in Mississippi in the 1950s. Does anyone believe that the Mississippi voters would not have voted, by a much greater majority than the California voters approved Prop. 8, to retain segregation? And does anyone believe that that vote should have been allowed to stand if it had been taken? Well, where is the difference? There are racists who even today would like to see segregation, but fortunately the courts have ruled decisively in ways that make it impossible for them to get their way. And there are homophobic bigots who so far have succeeded in preventing gay people from having the same rights as straights in most states and in Federal law, and it seems that only court action will make it impossible for them to continue to get their way. I suppose this is judicial activism, but it is the kind of activism that brought about racial equality in the past, and hopefully will bring about equality between sexual orientation categories in the future. This kind of judicial activism we need.

No comments: