Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Poor Mitt -- he actually thinks the Fundies will vote for a Morman if he's dumb enough...

Romney: People, not courts, should define civil rights
By STEVE LeBLANC
Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) -- Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, renewing his support for a ballot question banning gay marriage, said Wednesday it's the job of voters -- not the courts or lawmakers -- to define what constitutes a civil right.

"Who's going to tell us what a civil right is and what's not? Well, the people will," Romney said in calling on lawmakers to allow a vote on a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. The vote is scheduled for July 12.

Supporters have long cast same-sex marriage as a civil right that should not be subject to a popular vote, likening it to the desegregation battles of the 1950s and 1960s, where the courts played a central role in expanding rights for blacks.

Yet Romney, during a news conference attended by Cardinal Sean O'Malley and other religious and civil leaders, said that in a democracy, nothing is off-limits to voters, even the definition of civil rights.

"We have a Constitution. We can look in there and say, 'Does it say here you can vote on matters unless someone can define them as civil rights?' No," said the Republican governor, a graduate of Harvard Law School who is mulling a presidential run in 2008. "It says you vote on all matters in this country and we'll decide what is a civil right and what's not. So, fundamentally, we come back to the principle that the people speak."

State Democratic Rep. Byron Rushing, a supporter of gay marriage, said the civil rights of minority groups should not be subject to the whims of the majority.

"He's absolutely wrong when he says the definition of civil rights is a definition that is made by all the people," Rushing said. "It is not reasonable to ask all the people to decide what a civil rights issue is. If it was left up to popular referenda in the 1950s and 1960s, we would not have had any of the civil rights laws passed."

In a call to The Associated Press after the news conference, Romney appeared to temper his public remarks.
"I'm not saying that civil rights should be up to a popular vote," Romney said, although he added, "The Constitution does not prohibit the people from making any decision. The Constitution allows for the people to overrule the judiciary, the executive or the legislative? branches."
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This may be one of the stupidest things I've heard in a long time. (I've been tuning out President FratBoy for awhile now, so there could be something more stupid that I missed.) Civil rights voted on by the people?? Riiiight. That's what our founders had in mind when they wrote all those declarations and constitutions and bills and stuff. And would those rights vary from state to state? I mean, in California abortion could be civil right, but in Louisiana it would be murder. In Mass., clearly gay marriage would be a civil right, but not in Mississippi. In Mississippi, it could be a crime punishable by jail time. Oh! I know, I'm betting that inter-racial marriage would be banned in many southern states. Also, those Jews and Muslims? Second-class citizens with no right to practice their religion. And gods help me if they found out I'm a frigging pagan! I'd be burned at the stake! (Maybe literally. You never know around here.)

Let's see, what else? Women working? No, sorry. Not a civil right. Don't you know the needs of your children are more important? Get back in the kitchen! Welfare? Nope. Get off your asses and work, ya bums. But, of course, men have the right to a wife. And children. Gotta carry on the family name. Rights to property? Well....those are for men, of course. White men, mostly. Some of the Darkies who've proven themselves, well, we'll give them a bit o' the swamp land as a reward. Women? Nah. Well, unless there were no men born into the family. Then we'll make an exception. To keep the land in the family, ya know.

Oh, for gods sake! This is the stupidest thing I've heard in ages. Vote on civil rights? Listen, these people don't want ME voting on their civil rights, not after the way they've been treating my gender and orientation lately. I might be tempted to strip them of all their pretty boy, white male privelige and give it to the oppressed and unwanted.

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posted by Zan at 12:00 PM

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