Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Nit Picklering the State of the Union

In his speech, George Bush attacked "Activist judges" which "have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives," alluding to the recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court holding that Massachusetts may not deny the right to marry to same-sex couples while affording the right to different-sex couples.

He neglected to mention that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did not redefine marriage in its decision, but rather ordered the Massachusetts legislature to take action consistent with its decision, leaving the action itself for the Massachusetts legislature to decide.

He further failed to mention that it is the duty of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to interpret the Massachusetts Constitution, and that both are ultimately products of the people of Massachusetts, a majority of whom support same-sex marriage.

Nevertheless, George Bush demanded that the government "respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization." Although he did not specify which individuals, an administration source stated that meant gays. However, the assertion that the government "respect" the unspecified individuals renders this source highly suspect.