Friday, May 20, 2005

Compromise Nothing Except Our Principles (They're Expendable)

Does Bob Ehrlich (R-MD) want to lose his 2006 re-election fight (link: Andrew Sullivan)? He sure is acting like it.
Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has decided to veto emotionally charged legislation that would grant unmarried couples, including gay partners, certain rights if they register with the state.
[...]
Modeled on laws in California, Hawaii and other states, the legislation would have granted nearly a dozen medical and funeral-related rights to unmarried partners who register with the state. Among the rights: to be treated as an immediate family member during hospital visits, to make health care decisions for incapacitated partners and to make private visits in nursing homes.

This sort of behavior won't fly in Maryland. Hell, the Post says Democrats might have the votes to override the veto. Now THAT would be democracy in action.

Speaking of Maryland, democracy, and gay rights, let's look at the FRC's response to Montgomery County's controversial sex ed curriculum (thoughts as amended here). If you recall, a federal judge overruled the democratically elected county board and forced them to remove certain portions of the curriculum on homosexuality, saying they violated the Establishment Clause. Knowing how much the FRC hates the judiciary overruling democratic branches, and how it utterly despises the Establishment Clause, we can expect another tirade against activist judges--or at the very least, some humility, right? Over to you, Tony Perkins:
Montgomery County, Maryland, is one of the nation's richest counties, a Democratic stronghold within a Democratic state. Its liberal establishment was rocked earlier this month when a federal district judge, Alexander Williams, Jr., blocked the county's newest sex education curriculum. Among other problems, the judge found, the curriculum presented "only one view" (approval) of the "moral rightness of the homosexual lifestyle." In addition, the curriculum improperly characterized religious bodies, Judge Williams wrote, portraying the Baptist church in particular as "intolerant and Biblically misguided." Judge Williams, it turns out, was appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton. His carefully written opinion makes two points very clear: an Establishment Clause violation is occurring in Montgomery County schools, and a fair-minded judge can recognize it when he sees it. As the debate continues in the U.S. Senate over the future of judicial filibusters, it's worth remembering that an ideal does exist - that judges, whether they are personally liberal or conservative, appointed by a Democratic or a Republican president, can review the facts and apply the law evenhandedly. Judge Williams did so in this case and did his office great credit.

There it is, unedited and uncut. Contrite, humble, logically consistent with their daily assaults on the imperial judiciary. Just what we've come to expect from our favorite organization on the radical right.

For those of you keeping track, the FRC thinks that this sort of behavior (judges overruling democratic branches) is good, bad, good, and bad, respectively.

Got that straight?

UPDATE: Positive Liberty has all sorts of great stuff up, including this post criticizing the Governor's veto. He points to cases where gay couples who had signed the necessary legal documents still were prohibited from seeing each other during medical procedures. This blows a gaping whole in one of the critical conservative arguments against gay marriage and/or civil unions--that homosexual couples can contract around the restriction via power of attorney, a well-crafted will, etc.. Sometimes, that clearly isn't enough.

Sara's Spot also weighs in on the matter.

And NST, the rural panhandle/eastern shore voters don't have nearly enough clout to put anyone in the governor's mansion. Ehrlich was elected because he won over moderate swing voters in the suburbs who are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. That's exactly the voting bloc he'll blow to hell by writing that veto.

2 comments:

N.S.T said...

A. The people that elected Erhlich in the first place are rural people from up county, and they don't like gay marriage very much.

B. Ehrlich's probably going to lose his reelection bid anyway, so he might as well go down in the same boat in which he set sail.

N.S.T said...

Ehrlich was really elected because the Kathleen kennedy townsend turned out to be a colossal failure as a politician. If the democratic party of this state puts up even a half-decent candidate for governor they win. I mean, c'mon, Paris Glendenning did get two terms.