Democracy and the religious right
I noted in my last post that in response to the passage of a bill to allow same-sex marriage by the elected California legislature, the Governator adopts the curious tactic of saying that the matter is for the courts to decide, not the legislature, neatly reversing the usual rhetoric about "activist judges." This isn't completely stupid, in that the constitutionality of Proposition 22 is still working its way through the courts and it's not clear that the legislature can constitutionally overturn a voter-approved proposition.
But this is:
"Engaging in social experimentation with our children is not the role of the legislature," said Assemblyman Ray Haynes, a Republican from Southern California.It's clear what the religious right is moving toward: one day when gay marriage is approved by a majority of voters in a referendum, they'll have worked through the progressive defenses of "activist judges" and "activist legislators," and will eventually have to denounce the "activist voters." Because what they really mean is that "engaging in social experimentation with our children" is not the role of anyone. This nice little slip into denouncing democratically elected legislatures reveals what the religious right really thinks: that no power on earth has the legitimacy to legalize same-sex marriage, not even "the people." Remember that the next time they say "we should let the voters decide."
Update, 8 September: Scott Lemieux has more, specifically the idea that conservative ressentiment is very flexible and can be targeted at anyone. One more point - if California ever approves gay marriage through a voter-approved proposition, you can also bet the national religious right will blast "the voters of California" for "imposing their radical social agenda on the rest of the country."