"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." SCOTUSRick in Kansas and NE Jade,
You both are doing a good job in telling me what the law currently does and doesn't allow.(Legal consent, poly laws, etc.) But that's not the issue. The issue is how might some of (or all of)these laws change in the future as a result of redefining marriage?
There are laws in many places today that prohibit same-sex marriage. Why don't you respect those laws like you respect those dealing with age of consent, poly, etc.? The answer is because the laws prohibiting gay marriage don't happen to fit your own personal beliefs on the issue.
For the record, my position is that this issue should continue to be left up to each individual state. That way, the will of the people of each state decide.(That's what democracy is about, right?)
Marriage is a fundamental right. Equal rights should never depend on popular opinion. As others have pointed out, we would still have segreation at least, among other discrimination if equal treatment under the law relied on the will of the majority.
James Madison wrote:It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.
Or as Jesse Ventura put it bluntly, "You can't put a civil rights issue on the ballot and let the people decide If you left it up to the people, we'd have slavery, depending on how you worded it."
John Adams, the second U.S. president, bluntly stated that "the majority has eternally, and without one exception, usurped over the rights of the minority."