by Burt Prelutsky | Los Angeles
The only people I’ve ever heard of who got to wear their bathrobes to work were Hugh Hefner and America’s judges, and however you may feel about the man from Playboy, I’d venture that judges have created far more havoc for society.
At the time of Roe v. Wade, abortions were illegal in 30 states, but were permitted in 20 others in cases involving rape, incest or medical risk to the woman. In other words, they reflected the attitudes of the people who lived in different parts of this country. But in 1973, the Supreme Court distorted the Constitution in order to make abortions legal and readily available in every state. However you may feel about abortions, you should think twice before applauding seven people who weren’t elected legislating from the bench. Keep in mind that next time, these arrogant road-company Solomons may be goring your ox.
Recently, Judge Vaughn Walker decided to over-rule the California voters by deciding they had no right to define marriage as the joining together of one man and one woman, just as other California-based judges decided they had the right to set aside votes involving capital punishment and illegal aliens.
Just the other day, a judge decided that Gov. Schwarzenegger couldn’t impose a three day-a-month work furlough for state workers as a way to deal with the state’s financial woes. How nice it must be to sit on Mt. Olympus and not have to worry about meeting payrolls with non-existent money.
The question isn’t whether or not you agree with these imperial decisions, but whether one non-elected civil servant is entitled to set aside elections and executive decisions because he or she simply doesn’t approve of them.
After all, if Americans had wanted to be ruled by tyrants, we wouldn’t have bothered tossing the tea into Boston Harbor and fighting a revolution. By most accounts, King George wasn’t so terrible.
The interesting thing about the campaign for same-sex marriages is that in every state where it’s been on the ballot, the people have voted against it. In the few states where it is legal, it exists by judicial fiat.
According to an exhaustive study conducted by Maggie Gallagher and Joshua Baker, same-sex marriages concern homosexuals symbolically, but are of very little practical importance. According to their research, 2.3% of the population are homosexual males, 1.3% are lesbians. With an adult population of about 220 million, that would add up to about five million gay men and about 2.8 million women. That would make for about four million potential unions, but in Massachusetts, the first state where such marriages were made legal in 2004, there were fewer than 6,000 marriages that first year and a mere 1,300 in 2005. And keep in mind that gay couples were coming there from other states.
In the Netherlands, over a five-year period, only 8,000 marriages took place. In Belgium, in the first 18 months after such marriages became legal, 2,200 couples exchanged vows. In the same timeframe, in all of Canada, only 4,500 gay marriages occurred. And keep in mind that it wasn’t just Belgians, Dutch and Canadians, who were getting hitched in those countries.
One other telling statistic is that after the initial novelty and publicity die down, the number of same-sex marriages rapidly declines, although you’d never know it from the way the MSM covers the topic. Judging by the press, you could easily conclude that it’s only homosexuals who are interested in tying the knot.
Some people argue that to deny gays the right to marry one another is the same thing as denying blacks the freedom to drink from public drinking fountains or to sit wherever they wish on a bus or in a movie theater. That is such a fatuous belief that it doesn’t really bear refuting, except to say that the Civil Rights Act led to strengthening American society and correcting historical wrongs. Same-sex marriages, on the other hand, turn commonsense on its head and would, inevitably, lead to people demanding the right to marry a parent, a sibling or all the showgirls in a Las Vegas revue, so long as all parties consented.
Also, it is absurd to claim that such marriages have no effect on traditional marriages. The truth is, they make a sham of marriage. It’s bad enough that a number of Hollywood celebrities have gotten married for a few days before they’ve sobered up and gotten their annulments and that Jennifer Aniston, in order to promote yet another of her lame comedies, went on TV and told young women that children don’t need fathers, and that brain-dead liberals promote the nutty notion that two mommies or two daddies are as good — actually better! — than a father and a mother when it comes to raising children.
Far too many people are loath to consider consequences. Hubert Humphrey labored mightily to help pass the Civil Rights Act, so he was in no mood to listen to those who claimed it would lead to race-based quotas. In fact, he said if it did, he, personally, would eat the bill. As we all know, in spite of its good intentions and generally positive results, it led to affirmative action (aka quotas) in employment and education. So far as we know, Sen. Humphrey never ate even a single page.
Just recently, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis was asked to rule in a case where a written test for would-be firefighters resulted in what spin masters called disparate test results. In standard English, that meant that blacks had scored much lower than white applicants. Even though Judge Garaufis admitted there was nothing racial or discriminatory about the actual test, he ruled that the results had to be thrown out. In the meantime, the 300 white guys who scored the highest can’t be hired. And somewhere fires are raging and people are dying, but Judge Garafuis sleeps the sleep of the smug and self-righteous, while liberals sing his praises.
So it’s not enough that the proverbial playing field that blacks and other liberals are always calling for be level. Instead, the left-wing elitists who are parking their butts on the bench get to determine which team actually wins the game.
These days, if you want honest, objective, impartial decisions, don’t look to the courts; instead, go to a baseball game.
copyright 2010 Burt Prelutsky
Television scriptwriter, former humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine.