“We think the people of this state – not judges, bureaucrats, or politicians – should define marriage, which I personally believe should be between one man and one woman,” Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said in a statement after the measure passed.
Interesting how history repeats itself… wrongly. Had he been present at a similar debate that took place in his state sixty years ago, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger might just as easily have said, “We think the people of this state – not judges, bureaucrats, or politicians – should define colored peoples’ rights, which I personally believe should not extend to incorporate the same rights as white peoples.'” The parallels in opportunistic scapegoating and minority-bashing for bald political advancement aside, the Senator would pardon me for criticizing his apparent love of anarchism, since we actually have judges, bureaucrats, and politicians for a reason. Judges, primarily, because they are trained in Constitutional law– something that, oddly enough, Phil Berger should have been able to express his appreciation for, having been a former lawyer himself who presumably had respect for the judges he argued before and their intended function under the Constitution that our Founding Fathers wrote and which he and others in his Party are so quick to blubberingly profess to cherish. The fact is, gay marriage is a civil rights issue, and judges absolutely do have the right to weigh in, regardless of what “the people” would prefer. The weight of history and established law notwithstanding, clearly the Senator would agree with me on this conclusion as well; after all, “the people” of his state have been wanting affordable health care and out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for ten years, too, but I don’t see the politician Phil Berger and his team of bureaucrats rushing to protect those wants with a Constitutional Amendment– or even a simple law– banning insurance corporations from denying children coverage, or his National Guard from being deployed to fight the two unending wars. The double-standard by which the Republican Senator and former lawyer from North Carolina decides to place his energies is telling; apparently, he has time to become a born-again cheerleader for democracy when it favors oppressing a religiously-despised minority group and drawing attention away from his party’s dismal failure to revive the economy and create jobs, but when it favors bringing his troops home and guaranteeing his constituents affordable health care, he not only doesn’t have time to say a word in their behalf, but actually works to ensure they get the opposite.