The Corner

A Democratic Triumph?

Kathryn, if I may say so, the idea that the same-sex marriage vote failed to count as a “democratic triumph” because it was not approved by a referendum looks a little like an attempt to move the goalposts. The fact that this matter was decided by the legislature rather than the courts was a thoroughly healthy development, and, yes, insofar as anything in a representative democracy is, strictly speaking, “democratic”, this was. As for the “triumph”, well, let’s just agree it was a close-won victory.


In your earlier post you cited George Weigel’s new article. As always after reading what he has to say, there was plenty to mull, not least this:

Marriage, as both religious and secular thinkers have acknowledged for millennia, is a social institution that is older than the state and that precedes the state. The task of a just state is to recognize and support this older, prior social institution; it is not to attempt its redefinition. 

Those few lines beg quite a few questions, not least whether its author believes that a “just” state would allow divorce.


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