Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Majority IS The Majority!

I like statistics and I like numbers. (Yeah, kinda geeky. I'm well aware, thanks.) Both statistics and the numbers that the statistics are composed of can be extremely useful tools in figuring out a bazillion different things. Therefore, you're going to have to expect that, while statistics can be used for good, when they fall into the wrong hands they can also be used for evil. Or stupidity. (Sometimes, they're the same thing.)

Last week, the California Supreme Court voted 4-3 to overturn a state law that allowed only opposite sex couples to marry. Yep, gay marriage. Gayriage. I have zero problem with gay people getting married. (Although I will admit, I was a little disappointed that I didn't hear more from those who are opposed to this idea. It's such a grand source of amusement to hear idiots attempt to form an argument out of "logic" such as, "What's next? People marrying dogs?" I just can't get enough of the "marrying dogs" argument. I find it hil-iarous.) What I have a problem with is people twisting the numbers to make it seem like everything is just going straight to hell. (By the way, I've got news for those people. We're most of the way there already and it's only getting warmer.)

Some guy over at the Pensito Review (Never heard of it. And that's fine, as I'm sure they've never heard of me either.) wrote an article whose headline proclaims, "Majority of California Supreme Court 'Activist Judges' Who Legalized Gay Marriage Were Republicans". Oh, the horror.

The article states, "Now, in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this month legalizing gay marriage, the right will have trouble making their name-calling stick, because three of the four “activist judges” who voted in favor of extending civil rights to gays were Republicans." And he's right. The ruling was 4-3 in favor of the gay marriage dealio. (Well, it was 4 who affirmed, 2 who dissented and 1 who dissented with caveat. "With caveat" is sort of like, "I see your point, but I've gotta go with these guys over here.") And three of the four who voted in favor of gay marriage ARE Republicans. Oh, but guess what? There's only ONE Democrat on the California Supreme Court to begin with!

Of COURSE the majority of justices who voted in favor of gay marriage are Republicans. The majority of the court is Republican! You will NEVER have the majority of a vote on the California Supreme Court be that of the Democrats with the current political party make up the way it is. There's only ONE Democrat! It will NEVER happen!

Here's the thing. I don't totally understand all of the political party affiliation hypersensitivity that people seem to have these days. I'm not really a big fan of the whole political party system, but I think that, the majority of the time, it works just fine. But just because someone is a member of one political party doesn't mean that they are supposed to interpret the law any differently (ie, with bias) than if they were a member of the opposite party. That's the thing about being a judge. You get to judge. If this were based solely on political party affiliation, there wouldn't be any need to have the judges rule on anything. Most of them are Republicans, so every law should be done the Republican way, right? No. No. No.

I don't know what the point was that the guy who wrote the article was trying to make. I think it was that Republicans are hypocrites, but I'm not sure. I know that I like it when people can think for themselves and do what they believe is the right thing even though it might bring them an onslaught of wrath from their allies. If they had said that the ban on gay marriage was OK, would I feel the same way? If their decision was not based solely on their political party affiliation, absolutely, I would feel the same way. (Personally, I really don't care one way or the other about it. I'm glad that it means something for the people who are all happy about it, but it doesn't have an affect on me.)

So, when you read somewhere that the majority of the justices on the California Supreme Court who voted in favor of gay marriage :::gasp::: are :::gasp again::: Republicans, just remember that all but one ARE Republicans and that statement can be made about EVERY ruling that the California Supreme Court makes.

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