Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Everyone’s talking about President Bush’s backing for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage -- an idea doomed from the start -- and I’m not sure there’s anything to add to the argument.

Perhaps a clarification to an earlier posting, though, since San Francisco’s mayor is being criticized for promoting gay marriage ceremonies despite them being illegal in California. This could almost be compared to the efforts of Alabama Supreme Court ex-chief justice Roy Moore to boost the profile of the Ten Commandments in the courts, and Misanthropicity’s verdict was that an officer of the court shouldn’t remain one while consciously, enthusiastically breaking the law to make a point. It tends to rend the fabric of our society, because it makes it difficult to pass judgment on others breaking the law.

So what to make of a mayor who may be consciously, enthusiastically breaking the law to make a point?

Not much. A more definitive source may be eluding me, but Black’s Law Dictionary says a mayor is merely “an official who is elected or appointed as the chief executive of a city, town, or other municipality,” and San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, is probably leading the city as a majority of its residents wants to be led (San Francisco being known more as a bastion of gayness, not conservatism).

Black’s also defines marriage as being between a man and woman, but, like any dictionary, it represents law as it exists, not law as it will or should be. At some point, “mayor” may be defined as someone who must enforce the law. It isn’t now.

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