Mitt on marriage: trust the masses

Here, courtesy of the National Review Online, is our governor's explanation of why gay people's right to civil marriage here in Massachusetts should be subjected to a popular vote.

The irony here is that--as a member of the LDS Church--Romney should be keenly attuned to the tyrranical tendencies of the majority. After all, popular hostility (partly due to polygamy, but that's another story) forced the Mormons to flee New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois before they found a lasting home in Utah. Wonder how the Mormons' civil rights would have held up if they'd been voted on back in the 19th Century?

But I digress. Here's what Mitt said at the State House earlier today:

Our elected representatives in the Legislature will soon hold a historic vote. It regards the institution of marriage.

But it will not be a vote for or against same sex marriage.

No, it will be a vote for or against democracy.

The people here today have followed the law, followed the process established in the Constitution, and gathered an astounding 170,000 signatures. Their effort means that the people, the citizens, will be free to choose how marriage is defined in Massachusetts.

This is democracy pure and simple.

Of course, democracy can be squashed. Only one fourth of the legislators must vote for democracy, for this question, this choice, to be given to the people. But it is conceivable that some will try to block a vote by the people by blocking a vote of the legislature.

We here are speaking for democracy and the rule of the law. Whether you agree that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman or not, surely you can agree that the course of democracy, established by the Constitution, must be followed. Is there anything more fundamental to this Commonwealth and this country than the principle that power is reserved to the people, that government is the servant, not the master?

We ask for one thing: the constitutionally prescribed vote of the Legislature. Let the people speak.

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