I like to deal with common misunderstandings on Day One of Public law, and, being a bit of a pedant, I like to clarify that the UK is a constitutional monarchy and the US is not a “democracy”: It’s a constitutional republic. Democracies, as far as I’m concerned, are mob rule.
The United States’ Declaration of Independence roots that nation in natural law and Enlightenment principles with its Declaration that, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
That Thomas Jefferson was able both to own slaves and to think it self-evident that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights may be a topic for another post. The point is, nowhere in the Declaration or the Constitution does it say, “except for gay people”. So California, for example, can hold as many referendums to deny marriage to gay people as they like, but the fact remains that the majority of citizens cannot vote away minority citizens’ rights. Well, ok, they can – but it’s unconstitutional.
I am very interested to see Ted Olson (a conservative) and David Boies (a liberal) join forces in taking the matter to court. As they explain, it’s not about being a conservative or a liberal – it’s about upholding the Rule of Law and the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The video below explains. (Be sure to follow the prompts to the remaining four parts – they’re definitely worth it.)