A reader writes:

I've read your many posts advocating against the judicial route and instead urging for patience for the eventual day when the majority will grant marriage rights to same-sex couples via the ballot box after gay people move in next door and show the bigots what fine, upstanding people gay people really are. And after yesterday's post, I'm afraid I must bring into question your ability to grasp the perspective of what it means to be a part of a historically oppressed people.  As a (hetero) Jew, I was raised with the truth that we Jews have been and will always be a tiny minority. 

As a gay adult, you have that understanding to be sure - but the culture you were brought up in, and were always a part of, was the majority culture.  Do you really get it that fundamental (as we lawyers put it) human rights are not granted by the majority, but are always there, hopefully someday to be revealed by an enlightened and brave judiciary?  If Jews had to wait for the ballot box, there would be no Jews. 

I am very thankful that in order for the people to use the power of the federal government to marginalize me it would take two-thirds of both houses and three-quarters of the states.  You are incorrect if you believe that the struggle to achieve same-sex marriage rights should be a primarily political one based on a campaign of persuasion (although I wholeheartedly agree with you that we have the better arguments).  It is certainly myopic of you to chastise the judicial (and judicious) efforts to bring gay people into the fundamental rights club.  And you ask: "Who wants the critical moment in the securing of marriage rights to be imposed by a court against a clear majority vote of the citizens?"  I answer this way - I'd take my fundamental rights any way I can get it, just like the women, the black people, and the Jews did it.

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