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Tea Party activists likely won’t unite against California gay marriage ruling

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

With a federal judge striking down California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, don’t expect Tea Party activists to rally together against the ruling. But don’t necessarily expect them to come together in support of the decision either.

“It’s a tough question,” said Ryan Hecker, a Texas activist who developed the idea for a list of Tea Party legislative desires called the “Contract from America,” when asked how Tea Partiers feel about the issue.

There’s disagreement among activists — who usually make the point that the movement has nothing to do with social issues — over it. Some activists are undoubtedly against gays marrying, while others of the more libertarian strand aren’t crazy about the government legislating social issues. In this particular instance, there are Tea Party activists who say the judge’s ruling is a blatant example of judicial activism and overreaching.

“It’s just one of those issues where individuals in the Tea Party have their views, but the general movement will not go one way or the other,” Hecker said, pointing out that what unites those who call themselves Tea Partiers are “economic conservatism, free-markets and limited government.”

Of the 10 items on the “Contract from America,” which include tenets like rejecting cap-and-trade and balancing the budget, there’s not a single mention of any social issue like abortion or gay marriage. Hecker, a Harvard educated attorney, has been working to get members of Congress and candidates for office to sign on to the contract.

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  • Pingback: Hot Air » Video: Why aren’t Republicans making a bigger deal of the Prop 8 ruling?

  • gringott

    I could care less about homosexual marriage or whatever. What I do care about is rule of man over law. These people in power now decide the law says whatever they want it to. That means we are currently living in a lawless society. I guess it is time to put on the robe and sandals and go to the park with the ‘End is Near’ sign as that brain damaged pulp fiction writer says. Every civilization ends, pretending everything is ok when it is not is called denial. Other than a collapse or a revolution, these marxists aren’t giving up power. My money is on collapse.

  • Momma M

    I agree- this is not a TEA party issue.

    Though most libs will declare me homophobic – I’m concerned about this ruling because of Tenth Amendment issues. California voters were ignored and the federal agenda was supported… in my opinion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rob-Kilker/1497215742 Rob Kilker

      I’m concerned because they now have protected status for behavior. Homosexuality is not a birth defect, not a chemical imbalance, not a genetic mutation or anomaly. It IS a chosen lifestyle. Not a race or gender.

      • des1

        That is sadly simplistic. Of course some people are born gay. Someone who is never attracted to anyone of the opposite sex (but is always attracted to the same one) has no “choice” in the matter. Some people obviously choose whether to live heterosexual or homosexual lifestyles (because they are attracted to both). Trying to pretend that isn’t true to fit some narrow worldview you hold is sad.

  • jjsmithers

    Tea Partiers do not have to have an opinion on everything. This isn’t daytime TV.

    The Tea Party needs to stick to its knitting….stop the insane spending and bring back the Constitution, which has been exiled to parts unknown.

    Time to focus on electing honest people to represent us. If our representatives are honest and will honor the Constitution, we will be in good hands.

  • thesauce

    I am for gay and polygamist marriage. Whether through licensure by the state or by the state staying out of marriage completely. I also think mini-DOMAs are likely unconstitutional under the Full Faith and Credit clause. Basically I’m as pro gay marriage as any rainbow-flag-waving-dude-kissing gay in San Fran. The only thing I could do to be more pro gay marriage is to marry a dude and have gaybies or whatever.

    But this ruling is dangerous to the Rule of Law and dangerous to our liberties. Our law and our way of life is being undermined subtly by unmitigated populism and judicial activism based on some conceited notion that some judge is allowed to determine arbitrarily what exactly comprises an individuals civil rights. Civil rights are just that; encoded in law. If we lose that, the indelible property of our rights, than we have lost everything.

    The will of the people: Rampant populism has been diminishing the Constitution for years. We have a Constitutional Republic. Tyranny can come in many forms, not the least or most horrible of which is democracy. The will of the people and their authority over others has limits. Just because something is popular does not mean it is just or legal. Unbridled populism is just as dangerous as any oligarchy or dictatorship. No level of government *justly has complete authority over the citizens no matter how popular the law is. The Agricultural Adjustment Act and it’s progeny and the Controlled Substances Act are largely unconstitutional, but exist because they are popular and our courts have been stacked with justices who are willing to overlook the Constitution for the sake of popular, temporal politics. Federal prohibition can be Constitutional but it requires an amendment. Federal prohibition was quashed through our democratic process and until the popular support required to amend the Constitution can be garnered again 1970s new prohibition will remain a slap in the face to our founding doctrine. But on the other hand…

    The seperation of powers: The second and more obvious danger to western concepts of liberty is judicial activism. Many have dismissed strict constructionism and textualism as absurd and archaic, deprecated concepts. But these principles, the principle of fidelity to the actual text of the law -= as opposed to the insidious ‘living constitution’ bs or other highly interpretive judicial philosiphies =- these principles safeguard our liberties as well as our right to create laws and govern. It’s simple: we expect laws to be upheld as they were written and ratified. Anything short of this is tyranny. The people of the States have a right to govern themselves, however limited, the courts should not interfere with this.

    If we pass a law through our democratic process and it is seated properly within the authority of the government it must be upheld by the courts. If we have a court that is too populist or political will we have the tyranny of the majority. If we have a court that is too assertive and legislates from the bench our will and our laws will and our civil liberties will be trampled. We have to restore the courts to their proper place. The Constitution has no law about marriage, no individual has a Constitutional right to ‘get married’ – so under the tenth amendment the authority to administer marriage falls to the States. And if California passes a new law permitting gay marriage I would expect a judge to uphold that law, but this ruling isn’t a victory to anyone who is for civil liberties. It is a major loss; if we can’t expect the courts to uphold our written and ratified laws, how safe are our written and ratified freedoms? The Tea Party should be united on rejecting this ruling.

    I will continue to support the gays and polygamists to pursue happiness as they see fit, but not like this. Bathwater out, but not with the baby.

    • matedeirdre

      Well put. I too support Gay Marriage although not polygamous marriage (I think its exploitive of women). But your absolutely right on the constitutional aspect of this. This decision is dangerous and decisions like this are erosive to the rule of law. People who are cheering this decision should really be wary of what kind of prescient this sets, sure you may be happy now because this is something that you want
      but what happens if a judge makes a decision like this about something that you are very much against.

  • csm53

    I am glad to see that most agree that this is not a Tea Party issue. Voters being disenfranchised is nothing new in any of our three branches of government.