Why the public should never be allowed to vote on civil rights

You would think in this day and age, that people would understand our past. As the saying goes, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And so the going happens with gay marriage.

Most people don’t see the parallel between interracial marriage and gay marriage. They claim they are two very different things, though the arguments for one have been used for the other. Religious intolerance was used to fight against interracial marriage for decades, and that same religious intolerance is used today against gay marriage. But here is one truly concrete example of why voters should not be allowed to vote on a civil rights issue.

The election of 2000 was contentious.  I mean, everyone remembers the outcome in Florida, and how it dominated the news cycle meant that an important Alabama race went unnoticed.  Here’s a little excerpt from USA Today:

In 1967, 17 Southern states (all the former slave states plus Oklahoma) still enforced laws prohibiting marriage between whites and people of color. Maryland repealed its law in response to the start of the proceedings at the Supreme Court. After the ruling of the Supreme Court, the remaining laws were no longer in effect. Nonetheless, it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to officially amend their states’ constitutions to remove language prohibiting miscegenation. In the respective referendums, 62% of voters in South Carolina and 59% of voters in Alabama voted to remove these laws.

Did you read that right?  ONLY 59% of Alabama voters approved to remove the invalidated interracial marriage laws.  That means 41% of the Alabama voters wanted to keep the discriminatory laws on the books, even if they were invalidated and couldn’t be enforced.  Here’s the voting breakdown (the percentages are rounded):

So here, literally, is a black and white example of why voters should never be allowed to vote on civil rights.

(Crossposted from sister site BuryingTheLead.com)

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