The comments last week by Attorney General Eric Holder that state attorneys general are not obligated to "defend laws in their states banning same-sex marriage if they don't believe in them" sets a confusing tone for many.
If it is a law of the state, then shouldn't the attorneys general, by virtue of their elected position, be required to defend it? On the other hand, if a law is deemed discriminatory shouldn't it be changed?
Democratic attorneys general in five states — Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois and Nevada — have declined to defend same-sex marriage bans against lawsuits filed by gay couples.
By official directive, President Obama eased the level of enforcement of immigration laws. A recent audit by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general shows that the administration regularly cuts a break for businesses that hire illegal immigrants, reducing their fines by an average of 40 percent. In that case, the reduction is legal, but it may be undercutting the administration's goal of getting tough on businesses that hire illegal immigrants, often at less than the minimum wage.
Just because one doesn't agree with the speed limit doesn't mean you can ignore it without consequences.
In the case of the states and same-sex marriage, ignoring the law does nothing to change it. Attorneys general who disagree with their state's laws regarding same-sex marriage should actively support efforts to expose deficiencies and change the law.
Holder made his comments at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General. After the meeting, Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen of Wisconsin was quoted as saying, "It really isn't his job to give us advice on defending our constitutions any more than it's our role to give him advice on how to do his job … We are the ultimate defenders of our state constitutions."
Many people view the same-sex marriage and gay rights as the civil rights issue of our time; a continuation of the civil rights movement that won rights for black Americans in the 50's and 60's.
State legislators and governors are elected to represent the people, their interests and concerns. The people are responsible to forward their concerns and opinions to them. Should the laws change or should they stay the same? Not just on election day, (heck, we can't even get more that 25 percent of the voters to the polls) but whenever necessary on whatever the issue.
Legislators can be contacted through their office, email or U.S. mail. Most legislators have jumped on the social networking sites and some even have Twitter accounts.
We urge you to visit www.legis.state.pa.us/ and find out the best way to contact your state legislator. Visit www.house.gov and www.senate.gov to find out the best way to contact your U.S. representative and senators.
How much do you trust your government representative to act in your best interest if they don't know what you're opinion is?
Those who make their opinions known have a better chance of being heard than those who remain silent.
Those who show up at the polls will have their vote counted. Those who don't, well…