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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Amd't # 1. In politics, & const. amendments involve politics, to get along, sometimes you must go along. For court challenge, thanks for nothing.

Yesterday I did a post that had the following observation:

"When it comes to gays, for instance, the Republican Party has engaged in unconscionable demagoguery -- and the president knows it. In the short run, gay rights may be a losing issue, but this is a matter of human rights, not to be traded away. With all due respect to the voters of most of the states, on certain issues, I'd rather be right than red."

This summer when I was asked how I felt about the Nov. 2 constitutional amendment, I would say that I was going to vote against it not because I am a good Democrat, but because the amendment was nothing but gay bashing, and that someone's perference for life styles was his or her business and not my own, etc.

Well, the pundits have told us that many voters think such attitudes reflect a lack of values, etc., and that this contributed to our debacle on Nov. 2.

Democrats didn't fall off turnip trucks. We recognize that this amendment being on the ballot Nov. 2 here and in ten other states was a factor in this year's election. Yet as Richard Cohen says in the quote from yesterday's post, "on certain issues, I rather be right than red."

But today my strong feelings of support for the gay community have been tempered a bit by Tuesday's court filing. My feeling today is that there is not a thing wrong with expecting the gay community to meet the Democratic Party half way. In politics to get along, you have to go along.

In 11-06-04 post entitled "What do ya say? Let's get the last laugh. Unlike Kerry let Bush do, let's not let Sonny set our agenda. -- Let's accept the "no" vote for now," I made a case against challenging the Nov. 2 vote at the present time.

I got many emails supporting the logic of this, the logic of not rushing to court and having amendment #1 declared unconstitutional, and in the process, having Gov. Perdue lose the battle (in court) and win the war (a second term as Governor) because the issue would then be on the Nov. ballot in 2006 when Sonny is seeking re-election.

The email asked my readers to help dispatch this message to all of the parties and persons involved, including the lawyers at Alston & Bird.

Well, rather than just do the post, I also did my part. I spent about an hour or more tracking down email address in various sources on both counsel and the organizations involved and making contacts. I also contacted Southern Voice. I hereby publicly thank those who assisted me by responding, supplying email addresses, etc.

As we know, on Tuesday of this week, the ACLU, Alston & Bird, Lamdba Legal (a national organization that represents gays and lesbians), filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court seeking to have the constitutional amendment declared unconstitutional.

My feelings, my commitment, are the same as they were on Monday. Though my heart feels the way it did Monday before the suit was filed, my head is peeved.

Based on the reasoning of my 11-06-04 post, I think it is obvious that the rewards of successfully challenging the Nov. 2 vote on amendment #1 are minuscule compared with the risks of having the amendment back on the ballot in 2006 when the governor's office is at stake, not to mention state House and Senate races.

If a battle is won in the courts on this issue, the war the gay community risks losing may be far bigger and different from the one identified above.

In politics, to get along, sometimes you have to go along.

I am proud of having taken a stand in trying to be of assistance in getting people to vote "no" on the constitutional amendment. My only wishes are that I could have done more, and that my attempts to help had produced more fruit.

But to those in the gay community responsible for bring the lawsuit, I hereby go on record as saying that what you did on Tuesday in filing the lawsuit -- given Georgia's unique situation involving 2006 -- represents a very shortsighted and selfish act on your part, and one that ignores the expressed wishes and desires of many of us in the non-gay community who have stood by and with you in the past.

For myself and others wishing to join me in saying so, I say thanks for nothing, including what could prove to be both a fleeting and Pyrrhic victory.

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