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Basic human rights should not be subjected to popular vote

A genius of our constitutional democracy is the balance between the rule of the majority and the protection of minority rights. The Bill of Rights asserts that basic human rights should not be subjected to popular vote. The May 14 Empire editorial, “Too important for federal court,” fails to reflect this constitutional insight. Same-gender couples should be allowed to marry. Denying them this right violates equal protection under the law. I am grateful for the wisdom of the judiciary that is discerning the injustice in marriage bans. I am also encouraged that growing numbers of Alaskans, as well as citizen of other states, are supportive of same gender marriage rights. But the right to marry should not have to wait for further agreement by the electorate. The time to end discrimination is now.

Phil Campbell

Pastor, Northern Light United Church

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