Monday, March 8, 2004
IN MY OPINION (Column)
Anarchy in Oz
By RAY HAYNES
(The writer represents the 66th Assembly District which includes portions of western Riverside County and northern San Diego County.)
Every once in a while, I know I have entered the Land of Oz. Witness the controversy over gay marriage. Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco called the recent comments by President Bush regarding the homosexual marriages in San Francisco “disgraceful.” Rosie O’Donnell even called his statement “hateful”!
The mayor breaks the law, the president says that is wrong—and it is the president who is disgraceful? From what universe does that logic come?
Whether it is L. Frank Baum or George Orwell, we have certainly entered a land created in the mind of an imaginative writer. Think of this-a mayor violates the law, claiming that he is defending the Constitution-except that no court, no case, no decision, no person in any legal authority at any time has even intimated that either the U.S. or the California Constitution ever forced the recognition of homosexual marriage.
The chief law enforcement official in San Francisco, its district attorney, and the chief law enforcement official of the state of California, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, do nothing. The judges in San Francisco delay, deny, and obfuscate the law, in one case putting over a hearing because a semi-colon is in the wrong spot, and the president, who is as shocked as the rest of us over this flagrant lawlessness, is disgraceful and hateful?
What if a mayor actually looked at the Constitution and read the words of the Second Amendment, which say “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” came to the conclusion that the right to keep and bear arms could not be infringed by any state law, and then started issuing concealed weapon permits? Do you think Lockyer would first say he would only defend state agencies sued as a result of the mayor’s actions, then call anyone who wanted him to act “radical,” and then say he would consult with the Supreme Court as to the meaning of the law-all while doing nothing? Of course not.
What if a mayor actually looked at the Constitution, found that abortion wasn’t in it, then looked at the California Penal Code, and found that killing a fetus was murder, and then went to a local abortion clinic and chained the door of the clinic because he thought the folks in that clinic were committing murder? Would the attorney general drag his feet then? Of course not.
So what is going on here? Are we really in Oz? Why is Lockyer allowing Newsom to violate California law so flagrantly? Why, when the mayor called Lockyer and told him what he was going to do, didn’t Lockyer tell the mayor that the mayor would be facilitating a crime? Why won’t Lockyer act now? What is going on?
I know that politicians do things to get elected. Lockyer, however, is the chief law enforcement officer. Politics should not affect law enforcement in a nation of laws. California, however, has become a state of lawlessness in this nation of laws, because those charged with enforcing the law, like Lockyer, believe they have the right to pick and choose the laws they will enforce.
When Governor Schwarzenegger asked Lockyer to enforce the law, he was told to mind his own business.. Like Gray Davis, Lockyer believes that he is not accountable to the people. Like Davis, he thinks no one can touch him. The voters got rid of one of the symptoms of California’s dysfunctional government, but it seems the sickness is still infecting us.
Is the governor disgraceful? Is President Bush hateful? As a Christian, I am taught not to hate others. On the other hand, if by hateful they refer to the contempt I have for the anarchy and blatant disregard of the law in San Francisco, then perhaps I am guilty. Heck, one might even say I’m intolerant of those who would defy the will of the people of our state! But as for “disgrace,” the only disgrace I’m aware of is sitting behind the desk in the attorney general’s office.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company