It’s been an enormously busy time at FIC, but I want to assure all of you who asked that we are committed to firing up FIC Blog again. Among its many features, FIC Blog serves as a sort of “virtual archive” of FIC’s activities and media appearances–and in the last few months we’ve done more media interviews than in all the previous years of our existence combined. The need for FIC Blog, in other words, is greater than ever.

To kick off the return of FIC Blog, I will start with the most important of all our recent media forays: my Nov. 16th op-ed, which appeared on the front page of The Hartford Courant’s Sunday commentary section. Here ’tis:

Same-sex marriage arrived in Connecticut this week the only way it could: by bypassing the democratic process.

Only three states have had same-sex marriage, and in each case it was imposed by a 4-3 vote of the states’ high courts. In California, the people reasserted their right to self-government and — thanks especially to African American turnout — voted on Nov. 4 to overturn their court and restore the traditional definition of marriage. With Arizona reversing an earlier vote, same-sex marriage has now lost in all 30 of the 30 states that held referendums on amending their constitutions.

Connecticut was supposed to be different. Same-sex marriage activists saw in our state their best chance for a democratic victory and so they frequently brought their cause to the General Assembly. Their repeated failure to democratically pass same-sex marriage undermines the legitimacy of their court victory.

In neither Massachusetts nor California did the legislature say “no” to same-sex marriage as often or as explicitly as in Connecticut. Even in 2005 — their best year — same-sex marriage advocates were forced to drop their “same-sex marriage or nothing” demand and settle for a civil union law that explicitly defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

That even a legislature as liberal as ours refused to pass same-sex marriage says a lot about where the people of Connecticut really stand on this issue. In the end, same-sex marriage activists had to rely on four unelected judges to impose it.

The conduct of those judges and of state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal raises further questions about the democratic legitimacy of same-sex marriage in Connecticut.

The Family Institute of Connecticut moved to intervene on the ground that the attorney general would not defend the role of traditional marriage in promoting responsible procreation and child rearing. As Justice Peter Zarella notes in dissenting opinion, this is “the only argument” that has ever won in such cases. The court dismissed our motion, saying that it could consider the same argument via an amicus brief and that “if the attorney general failed to argue that there was a rational basis for traditional marriage, he would not be adequately representing the state’s interest.”

He didn’t. The attorney general’s office never made that argument and the court concluded that it therefore need not consider it. Given the court’s reasons for dismissing our motion, its refusal to consider the rational basis for traditional marriage was, as Zarella wrote, “unseemly, to say the least.”

The court released its decision on the Friday before Columbus Day weekend. The following Tuesday a Courant/UConn poll was released purporting to show that most Connecticut residents approved of the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage.

This is how a “revolution from above” is conducted. Step 1: Have four judges undemocratically force same-sex “marriage” on Connecticut. Step 2: Have the media rush in to say to the public, “Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. Most of you are OK with this. Only a few rabble-rousers oppose it.”

But how accurate is a poll taken over a weekend — particularly a three-day holiday weekend — when many people are away? The Courant’s poll on the constitutional convention, for instance, begun on a Saturday, misjudged the “no” vote by 20 points.

Perhaps this is why those who cite polls to buttress their claim that Connecticut residents support same-sex marriage are unwilling to let those same residents vote on it.

Unlike California, Connecticut has no initiative process to allow a direct vote on marriage. And, unfortunately, the constitutional convention ballot question that lost on Election Day was manipulated by our state’s political elites from start to finish.

Teachers unions and other special interests poured at least $800,000 into a dishonest campaign portraying themselves as the outsiders and the modest “Vote Yes” coalition as the big-money insiders. “Vote Yes” was outspent by more than 2 to 1 — and were it not for the last-minute intervention of the Catholic Church it would have been outspent by more than 80 to 1, according to fundraising figures filed with the state to date.

The people of Connecticut and their elected representatives never voted for same-sex marriage. Had it been otherwise, same-sex couples could have reasonably claimed that Connecticut now “accepts” it. Instead, their undemocratic victory will continue to haunt them in the battles for religious liberty and parental rights that now lie ahead.

• Peter Wolfgang is executive director of The Family Institute of Connecticut.


14 Responses to “There’s Nothing Democratic About Judges — Not Society — Upending Traditional Definition Of Marriage”

  1. on 19 Dec 2008 at 9:06 pmDaymion

    Our country isn’t a democracy, so I don’t see why it’s so important.

  2. on 31 Dec 2008 at 9:11 pmDavid

    So we didn’t get to vote on SSM and that makes you mad. And we did get to vote on Con Con but that makes you mad. So vote or no vote you’re mad. What it comes down to is that unless a decision goes in your chosen direction it’s wrong and it’s somebody else’s fault. Doesn’t seem much different than the victim mentality of some of the gay “activists”.

  3. on 25 Jan 2009 at 4:18 pmTricia

    Daymion’s and David’s comments are extremely simplistic (to say the least), and irrelevant to the issue.

    This “country” and STATE have *representative democracies* in which there are 3 *supposedly* co-equal branches of government.

    The founding fathers of our nation and state did NOT intend that the judiciary, who are UNELECTED, would reign “supreme” over the other 2 branches.

    In a Jan. 15th column by George Will, entitled “Of Judges, By Judges, For Judges,” he refers to “an unassailable tyranny of a minority — judges.”

    That is exactly what we seem to have come to in Connecticut, “an unassailable tyranny of a minority” in the form of 4 unelected judges.

  4. on 25 Jan 2009 at 4:39 pmTricia

    I note that no one responded to disagree with Peter’s point that our attorney general was negligent in his “defense” of CT law that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” That just might be because Peter’s logic and reasoning was unassailable, as was that of supreme courts in New York and other states who ruled that the state DOES have a vital interest in preserving natural marriage.

    It is natural marriage that:

    1. protects the rights of children to be cared for and provided for by their parents and

    2. more likely assures an ordered society.

    It is not just Peter and others concerned about traditional values of faith and family who recognize what a TRAVESTY this CT Supreme Court ruling was.

    Independent legal experts and journalists have written in Law Journals etc. about the appallingly inadequate defense by Blumenthal against the Kerrigan case, as also indicated by Justice Zarella.

  5. on 26 Jan 2009 at 8:00 amPeter

    Hi Trish,

    There was some hate e-mail in the queue; I don’t recall if any of it brought up the AG in between the various insults. Most pathetical are the folks who think I’m deliberately censoring them for disagreeing with me when I just hadn’t gotten around to moderating the queue yet. They respond by getting more insulting , which does leads to their comments being deleted…a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy for them. My favorite is the fellow who wrote such unflattering things about my ability to craft an argument…in response to something *Dave* wrote. Alas, for many of our opponents, reading comprehension remains a challenge.

    No reasonable person can look back through the FIC Blog archives and say that we’re afraid of disagreement. We do reserve the right to decide what does and doesn’t get posted here, but in general a person’s comments are more likely to be deleted because of tone, not content. If someone doesn’t like that rule or thinks it’s applied unfairly, they can always vent about it on their own blog.

    Also, those of you out there who live or die by your ability to blog are seemingly unfamiliar with the priorities of the rest of us. It’s been a busy few months & responding to trolls has not been high on the to-do list. If that’s a problem for you, again, there are other places where you could and probably should be spending your time.

    Trish, it’s good to hear from you in this space. We’ll be striving to make FIC Blog a more friendly environment for friends like you. And we do welcome opposing comments from those few who are capable of doing it with civility.

  6. on 07 Mar 2009 at 12:18 pmDan Meucci

    Here again the Marriage Issue for Gays is approved by
    a panel of liberal judges in Connecticut…What does
    this tell you?

    This issue is just one of many liberal issues which get
    passed because the average moderate or conservative
    is alseep at the wheel and doesn’t participate in the
    political process. So well organized left-wingers, liberals,
    and radicals have the ability to do just about whatever
    they want.

    What will it take to change the above? A well organized
    effort of the republicans…under a strong conservative
    leader like a Reagan to get this country back on track!

    Just maybe the Silent Majority of conservatives will awaken
    much like the American’s after Pearl Harbor and strike
    back with overwhelmming force…We now have the motivation…our pocketbooks!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama is going to hurt us all in the pocketbooks to
    pay for his communist agenda.

  7. on 07 Mar 2009 at 12:19 pmDan Meucci


  8. on 09 Mar 2009 at 4:08 pmTricia

    “the Silent Majority of conservatives [HAS] awaken[ed],” Dan—thank goodness!

    I LOVE people like Rick Santelli, and Peter Wolfgang, who STAND up and SPEAK OUT for what is *right and GOOD!*

    I agree totally with these “Nine Principles” so well-articulated recently by Glenn Beck:

    “1. America is good.

    2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

    3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

    4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

    5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

    6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

    7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

    8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

    9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.”

    “You Are Not Alone

    “If you agree with at least seven of those principles, then you are not alone.”

    I invite all like-minded people to go to to find out more about “We Surround Them!”

    There are links at his website to people hosting a viewing party (for Glenn’s 5 p.m. FOX news channel program) this Friday, March 13th in homes and other locations around the state. Glenn has been working on this for several weeks, since someone called (on his radio show), so discouraged that he was planning to move his family out of the U.S. This Friday at 5 p.m. on FNC, he will be revealing strategies to fight back and really make a positive difference.

    I’m so excited about this new way to make connections and get active making GOOD changes, to RESTORE our nation to those principles upon which it was founded!

    My husband and I are looking forward to making some new like-minded friends, and help map out some proactive strategies this friday. We don’t subscribe to cable, or would probably host one of viewing parties ourselves. We plan to go to one of them at one of the locations linked to at: (“We Surround Them”)

  9. on 15 Mar 2009 at 1:04 pmDave

    Now, add the real agenda of people like Beck

    1) The rest of the world is evil

    2) And I have the right to demonize all those who don’t follow the same God

    3) I don’t have to be honest about how I want to control others

    4) but it’s ok for the gov’t to control families that are different than mine

    5) those who claim that they are guided by God are above the law

    6) I have the right to control the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all those who I disagree with

    7) But the gov’t can force others to pay for my children’s education

    8) It is un-American for others to disagree with my authority and to share their opinion

    9) The gov’t works for me and with it I have the right to enforce my views on everyone else.

    There, now that is what “we surround them” really means, and why it is so popular with the “pro-family” crowd.

  10. on 16 Mar 2009 at 9:55 amDave

    He’s back, and here we go again with the confusion. We have the same person, who is opposed to FIC, posting here in this thread under multiple aliases – Dave and David. It would be so much easier if he would just post under one alias for the sake of consistency. And I can’t help but think he is choosing to deliberately alternate between aliases to add to the chaos, knowing that one of these names is the same as my byline for articles in support of FIC. While his anti-family vitriol usually makes his identity apparent, it is nevertheless quite annoying to see the same moniker being used. It is as if someone else decided to start posting as “Peter”, knowing full well who is responsible for many of the articles at our site.

    Peter, if you can manage it, I’d recommend editing his posts to change the attribution to David. You can locate them by looking at his email address, which is stored internally in our database. The items in question are:

    – Posted Mar 15, 1:04 PM
    – Posted Oct 9, 7:09 PM

    We’ve been extremely patient and accommodating to this person, in allowing him to express his anti-FIC viewpoint. But I think it is fair to ask people to refrain from deliberately using aliases that replicate other regular contributors. (Maybe this should even be added to the list of rules).

    I wouldn’t want Tricia or anyone else to get the mistaken idea that I’m responsible for spewing this anti-family garage, but since all that most people ever see is the alias name (and not the actual email address stored internally in our database) it might spark some turmoil if the comments weren’t specifically disavowed.

    By the way, I’d recommend leaving my comment in this matter as publicly visible to the blog community so that folks are clear about what’s been happening here.

  11. on 16 Mar 2009 at 12:48 pmTricia

    I am confused about post # 9, from “Dave?”

    This *twisted* SLANDER reads like it is from “David” who has frequently posted on these threads, NOT the “Dave” whose posts I am usually principally in agreement with.

  12. on 16 Mar 2009 at 8:48 pmDave


    I don’t see David’s latest rant as being anything more noteworthy than the usual wacky arguments from his “world of opposites”. Warped? Yes. Slanderous or libelous? Probably not, since he speaks of a vaporous and intangible group of people “like Beck” rather than of any specific person. And he’s entitled to his opinion, of course.

    The real set of 9 principles, though, finds its origin not in the blustering of an angry LGBT activist, but in the wisdom of our country’s founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. And this quote from the original GW seems particularly appropriate at this juncture:

    In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of efforts without attending to their causes.

    Notwithstanding any words of denial, David has posted on the FIC Blog more than 130 times during the past 2 years. We’ve heard arguments such as these many times before, from those who mistakenly believe that a difference of opinion is the equivalent of an “attack”. Never mind that what motivates our efforts is responding to an assault on our own liberties, which has occurred through coercive lawmaking that impinges upon our freedoms – of speech, association, conscience, and religion, among others. Yet our opponents remain blind to this truth, and seek instead to portray us as the villains. These are the tactics of the deceiver, as they have been from the beginning. So do not be dismayed, but remain steadfast. The wind may blow, but those who are anchored in bedrock will remain unbowed.

  13. on 08 Apr 2009 at 9:24 amGwen

    I see a lot of folks critizing the State Supreme Court for its recent decision concerning same sex marriages. What I don’t understand is why the criticism. Other than to express disagreement.

    One poster wrote about three separate but equal branches of government. So far this is correct. It’s all about checks and balances.

    One of the duties of the Supreme Court is to decide if a law or constitutional amendment is valid. This is not legislating from the bench. If the legislature or the people vote for and pass a constitutional bill and it is challenged and brought before the Supreme Court, they have the right to make a decision on that law or bill’s validity and to judge it either constitutional or unconstitutional. They also have the duty to instruct the legislature to make and law or amendment equal for all citizens.

    If you don’t understand this, you probably slept through that part of high school civics class.


  14. […] The Blog of the Family Institute of Connecticut reports: . . . Only three states have had same-sex marriage, and in each case it was imposed by a 4-3 vote of the states’ high courts. In California, the people reasserted their right to self-government and — thanks especially to African American turnout — voted on Nov. 4 to overturn their court and restore the traditional definition of marriage. With Arizona reversing an earlier vote, same-sex marriage has now lost in all 30 of the 30 states that held referendums on amending their constitutions. […]

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