“The Tyranny of the Majority is No Myth”: Its Dangers for Legally Married Same-Sex CouplesFaculty Scholarship
AbstractThis article has three sections. Section 1 explains that sexual minorities, consisting of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer people (LGBTQ), 15 comprise a small number of people within the U.S. and describes the current laws granting and prohibiting legal rights to married or partnered same-sex couples. Thus, the LGBTQ community is dependent on the non-LGBTQ community to decide its rights when those rights are debated at the ballot box, a bad public policy in and of itself. 16 Section II considers the question posed by this symposium: is the tyranny of the majority a danger to minority communities or is it a myth? Using sources such as Alexis de Toqueville, the Federalist papers, and prior U.S. court cases, this section concludes that majority tyranny is a threat to minority communities and has long been recognized as a danger inherent in governments founded on democracy. Section III describes the negative impact that the tyranny of the majority has on married same-sex couples. It also explains why the historic victories in November 2012 may establish that the majority has begun to understand the harm they cause to same-sex couples when they enshrine discrimination into state constitutions and statutes.
Citation InformationBarbara J. Cox, “The Tyranny of the Majority is No Myth”: Its Dangers for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples, Symposium Issue on “Minority Rights and Majority Rule: The Arguments and Policies behind the Proposed 2012 Minnesota Constitutional Amendments and the Danger or Myth of the Tyrannical Majority,” 34 HAMLINE J. PUB. LAW & POL’Y 235 (2013).