Letter to the Editor: Don’t ignore the Constitution

Editor:

Although I agree with Teauhna Riley in her Feb. 24 letter to the editor (“The people have spoken in San Francisco”) that elected officials have a duty to represent their constituencies, they also have a duty to obey the Constitution. According to precedent more than 200 years old, only the judicial branch has the privilege of constitutional review.

Therefore, when an executive-especially such a minor executive as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom-declares that excluding gay marriage violates the state Constitution, he can’t lawfully do more than express an opinion. Newsom can no more make gay marriage legal than I can (and believe me, I would).

I agree with Mitch Freeman in his Feb. 20 letter to the editor (“Go through proper channels to legalize gay marriage”).

Massachusetts has successfully gone through the proper channels to legalize gay marriage.

Legitimate same-sex marriage certificates will be issued in just a few months.

Although I think the cause of gay marriage is moral and just, the tactics used by Newsom are the legal equivalent to those used by George Wallace-another man who represented the people by disregarding the law.

Mike Bednarz

Senior, Chemistry and Philosophy