Saturday, June 27, 2015
On same sexmarriage and Thomas Jefferson on changing laws and Constitution to meet changing times
I am indebted to my friend, Denver councilman Kevin Flynn for the following post and the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson. We often forget that the Constitution in a framework on which our democracy is hung. The issues of the founding fathers are not always the same issues today, but the principles are the same and the decision by the Supreme Court on gay marriage is such an example. The oft noted abrupt change in public opinion toward same sex marriage and action taken by so many states had the Supreme Court catching up with majrotity attitudes.
"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects.
"But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816