We would be stuck with a Constitution that denied basic human rights to many people. We would be legally powerless to change that fact. We would be told our only recourse was to vote dozens of legislators out of office — or else to keep electing governors who will appoint enough new SJC justices so that the “bad” Goodridge could eventually be reversed by judicial fiat.
This could easily have happened. Do we really want the Massachusetts constitution, however future courts may interpret it, to only be amendable when a legislative majority (1) calls the question; and (2) votes to put the question before the voters? If so we should change our constitution (good luck!) to require a majority vote of the constitutional convention to get a petition to the ballot rather than the current one quarter.
I am sorely troubled by putting basic rights to a vote. But I have changed my mind on this one. I don’t think making it harder or impossible for “we the people” to change our basic law is a good idea. If Goodridge had come out the other way, I’m betting that a lot of my friends who now want the legislature to protect us from the people’s will would agree with me.