DISCUS

Editorial: Shot of Courage

February 19, 2009 07:00 PM

SHOULD THE illogical, emotional desires of a few trump the rights of the majority of law-abiding Georgians?

Ask that question in regard to almost any topic, and the resounding answer is "no."

Pose the same question in regard to the Sunday sale of alcohol in Georgia and politicians start turning green around the gills.

The question for elected officials too often boils down to this: Should I stand up for the separation of church and state, or should I anger a vocal section of the populace that will work for my ouster if I vote against their wishes?

For the past two years, the General Assembly has chosen discretion over valor.

Under opposition from the religious right and the threat of a veto by Gov. Sonny Perdue (himself a teetotaler), lawmakers failed to pass a law allowing local voters to decide on Sunday sales.

State legislators should remember that opponents to Sunday sales are in the minority. Polls show that two thirds of Georgians support a law to allow local referenda on alcohol sales. (The same percentage by which lawmakers would have to back the measure for a veto override.)

This year, lawmakers should take a shot of courage from the broad support for Sunday sales. They should back companion bills offered by Sen. Seth Harp, R-Midland, and Rep. Roger Williams, R-Dalton.

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CONTACT: Telephone: SCROLLER Publication Name: Savannah Morning News (Georgia) Publication Author: Editorial
 

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