I just wanted to quickly address two of the comments in my last post.
#1: Anonymous 7:08 PM said...
What's the we? I don't understand the fascination with gay unions from the heterosexual left-leaners. I'm all for live-and-let-live, but don't we have bigger fish to fry?
I woke up this morning thinking about this comment, for so many reasons, apparently. I don't know which point to make first.
- Speaking on behalf of (at least some) heterosexual left-leaners, I would LOVE not to have to have this debate at all. Live and let live? FINE BY ME. I'm not the one who has an issue, or who feels the need to "defend" traditional marriage, or who's out there creating new laws to redefine old ones specifically to strip rights of a minority group. It's not the liberals who give a shit what anyone does in their bedrooms. Why are the conservatives (and it is, by a vast majority, the conservatives) so obsessed with what the gays are doing? What on earth are we defending marriage against?
Here is a comic bit from one of my favorite local comedians, Mo Mandel. He is impersonating the gruff men from the rural area he grew up in.
I hate gays.
'Cuz they're always comin into my dreams and tryin to have sex with me!
- I absolutely agree we have bigger fish to fry. BUT. Right now, today, Ish and I can get married whenever we damn well please, and some of our best friends can't. I have a right they don't because...wait, why again? And that makes it my issue.
- Yes, I believe I -- and even "we" -- have a civic duty to protect the equal rights of all citizens. If minority groups never got support from majority groups, where do you think we'd be as a nation today?
I don't actually think we're on this immediate slippery slope, no. But if today we're a-okay with taking rights away from one minority group, what's to stop us from taking them away from another?
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
- Pastor Martin Niemölle
I have heard a lot of rhetoric about how it's not fair to compare the civil rights issues that gays are currently facing with the civil rights issues that minority races have faced. I have heard many times that comparing "sexual preference" to "race" is totally different. But I have not heard one argument as to why.
I suspect the undercurrent is that some people still believe being gay is a choice.
#2: Tom said...
I'm surprised that Prop 8 passed too, and I don't live in CA and don't have a horse in the race. But don't lay this at the feet of organized religion. The people of California have spoken -- the same ones that ALWAYS vote Democrat (except Obama). If it was voted down, everyone would be singing the praises of a democratic process. When it doesn't turn out the way you want it, all of a sudden, it's moral and religious people, and a bad system. That's entitlement at it's finest. The first lesson people should learn, and we're failing our grade schoolers, is that life is not fair.
- "Life is not fair" is not good enough. No, life is not fair, but I believe that there's a better shot of it being fair here than anywhere else in the world (except perhaps Canada, maybe New Zealand). When it comes to any civil rights debate, "Sorry, but life isn't fair" is not a reasonable defense.
- I disagree adamantly with the direct democracy approach in California and everywhere else they're imposing similar processes. Ballot measures are anti-republican and I am fundamentally opposed to them. Yes, even when measures I agree with pass (like Prop 2, and voting down Prop 4). We have legislative officials for a very good reason.
I think ballot measures are a great way to take the pulse of a city, county and state, but that doesn't, shouldn't, and can't automatically make those measures constitutional -- not at a state level, and not at a federal level.
- "All of a sudden it's moral and religious people"? No, not all of a sudden, but yes, it is moral and religious people; or at least, it is people claiming that they are protecting marriage for moral and religious reasons.
Look, this is NOT me harshing on Christians because I think I'm so progressive and believe that anyone who has faith in Jesus is backwards. I do not believe that, not in any way.
But I am not making stuff up about who:
- Created this measure
- Supported this measure
- Poured tons of money into this measure
- Lied about this measure
Yes on 8 was strongly backed by a coalition of religious and conservative groups, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Knights of Columbus and the California Catholic Conference.
So no: it is not ALL Christians, and it is not ALL Republicans. But those ARE the majority of Yes of Prop 8 folks. In fact, based on the latest Field Poll (you can download this .pdf of the results if you want), here are some demographics to chew on -- not because I'm being elitist, entitled, or arbitrary:
73% of Obama voters do NOT support Prop 8.
84% of McCain supporters do.
61% of people with a post-graduate education do NOT support Prop 8.
62% of people with a high school education do.
62% of voters over 65 support Prop 8.