Prop 8

Of course I am outraged at this. That comes as no surprise. But it seems that everyone I know is outraged by its passing, and if not outraged, than at least indifferent. I can’t say that I know anyone who would have voted to pass Prop 8. I don’t even think my Catholic mother would have. And even if I have met the occasional person who is still so backwards in their thinking or so “religious” that they would vote YES, how on earth does it make up over 50% of the voters in California? HOW?! This just doesn’t compute to me.

If you would have voted “YES,” on constitutionally banning gay marriage, please let me know why. You can even e-mail me at tashamort (at) hotmail.com. If you can read or watch the following things and still argue against it, then I am even more curious.

A great, PRO gay marriage blog post. These are some amazing arguments that I had never even considered.

Keith Olbermann’s special comment. His passion is on parallel with what I feel. How can you deny a couple the same rights you enjoy? It’s so unfair that it hurts.

Don’t tell me it leads to worse things. No one in Massachusetts is married to their dog.

Don’t tell me marriage is about God. I know people who married without God. Specifically, my future sister-in-law. They did not marry in a church. They did not use a religious figure as their officiant. In fact, the woman who married them was a good friend who happens to be a lesbian! They did not have any bible readings (I don’t think…). They had readings from books and poems that expressed their love in the truest way. One of their readings was even from the MA Ruling about gay marriage!

And they are married. They are not civil unionized. MARRIED. Should they not be married because they didn’t marry under God? That is not the God that I believe in. Will I have God in my marriage and ceremony? Yes I will, but that will not make me any MORE married than them. And you know what? The fact that they married the way they did, does not in ANY way infringe upon my marriage.

No one wants to force churches to perform gay marriage ceremonies. That’s not the issue. So the fact that religion has entrenched itself in this part of the government is kind of ridiculous. How does the fact that a same sex couple would be married diminish your marriage?! Does it bother you so much that there are states that allow this? Perhaps you should move to Iran, where they don’t have any gay people!

It doesn’t surprise me that there are people out there who harbor these views, generally based on their religion. People who believe homosexuality is wrong, immoral, an abomination. There will always be extreme people in this world. What is absolutely shocking to me is that more than 50% of California voters harbor this particular view.

Why?

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11 Responses to “Prop 8”

  1. jonolan Says:

    OK.

    I MIGHT have voted “yes” on Prop 8, just for very different reasons than any you’ve stated.

    Proposition 22 – which essentially did the same thing as Prop 8 – was voted in favor of by 61.4% of the California electorate in 2000.

    In 2006, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 849 which legalized same-sex marriages in direct contravention of Proposition 2 and the stated will of the voters of California. Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill citing Proposition 22.

    At this point the Supreme Court of California – 7 unelected judges – declared Proposition 22 unconstitutional, and like the State legislature voided the vote of the people of California. AB 43 – a resubmitted version of Assembly Bill 849 – was then passed into law legalizing same-sex marriage.

    Proposition 8 corrects the ills committed against the California voters by their own Legislature and Courts. America is supposedly a democracy after all.

    Therefore I might have voted in favor of Prop 8 for the sake of reminding both the state legislature and the court system of both who they work for and what the limits of the respective authority is.

    ALSO – and this is important. California recognizes both hetero- and homosexual Domestic Partnerships, which as of 2007 grant all of the same rights and responsibilities as marriages under CA state law (see California Family Code §297.5) Homosexuals lost NO rights or privileges that can be described under law by the passing of Prop 8.

    The above is the sole reason why I could have put aside my dislike for homophobia and voted for Prop 8. I’ll vote for the restoration of the democratic process when it causes nobody any truly measurable harm to do so.

  2. Kritta Says:

    Amen, sister.

  3. tashamort Says:

    Jonolan’s reasons are interesting, and probably in the huge minority. Though to me the underlying EQUALITY is a more serious issue than the governmental process, and could never vote that way.

    Domestic partnerships are all fine and well, but then why are some people granted marriages if they mean the same thing? Seperate but equal didn’t work in this country in the past, so why would it work now?

  4. jonolan Says:

    tashamort,

    I agree that mine is mostly a minority opinion on the issue. I’m not alone in it though.

    I also look at these things from the standpoint of laws. Yes, the underlying equality is a serious issue, more serious in the long run than the specifics of the laws. It’s just NOT an issue that can be address through legislation or litigation. You can’t legislate or litigate acceptance.

  5. tashamort Says:

    While your reasons are definitely new to me, that’s about all I can say on that. You and people who voted like you are obviously a minority. So what about the rest of those folks? My concern in this post is for them. How did all those people vote AGAINST legalizing gay marriage, because they did not vote only thinking about democracy. It’s fine to turn your vote into a statement for democracy, but I can’t help but feel that most people used their vote as a statement against allowing gay people to marry. And I just can’t imagine feeling like that, and I can’t understand why they think that.

  6. jonolan Says:

    No, must people who voted for Prop 8 voted for it either because they a homophobic or because they feared for the future of religious freedoms in California.

  7. Erika Says:

    Thanks for the link, Tasha. Great post! Some thoughts with regard to the above exchange…

    First, I don’t know any gay or lesbian person who refers to him/herself as “homosexual”. The term “homosexual”has a pejorative connotation in the American context. Anyone who refers to LGBT persons as “homosexuals” speaks clearly in the voice of the privileged.

    Second, had we never legislated or litigated ‘acceptance’, our schools, our buses, our lunch counters, our hotels, our hospitals, and our courts of law would have remained blindingly blanched, possibly even to this day. The idea that we don’t have to use the legal process to defeat the embodiments of racist, sexist, and homophobic thinking is unrealistic and out of touch with our history, as evidenced by the laws which abolished slavery, gave women and African-Americans the right to vote, and ended segregation.

    Third, these bans on these ballots are not legislating or litigating acceptance. They’re legislating and litigating equality because equality, as promised by that lord of all laws, the US Constitution, is NOT currently extended to all citizens of this country.

    Fourth, regardless of whether or not CA’s Domestic Partnerships provide the same rights, privileges, and protections to gay and lesbian persons as the short-lived full marriage equality there, I guarantee that few, if any, gay or lesbian persons had a voice in making the decision to institute Domestic Partnerships in the first place. Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions are classic examples of ‘separate, but equal’ and, really, are no more than “compromises” stemming from the dominant, heterosexist discourse.

    And, finally, the arguments made in the above comments suggest that societies and cultures and all that they encompass are rigid and permanent across time, that laws are what they are and shall remain so. I would counter that the human beings who comprise these entities are just the opposite — fluid, flawed, and capable of great, unprecedented progress

  8. jonolan Says:

    Erika,

    California Assembly Bill 849 (resubmitted and passed as AB 43), which legalized gay marriage violated the State constitution of California. The California Supreme Court’s response was overturn Proposition 22 under which AB 849 (AB 43) was made unconstitutional. Seven unelected judges changed the state’s constitution in direct opposition of the will of the electorate. How can this be considered even vaguely appropriate in a constitutional democracy?

    You make your point clear though; you’re not interested in equality under the law. What you seem to be interested in cannot be achieved through law – ask any Black person.

  9. tashamort Says:

    Erika, thanks you for your comments!

    Of course you can’t legislate acceptance in people’s minds, but you can give equal rights under the law. The LGBT community is no longer a small and unkown group like it may have been in the 50s. No, they’re just people who are asking for the same rights as other people! I think most, if not all states include “sexual orientation” as a protected status in regards to hate crimes and employment (I’m no expert in all these laws…), so how long do we have to wait for the rest of it?! Like Erika said, civil rights and laws regarding different races and genders have changed. How much longer will we have to wait to change these current laws? I would bet that in 20 years or less, most of the country will look back and wonder how gay people were ever denied equal rights. I personally will never stop talking about it, because it needs to happen soon.

    Speaking of the US Constitution, not only does it declare rights for EVERYONE, but it also talks about the seperation of church and state. No doubt some of our government can be traced back to religion, but you can have morality without religion. To me, it seems like religion is the biggest reason for the arguement against gay marriage. Shouldn’t that be a moot point under our original laws?

    Okay, I’ll stop for now. Thanks for all the discussion!

  10. Erika Says:

    Jonolan,

    Well, I must be a silly, liberal idealist b/c I believe that “the will of the electorate” isn’t always right. Something about collective behavior, mob mentality, acting in fear. Not to mention things like lynchings, witch trials, and genocide.

    I don’t understand your other point — how do I not want equality under the law? It must be too early in the morning… Do you mean to say that what I’m really interested in is changing people’s hearts so that no one hates or discriminates against gay people? If that’s what you’re saying, then you’re right. As a gay person, I do not want people to hate or discriminate against me simply b/c I’m gay.

    Look — it’s obvious that you revere rules, laws, and order. I do, too. Rules, laws, and order are the bedrock of our freedom & democracy. But I struggle with the idea that all rules, laws, and order are never wrong. I think of anti-miscegenation laws, which prohibited inter-racial marriage. As recently as 1948, 30 out of [then] 48 states enforced these laws. I’m sure you know that, in 1967, when anti-miscegenation laws were still enforced in 16 states, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional, despite the “will of the electorate” in many of those states. Are you saying the unanimous opinion of those unelected judges was wrong?

  11. jonolan Says:

    “’m sure you know that, in 1967, when anti-miscegenation laws were still enforced in 16 states, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional, despite the “will of the electorate” in many of those states. Are you saying the unanimous opinion of those unelected judges was wrong?”

    Yes, I’m saying that. While they achieved a VERY laudable end, the means by which they did so was a violation of the founding principles of this nation. The Warren Court did that on a regular basis.

    You are right though, the electorate doesn’t always make wise or kind decisions. I just trust them in the long run far more than any oligarchy, especially an unelected one.

    Once a precedence for power or authority is set, it’s very hard to reign that authority back in. This is even worse when that authority is a judiciary, since they’re not elected.

    How are you going to feel if Conservative judges overrule later overrule the vote of a pro-Gay proposition, or any other legislation? At least the electorate can be influenced as the significant drop in support between Prop 22 (circa 20) and Prop 8 (circa 2008) shows.

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