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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
November 5, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

It's morning in America again -- but for the thousands of committed gay couples who got married in California [warning: Dan Fogelberg music, sweet visuals], the long nightmare of intolerance and hate is not yet over with the probable victory of Proposition 8. Supported by the anti-equality stances of Sarah Palin and "divinely" inspired others, and paid for by members of the Mormon Church and the mother of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, many of the ads for Prop. 8 featured the faces of Obama and Joe Biden, who declared their opposition to the initiative but refused to support equal marriage rights for all, preferring to talk about "civil unions." Even excellent Democratic-leaning politics sites like Talking Points Memo were saturated with the deceptive ads, which overwhelmed those comparing the proposition to other forms of discrimination in California's history.
posted by digaman (720 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wasn't expecting to feel proud of my country and deeply ashamed of my state at the same time today.
posted by mullingitover at 8:15 AM on November 5, 2008 [50 favorites]


I was so happy last night watching Obama win. Such promise for our country, such hope. This morning I'm despondent about 8. I live in Calfornia, I'm gay. And the people of my state just voted against my civil rights. It feels very personal.
posted by Nelson at 8:16 AM on November 5, 2008


For the record, yes, I am a legally married gay man. While the legal status of my marriage to my partner of 14 years is now in doubt, I am ready to fight for it.
posted by digaman at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is there anything that can be done should prop 8 pass?
posted by xmutex at 8:18 AM on November 5, 2008


I must say one of the strangest moments in this very strange election cycle happened, for me, when I learned that the Mormons, of all people, were lecturing others about what is a normal marriage, and what isn't.
posted by matteo at 8:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [55 favorites]


Indeed. Supplementing with the FPP I was cobbling together:


Mendacious Amendation: Separate and Unequal.

the geography of prejudice

Amidst last night and this morning's electoral euphoria, a massive downer lurks:
California appears to be on the verge of passing Proposition 8, amending the state's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

-------

As early as 7PM PST exit polls suggested that Proposition 8 was on its way to a narrow passage, upsetting expectations.

As the Times article mentions, this issue has split heterosexual voters along lines of ethnicity and age. Another dynamic worthy of note is the huge amount of money that has flowed into both sides of the campaign from all 50 states; especially from Mormons through groups such as Mormons for 8 and Protect Marriage. Fundraising patterns within the state are also interesting.

Some interesting filters can be applied to the L.A. Times' interactive map, including ethnicity, income, and voting history .

(some of these links may be duplicates, I haven't fully checked for older posts, or all the links above.)

The opposition to Prop 8 hasn't conceded yet, although it doesn't look good.

Reversing this decision needs to be Prop 1 on the next California ballot.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:20 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


That sucks. My heart goes out to my gay (and married, for now) friends in CA.
posted by kaseijin at 8:20 AM on November 5, 2008


I'm in Georgia and was really hoping that California would start the tide turning a little bit for my gay friends and loved ones. What happened?? I'm crushed.
posted by pearlybob at 8:21 AM on November 5, 2008


oh, and even if it's impossible to sugarcoat such a painful setback, I'd like to remind my progressive friends in California and elsewhere that, once you break the numbers down to voter age, the older the voter, in average the higher the opposition to gay marriage. I know time is a factor when you're being discriminated against, and your love is somehow considered unworthy of legal recognition, but time is on our side. with painful stuff like Proposition 8 they can only delay what's going to happen, and sooner than they think.
posted by matteo at 8:23 AM on November 5, 2008 [18 favorites]


Arkansas's Initiative 1 passed. Adoption is now limited to people who are married, in Arkansas. Overall the state-level ballot initiatives about social issues have some good news, some bad for civil liberties, gay rights, and reproductive freedom.
posted by Tehanu at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2008


I must say one of the strangest moments in this very strange election cycle happened, for me, when I learned that the Mormons, of all people, were lecturing others about what is a normal marriage, and what isn't.

The way one (non-practicing) Mormon presented it to me was basically "well if we can't get married like we want to, neither should they." Dunno if that's the official version, but it's pathetic...
posted by inigo2 at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2008


I wish that everybody who voted for Prop 8 in California could come to Canada and see just what a complete and utter non-issue gay marriage is. Nobody here even gives a wet slap about it -- I don't think any candidates in the last election cycle made it an issue, and the sky hasn't fallen. It's just so completely utterly normal. It's seriously no big deal at all.
posted by the dief at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2008 [32 favorites]


This is painful, especially when coupled with the ballot measures in Arizona and Florida against gay marriage, and the shameful, hateful, and ill advised law in Arkansas banning gay couples from adopting. That one stings profoundly, and as a gay man and an advocate for vulnerable children, I feel confident saying that it is one of the dumbest decisions American voters have ever made. So many children need loving homes and no gay couple has a child they do not want, or an accidental child. I am sickened by this and sad for all those couples in California whose love is being put to a popular vote.

But if last night proved anything, it is that the arc of the universe does indeed bend toward justice.
posted by cal71 at 8:25 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


matteo I was just looking through those stats on cnn.com and yes, young voters in most places voted very differently from the oldest demographic, while the middle-aged voters tended to vote somewhere inbetween. Very striking trends.
posted by Tehanu at 8:25 AM on November 5, 2008


Wow, people in CA voted for Obama and Prop 8? Meanwhile, my state "protected" marriage (68% voted for Amendment 2).

How did this ticket get split?
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2008


Also, friends in CA were telling me about fake Obama robocalls telling people to vote YES (despite Obama being against it).
posted by inigo2 at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2008


and ill advised law in Arkansas banning gay couples from adopting.

It bans unmarried straight people from adopting there, too. Today is not a good day for child advocates in Arkansas.
posted by Tehanu at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


A question for the constitutional scholars out there: can a supreme court (state or federal) rule that an amendment to a constitution is unconstitutional? It seems like a contradiction in terms, but is it possible to say, "this part of the constitution directly conflicts with this part (or the whole) so it's got to go"?
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This hurts. Americans voted to take rights away from other Americans, to make them second-class citizens. Not really sure what to say.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:28 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


And there's the horrible, painful irony that it the large African-American turnout inspired by Obama may have helped swing things Prop 8's way.

I can absolutely understand why Obama thought he couldn't risk energising the religious right by coming out more forcefully against it - but god, I wish he'd felt he had the political capital to spend on a trip to California on Monday, to say "if you vote for me but also vote for Prop 8, then you're missing the entire fucking point."
posted by flashboy at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [38 favorites]


We passed some mormons the other day with signs that said things like "prop 8=free speech" and "less government". It was odd.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can't the California Supreme Court just say, "Uh, no. We already said it was unconstitutional"?

Or do they have to rule on this specific law as well?
posted by chillmost at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


They gave Californians the Christian Finger.
Really. . . Check the Members of the Mormon Church link, just under Kevin Seymour's name.

If the last 8 years have taught us anything, it is the detrimental effect of the Christian Finger on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
posted by isopraxis at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, matteo, I hope you're right. I cheered last night and wept this morning. This XKCD strip is a perfect metaphor for how anti-gay marriage seems to me. "You know, caring about someone doesn't make you a real person. Guys? Didn't you hear me?? Stop loving each other! *stomps foot*"
posted by marginaliana at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Time to pull out my "Fuck you, old man." t-shirt. It's been in a drawer for 25 years.
posted by Manhasset at 8:30 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


digaman - While the doctrine of ex post facto law is slipperly when applied to the states (as the protections in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution apply only to Federal criminal law) I would be very surprised if any attempt to invalidate marriages retroactively succeeded.

xmutex - we can flip the switch right back in the next California election. We need an immediate response that educates Californians as to the degree to which this issue was manipulated by out of state interests.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I like to think that I'm generally pretty good about at least understanding the many viewpoints on an issue. But the "flip side" here is so far afield that I just can't grasp it. Fuck you, anybody, anywhere, who voted for hate.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


mandy-
Here is Arizona, the anti-Prop 102 campaign (Prop 102 being the "protect traditional marriage" amendment) used the small government rhetoric, saying that we should keep politicians out of marriage and vote down the amendment. Unfortunately, it didn't work.

Although, I wonder if campaign slogans confused some people; the pro-amendment group used the slogan "Vote Yes! for marriage!" It is possible that a few people on either side may have voted the wrong way. They should ask for a do-over.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2008


Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2008


chillmost-- the way this worked was that California previously passed a ballot initiative explicitly banning gay marriage. The California Supreme Court then ruled that the ban violated the state constitution. So, this time around, Prop 8 directly amended the Constitution of California to restrict marriage (harder to do than pass an initiative.)

There's nothing the courts can do (aside from dealing with election law challenges to the validity of the result) until we can re-amend the other way.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


This should be an interesting 4 years.
posted by phaedon at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008


"intolerance and hate"

Not exactly a fair characterization of what motivated many of those who voted for the proposition. And not a good start for the new day of "reaching across the aisle." Just sayin'.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is very sad. So what happens now? Are all those couples who got married no longer married? And where does the fight go? How do you go about getting a state constitutional amendment repealed?

While this gay Canadian is excited about an Obama presidency, my heart breaks for my US brethren. Stay strong.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:36 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


MarshallPoe:

What do you think the motivation is, then?
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:36 AM on November 5, 2008


"How did this ticket get split?"

One theory -- and I've yet to see much data supporting it apart from passing mention in the papers -- is that the Obama machine pushed AA and Hispanic voters to the polls; those same voters were largely churchgoers who were given the message weekly by religious authorities that they should vote in favor of the proposition.

Superficially it makes sense, but I'm hesitant to pin the blame for enshrining discrimination with the force of the law on black and Latino citizens who seem like they should know better. The prop's supporters were putting some baffling and nonsensical shit on the television, and, hey, we're all susceptible to being bamboozled by the baffling and nonsensical shit on the television.
posted by majick at 8:37 AM on November 5, 2008


I hear ya, snuffle, but I didn't want to be one of a handful of gay people who were allowed to get legally married before the dark ages descended again.

The vile Byron York of the untrustworthy National Review Online credits minority voters with passing the bill.
posted by digaman at 8:37 AM on November 5, 2008


Not exactly a fair characterization of what motivated many of those who voted for the proposition. And not a good start for the new day of "reaching across the aisle." Just sayin'.

I'd say its entirely fair, and I don't reach across the aisles to try and bargain with intolerance.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2008 [26 favorites]


It’s a shame the open-mindedness demonstrated in the presidential election didn’t extend to some of the ballot initiative races that took place. I remain confident that, in fifty years, we will view bans on gay marriage as just as reprehensible and absurd as we would view a ban on interracial marriage today. The pathetic bigotry that drives voters to amend their state constitutions to strip basic rights from their fellow citizens is a demonstration that the slow process of building a tolerant and empathetic society, even within a single state, has a long way to go.
posted by sindark at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


So the state constitution of California now prohibits gay marriage? Heteronormative marriage is now part of the legal bedrock of California. That's just so...embarrassing! Well, at least the f%@&ing sanctity of marriage is safe from the spooky corrupting influence of the gays, right?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyone who voted for Obama in California and thought they were striking some kind of blow for civil rights and didn't vote against 8 at the same time should be very fucking ashamed of themselves right now. This is a fundamental issue of human rights.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:39 AM on November 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


Man. We've got a lot of work to do.
posted by batmonkey at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


To be far there's a whole lot of lies attached to gayness that get perpetuated and often people just don't have enough firsthand knowledge to know how deeply untrue they are. There's a strong misconception that gay men molest children. It's ridiculous, but it fuels these "we can't let them adopt, it's bad for the kids" malarkey. That and the idea that children need two parents, one of each gender. Statistics do not support that but some "pro-family" (anti your kind of family) groups funded crappy studies that they can cite as evidence that kids raised by gay or single parents have more substance abuse or what have you. There was wording about that in the Arkansas measure originally that was challenged and removed.

The best thing to fight this with is knowledge, really. Gay parents? Not what you may think if you don't know any.
posted by Tehanu at 8:42 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This pisses me off so much, and I don't want to be pissed off, today of all days. I hate to think that that many people would vote for a measure that does nothing for their everyday lives, but that takes rights away from other people. Your interpretation of religion tells you that gays are inferior - fuck you and your version of god! If Adam and Steve get the benefits of marriage - legal and psychological - your day-to-day life doesn't change one fucking bit - except for that pesky realization that perspectives you disagree with might be legitimized. Sorry the thought of gay sex disgusts you. That's a perfect reason to deny this group the legal rights that heterosexuals enjoy.

I wish we could separate religious marriage from legal unions. Give people all the rights and benefits of marriage, but make the religious aspect something akin to baptism or confirmation: a ritual that has no ramifications outside that religion. Then people could discriminate against whomever they wanted in their place of worship but would have to act like fucking grown-ups the other six days of the week.

I'm not knocking religion in general - my father is an Episcopal priest who performs commitment ceremonies and is incredibly depressed by the association of his calling with this sort of intolerance. He's just as angry as I am, although he probably uses a lot fewer "fucks" in his rants.
posted by bibliowench at 8:42 AM on November 5, 2008 [14 favorites]


I was shocked this passed, a real downer on otherwise exciting election results.

I wonder the same thing as chillmost, shouldn't the supreme court overturn this, can anyone explain the details of how that works?
posted by oblio_one at 8:42 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is really sad.

What? I'm super emotional today.
posted by lunit at 8:43 AM on November 5, 2008


This makes me very sad. While most of us are reveling in a historic victory, others are waking up to find out that the loves of their lives... are not legally theirs, any longer.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 8:43 AM on November 5, 2008


This country is surreal. I, once again, resign from Team Sanity. Phbrbrwieoghjitit.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:44 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Marshall, while I agree that now is not the time to pit oppressed minorities against one another as the Yes on Proposition 8 forces were happy to do, it wasn't pandering to segregationists and slave-owners that put an end to slave auctions and WHITES ONLY schools and water fountains. It was brave acts of civil disobedience and the force of law.
posted by digaman at 8:45 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


We've got more work to do. I know a lot of these people, and now I have a lot of conversations that must occur. I'm going to try and start tonight while this feeling of being included in America is fresh in their minds. I'm going to use every excuse they give me against them. "But this old religious book tells me not to" - but that book was used to discriminate against you too. I guess a few of the people I'd like to talk to don't live in the states that passed this crap, but people need to be educated anyway.
posted by cashman at 8:46 AM on November 5, 2008


This is heartbreaking, but it's a setback and no match at all for history--there will be gay marriage in this country, and I'd say nationally, within ten years.

Enjoy it while you can, you turdly little bigots.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:46 AM on November 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


I was really hoping that this wouldn't pass. At least, though, Amendment 48 in Colorado didn't pass.

But I still wish my faith in California had been realized.
posted by aliceinreality at 8:48 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, as a few have noticed, the people who supported 8 are old, and as they die off, support for gay marriage will increase. Hopefully prop 8 will be repealed some time in the not too distant future, and in the meantime at least the anti-8 folks can take some schadenfreude in the obits.

Another thing has occurred to me, however. Prop 8 was needed by the anti-gay-marriage folks because the California Supreme Court ruled that banning gay folks from getting married violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. So the anti-gay-marriage folks amended the California Constitution to say:

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

That is, only heterosexual marriages are valid or recognized *IF* any are valid or recognized at all.

Could a legal argument be made that, since marriage is now inherently discriminatory, the state should not recognize any marriage since the constitution guarantees equal protection, and instead, now, everyone, gay or straight can only get a civil union from the state, and if they want a marriage that's strictly a private religious affair?

Maybe not right now, since it would just be followed up with another ballot initiative, but, say, 403,000 deaths from now.
posted by Reverend John at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Intolerance and hate is Not exactly a fair characterization of what motivated many of those who voted for the proposition. And not a good start for the new day of "reaching across the aisle." Just sayin'.?

Did you hear any of the radio ads that FALSELY CLAIMED that allowing gay marriages to stand would mean that children would be "taught gay marriage in schools"? Vicious lies of this sort sound exactly like intolerance and hate to me.
posted by liketitanic at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know it doesn't mean a thing, but I think I'll get married by a justice of the peace in CT when the time comes. It just seems like the right thing to do. Plus, hey, Cracker Barrel.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2008


I'm trying so hard to remain optimistic about Obama's victory, but it's really hard waking up to learn that you're once again a second-class citizen. Kind of like winning the lottery and losing a loved one at exactly the same moment. No, more like having one of the lottery officials take that loved one away from you.

Wow, it really, really hurts. Much more than I thought it would. I thought I'd braced myself, but I hadn't.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'll confess there's a small part of me that's finding bitter solace by entertaining the notion that the marriages of every motherfucker who promoted this vile piece of psuedo-legislation will dissolve in the poison of their hatred.
posted by treepour at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Did you hear any of the radio ads that FALSELY CLAIMED that allowing gay marriages to stand would mean that children would be "taught gay marriage in schools"?

What a bizarre notion. It's not like they're taught "straight marriage." I can't even imagine the context, or the scene.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2008


Prop 8's passing is Vader's TIE Interceptor spinning away from the exploding Death Star that was Obama's victory. It will be back to cause trouble again and again before it realizes just how wrong it is and hurls itself down a power shaft.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2008 [43 favorites]


Good job, Arkansas, on clearing out your foster care system so that there are no children looking for loving homes. And, wow, how did you fix it so that no woman ever carried a child to term and then decided that she must give it up for adoption? I mean, over here in the blue states we could use some of that knowledg--

Wait. What?



I'm heartbroken over Prop 8, and of the similar measures in Arizona and Florida. Blights on what should be a jubilant day. Proof that there is so much more work to be done.
posted by sugarfish at 8:54 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This makes me so angry.

A few years ago, when Michigan passed a similar proposition, I felt like, "You don't want me here? Fine, fuck you, I'll just leave." (But I didn't actually leave.)

But now California? Seriously?

I'd really like to see the queer people of California do a one day strike in protest. "You don't think we should be allowed to participate in society fully and equally? Well, see what it's like without our participation." I'd also really like to grab-by-the-collar people who voted to destroy existing marriages and shake them and say, "What were you thinking!?"

...on second thought, I wouldn't. I really don't want to hear what they were thinking--I just don't want to deal with more homophobic bullshit right now.
posted by overglow at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


It wasn't just old people in support of prop 8, I saw plenty of young UCLA students with their yes on 8 signs and stickers on campus (more than I was expecting, to be honest).
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:55 AM on November 5, 2008


I had a conversation with a friend here at work who is African-American--she definitely voted for Obama. Then I asked her about Prop 8 and she said she was voting "yes." I asked her why and she said that gay marriage just didn't "feel right" to her. I asked her about the fact that in her lifetime there were large parts of this country where people just didn't "feel right" about blacks and whites marrying or blacks voting (or sitting in the same seats, using the same restroom, etc.). To her, it wasn't the same thing.

I just despair sometimes...I'm trying to enjoy the excitement of Obama's election, but this definitely adds a sour note.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:56 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wish that everybody who voted for Prop 8 in California could come to Canada and see just what a complete and utter non-issue gay marriage is.

Or come to the Netherlands, and not only will you see what a complete and utter non-issue gay marriage is, you'll get to see pot deregulation in action as well.
posted by DreamerFi at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2008


Could a legal argument be made that, since marriage is now inherently discriminatory, the state should not recognize any marriage since the constitution guarantees equal protection, and instead, now, everyone, gay or straight can only get a civil union from the state, and if they want a marriage that's strictly a private religious affair?

That's an interesting question. I'm not sure how this sort of inconsistency is handled. I'm going to send it to a few lawyers I know/am related to and see what they say.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it's shameful that protecting the children became such a large part of the Yes on 8 rhetoric.

Many of those children are going to be gay adults.

Won't they want the right to marry their partners?

Very disappointed in my fellow Californians this morning.
posted by dontoine at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


"What do you think the motivation is, then?"

Well, if you read what the most mainstream of them have to say, they argue, variously, that marriage should be exclusively the right of heterosexuals because: a) the "family" as they define it is fundamental to our polity and culture; b) homosexual unions are inconsistent with their religious beliefs ("marriage" being a sacrament to them); c) heterosexual marriage is simply "our" tradition, it is not obviously inconsistent with general democratic values, and it has served "us" well. Now you or I may disagree with any or all of these positions, but attributing these arguments to "hate" is both factually questionable and not a good way to change minds. IMHO, of course.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


"intolerance and hate"

We would also have accepted "fear and ignorance".
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


This very obvious attempt at legislation of morality is disgusting to me.

The worst part about all of this is that there's just no arguing with people who are so vehemently against same-sex marriages that they would vote Yes on 8. The complete lack of empathy here is just baffling. These people never once thought, "how would I like it if my rights were taken from me?"

This is NOT a happy day for me and I will never be happy or satisfied with this country until everyone is treated equally. Hope and Change don't matter to me if not everyone can have them.
posted by giraffe at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2008


chillmost-- the way this worked was that California previously passed a ballot initiative explicitly banning gay marriage.

If the same thing passed before, why did people think it would be different this time?
posted by smackfu at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2008


Prop 8's passing is Vader's TIE Interceptor spinning away from the exploding Death Star that was Obama's victory. It will be back to cause trouble again and again before it realizes just how wrong it is and hurls itself down a power shaft.

Thank you, robocop is bleeding. You just made me smile on a morning I thought I couldn't possibly smile.
posted by treepour at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2008


snuffleupaugus is right: the fucked-up thing about amending the constitution in this state (which can be done by a simple majority!!!!) is that it puts it out of the hands of the CA Supreme Court. For it to be invalidated, it would have to be found unconstitutional (either as a violation of due process or equal protection) at the federal level.

I do think that the high turnout from black and Latino voters may have had something to do with it; the churches in those communities are both powerful and, by and large, not good on this question. One priest who dared come out (both as a gay man and as a Prop 8 opponent) was removed from his post (LA Times).

But while that's one angle, I think the bigger picture (which I've yet to really parse out, as I'm so heartsick over this) will certainly involve the distorted, vicious scare campaign of the Pro-8 side and, frankly, what I consider the Anti-8 side's fairly mediocre campaign, which relied too long on fuzzy abstractions (essentially, "equality for all") and failed to get a clearer message/slogan out aggressively (essentially, "stop discrimination") till the last 3 weeks or so. I mean, I know plenty of people -- smart, well-informed, progressive folks -- who weren't clear till a few days ago that being FOR gay marriage meant a NO vote on Prop 8.
posted by scody at 9:00 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'll go back in a second and read all the comments here, but what I want to say is: This is such a bittersweet day. I am over the moon about President-elect Obama (President-elect Obama!). And yet, my heart is breaking.
posted by rtha at 9:00 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


$74 million was spent on Prop 8 (for and against). What else could that money have bought? How many hungry Californians would that feed for a year? How many struggling families could have paid their mortgages? What a fucking waste, just to stop people who are in love from being together in the eyes of the law. As a Californian, I am embarrassed and ashamed.
posted by killy willy at 9:00 AM on November 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


I feel less bad than I should that a few times when reading this thread, and other coverage of this, my mind has read the word "Mormon" as "Moron".
posted by dirtdirt at 9:01 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's what I'm looking at in the California Constitution (Art. II, §8)

(d) An initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not
be submitted to the electors or have any effect.
(e) An initiative measure may not include or exclude any political
subdivision of the State from the application or effect of its
provisions based upon approval or disapproval of the initiative
measure, or based upon the casting of a specified percentage of votes
in favor of the measure, by the electors of that political
subdivision.

There's probably a case to be made about this referendum under (e), but until I parse out exactly what (e) means, I couldn't tell you what it is. I was going to say that a brilliant, if cheeky, attorney could argue against Prop 8 on the basis of (d), saying that the need to "defend" marriage and taking rights away from gay Americans are two completely unrelated subjects, but looking at the ballot language, Prop 8 doesn't even pretend to have any positive effect. It is, flat out, only for the purpose of taking rights away from a select group at no benefit to anyone.

Seriously - what the fuck, California?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I asked her why and she said that gay marriage just didn't "feel right" to her

It would have been nice if she could have expressed this by not marrying a woman, as opposed to preventing other women from marrying other women.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:03 AM on November 5, 2008 [22 favorites]


It wasn't just old people in support of prop 8, I saw plenty of young UCLA students with their yes on 8 signs and stickers on campus (more than I was expecting, to be honest).

Yeah but the overall trend was very generational. Stats:

18-29 (20%)
37% YES
63% NO

30-44 (28%)
53% YES
47% NO

45-64 (36%)
53% YES
47% NO

65 and Older (16%)
59% YES
41% NO
posted by Tehanu at 9:03 AM on November 5, 2008


This just in:
New scientific research shows that the main factor in protecting the sanctity of your marriage is......you! And your spouse. What an interesting result! It turns out that in earlier research which indicated that the main factor in marital success was the nearby concentration of gay marriages, a researcher forgot to convert kilograms to pounds and did not carry the 3. Gay marriage concentration, oddly enough, is not correlated with, well, anything. Alright! Glad that's cleared up.

I can has revote now?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:05 AM on November 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


What gets me is this is only a semantic victory. One woman interviewed by the LA Times said, "We aren’t trying to change anything that homosexual couples believe or want—it doesn’t change anything that they’re allowed to do already." And certainly, gays aren't going away, nor are they going to stop living together or having families, simply because the law says they can't be married.

But this seems like a policy crisis to me: anywhere from several hundred thousand to over a million people who may want to form stable families are cut off from significant benefits and protections because they can't be married. Seems like something someone might want to rectify somehow.

The way I see it, the opponents of gay marriage fight ferociously for something that offers very little real harm to them if allowed, but considerable harm to others if prohibited. That aspect of it, it seems unfair and it seems majoritarian in the worst sense of the word.
posted by adoarns at 9:05 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


The best response to this is via the referendum process.

[from Wikipedia:]

California ballot proposition is a method of amending California law (either the California Constitution or California Statutes) through the initiative and referendum process.

In the state of California, state laws may be proposed directly by the public, as well as the state's Constitution may be amended either by public petition or by the legislature submitting a proposed constitutional amendment to the electorate. The process of allowing the public to propose legislation or constitutional amendments is called the initiative. The process of the state legislature proposing Constitutional amendments is called a referendum. The process occurs in one of two ways.

1. First, the California Legislature may pass an act which is signed by the governor, proposing a state constitutional amendment, which is then submitted to the voters as a referendum at the next statewide election. If more than 50% of the voters approve the referendum then the constitutional amendment is approved and goes into effect.

2. Second, the general public may propose via the initiative, either amendments to the state constitution or the creation of new statute laws, which is done by writing a proposed constitutional amendment or statute as a petition, and submitting the petition to the California Attorney General ..and obtaining signatures on petitions from registered voters ...the signed petitions are then sent to Secretary of State of California for validation of signatures.


With sufficient pressure on the Legislature and the Governor can get rid of this cancer in two years.

The campaign starts today.

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:05 AM on November 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


Could prop 8 be found unconstitutional at this point?
posted by xmutex at 9:06 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Salvor Hardin, thanks for that link. This is the one thing that pisses me off, too. Not that I want unhappy couples tied together, I don't think everyone takes marriage as serious as that "eternal bond" that it used to be. There are fsking shows like Rock Of Love and Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire, but there is no public outcry about keeping marriage sacred.

Ballotpedia has good background on this proposition, noting that "[i]n 2000, voters passed ballot initiative Proposition 22 with a margin of 61%, which changed the California Family Code to formally define marriage in California between a man and a woman. Prop. 22 was a statutory change via the initiative process, not a constitutional change via the initiative process."

Prop 8 would change the State Constitution, so would this prevent the courts from striking the proposition down as unconstitutional? Or is "separate but equal" valid for marriages / civil unions?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:06 AM on November 5, 2008


Sucks. I'm glad I'm from Massachusetts. The whole thing about gay marriage that I haven't been able to mentally grasp is that, if you aren't gay, why would care what gay people do? Christ, it's not like they're making gay marriage mandatory.
posted by emd3737 at 9:07 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here I am in Canada, looking to the US where I was raised, overjoyed to see Obama has won such a sound victory, and absolutely horrified and saddened to learn that Prop 8 somehow managed to slide through. I look at the mega-churches and the insanity of misplaced religious zeal and I shake my head...truly bewildering. We've had gay marriage here for a while now and nothing has happened. Nothing. The family is intact, people are still having children and life is pretty much rolling along as normal. Canada emerged from the whole gay marriage thing completely unscathed. I mean, really, let's be sensible. Marriage is such a personal, private thing. And yet, there are those who assert that they have the right to validate or veto marriage according to their own personal beliefs? Someone in an earlier post bristled at the use of the term "intolerance." But that is EXACTLY what it is. Pure and simple. Intolerance. All I hope is that we someday, somehow find a way to love and respect one another and embrace our differences. Idealistic of me, I know, but that is how I feel. Fear is a nasty thing. Peace.
posted by ChaoticIndustry at 9:10 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've been going through teh interwebs for the latest on Prop 8, and I keep coming across photos of Yes on 8 people celebrating, falling into prayer. And I think to myself every. fucking. time. : You bigots.

I'm disgusted. I thought California knew better than to vote yes on 8. Okay, half of California. Because the rest of us voted no.
posted by Xere at 9:13 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, if you read what the most mainstream of them have to say

What the mainstream had to say was that gays were recruiting their kids through the public school system, that laws had to be enacted to put a stop to the gays because of it, and this particular law was conveniently available to rally everyone around.

Replace 'gays' with 'Jews' and that approach sounds like circa-1930s Nazi Germany-style hate and intolerance to me.

What's not helpful is to sugarcoat what these bigots did.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 AM on November 5, 2008 [13 favorites]


"What do you think the motivation is, then?"

Well, if you read what the most mainstream of them have to say, they argue, variously, that marriage should be exclusively the right of heterosexuals because: a) the "family" as they define it is fundamental to our polity and culture; b) homosexual unions are inconsistent with their religious beliefs ("marriage" being a sacrament to them); c) heterosexual marriage is simply "our" tradition, it is not obviously inconsistent with general democratic values, and it has served "us" well. Now you or I may disagree with any or all of these positions, but attributing these arguments to "hate" is both factually questionable and not a good way to change minds. IMHO, of course.


I'm genuinely trying to understand this and I feel like the fact that I can't is a failure of imagination, an inability to put myself in their position. Even though I'm very pro-choice, I understand that pro-life people believe that abortion is the Killing of a Baby -- that they're not immoral assholes, they just believe some different kind of improvable thing than I do. I get it. I'll work against them and root for the failures of their political aims, but I get it.

This, I just don't understand. I don't understand their idea that a male/female/baby family is the basic unit of human society. It's not science, it's not chemistry, this isn't something you look at in a lab and say, ah, there it is -- the fundamental core of what makes our species go vroom, unless you're just talking about reproduction and world-wide, I think we've got it covered. Are they saying then that infertile heterosexual couples are an exception and they too are less than?

Secondly, there's all kinds of disparate religious beliefs that they do tolerate. I mean, maybe because they have to. But saying 'our marriage is the only marriage that counts'--what does that mean? Do the marriages in other religions also not count?

I just don't understand.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:15 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


A question for the constitutional scholars out there: can a supreme court (state or federal) rule that an amendment to a constitution is unconstitutional? It seems like a contradiction in terms, but is it possible to say, "this part of the constitution directly conflicts with this part (or the whole) so it's got to go"?

No, as to the California Supreme Court. The role of the courts is to interpret and apply constitutional principles, not pick and choose among them to decide which to keep and which to excise in favor of their values. You're right in pointing out a conflict between the amendment created by Prop 8 and other provisions of the CA constitution that were interpreted to protect gay marriage based on equal protection. And you're right in saying that, as the interpreter of the California Constitution, California's Supreme Court is responsible for reconciling conflicts between different provisions.

However, California's Supreme Court doesn't have limitless discretion in its task of interpreting and reconciling its Constitution. The interpretations have to be rational and consistent with the clear purpose of the Constitution. Given the context for Prop 8, it's obvious that the clear purpose of the constitutional amendment it created was to redefine the guarantees of equal protection under the California Constitution as they concerned marriage.

But, all is not lost. The above applies to the California State Supreme Court. Because the California state Constitution serves as the upper bound of California law, there's nothing the state Supreme Court can do. However, the federal Constitution says, in Art. VI, cl. 2 that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." In other words, federal law trumps state law, and the federal Constitution trumps state constitutions.

SCOTUS may shift considerably during the Obama administration, especially if it extends to two terms. If the (new) liberal contingent on the Court becomes more active in sphere of gay rights, it's entirely possible we could see a ruling from SCOTUS interpreting the Equal Protection Clause of Art. 14 of the U.S. Constitution to protect gay marriage on a far wider scale. Such a ruling would invalidate Prop 8, and every other state ban on gay marriage, at the same time.

To the skeptics out there, remember that it was as recently as 1996 that the Rehnquist courtintervened to strike down a Colorado ban on antidiscrimination laws protecting homosexuals. Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996). To boot, Justice Kennedy, the critical swing vote on the current Roberts court before Obama even makes any nominations, authored the majority opinion in Romer. In it he expressed deep concerns about a state constitutional provision that singled out homosexuals on a classwide basis for targeted deprivation of rights. There's definitely a parallel to be made with Prop 8.

There is of course the theoretical possibility of federal legislation that similarly preempts Prop 8 and other state laws, but that seems far less likely in this political climate, particularly given all the other ideological battles that will play out in D.C. starting in 2009. The Republicans still have the filibuster in their arsenal (at least as of the time I make this post), so I don't think it's likely that Dems will take the political risks involved with pressing the gay marriage issue in a legislative forum.

Nevertheless, in answer to the question posed above, the answer is yes.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 9:18 AM on November 5, 2008 [16 favorites]


Could prop 8 be found unconstitutional at this point?

At the federal level, yes. But an amendment to the state constitution puts it out of reach of the very state supreme court that already found marriage discrimination to be unconstitutional.

This really goes to how deeply, profoundly, fucked. up. the California initiative system is. (As if the fruits of Prop 13 hadn't already shown that for the past 30 years, but I digress.)

OK. *deep breath* As they say: DON'T MOURN; ORGANIZE. This is going to be a long, hard fight.
posted by scody at 9:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I am a Canadian married lesbian, and this morning, while I was tearing up with happiness over your election results, I was crying with despair for your gay citizens. I suppose it could have been worse (McCain and Prop 8 could have both won). I guess I don't have anything to say other than that and that I don't understand. I just don't understand.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Yeah but the overall trend was very generational."

I brought up the subject of race above, and it would be irresponsible not to at least put some sort of data about it out there. It looks like there was indeed a racial demographic component here, and it's pronounced. How much of that ties to the Obama get-out-the-vote effort is another matter entirely.

Vote by race:

White (63%)
47% YES
53% NO

African-American (10%)
70% YES
30% NO

Latino (19%)
51% YES
49% NO

Asian (6%)
47% YES
53% NO

Other (3%)
50% YES
50% NO

Is This the First Year You Have Ever Voted?
Yes (14%)
36% YES on 8
64% NO on 8

No (86%)
55% YES on 8
45% NO on 8
posted by majick at 9:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think its a temporary setback. Its heartbreaking, and in light of their history its infuriating that so many blacks are so bigoted, but in the long run this is only a setback.

I don't think the Mormons can do the kind of intensive and expensive campaign they did this time again. There's a very good chance we can get this obscenity removed from the California state constitution next election. I hope that my fellow liberals in California are already out gathering the necessary signatures to get Prop 8 repealed.
posted by sotonohito at 9:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Women, blacks, now gays. Why do we have to keep fighting the same fights over and over, one at a time?
posted by Legomancer at 9:20 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Prop 8 would change the State Constitution, so would this prevent the courts from striking the proposition down as unconstitutional? Or is "separate but equal" valid for marriages / civil unions?

In theory? Maybe.

In reality: Roberts. Scalia. Thomas. Alito.....

and given Bowers v. Hardwick, Kennedy too.

So....it's a nice thought, but probably not.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:20 AM on November 5, 2008


Ya know what would be awesome? If Barack and Michelle, now that he's elected, introduced a fifth family member; perhaps named something like Kevin -- a tall, white, bisexual accountant from Chicago. The girls could run up to him as he steps onto the platform and grab his hands and smile and call him "Daddytoo" and then everyone would hug and smile as a big family, turn towards the cameras and crowd and wave, arms together as one.

And then there would be a stunned silence, and roughly half the country would keel over dead, and the other half would blink, shrug, smile, and start cheering.

I'd like that.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:24 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Replace 'gays' with 'Jews' and that approach sounds like circa-1930s Nazi Germany-style hate and intolerance to me."

With all due respect, that's a bit of a Godwin. The analogy, well, isn't a very good one. Moreover, I doubt very much that calling millions of well-intentioned, sincere Catholics and Protestants "Nazis" will help the cause much. If I'm not mistaken, Obama himself "personally believes" that marriage should be between a man and women. To my knowledge he is neither a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer.

I liked A Terrible Llama's post a lot. I too am confused. But I would say this: it is the essence of Conservatism to honor and maintain that which is old and has worked, even if it is imperfectly. Exclusively heterosexual marriage is very old and has worked very well. The context in which it worked has changed, and the institution must change as well. But it will take time, and perhaps it should.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:25 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am so ashamed. My mormon parents donated money to that bigoted cause. I ran from the mormon church as soon as I was able, but my parents are still devote, brainwashed, followers.

I think the LDS church should lose its tax-exempt status for spending so much money on Prop 8. It just isn't right to have utah push its agenda on California.
posted by teylini at 9:26 AM on November 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


My fiance and I have been postponing our straight marriage in protest for years. We'd set a date and were going to marry in California next year. Now I don't know what we're doing. I am so angry.
posted by limnrix at 9:28 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


My deepest condolences to everyone affected, directly or otherwise, by this and all of the other hateful, fearful ballot measures.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


As an Arkansan I'm profoundly disappointed that the adoption (read anti-gay) proposition passed. The polling on it was way off--it had looked like it would be defeated, and it was the only statewide proposition with a well-funded No (read pro-children) campaign.

There'll be a court challenge, with perhaps a 50% chance of overturning it. Hopefully sanity and equal protection will win out.
posted by aerotive at 9:30 AM on November 5, 2008


My fiance and I have been postponing our straight marriage in protest for years. We'd set a date and were going to marry in California next year. Now I don't know what we're doing. I am so angry.


This made me think of this poem, from Jack Gilbert:



A Brief for the Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world.
To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


Reversing myself: as per Law Talkin Guy's post above, there may be reason to hope that SCOTUS might intervene.

Although I still think getting a referendum to reverse this onto the 2010 ballot immediately is a good idea.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:32 AM on November 5, 2008


Marshall, Godwin aside, you're being very convenient and selective with your notion of "what worked." If marriage and committed relationships are something that has worked well for society as a while, they should be available to any member of society within the usual limits. I somehow doubt that you would have been opposing Loving v. Virginia on the basis of the idea that preventing mixed-race marriages had "worked" so well for so long. I wish you luck with unraveling your confusion. You might start by putting yourself in my place and asking yourself how you would feel if a slim majority of the voters in your state, convinced by a deceptive multimillion dollar ad campaign, had just voted to strip you and your longtime partner of your marriage license because he or she was black or white.
posted by digaman at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


African-American (10%)
70% YES
30% NO


Gah. I'm already shaking my head at the mere thought of the stupidity that will be displayed as we relieve these people of their ignorant and hypocritical views. I don't even know anybody in California, but I know word will get over there if I talk to enough people. I'm ashamed of that figure, but I'm going to stick with the ethic of making a difference I picked up during this campaign, and confront some folks. Pray for me, as I try to logically reason with people I've known for decades while resisting the urge to yell "dummies!" multiple times while they try to navigate their way through this blatant hypocrisy. I'm going to just mouth "what the fuck" like Blade fighting Deacon Frost, and keep battling.
posted by cashman at 9:34 AM on November 5, 2008


I doubt very much that calling millions of well-intentioned, sincere Catholics and ProtestantsGood Germans "Nazis" will help the cause much.

FTFY
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on November 5, 2008


I previously had mixed up religious views on gay marriage. Thanks to this site and a few good people I was set straight on the issues and saw the other side of things. I still hold my beliefs but it is wrong for religious lizard brain type to take something away from the gay/lesbian community. They are trying to force their beliefs on people. If two people that love each other get marriage and share the same rights as them, how does this effect them in anyway, shape, or form? This is wrong. I honestly feel bad.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:35 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


All entreaties about "putting government in the hands of the people" aside, it's simply not a good idea to make amending a constitution as easy as gaining a simple majority in an open election. The whole point of our form of government is to make mob rule as difficult as possible, and to protect smaller groups from the current whims of the majority.

Ballot proposition systems simply degrade and cheapen the whole concept of lawmaking and rule of law, turning it more into rule of whatever group can turn-out the larger angry crowds. At least remove the ability to amend your fucking constitution via voter prop.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


Not being a lawyer, I don't know what steps gay marriage supporters should take now. But I do think as progressives, we need to both acknowledge how wrong this is, and not freak out that there is still a lot of education to do for people who may just now be joining our tent. That's the problem with growth, the demographics change, but you have to find a way to keep your principles.

And just because someone belongs to an oppressed group, doesn't meant they see themselves as having much in common with another oppressed group. Those of us who are Dems are going to have to work very hard to overcome old prejudices and intolerance inside our own party. But no matter how many Republican concern trolls point to this as our eventual doom, I think we are capable of it, and that time and history are on our side.
posted by emjaybee at 9:37 AM on November 5, 2008


What's not helpful is to sugarcoat what these bigots did.

QFT. There are no justifications, no rationalizations. People can say that they're doing this because of their religious beliefs or what have you, but they are lying to you and probably to themselves as well. They have decided that their religious beliefs demand that they hate gays because they already do and they want something to back it up.

Everybody who voted for this, understanding what it was (and the language was very clear) is a hateful bigot. That's over half the voters in California, apparently.

California Mefites - you've got work to do.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:38 AM on November 5, 2008


Did you hear any of the radio ads that FALSELY CLAIMED that allowing gay marriages to stand would mean that children would be "taught gay marriage in schools"?

And tv ads, and print ads, and posters, etc.... This was the essential framing of this proposition from what I saw. My wife, a teacher, was furious everytime these came on - she knew it was completely false.

Some other observations: Another thing the Yes campaign did successfully was with signage. Everywhere you went there were "Yes on 8" signs. Yesterday on my drive to work they were literally every 20 feet for a good mile where a major road crosses the American River. Across town these signs are everywhere, with never a no sign to be found. Those that did place the No signs in their yards typically had them stolen. I never did find a source for a No sign.

And then there was the sheer energy displayed in the people. I live about 3 miles from this intersection in Citrus Heights that became a hotbed of protest. Most of the time I drove through there it was primarly young people, screaming and yelling and stopping traffic. It was amazing.
posted by Big_B at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2008


a) the "family" as they define it is fundamental to our polity and culture; b) homosexual unions are inconsistent with their religious beliefs ("marriage" being a sacrament to them); c) heterosexual marriage is simply "our" tradition

The trouble, MarshallPoe, is that these aren't arguments. They are subterfuge.

I've never heard a clear articulation of A, which is unsurprising since you can't rationally argue that heterosexuality is a fundament of American politics and culture, or the gay marriage will somehow threaten that fundament.

B is irrelevant, since this proposition applies to civil marriage.

If you'll pardon the analogy, C is is a good argument for maintaining slavery in the southern United States.

As your comment suggests, this is why it's so hard to "reach across the aisle" on this one. Opposition to gay marriage comes down to irrational and ignorant fears and prejudices, which forecloses the possibility of meaningful political dialogue. All we can do- as in so many other cases- is reclaim the language that Prop. 8 supporters used so bizarrely and effectively- "less government," "free speech," etc.- and try to reframe the issue.

I'm confident we will. I'm just very sad it's going to take longer than I hoped.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I am so sorry. A lot of people got to have a chance at some rare uncomplicated joy last night. It should have been the same for gay people in California. I was disappointed during the debates on this question and I'm still sadder now.

About this reaching across the aisle business: I'm sticking with the idea that Biden raised even after that disappointing statement. It simply doesn't pay to make assumptions about people's motives in politics, what drives them to oppress and harm other people. I am willing to assume that they sincerely believe they're doing good in the world because I don't have time to worry otherwise. None of us do. I was happy that no one booed when Obama mentioned Palin and McCain's names last night. I want the tone to be elevated under his administration -- I want the dignity and warmth on display last night to be its hallmark -- as they kick the everloving shit out of failed policies, poor decisions, and inequality. The more that they hear from us -- the people who got them there -- that this matters to us, the better they can do that. I believe that if we keep focused, keep pressing, we can get an Obama/Biden administration to change their stance on same-sex marriage. After last night, I believe anything.
posted by melissa may at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


nthing the shock that this is. It's so bizarre that the Mormons (say wha?!) have a hand in this and funding from Elsa Prince Broekhuizen, the mother of far right mercenary and Bush crony, Erik Prince, of Blackwater fame. wtf?

Holland resident Elsa Prince Broekhuizen has pumped $450,000 into a Nov. 4 California ballot issue to ban gay marriage. It is one of the largest private donations to that cause.

If she, a Holland resident, can pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into an American political event, who's to say the Russians, Iranians or Afghanis couldn't do that as well? How does a foreign resident fund an American law being passed? Is that legal? If $450,000 is the officially stated amount, knowing the secrecy of this Erik Heil the Prince guy, it's probably really some millions.

This woman has to be a truly malignant narcissist to have Erik Prince as a son and to fund Prop 8.

"You can counter her donation here. A recent surge in small donations has made No On 8 financially competitive in a big media state."

His opinions re gays: He was an intern in the White House under President George H. W. Bush and subsequently criticized that administration's policies to the Grand Rapids Press, saying: "I saw a lot of things I didn't agree with—homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kinds of bills."

This is one ugly, dangerous, rich family, this malignant, conniving son and malignant mother. Truly dangerous people.

Apparently Blackwater is opening up another training base in California, near San Diego. Maybe this has something to do with the Prince agenda in funding Prop 8?

This will be one of the many battles ahead to work on, step by step over years, undoing the grotesque corruption of the Rove, Borgian epic mess.
posted by nickyskye at 9:41 AM on November 5, 2008


I'm not calling anyone a Nazi. But this is not Godwin -- there are certainly parallels that can be made when a state decides to write an amendment redefining the status of a despised minority into the constitution. If the good Catholics and Protestants are uncomfortable with this legitimate parallel to one of history's most obscene acts of turning a segment of the population into second class citizens, perhaps they should not participate in creating the parallel.

And I don't buy the whole "defense of traditional marriage" bunkum, not for one second. It rings to me of exactly the sort of nice-sounding nonsense people always through over their bigotry, whether it is arguing that Jim Crow laws are a "state's rights" issues or that they don't hate people of color, they just "love the white race." Listen, justify it with whatever pretty words you want to; it's your actions that define you. And this was the act of writing intolerance into law, and as a nation we should be ashamed of it, and infuriated, and not feel that we must mince words for fear of hurting the feelings of the very nice people, who, with the best intentions, made the word a worse place.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:45 AM on November 5, 2008 [17 favorites]


If I'm not mistaken, Obama himself "personally believes" that marriage should be between a man and women.

While the wording of Prop 8 was about marriage, the reasons for voting for it had nothing whatsoever to do with marriage.

For supporters, a Yes vote was about "keeping homosexuality from being taught in public schools", among other non-marriage-related rationalizations. Very specifically, and quoting directly from the literature and words of Prop 8 supporters and campaigners, a vote for Prop 8 has only a marginal connection with the notion of marriage.

Quoting Barack Obama's position on the issue is, frankly, a non sequitor. A Yes vote was about putting the Jews darkies homos back in their place. The rhetoric of "protecting" marriage is and always was a deceitful smokescreen for a larger campaign of hate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


So where do I donate/volunteer to fix this stupid fucking thing?
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:46 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


A lot of people got to have a chance at some rare uncomplicated joy last night. It should have been the same for gay people in California.

I'm a straight person in Massachusetts and I cannot be happy about this election.
posted by giraffe at 9:47 AM on November 5, 2008


As a lesbian mom and wife, today is totally bittersweet. I feel like everyone else is SO HAPPY, eating chocolate cake for breakfast, and I got served cake with shit in the icing. All my friends and family are saying, "Yum! Chocolate cake! Too bad you got that one bad piece - Just eat around the poo, it's not that big a deal. Can't you just be happy and enjoy your cake?"

Uhm, no. Can't really enjoy the cake, because someone went to a LOT of trouble to mess my piece up. Someone hates me that much. Me personally. It feels VERY personal, hostile, and beyond inconvenient and into dangerous.

Plus - who wants to eat poo cake?
posted by pomegranate at 9:48 AM on November 5, 2008 [48 favorites]


Over here, my girlfriend and I were rooting for Obama and against 8. We were also drinking and dancing around when they called it for Obama.
McCain's concession speech brought forth her sympathy tears, but I was looking forward to the Obama speech. Our first look at the Prop 8 results came scrolling across the bottom of the screen as the victory speech was beginning, swallowing that speech in a wave of mourning for which I will never forgive California the assholes who manipulated California into passing this.

On preview: yes, who can I give time or money to, to get the state back on the right track?
posted by lostburner at 9:49 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Apparently my anger takes the form of typos, as do all my other emotions.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:49 AM on November 5, 2008


"Marshall, Godwin aside, you're being very convenient and selective with your notion of "what worked" [etc.]."

digaman, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I think it's important to note, though, that I am not arguing the pro-prop 8 position. It's not "my" notion of what worked (and I'm sorry if I gave that impression), but rather the notion of the prop 8 supporters. My more general point is that name-calling is wrong on a number of counts. If you want to convince a reasonable person of something--and I do think most Americans are reasonable--you will not do so by calling them a bigoted hater.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:54 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yesterday morning, nearby (but over 100 feet from) a polling place, I was distributing No on 8 flyers. Goal: speak with our supporters and undecideds. Don't engage the Yes on 8 folks. I influenced at least one Undecided. Here's the conversation:

Me: Hi, do you have any questions about Prop 8? Please vote No, because it's unfair and wrong to take away fundamental rights. [Hands voter No on 8 flyer, which he accepts]

Voter: You know, I've thought a lot about this one...[Unspoken subtext: and I think I'm reluctantly voting Yes]

Me: Why? Is it the issue of schools and education? [I can tell from his visual response that I've hit on it, and this is the thing that's been on all the ads, so I keep talking.] If so, shouldn't this be a Proposition about what's taught in schools, instead of a proposition that takes away my rights?

Voter: [Points at me] I think you have it.

He then walks into the polling place, and comes out 10 minutes later. He says "I voted the way you wanted" and I thank him, tell him it makes a real difference for me and my life. He also tells me "it's one thing to think about it in the abstract, it's another to stand there and see the person in front of you."

I think there's a lot of work to be done. I think the No on 8 supporters, myself included, didn't get the ball rolling fast enough with the fundraising and support. I think we were not sophisticated enough - the right wing was the force behind this battle, they put the initiative on the ballot and they were expecting, from the start, to raise over 25 million. No on 8 was not ready - we don't do this pushing ballot measure thing for a living, and the right wing DOES. We're used to being on the defensive and we're used to putting up with discrimination, so I think we had some shots against us from the start.

But as everyone here has said, I totally agree that it's only time before things shift, as long as we stay on the same path. I hope that Obama being in office lasts for more than just 4 years, and I think that his presence and inclusiveness helps encourage the tide of change and acceptance for all types of families.

And, in summary, I sorta wish the No on 8 people had used my argument in a TV ad - if you're worried about what's taught in schools, shouldn't this be a proposition about education, instead of about taking away people's rights? Maybe they did test that out, that argument, and decided against it, or decided it was too homophobic to suggest that someone should limit gay marriage being taught in schools. But I wonder if sinking to that level would have convinced more people to vote against it.

And I'm kicking myself that I didn't get out and do more. I still had 10 No on 8 flyers in my pocket on the BART ride home. If only I'd walked through the train saying, "Please, don't forget to vote - go vote No on 8, because we need your support to stop this, it's unfair and wrong. Please go vote. " And I wish there'd been 100 people like me so we could get every BART train.
posted by quinoa at 9:54 AM on November 5, 2008 [18 favorites]


In solidarity with California gays, my opposite-sex fiancee and I are going to officiate our marriage in a state that hasn't LOST ITS FUCKING SOUL this coming June - just like they'd have to. If you are straight and getting married, I highly encourage you to do the same. Make your wedding stand for something. You can still do the big white event right here and invite everyone. You'll just already be official when you walk down the aisle.
posted by scarabic at 9:55 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is just beyond terrible, a dark shadow on the otherwise good news for the nation. How ironic to have such giant strides forward for one much oppressed group only to have giant strides back for another. I can only hope we continue dismantling the influence of the fringe groups as we go forward, we made some progress yesterday but clearly not enough.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:56 AM on November 5, 2008


Prop 8's passing is Vader's TIE Interceptor spinning away from the exploding Death Star that was Obama's victory. It will be back to cause trouble again and again before it realizes just how wrong it is and hurls itself down a power shaft.

I favorited that comment so hard James Earl Jone's voice went up an octave. Thank you for lightening my mood, just a bit, in the face of this otherwise really crappy news.
posted by Caduceus at 9:56 AM on November 5, 2008


I had told myself up to this that the result wouldn't really matter. Getting officially married after 16 years was fun but seemed more a legal formality. We still live in SF, where bobtroy and I get a lot of benefits as a couple that we didn't get back in Georgia and that we wouldn't get in most other places.

There's still stuff to work out: we might still be married, and there will be challenges to the amendment; I'd love nothing more than to have the Mormons and Catholics spend a whole lotta money for nothing. If the U.S. can declare war on terror without regard for borders, can gays declare war on Salt Lake and Vatican Cities?

Before it happened, I hadn't expected gay marriage in my lifetime. I had reduced my opinion on marriage to one idea: ban all marriage and the affirmative action that accompanies it, and replace it with next-of-kin contracts. And looking at it overall, the change is (given our history) probably too much too fast.

A lot of people want to blame Gavin Newsom in San Francisco for blowing the opportunity, but he's the one who made it possible in the first place. He took a big risk with his career for it and never stopped pushing, and no matter how cynically others want to cast it, I think the guy is a hero for it.

Going to bed last night, I thought at least with Obama in office, there's a chance that the tone of governance and campaign might actually change, and that the whole gay thing would matter less in that kind of context. I feel myself changing with his election. But yeah, there's a part of it that still hurts, and it has less to do with people not considering my relationship valid--I get that there are slow-changing reasons for that--than it has to do with the fact that people are still thinking in terms that it's okay to legislate others' private lives to preserve one's own moral sensibilities. I find it more creepy in the Harper Valley PTA sense. Part of me regrets seeing the racial breakdown of the vote, though it shouldn't be unexpected. Growing up in the South in the most right-wing of areas, I grew up strongly anti-racist in a family that felt otherwise--and I think being gay might have led to that perspective. It seems wrong to feel betrayed, though; it is more complicated than the screw-you-I-got-mine thing that turns yesterday's immigrants against today's.

Not that I'm not very happy also. I'm a sucker for the whole Obama vision and how we can challenge ourselves to be something more. And a McCain win would have been incredibly disheartening. But it's still heartbreaking a little bit.
posted by troybob at 9:58 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's get this clear: a vote for Obama was (mostly) a vote for the best candidate - who happens to be only half black, eminently qualified, and ridiculously charismatic. As much as we'd like it to be, his appearance on the ballot IS NOT the same thing (though yes, it's pretty damn good proxy) as an explicit referendum on whether or not a person of color is allowed to serve as the president. Characterizing it as the former plays into the right's preposterous notion that he won solely "because he's black."

Prop 8, in contrast, is exactly the sort of faceless litmus test that the presidential election was not. The California population, on balance, is unfortunately not yet ready for government sanctioned gay marriage. Note my use of the word "yet." The bad news is the elderly aren't changing their minds. The good news is that in the long view, they won't be around that much longer, either.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 9:58 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


the Clean Air Act

Erik Prince is against Clean Air? I therefore demand he be fitted with a scuba tank filled with diesel exhaust and poo gas.
posted by tkchrist at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2008


Not being ready for government sanctioned gay marriage is one thing.

Being ready to stand up on your hind legs and strike down the rights of fellow citizen is QUITE ANOTHER.

It takes energy and initiative to vote. I am always disgusted when people actually get up out of their chairs to vote for hate.
posted by scarabic at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you want to protect my marriage, how about passing universal healthcare, so we don't go bankrupt from getting old?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am deeply embarrassed for my state today. And I am deeply embarrassed for the African Americans (and while it may not be PC, the numbers will and do bear this out), who in the process of taking the final step in their own civil rights movement, chose to stand in the schoolhouse door as another group fought for their own rights.

To the 40% or so of African Americans who did vote "no," thank you. To the others, and to everyone who voted "yes" you should be deeply ashamed.

Here's you.


Also, if anyone knows what I can do to get more involved in gay rights in CA, L.A. specifically, please mail me.

posted by drjimmy11 at 10:02 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legal in every state. It *will* happen. In the mean time, same-sex couples will CONTINUE to be married in CA, continue to raise wonderful children, continue to have happy families.

This is a goofy setback, not a defeat. Any state constitution that can be changed by a 50% popular vote isn't worth the paper it's written on, and everyone knows that.

So gay and lesbian couples will continue to have happy families, no matter what the law says.
posted by Ragma at 10:02 AM on November 5, 2008


Politics are about spin. Supporters of Prop 8 will paint scary scenarios and lie outright ("They'll teach gay marriage in schools!") to win voters. Supporters of Obama will do the same ("Bush single-handedly caused a recession!"). No need to get militant about it.

Realistically, I imagine that enough people who voted in favor of Prop 8:
1. Were confused and thought they were voting in favor of gay marriage. (Aka, are stupid.)
2. Didn't know what they were voting for. (Illiterate)
3. Didn't care either way and were in a supportive mode.

Note that Prop 8 passed with a tiny margin of 20,806 voters.
posted by bondgirl53001 at 10:07 AM on November 5, 2008


So where do I donate/volunteer to fix this stupid fucking thing?

Here.
posted by nickyskye at 10:10 AM on November 5, 2008


Sigh. First off, my apologies to gay friends and MeFites on behalf of all of us non-asshole straight Californians - there are a lot of us, and Prop 8 wasn't a landslide.

It was a serious setback to be sure, but as people in the other election threads have said, the arc of American history bends toward justice. There are obvious parallels with the civil rights movement, and before that the Suffragettes, and before them the Abolitionists. Each struggle was long and hard but, seen in hindsight, the outcome was almost inevitable. I'm confident that the fight for gay rights will end the same way.

Why? Because of what I saw working as a volunteer for No on 8. I did a lot of data entry, recording the results of phone calls to voters. The database had the age of each voter, and overwhelmingly the younger voters were against 8. (See the real numbers upthread, too.) Also, what I saw on the streets on the morning of Election Day - I'll just link to my comment on the other thread, rather than repeating it here. So I believe time is running out for the opposition to gay rights - their support base is getting old and not being renewed by many young voters.

Which is not to say that we should just sit back and wait for the assholes to die off, but time is on our side, friends. Meanwhile, there's work to be done and we have to grab that arc and give it another nudge. I'm in. Who's with me?
posted by Quietgal at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just have never understood if we have seperation of church and state, what business it is of the state which sacrements I partake of and which I don't. Why is marriage up to the state in the first place for couples, trios, breeders, genderqueers, bestiophiles or necrophiliacs, what business is it of theirs? Why can't they just register legal partnerships of any stripe for business, companionship, pleasure, or whatever and be done with it? How is it remotely constitutional that I have to have a state licenced minister oversee my union's state licensure?

Sorry, for the seeming derail, but these issues bother me. Personally I'm all for anyone getting to marry the person they love if they so choose, but what does their participation in a religious rite have to do with the government in the first place regardless of what they like to do with their naughty bits?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2008


Note that Prop 8 passed with a tiny margin of 20,806 voters.

This is important. Prop 22 (the old gay marriage ban) passed by over 20% in 2000. Now, eight years later, Prop 8 barely squeaks by. This is a very hopeful trend! We may very well see same sex marriage legalized by popular vote in California within the next few years. We just need to work a little harder on voter education; the demographics are on our side.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


...the Suffragettes, and before them the Abolitionists. Each struggle was long and hard but, seen in hindsight, the outcome was almost inevitable. I'm confident that the fight for gay rights will end the same way.

I would hope that you're right. What bugs me is that this happened even with the benefit of those historical lessons behind it. By the "long arc" logic, we should be way past this by now.
posted by scarabic at 10:22 AM on November 5, 2008


I think Florida passed a constitutional amendment banning state recognition of gay marriage *and* civil unions, which seems much much worse.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2008


Speaking as someone who is generally considered not even a second-class citizen, keep fighting hard for what you deserve but don't forget to say thanks and count your blessings from time to time for the progress that has been made.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:25 AM on November 5, 2008


limnrix: Whenever I hear straight couples saying this, I try to appreciate the sentiment of them standing in solidarity with those of us who can't get married. However: You can get married. You can secure those rights for yourself and your family. Please do it -- take advantage of your opportunity. Then help us work for our right to do the same.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:25 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


How did this happen in California? Is the state full of hillbillies? Or is this the Hispanic vote voicing the Catholic disapproval of gay marriage?
posted by crapmatic at 10:27 AM on November 5, 2008


I must say one of the strangest moments in this very strange election cycle happened, for me, when I learned that the Mormons, of all people, were lecturing others about what is a normal marriage, and what isn't.

Adding together the single parent issue, the gay marriage issue, and the mormon spin, and you get one hell of a weird conversation.

"Hey you, with the 'protect marriage' sign. What's that all about?"

"I believe that our children need to be raised in a traditional marriage."

"Well, what about single parents?"

"No good. You need a man there."

"Two men, or a single father?"

"Of course not. Children need a mother."

"Well what about two wives and a husband? Or just two wives? That's 100% more mother."

"No! One man and one woman. That's the right amount. Anything else is too much of a good thing."
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:28 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Superficially it makes sense, but I'm hesitant to pin the blame for enshrining discrimination with the force of the law on black and Latino citizens who seem like they should know better.

What makes you think that? Seriously.

Talk to some black feminists about dissapointments of the Civil Rights movements. Consider Israeli 'settlers' moving onto Palestinian land and using violence to seize it. Think about ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel attacking women who dress 'immodestly'.

Hell, 200-odd years ago my family were the sort of poor Scots who were brutalised by the Highland Clearances, and 150-odd years ago they helped colonize New Zealand.

Suffering from bigotry doesn't somehow magically make you a wonderful, socially aware person, or even necessarily capable of the basic empathy required to go, "How would I like it if...?"
posted by rodgerd at 10:29 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Astro Zombie: I'd say its entirely fair, and I don't reach across the aisles to try and bargain with intolerance.

There's "bargaining" and there's education. I don't think responding to anyone who voted for Prop 8 with "YOU VOTED FOR HATE!" is a step in the right direction.

I agree that voting for Obama and for Prop 8 is all kinds of odd.
So is voting for Obama and swearing off everything he believes in.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:32 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Note that Prop 8 passed with a tiny margin of 20,806 voters.

I think I'm going to throw up.

I read somewhere in the last 18 hours that voter turnout in San Francisco was barely 50%, much lower than expected. If San Francisco voters stayed home out of complacency, I have a lot of punching to do when I get home today.
posted by rtha at 10:35 AM on November 5, 2008


My entire end of this devolved into an argument with a friend who seems to think that calling all the legal end of marriage "civil unions" and reserving "marriage" to refer to religious ceremony only is the One True and Only Way.

I told him I wasn't willing to have my marriage, gay, straight, or otherwise, legally redefined as something else so that religious persons could keep their special magic word to themselves. Resolving semantic panic by pandering to the lowest common denominator does no one any favors.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:36 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


"What makes you think that? Seriously."

Because if I keep thinking of humans as big angry monkeys who cheerfully sling crap on each other no matter who their neighbor is, rather than actual sentient beings, I'll depress myself into slitting my wrists?

Because if I don't think charitably about people different from myself, I'm lowering myself to the level of the bigot?

Because I have, I dunno, HOPE?
posted by majick at 10:37 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


What the hell does they'll teach gay marriage in schools mean anyway? Are people really opposed to the idea of kids being taught that all people share the same group of rights? Or do they imagine the teachers forcing little Billy to dress in drag and skip down an aisle holding hands with his best friend Jake while regaling them both with explicit stories of man/boy love? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people?
And I really, really dislike the ballot initiative method of governance.
posted by mr.grum at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2008


Each struggle was long and hard but, seen in hindsight, the outcome was almost inevitable.

I wonder if there were other ones that no one remembers. Like you could say the same thing about Prohibition.
posted by smackfu at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2008


There's "bargaining" and there's education. I don't think responding to anyone who voted for Prop 8 with "YOU VOTED FOR HATE!" is a step in the right direction.

You keep trying education. I'm sure it will do good. I'm going to try some good old-fashioned shaming, because, believe it or not, that actually works too. I'm tired of people telling me it does no good to call a bigot a bigot. Yes it does. It brings the truth out in the open, when it can be addressed honestly, and it uses appropriately disapproving language when addressing people whose behavior should be disapproved of.

You don't want to be called a bigot? Then fucking treat people like equals. Otherwise, get ready to hear a decidely uncheerful little earful from yours truly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:44 AM on November 5, 2008 [35 favorites]


I'm saddened and dismayed by this, but I will not give up hope. If I can take away only one thing from last night, it is the conviction that hope will overcome fear.

Eight years of a national nightmare are at an end, and now it's time to redouble our efforts in fighting fear and bigotry. Hope will overcome!
posted by malocchio at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2008


"it's one thing to think about it in the abstract, it's another to stand there and see the person in front of you."

Did you hear any of the radio ads that FALSELY CLAIMED that allowing gay marriages to stand would mean that children would be "taught gay marriage in schools"?


I think this is the root of the issue right here - visibility. I read a decent number of op-ed pieces supporting the No on 8 position - and pretty much all of them were apologetic and reassuring to the point of nausea. STOP APOLOGIZING FOR BEING GAY! Stop it! It should be taught in school, it should be normal - it is normal and all of this dancing around is not helping anyone. It's time to bring the whole issue out of the damn closet.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:46 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to try some good old-fashioned shaming, because, believe it or not, that actually works too.

I wouldn't want to be the first pair of Mormon missionaries I encounter on the streets of SF.
posted by troybob at 10:48 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm showing my age here, but getting 30% of the black electorate to vote for gay marriage is pretty damned good. Shows a huge change in attitude.

Some black ministers and preachers are just starting to get that discrimination against gays is not all that different from racial or class discrimination, at least not so different as to matter. Give them some time to work. White upper-middle class kids lecturing them on history sure isn't going to work.
posted by QIbHom at 10:48 AM on November 5, 2008


What the hell does they'll teach gay marriage in schools mean anyway?

Oh, you know: Like kids get special lessons in black marriages and Asian marriages and old-people marriages and Jewish marriages.

The fact that this bullshit was even an issue in this campaign -- in fact, the main issue talked about by both sides -- indicates the idiocy behind Prop. 8, which proved to be a winning strategy.
posted by digaman at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2008


What the hell does they'll teach gay marriage in schools mean anyway? Are people really opposed to the idea of kids being taught that all people share the same group of rights?

I guarantee it's some form of "we don't want it being depicted as 'normal'".

(in the non-statistical sense; aka: a valid or morally neutral way to live)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:51 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Even more important than the fact that being gay is normal, is the fact that being not normal is OK.

At least that's what I was taught in elementary school.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


You keep trying education. I'm sure it will do good. I'm going to try some good old-fashioned shaming, because, believe it or not, that actually works too.

It's a deal.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2008


Astro Zombie, I wish I could favorite this like 9000 times. Yes, yes, yes.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:52 AM on November 5, 2008


I'm devastated that Prop 8 has passed. A triumph for bigotry on a day that is so full of hope. The title of this post says it all really.
posted by ob at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2008


I am now waving my finger of shame.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2008


"You don't want to be called a bigot? Then fucking treat people like equals. Otherwise, get ready to hear a decidely uncheerful little earful from yours truly."

By this standard, we are all "bigots" because we treat people unequally as a matter of course. The law recognizes classes of people, and thus different classes of people are treated differently. The question, of course, is not whether the law should or shouldn't recognize classes (unless you are a libertarian...), but whether the classes it recognizes accord with various "values" we hold. These values are many and complex. Few of them can be boiled down to "hate."
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I refer to "hate," Mr. Poe, I am referring to hateful behavior. And when I refer to equal treatment, I am referring to equal treatment under the law.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This morning when I woke up (here in NC) one of the first things I did was check on Prop 8 and was horrified by the LA Times map which shows that even LA and San Diego counties voted yes. I would have expected that of Orange county.

I posted this in the other thread before I saw Prop 8 had its own thread:
I called my 71 year old mother in California last night to see how the election was going. She told me she voted against Prop 8-- which surprised me because we have not always seen eye-to-eye on gay marriage. She told me that the pastor in her church, Los Altos United Methodist Church, presided over a same-sex marriage. Some members left the congregation over that, but my mom had a chance to talk to the couple. She asked them how long they had been together, they told her 17 years. My mom's marriage lasted 14 years. She decided then that if two people wanted to get married and a church was willing to marry them, why should the government be allowed to step in and deny them? Where is the freedom? Where is the equality? Where is the right to pursuit happiness? I am outraged and so is she. Fuck you, California, for doing the WRONG thing.
Sorry for the blanket "FU" I guess I was really, really disappointed in my birth state, the state that I will always call home, no matter where I live.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Further, I don't really care what people's motivations are for engaging in hateful behavior. There's a million ways to justify a wrong. I don't care if someone's heart is really, really loving if they vote to discriminate. I can't see their heart; all is see is how their hand moves when it votes to make a class of people unequal.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:57 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Note that Prop 8 passed with a tiny margin of 20,806 voters.

Sorry, but I think you've got the wrong numbers. Prop. 8 passed with an over 400,000 vote margin. I believe you were only looking at the LA County results.
posted by gyc at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2008


I want so badly to be happy today.

And yet, my state ratified an amendment to its constitution that singles me and some of the people I care most about for discrimination. In the eyes of the people of my state, we are unworthy of the same rights as everyone else.

And so I'm avoiding the celebratory conversations today, the 'election is over' cake, the cheerful impromptu gatherings at work, because people should be happy; what we've done in this country is amazing. And I don't really want to bring them down.

So much damage to undo. So much hatred and bigotry to unravel.

And all to get people to understand that not everyone loves like they do, but that love is a good thing.

Love is a good thing.

Seems like it should be pretty obvious.
posted by MrVisible at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2008


Must I keep repeating himself?

"This victory alone is not the change we seek -- it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were."

If 8 years in Bushzarro world taught us nothing else it should have taught us to wait for it... wait for it... plan for it... wait for it...

The backlash. Ahhhh. Real Tasty.
posted by ewkpates at 10:59 AM on November 5, 2008


You know what? I'm glad this passed. Voters in California just decided to annul thousands of marriages. The next two years are going to be nothing but elderly gay and lesbian couples looking into the camera, asking "Why should the government tell us who to love?"

Then maybe all this civil unions crap will go away, and it'll be politically safe to call for full and equal gay marriage.

And then we'll all get puppies.

and cake...
posted by heathkit at 11:00 AM on November 5, 2008


Also, I'm in love with Astro Zombie, but now I can't marry him :(
posted by heathkit at 11:01 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love my best friend but she's a woman.
posted by doctorschlock at 11:03 AM on November 5, 2008


I feel deeply ashamed of myself. I didn't lift a finger to try to stop Prop. 8 from passing. I have friends and family in California, I'm an American citizen, and my bank balance is in the black, but I did nothing. Someone out there was "working on it" and that was good enough for me.

I want to apologize to everyone, and especially to my gay friends, who were slapped in the face and denied equal rights by the passing of this ugliness. I love America, and I believe in the dream of liberty and justice for all, and in equal protection under the law, and that we ought to judge people by the content of their character and not by any superficial measure. I should have fought for that dream.

I can't bring myself to apologize to my friends, and it's probably not a good idea anyway. But I do apologize to anyone who reads this. I won't make this mistake again.
posted by prefpara at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The day you stop governing by ballot, AZ, is the day I'll join your strategy. I mean, it's a hell of a lot more satisfying -- frankly easy -- to tell people off than bang your head against the wall of their ignorant opinions over and over and over again.

But you didn't win a general election yesterday because you treated everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 as a hateful warmonger. Yeah, sucks to have to treat people as people. It's a strange parallel, actually. I see intolerant people learning when they find out that their discriminatory attitudes apply to someone they already care about. Likewise, I see the bigotry patrol softening just a little when it turns out that their favourite uncle or grandmother (etc) not only harbours an intolerant perspective but doesn't do it out of HATE HATE HATE.

I pity those in either camp who don't have someone like that in their lives, or all they're left with is the black and white.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:05 AM on November 5, 2008


But you didn't win a general election yesterday because you treated everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 as a hateful warmonger.

I most certainly did treat people that way. And you'd be amazed at how many people are genuinely ashamed to have supported the war.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2008


It's true; just check my posting history.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2008


Astro Zombie, serious question: How do you judge which behaviors are hateful and which one's aren't without reference to someone's motivation?
posted by MarshallPoe at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2008


Guys,

I'm about to get into trouble with the Canadian authorities for this, and I can hear the sled dogs barking outside my door, but the truth needs to be known...

They are FORCING us into GAY MARRIAGE with GAYS up here! My wife was dragged away to a relesbinization camp just last week, and then Jacques moved in!

OMG, they are melting the lock with Tim Horton's coffee! I gotta be quick!

You have to fight this! It's all pink petticoats on the men, and studded leather on the ladies. It's a madhouse of GAY GAYNESS!

They are coming...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2008 [13 favorites]


If she, a Holland resident, can pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into an American political event, who's to say the Russians, Iranians or Afghanis couldn't do that as well?

The article you're quoting from says she lives in Holland, Michigan. I don't understand the connection to Russia, Iran, or Afghanistan.
posted by cmonkey at 11:12 AM on November 5, 2008


How do you judge which behaviors are hateful and which one's aren't without reference to someone's motivation?

Because the act of making one class of people, and a historically despised class, into second-class citizens, is inherently hateful, just as Jim Crow laws are inherently hateful. Motiviations are beside the point. I will never actually know what someone's motivations are. Maybe they burned a cross because they thought it looked pretty. But the act itself is hateful regardless.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:12 AM on November 5, 2008


I have a million things I want to write about this, but in the interest of avoiding a tl;dr situation, I'll just write instead that now is not the time to despair, but to agitate, educate and organize.

Some major setbacks occurred yesterday, but this battle is not over yet. It won't be over until all men and women are able to legally marry the person that they love.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:16 AM on November 5, 2008


prefpara: Don't apologize--no such thing as 'straight guilt' for people on the generous side of the issue. I'm gay, and I was complacent; I put more money into Obama than fighting this. I have lots of straight friends who have never been anything but supportive; I'm grateful for every one of them, and not one has a right to apologize for what others do or say.
posted by troybob at 11:16 AM on November 5, 2008


So, by "hateful," you mean "not to my liking." If so, that's fine and very clear.
posted by MarshallPoe at 11:17 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


A Modest Proposal:

Since this specification for "a man and a woman" is now carved into the stone of the California Constitution, it should be rigorously enforced.

And how? By requiring every marriage license applied for in California from now on to be accompanied by incontrovertible proof that the parties are indeed one man (signified groom) and one woman (signified bride). That would include not just certified results of a DNA test on both parties, but since there are a lot of surgically-altered transsexuals out there, notarized photographic evidence that each party has the requisite gender-specific genatalia. (Or the photos could be taken at the state office where the license is applied for)

Imagine. Every marriage license required to have attached pictures of the bride and groom's junk.

At the very least, whatever documentation is required for transsexuals to legally change their gender should be required by both parties to have a legal marriage. (If that requirement is fairly lax, I would then suggest that one member of a same-sex couple could be 're-defined' to become legal)

And if this is so important to 51% of the California population, maybe the documentation requirement should be made retroactive for every couple who files a state tax return under "married" status. Humiliating? Yes, but Constitutionally Required! And what a way to show our children the True Meaning of Marriage (as defined by 51% of Californians)!

Sound crazy? Hell, yeah. But it would be the single best way to teach some of that 51% a few lessons in personal freedom, privacy and putting 'moral' clauses into law. I can imagine a Special Election to repeal might be scheduled in record time.

And don't tell me there's nothing in the initiative requiring such handling. It's all there in six words: "between a man and a woman".

SHOW WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF, CALIFORNIA!
ENFORCE PROPOSITION 8!
posted by wendell at 11:18 AM on November 5, 2008 [19 favorites]


I'm just sick about this. I'm glad (really) that some of you were able to revel in the Obama victory last night, and got to delay the Prop 8 shock until this morning. I couldn't help watching this unfold from the earliest returns until late into the night last night, and much as I tried to be happy about the Obama victory (and I most certainly am), I just couldn't shake this loss.

I'm not sure why, as a straight man, this has impacted me as hard as it has. But there it is; I'm beside myself with frustration and anger. I think the crux of my feelings is focused on the nature of the vote. I've long ago come to accept, albeit with resignation, the inherent apathy of the electorate. So if Prop 8 was a measure to grant some sweeping rights to our GLBT brothers and sisters that they didn't already specifically have, I've learned to cope with the idea that a majority of people are maybe not going to to out on that limb, can't be bothered to throw their weight behind such a thing.

But that's not what happened here. People went out and actively voted to strip rights away from a group of people who already had them. People had to make a conscious decision to say no, you don't deserve the rights that other people have. I am voting to take your rights away. Naive as it may be, I thought we in California were above that kind of bigotry, and it's supremely demoralizing to realize my misjudgment.

Fine. We can play that way. My vote is no longer enough. I'll be going forward to find out how I can best be more actively involved on this issue. And damnit, we're going to knock this shit down. I would encourage all of my fellow Californians to do the same.
posted by Brak at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


Come to Massachusetts, we're still awesome.

And hey, we just decriminalized weed too!
posted by billypilgrim at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2008


My more general point is that name-calling is wrong on a number of counts. If you want to convince a reasonable person of something--and I do think most Americans are reasonable--you will not do so by calling them a bigoted hater.

Well, MarshallPoe, so far, pointing out to them that allowing same sex marriage doesn't do a DAMN thing to their own marriage or life hasn't seemed to work so well...can you blame us for being angry? I also find it outright hilarious that the "less government interference" side of the political spectrum is always ready, willing and able to interfere with everyone's lives when it suits their own purposes.

I am incredibly sad and sorry for all of you who will be affected by this legislation and am hoping very, very hard that something will happen to overturn it either on the state or national level. DOMA's got to go, too. And ideally, we'd separate out the civil and religious marriage-related events, as they do in other more civilized parts of the world. We're not there yet but I pray we will be soon.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2008


So, by "hateful," you mean "not to my liking." If so, that's fine and very clear.

That's sort of weird moral territory. No, I don't like Jim Crow laws or corss burnings or homophobia, but it is not the fact that I don't like them that makes them hateful. Not everything is a matter of opinion.

I dislike the new version of Knight Rider, but I wouldn't say it is a hteful thing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


How do you judge which behaviors are hateful and which one's aren't without reference to someone's motivation?

A willingness to deny a group an intrinsic right enjoyed by the majority or dominant culture is a hateful action, regardless of how it is expressed. Telling a fellow human being that they are not a human being is hateful, even if it is articulated without apparent rancor or loathing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


I am Californian, born and bred, and I am confused by this. Confused. How can this wonderful state, the creative center of the country, a state rich with progressive thought academic excellence and technological innovation and sunshine and redwoods and happiness and zen be so fucking stupid and douchey? And angry?!! Their anger turned into my anger, and THAT MAKES ME ANGRIER. And prone to say rash things about religion and the people who have it. Like that they're goddamned ruiners who ruin and they are ruining my life, too.

Get your fucking religion out of my fucking government. Grow the fuck up.

Stop worrying over who fucks whom in the where with the lead pipe. To quote one of the GREAT Californian movies, it doesn't matter to Jesus! Life is too short for this bullshit.

I am so proud to stand with digaman and rtha and all the other gay married Californians right now, and am filled with admiration for their fortitude.

But please, get marriage out of government. Altogether. Our right to be free from religion is as important as our right to equal treatment. In fact, they might always be bound up together as they are now.

I am in a hetero partnership and we don't have the right to a domestic partnership, and that too is wrong. The whole system of "marriage" is BORKEN. NEED FIX. I can't stomach the idea of unecessarily, voluntarily involving myself in it until it's not a fucking joke. And that's my anger talking, but it's also true. The letter of the law undermines its spirit, and I find that anything but inspiringly sacrosanct.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Well, MarshallPoe, so far, pointing out to them that allowing same sex marriage doesn't do a DAMN thing to their own marriage or life hasn't seemed to work so well..."

I would say that we would be better off politely discussing it with them than angrily "pointing it out" to them, as the latter sounds a bit patronizing, doesn't it? Generally speaking, treating people with different opinions respectfully will probably change more minds that just "pointing X out" to them. Not always, but I think in this instance rancor will only lead to further polarization.
posted by MarshallPoe at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2008


My wife was dragged away to a relesbinization camp...

Oh, can I get her autograph? I loved her in that movie.
posted by rokusan at 11:31 AM on November 5, 2008


If she, a Holland resident, can pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into an American political event, who's to say the Russians, Iranians or Afghanis couldn't do that as well?

This is referring to the city of Holland, Michigan, not the country.
posted by glycolized at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think responding to anyone who voted for Prop 8 with "YOU VOTED FOR HATE!" is a step in the right direction.

[COMMERCIAL OPENS ON BLANK WHITE SCREEN. BLACK TEXT FADES IN READING: "DID YOU VOTE YES ON PROP 8?"]

[FADE TEXT OUT]

[FADE IN THAT ELDERLY LESBIAN COUPLE THAT WAS FIRST TO MARRY IN SF]

Woman 1: Then you voted for hate.

[WOMEN REPLACED BY MARRIED MEN WITH THEIR KID(S), WHO LOOK VERY SAD]

Man 1: Then you voted for hate.

[REPEAT WITH OTHER CALIFORNIA COUPLES AND FAMILIES OF VARIED CLASS AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND, INTERSPERSED WITH ACTORS, MUSICIANS AND CALIFORNIA SPORTS HEROES. INCREASE THE SPEED OF THE CUTS TO BUILD INTENSITY]

[FADE BACK TO WHITE AND SWITCH TO GOV ARNOLD]

GOV: Proposition 8 was a hateful amendment that stripped away the rights of thousands of Californians. Please join us in voting for Proposition [x], which will restore equal treatment for all under the law.

[TEXT: VOTE YES ON [x] / SAY NO TO HATE / WEBSITE / PHONE NUMBER]

I don't know, that seems like a step in the right direction to me
posted by mikepop at 11:37 AM on November 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


I can't really add anything that really hasn't already been said. I'm very happy about Obama's victory, but my heart hurts for those affected by the bigotry that led to these measures passing in CA, FL,AZ, and AR.

I know they're only setbacks, and equality will come in time. But I can't help but feel these measures weigh upon and tarnish an otherwise hopeful result.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2008


Generally speaking, treating people with different opinions respectfully will probably change more minds that just "pointing X out" to them.

You know, I used to be antiabortion. I mean, not really, really antiabortion. I would never have voted to make it illegal. I just felt it was a terrible thing. Still do. Still think education and access to birth control to prevent unwanted pregancies is a preferable choice. But I definately thought women shouldn't have an abortion if the father of the child didn't want it. I was quite young at the time, and it just felt like, were I the father, I would not want my decisions about the future of a potential life that I created taken from me. And I argued the case with my female friends, and it was all very civil, but I stuck by my viewpoint. And, one night, a female I knew exploded.

HOW DARE YOU, she said. You spend a half hour fucking a girl and suddenly you think you can decide what happens to her body for the NEXT EIGHT MONTHS? You don't even have a job, and you want to determine if she can or cannot have a child that she WILL FINANCIAL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE? You produce a little sperm and you think you can make a decision that MIGHT PUT A WOMAN'S LIFE IN JEAPORDY? HONESTLY, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

And my face flushed, and I felt very angry and defensive. I did not like being belittled, or disregarded, or spoken to angrily. But I also knew that she was right. Totally right. Her anger had put a fine point on an issue that had been mostly academic for me. I just didn't think something was fair, but it had never come up in my own life, and I hadn't really realized that I wasn't just being a bit dense about the subject, I was actually being a bit of a prick.

I can think of many instances in my life where I had to rethink poorly considered ideas because, in part, of the scorn I experienced when I articulated them.

I'm not going to dance around this because people think it's somehow impolitic. The people who voted for Prop 8 cast a vote for hate.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2008 [37 favorites]


It's time to make something new. One part of me (I'm married, hetero) really understands the desire to be married and be part of a civil union. Everyone should have this right. However, when it becomes linked to religion then I also wonder why we'd want to buy into this club that doesn't really want us who are tolerant, who are atheists, or gay, or whatever. It's similar to understanding why someone would want to be a member of clergy and also be gay. It's about ending discrimination. At the same time, though, if their fucked up club doesn't want us, then it's time to forget it and make something new.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:44 AM on November 5, 2008


New rule:

If you enter a gay marriage and it lasts longer than ANY of Brittney Spears' marriages, you get to keep being married.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 11:45 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Astro Zombie, though I don't agree, I must confess that was very nicely said. Hat's off. Favorited.
posted by MarshallPoe at 11:51 AM on November 5, 2008


Jimmy, why should black kids want to go to NO COLORED schools and drink at WHITES ONLY water fountains anyway? They should just drill their own wells and launch their own school system.
posted by digaman at 11:51 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also wonder why we'd want to buy into this club that doesn't really want us who are tolerant, who are atheists, or gay, or whatever

Is the answer that you're ethically compromised by capitalism and addicted to narrativizing your lives?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:52 AM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you. But I'm also all for those who want to educate. I argue for a comprehensive program of shaming and educating, like they offer at parochial schools.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 AM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm too sad and depressed to really participate in this thread. Also, angry that the loss of prop 8 has so interfered with my ability to feel joy about Obama's election.

I will, however, provide one option for those of you who have asked about what to do to support the movement. I encourage you to support the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Despite their name they work on a wide range of LGBT issues. They were key to winning the CA Supreme Court decision earlier this year. I give money to them, and think that they are a solid, well-run organization that makes very good use of their resources. There are other good options out there, like Lambda Legal, but this is where I will be putting my money and time.

Thank you for all of the condolences and sympathy.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:55 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


However, when it becomes linked to religion then I also wonder why we'd want to buy into this club that doesn't really want us who are tolerant, who are atheists, or gay, or whatever.

It isn't linked to religion. I can go down to the courthouse and get married if I want to. Marriage was originally secular, and thus handing it over to the religious, and throwing in the towel isn't an option. Equality is something we fight for.

I'm an atheist. I want to be married. Nothing to do with religion. I'm not going to settle for a second-class term like "civil union" and neither should gays or other atheists.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:55 AM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Jimmy, why should black kids want to go to NO COLORED schools and drink at WHITES ONLY water fountains anyway? They should just drill their own wells and launch their own school system.

Racial discrimination was not tied to the free practice and protection from establishment of religion. They didn't have whites only fountains because blacks were considered infidels. No marriage, a religious rite, should be sanctioned or licenced by the state.

They don't tie proving your age to get a drivers licence to first having been confirmed or having a bar/bat mitzvah or other similar religious coming-of-age ceremony do they?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:57 AM on November 5, 2008


Marriage was originally secular

No actually, it predates the state.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2008


oh for the love of...

If it isn't "linked to religion" then why can't any two adults have it? That should be a no-brainer.

Yes, it IS linked to religion. It is INVENTED by religion. I really think it's s sullying of the concept of freedom from religion.

I mean, you can tell yourself it only means what we choose it to mean, that we can disavow most people's opinion of it and history's, but that doesn't make it so.

And there are plenty of atheists like myself who wouldn't touch it with a twelve foot pole. Because I don't have to compromise my beliefs to obtain rights, because I live in America, right?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:01 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


No marriage, a religious rite, should be sanctioned or licenced by the state.

Pollomacho, are you married? If you are, did you protest against the state's intrusion into your religious rite by requiring a license at the time?

Just askin'.
posted by digaman at 12:03 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The elephant in the room is barely mentioned.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:03 PM on November 5, 2008


wow, I am so surprised to see californians vote this way. I mean, you're almost europeans.
posted by krautland at 12:05 PM on November 5, 2008


Thanks for the link, gingerbeer. I've gotten mail from them in the past but it was along with a bunch of other groups, and I picked HRC to join at the time. I'm getting irritated with them though, so I'm going to look into other organizations involved in this fight.
posted by Tehanu at 12:05 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


No marriage, a religious rite, should be sanctioned or licenced by the state.

But Marriage provides many key rights under the law. that's why a marriage license is required even if there is a religious ceremony. And it's these rights under the law that are so important to gay couples that want to be married.

I'm another California resident and ashamed that the state passed this proposition. It's no different than banning African Americans, Jews or (pick your ethnicity) from getting married.

On the other hand, California was one of the few states that legalized Gay marriage, which led to this proposition, so let's ease up on California a bit. Most states would have approved of a proposition like this as well.

The Yes on eight forces used every Roveian dirty trick to win this, while the no on 8 forces seemed content to rely on the fact that they were (and are) on the side of the angels.

I hope that the no on 8 forces will take a lesson from the Obama campaign and get its ground game in order and spend the next two years making sure this bigoted travesty of a law is overturned. I look forward to helping.
posted by cjets at 12:11 PM on November 5, 2008


In Massachusetts no entity is required to perform a religious same-sex marriage. Separation of Church and State. The state, however, is required to acknowledge a civil marriage for Massachusetts couples, and now out-of-state same sex couples.
posted by ericb at 12:17 PM on November 5, 2008


Of the rights granted to married couples, which of them cannot be effectively achieved by gay couples today using contracts or legal agreements? I'm guessing the hospital visitation one, potentially. What others?
posted by jsonic at 12:19 PM on November 5, 2008


Yes, thanks from me too, gingerbeer. Like Tehanu, I've been irritated with HRC's approach lately (their finger-shaking email last week saying "do you want to wake up on November 5 and feel bad that you didn't do enough to stop Prop 8?" kind of did it for me) and am looking for the organization that I think has the best approach and strategy.

This is not a question of "morality" or "tradition" or any other bullshit the apologists want to trot out. This is a question of civil rights -- as far as I'm concerned, it is the defining civil rights struggle of America in the 21st century. The fact that I am treated differently under the law because I happen to be straight is repellant, and I will not fucking have it.
posted by scody at 12:19 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


We can all have a long discussion about how "marriage is a religious rite" when a ballot initiative passes forbidding atheists from getting married, and requiring a test of scriptural knowledge -- hey, Bible, Q'uran, whatevah! -- before you can marry the partner of your choice. But back on Earth in 2008, marriage is both a religious and secular site in which the state has a compelling interest, because the stability of loving relationships boosts the stability of the state as a whole.

In other words, I have no problem with religious marriages. I have a problem when flaming nutballs who call themselves Christian make action movies starring themselves to foment ignorance and hatred and successfully swing elections while mouthing bullshit about God's love.
posted by digaman at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a California resident, I'm ashamed and astonished by this.
posted by puddinghead at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2008


Civil marriage, not religious marriage. What's at stake? Equal rights.

Some of the benefits that accrue to married couples and not to unmarried ones.
"Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.

Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.

Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.

Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.

Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.

Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.

Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.

Receiving public assistance benefits.

Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.

Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.

Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.

Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.

Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.

Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.

Making burial or other final arrangements.

Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.

Applying for joint foster care rights.

Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.

Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'

Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.

Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.

Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).

Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).

Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.

Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.

Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.

Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."*
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on November 5, 2008 [25 favorites]


Lawsuit to be filed to stop Prop 8 hate amendment in California .
posted by ericb at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks, ericb.

- Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'

WTF is that about? Is this a private property home-owners association kinda thing. Or is that an official city zoning thing?
posted by jsonic at 12:27 PM on November 5, 2008


Looking forward:

1) There are some 18,000 same-sex married couples in the California. The first order of business is to ensure that Prop 8 is not applied retroactively to those marriages. That's a battle for lawyers.

2) We have to target people who are persuadable on the other side. It's a mistake to believe that most who voted for proposition 8 have some deep commitment on this issue. I suspect that many of them are like folks I know from where I used to live. They are in favor of equal rights, but they are at the same time vaguely squicked-out about "the gay." When they get in the voting booth, they decide it's best to not change things, which to them means keeping marriage away from same-sex couples. Note that's not an agenda or ideology, that's a vague feeling of unease. So, who besides Christian fundamentalists voted for this proposition? This is a factual question. Once we know that, we know who we need to talk to.

3) We need outreach that extends more than thirty miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. It's rather easy to overwhelm vague, squicky feelings. They are based on (and I mean no offense) disgust reactions, and those quickly subside with just a bit of exposure. But that exposure to everyday same-sex married folk is limited in more suburban and rural locations. It's there, but it isn't strong enough for many people to say "hey, that's my neighbor you are talking about!"

4) Finally, we need to be able to say why civil unions that offer the same legal rights as marriage are nonetheless inferior to marriage itself. Us liberals used to be able to talk convincingly about human dignity. Its time to recapture those words.

So, we can change this in probably a decade or less if we are smart and committed. On the other hand, if we rush in all disorganized and fighty, expect this amendment to stay in the Cal. Constitution until most of us are dead.
posted by ferdydurke at 12:27 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


3 million ballots still to be counted in CA
posted by mikepop at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I must say, though, there have been some really heartening things about the way this has gone down. I'm not gay, and became politicized about gay issues when I was in my early 20s thanks in part to being housed in a homeless shelter run by the Gay/Lesbian Community Center of Los Angeles. In part, it was because I got to be friends with a number of the teenagers in the shelter, in part because it became unavoidavly obvious that this can be a hard world for gay people, and in part because the Community Center saved my life, and I owed them, and the LA gay community, and the gay community in general, a lifelone debt for taking me in when I was down and helping me get back up on my feet again.

I am straight, but, from that point on, in part because of my support and concern for gay issues, people just sort of assumed I was gay. And I realized that was part of the effectiveness of homophobia. Because of the closet, and because anybody could be gay, if you supported the rights of gays and lesbians, you were going to run the risk of being seen as gay or lesbian youself. Now, this was the nineties, and the risks were less than they once were -- as far as I knew, nobody was de-queering bars with baseball bats just as a matter of course anymore, although homophobic violence was still very real. And that was part of the insidiousness of homophobia. You took a risk opposing it that you might not be taking when addressing other concerns, and that risk was that you might be seen as gay.

But a lot of straight people support gay rights now, and do so with considerable less fear that they might be seen as gay themselves, or with no concern about it at all. There were a lot of these people on hand, very visibly fighting prop 8. That's really encouraging. There is room for hope yet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to let you know that I'm straight again, because repeating it twice in the preceding comment doesn't seem enough.

Straight straight straightety straight.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]



I'm going to let you know that I'm straight again, because repeating it twice in the preceding comment doesn't seem enough.



Really? I. Um. Oh.

Just ...just ignore the flowers then.
posted by The Whelk at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Straight straight straightety straight.

Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.

I keed. I keed.
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on November 5, 2008


I'm going to let you know that I'm straight again, because repeating it twice in the preceding comment doesn't seem enough.

Straight straight straightety straight.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:33 PM on November 5 [+] [!]


The sound you hear is hearts breaking all over Metafilter.

Sigh.
posted by MrVisible at 12:39 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


WHAT ELSE SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT DEFINE FOR US?

Religion? Parenting? Free Speach?
posted by ewkpates at 12:44 PM on November 5, 2008


As monumental as this election has been in terms of making history, I feel as though it has also showed me a part of America that I wanted to believe existed only in dramatic fiction, or in small backwoods enclaves that still swore allegiance to the Confederacy. Hate is alive and well and living in America.

I vacillate between wanting to cry, throw up and punch people in the face.
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:46 PM on November 5, 2008


Pollomacho, are you married? If you are, did you protest against the state's intrusion into your religious rite by requiring a license at the time?

I am married. Did not have a religious rite, though I did have to have a licenced minister perform a ceremony, but I don't live in a state anyway. Did I protest? I can't afford the legal cost of protesting, but even if I did, I have the option of civil union where live anyway, so it would be considered (wrongly) moot.

I don't think that I should be "legally married" i think I should possibly have to licence my union and therefore secure partnership rights, but marriage should not be part of the equasion as far as the government is concerned. The choice to marry should be up to the church alone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm equally opposed to straight government sanctioned marriage, this is not a what-you-do-with-your-special-parts issue, it's strictly a freedom of/from religion issue.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:50 PM on November 5, 2008


Oh, and don't let me derail from the criticism of the bigoted hatemongers of California either. Their vote was most certainly a what-you-do-with-your-special-parts issue.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:52 PM on November 5, 2008


Scarabic, unfortunately our lizard brains just don't work that way. Every battle has to be fought and won anew. Eternal vigilance and all that. Human nature also contains a regrettable amount of "I got mine, now fuck off" ... complacency? Is that the right word? Anyway, once your personal battle is won, you tend to forget what it was like in the bad old days, especially if you don't particularly identify with the group in question.

Jimmythefish, I sort of wonder if at some level this isn't about words, as silly as that seems. Words like "marriage", "husband", and "wife" have a great deal of emotional and religious resonance but English just doesn't have any good alternatives. Maybe we need to make something new just so we can give it a name that doesn't have millennia of baggage attached.

Personally, I've never though of marriage as a sentimental thing - it's all about legal and financial rights and benefits. I've been married for 15 years, and the fact that Hubby and I love each other is great but entirely separate from our legal status. (You can have love without marriage and vice versa - they are quite distinct.) As atheists, we got married at City Hall and religion never even came into it. So I'd be satisfied to let religious people have marriages, husbands and wives as long as Hubby and I have the same rights and benefits because we're ... civilly-united partners? Domestic stakeholders? Crap, we need better words.

I don't see it as "Separate But Equal" hypocrisy, because rights and benefits come from the state, not the church. Anybody who got married by the church/temple/mosque still has to fill out the secular paperwork to get their benefits. This is already the way it works, so giving the process another name doesn't seem like such a big deal.
posted by Quietgal at 12:53 PM on November 5, 2008


krautland - Wow, I am so surprised to see californians vote this way. I mean, you're almost europeans.

I live in a county in California that generally sides Republican. Though there's a college here, there are also a lot of farmers and "country folk." I'm not saying farmers can't be gay, it's just that they're often less .. European .. than California city folk. And there are many Counties like this one.

Sad story, which was mildly amusing prior to the election - my wife was at a hair salon run by a nice gay couple. They've been together for a good long while (a few decades, I'd guess). While they don't fly a rainbow flag in front of their shop, I'd think it's fairly clear they are two men, and they are a couple. On her way in, she noticed a BMW with a license plate bracket about trading in the station wagon or something, and a Vote Yes on Prop 8 sticker. Not quite as awkward as being a bar tender who was going to vote yes on 8 yet works at a gay bar, but a similar sort of mind-bender. Are you considering the people you support and spend time with when you vote this way? Or are you just stuck on that whole "definition of marriage" thing, like O.S.Card?

From what I've seen, the celebrities were against Prop 8, but they tend to be the more "European" of Californians.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:54 PM on November 5, 2008


I'm tired of people telling me it does no good to call a bigot a bigot. Yes it does. It brings the truth out in the open, when it can be addressed honestly, and it uses appropriately disapproving language when addressing people whose behavior should be disapproved of.

You don't want to be called a bigot? Then fucking treat people like equals. Otherwise, get ready to hear a decidely uncheerful little earful from yours truly.


It sounds to me more like you just prefer to use derogatory epithets and name-calling as a bludgeon to harangue people with opposing viewpoints into submission instead of engaging them on a civilized level.

Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that I claimed I supported Prop 8 because I saw no principled reason why, if gay marriage was allowed in the name of allowing people to marry whoever they wanted, we weren't logically obligated to recognize polygamy, bestiality, or pedophilia in the context of marriage. Now, before I get branded with the Scarlet "B" or "H," I want you to know that this is not what I actually think. If I were a citizen of CA, I wouldn't have voted in favor of Prop 8. But at one time it was more or less how I saw the issue. I wasn't firm in that belief, but in college I saw it as a strong position.

When I discussed my ideas with fellow students in the wake of Goodridge v. Mass. DPH (the Mass. decision allowing gay marriage), I was subjected to a flood of attacks like the ones you support making on opponents of gay marriage. I was told to "shut the fuck up," I was called a homophobe, I was labeled a bigot, and I was threatened with physical harm. All for suggesting a position contrary to popular opinion on the issue of gay marriage. I can't speak for the people who did it, but I can only assume their motives were similar to yours. Because I held a position contrary to theirs, I was no longer worth listening to and it became their responsibility to shout me down in the name of their cause.

As it happened, that didn't work. First of all, I actually became more convinced of the merits of my side. After all, if the responses I got from other students were a fair representation of the intellectual rigor behind gay marriage, I didn't see much reason to take it seriously. Second, I responded in kind and got very angry at the people who lashed out at me, in the name of "tolerance," no less. Who were they to tell me I wasn't allowed to question their ideas? What right did they have to try to silence opposing viewpoints, while out of the other side of their mouths bemoaning the government's efforts to silence leftist protesters? That anger wound up generalizing to the issue that sparked the conflict, and I became more emotionally invested in the gay marriage debate than I originally had been.

All that changed one night when I was watching a segment on the news that dealt with gay marriage. The program showed a same-sex couple hugging one another and I found myself getting upset. I thought, "Yeah, that's right. Go on and keep rubbing it in everyone's face. Your shrill self-interested advocacy group got you what you want. Piss off." And then I caught myself. This couple on TV hadn't done anything to me. They weren't responsible for the vitriol spewed at me for daring to disagree with popular ideas. This couple was just two people trying to live their lives, who got caught up in this bitter installment in the culture war. What was being done to them wasn't fair, and me projecting my anger onto them wasn't fair either. They hadn't joined the battle and probably wanted no part in it.

That day I changed my position on the issue. Later, I found that people invoked the same "slippery slope" argument in the face of interracial marriage in the wake of Loving v. Virginia some decades earlier. But of course, the fabric of society didn't unravel then, and there was no sign it was going to after gay marriage.

So now at last, let me come to the point: The angry attacks on me by proponents of gay marriage did not help me reach this realization; in fact, they probably ensured I came to it later than I otherwise would have. There was never a time when I hated gay people or set out to deprive them of equal access to marriage for the sake of depriving them of equal access to marriage. Shouting at me that I was doing that did not win me over. It didn't even get me to stop talking about it. If you're really serious about converting people on this point, then please take it from the story of a convert himself. Accusing people of being hateful, and treating them hatefully, is not going win anyone over.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 12:54 PM on November 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


I was at work until near 10pm yesterday, and was completely cut off from any news about how the election was going. At one point a friend of mine sent me a text message informing me that Obama was up to 297 electoral votes. GLEE! That felt good. SO, SO GOOD. Part of me hadn't wanted to get truly excited that it could happen, because if it hadn't gone that way then it would have been even more crushing. I cruised through the rest of work smiling and elated.

Then I got home.

Then I saw how my state was voting on prop 8.

Then I felt that joy and excitement drain away as I found out that over five million people in my goddamned state voted to strip away rights from other ordinary residents of my state. Five million people who think that my best friend is somehow inferior to them, and WRONG, and shouldn't be allowed to have a relationship like they can. Five million people who lead the charge with Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida to make sure that these people that are scary and different from them couldn't enjoy the same rights and benefits as they themselves could.

Are any of them going to look back on that vote in 30 years and be ashamed of it? Realize that on the same day some of them voted to put the first african american into the white house they were sadly ensuring that another group of people stayed second class citizens for awhile longer.

It's bullshit, and it makes me angry. Mostly though I'm just sad, knowing how small and backward people still are, even in a supposedly forward state. Yesterday may have been a great step out of the shadows for our country, but unfortunately a lot of our citizens still aren't quite ready to come into the light.
posted by Stunt at 1:02 PM on November 5, 2008


Obama winning the presidency means nothing comparatively to this disaster. Proposition 8 passing is a death-knell for civil liberty in this country. Hope has been extinguished, both locally and exotericly. Gone are the illusions that the way of life that I want to live can be appended to the common social order. Lost are the beliefs that held me together as a productive member of society. Instead, a system is being put in place that will drive all my efforts in the future. I really see my true purpose here on this earth now as a destructive force to society.

I am not a woman or a man, and in so being, my rights are constantly being eroded. I am not heterosexual, I do not believe in the nuclear family or in traditional family structure, I am not homosexual, I do not believe in indoctrinating children one way or another, I am not bisexual, and I am not a overly sexual person whose lust has blinded them to the joys of a Godly life.

Perhaps I hold these views because for the most part I was raised outside of indoctrinating institutions, but I still believe that there is some inherent humanity left in us after all, in spite and underneath of all the labels we cling to like the rural Pennsylvanians are supposed to be clinging to their Bibles and their Guns. I am a person, a priori, and my awareness precedes any devious propagandists with their suits and ties, their uniforms, or their religious garb. I never had to envy free-thinkers, I have been one as long as I can remember. And free-thinkers like me have in the grand scheme of history preceded all dogmatic, controlling, and fascist powers; we are the doubters, the skeptics, and the creators. The only thing that precedes us is the void itself in which we will all be thrown. Despite faith in a higher power and conversely despite any life-extension technology, the grand unifier of death will not sort us based on our ethos and certainly not our self-applied labels.

Defining marriage as between a man and a woman is akin to defining a pineapple as being between a coconut and a grapefruit, and such a distinction has no place in any constitution. Where are those who still believe in the constitution we have in place in America? It does touch on separation of church and state, does it not? It is the greatest of all misfortunes that the equality guaranteed inevitably by demise is not more accurately reflected in our temporal existence. Perhaps our inclinations psychologically and socially towards wars, homicides, suicides, and terrorist acts are not themselves a cause of disorder but instead the natural conclusion of a system out of balance, forced against its will to use the only tool it has left: the iteration of death.
posted by flyinghamster at 1:02 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


It sounds to me more like you just prefer to use derogatory epithets and name-calling as a bludgeon to harangue people with opposing viewpoints into submission instead of engaging them on a civilized level.

Nope.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:07 PM on November 5, 2008


Be careful with the "We dont talk to terrorists bigots" talk.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


It sounds to me more like you just prefer to use derogatory epithets and name-calling as a bludgeon to harangue people with opposing viewpoints into submission instead of engaging them on a civilized level.

Nope.


Oh, ok. I guess I was confused there in light of your screed against people who disagree with you along with your explicitly stated intention to not engage them on a civilized level. But thanks for clearing that up.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2008


Obama winning the presidency means nothing comparatively to this disaster. Proposition 8 passing is a death-knell for civil liberty in this country.

Wow. I couldn't disagree more. The prop 8 vote is a major setback. But the Civil rights movement and the Woman's rights movement have both had major setbacks as well. Prop 8 is nothing that can't be fixed in two or four years.

In some ways, it could be considered a wake up call for the Lesbian and Gay rights movement. There was tremendous progress made with the right to marry in California and Massachusetts. But there's a lot of work yet to be done, even in California.

But this is a country that went from Slavery to an African American president in 145 years, that went from the Civil Rights act to President Obama in 44 years.

Which leads me to my second point. The election of President Obama may be the most important election in my entire life. Not only is it the election of the best candidate, despite the color of his skin, it's the complete repudiation of 8 years of Bush/Cheney, their illegal war, the complete disregard for the constituion and the rule of law. The American people (52% of them anyway) finally said enough.

The country can survive the vote on prop 8 and learn from its mistakes. Could we have survived a McCain/Palin presidency? I'm glad we don't have to find out.
posted by cjets at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just want to grouse here for a little, because I feel like such a downer to my friends right now. I posted a facebook status (amongst virtually everyone I know's jubilation) about how sad I am for my gay brethren in the States. I got comments along the lines of "so you think they'd be better off with McCain/Palin?" Obviously not, but this is depressing. I feel like such a buzzkill. I want to be so happy for this transcendant historical event, and yet... I just can't.

Now, I'm not expecting gay marriage to be an easy slog. I expected most of these propositions to turn out the wrongheaded way, but California is a shock. I feel like voters did the right thing in voting Obama, but missed the whole point.

It's hard for me to explain why separate but mostly equal isn't ok with me. It is for my boyfriend, and we live in Canada where same sex marriage has been legal for years and you never hear a peep about it these days. People who go about trying to preserve the sanctity of marriage are indeed in my mind bigoted. Granting full marriage rights to same sex couples has no effect on their lives. None. No one would force any church to perform a marriage they are opposed to. No one is claiming that marriage between atheists, or muslims, or arranged marriages voids the sanctity of marriage.

What these people are saying with their votes is you are different, and we'll deal with that, but it is fundamentally not ok. It's disgusting to me.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...
America did a great thing yesterday towards making these words finally ring true. But these votes only show that we've got a long way to go.

Sorry for length, and repeating points that others have made. But this is really bumming me out, and I don't want to ruin all my friend's joy on this momentous occasion, so I need to express it somewhere.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2008


As mentioned earlier, the legal fight has begun.
posted by IndpMed at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2008


Oh, ok. I guess I was confused there in light of your screed against people who disagree with you along with your explicitly stated intention to not engage them on a civilized level. But thanks for clearing that up.

No, you're just wrong. Go back and reread what I wrote. I trust you're able to distinguish between what I said -- which is that I will be calling hateful action for what it is -- and what you mischaracterized it as. There are no epithets being thrown around. And you can be perfectly civil and still forthright that you think someone is engaging in hateful behavior.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2008


Make Prop 8 a Phyrric Victory—Bankrupt the Mormons
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Law Talkin' Guy, at one point I felt about homosexuality as you did when you were in college. I changed my mind, but I have to admit that the only way for me to change my mind was to realize that I was being prejudiced and intolerant. I'll admit that that process would have taken a lot longer (or never happened) if people had been screaming abuse into my face and I'd gotten all defensive about it, but it doesn't change the fact that those labels were accurate.

I guess what I'm saying is that calling people bigoted and intolerant who actually are bigoted and intolerant is certainly morally defensible, but tactically inept.

As others have pointed out, the big breakdown in gay rights is on age lines. The culture war was won in Hollywood a long time ago, and the constantly broadcast news of the victory is slowly sinking into thick skulls across the land. As the population changes, tolerance and rights will inevitably increase. Unless substantial waves of immigration somehow change the dynamic (VDARE + gays = strange bedfellows?).

In some dark portion of the xenophobe brain, homosexuality == paederasty == recruit our children for gay sex orgies. These people are very motivated. Meanwhile there is a large contingent of people in CA who are just apathetic or who think RDP is sufficient.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:31 PM on November 5, 2008


I would say that we would be better off politely discussing it with them than angrily "pointing it out" to them, as the latter sounds a bit patronizing, doesn't it? Generally speaking, treating people with different opinions respectfully will probably change more minds that just "pointing X out" to them. Not always, but I think in this instance rancor will only lead to further polarization.

Parse the word choice all you want, but somehow the other side has managed to equate

"Someone else's marriage and life choices have no effect on your own marriage and life choices."

with

"YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ALL OF OUR KIDS LEARN ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE IN SCHOOL AND BECOME GAY AND TURN THIS INTO TERRORIST HOMO-STAN!"

Which, call me crazy, seems to be slightly angrier than what I am saying. The first statement is fairly neutral, is it not? It might as well be "My wearing green doesn't affect your decision to wear blue."

So, it seems to me that polite discussion doesn't seem to be working very well, as not everyone seems to be capable of coming to the sort of realizations Law Talkin' Guy and Astro Zombie did in relation to their own formerly-held opinions. And instead of just leaving it alone, they instead actively work to deny rights to those who don't share their values. Is it any wonder those on the defensive get angry? Those of us on this side of the aisle don't attack your ability to get married, or adopt kids, or visit your partner in the hospital. It is just so frustrating. "Pointing out" is the most neutral term I can think of for bringing up something that the other side doesn't want to discuss. "Reminding" might also work, except that implies they already knew that -- say -- same sex marriage wouldn't actually affect their hetero one.

I'm sorry that Law Talkin' Guy was attacked for his opinions on Goodridge. Having lived in Mass. during that case (while working for -- I kid you not -- an all-lesbian law firm), I heard an awful lot of opinion on both sides and I could imagine how it got nasty fast.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:32 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


People keep asking on this thread how anyone could vote for both Obama and Proposition 8. Given Obama's stance on gay marriage, I don't really think it's hard to figure out.

Don't get me wrong, I was elated last night - along with a local lesbian bar full of others - upon hearing of Obama's victory.

This morning, however, I turned on the television while holding my breath. We now have a president and vice-president elect who both believe, and have actively professed, that marriage should be between a man and a woman - but that gays should be allowed to have "the same thing" but we'll call it something different. One would think a black man would be a bit more sensitive to the inherent inequality of separate but equal but no such luck.

People who voted for 8 and for Obama were listening to his message about gays - they heard loud and clear from Obama/Biden that gays should not have the privilege of marriage so those in California voted to make sure we wouldn't.
posted by jasbet07 at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I certainly don't mean to sound like I am supporting attacks of the sort you experiences, Law Talking Guy. I am not a fan of personal attacks, nor of making assumptions regarding the reasoning behind why people believe things, as I thought I had made clear. I am only interested in discussing behavior. And, in this instance, the behavior is hateful and bigoted, and as I have said I think there is value in describing it as such.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:39 PM on November 5, 2008


If you really want to get angry/depressed check out these pictures. I just broke down sobbing, then almost punched my monitor. Disgusting.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2008



But you didn't win a general election yesterday because you treated everyone who voted for Bush in 2004 as a hateful warmonger.



No, but Yes on 8 won a ballot proposition yesterday by treating my marriage like a depraved cancer on society.
posted by liketitanic at 1:44 PM on November 5, 2008


Doc Brown? Why must you take us back to the future?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2008


And you know? I say that as someone who did exactly what Law-Talkin' Guy wanted. I and my spouse were in a No on 8 video where we told the completely innocuous and highly cute story of our relationship. Didn't do a damn thing.
posted by liketitanic at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2008


California Mefites - you've got work to do.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:38 PM on November 5 [+] [!]


Careful Navelgazer, that kind of talk isn't greeted very well around here.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:49 PM on November 5, 2008


"Someone else's marriage and life choices have no effect on your own marriage and life choices."

I take it, then, that you support polygamy. If so, that's fine and your position is entirely consistent.
posted by MarshallPoe at 1:51 PM on November 5, 2008


Law Talkin' Guy -

I have to admit that as a gay man, I find it very hard to have civil discourse on this subject, because we in the queer community are already so much on the defensive (ie our rights are not recognized and are under attack every day) that it is a very emotional issue.

When I was in law school, a overheard someone talking about the gay marriage debate (pre-Goodridge), and they essentially said the same thing you mentioned, but in a very tactless way. "Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to marry their dogs."

How degrading it feels to be lumped in with pedophilia and bestiality and polygamy - which, when I'm feeling clearheaded and impassioned on the subject, I am able to mention are fundamentally different, as they all hinge on issues of consent. But in the moment, when I heard him say that, with a sneer on his face... I... just wanted to punch him.

My friend Jocelyn overheard it too, and fearing that I might do something that would get me kicked out of school, prevented from sitting for the bar, or more likely (as I'm kind of a wimpy guy) beaten up, she quickly steered me out of the room, where I was permitted to seethe with rage in a safe space with someone I knew cared deeply about me.

The truth is that it is too emotional an issue for most of us not to respond in that way. Often, our best advocates are straight allies who can keep their cool in situations like these. A distinguished Family Law Professor, and former lead counsel for the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sally Goldfarb, did just that when she debated a fellow from a conservative Christian legal organization. She was able to give the solemn, impassioned, logical explanation for why marriage equality is so important. And I was grateful for that. Because I could not have done so.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:51 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're really serious about converting people on this point, then please take it from the story of a convert himself. Accusing people of being hateful, and treating them hatefully, is not going win anyone over.

I mostly agree with you. And I have no intention of being hateful to anyone (to their face, at least). But a hateful action is a hateful action. Intent is irrelevant in this situation. The fact that a bunch of my fellow citizens don't think there's anything wrong with stripping me of a right they themselves enjoy is profoundly corrosive, anti-democratic, and yes, hateful. It is certainly not loving, or respectful; it does not show me that they think I am an equal, or deserving of equal rights. I do not care that some/many/all who voted yes on 8 did so because they Really Love Marriage! or did so for some other reason that they justify as "protecting" marriage rather than "gay people are icky." The effect is what counts here. The effect is: Gay people are icky; gay people do not deserve to be treated as equal; gay people are not good enough to get or be married; gay people are not as human as we straight people.

From this gay-married lesbian's perspective, that's pretty fucking hateful, and I'll call it like I see it.

I've got a co-worker who I'm 99.9% sure voted yes on 8. I never liked her much to begin with (for completely work-related reasons), and I've been running scenarios through my head all day - like, what would I say to her if we were to talk about this?

I imagine talking to her gently and reasonably about who I am, and what my relationship with my partner is like, and the importance of equal treatment, etc. And of course I want to seem as human, as "real", as possible to her, to try to make that connection. Because I do believe that, in an ideal world, that is the best way to break down barriers.

But then I get stuck, kind of. Why should I expose my neck to her this way? No one ever, ever asked her to explain that she's a human being and should be allowed to get married to her husband. She's never had to go before a group of people who are predisposed to fear her and tell lies about her "lifestyle" and ask for recognition and tolerance.

So although I do truly believe in education, and we've come light years regarding how the glbt community is seen and treated, I can't help but resent the fucking fuck out of having to explain so gently and kindly again and again and again that I'm a person, a citizen, deserving of full rights and responsibilities. It feels like begging. It feels like rolling over on my back and saying "See? See how cute and harmless I am? Please don't kick me! Please give me some rights!" It's humiliating. It's degrading. It's completely and utterly enraging.

Which is why I stay out of direct conversation with bigots, generally speaking, and give money to organizations who do the education work. I'm glad, and grateful, that there are people who can do this kind of thing, because I'm not one of them anymore. Not about this.
posted by rtha at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2008 [26 favorites]


We now have a president and vice-president elect who both believe, and have actively professed, that marriage should be between a man and a woman - but that gays should be allowed to have "the same thing" but we'll call it something different.

We'll see what being elected does to this position. I've always suspected that trying to hold onto moderate voters was a big reason why this was stated as such. I may well be wrong, but I'm holding out hope.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2008


. We now have a president and vice-president elect who both believe, and have actively professed, that marriage should be between a man and a woman - but that gays should be allowed to have "the same thing" but we'll call it something different. One would think a black man would be a bit more sensitive to the inherent inequality of separate but equal but no such luck.

Who knows what Obama and Biden really think? I would assert that if Obama had come out in favor or full marriage rights for everyone, then the McCain campaign would have ridden that to the White House.

It looks like 52% of California voters are bigoted in this realm (very few people get up in the morning and say "I'm going to be a bigot today" but you are also judged by the *ahem* fruits of your labor.)

If 52% of Ca voters voted FOR Prop. 8, then I would think that it may have made a 4% difference in the vote for President, and, hey, forget Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and, arguably, Ohio.

I choose to believe that their stance was the lesser evil of losing the election and that the selling out of gay people (I have a lesbian daughter in CA) will be made up for in some way (other than a special place in heaven).
posted by Danf at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2008


I take it, then, that you support polygamy.

In my case, as I have no plans to get married, I merely support freaky three-ways.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:54 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Marshallpoe, stop being a troll.

But if you want to know why polygamy is not the same as gay marriage, then please let's discuss the history of subjugation of women in polygamous relationships, the history of child abuse, underage marriage, problems with legal inheritance rules, and the historical issue of coverture - the now-defunct legal doctrine that a woman's legal identity is subsumed by her husband's upon marriage.

The fact is that marriage is now a contractual obligation between consenting parties. When the bargaining of that contractual arrangement becomes too complex to regulate or clearly understand, it is reasonable to restrict that sort of arrangement. The rights and responsibilities of marriage as it is currently understood today are easily and rightly applicable to same-sex relationships. They are not as easily ascribed to multi-party relationships, and are not even easily amended to make sense for those relationships. If you want further examples of why these are different issues, and why supporting a hands-off approach to same-sex relationships does not necessitate supporting polygamy, I'd be happy to provide them. Otherwise, stop trolling.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:58 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I take it, then, that you support polygamy. If so, that's fine and your position is entirely consistent.

In fact, I have friends who are poly, and their relationships have had - wait, let me check - yeah, zero effect one way or another on my relationship. My marriage.

What was your point, now?
posted by rtha at 2:01 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Bankrupt the Mormons

Haha. Good one!
posted by Big_B at 2:09 PM on November 5, 2008


Marshallpoe, to lift a quote from this LJ entry, Fuck your arguments about the "slippery slope" it would create, in either marriage or democracy. Give society some fucking credit for having a modicum of common sense. A sudden wave of marrying dogs and widespread polygamy won't happen, and you know it.
posted by Danf at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Trolling. More name-calling. Surely we can do better.

I believe that are many women in radical Mormon communities--not to mention millions of Muslim women all over the world--who do not think that polygamy is "oppressive." Are we to deny those people the same rights that we enjoy? If so, we need to explain why their kind of marriage is so harmful that we must ban it. This is, after all, the question that we in the pro-gay marriage camp (of which I am one) want anti-gay marriage types to answer.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2008


Many of us from the eastern side of Michigan do think Holland, MI is a foreign country. I mean, they even close the McDonald's on Sunday there.
posted by QIbHom at 2:15 PM on November 5, 2008


I'm really disappointed by this. I have a feeling though, that this issue will one day resolved for the better. Loving vs. Virginia was not so long ago. I hope I will see a gay-rights equivalent within my lifetime.
posted by wowbobwow at 2:25 PM on November 5, 2008


Regarding Mormons and polygamy: supposedly, one of the reasons the Mormons are so invested in promoting "Marriage = one man and one woman" is to distance themselves from polygamy. Because apparently it's better to be known as hateful bigots who take away rights than sometime-polygamists.
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:25 PM on November 5, 2008


Sorry. I'm really tired. I don't think I know anyone who is polygamous. Polyamorous, yes, but not polygamous.

My point still stands.

And I still don't get what polygamy has to do with the kind of one-person-to-one-person marriage we are discussing here. The kind that's just been outlawed for me and mine. Not some hypothetical "but what if eighteen people could get married to each other?!" kind.

Why'd you bring it up? Because if we're going to sue to get gay marriage legalized then we have to go and sue to get polygamy legalized too, right now? Because otherwise we're morally bankrupt or hypocritical?
posted by rtha at 2:25 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Marshall, while some of us are mourning the potential demise of our actual marriages here please take your "concerns" about polygamy back to the Troll Factory. If you think you're still being serious and sincere, start your own FPP about polygamy. I'm sure there are plenty of relevant links.
posted by digaman at 2:26 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Polygamy is a real red herring here. The question if more than two people can enter into a marriage has structural problems because of the added complexity. How do you handle divorce? How do you prevent entire communities from marrying fraudulently just for tax benefits? Do you scale benefits to the number of people in the marriage?

Legally, a marriage of more than 2 people is a very different thing than a marriage of 2 people, because under the law 2 people is very different from three or more people. However, homosexual marriage is directly analogous to heterosexual law - since everyone is supposed to enjoy equal protection under the law, all 2 person marriages should be equivalent, regardless of the race or gender of the individuals.
posted by heathkit at 2:28 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


And we can phrase this whole issue as another way. Why should I, as an individual, not be allowed to marry any other single individual I choose? Why can the government arbitrarily limit my choices to half the population?
posted by heathkit at 2:30 PM on November 5, 2008


MarshallPoe I'm going to side with Astro Zombie here. There is value in shaming, and people who voted for Prop 8 deserve to be shamed. They did vote for hate, there's simply no way around that. They can justify it all they want, they can come up with an endless stream of excuses (and I'm sure they will and have), but that doesn't change the fact that they voted for hate.

People can't say "I am going to deny you basic human rights and dignity" without hate. They can lie to themselves and claim it isn't about hate, but that's nonsense and we all know it.

I don't plan on screaming that in anyone's face, but neither do I think its valuable to pretend that the hate is something other than what it is. People must be held accountable for their actions, for their beliefs, for their votes. And every single person in California who voted for Proposition 8 voted for hate. By shaming them, by asking them (politely even) to justify their hate, to own up to their hate, things can get better.

Obviously that isn't the only thing that should be done, the problem requires a large array of approaches. But shaming the supporters of hate, forcing them to realize their hate, is necessary but not sufficient to success. But we can't win this battle without the vital component of shame. Some people who voted for Prop 8 yesterday can be made to vote for its repeal in 2010 by the judicious application of shame.

Hopefully that won't be necessary. There are still three million votes to be counted, and its estimated that a large proportion of the absentee ballots were cast by non-bigots.
posted by sotonohito at 2:32 PM on November 5, 2008


I am very serious and very sincere about making sure that gay people have a right to be married in the United States. It's with that in mind that I participated in this discussion. If you want to change people's minds, you have to meet their objections and at least try to be consistent yourself. Calling people (to repeat some of the things said in this thread) "Nazis," "hate mongers," "idiots," "morons," or what ever epithet you like just won't do the trick. Neither will dismissing their counter-arguments as stupid move anything forward. If we are reasonable people--which we are--we must use reasoned, consistent arguments.
posted by MarshallPoe at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2008


Maybe it is because I have no interest in marrying my partner, or because I'm old, or because I live nowhere near CA, but when the fuck did you people start thinking that the straights thought we were equal? Don't you know your history? Haven't you talked to a gay person over 25 years old? Over 40 years old? Over 60?

Sheesh. Sounds like you CA gays thought that a little common sense and reason would defeat Prop 8, no need to do much. It'll be different than 2000, 2004, hate and lies and fear won't mean a thing.

Nothing changed between yesterday and today, except that some folks were forced off their rainbow-coloured, cotton candy cloud. They still hate us.

So, get out there, and just be human. Be gay and human. Refuse to be treated like a second class non-citizen. Don't whine, don't blame other people. Just. Be. Human.
posted by QIbHom at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2008


POSITIVE: Jared Schutz Polis made history on Tuesday by being the first openly gay non-incumbent male elected to the United States Congress.
posted by gman at 2:39 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that the nicer approach is necessary. But I don't think it'll work by itself. The burning shame of being called out as a hate filled bigot will convince some. Others may be convinced by more academic arguments. But there's no such thing as a panacea here, each one of the hate filled bigots who voted for Prop 8 will require a different approach to convert.

But I also think that your "oh, please be nice to the hate filled bigots" talk is pretty far out of line. It isn't nice, polite, or civilized, to tell an entire group of people that they're subhuman slime who must be denied basic human rights and dignity. I'll treat the hate filled bigots with *EXACTLY* the same degree of civility, respect, and politeness that they treated my gay cousins.
posted by sotonohito at 2:43 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Calling people (to repeat some of the things said in this thread) "Nazis," "hate mongers," "idiots," "morons," or what ever epithet you like just won't do the trick.

Hatemongers was used in this thread, once. None of the others were, although "nazis" was used as a point of comparison, not as an epithet.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2008


My least favorite part of this election is Prop 8 passing.

But when combined with CA Prop 2 passing, it taught me a well-deserved lesson. We've got an electorate who will vote to take rights away from other people and give more rights to chickens.

So ridiculous.
posted by dogwalker at 2:45 PM on November 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


The angry attacks on me by proponents of gay marriage did not help me reach this realization; in fact, they probably ensured I came to it later than I otherwise would have.

This is what happens when you care more about how people think of you than what is right. Don't blame it on someone else.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Durn Bronzefist: Likewise, I see the bigotry patrol softening just a little when it turns out that their favourite uncle or grandmother (etc) not only harbours an intolerant perspective but doesn't do it out of HATE HATE HATE.

You know, no matter how many times my in-laws claim they really don't hate black people, even though my father-in-law voted for Obama, I still mind when they launch into rants about "more niggers moving into the neighborhood." And I still get up and walk out of their house.
posted by threeturtles at 2:54 PM on November 5, 2008


Calling people (to repeat some of the things said in this thread) "Nazis," "hate mongers," "idiots," "morons,"

No one in this thread has used any of those words except you, in that comment, and one earlier in which Nazi Germany was invoked as a comparison. No one has used them as descriptives or epithets.

What thread are you reading?
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on November 5, 2008


Gah. Preview. Hi, Astro Zombie!
posted by rtha at 2:56 PM on November 5, 2008


I take it, then, that you support polygamy. If so, that's fine and your position is entirely consistent.

What's wrong with polygamy?

I not only support polygamy but I still have an open offer out to Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ariana Huffington that we are still open to some sister-wives here at the TK compound. Doris, baby, I will rock your world.
posted by tkchrist at 3:09 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm always intrigued that people tend to assume polygamy is the same as polygyny.

When the bargaining of that contractual arrangement becomes too complex to regulate or clearly understand, it is reasonable to restrict that sort of arrangement.

That's the only clear argument I've seen on the subject of polygamy that makes sense and doesn't rely merely on the difficult to articulate historical baggage associated with the term.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:11 PM on November 5, 2008


You know, no matter how many times my in-laws claim they really don't hate black people, even though my father-in-law voted for Obama, I still mind when they launch into rants about "more niggers moving into the neighborhood." And I still get up and walk out of their house.

In-laws and the N word? You can do better. How about your grandma isn't so sure that civil unions aren't the right answer. Or your brother thinks that Islam preaches hate. You don't sit down and discuss it with these people?

Way to try to run off with the easy example, dude.

Anwyay, I agreed with AZ way up there -- both approaches have value, and I'm glad there are those out there shaming as others have The Conversation. And sometimes I'm just not up to it, frankly, and then I'm happy to launch into a screed of my own and let someone else have the rational talk. I still think it's the easy way out, but I do think it's more effective if the ignorant are exposed to both rather than one or the other.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:14 PM on November 5, 2008


Marshall, I'll say it again. You seem profoundly concerned about polygamy. That's fine. I have friends who are profoundly concerned about Star Trek, and whether or not the new movie will honor or dishonor the franchise. You could even say that Star Trek and gay issues are related -- after all, there's all that Kirk/Spock fanfiction out there, the holographic doctor on that tedious later show was obviously a queen, and there was that brouhaha about Shatner being invited to Takei's gay wedding. But that doesn't mean that the concerns of a Trekkie who has endless things to say about his favorite show is relevant to a discussion about Proposition 8. Again, I invite you to focus your feelings about polygamy into a coherent post rather than demanding all this airtime here. While you may firmly believe that polygamy is somehow related to any intelligent discussion of gay marriage, I submit to you that that's because you have absorbed the message of the opponents of gay marriage so thoroughly that you are not thinking clearly. Thank you.
posted by digaman at 3:15 PM on November 5, 2008


I agree that voting for Obama and for Prop 8 is all kinds of odd.
So is voting for Obama and swearing off everything he believes in.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:32 PM on November 5 [1 favorite +] [!]


But Obama does not believe in gay marriage. Sure, he said he would have voted against proposition 8 and believes it was "unnecessary", but immediately went on to say that he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman [only]. No hestation, no questioning. He sounded a lot surer than Biden did answering the same question, and Biden was in his debate-say everything three times-mode.

I think it's important to recognise this, and to recognize that just because someone is progressive on one (or several) issues, doesn't mean they are progressive on all.


As for the whole issue of marriage and religion: Marriage is both a civil and a religious issue. Some people want same-sex marriage for the civil benefits, but many others want same-sex marriage for the religious benefits. The first gay marriages in Ontario - the marriages which opened the court case in which they were legally recognized - were performed by a Christian minister under the traditional Christian practice of calling the banns.

Gay marriage is a freedom of religion issue, as well as an equality issue -- People are demanding the freedom for their church to marry two consenting adults whom their church believes should be allowed to marry. Preventing them from marrying these people is the true attack on the freedom of religion.

As for the slipery slope arguments: no other cases proposed can be compared, because they do not include consenting adults. Marriage to underage people? Not old enough to consent. Bestiality, necrophilia or arbophilia? Simply can never consent. Many cases of polygamy? Very difficult to establish that all involved fully consent. (I'm actually in favour of recognizing polygamy for truly consenting adults, but I realize that consent is complex with more than 2-3 people, and it would involve some problems for certain entitlements, private or public.)
posted by jb at 3:15 PM on November 5, 2008


I didn't vote for Prop 8 last night, but every time I read a metafilter thread about this issue, I suspect I'm going to wish I had.

People can't say "I am going to deny you basic human rights and dignity" without hate. They can lie to themselves and claim it isn't about hate, but that's nonsense and we all know it.

In otherwords, you have willfully determined that you will never, ever try to legitimately engage other members of the nation you live in on the issue, but instead, you will make up stories about them. And even if you ever do engage them, you will repeat the words "hate" and "rights" and "dignity" without thinking about their perspectives or arguments.

Welcome to the culture warrior club. But it's OK. You're on the right side, no question. Look how full of hate those people are.
posted by namespan at 3:15 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


(both fictional examples, incidentally)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:16 PM on November 5, 2008


Don't get so focussed on the 52% that you ignore how amazing the 48% is. Think about what that number would mean in the 1950s and 60s. Progress is being made. Don't throw your hands up in the air and assume we are on a one way ticket to reactionary dystopia.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:19 PM on November 5, 2008


Of course Obama says he's against gay marriage. Let's face it, at this point you're unelectable if you say you're for it, at least in the presidential race. I think he probably personally has no issue with the concept, but I don't think he'll take any action on it once in office. Just leave it to the states to decide. That's the best they can do, for now.

Really, it shouldn't be a political issue at all, but a judicial one. Issues like this shouldn't be political, we're dealing with rights after all. Of course, the American legal system is so wrapped up in politics. I cringe when see election ads for judges. And don't get me started on that "We only need one more conservative judge and we'll get Roe v. Wade repealed" stuff.

Anyway, it's a long slog. We will get there, I have no doubt. But there are miles to go.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't vote for Prop 8 last night, but every time I read a metafilter thread about this issue, I suspect I'm going to wish I had.

Metafilter reminds you that you're a spiteful person?
posted by MikeKD at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


I told myself that I was going to stay out of this thread. I hope I won't regret not sticking to that position.

MarshallPoe:

I take it, then, that you support polygamy. If so, that's fine and your position is entirely consistent.

... we in the pro-gay marriage camp (of which I am one) ...


Are you sure you're in the right camp? Because you're doing an awfully good job of parroting the talking points of the other camp.

Not just the anti-gay-marriage camp; but the entire anti-gay camp. The ones who are against gay people being allowed to teach, or socialize openly, or fuck in the privacy of their own bedrooms. The ones who routinely trot out the "If we accept this, we'll have to accept bestiality and child molesting!!11eleventyone" stuff.

If the pro-gay-marriage camp is forced to be 'consistent' in such a way, it is playing into the hands of the anti-gay-marriage camp. They will be able to act all vexed, squeal "See?! SEE?! Polygamy! Bestiality! Child molesting! CATS AND DOGS SLEEPING TOGETHER!" and further encourage people to vote out of panic and fear.
posted by CKmtl at 3:25 PM on November 5, 2008


In otherwords, you have willfully determined that you will never, ever try to legitimately engage other members of the nation you live in on the issue, but instead, you will make up stories about them.

Um, did you miss the part where lots of people in this thread talk about different ways to engage? Did you miss the part where lots of people here talk about talking, educating, donating money, bowing out instead of throwing punches when it all gets to be too much?

I didn't vote for Prop 8 last night, but every time I read a metafilter thread about this issue, I suspect I'm going to wish I had.

Hyperbolic snarky bullshit. And you're accusing other people of not engaging in good faith? Or should I come back at you and accuse you of being a bigot who wants to forcibly annul my gay marriage?

Good grief.
posted by rtha at 3:25 PM on November 5, 2008


In America, hope won over fear. In California, hate won over love.
posted by bowline at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2008


In California, hate won over love.

See, this is simplistic bullshit, and it only bothers me because you are on the right side of this issue. If you weren't, frankly, I wouldn't care, because we're used to bullshit of all stripes from the other side.

There are plenty of ignorant people out there who don't actually hate anybody. They've been conditioned to fear -- fear Muslims, fear gays, fear their government, fear change. You can try to sling the fear = hate line if you like, but all that proves is that the dictionary (and common sense) is your enemy.

You want to declare war on the hateful, go ahead.
You want to declare war on the ignorant, you're kidding yourself. Unless you plan to go live on a mountaintop.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:34 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


After the elation of last night, today's result on Proposition 8 was a terrible blow that will impact the lives of myself and my loved ones in very concrete ways.

I am trying to keep in mind the last presidential election, however, when the issue of "values" (Oh, how I resent the moral superiority imbued in that political term....) was used successfully to run roughshod over Democratic candidates. I awoke four years ago feeling as if an entire nation had intentionally voted to scorn me and mine personally, even at the expense of their own best interests generally. This time, I am *trying* to keep the long view, to remember that "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice" and that we are of necessity a strong people and every day are joined in our difficult quest for equality by more and more thoughtful, strong and determined straight brothers and sisters. I will choose to believe that our new President and members of Congress will resist further efforts to take away our rights as human beings and that we can summon the effort to make this country better for those that come after us.
posted by Morrigan at 3:35 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still don't get what polygamy has to do with the kind of one-person-to-one-person marriage we are discussing here

...

Polygamy is a real red herring here.

But should it be? What's wrong with polygamy in theory?

I opposed Prop 8. Very strongly. I am very much in favor of equal government treatment of homo- and heterosexual relationships.

I'll vote for any new constitutional amendment that restores the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry, *even* if it makes explicit restrictions that limit the rights of polygamous couples (I think California law already specifically prohibits polygamy) But I won't like it, and I think anti-polygamy laws should be considered unconstitutional as well.

And what Durn Bronzefist just said.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I didn't vote for Prop 8 last night, but every time I read a metafilter thread about this issue, I suspect I'm going to wish I had.

Had I known what people were going to write in this thread, last night I would have voted for The Black Goat with a Thousand Young to wake from its cosmic prison and spread its seed across the infected visage of this corrupt planet.

You call me mad? YOU'RE THE ONE WHO IS MAD! IT IS MADNESS TO ACCUSE THE INSANE OF LUNACY!
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:38 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Geez, I'm at home now feeding my 1 year-old son (it's his birthday!) a hotdog and I'm still on MeFi. It really is like crack.

CKmtl, yes, I'm sure I'm in the right camp. I support gay marriage and have for a long time. I do have friends and family members who feel differently. I try to use reason and respect to convince them to reconsider their position. I've had some success, and sometimes come up empty. But I will persist, as I'm sure you will, giving good reasons why we all should--must--embrace gay marriage. I find these discussions--that is, the one we've had in this thread--help me clarify what I need to say to say to them. And for that I thank every one on MeFi, sincerely. Digaman, Astro Zombie, bitter-girl and everyone.
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm still having the depressing "but of course only RELIGIOUS marriage should be called marriage!" argument on my end. I finally boiled my bacon down to three paragraphs, and then I'll shut up:

If the word "marriage" has the kind of power that leads people to go on TV squawking in terror about the children, the kind of power that empties Howard Ahmanson, Jr.'s pockets of $900K in an attempt to protect it, it's even more important that that power be fully protected by the state and given freely to any consenting folks who so choose, and not sequestered away as a sacramental thing-- for surely, there are atheists and agnostics, and those who choose not to have their committment sanctified, who wish to have that power for their own as well.

Anything else is trying to wave the thesaurus over the genie to shove it back in the bottle. "Civil union" has its own connotations, too-- connotations of second-class citizenship, of hate, of legalized discrimination. I'm not willing to cede civil marriage in favor of a term that unabashedly reeks of the homophobia it's been used to support.

I think you *should* be able to choose your own preference here, though. What I object to is the idea that we can equalize things/ fix the gay marriage issue/ what have you by taking a word of immense power away from *everyone at once* and limiting it to those who seek religious community, instead of by broadening the options available to everyone.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:56 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Calling people (to repeat some of the things said in this thread) "Nazis," "hate mongers," "idiots," "morons," or what ever epithet you like just won't do the trick. Neither will dismissing their counter-arguments as stupid move anything forward. If we are reasonable people--which we are--we must use reasoned, consistent arguments.

You're right. But how about you just let people be angry for a little while? There are people in CA (some right here in this very thread) who woke up this morning facing the dissolution of their marriages. People who just got told that they don't deserve equality under the law. How about you let them vent for a little bit before you start wagging your finger and telling them to be nice?
posted by lysistrata at 4:00 PM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


I live in California. Two of my closest friends, family really, are a married same-sex couple. One of my former co-workers is in a same-sex marriage.

I wanted to understand the Yes on 8 side, so I looked at their web site. I won't link to it.

The site seems to be aimed at two categories: true believers, who don't need any convincing, and persuadables, who might be uncomfortable about homosexuality or any change in traditional ways. I also think that the true believers are a minority of those who voted for Prop. 8.

The key points on the Yes on 8 site are:

- the government will teach gay marriage to our kindergartners and turn them gay!
- don't let the government mess with tradition
- if gays can marry, it does, uh, something bad to heterosexual marriage

These points play towards people who are uncomfortable about homosexuality, possibly ignorant of real-life homosexuals in their community, and also those who fear change in long-standing norms.

I think that time is on the side of the legalization of same-sex marriage, and that even if the proponents of same-sex marriage, of which I am one, do nothing more than they did this round, that the same-sex marriage will become legal in five to ten years.

In order to shorten that time, one of the best approaches is to reach out to those groups that might be persuaded and educate them so that they no longer vote out of a fear of the unknown. With perseverance and money to get the word out, I believe Prop. 8 can be reversed in perhaps two years.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to everyone whose rights were just stripped from them by an ignorant and fearful majority. But I am also optimistic that this fight will be much easier to win in a few years.
posted by zippy at 4:03 PM on November 5, 2008


See, this is simplistic bullshit, and it only bothers me because you are on the right side of this issue. If you weren't, frankly, I wouldn't care, because we're used to bullshit of all stripes from the other side.

There are plenty of ignorant people out there who don't actually hate anybody. They've been conditioned to fear -- fear Muslims, fear gays, fear their government, fear change. You can try to sling the fear = hate line if you like, but all that proves is that the dictionary (and common sense) is your enemy.


Yes. Thank you. QFT. And some other letters in there, too. The whole "gay marriage leads to polygamy, etc." line of thinking is based on faulty reasoning and is contradicted by historical evidence, but it's not hateful. It's a pretty strange concept of "hate" indeed that brands every position that tends to disadvantage this or that minority group as per se hateful regardless of their underlying reasoning, and everyone who espouses such a position as a hater of that group.

Are there people who hate gays? Matthew Shepard's family probably thinks so, and for good reason. Are there people who oppose gay marriage in California? Apparently there's more than I would have thought. Are those two groups the same? To quote AstroZombie, "Nope."
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 4:03 PM on November 5, 2008


“But Marriage provides many key rights under the law...”

Yeah. That’s where I draw that line. Should gays be married? Fuck no!
Should they have the same rights under the law as married people if they have a civil union? Fuck yes!

You can’t tell churches what to do. But you can’t have (some) churches holding an exclusive monopoly on secular rights in these matters. In part - it discriminates against churches that allow gay marriages.

Additionally - the state cannot extend rights for certain types of unions without disenfranchising others or allowing people to game the system.
Therefore a man can’t form a union with a dog or several other people.

“In fact, I have friends who are poly, and their relationships have had - wait, let me check - yeah, zero effect one way or another on my relationship.”

It is not the sexuality that is relevent.
There are still some blue laws, but there should be no law prohibiting non-union polygamy. You or your wife like having other partners in bed. Swell. No one’s business but your own.

Where it affects me is where that extra person, or two, or three, gets the same treatment as my union. Therefore the more partners you have the more tax breaks you get, the more ways you can gift, the more medicare, social security, etc you can recieve.

Essentially - the collective nature of polygamy affects my secular (that is social and economic) rights in a way homosexual marriage does not.
You can marry 500 people and form an exclusive sort of corporation, f’rnstnce.

I should not be discriminated against simply because I’m monogamous and someone else isn’t. (I’m naturally that way - but even if I weren’t, my wife has her own firearms and I trained her myself - I don’t want to broach that subject).

So we could then simply revoke those economic incentives, but that makes doing family business a bit harder.

Meh. I wouldn’t mind really. You’d just have a ‘designatee’ or some such.
‘Marry’ as many people as you like - only one of them gets to decide to pull the plug, visit you in jail, etc.

I’ve actually lived in a polyhomo(nonsexual) relationship. Before I got married my death benefits would have gone to a buddy of mine I was serving with. Another buddy would have had the power of attorney and the will executor thing, etc. etc.

Pretty much put all of ourselves (with the exception of genitalia) into each other’s hands.

But I think that’s why all this gets so heated. People like their bits and want to argue in favor of (or against) whatever gets them off.

Really, it’s got nothing to do with the way public business is conducted. Or shouldn’t have.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:05 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are there people who hate gays? Matthew Shepard's family probably thinks so, and for good reason. Are there people who oppose gay marriage in California? Apparently there's more than I would have thought. Are those two groups the same? To quote AstroZombie, "Nope."

False distinction. Both have engaged in actions that are hateful, and both have engaged in actions that support privileges for straights while denying them to gays. Whether the people in California are frothing homophobes who might kill Matthew Shepard isn't the isuue. The isuue is power. And this vote was a demonstration of straights expressing power over gays, just as the murder of Matthew Shepard was.

I know you really, really want to distinguish, so, fair enough. Murdering a gay man is more heinous and abominable than making him a second-class citizen. But both are hateful acts, and exist on the continuum of privilege and power.

I'm sorry if you don't like it, and don't like that one group gets lumped in with the other, but that's the way hateful acts work. Sure, the guy who simply won't let his daughter marry a black man was once upon a time incrementally better than they guy who lynched a black man, but they were supporting the same system of intolerance.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:09 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


How did I manage to repeatedly misspell issue?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:10 PM on November 5, 2008


Someday soon, I truly believe that gay marriage will be a social norm. Just like other social norms that hardly anyone bats an eye at these days: women voters, co-ed schools, multiracial schools, interracial marriage, short sleeves, forks. (Yes, really. Forks. I know!)

And when that day comes, I know that I will be able to look everyone in the eye and say that I have always supported gay marriage. And if they want to check my voter record on that, they're very welcome to.
posted by Xere at 4:20 PM on November 5, 2008


For all those who have asked how they can help...donate to Equality California. Your contribution isn't tax deductible, since it involves political lobbying, but that's the whole point, isn't it? There also are ways get involved, but you can donate.

It just occured to me, they don't have a way for folks to sign up for ongoing monthly donations. I'm going to suggest that to them... so the momentum can be maintained!
posted by quinoa at 4:23 PM on November 5, 2008


I'm just curious what you people think the "hard work" Obama refers to is.

You'll talk to Iran but not your homophobic uncle.

I don't presume to have the definitive guide on what your new C.I.C. believes in, but it seems to me that declaring your neighbour the enemy is something that the man has worked very hard to put an end to. Apparently reaching out to your opponent is only a valid tactic when you know you're winning.

Anyway, lysistrata is probably right. People are angry, and have a right to be. But I hope they change their minds and don't squander the hard work already begun on having a dialogue about these things. You think Obama referred to gay and lesbian Americans by accident? He is fighting the smart fight. You all are bloodying your fists agains the brick wall. Hope it makes you feel better, because that wall isn't going anywhere that way.

on preview: absolutely, Xere. I mean, ok, you guys have sure held out on the metric system, but keep your country free of theocratic reign and it won't be long on this.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:25 PM on November 5, 2008


SEPARATION OF MARRIAGE AND STATE

hetero- or homo-, there is NO REASON for the US GOVERNMENT to be handing out benefits to people because they're married. there are over 1,000 legal/social/cultural benefits ascribed to married individuals, which i (single-by-choice) simply do not qualify for. and i think that's absolutely fucking ludicrous.

let churches decide who they do and do not want to consecrate in the sacred blah blah of maawige.

keep government out of it. or, if that's simply not possible, make governmental protections and rights completely non-dependent on sexual preference. it's just that simple.
posted by CitizenD at 4:26 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


Damn, I didn't think this vote would affect me so much today, and it's totally ruining my Obama high.

As for the fear argument: I'm not buying it. To say it is due to fear (particularly 'conditioned') is to take responsibility from those who would vote against gay marriage. If people have reasons for doing it, they should own them.

I've heard the big justifications for it, and they don't hold for me, but I'm very well too biased to see it rationally anyway. But I do think the reasoning is far more petty: there are some who enjoy the power of denying something to people they don't like. The racism I grew up with seemed to have this flavor, and much of the online commentary I've seen in favor of Prop 8 over the past few months (though that group is not necessarily representative) seems to revel in the withholding of something, just for spite.

It's a weird day, questioning my reactions and my motives. On the one hand, I'm getting a very tiny taste of the kind of resentment African-Americans have had to deal with for years (not to start up the old debate about whether anti-gay stuff is or is not like racism). On the other, part of me wonders whether the high-percentage black vote to ban gay marriage is a form of turnabout, an expression of that resentment. (Which thought I dread is itself racist.) So I don't know; it's the first day. Maybe tomorrow I won't feel like hunting down Prop 8 supporters and corrupting their manfolk (might as well live up to that reputation of destroying heterosexual marriage), or setting flame to mormon temples.
posted by troybob at 4:28 PM on November 5, 2008


Don't get so focussed on the 52% that you ignore how amazing the 48% is.

I was thinking about that earlier today. In the early 90's, Clinton got into immense trouble for trying to suggest that homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the military. Which we still haven't fixed, but still.

And here we are fifteen years later, and same-sex marriage (or the othernamed equivalent) is legal in several states, and Massachussetts has even voted to keep it through the democratic process instead of through court action. I don't think you could convince 1993-me that this was remotely possible.

And beyond that, we have 48% of California voting to keep gay marriage, and 44% of Arizona not to ban it, and 38% of FLORIDA for God's sake voting not to ban it. Florida, home of the whopper of dumbfuckery. If you told me fifteen years ago that by now almost 40% of Florida would vote that gay marriage was even potentially okay, I'd have thought you were raving bonkers insane.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:29 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the civil rights issue of our times. This is far from over. The only way to win is to organize, build a coalition with other groups, and to do so at a scale we do not currently see. I know people have been fighting hard for this, but it has not been a concerted effort at the scale that needs to occur. I think the approach has been rather top-down and fragmented, both by geography and by subcultures. If we learn anything from the Obama campaign, it should be how powerful a bottom-up model really is, how potent peer-to-peer contact is when building trust and energy, and how us-vs-them is the weaker strategy in the long term.
posted by Tehanu at 4:30 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


See, this is simplistic bullshit, and it only bothers me because you are on the right side of this issue. If you weren't, frankly, I wouldn't care, because we're used to bullshit of all stripes from the other side.

Thanks for the note, DB, and I have no real quarrel with you.

Haters never think they are hating. And you can call them ignorant rather than hateful if you want, but I can't.

See, there are two little girls in this world because I helped their two moms out with a certain key biological ingredient they were missing. One is four, one is five. Their moms love them and each other, and I was present at their wedding in Vancouver, BC.

If someone told me that their moms were not allowed to be married, and that the little girls should never be told that having two moms was OK, then I would take it as nothing short of an attack on a family I care very much about.

Call it what you want, but it sure feels like hate from here.
posted by bowline at 4:30 PM on November 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


I just got off the phone with my broker who told me that the value of my marriage just doubled! Thanks, prop 8!
posted by dr_dank at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2008


“Had I known what people were going to write in this thread, last night I would have voted for The Black Goat with a Thousand Young to wake from its cosmic prison and spread its seed across the infected visage of this corrupt planet.”


(for AZ)
Oh ho oh hoooooo!
Oh ho oh hoooo!
Iä!

Everybody was Cthulhu F'tagn
*Iä!*
Those mi-go were fast as lightning
*Iä!*
In fact it was a little bit frightning
*Iä!*
That they summoned with expert timing

They were funky men from Leng from funky Dunwichtown
They were gobbling them up and they were gobbling them down

It's an ancient R'lyeh art and everybody knew their part
From a slip into A-byss and Unsprechen Kult-en

Everybody was Cthulhu F'tagn
*weird pipes*
Those lloigor were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they spawned with expert timing

There was funky Howard P. and little Bobby Bloch
He said: here comes the Old Ones! lets get it on
We took a book from Abdul Alhazred, and started swaying with our hands.
The sudden dream made my mind skip, now we're into a star cosmic trip

Everybody was Cthulhu F'tagn
*weird pipes*
Those dholes were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they wriggled with expert timing

(repeat)..make sure you have expert timing
Cthulhu F'tagn, had to be fast as lightning
posted by Smedleyman at 4:39 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I like to make a fuss about how gay marriage isn't the most important thing in the world. I'd rather have the Matthew Sheppard Act passed, or have my state outlaw employer discrimination on basis of sexual orientation.

But when I heard this new today, I actually started sobbing. Man, this hurts.
posted by honeydew at 4:42 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the note, DB, and I have no real quarrel with you.

Haters never think they are hating. And you can call them ignorant rather than hateful if you want, but I can't.


Likewise, Bowline, and please believe that I'm with you on the issue 100%.

But I refuse to continue assisting in the mutilation of the language. Hate is an emotion. Are some of these people hateful? Absolutely. Others just have this incredible inability to put themselves in someone else's shoes. Lumping the second group in with the first means there's no more discussion. If you can afford to lose that many people, well, I don't think so.

Anyway. I'm done, but I wish you all success in this however you choose to go about it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:46 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, wait. One more thing, because I made it sound like I think the hate/fear thing is just semantics. It isn't.

The impulse to call every instance of discrimination the result of hate has behind it the message: This is bad and you're a bad person for feeling that way.

Sorry, but that's a selfish impulse and does not serve the cause. Some of you may have been shamed into smartening up on one or two issues, but that's not usually the way it works. You're settling for self-satisfaction and a bunker mentality instead of progress. Difficult, frustrating, bull-by-the-horns, day by day progress. And that's not cool.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:52 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


JESUS. Floridians ALSO voted down the amendment which bans Asians from owning property in the state.
posted by gman at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


If anyone invokes a "slippery slope" argument about Same-Sex Marriage leading to marrying animals, please note that California also passed (by a wide margin) Proposition 2, which prohibits inhumane confinement of farm animals. Yep, marriage is definitely out.
posted by wendell at 4:59 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whispering quietly in little bitty letters here in the corner: As a gay man I wish we in the movement and our supporters could learn and follow the lessons of Dr. King. Yes, identify hate. Yes, confront hate. Yes, speak the truth to hate. Yes, speak loudly and firmly, with love, and in love, demanding and expecting justice. But do not speak hatefulness to hate, or hate will only grow.
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:13 PM on November 5, 2008 [11 favorites]


Hear hear, Robert Angelo.
posted by Quietgal at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2008


"'No on Prop 8" Rally in West Hollywood Tonight

Wish I could be there.
posted by Morrigan at 5:29 PM on November 5, 2008


I didn't vote for Prop 8 last night, but every time I read a metafilter thread about this issue, I suspect I'm going to wish I had.

In my ideal world, Barack Obama is President and people like you don't exist.
posted by gman at 5:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


This isn't about hate or discrimination. It's easy to just think that and not try to understand both sides of an issue. One of the best articles I read about why gay marriage shouldn't be allowed was written by a gay man who discussed the role in society of marriage. Mostly, it is so that when men get women pregnant, they stick around to help raise the children. That helps keep the sexes united and gives children the benefit of a mom and a dad. Gay people aren't being discriminated against, they can marry a member of the opposite sex exactly the way any one else can. Gay marriage is being discriminated against because it doesn't fulfill the purposes of marriage. Just because gays want something different from marriage (a same-sex relationship) doesn't mean they are being discriminated against. And in case some of you don't know, in California gay couples already have all of the financial and legal benefits of marriage through civil unions. What gay marriage is about is making it so when schools talk about marriage, they have to talk to children about gay couples being the same as heterosexual couples, and not allowing churches to teach their beliefs about sex. It is about changing the moral norms of society through the schools and the courts.
posted by rbecca at 5:37 PM on November 5, 2008


Wow, thanks rbecca. Now tell us how women don't need rights because family works better when men hold all the power.
posted by troybob at 5:40 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Gay people aren't being discriminated against, they can marry a member of the opposite sex exactly the way any one else can.

But they can't marry the person they're wired to be attracted to.
posted by gman at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2008


Mostly, it is so that when men get women pregnant, they stick around to help raise the children. That helps keep the sexes united and gives children the benefit of a mom and a dad. Gay people aren't being discriminated against, they can marry a member of the opposite sex exactly the way any one else can.

You paid $5 today just to post this? Unbelievable.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:44 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca - Best first comment EVER, by the way. Look, I had to listen to Bush over my breakfast. Can't you people stop trying to sink my Cheerios today?
posted by gman at 5:45 PM on November 5, 2008


Troybob, you think kids are better off with single moms than with a mom and a dad? Or do you think gender doesn't make any difference to children, that there is no difference between a mom and a dad?
posted by rbecca at 5:45 PM on November 5, 2008


I think they're better off with LOVING parents. Gay or straight.
posted by gman at 5:47 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Voting in favor of Prop. 8 is a hateful act. We all agree on this. Blaming these hatemongers for our loss, however, is not what is going to win this. We have no one but ourselves to blame for this one. Politics is war by other means, and we failed to properly prepare ourselves or assess our opponents. We can't go crying to Sun Tzu now because we don't like how it turned out.

So we lost. If we were big babies, we would cry about our defeat and wish those big meanyheads would just go away. This is not what I intend to do. If they want a fight, they just bought themselves one. I'm collecting signatures to put a proposition on the ballot that extends the right to marry to all citizens of our state. If it fails, I'll just do it again. We'll do it every two years until the U.S. Supreme Court does what we all know it's going to do. If the Republicans can do this with parental notification then we're gonna do it with gay marriage. And we're not gonnna make the same mistake we did this time. Hell, 20,000 people who voted yes this year will be dead in 2010. That fact alone works in our favor.

It sucks. We lost the battle. Get back up on the horse and win the war.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:49 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


gman- Not being able to be married to the person they are attracted to isn't discrimination. (Are pedophiles discriminated against?) I wish I could vote in CA where I was raised, but I can't. My husband doesn't want to vote in CA, he only wants to vote here in Texas, where he was raised. Is it discrimination that he gets to vote where he want to vote, but I can't vote where I want to vote, where I'm wired to want to vote?
posted by rbecca at 5:51 PM on November 5, 2008


Troybob, you think kids are better off with single moms than with a mom and a dad?

Um, well considering my dad was a violent christian drunk who physically and psychologically devastated our family, my answer might be a bit slanted.
posted by troybob at 5:52 PM on November 5, 2008


Troybob, you think kids are better off with single moms than with a mom and a dad? Or do you think gender doesn't make any difference to children, that there is no difference between a mom and a dad?

Sure, baby trolls are cute when they are first born, but don't forget that they grow up to be giant, culvert dwelling, goat eaters. Best to leave them in their nest and let nature take it's course.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:53 PM on November 5, 2008


False distinction. Both have engaged in actions that are hateful, and both have engaged in actions that support privileges for straights while denying them to gays. Whether the people in California are frothing homophobes who might kill Matthew Shepard isn't the isuue. The isuue is power. And this vote was a demonstration of straights expressing power over gays, just as the murder of Matthew Shepard was.

I know you really, really want to distinguish, so, fair enough. Murdering a gay man is more heinous and abominable than making him a second-class citizen. But both are hateful acts, and exist on the continuum of privilege and power.

I'm sorry if you don't like it, and don't like that one group gets lumped in with the other, but that's the way hateful acts work. Sure, the guy who simply won't let his daughter marry a black man was once upon a time incrementally better than they guy who lynched a black man, but they were supporting the same system of intolerance.


False comparison. I sincerely now want to know what your definition of "hatred" is, and how a passing reference to "the continuum of privilege and power" makes opposition to gay marriage a hateful act. From the structure of your argument, you seem to believe that espousing an attitude that disadvantages a minority group is necessarily hateful, and to me that makes no sense.

hate
   /heɪt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [heyt] Show IPA Pronunciation
verb, hat⋅ed, hat⋅ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.
–verb (used without object)
3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.
–noun
4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.
5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.

In the example above, I used to think that it was simply intellectually disingenuous to say that same-sex couples could marry because everyone should have the right to marry the partner of their choice, and not extend that line of thinking to allow polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia, etc. That line of argument is flawed for the reasons I outlined above, but I see nothing to indicate that it is in any way hateful.

As I said above, I have never at any point in my life disliked homosexual people intensely or passionately, nor have I felt an extreme version for or hostility towards them. My former position on gay marriage was not born of those sentiments, but of a misconceived notion of logical inconsistency. How then is it hateful?

Just for emphasis, I want to sincerely ask-- what is your definition of the word "hate," and how is the position above that I described hateful, assuming (for the sake of argument, at least) that I am being truthful in saying I harbored no ill will towards gay people?
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 5:53 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ack...its course...
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:53 PM on November 5, 2008


Yeah, stupid me took the bait...
posted by troybob at 5:54 PM on November 5, 2008


A loving dad isn't the same as a loving mom. Just like for you to spend your life with a loving woman wouldn't be the same as being with a loving man. Women and men are different, moms and dads are different, and no offense, but kids need both.
posted by rbecca at 5:55 PM on November 5, 2008


Did you just compare a child being taken advantage of to the marriage of two consenting adults? This discussion is over. What's your mailing address? I'll send you $5.
posted by gman at 5:55 PM on November 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oh yes! I didn't think anyone would actually have the chutzpah to come right out and make this argument!

The function of marriage is procreation? Really? Well, it's a good thing we don't allow people who are sterile to get married, then. And it's a good thing we have that law annulling marriages that don't produce children within five years.

Giving children a two-parent heterosexual home to live in is the most important thing we can do for them? It's a good thing we make the children of widows and widowers wards of the state until suitable homes can be found for them.

We can't change our moral norms through the courts? It's a good thing the supreme court never got a hair up it's ass about the fact that we still had race-based legal codes in the 20th goddamn century. It's also a good thing that they never decided to say that separate institutions are, for purposes of the fourteenth amendment, inherently unequal. Because if they had done that then setting up a separate system for gay couples to affirm their love for each other would certainly be problematic.

You know what? Keep it up. You're going to get tired of this looooooooong before I do.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:56 PM on November 5, 2008 [19 favorites]


troybob- Sincerely sorry to hear that. You deserved better.
posted by rbecca at 5:56 PM on November 5, 2008


By the way, I guess the ACLU is taking a different approach than my suggestion above concerning a challenge to Prop 8 under the California state Constitution. I wouldn't hold my breath on this one.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2008


Speaking generally, though: With the kinds of justifications being given about the nature of family and which kind is best, it seems the next logical step in this debate is to start limiting certain kinds of heterosexual marriage as well. If this is considered a successful attempt to protect the ideal version of family, I'd be surprised if it didn't evolve into a fight for a stricter definition.
posted by troybob at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2008


To the gay peeps in general and rtha in particular,

I'm truly sorry you've have to deal with crap, especially in the shadow of Obama becoming president. This is a terrible, nasty thing that goes against not the American dream but basic human rights and dignity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to think that it was simply intellectually disingenuous to say that same-sex couples could marry because everyone should have the right to marry the partner of their choice, and not extend that line of thinking to allow polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia, etc. That line of argument is flawed for the reasons I outlined above, but I see nothing to indicate that it is in any way hateful.

... My former position on gay marriage was not born of those sentiments, but of a misconceived notion of logical inconsistency. How then is it hateful?


Umm, you equate homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality and you don't get why it's considered hateful? Fail.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 6:02 PM on November 5, 2008


This isn't about hate or discrimination.

Yes, it most certainly is.

It's easy to just think that and not try to understand both sides of an issue.

I understand your side of the issue. I understand that you and people like you want to take rights away from people who do not affect you, by force of law.

Your behavior in supporting this discriminatory law is hateful. This makes you a homophobe and a bigot.

I also understand that you do not understand your own point of view, and the implications for your own rights as an American:

That helps keep the sexes united and gives children the benefit of a mom and a dad.

As divorce is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, the day you argue that divorce should be punishable by death is the day I will take you and your ilk seriously, because that would suggest you might actually understand the implications of what you are saying.

Gay marriage is being discriminated against because it doesn't fulfill the purposes of marriage.

If the purposes of marriage are entirely religious, then the state should either play no role in regulating marriage in the first place. Or it should make marriage by non-Christians punishable by death.

If the purpose of marriage is for procreation, then the state should provide the death penalty for sterile couples. Or at least make marriage by sterile couples illegal under threat of serious punishment.

If you fight for making marriage illegal for sterile couples and non-Christian couples, then I will take your viewpoint seriously, because it would suggest that you actually understand the implications of the hateful words coming out of you.

What gay marriage is about is making it so when schools talk about marriage, they have to talk to children about gay couples being the same as heterosexual couples, and not allowing churches to teach their beliefs about sex.

Churches were allowed to teach their beliefs about sex at the same time that gays and lesbians were legally allowed to get married, and well before you helped make gays and lesbians into second-class citizens. That gays and lesbians are now married has not changed how churches conduct their behavior.

When you acknowledge that churches were never affected by gay marriage, and never will be, I will take you seriously, because that acknowledgment would suggest you understand the full implications of what you are saying.

It is hilarious that you suggest that I somehow don't understand your point of view, when you don't even understand the bigotry out of your own mouth.

*sigh*

Let us pray:

Oh Lord, oh sweet merciful Lord. It will be a beautiful, beautiful day when your bigots are no longer allowed to redefine words and ideas without getting called on it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 PM on November 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


I didn't say that relationships between adults are the same as a child being taken advantage of. Please read what I wrote again if that is how it came across. If you are going to use the idea of "attraction" alone, obviously there are lots of counter-examples where attraction isn't enough.
posted by rbecca at 6:03 PM on November 5, 2008


Sincerely sorry to hear that. You deserved better.

Actually, it was dumb to bring that into the debate. Better to say simply that the idealized versions of family you are promoting fall apart in the face of reality. Personally, I think the best thing for kids would be to have people pass a basic licensing exam before they are allowed to have children.
posted by troybob at 6:07 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Not being able to be married to the person they are attracted to isn't discrimination. (Are pedophiles discriminated against?)

There is a hell of a big gap between a consensual relationship between two adults and the non-consensual abuse of a child. Your own words equate gay marriage with sexual child abuse.

Sweet cupping cakes, I'll send you your $5, too.
posted by RakDaddy at 6:07 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm of two minds on this. I'm very disappointed, I won't go as far as upset, but very disappointed, in the Prop 8 outcome. And deep in my lizard brain, I don't want to "reach across the aisle" to the people who voted for it, except to keep them from squirming too much while I stick the knife in. My spouse and I were even planning to go to CA to get married there, even though we don't live there and got a civil union years ago in Vermont. And I sure as hell don't like being a second-class citizen.

But the fact that this discussion is even happening at all, is just an amazing thing to me. I've been in a same-sex relationship for 20 years as of last month, about half my life, and for most of that time I had no expectation that gay marriage would exist in my lifetime. If you'd asked me about its likelihood ten or fifteen years ago, when my partner and I were in all of the couples' groups we could find, neither of us saw it coming. I remember interviewing the first guy in DC who brought suit for a marriage license, and it just seemed so unlikely that things would ever change.

And at the time, many people in the gay community, ever careful not to offend, thought that "the community" should focus its efforts on other causes, causes that might be winnable - gays in the military, ENDA, repeal of sodomy laws. And of course all those things are important, but things change because people who care passionately about specific things work for change, not because "the community" decides they should.

So, yes, it's a defeat, and it's depressing if you focus on it to the exclusion of everything else, but holy crap! the fact that things have changed so much, so fast, makes me more hopeful than anything else. Our opponents are on the losing side of history, and they're getting there much faster than might be expected. We live in amazing times!
posted by me & my monkey at 6:08 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


The previous lawsuit mentioned was a different one, & no one's linked the ACLU post yet:
The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn't happen with Proposition 8, and that's why it's invalid.
Apologies if it's been mentioned; I haven't been following this thread.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:08 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Brandon.

*terrorist fist-bump*

To the rest of y'all: please don't feed the troll. Argue in good faith with other folks in this thread - Marshall et al. and the other way 'round, too - but please starve the troll.
posted by rtha at 6:10 PM on November 5, 2008


Not being able to be married to the person they are attracted to isn't discrimination. (Are pedophiles discriminated against?)

We're already at "homosexuality is morally equivalent to pedophilia"? Hot damn! I'm not even two drinks in yet. You care to reveal too much about yourself by using the bestiality argument with an embarrassingly specific example animal?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:10 PM on November 5, 2008


troyboy- Everyone has a mom and a dad, even if they're dead or jerks or only knew eachother for a night or never knew each other. The biggest part of our population that is living in poverty are single moms and their kids. Throughout history in every part of the world, for some reason all societies have tried to encourage the father of the children to stay with the mom and help raise the kids. Maybe everyone was wrong?
posted by rbecca at 6:11 PM on November 5, 2008


Of course, she's also providing a fantastic example to some of the folks I've disagreed with in this thread how exactly it is that stuff like this feels more like "hateful" and less like "ignorant, but educable."

So, thanks, rbecca!
posted by rtha at 6:11 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Throughout history in every part of the world, for some reason all societies have tried to encourage the father of the children to stay with the mom and help raise the kids.

Thankfully, when gay marriage is legal this will not be a problem for them.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:13 PM on November 5, 2008


Everyone has a mom and a dad, even if they're dead or jerks or only knew eachother for a night or never knew each other.

Huh? Even your pastor disagrees with you.
posted by gman at 6:17 PM on November 5, 2008


I was reading a medieval history book a while ago. Apparently there was a pretty common factor taken into account w.r.t rape at that time: whether or not the woman got pregnant.

It was the common knowledge at the time that conception was simply impossible without the woman achieving orgasm during intercourse. Furthermore, it was taken for granted that it is impossible to have an orgasm under duress. Thus, if the woman got pregnant, she liked the sex. If she liked the sex, it wasn't rape. This wasn't even considered a "defense"; this got the case thrown out completely. Woman's with child? Boom! Rapist goes free.

I really hope that I live to see the day when 99.99% of people will look back at "but families have to be this way" arguments with similar expressions of distaste as I'm sure most of you wore while reading that historical interlude.

Also, Rebecca? Adding "no offense" to something doesn't make it not offensive. You just told every reader who was raised in a single-parent home that their upbringing was sub-par. As the child of a single mother, I am inviting you to sit and spin on something.
posted by CKmtl at 6:18 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


When making a point, I try to use obvious counter-examples that I know the other person will agree with. That doesn't mean the counter-example is the same thing as what I am arguing against. It means it is different enough so that if the person doesn't see it in the issue we are discussing, he should certainly be able to see it in my counter-example. If you thought I was saying that gay marriage and pedophilia were the same, then I apologize. I didn't mean to imply they were the same, and I don't think they are the same. For the record, someone I love dearly is in jail for pedophilia, and I have no idea how he could have done something like that. So just by mentioning that some people have that attraction wasn't meant to be an insult.
posted by rbecca at 6:21 PM on November 5, 2008


For the record, someone I love dearly is in jail for pedophilia, marrying their loving gay partner and I have no idea how he could have done something like that.
posted by gman at 6:23 PM on November 5, 2008


CKmtl- I know that if I were a single mom I wouldn't do as good of a job. I get on myself for how hard it is when I've got a wonderful man helping with the finances, the bedtime, the laundry. Kudos to your mom if she did a great job. If you think about it, maybe if she had help from a good man it would have been easier for her. Maybe she could have even done a better job. Sorry, I'm raising kids, and I know what a difference it makes when my husband is on travel and I don't have his help. Your mother is a saint. Just look at the statistics if you want proof that kids raised by a mom and a dad statistically do better than kids raised by a single mom. That's not an insult to you or her, it just is.
posted by rbecca at 6:26 PM on November 5, 2008


Where it affects me is where that extra person, or two, or three, gets the same treatment as my union. Therefore the more partners you have the more tax breaks you get, the more ways you can gift, the more medicare, social security, etc you can recieve.

On our way to dinner, this is pretty much how we boiled it down in the car. Poly-anything? Have at it, my friends. Again -- doesn't affect me what you do (or don't do) behind closed doors. But I can just imagine that my (male domestic partner's) employer would start having a superhissy about covering my health insurance....and that of our other two 'sister-wives' or whatever you want to call them. (tkchrist -- Doris? Seriously?)

If we had national healthcare and everyone had their own coverage no matter what, the insurance lobby wouldn't be nearly as panicked. So, as he said tonight: "It's the insurance companies, dear. That's who has a vested interest against these things. They barely like to cover spouses, let alone anyone else"

But yeah -- I agree with Smedleyman. When you start getting into more-than-two situations, then it *is* inherently unequal to other couples of whatever gender unless you eliminate the additional gifting, tax breaks and other privileges.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:29 PM on November 5, 2008


CKmtl- Well, that was an interesting odd bit of history. Everywhere that people have lived throughout history- as in EVERYWHERE, as in for ALL TIME, societies have noticed that men and women pair up to have babies and have tried to keep the men and women together to raise them.
posted by rbecca at 6:32 PM on November 5, 2008


Kudos to your mom if she did a great job. If you think about it, maybe if she had help from a good man it would have been easier for her. Maybe she could have even done a better job.

If you can't realize what a grave case of shoving your entire foot in your mouth this is?

This probably isn't the site for you.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:32 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, you sure fit a lot of shit on that shovel, didn't you?

If the role of marriage is just about child-rearing, why allow childless marriages? Why don't marriages end after the children leave home?

You say that what gay people want isn't marriage, because a same-sex relationship is not a marriage. Since a civil marriage is a contract, governed by the state, isn't it whatever the state says it is? What if two people of the opposite sex get married, and one has a sex change. Are they no longer married? Same-sex couples in Massachusetts, Canada, the Netherlands, and even California right now, are married. Do you deny this, based on your personal definition of marriage? If same-sex relationships were recognized by the early Christian church, wouldn't that indicate a historical basis for a broader definition of marriage than you allow?

You say gay people aren't being discriminated against, because they can marry someone of the opposite sex. Imagine, if you will, that you have travelled to Gayistan, where only homosexual marriages are allowed. Would it be a valid argument to make, to say that your rights aren't being discriminated against because you can marry someone of the same sex, even if you're not gay?

Civil unions provide the same rights as civil marriage? Not quite.

And why do schools have to talk about marriage at all? I don't remember being taught about marriage in school, and I went to a Catholic school. I do remember being taught about respect for others, and recognition of their inherent dignity as children of God, for what that's worth.

And finally, if you're concerned about the deleterious effect of gay marriage on straight marriages, could you please explain how my marriage could possibly affect yours? Is yours worth less or something? Would you feel the need to divorce, or have a fling, or something like that?
posted by me & my monkey at 6:33 PM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


I was in Brentwood, Ca last Saturday and there was a busy intersection with 4 grey-haired guys with "yes on 8" signs on each corner. Next to them were 2-3 teenagers(on each corner) holding signs that said "no on 8: protect equality" and "honk if you think the guy next to me is stupid". It really sort of summed up the whole prop8 debate. Old vs. Young. I will admit that my generation and the one behind me uses "that's gay" way too much in everyday speech but the idea of not allowing gay marriage has never crossed my mind and as far as I can tell it was a non-issue with the people I know until those horrible ads promoting 8 came out. Then it was a general consensus to vote against it. I think the real killer of no on 8 was that damn sound clip from Gavin Newsome. I can totally relate to the fear that kicked up in the people by hearing him say "whether they like it or not..." over and over. Stupid stupid sound byte.

My real prop 8 story belongs to my mother though. She is a single white woman who lives alone on a road that has been a jumble of Obama and yes on 8 signs for the last few months.

Yesterday a small latino woman, my mother guessed she was probably in her 40s, knocked on her door. The woman asked, in very broken English, if my mother had voted. "No" Then the woman asked her if she intended on voting, "Yes" and if she was going to vote yes on 8.

"No I am not going to vote yes on 8 and if you had any notion of what it was really about you'd vote no on it too because when they start that kind of thing you're going to be next!"

The small latino woman backed slowly away from the door and my mother promptly called me to vent about the whole incident.

I love my mom.
posted by M Edward at 6:33 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maybe she could have even done a better job. ... That's not an insult to you or her

No, it actually is. You can keep telling yourself that it's not, but it is.
posted by CKmtl at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


troybob- How would you stop them from having children?
posted by rbecca at 6:35 PM on November 5, 2008


Ok, what the hell does single motherhood have to do with this? Aren't gay couples just about the least likely group to produce single parents? There is a leap here that I am not getting. Are you saying that two women are two men are the functional equivalent of just one of the same? This does not make sense. What am I missing?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 6:35 PM on November 5, 2008


This is so depressing. It has taken all the joy out of Obama's victory for me. That our country could do this is so, so disappointing.

It will turn back some time, in two years or five or ten. But for now it is still terribly sad.
posted by alms at 6:36 PM on November 5, 2008


CKmtl- I would be a better mom if I had more money. If I had more money, I'd pay someone else to do the laundry and cleaning, and I'd have more time to play games with my kids and work on their homework with them and do other quality-time type things. Is that an insult to myself and my children?
posted by rbecca at 6:37 PM on November 5, 2008


Troybob, you think kids are better off with single moms than with a mom and a dad? Or do you think gender doesn't make any difference to children, that there is no difference between a mom and a dad?

rbecca, your grasp of the history of the human family and anthropology in general is severely lacking. Children have been successfully raised by single men, single women, gay couples, single grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings and more. Not just recently in the so-called breakdown of the "nuclear family" - but since the dawn of humankind.

There is absolutely no historical nor scientific basis to your belief that children need to have both a man and a woman in a monogamous relationship for "best" or "successful" child rearing and raising.

In fact the historical documents of thousands of years of co-habitation and tribal living in indigenous populations all over the world disagree with your assumptions very strongly. Even in Western, Christian families childrearing has (until recently) been defined most obviously by the inclusion of extended family and friends - not a single hetereo couple doing 100% of the childrearing.

And here in Western, Christian culture we've had more men more directly involved in childrearing for what, 30, 40 years at the most? Until Women's Lib in the 60s, nearly all of that childrearing work fell exclusively to women. Men were often distantly involved, at best.


The "best" thing for a child is a loving, nurturing home that has the patience and resources to raise them into the best young adults they can. Nothing more and nothing less.

To assume that straight married couples have a lock on perfect parenting skills is a ridiculous notion. It's preposterous. That's a really polite way of saying "That's a bunch of fucking bullshit."


(Especially since all of the non-straight or otherwise adoptive parents I know take parenting very seriously as a full time job that they fought for the rights to get, a job they want very badly - and I personally know so many straight Christian families that are so disgustingly abusive, unwanted and unloving that their kids are all kinds of screwed up.)
posted by loquacious at 6:37 PM on November 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


rbecca, I can see why this is a big deal to you. We've all been devastated by the tragic number of children from broken gay homes.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


When you start getting into more-than-two situations, then it *is* inherently unequal to other couples of whatever gender unless you eliminate the additional gifting, tax breaks and other privileges.

Maybe because I'm tired, or maybe I'm just particularly dense, but I'm not grokking this. Can someone explain to me in fairly small words how someone who's, say, married to two people gets more gifting etc. than someone who's married to one person? Is it not the case that a married, heterosexual couple with...four kids gets more gifting, tax breaks, etc. than a couple with two kids? And yet that seems to be an accepted thing. If it is a thing.

Apologies for the incoherence.
posted by rtha at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, I first heard that wide-eyed-with-faux-innocence "golly, nobody is saying they can't get married" argument from non other than Orson Scott Card, who has a tendency to regurgitate various stances going about. (He's a Mormon, by the way, and we know how they feel about Proposition 8). I very much doubt that the guy who claimed to write the article had so much as kissed a man other than his dad. This is part and parcel of the set of talking points which get circulated about by the small-minded.

Saying that nobody is restricting homosexuals and bisexuals from marriage is a bit like saying that, pre-Virginia v. Loving, nobody was saying that black people couldn't get married. Black people could get married ... just not to the people they wanted to be married to. And vice versa, of course.

The production of children? I think we've got "be fruitful and multiply" covered at this point, as we close in on nearly seven billion people.

And marriage as the basic unit of society? I have yet to see other gay-friendly countries in Europe crumble, and, frankly, if the spectre of two men in pink and powder-blue tuxedos signing a piece of paper in San Francisco can somehow cause society itself to crumble, then society wasn't in that great of a shape to begin with. More than half of heterosexual marriages ending in divorce hasn't somehow created riots in the streets, I very much doubt that the nice couple down the block to me getting hitched will do anything.

If you feel that marriage needs defense, please, start with Las Vegas weddings and celebrity stunt weddings that cheapen everything for which marriage stands. Meanwhile, I feel like apologizing on behalf of the rest of the state every time I run into the couple down the block.

Finally, you talk of "changing moral norms," which would imply that you find gay marriage to be immoral. Please, do tell us about that.

I think Charles Manson said it best: Look at your game, girl.
posted by adipocere at 6:42 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


CKmtl- Well, that was an interesting odd bit of history. Everywhere that people have lived throughout history- as in EVERYWHERE, as in for ALL TIME, societies have noticed that men and women pair up to have babies and have tried to keep the men and women together to raise them.

AS IN EVERYWHERE AS IN FOR ALL TIME!? REALLY? SINCE THE VERY DAWN OF HISTORY?

Citations, please. I'm going to have to have a citation from you to back this up. From reputable anthropological publications, campuses of higher education, etc. Be prepared to be absolutely buried in counter-references and documentation.

The world view of which you have convinced yourself of happy little individual nuclear families pair-bonding for a lifetime of childrearing going back to the stone age doesn't exist at all, except in your own fantasies.
posted by loquacious at 6:45 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca has convinced me. Now that I know that gay people out there are married, I'm going to go on a drinking binge, snort some serious lines of coke, and go have a nasty affair with some silicone-enhanced porn queens. After all, if gays are married, my own marriage must be worthless, even if I have a loving, gorgeous wife and two of the most beautiful kids in the world.
posted by illiad at 6:45 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Barack Obama's walking a fine, gay line"
I've stated my opposition to this. I think [Prop 8 is] unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don't contract them.
New York Times: Hopefuls Differ as They Reject Gay Marriage:
Mr. Obama opposes amending state constitutions to define marriage as a heterosexual institution, describing such proposals as discriminatory. Mr. McCain, however, has been active in such efforts: On the most expensive and heated battle to ban same-sex marriage this year, a proposed constitutional amendment in California known as Proposition 8, he has endorsed the measure and sharply criticized a State Supreme Court ruling that granted same-sex couples the right to marry.
Washington Blade interviews with McCain and Obama. I think Obama's position is closer to the right one on the issues and I'll be much happier with him appointing Supreme Court justices than I would've been if McCain had won.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, I get the points and have heard them before. But: You say you are arguing for a definition of marriage that protects family the way you see it. Fine. I just don't get why you feel like we should take your word for it. People came before you who argued that the definition of family does not allow for parents of different races. People came before them who argued that the definition of a black family meant living in a shed in their owner's backyard. People came before that who said the definition of family is that women are property. It seems to me arrogant that you would think--although those people before we would now (gosh, i hope) view as wrong (though any vote at the time would have upheld their views)--that you are the generation and time in history that has gotten it right.

I'm saying that you might consider the possibility that 50 years from now people like you will be generally viewed the way we see Southern racist pro-segregationists today. They, too, thought they were correct.
posted by troybob at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Me & my monky- About childless couples... For the couple, marriage isn't about the kids. But for society, which need children to continue, the standards that have grown around marriage have been about society being concerned about what is an investment in its future- the children. Sure, some couples decide not to have children, but most do have children. If a couple gets divorced, the judges concern is usually about how to provide for the children and how to make sure they get visitation so the kids will still have the parents involved. Maybe its easier to see how the law is mostly concerned about the children when you think about divorce instead of marriage.
posted by rbecca at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2008


Two more lawsuits filed -- California same-sex marriage ban faces three lawsuits.
posted by ericb at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2008


I believe marital equality is absolutely a civil right and I'm very disappointed in Prop 8 passing, but I believe this is only a setback on the road towards eventual equality. As Martin Luther King said, "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."

I believe banning gay marriage would violate the US Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and Supremacy Clause and the Supreme Court's decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and Loving v. Virginia.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Someone point me to some killer pro-gay-marriage T-shirt, preferably one where my dime goes to support marriage equality and not to line someone's pocket. I want sharp graphic design and I want it to be really freakin' clear that I think marriage by that very name is for everyone who wants it.

Anyone? EQCA doesn't do shirts, I guess, more's the pity.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:50 PM on November 5, 2008


But for society, which need children to continue...

Sometimes I'm not so sure we should continue.
posted by gman at 6:53 PM on November 5, 2008


fairytale - dunno if this will pass the test, but there's the Marriage is So Gay t-shirt, and you can specify which of 3 marriage equality organizations (well, two - the other is HRC) gets a cut.
posted by rtha at 6:58 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


troybob- Thanks for your thoughts. It's not just "family as I see it", it is also the right to not have the schools undermine what I am teaching my children about family. It is also about not having it be hate speech to teach the Bible. You must know about the Christians in Britain who had charges against them for exactly that, about the pledge card in California about supporting gays in Kindergarten, about a teacher taking the first grade to her lesbian wedding.

Okay, on to your examples. Throughout history, races have intermarried and have been segregated from each other in different cultures. Sometimes there was prejudice and bigotry, and sometimes there was not. Women were treated differently throughout history by different societies. These were things that came and went.

Everywhere, everytime, people have realized that a woman and a man make a baby, and that the babies where the dads are also contributing her welfare on the average do better, and it is a good thing to encourage.
posted by rbecca at 7:00 PM on November 5, 2008


What gay marriage is about is making it so when schools talk about marriage, they have to talk to children about gay couples being the same as heterosexual couples, and not allowing churches to teach their beliefs about sex.

Um, no. The state can not compel a religious institution to "teach anything," nor can it prevent any speech or expression of ideas. Separation of Church and State once again.

And the Free Speech argument used by the anti-gay marriage crowd and those opposed to Congress's attempt to extend the current Federal Hate Crimes Law on the books since 1969 to include gender and sexual orientation is one big fat red herring (i.e. that religious institutions and their practioners will be liable for any potential hate speech is patently false).
posted by ericb at 7:01 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, how does an increase in childless marriages have any effect on those with children? Why does the statement "most do have children" have any relevance for those who don't? And, for those gay couples who do have children, why does it matter that they're gay? You don't need to be married to adopt children, you know, or even to have your own biological children. Wouldn't the state have an interest in seeing more people in stable relationships? Wouldn't the state have an interest in having more children adopted? How does denying gay people the right to marry further the state's interest in children?

None of your statements seem to provide enough justification for me not to get married, thank you very much. You're perfectly happy to take something away from someone else when it has ZERO effect on your own life, or the lives of anyone other than the people who would be married, and this is the best you can do? Pfft.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:04 PM on November 5, 2008


cKmtl- I would be a better mom if I had more money. If I had more money, I'd pay someone else to do the laundry and cleaning, and I'd have more time to play games with my kids and work on their homework with them and do other quality-time type things. Is that an insult to myself and my children?

rbecca, as the child of a single mom, a somewhat absent dad (and later, an abusive step-dad, but he doesn't count) I can feel for you.

First, you should strongly consider if your arguments aren't being affected by wishing you had a father and a partner for you and your kids. In the rules of debate this is what is called a lack of objectivity. Your personal emotions may be leading you to be far too subjective and limiting in your worldview of what a "family" actually is.

No, it's not an insult to yourself and your children to want to be able to care and provide for them. But please do remember that time is worth much more than money. You can't get time back after you spend it. Don't wait for Mr. Right to treat you and your kids right, you can do that yourself, now.

Remember that up until the 1950s most people - even single moms - had an extended family to help with child raising. To help with cooking and cleaning, to babysit, to teach, to play with. Using your own arguments - you aren't meant to go it alone. It's too much work for any one person - it takes a village to raise a kid. Of course, you can successfully go it alone, but as you said it would be easier and maybe more rewarding if you weren't.


That said I highly recommend getting out and making new trustworthy friends. Especially gay ones - male or female. If you had any idea how much support, love and good clean fun a healthy, happy gay couple is capable of you'd already have a bunch of gay friends as babysitters. And as real friends.
posted by loquacious at 7:07 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Dont give up
You're not beaten yet

posted by Morrigan at 7:07 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, you must be joking. It's not just "family as I see it", it is also the right to not have the schools undermine what I am teaching my children about family. It is also about not having it be hate speech to teach the Bible.

What about the rights of single parents or gay and lesbian parents to not have their children taught that there is something wrong with who they are and who their families are? Or children of other faiths to be taught that their famiiles' fundamental beliefs--as important as your own--are corrupt or other or wrong? If the point is not having the schools undermine what parents teach, get ALL talk about families, ALL talk about God, ALL talk about marriage, ALL talk about gender roles out of classrooms. But that's not what you want. You want YOUR values taught to all children, including the ones you don't raise. I hope your children learn, somehow and from somewhere, to be tolerant and respectful of difference. And I hope your children also teach you this lesson, maybe by being different themselves.

about a teacher taking the first grade to her lesbian wedding. That is NOT what happened and I'm pretty sure you know it. Parents organized the trip AS A SURPRISE FOR THE TEACHER, and NO child was forced to go. What if it were a heterosexual teacher? Undoubtedly you'd find the gesture touching. You're deliberately warping these circumstances.
posted by liketitanic at 7:08 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


it is also the right to not have the schools undermine what I am teaching my children about family.

You do not have that right. For all we know, you're teaching your children to emulate the Manson Family. You can teach them whatever you want, but society does not have to support you in this. Schools need to teach the basic behaviors that allow children to become productive members of society. This includes, among other things, tolerance for those who are different from you. If you want your children to go to a school that teaches whatever crap you believe, well, that's why there's private school. But don't expect me to pay my taxes to support that crap.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:09 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ericb- Well, my parents had a policeman tell them they couldn't hold their "yes on 8" signs because it was slowing traffic. And all of the signs they put up kept being stolen. So sometimes freedom of speech doesn't work how you think. My parents were in the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. King, so they have a history of civil disobedience. Maybe you have heard of the Bishop who spoke in support of McCain, so he is being investigated to see if his diocese will lose it's tax-exempt status?
posted by rbecca at 7:13 PM on November 5, 2008


Your parents may have been on the side of Dr. King, but were he alive today, I doubt they would still be.
posted by liketitanic at 7:14 PM on November 5, 2008


me & my monkey- Don't worry, my kids don't go to public school. Well, I think this is progress. It is not about hate and discrimination, it is about who gets to choose what morals the children are taught. That's what 8 was really about, and that's why it won.
posted by rbecca at 7:15 PM on November 5, 2008


That's what 8 was really about, and that's why it won.

So you're ready for a rematch then?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 7:17 PM on November 5, 2008


liketitanic- I think his niece Alveda King is carrying on as he would have.
posted by rbecca at 7:18 PM on November 5, 2008


He became increasingly radical toward the end of his life, actually. Which you would know if you wer actually a student of history. His niece is not the Reverend incarnate.

As he said in 1967,

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

You are no student of his politics, nor of history; and yes, it is still about hate and discrimination.
posted by liketitanic at 7:24 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Could anyone tell me if Proposition 2 in Florida can be reversed? I have a good friend who lives in Florida, and she seems to be under the impression that it is not easily changed, once added to the Florida Constitution. Are there lawsuits/campaigns under way in Florida to reverse it?
posted by Ira_ at 7:24 PM on November 5, 2008


Proposition 8: Issue is rights, not schools

Proposition 8 has nothing to do with schools

"There is nothing about Prop. 8 that is connected to public education in any way," Mitchell said. "There is nothing in California state law that would require the teaching of marriage in any of its forms."
posted by hydropsyche at 7:25 PM on November 5, 2008


liketitanic- Thanks for educating me, I checked and you are right that it was a surprise for the teacher, I didnt' know that. You say that I want kids to learn my morals and values, yes I do, and I think you want the same thing. So I guess that's the crux of it, that we have different values and both of us want society promoting the values that we hold. Not such a terrible thing, really.
posted by rbecca at 7:26 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca, you are wrong. simply put: wrong.

you are quickly making a mockery of yourself. but what's worse -- what you should be concerned for, since you seem to hold your opinion with a great deal of passion -- you're making a mockery of your position on this issue.

you don't win an argument with "everywhere, everytime people have ... blah blah blah"

you go to reputable sources; peer-reviewed journals; etc. you collect up substantiation for the assertions you're making, and you let the experts speak for you. you take yourself out of the argument -- this isn't about you, is it? -- and humbly present the facts as presented by well-respected and knowledgable sources.

as someone upthread mentioned, we're all ready to overhwhelm and bury you with decades worth of research which shows you that your historical assertions are crap; your anthropological suggestions are ludicrous; your sociological ideas are positively laughable. you.are.simply.wrong. period.

you're only sinking yourself further when you try to bring in other factors in the "culture wars" -- single motherhood, religion in public schools, etc. you're in over your head.

so, let's start slowly. can you come up with, i don't know, say 3 reputable resources which support your assertion that "everywhere, everytime, people have realized....that the babies where the dads are also contributing her welfare on the average do better"?

if you're unclear about what a reputable source is, i'd be happy to send you a copy of the handout i give my undergraduate students.
posted by CitizenD at 7:26 PM on November 5, 2008


Maybe you have heard of the Bishop who spoke in support of McCain, so he is being investigated to see if his diocese will lose it's tax-exempt status?

Why, yes, but he was not, as you claimed in your response to this comment, held responsible for hate speech propagated by others, nor for having an opinion. He is being investigated for endorsing from the pulpit, which is different, and which you can read about here.

The pledge card episode you are referring to is this one, yes? There is nothing about marriage there. The teacher asked students not to use anti-gay slurs. You think gay students and teachers will go away now? That slurs in schools are okay? I don't. Nor is your reworking of these stories in any way accurate.
posted by liketitanic at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see MarshallPoe reason with rbecca.
posted by Ira_ at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2008


So I guess that's the crux of it, that we have different values and both of us want society promoting the values that we hold. Not such a terrible thing, really.

Not entirely true. What I want is for society to teach my kids a whole range of values, and to teach them how to choose for themselves, and also for my kids to know that whatever they choose, it's really okay.
posted by illiad at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2008


hydropsyche- California Education Code permits school districts to offer comprehensive sex education, but if they do, they have to "teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." 96% of schools offer sex ed, and obviously if they are teaching about "marriage", and gay marriage is legal, they will be teaching about it. In MA, they are integrating it into all of the subjects (math problems in math talking about two dads and so on) and parents aren't allowed to opt out. I'm not talking about what would be required, I'm talking about what would happen. And I expect everyone here would think it was a good thing.
posted by rbecca at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2008



liketitanic- Thanks for educating me, I checked and you are right that it was a surprise for the teacher, I didnt' know that. You say that I want kids to learn my morals and values, yes I do, and I think you want the same thing. So I guess that's the crux of it, that we have different values and both of us want society promoting the values that we hold. Not such a terrible thing, really.
.

No, I want to promote those values for my children. I want society to provide a platform for families to make these decisions for themselves. It's fine to have different values, and I have no problem with you educating your children how you wish, but you ought not be able to prevent me from getting married, to impose your values in my own household, and I hope you do not educate your children to shun difference.
posted by liketitanic at 7:33 PM on November 5, 2008


illiad- No matter what values they choose, it would be okay? What if they decided to be racist? I mean, aren't there a whole lot of really destructive and bad things they could choose and that you would object to?
posted by rbecca at 7:33 PM on November 5, 2008



illiad- No matter what values they choose, it would be okay? What if they decided to be racist? I mean, aren't there a whole lot of really destructive and bad things they could choose and that you would object to?


There sure are. Let's not teach the ones we agree on--the ones on which there's a pretty common social consensus--and leave the rest aside.
posted by liketitanic at 7:35 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: Say your kids get taught about gay marriage in school. That it is a way some people love each other. What are you afraid would happen to your kids?
posted by Ira_ at 7:35 PM on November 5, 2008


illiad- No matter what values they choose, it would be okay? What if they decided to be racist? I mean, aren't there a whole lot of really destructive and bad things they could choose and that you would object to?

Homophobia is one such thing.
posted by Tehanu at 7:36 PM on November 5, 2008


...about the pledge card in California about supporting gays in Kindergarten, about a teacher taking the first grade to her lesbian wedding.

The pledge card brouhaha was the action of one teacher and not endorsed or manadated by the school, city or state.

The first grade teacher didn't take the kids to her wedding.

A parent (yes, a parent, heaven forfend!) came up with the idea, contacted the school, got permission and contacted the other parents. The parents had to sign permission slips to allow the kids to surprise their just-married teacher Erin Carder and her wife Kerri McCoy, as they came out of their civil ceremony (images and video of the giggling, excited children enjoying the celebration on the steps of S.F. City Hall).
posted by ericb at 7:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


No matter what values they choose, it would be okay? What if they decided to be racist?

Of course that wouldn't be acceptable. You must know what I meant, but if not then the fault is mine in that I should've been more explicit: Values that society understands aren't harmful.

Now I'm going to wait to see if you somehow equate the harm of being racist with simply being born gay. Because that would be a real trick.
posted by illiad at 7:37 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: illiad- No matter what values they choose, it would be okay? What if they decided to be racist? I mean, aren't there a whole lot of really destructive and bad things they could choose and that you would object to?

Is gay marriage a destructive and bad thing to you?
posted by Ira_ at 7:38 PM on November 5, 2008


liketitanic- Well, of course you can get married. You can marry a member of the opposite sex. No one is preventing that. Or you can have some kind of ceremony and make whatever commitments you want with whomever you want and live together in whatever fashion you want. No one is preventing that either. Or you can get a civil union and get the legal and financial benefits that come with. The only thing I am objecting to, as far as I can see, is legally labling it "marriage" so that schools will teach about it and churches can't teach against it.
posted by rbecca at 7:39 PM on November 5, 2008


California Education Code permits school districts to offer comprehensive sex education, but if they do, they have to "teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." 96% of schools offer sex ed, and obviously if they are teaching about "marriage", and gay marriage is legal, they will be teaching about it. In MA, they are integrating it into all of the subjects (math problems in math talking about two dads and so on) and parents aren't allowed to opt out. I'm not talking about what would be required, I'm talking about what would happen. And I expect everyone here would think it was a good thing.

Citations, please.
posted by ericb at 7:43 PM on November 5, 2008


liketitanic- Well, of course you can get married. You can marry a member of the opposite sex. No one is preventing that. Or you can have some kind of ceremony and make whatever commitments you want with whomever you want and live together in whatever fashion you want. No one is preventing that either. Or you can get a civil union and get the legal and financial benefits that come with. The only thing I am objecting to, as far as I can see, is legally labling it "marriage" so that schools will teach about it and churches can't teach against it.

Then yours shouldn't be called a marriage by the state either. The benefits of civil unions are not the same. Because my marriage is not federally recognized, there are thousands of rights I do not get. NO ONE IS STOPPING CHURCHES FROM TEACHING ANYTHING. THEY ARE STOPPING CHURCHES FROM ENDORSING POLITICAL CANDIDATES. If you're saying you want the state out of the marriage business altogether, and religious instruction out of schools, I agree. (Show me those gay math problems. Nothing you've described has been as you say, so forgive me for thinking that more ridiculous hyperbole.) End the tax cuts and the privileges for ALL couples. If you want marriage to be solely religious, say so--but I don't think that's what you really mean, and if that IS what you want nor do I think a ban on gay marriage achieves it.
posted by liketitanic at 7:43 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


rbecca, is there any way you could possibly attempt to do more than cherrypick who you reply to? There are lots of people here who have asked very valid questions who you seem to have completely ignored. You have the spotlight here, as I'm sure you intended, so why not actually make an effort here?
posted by agress at 7:44 PM on November 5, 2008


Everywhere that people have lived throughout history- as in EVERYWHERE, as in for ALL TIME, societies have noticed that men and women pair up to have babies and have tried to keep the men and women together to raise them.

You're pretty much wrong there, as far as medieval stuff is concerned. To wit: Marriage, which had to be either arranged or approved by the noble to whom you owed fealty, was largely not about love or child-rearing. It was largely about politics, property and land.

When a woman's husband died—which was understandably common, given poor medicine, poor diet, war, crusades—a new marriage would be arranged for her. This wasn't out of concern for her now-fatherless children's welfare, but more often than not as a favour to a man that was in the lord's (in the case of a serf woman) or king's (in the case of a noblewoman) favour.

See, when a man died, his widow would get a third of his property. She could pass this on to her children. However, if the wife dies before her husband, it's all his to do with as he pleases. Also, if I remember correctly, any deals or contracts that the widow would be voided upon her re-marriage—because it's her new husband's land/property to do with as he pleases. Often "as he pleases" involves disinheriting his step-children; no self-respecting man would want another guy's spawn to inherit his things. This is where you get Estate A eventually being swallowed up by Estate B.

Then there's also the work aspect. Serfs pay for their taxes by working the land. An unmarried widow means there's one less strong back out in the fields, producing wealth for their lord. The welfare of the fatherless serflets isn't as important to him as the potential loss of tax income.
posted by CKmtl at 7:44 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look, I gotta go into my gay gay kitchen and make some gay gay dinner for my gay gay wife who is sitting on our gay gay bed. We are still married and I am gonna gay gay enjoy it.

Good luck, rbecca. My greatest wish for you is a wider view of the world, and that you come to it by learning how much more love can mean, even and especially according to the words of your God.
posted by liketitanic at 7:45 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


rbecca, is there any way you could possibly attempt to do more than cherrypick who you reply to? There are lots of people here who have asked very valid questions who you seem to have completely ignored.

Brings to mind a former MeFite, doncha know?
posted by ericb at 7:46 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


rtha -- to your question -- assuming no children in any of the relationships on either side, someone with more than one legal spouse (and again, we're pushing the Assumption Train to its limits here) would presumably have greater abilities to gift, take advantage of tax breaks, etc than the person who has chosen to marry only one person. But again, we're way out there in Hypotheticalville.

And I still don't get what polygamy has to do with the kind of one-person-to-one-person marriage we are discussing here. The kind that's just been outlawed for me and mine. Not some hypothetical "but what if eighteen people could get married to each other?!" kind.

Agreed. It doesn't. Shouldn't have even gone down the paths to hypothetical-town on this above, especially since real, non-hypothetical relationships such as yours are under attack. Something which, I'm sure you know, makes me incredibly angry. I'm so sorry, rtha, and everyone else who will suffer under this.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:51 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ira: What would I be afraid would happen to my kids? Okay, I'm out of debate mode. I came here because I have a really clear idea of the logic against gay marriage, and I was wondering how people for it thought. If they just didn't think things through, or what point it was they were working from where we would just have to agree to disagree. I won't be coming back, I don't have time for this. I have six children. I guess mostly I would be afraid that they wouldn't grow with the values that would help them to keep sex for marriage. And I would be afraid that in having sex outside of marriage they would get diseases, or pregnant, and then either an abortion or be a single mom or get married under less than ideal circumstances. Or, that in not saving sex for marriage, they would have a harder time either being faithful to their spouses or staying married. Is gay marriage destructive? I think it devalues the contributions of a mother and a father, it says that neither one of them is really important for kids, that they are interchangable. I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children. I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.
posted by rbecca at 7:55 PM on November 5, 2008


False comparison. I sincerely now want to know what your definition of "hatred" is, and how a passing reference to "the continuum of privilege and power" makes opposition to gay marriage a hateful act. From the structure of your argument, you seem to believe that espousing an attitude that disadvantages a minority group is necessarily hateful, and to me that makes no sense.

Belatedly, you seem to be getting hung up on my use of the word "hateful." That's fine. I see it as a hateful act, but if your point is that if we cannot know that the person hates, we cannot know that the act is truly hateful. Fair enough.

I'll throw out some other words, and let me know which ones you are comfortable with so we can move this conversation forward:

Passing a constitutional amendment disadvantaging a despised minority is a (an) ___________ act.

a. odious
b. reprehensible
c. shameful
d. unconscionable
e. abominable

If you don't like any of those, I can come up with others.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 PM on November 5, 2008


ericb- It take me a while to write my replies. I also had to get an eraser out of my 2-year-old's nose. Then I just start looking for a reply someone has given me, I'm not avoiding any questions. Feel free to repeat them if I miss them.
posted by rbecca at 7:56 PM on November 5, 2008


I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.

I know that I am priceless to my kids. What does knowing that there are married lesbians out there have to do with it?
posted by illiad at 7:57 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


The only thing I am objecting to, as far as I can see, is legally labling it "marriage" so that schools will teach about it and churches can't teach against it.

Wrong and wrong.

Churches can teach against it all they want. The government cannot interefere -- as per separation of church and state and First Amendment rights.

Here in Massachusetts where same-sex marriage is legal there are a number of churches which openly teach against it and have hosted rallies against gay marriage even after such marriages went into effect.

In California:
Hilary McLean, a spokeswoman for state Superintendent Jack O’Connell, said the decision to teach gay marriage lies with local communities and school boards.

“Schools are not required to talk about marriage at all,” McLean said. “It’s up to local school districts to decide.”

The state Education Code will be unaffected by passage or failure of Prop. 8.

The code only instructs schools to “teach respect for marriage and committed relationships” as part of health and sex education curriculum. The code allows districts to decide against teaching health and sex education, and allows parents to pull their children from those classes or others dealing with sensitive subject matters.
posted by ericb at 7:59 PM on November 5, 2008


The only thing I am objecting to, as far as I can see, is legally labling it "marriage" so that schools will teach about it and churches can't teach against it.

I feel so incredibly sorry for your children.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 8:02 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh rbecca, if you want to make sure your children never have sex outside of marriage, you should be in favor of gay marriage. That way, if one of your children is gay (and there is a 60% chance one of the six is, since an estimated one in ten people is gay), they'll be able to have sex within a committed marriage!
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:04 PM on November 5, 2008


Also, rbecca, I know you think your logic is sound and your decisions fair, but you are particpating in an oppressive system that doesn't just strip people of their rights but has actually gotten them killed. It is fine if you don't approve of gay marriage -- don't marry someone of the same gender as you. But you are actively pursuing a course that would deny the right to make that decision to someone else, all the while complaining that somehow, by extending a right that you now have to people who have been denied it, you are being oppressed.

That's nonsense, it's bad logic, it's uncivil, and it hurts people.

Again: If you don't approve of something, don't do it. But you have comingled a lot of nonsense, easily debunked, to support the unjustifiable notion that somehow, by making an entire group of people into second-class citizens, you are protecting your children. You aren't. You are oppressing someone else's children, and it's wrong.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:09 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


CKmtl- Okay, so you're saying marriage was about property?

First, arranged marriages throughout time were also primarily about children. You're right, marriage hasn't always been about love. Even now, I would say that the purpose of vows is to keep a couple together ("for better or worse") even when they aren't in love anymore. Why is it important to keep couples together? For the children.

Yes, gay couples love each other. But you might notice that when a couple goes to get married, no one asks them if they are in love, or to prove they are in love. They main point is that they will probably have kids, and society is interested in what happens to their offspring.

I'm not sure what to say about the rest of your history. The man disinheiriting his stepchildren kind of supports my points, I think.
posted by rbecca at 8:09 PM on November 5, 2008


Um, did you miss the part where lots of people in this thread talk about different ways to engage? Did you miss the part where lots of people here talk about talking, educating, donating money, bowing out instead of throwing punches when it all gets to be too much?

No. My comment is specifically targeted at the words I replied to and anybody else who feels like they have to stretch or abuse the word "hate" in order to get it to fit their opposition. Anybody else gets a pass.

The people I know who supported prop 8 don't hate you or anybody else. They think a word should mean one thing; you think it should mean something else. Problem is both of you have large belief systems built and identities connected to the meaning of that word. If they didn't care what the word meant or if you picked another one, there wouldn't be a fight. But then again, if the word wasn't powerful enough to mean something to them in the first place, you wouldn't care what it meant either. Hate doesn't have much to do with it, not before the fact, anyway.
posted by namespan at 8:09 PM on November 5, 2008


needsmorecowbell: How many gays do you know that have only been sexually active with the one person he is spending his entire life with?
posted by rbecca at 8:11 PM on November 5, 2008


The people I know who supported prop 8 don't hate you or anybody else.

As I've said before, I don't know how this matters. They are acting in a manner consistent with someone who hates. I don't much care whether they actually hate or not. It is their behavior that hurts, not their heart.

They think a word should mean one thing; you think it should mean something else.

We're not discussing editing the dictionary here. We are discussing systematically denying one group of people the rights we extend to everyone else. Please don't minimize how serious that decision is by behaving as though it is merely a semantic issue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:13 PM on November 5, 2008


needsmorecowbell: How many gays do you know that have only been sexually active with the one person he is spending his entire life with?

I don't know many straight people that have only been sexually active with the one person they are spending their life with. It's an irrelevant question, unless you think the government is in the business of legislating people's sex lives as well as who they may marry.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:15 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Astrozombie: People getting killed? AIDS kills, and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children.
posted by rbecca at 8:15 PM on November 5, 2008


Gee whiz. I guess that as a childfree straight woman, I should be grateful that I'm allowed to pass and be married even though I'm not performing the proper social function of marriage. I see someone threatening the value of my straight marriage in this thread, and it's not the gay married folks nor the No on 8 supporters.

Add me to the list of people who thinks Prop 8 supporters at best don't understand what a bigoted, vile, nasty, and yes, hateful thing they've done.
posted by immlass at 8:15 PM on November 5, 2008


needsmorecowbell: How many gays do you know that have only been sexually active with the one person he is spending his entire life with?

You seem to have equated sexual orientation with promiscuity. They are not the same thing. In fact, by keeping gay marriage illegal, gay people are not allowed to have the legally sanctioned monogamy you claim to be protecting.
posted by Tehanu at 8:16 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: cowbell said gay marriage would promote the value of having my children save themselves for marriage. I believe you when you say you don't know many straight people that saved themselves, I know a number and they share my values and beliefs.
posted by rbecca at 8:18 PM on November 5, 2008


I feel so incredibly sorry for your children.

I hope none of your kids commit suicide because they're anguished about being gay and can't be honest with their mom about it. I've spoken with many gay people raised in households (Christian and Jewish) where homosexuality was condemned as sin who thought seriously about it while growing up. But perhaps you're not planning on having any.
posted by digaman at 8:18 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess mostly I would be afraid that they wouldn't grow with the values that would help them to keep sex for marriage.

Kinda like Sarah Palin's pregnant, out-of-wedlock teenager who practices unsafe sex.
posted by ericb at 8:19 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


AIDS kills, and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children.

I knew a guy who got killed hunting. I am personally opposed to hunting. Should it be outlawed because I disapprove?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:19 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: my apologies for being slow in reply - you've given me a lot to think about, and I write slow. :)
posted by Ira_ at 8:20 PM on November 5, 2008


AIDS kills, and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children.

And that would be you teaching them that anyone -- gay and straight -- is susceptible to contracting HIV, as well as other STDs, and that safe sex should be adhered to, right?
posted by ericb at 8:21 PM on November 5, 2008


CKmtl- Okay, so you're saying marriage was about property?

More than that, I'm saying your assertions about the focus being on raising kids EVERYWHERE and ALL THROUGHOUT TIME are incorrect.

... society is interested in what happens to their offspring. ... The man disinheiriting his stepchildren kind of supports my points, I think.

You think incorrectly.

The society was not interested in the offspring of the serfs. Society was concerned with the nobles amassing wealth.

Those stepchildren had already been off-sprung. They existed. They were living, breathing entities with needs. Once the stepfather was in the picture, pretty much nobody other than the widow cared what happened to them.

If your husband dies tomorrow and you remarry, would you think that your second husband would be doing a very good job as a husband and father if he treated your current six kids like bloody Cinderella? Would you allow such a thing to happen because it would kinda support your outlook?
posted by CKmtl at 8:22 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro Zombie: cowbell said gay marriage would promote the value of having my children save themselves for marriage. I believe you when you say you don't know many straight people that saved themselves, I know a number and they share my values and beliefs.

Yeah, that's a total dead end as a discussion goes, because in the end our society isn't based around your specific value system.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:23 PM on November 5, 2008


AIDS kills, and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children

What if he'd been able to share a lasting partnership in marriage, rbecca? Be honest with yourself for a moment and think about it. What if your late friend could have had life-long marriage to aim for, instead of just sex? If what you say about your friend is true, voting against marriage equality is like signing a death warrant for young people who could either grow up either doing the same things your friend did or in a loving relationship.
posted by digaman at 8:23 PM on November 5, 2008


Tehanu: I'm not equating sexual orientation with promiscuity. I see marriage as two people becoming one in a way where there is procreation, and if you're not ready to be committed as one in that way, then you wait until you are. Gay marriage just doesn't fit into that at all. But I'm not trying to make gay relations illegal, and they aren't. People are having whatever relationships they want to have. I just disagree with your beliefs as much as you disagree with mine, so I don't want your beliefs forced on my children, and I want my beliefs allowed in my church.
posted by rbecca at 8:25 PM on November 5, 2008


I see marriage as two people becoming one in a way where there is procreation, and if you're not ready to be committed as one in that way, then you wait until you are.

But that's not the universal definition of marriage, and excludes couples who are infertile or simply do not want to have children as well as gay couples, as has been pointed out. So are you opposed to them marrying as well?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:26 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


digaman: He was in his 40s and in a committed relationship for 10 years. What more would gay marriage have given him? As far as he was concerned, he was married.
posted by rbecca at 8:27 PM on November 5, 2008


... so I don't want your beliefs forced on my children, and I want my beliefs allowed in my church.

As stated above, nothing is/will be forced on your children nor can any beliefs/teachings be prohibited in your church, your home or your chosen community.
posted by ericb at 8:27 PM on November 5, 2008


He was in his 40s and in a committed relationship for 10 years. What more would gay marriage have given him? As far as he was concerned, he was married.

There is a long list of legal benefits to marriage upthread, rbecca.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:28 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro: Well, actually, they ARE becoming one "in a way where there is procreation", it just didn't work out.
posted by rbecca at 8:28 PM on November 5, 2008


Well, actually, they ARE becoming one "in a way where there is procreation", it just didn't work out.

No they aren't, don't be silly. An infertile couple is as incapable of producing children as a gay couple. So, again, based on your standard, shouldn't they also be denied the right to marriage? Or are they given a pass because in a magic world where infertility didn't exist, they might have had kids?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:30 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro: He still would be dead from AIDS. I don't think there are any benefits of marriage that he missed. His partner visited him in the hospital, they shared insurance benefits, and his partner inherited his money. Again, my original point, if he shared my values he would be alive.
posted by rbecca at 8:30 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro: If I write a book and no one reads it, it is still a book. When I'm with my husband and I get pregnant, it is the same as the times I am with my husband and I don't get pregnant.

If an infertile couple is the same as a gay couple, then that means it would be the same for you to be with a member of the opposite sex if that person were infertile.

Of course it's not the same.
posted by rbecca at 8:33 PM on November 5, 2008


He still would be dead from AIDS. I don't think there are any benefits of marriage that he missed. His partner visited him in the hospital, they shared insurance benefits, and his partner inherited his money.

Irrelevant, as there are other gay couples who do not get these rights, which your friend managed to enjoy. Just because your friend was sort-of married doesn't mean everybody shared his experience.

Again, my original point, if he shared my values he would be alive.

So what? There are a lot of things people die from that they wouldn't if they shared my values. That doesn't mean I get to write my values into the constitution.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:33 PM on November 5, 2008


I'm still waiting for rbecca to explain to me how the existence of married lesbians make me think that my kids consider me anything less than priceless. I get how important I am to them by the way they hug me and laugh and positively light up when I pay attention to them, and yet we're swimming in lesbians here in Vancouver.
posted by illiad at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


CKmtl- Well, it was still about the children, but obviously about the children of the men that were alive, and even more so, the alive men with power.
posted by rbecca at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: I tied my tubes because I don't want children. What does that mean for my marriage?
posted by immlass at 8:36 PM on November 5, 2008


If an infertile couple is the same as a gay couple, then that means it would be the same for you to be with a member of the opposite sex if that person were infertile.

If you had actually bothered to read this thread before you joined, you would have read that that Astro Zombie is straight.
posted by CKmtl at 8:37 PM on November 5, 2008


So I'm curious about something rbecca. If, let's say there was a breakthrough in science and gay couples could have children without any need for a surrogate womb or anything like that, would THAT change your opinion?

I want you to answer that specific hypothetical, and not attempt to sidestep it. Make an effort. If you mean what you say then you should be able to answer honestly.
posted by agress at 8:37 PM on November 5, 2008


If an infertile couple is the same as a gay couple, then that means it would be the same for you to be with a member of the opposite sex if that person were infertile.

I don't really understand what you're saying, but let me see if I can guess correctly. Are you saying that it is different for straight people to have sex than gay people?

Yes. But if your case is the point that the function of marriage is to have children, that isn't relevant. If that's the function of marriage, then anyone who can't have children, or won't have children, should not be allowed to marry.

I don't see how you can disagree with this. And that's why these discussions are a distraction. The fact is, I don't care what half-baked, hair-brained, pseudoscientific hand waving you throw around, and there is no point in arguing it with you. It's all just words you use to justify something much pettier, and meaner, and despicable. The act of imposing your contempt for people who are not like you into law. Justify it all you like, you're just a new version of the same awful people who made intermarriage illegal.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:38 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have six children. I guess mostly I would be afraid that they wouldn't grow with the values that would help them to keep sex for marriage. And I would be afraid that in having sex outside of marriage they would get diseases, or pregnant, and then either an abortion or be a single mom or get married under less than ideal circumstances. Or, that in not saving sex for marriage, they would have a harder time either being faithful to their spouses or staying married.

While not all (or even most) parents want their children to save sex for marriage, I think many parents would be able to relate to some of those worries. I can understand them.

What do they have to do with gay marriage?



Is gay marriage destructive? I think it devalues the contributions of a mother and a father, it says that neither one of them is really important for kids, that they are interchangable. I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children. I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.

I see what you mean. But as many abused and unloved children would tell you, they'd much rather have no parent than have a parent who's staying only out of obligation, not out of love. If a father loved his children and wanted to stay, he would stay - he wouldn't decide against staying because "Look, those lesbian parents manage it fine, so clearly a man isn't necessary." That'd be beyond ludicrous.

Children of single parents grow up to be great people - sometimes with the help of extended family, sometimes with the help of friends, sometimes without outside help at all. Children of gay parents grow up to be great people in the same way - straight or gay, it depends on the parents. Your feeling that there needs to be one man and one woman for good parenting doesn't seem to have much basis apart from "That's how it seems to be for most people I know." A man isn't necessary.
posted by Ira_ at 8:39 PM on November 5, 2008


illiad- Kid's need a dad. A dad can't be replaced by a mom. A mom is not a dad. A mom doesn't offer what a dad offers. Kudos to you if people saying that if your kids were raised without you they would be doing just as well and it doesn't affect your perception of your role.
posted by rbecca at 8:40 PM on November 5, 2008


Ira- Actually, there are studies that show that kids raised by their bioligical parents statistically, overall, do best. Of course that doesn't mean they all do well, or that other children all do badly. It is just a factor that is demontrated overall to significantly help children.
posted by rbecca at 8:42 PM on November 5, 2008


Kudos to you if people saying that if your kids were raised without you they would be doing just as well and it doesn't affect your perception of your role.

Do you know what a non sequitur is?
posted by illiad at 8:42 PM on November 5, 2008


I don't think much of a father whose relationship with his own kids is affected by the knowledge that two women are raising a family of their own.
posted by Tehanu at 8:43 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kids need a dad

Well, that's a whole nother issue. I presume you are for making divorce illegal, and are for legally forcing a child to be with his father, even if he is beaten or molested by the man.

Again, it comes down to one thing: You have a half-baked worldview that you are trying to pass off as values, and you want it made law. But I suspect if my half-baked worldview were made into law, you'd be pretty angry. So why do you get to make the law?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:44 PM on November 5, 2008


...if he shared my values he would be alive.

I lost a partner to AIDS, as well as dozens of friends who like him contracted HIV before the discovery of the disease and understanding the methods of transmission (i.e. before safe sex, etc.). They, like your friend, were sexual beings (like us all) and it is no fault of their own that they were unfortunate to sero-convert. I wonder if your friend contracted HIV/AIDS before we knew all about it. Was he a "guilty" victim and deserving of his fate?

If you care for your 6 children, you should be certain to teach them about safe-sex practises now. After all it could save their life.

Be sure to also read this New Yorker article and recent MeFi thread: Red Sex, Blue Sex --"Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?"
posted by ericb at 8:44 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca You're ignoring questions again. Let me repost my question for you.

So I'm curious about something rbecca. If, let's say there was a breakthrough in science and gay couples could have children without any need for a surrogate womb or anything like that, would THAT change your opinion?

I want you to answer that specific hypothetical, and not attempt to sidestep it. Make an effort. If you mean what you say then you should be able to answer honestly.
posted by agress at 8:45 PM on November 5, 2008


Prop 8 is going back to the CA Supreme Court.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:46 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ira: What do they have to do with gay marriage? The whole structure of Christian marriage cannot be reconciled with gay marriage.
posted by rbecca at 8:46 PM on November 5, 2008


PENISES VAGINAS ANUSES CLITORISES TONGUES LIPS VULVA MOUTH GLANS NERVE ENDINGS PENISES PENIS PENIS PENIS
posted by Burhanistan at 8:47 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


The whole structure of Christian marriage cannot be reconciled with gay marriage.


What would that have to do with me, were I gay and wanted to marry? I am not a Christian.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: I ask for a second time, what do you say to a childfree/childless by choice woman like me who is married? Is my marriage less real or less legitimate in your eyes because I can, deliberately, because of my own actions, never have children? Please consider your answer and its implications.
posted by immlass at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2008


Burhanistan What, no love for the Taint?
posted by agress at 8:49 PM on November 5, 2008


TAINT IS THE BRIDGE TO UNITY
posted by Burhanistan at 8:49 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


We all have taints, unless of course you don't have a pelvis, in which case you might have phantom taint sensations.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:50 PM on November 5, 2008


agress: Let me start off with saying this is my religious belief, so I'm not trying to debate it or convince anyone of it, or have it mandated as law or imposed on anyone else. No, a scientific breakthrough would not change it, because it would not be a natural means of having a child. I believe in the Catholic teachings against artificial insemination, and against artificial contraception. It wouldn't be natural, and natural is big with me.
posted by rbecca at 8:51 PM on November 5, 2008


I believe in the Catholic teachings against artificial insemination, and against artificial contraception. It wouldn't be natural, and natural is big with me.

Well, that's fine, but we're discussing Prop 8. Unless you are saying you would have voted yes on it because you think it's all well and good to force your religious viewpoints on other people through law.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:52 PM on November 5, 2008


Actually, there are studies that show that kids raised by their bioligical parents statistically, overall, do best.

Once again, as asked above on many of your points ... please provide us with citations.

Look. I and others have been able to refute many of your points by counterbalancing them with citations to laws, articles, etc. It's time for you to start backing up your rhetoric.
posted by ericb at 8:53 PM on November 5, 2008


immlass: You could accidently get pregnant, so its good that you are married for the child in case that happens. Or, if it doesn't happen to you, it could happen to another couple who was trying not to have children. So marriage is a safety net for couples who think they won't have children but end up having them. In the Catholic church, you could not get married if you were not open to the possibility of having children. So your marriage couldn't be sacramental, but yeah, legal.
posted by rbecca at 8:54 PM on November 5, 2008


I don't think that's a good tact to take, ericb. So what if kids raised by their biological parents do best overall? Unless there is an argument to be made against adoption, and rbecca wants adoption to be outlawed, it's a moot point.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2008


Good to know, nice to see a straight answer. Thank you.

A mostly unrelated question now: Do children born of artificial insemination or my hypothetical technology be Soulless? If so, would killing them be ok? If not, why not?
posted by agress at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2008


ericb: There are links at the "protectmarriage.com" website.
posted by rbecca at 8:56 PM on November 5, 2008


Actually, there are studies that show that kids raised by their bioligical parents statistically, overall, do best. Of course that doesn't mean they all do well, or that other children all do badly. It is just a factor that is demontrated overall to significantly help children.

Can you link to them for us rbecca?

What do they have to do with gay marriage? The whole structure of Christian marriage cannot be reconciled with gay marriage.

Why not? I know there are Christians who would disagree with you.
posted by Ira_ at 8:56 PM on November 5, 2008


Stop worrying over who fucks whom in the where with the lead pipe.

I don't think that's how you're supposed to play Clue.
posted by oaf at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


agress: No, it wouldn't have an effect on the child. It's not wrong because of how it affects the child, it's wrong because of how it affects the relationship between the couple. (Which actually, in turn, would affect the child.) So the child would be the same as any other child, and it would be wrong to kill them. (Thus my opposition to embryonic stem cell killing.)
posted by rbecca at 8:58 PM on November 5, 2008


Even if every Christian did agree that there can be no gay marriage, that's just an argument for churches not performing gay marriage. It's not an argument for Prop 8. We can get lost in the thicket of Catholic doctrine, but I think it's a total distraction.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:58 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Although I am curious, rbecca. Are you actually making the case that your religious beliefs should be law? How is that fair to people who are not Catholic?

You know, Orthodox Jews won't eat pork. How would you feel if we agitated to make that illegal for everyone?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:00 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been reading this thread in bed on my cell phone and after the natural statement, I just had to come post. Rbecca, I'm a conservative, christian, who has been happily married for over 15 years. I voted for McCain and don't agree with alot of the stuff posted on MeFi but I rarely chime in, I too busy but I have to speak on this. My children are the most beautiful things on this earth and they were conceived with the miracle of modern medicine. Now according to you, they should not exist, I shouldn't have the wonderful, happy marriage that I do and millions of Americans should not be allowed to marry the one that they love. Come to Ga and meet my children, see how solid my marriage is, have dinner with my many gay friends who have been together for years and are welcome and loved in my CHRISTIAN home, then you can form an opinion about me.
posted by pearlybob at 9:00 PM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


ira: Because when asked about divorce, Jesus says that you cannot divorce because God is the one who united you by creating you man and woman, and what God has united let no man separate. Do you care? I'm not trying to make laws that gays can't have whatever committed relationships they want. I just don't want the schools to be undermining Christian beliefs, and I want churches to be able to uphold Christian beliefs.
posted by rbecca at 9:02 PM on November 5, 2008


I just don't want the schools to be undermining Christian beliefs, and I want churches to be able to uphold Christian beliefs.

And what does that have to do with Prop 8?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess mostly I would be afraid that they wouldn't grow with the values that would help them to keep sex for marriage. And I would be afraid that in having sex outside of marriage they would get diseases, or pregnant, and then either an abortion or be a single mom or get married under less than ideal circumstances. Or, that in not saving sex for marriage, they would have a harder time either being faithful to their spouses or staying married. Is gay marriage destructive? I think it devalues the contributions of a mother and a father, it says that neither one of them is really important for kids, that they are interchangable. I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children. I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.

So you equate homosexuality with promiscuity. Fair enough, based on popular culture. But how many gay people do you know? (Celebrities don't count.) As many gays as straights? How much do you know about their sex lives? Do you know straight folks who had sex before marriage or cheated on their spouses? You probably know more quietly gay folks than you think, and probably know more straight people who did not save sex for marriage than you think. Don't you think that's possible? Plenty of people think their sex lives are private.

The problem with the devaluing argument is that it's often so selectively applied. Parents who abuse their spouses or their children devalue marriage -- they devalue the protection and support that a family is supposed to provide. Divorce devalues marriage -- demonstrates that vows are disposable. But no-one is outlawing straight marriage because half of them end in divorce and really, you straight folks, stereotyped as a big group, aren't doing so hot with valuing marriage anyway. Do you want to be lumped in with every straight single parent who abuses their kids and lets them starve? Well, at least their parents aren't gay, so YOU PEOPLE ARE TO BLAME. Well, that's not fair, right?

The thing that makes a lot of us hopping up and down frustrated is that the actions of your neighbors do not undermine anything about your own relationship. Teach your kids the value of hard work and commitment, take care of them, show them your values, raise them in your church. No-one wants to stop this or undermine it. They just want to be permitted to do the same. (By the way, the same is a lot like your same.) Consider it freedom of religion. Eastern Orthodox who follow the Julian calendar don't necessarily celebrate Christmas the same day as most Christian churches. Are they undermining the celebration of the birth of Christ, ruining it for everyone else?

Lesbians aren't lesbians because they're man-haters. No more than straight men who marry blondes are obviously brunette-haters or musicians who marry other musicians are tone-deaf-people haters and athletes are musician-haters or English majors are math-major haters. There's a lot of variation in personality and talent and temperament and in what little niche we define ourselves, and it isn't to the exclusion of other people. You pick who you want to marry because you feel it, regardless of who or what else is out there.
posted by desuetude at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


The whole structure of Christian marriage cannot be reconciled with gay marriage.

As per your form of Christianity. There are Christian denominations, like mine -- the United Church of Christ -- which fully embraces same-sex marriage.

BTW -- this is not a "Christian Nation." There are dozens of other religions practised in the U.S. It is illegal to impose one core set of beliefs in the U.S. Hence, the recognition that discrimination against gays/lesbians is a legal and state issue, not one of religion.

You can keep your religious marriage, but civil marriage should be available to all couples -- straight and gay -- so that the numerous rights, privileges and benefits (i.e. as listed above) that married couples enjoy can be enjoyed by all.
posted by ericb at 9:05 PM on November 5, 2008


astrozombie: no, I'm not saying my beliefs should be law! Proposition 8 wasn't about restricting benefits- those are granted in civil unions. It wasn't about gays being in committed relationships- you are, right? It is about having the public schools indoctrinate the children contrary to my faith, and restricting what churches can teach. You say it isn't, but it is happening in Britain, it is happening in MA (Catholic charities had to close down) and a prominent marriage activist in Canada herself said that the marriage debate would come down to gay rights vs. religious rights.
posted by rbecca at 9:08 PM on November 5, 2008


rbecca: I am surgically sterile, so I cannot accidentally become pregnant. I chose this for many reasons, some of which are medical and others of which have nothing to do with health. I am also, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, probably married to my former husband, whom I married in a church although I am not, myself, religious (never baptized, do not believe in Jesus, etc.). My second marriage was civil, performed by a federal judge.

I'm glad I can get legally married even though your church probably doesn't accept my marriage. When you use the justifications you use against gay marriage, you speak against many straight marriages like mine. Even if I didn't believe it was ethically right, and in fact, morally imperative that the same rights under the law accrue to straights and gays--the right to marry the consenting, adult partner of their choice--I would feel obliged to support them because when you threaten their marriages, you implicitly threaten mine. My marriage is a perfectly good marriage--not a civil union!--and so are those of the many gay people in California and elsewhere who have chosen to unite before the law, and in some cases, before their God.

Legal marriage is bigger than your Church's doctrine, or than the doctrine of any single church. I support your church's right not to perform marriages of homosexual couples; I hope you will come to understand that gay marriages are no threat to yours and support the right of gay people to marry under the law.
posted by immlass at 9:11 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Been fun, good night, won't be back. Blessings to all of you, apologies for any bad feelings I caused.
posted by rbecca at 9:12 PM on November 5, 2008


Fun?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2008


Rbecca, thank you for answering my questions honestly. On that note however, I'm sure you know that I do not share your views, at all (not about the murdering babies thing, but gay marriage.)

I'm sure that you mean well for your part, but you've chosen the wrong site for this. The vast majority here do not share your views either, and you have effectively 0% chance of convincing anyone. I don't mean this as any insult, but a statement of fact. I've been reading in this place for 7 years, and this really is a sysyphean task that you've embarked upon here.

I think the best you can realistically hope for is to congenially agree to disagree.


Don't take this as saying "go away," but rather as an FYI. Obviously, if you wish to continue, you are free to do so, but I do hope you understand you are effectively banging your head against a wall here.
posted by agress at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


t is about having the public schools indoctrinate the children contrary to my faith, and restricting what churches can teach.

There is nothing in Prop 8 that does that. It denies one group of people the right to marry. Schools can still teach whatever they teach, and churches will always be able to teach whatever the hell they want to. You should actually read the proposition before claiming it does something it doesn't.

I am in a committed relationship, but am not gay. I simply have no stomach for bigotry, and, no matter how much you might try to dress it in church doctrine, that is what it is -- it is an intolerance for someone's differences so intense that you must make it law, and all the hand-waving about protecting your children, which Prop 8 DOES NOT DO, is just nonsense to cover up an expression of contempt for something you personally do not like.

I'm sure there are many fine values you are passing on to your children, but I won't mince words about this. Bigotry is not one of them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2008


I just don't want the schools to be undermining Christian beliefs, and I want churches to be able to uphold Christian beliefs.

You can't have it both ways, rbecca. Public schools should be secular, unless you live in a theocracy. You can teach religion at home and at church. At school the kids need to learn how to be rational human beings, which means, once they're 18, they have the choice of keeping or rejecting what religion you've taught them.
posted by illiad at 9:14 PM on November 5, 2008


It is about having the public schools indoctrinate the children contrary to my faith, and restricting what churches can teach.

Once again ... you are completely wrong -- as stated and pointed out above.

You say it isn't, but it is happening in Britain.

Citation again. And ... BTW ... if you can back up your point, this is the U.S., not the U.K.
posted by ericb at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2008


immlass: one last one- In schools when the 96% of them that teach about marriage say that you married a man, it won't undermine what I have taught my children about marriage- that God unites a man and a woman as one by making them male and female. Good night!
posted by rbecca at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2008


Brings to mind a former MeFite, doncha know?

That's what I was thinking, but she seems less intelligent. On the other hand she also has that transparent habit of creating fake stories about her "friends" to support her arguments, and Connie must be dying for the attention at this point. I'd love for one of the mods to check her IP address.
posted by zarah at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ericb- If you care, you can find it on the ads and links at protectmarriage.com If you don't care, why should I waste my time looking up the citations? Good night.
posted by rbecca at 9:17 PM on November 5, 2008


There are links at the "protectmarriage.com" website.

Look lady, the links are linked using the link button.
posted by gman at 9:18 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Zarah- I had no reason to lie. Bob Frankl is my friend who died in Santa Cruz, CA of AIDS. You can research it.
posted by rbecca at 9:20 PM on November 5, 2008


I really wonder what would have been gained there by not calling her a bigot, or discussing her viewpoint in terms of intolerance. From what I could suss out, she really does want her religious worldview to be imposed on other people by force of law, and her brain is so thick with talking points mush that she wasn't really able to respond to conversation, which is hardly surprising, as her task her seemed evangelical.

Honestly, this is not the sort of thing that should be left up to a simple majority, as has been the case in California. The US government is supposed to protect us from the abuses of a wrongheaded majority, in part by recognizing certain innate human rights. When you have someone voting based on the doctrines of their semi-understood religion, and others voting based on ever crueler and nastier bigotries, you have turned over human rights to the mob, who haven't got a long history of respecting them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:21 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


task here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:22 PM on November 5, 2008


Also, I wonder if we've not just been completely and thoroughly trolled.
posted by illiad at 9:22 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can I just use this place to remind you guys that all Christians don't feel this way. I promise. My Christ said nothing about homosexuality, just to love one another and do unto others et all. People like this who give rational Christian conservatives a bad name.
posted by pearlybob at 9:22 PM on November 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I looked at the protectmarriage.com site. There wasn't a single citation of a peer-reviewed study regarding children of same sex parents, effects of same sex unions on children, or opposite sex unions for that matter. It was thin gruel -- some "fact sheets" and cute graphics, but no meat that would support any of your arguments.

In fact much of what you've said here sounded very similar to their talking points. I do not doubt the sincerity of your beliefs, just the evidence (or lack thereof) that you have seemed to base them on.
posted by ltracey at 9:23 PM on November 5, 2008


Phantom taint sensations will befuddle us all.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 PM on November 5, 2008


>Is gay marriage destructive? I think it devalues the contributions of a mother and a father, it says that neither one of them is really important for kids, that they are interchangable. I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children. I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.

This perspective seems to fit into the larger concept of "temptation"... which seems to be common among the monotheistic, and militant, religions.

"My Virtue depends on the Other; when the Other acts in such a way as to cause me to question my Virtue, I must destroy the Other."

rbecca's quote is sort of interesting, in that it's such a direct, forthright expression of the sentiment.

Huh.
posted by darth_tedious at 9:26 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ira: Because when asked about divorce, Jesus says that you cannot divorce because God is the one who united you by creating you man and woman, and what God has united let no man separate. Do you care? I'm not trying to make laws that gays can't have whatever committed relationships they want. I just don't want the schools to be undermining Christian beliefs, and I want churches to be able to uphold Christian beliefs.

But gay people who want to get married don't want to get divorced any more than you do. They want to be in love in a committed relationship that is recognised by the government, with the same rights that straight married couples have - and you're the one stopping them.

Who's stopping your churches from upholding Christian beliefs? How are the schools undermining Christian beliefs? rbecca, they are not Christian schools - and they are not your schools. Just like this is not your Christian world. This is a world you share with others, some Christian, some not, some Christian but with very different interpretations of the Bible than you - and you share this world with them. So, there are no reasons why schools should teach your beliefs. That is your responsibility to do as a parent, in your own time with your kids. If you feel so strongly about the beliefs taught by the schools, you could put your kids into a Christian school. Or home-school them. Or you can vote for amendments that are actually about what is taught is school.

But don't do it by robbing other loving couples of their rights. It's not as if there's too much love in the world - and you're getting in the way. And for what?

My apologies rbecca, I really do have to go to bed (and on preview, you're leaving anyway) - but the impression I get from you makes me sad: to you, marriage doesn't have to be about love; fathers cannot be expected to stay with their children out of love, and could be swayed by the success of lesbian parenting; your friend died from AIDs, so instead of advocating safe sex, you advocate sex only after marriage, because that's the only way you can be sure.

I wish you didn't feel so fearful. It doesn't have to be like this.

But most of all, I wish you wouldn't take out your fears on others. They just want to love and be recognised for their love rbecca. It's not too much to ask in this world.
posted by Ira_ at 9:27 PM on November 5, 2008


Not to worry pearlybob. Christian != bigot. I'm pretty sure many if not most secularists understand this.
posted by illiad at 9:28 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, I wonder if we've not just been completely and thoroughly trolled.
posted by illiad at 9:22 PM on November 5 [+] [!]


Well, at least Matt made another five bucks.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:28 PM on November 5, 2008


Blessings to all of you, apologies for any bad feelings I caused.

And I pray for your children. More specifically the one placing the rubber object in his own orifice. You know who else does that...
posted by gman at 9:28 PM on November 5, 2008


...it is happening in MA (Catholic charities had to close down)

Huh? Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston is alive and thriving...
"[a]s one of the largest providers of social services in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities responds to the needs of the poor and working poor, provides supportive services to children and families, and assists refugees and immigrants as they become active participants in their communities. We offer approximately 140 programs and services in 40 locations across Eastern Massachusetts, which allows us to help nearly 200,000 people each year. This work accomplishes our mission of building a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people."
In 2006 Catholic Charities decided on their own accord to halt adoptions. "We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve. . . . The issue is adoption to same-sex couples."

Again, nothing was forced on them. They chose to shutter one program on idealogical and religious grounds. Their prerogative, their decision.

Once again, so easy to refute your poorly informed ideas and opinions.
posted by ericb at 9:29 PM on November 5, 2008


We have been thoroughly trolled or at least, taken off course. rbecca was here to talk about, as she so nicely put it: Christian marriage. Prop 8 was, of course, about civil marriage, so her points are moot. We're not all talking about the same thing.

Now, if only we could make people understand this little fact, we'd all be better off, and 8 and all the similar ballot measures and constitutional amendments may be sitting in the dung heap of history.
posted by Dreama at 9:30 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Been fun, good night, won't be back.

Riiiight.
posted by ericb at 9:32 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


rbecca, you need to understand that Proposition 8 is functionally the same as the oppresive uses of Islamic Sharia Law. You know, the wearing of burquas, the stoning to death of young women for "infidelity" when they're victims of forced rape.

It's law-making from a theocracy. I'm not sure if you're aware of this but this is supposedly one of the things we're supposed to be fighting in the Middle East. The anti-freedom, anti-democracy oppressive stance that legislation from theocracy brings. Or at least, so I'm told that's what we're doing over there, because they hate our freedom.

To legislate morality is anti-Christian and flies in the face of the concept of Free Agency - that Jesus "died for our sins" so that we may freely choose to follow God. Or not.

Because forced Faith isn't Faith at all, is it?


Meanwhile the Founding Fathers of our country are spinning in their tombs, as they likely never imagined that such a powerful minority of fringe Christians would ever hold so much political power that they could actually modify the Constitution of a Republic to include this kind of discriminatory, bigoted rhetoric.


The vocal Christian minority that helped get this law passed has really, deeply fucked up this time in imposing their views on the rest of us by edict of law. This fight is just getting started.


In closing - how would you like it if the government came and took your kids away because the new laws said that single mothers are entirely unfit to raise children?

Or perhaps you could only get married if you had blond hair, or maybe you're only allowed to have kids if you've graduated college, or test above 120 on an IQ test?



Selfishly I would love such legislation. It should be much harder to have kids. I think people should have to finish a two year bootcamp before having kids. I think people that are too poor to raise kids probably shouldn't start families. You should have to get a license to do something as important and risky as having children. It's more important to society than gun control or licensing cars or business, for sure.

But in reality I would NEVER, EVER work to make this happen. I wouldn't vote for it. I wouldn't speak in favor of it. I would work to defeat any such law.

Because this sort of law is previously known as Eugenics.

Such laws would be morally and ethically wrong and entirely unconstitutional.

Just like Proposition 8 is. And we're going to defeat the hell out of that piece of crap in the courts.
posted by loquacious at 9:33 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


ericb- If you care, you can find it on the ads and links at protectmarriage.com If you don't care, why should I waste my time looking up the citations? Good night.

It's not my job to dig up citations for all of your arguments. I have been able to refute so much of what you have been spewing in this thread that maybe you want to back-up your claims/
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM on November 5, 2008


I would love nothing more than to think that this place had simply been trolled, but her (his?) comments really have hit a bit too close to home for me. Living in a conservative region of the US (I recently moved to Missouri from Kansas,) I find those types of comments seen here (the bigoted ones,) to be far too realistic to just blow off as a simple troll.

That said, at least we've made progress on skin color (I hate the term "race," since it seems to imply a different species) in regards to our presidency.
posted by agress at 9:36 PM on November 5, 2008


But a hateful action is a hateful action. Intent is irrelevant in this situation.

Whether an action is hateful or not depends wholly on the intent behind it. You cannot redefine hate to mean whatever you please.

Welcome to the culture warrior club. But it's OK. You're on the right side, no question. Look how full of hate those people are.

This pretty much nails it, along with Law Talkin' Guy's second comment. If your first response (especially in cases where you're responding to someone playing devil's advocate) is to call someone a hateful bigoted sonofabitch, your argument fails immediately, because you haven't actually argued against them. To increase the likelihood that your side will win, you should keep this sort of utter stupidity in your head—where it belongs—and away from my eardrums.
posted by oaf at 9:37 PM on November 5, 2008


bitter-girl - thanks. I think I grok.

How is it we can get an Assumtion Train out to Hypotheticalville but public transit sucks everywhere else? Unfair, I say! I want affordable public transit to Realitytown!
posted by rtha at 9:40 PM on November 5, 2008


As I've said before, I don't know how this matters. They are acting in a manner consistent with someone who hates. I don't much care whether they actually hate or not. It is their behavior that hurts, not their heart.

If what you're largely concerned with is certain impacts, which is getting back on track from my perspective, then the term "hate" is still maladapted to the discussion.
posted by namespan at 9:40 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro Zombie: I really wonder what would have been gained there by not calling her a bigot, or discussing her viewpoint in terms of intolerance.

I feel as strongly as you do, believe me - but I was testing out the approach MarshallPoe and others were advocating. There are some people who are open to reason - clearly rbecca wasn't one of them. But for all that, I felt like I could see some of her fears, and how they were twisted (by others, I gather) into making gay marriage and premarital sex responsible for everything. I felt somewhat sorry for her. Anyway, it was going to be either this or a shouting match - this may at least be useful for other pro-Proposition 8 people reading this in the future.
posted by Ira_ at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


What do they have to do with gay marriage? The whole structure of Christian marriage cannot be reconciled with gay marriage.

As someone who attends Church basically every Sunday, I really must disagree. My minister is a lesbian who is completely committed to her partner, and would be married to her if our state allowed it. Two of the more prominent members of our church recently got married on a trip to California. No where did their sexuality or their committment to each other stopped them from having the Christian values of tolerance and helping others.

Also, I went to a Catholic University. I really don't see Catholic institutions fading into the dust just because gay people can marry. The Catholic Church has been around for a little under 2,000 years. I don't think allowing gay and lesbian people to marry will cause it to crumble. I know that it wouldn't stop me from sending checks to my alma mater.

I'm still sickened by the enshrining of discrimination into my state constitution. Thank you, Florida. Because having it on the books wasn't enough. We need to put it in the constitution.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whether an action is hateful or not depends wholly on the intent behind it. You cannot redefine hate to mean whatever you please.

Again, I am using it to mean "consistent with the actions of someone who hates." As I said earlier, I don't know that someone who is burning a cross is actually hateful, but I feel pretty comfortable calling that act hateful.

Have you even bothered to read this thread, or did you just see a word, grab your dictionary, and decide to be a persnickety little busybody?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:46 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


JustKeepSwimming: Can it be reversed in Florida? How? What can people in Florida do? I have a friend in Florida, and have been trying to help her find out.
posted by Ira_ at 9:49 PM on November 5, 2008


Female proponents of "traditional marriage" baffle me- do you like the idea of being property?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:50 PM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]



Is gay marriage destructive? I think it devalues the contributions of a mother and a father, it says that neither one of them is really important for kids, that they are interchangable. I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children. I think if a father knows he is priceless to his children, he would be more willing to be there for them. I think lesbian parents undermine that knowledge in a man.


I love bizarre complex rationalizations like this to try and justify hate. I also love that two people who love each other are supposed to sacrifice the status of their relationship and the legal and social perks that go along with it so that another couple's legally sanctioned relationship doesn't fall apart. What sacrifices exactly are the straight couples making for the gay couple? Why does this theoretical burden fall on only a small minority? Oh it's the children, we must all think of the children. Except when those children might be gay and then we tell them that when they grow up and fall in love they can't get married and they shouldn't have children because their love for each other and their children isn't good enough and devalues the very idea of love and family.

Gay people aren't being discriminated against, they can marry a member of the opposite sex exactly the way any one else can.

Yes, because marrying someone for reasons other than those based upon romantic love doesn't devalue the concept of marriage at all. How about we make this really fair then, for everyone. Anyone can marry anyone else as long as it's not the person they want to marry and that person is of the opposite sex. There we go, that would actually be fair and that's what you are doing to gay people.
posted by whoaali at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2008


The only thing I am objecting to, as far as I can see, is legally labling it "marriage" so that schools will teach about it and churches can't teach against it.

How many gays do you know that have only been sexually active with the one person he is spending his entire life with?

AIDS kills, and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children.

I want my beliefs allowed in my church.

If an infertile couple is the same as a gay couple, then that means it would be the same for you to be with a member of the opposite sex if that person were infertile.

I want churches to be able to uphold Christian beliefs.

Lady, are you for real?
posted by oaf at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2008


Meanwhile, back in the world, RealClearPolitics suggests making the battle against marriage equality one of the core principles of the "next" GOP.
posted by digaman at 9:55 PM on November 5, 2008


Have you even bothered to read this thread, or did you just see a word, grab your dictionary, and decide to be a persnickety little busybody?

I hadn't read the whole thing when I posted. If I had, I would have seen that several other people had pointed out your blatant misuse of the word (which you're still redefining willy-nilly, and continuing to misuse).
posted by oaf at 9:57 PM on November 5, 2008


Ira- Actually, there are studies that show that kids raised by their bioligical parents statistically, overall, do best. Of course that doesn't mean they all do well, or that other children all do badly. It is just a factor that is demontrated overall to significantly help children.

Awesome.

Let's see them.
posted by spinifex23 at 9:59 PM on November 5, 2008


All right,. So they are creatures of fucking joy and light who somehow managed to do something that I would previously only have credited to someone who hates.

Happy? Now drop the fucking dictionary and move the fuck on.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:02 PM on November 5, 2008


Oh, and remind me to add this to my homophobia bingo card:

"It's not bigotry or hatefulness that caused me to deny you a human right; we just have a difference of opinion about what the word 'marriage' means."

I think I'll put that one right next to:

"Nobody is denying them any rights. They can still marry someone of the opposite sex, just like everybody."
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:05 PM on November 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ira_, it doesn't look good. There's already a clause in the amendment itself saying that it cannot be overturned by judges. How it effects currently established domestic partnerships is yet to be known. The Miami Herald has an article about what we don't know right now.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:05 PM on November 5, 2008


There's already a clause in the amendment itself saying that it cannot be overturned by judges.

That clause, of course, is valid only if judges don't overturn it.
posted by oaf at 10:12 PM on November 5, 2008


To all y'all GLBT sisses and bros: we're sorry. We'll do better next time. You have my hand and my help, always.
posted by jeeves at 10:13 PM on November 5, 2008


GLBT folks in the U.S., look to Canada for a small beacon. We've had legal gay marriage up here nationwide since 2005, and in B.C. since 2003 (Ontario too, not sure about the other Provinces). Straight marriages haven't collapsed or anything, at least any more than before legal gay marriage.

We pulled it off up here in large part, I think, because Canadians don't have to deal with fundamentalist theocrats like you do. The few that we do have are either ignored or told to STFU when it comes to government.

We did it up here, so we know you can too. Your little, more liberal sibling up north is pulling for ya.
posted by illiad at 10:20 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks, JustKeepSwimming - I've read about the uncertainties too. Can it be changed by another amendment next time round? I perhaps naively can't imagine any law being set in stone. Will update to the thread if my friend and I come across anything useful.
posted by Ira_ at 10:21 PM on November 5, 2008


Clearly I need sleep -- the writing it into the constitution would prevent state judges from overturning it. If we ever get an overturn on a federal level, that would a different story.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:24 PM on November 5, 2008


Can it be changed by another amendment next time round? I perhaps naively can't imagine any law being set in stone. Will update to the thread if my friend and I come across anything useful.

It could happen. I just don't know if it will happen. Our amendment 1 was about changing discriminatory language currently in the constitution. However, that language was there since the early 1900s according to the Florida League of Women Voters.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:33 PM on November 5, 2008


Apologies for being abrupt, oaf. You're either dropping the needle on a record that has already been overplayed, or you have some other point to make. If you're not simply being niggling about proper vocab usage, go ahead and make your point.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:40 PM on November 5, 2008


Been fun, good night, won't be back. Blessings to all of you, apologies for any bad feelings I caused.

Well, I'm glad someone got their jollies tonight.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:06 PM on November 5, 2008


But for all that, I felt like I could see some of her fears, and how they were twisted (by others, I gather) into making gay marriage and premarital sex responsible for everything.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross." —S. Lewis
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:16 PM on November 5, 2008


Astro Zombie: Straight straight straightety straight.
>The sound you hear is hearts breaking all over Metafilter. Sigh.


I've heard whispers that #3 is available. But he's not much of a conversationalist.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:30 PM on November 5, 2008


and my friend who died from it would be alive today if he shared the values I want to pass on to my children.

This is maybe the most jawdroppingly offensive thing I have ever read on metafilter. She's gone right? Good lord...
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:06 AM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was thinking about Canada's same-sex marriage and wondering if there was some way to use NAFTA to challenge DOMA, and/or overrule state prohibitions of same-sex marriage. At least those specific to TN visa immigrants and their same-sex spouses.

From NAFTA:
NAFTA TD Status for Spouses and Children of TN Professionals:
Spouses and children (unmarried children under the age of 21) who are accompanying or following to join TN Professionals may receive a derivative TD status.
Applicants for TD status must demonstrate a bona fide spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal TN Professional.


From DOMA:
Definition of 'marriage' and 'spouse':

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

posted by BrotherCaine at 1:55 AM on November 6, 2008


Several years ago, my boyfriend got a call from his best friend. His best friend's partner, that he has been with for a dozen-odd years was on his deathbed.

He wasn't expected to make it through the night, his lungs were filling with fluid, and he was already on heavy painkillers.

Some family was there, he wasn't particularly close with his family, and his family did not agree with his lifestyle, and did not like his partner (my BF's best friend).

Because they were not legally married, his partner could not be there for him in his final hours, his family would not let him in; and he had no rights to overrule their wishes.

Because they were a partnership and not a married couple, he died alone, surrounded by people who did not really want his happiness. My BF's friend was unable to hold his partners hand and comfort him.

I hope that every person that voted for hate dies the same way. Scared. Alone. In pain.

My 2 cents, tearing up now.
posted by kzin602 at 2:08 AM on November 6, 2008 [11 favorites]


I really think it was her 2 year old kid with the eraser in his nose randomly pressing keys all night, to form, what at first glance, appeared to be coherent thoughts.
posted by gman at 3:39 AM on November 6, 2008


Gman, It was really a clever joint effort of the mods to create an effigy epitomizing prop 8 supporters for us to take our anger out upon. They basically used neural networking and batshitinsane fundamentalist talking points to reprogram ELIZA to respond in the most polarizing matter possible rather than as a rogerian therapist. A good hack, but a computer program can only act so illogically before it breaks down.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:15 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


All I kept thinking was 'NO SHE CAN'T', but she was.
posted by gman at 5:21 AM on November 6, 2008


and then I kept thinking - so this how Palin had the support she did.
posted by gman at 5:25 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


...then I was like, with all the 'what the fuck is Palin gonna do next?' questions going around, she actually decided to drop in on Metafilter.
posted by gman at 5:27 AM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thinking about this thread kept me awake last night (and I had only read the first ~200 comments).

For the far right this was the only bright spot in a bleak day, and unless it comes with a very real cost they will be emboldened and will try to repeat what they have done. But it has to be a cost in currencies that they really really value -- their image and their membership.

I'd like to see a series of TV ads, run in California and in Utah:

1. LDS missionaries knock on door, and a woman holding a baby answers. The missionaries say who they are, and the woman explains that while she and her family are actively looking for a church, they believe in a God who is not petty, irrational, and vindictive. And they couldn't possibly consider a church run by bigots.

2. Same thing, but this time a mixed-race couple answers the door, and they talk about the racist past of the LDS church and point out that the current LDS church has not renounced bigotry, but only redirected it. And they couldn't possibly consider a church run by bigots.

3. Backyard scene, kids, toys, and the Wasatch range in the background. A couple, talking about being raised as Mormons, and being taught about the value of healthy families. And about leaving the church because they couldn't take the hypocrisy of the church spending their tithing on destroying healthy families.

4. Cowboy on horse, handlebar mustache. Talks about the true code of the west -- if your neighbors are not bothering you, you don't stick your fucking nose into their business.

Coupled with these ads would be publicity statements promising that for every dollar LDS spends shitting on our cake, two dollars will be spent pissing in their well and four dollars will be spent attacking Mitt Romney.
posted by Killick at 6:23 AM on November 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Belatedly, you seem to be getting hung up on my use of the word "hateful." That's fine. I see it as a hateful act, but if your point is that if we cannot know that the person hates, we cannot know that the act is truly hateful. Fair enough.

I'll throw out some other words, and let me know which ones you are comfortable with so we can move this conversation forward:

Passing a constitutional amendment disadvantaging a despised minority is a (an) ___________ act.

a. odious
b. reprehensible
c. shameful
d. unconscionable
e. abominable

If you don't like any of those, I can come up with others.


Your use of the word "hateful" is my point. By calling anyone who adopts a position with which you disagree "hateful," and reducing all possible reasons for holding that position to "hate," you're creating the one of the most convenient straw man arguments in American culture, and that result is the same no matter what synonym you use. We've been conditioned to recoil with horror and unequivocally condemn "hate," and branding a person or a position with that label in all cases invokes all those powerfully negative connotations.

Look, if it makes you feel better to think and act like anyone who has a different attitude than you about gay marriage is an odious/reprehensible/shameful/unconscionable/abdominable bigot, be my guest. But you're grossly oversimplifying the reasons some people oppose gay marriage and you're vilifying people who may very well have a good faith (but misguided) stance that's open to revision if they're presented with respectful argument instead of scornful heckling.

In answer to your request for an example of how I'd present the argument, how's this:

Supporting Prop 8 is not rationally defensible. The slippery slope argument fails in light of historical evidence, given that it was made against interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. Any argument based on religious tradition fails because of the Establishment Clause in the federal Constitution. Arguments based on protecting the integrity of marriage are unavailing because the divorce rate between heterosexual couples, along with the festival of arbitrary and biased decisions known as "family law," have already left the integrity of marriage in tatters. In addition, there is no reason to believe homosexual couples marrying would have any appreciable effect on the marriages of heterosexual couples. If you have other reasons, I'd be happy to hear them, but I must confess I'm skeptical that they'd hold water in light of the impetus to provide equal rights to American citizens irrespective of most biological/genetic characteristics.

The argument earnestly tries to engage the reasons for the position on their own terms, not "shame" the proponent or demonize their viewpoint.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy at 6:58 AM on November 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


What ferdydurke said. Exactly.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:06 AM on November 6, 2008


The argument earnestly tries to engage the reasons for the position on their own terms, not "shame" the proponent or demonize their viewpoint.

We're just gonna have to disagree on this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:28 AM on November 6, 2008


24 hours after posting this FPP, I feel more heartsick than ever. Reading through the sanctimonious bigotry of a couple of the people in this thread makes me more furious than I can say -- as if a bunch of KKKers had broken into a black family's home dangling a noose, while claiming that it was a chandelier. While the rest of the world is deservedly ecstatic over Obama's victory, I spent a lot of yesterday weeping. My husband and I had waited so long for that day. And this morning I have to read the words of hate-monger Lou Engle, whose brand of Christianity would be unrecognizable to Jesus Christ, say that the people who voted for Proposition 8 were "Fighting for their families."

This is my family, and the 14 years of loving respect and care that my husband and I have given one another are not subject to a vote. We're married in the eyes of our friends and families, including my late father, who attended a beautiful ceremony that Keith and I had five years ago, when we thought we would never be able to be legally married. My dad was very happy that day, and loved Keith very much. It was also the last time I saw him, because he died a couple of months later.

Dad, we're still fighting.
posted by digaman at 7:31 AM on November 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


How bout this one? I hate astro zombie!
posted by ChickenringNYC at 7:33 AM on November 6, 2008


The problem with folks like rbecca (who is pretty much the person Law Talkin' Guy seems to be talking about) is that they generally can't be approached and convinced by reason. We just tried that--demonstrated that straight marriages fail under the tests she wants to apply to gay marriages, talked about the reasons why Prop 8 has nothing to do with what she fears, etc.--and it all seemed to come down to "I'm squicked by folks who have teh buttsecks getting married and I don't want anyone telling my kids it's OK". You can't argue rationally with squick.

Public shaming of bigots is appropriate. It's slowly working on shutting up racists and sexists; let's apply it to homophobes. It's not the only tool in our arsenal, but it is a valuable and legitimate tool. And saying "That's bigoted" (or hateful) "and I don't want to hear it in my presence" is powerful.

I'm so sorry the gay members of MeFi and the Christians who don't share rbecca's bigoted views had to hear that, and that the gay folks had to see how little their human rights are valued one more time, even after Prop 8. I look forward to a day when that sentiment is driven out of the realm of acceptable public discourse.
posted by immlass at 7:48 AM on November 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


I hate astro zombie!

That's fair. I am hateful.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:00 AM on November 6, 2008


Astro Zombie. No you're not! You remind me of a lovely flower, about which I wrote the following 5000 line poem...

Nice job with rbecca.I'd have chimed in, but unlike you folks I have to sleep.
posted by MarshallPoe at 8:13 AM on November 6, 2008


Statement from Gloria Allred, lawyer who has filed one of the new Prop 8 lawsuits:
"On May 15, 2008, after we waged a four year long legal battle we finally won a landmark victory in the California Supreme Court for same gender couples who wished to marry in California.

Last night, opponents sought to reverse that decision with Proposition 8 in which they once again sought to restrict legal marriage to a man and a woman. That Proposition appears to have passed by a narrow margin.

As a result, today we will file a writ with the California Supreme Court on behalf of Robin Tyler and her spouse, Diane Olson, challenging its constitutionality on several grounds. In our case in May, the California Supreme Court ruled that the Equal protection clause in our California Constitution protects the rights of lesbians and gays to marry the person of their choice and the court, for the first time, recognized homosexuality as a "suspect classification" under the equal protection clause of our state constitution, thereby requiring a strict scrutiny test which test was not and cannot be met (the court so held) in marriages limited to a man and a woman. Prop 8, if it passes, conflicts with the equal protection clause. If marriage is now limited to straight couples and excludes gay couples then it is inconsistent and in conflict with the equal protection clause. We will argue to the court that Prop 8 is a disguised revision to the constitution which cannot be imposed by the ordinary amendment process, which only requires a simple majority. We believe that then the court must hold that California may not issue marriage licenses to non-gay couples because if it does it would be violating the equal protection clause as straight couples would have more rights by being allowed to marry than gay couples.

If Prop 8 had said that the California constitution was amended to limit marriage to people of the same race only, would that be constitutional under our state constitution? Of course not as it would violate the equal protection clause and the seminal case of Perez v. Sharp which the Supreme court decided sixty years ago.

We will also argue that Prop 8 improperly revises the Supreme Court’s recent opinion defining the constitutional fundamental right of marriage The state constitution provides that revisions to the constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the legislature or the convening of a state constitutional convention, and a proposition requiring only 50% is not available to the electorate to accomplish the revision to our equal protection clause.

Lastly, the constitutional requirement of separation of powers, we will argue, does not permit the use of the Proposition format to remove and /or circumvent the judiciary in determining the interpretation of what is or is not a fundamental liberty right and who is and who is not protected by the equal protection clause.

The apparent passage of Prop 8 in California has been a heartbreaking experience for our clients, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, and millions of other same gender couples who have married or wish to marry in California and throughout the nation. All they have asked for is equal rights under the law and equal respect and dignity for their families and their committed relationships.

Our law firm is honored to continue this great civil rights battle for them. We will never give in and we will never give up. We will continue to be the change we wish to see in the world and we will never have another season of silence until same gender couples enjoy the same rights as non-gay couples on this green earth."
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I feel a little better today. Fighting with you all helped - it energized me. Going home and watching some stupid TV helped (well, it wasn't stupid - MythBusters, Rachel Maddow, Daily Show, plus a little NCIS thrown in). Watching this video and looking at these pictures also helped. And now I'm off to talk to the guy who runs our matching gifts program here at work about exactly how to properly fill out my matching gifts form so I can give lots of money to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which spearheaded the campaign that brought us May's Supreme Court decision, and which will also be spending a ton of money on fighting to overturn Prop 8.

Yesterday was for weeping and wailing and railing. Today it's time to get up. Time to donate time and money, time to organize, educate, fight.
posted by rtha at 9:43 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


BBC News: Aerial footage appears to show Los Angeles police beating a protester in their custody at a rally against the banning of same-sex marriage [video].
posted by ericb at 9:44 AM on November 6, 2008


Hmmm...what if the No on Prop 8 people went in business as Yes on Prop 8 people and then spent the next ten years draining cash from the Mormons and Catholics.
posted by troybob at 10:23 AM on November 6, 2008


Wow. I'm pretty glad I came to all of this too late. I usually don't feed the trolls, but as someone who just had a straight marriage outside of the church with no intention of having kids, let's just say I was getting very incensed.

I'm deeply ashamed that a nation who could come together for this election voted Prop 8 in. I've never seen any reason to restrict the rights of homosexual couples.

Of course, I'm more ashamed to be in a state (KY) that would have done the same, who voted to keep the Minority leader in place, and who voted in a Judge based on her pretty young face and name recognition.

I'm happy for the nation. I weep for some states.
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:44 AM on November 6, 2008


*ring*
"Hi, this is Anne Marie."
"Hi, this is Josh. I volunteered on No on 8."
"Yeah?"
"Yeah, so since you were my contact… I guess, I guess I just wondered, what now?"
"What now?"
"Yeah."
"What… Hold on, lemme ask… [Away from phone: Anyone know what's happening next on 8?] We don't know. Wait and see, I guess."
"Wait and see?"
"Yeah."
"I'm sorry… That fucking sucks."
[Pause]
"Yeah, it fucking sucks."
"Sorry."
"Yeah… Wait and see."
"Yeah."
*click*
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Law-talking guy, it's not just the adoption of a position that's at issue here. You can have all the backwards, bigoted, ridiculous opinions you want. That doesn't hurt anyone. You can spew said backwards, bigoted, ridiculous opinions freely. It's offensive, but it causes no actual harm.

But what happened with this vote wasn't a mere difference of opinion. Going into a booth and voting yes on CA Prop 8 or the measures in Arkansas, Florida and Arizona was more than just believing something, it was an affirmative, intentional action. It was an action that, whether the actors believed so or not was a unquestionable attack on the freedoms, rights and autonomy of others. It was an action of solidarity, recognized or not, with the worst sort of bigots and supremacists.

Now if you want to argue that one can throw in their lot with haters and not be a hater themselves, fine. But that doesn't change that taking part in something that will, by design, harm other people is never a value-neutral thing to do. And it is certainly much more than simply holding a contrary opinion.
posted by Dreama at 10:54 AM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just spoke with a co-worker - who relayed a conversation that she had with another of our co-workers: "I bet _____(a gay guy in our office who recently got married) is happy that Prop 8 passed."

She was pretty upset when she had it explained to her. People just don't read anymore.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


POSITIVE: Jared Schutz Polis made history on Tuesday by being the first openly gay non-incumbent male elected to the United States Congress.

I don't understand this. Barney Frank was elected in 1980 and the article specifically mentions Frank in the same sentence that it makes this claim. Frank wasn't an incumbent when he won the first time, so that would make him the first out non-incumbent man, would it not? A year later they gerrymandered his district to stack, pack, and crack his constituents and forced him to run against an incumbent Republican. He beat her as well.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:20 AM on November 6, 2008


Didn't know if this was really worth a FPP, but anyone interested in all the California 2008 Propositions, they're listed here in fancy flash form, with 100.0% ( 25,423 of 25,423 ) precincts partially or fully reporting as of Nov. 6, 2008, at 10:07 a.m.

troybob - I don't think the Mormons and Catholics would notice much, except when Prop 8 was overturned. I don't think their coffers in danger of going empty. The Mormons alone own huge ... tracts of land (alternate one-page view with cover and links here).

The shotgun blast of implications that Yes on 8 spread is part of the problem. You've got so many issues covered by gay marriage that it's not just one person's comfort or discomfort with gay people - it's people worried about forcing teachers to teach certain things, making churches, caterers, photographers and anyone else involved with the wedding industry deal with clients they don't want to deal with. Yes, it's all connected by discomfort/ bigotry of gays, but by broadening the reasons beyond the gay lifestyle (which is getting less and less controversial as there are more gay people in the public view living normal lives), you get a wider appeal, especially from people who want less government control in general.

If those "protections" were torn down as foolish notions (teachers teach what exists, like gay couples who adopt children; no one should discriminate because of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation), then Prop 8 would have failed.

My question is, why would you want to get married somewhere that didn't have the same ideals as you? In my mind, it could be akin to a orthodox Jewish couple wanting to be married in a quaint little chapel because they liked the look. My wife and I didn't get married in a church or by any religious person, but in a nice garden by my relative who is "ordained" through the Universal Life Church, where you can become a Jedi Knight for $7.99 USD. My wife is Catholic (but not terribly strict in her followings), and we didn't want to have to follow the rules of the Church-ordained wedding. Why try forcing a church to allow you to get married there? Photographers and florists should be non-denominational and open to all, because their work is not religious.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:26 AM on November 6, 2008


Pollomacho: he didn't come out until 87, at which point he was an incumbent.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:28 AM on November 6, 2008


Pollomacho - Barney Frank was elected in 1980, and came out in 1987. He already had 7 successful years in office prior to being openly gay and being then re-elected.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 AM on November 6, 2008


Well, the idea of getting married wasn't all that important to me until Republicans started turning it into an election issue. I was patient, figuring we were waiting for the old people to die off and take their prejudices with them. But the argument and tone of the anti-gay-marriage thing is so disingenuous, and forgive me if I don't insult its supporters by saying they are ignorant or just don't understand the issues. Their weak justifications, like the empty 'gay marriage is a threat to traditional marriage', are intended only to rationalize their position, the way the anti-Clinton crowd kept saying, 'it's not about the sex, it's' about the lying.'

People feel powerful when they have the ability to deny something to other people. I thought the language around the Supreme Court ruling was very telling on this; the opponents kept referring to how the courts tried to get around the will of the voters (as if such will were valid, say, if we wanted to legislate lower pay for women). The attitude is that the minority are beholden to the majority, that we must earn their permission. Unfortunately, they employ a Catch-22: they get to say that gay relationships are not legitimate while at the same time denying the single path to legitimacy.
posted by troybob at 11:44 AM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dreama, I'd like to respond to what you said because I think you explicitly stated what others here are hinting at.

It was an action that, whether the actors believed so or not was a unquestionable attack on the freedoms, rights and autonomy of others. It was an action of solidarity, recognized or not, with the worst sort of bigots and supremacists.

Now if you want to argue that one can throw in their lot with haters and not be a hater themselves, fine. But that doesn't change that taking part in something that will, by design, harm other people is never a value-neutral thing to do. And it is certainly much more than simply holding a contrary opinion.


The point is that responding to a person who does a "hateful" thing out of some intention other than hate, with, effectively: "YOU HATE FAGS" is that the likeliest response -- to themselves, if not to you, is "No, I don't. What you said doesn't apply to me. You're mad at someone else." If your message is "What you did is abominable [from the list above]" you may get a shrug but at least they know you are in fact talking about them. The best course being, naturally, "What you did is abominable because..."

Are some of these hateful people? No doubt. You want to lose the rest? Because it's easier? Because it's satisfying to blow them off? In my optimism, I believe that the "haters" are the true minority, and are a small proportion compared to the thoughtless, the unsympathetic, the ignorant, and the scared. Yes, at the end of the day, the word "hate" has meaning. So if you address your message to those who hate, you've already lost half the audience.

The question is whether or not you care.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:11 PM on November 6, 2008


My question is, why would you want to get married somewhere that didn't have the same ideals as you?

Why try forcing a church to allow you to get married there?

You seem to think Proposition 8 would have forced churches to marry homosexual couples. It would not have.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:14 PM on November 6, 2008


Prop 8 Opponents to Hold 2 PM Action at L.A.'s Mormon Temple
"Leading supporters of marriage equality will hold a news conference at 2 pm today in front of the Mormon Temple in the Westwood area of Los Angeles (at the corner of Selby and Santa Monica Blvd) in response to the Mormon church’s leading role in the deceptive advertising campaign for Proposition 8. Lorri L. Jean, CEO, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Jorge Valencia, Executive Director, Point Foundation , and Rev. Neil Thomas, Metropolitan Community Church will speak.

In related news, another group has begun an online petition to Arnold Schwarzenegger over the issue. Over 60,000 have signed as of this posting."
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on November 6, 2008


Why try forcing a church to allow you to get married there?

You seem to think Proposition 8 would have forced churches to marry homosexual couples. It would not have.


Exactly. This is about civil marriage (rights, privileges and benefits) and not religious marriage. Once again, we're talking about Separation of Church and State. The state can not compel any religious institutition to marry same-sex couples, can not prohibit them from teaching and speaking against gay marriage, etc.
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on November 6, 2008


...making churches, caterers, photographers and anyone else involved with the wedding industry deal with clients they don't want to deal with....Photographers and florists should be non-denominational and open to all, because their work is not religious.

Religions don't have to get involved at all. They can refuse to provide religious marriages to same-sex couples. The state can not compel them to do anything vis-a-vis same-sex unions.

As regards to businesses -- refusing products and services based on objection to someone's sexual orientation is forbidden in the many states that prohibit discrimination based on such a distinction.

It has nothing to do with religious beliefs, but as a matter of "public accomodation."

Take for example the state of New Mexico finding against Elane Photography which, as a commercial business, refused to provide services to a same-sex couple. In the Elane Photography case the New Mexico Human Rights Commission "...found that Elane Photography, as a commercial business, provided a public accomodation and could not, under law, discriminate based on sexual orientation." (Previous FPP).
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on November 6, 2008


“Not being able to be married to the person they are attracted to isn't discrimination.” - rbecca

Taking your point about attraction. However the emphasis is on ‘not able’ and ‘discrimination.’
So, what Doublewhiskeycokenoice sed about interethnic (*sigh* interracial) marriage is valid

I dated a black woman for a while. I’d be pretty upset if some fed came and told me we couldn’t get married because our skin tones were different.

Now, taking what I assume to be your point about attraction being arbitrary - that is - taking it as valid for sake of illustration here - the state should not grant certain civil rights that it grants to spouses to, say, a tree if someone wishes to have sex with or ‘marry’ a tree.
Minors, of course, can’t enter into contracts so that’s right out as well.

However - that doesn’t mean the state has a right to assign any limits on the nature of my relationship given that it recognizes my partner (singular - as per my above argument) as a full citizen.

And if I am a pedophile - there are ages of majority set by the states, or were, as low as 14.
Now I might not agree with that socially.

But the only legitimate argument I would have in using the force of law to stop it is that a 14 year old is not recognized in other ways as a full citizen (right to vote, for example).

So even granting your point - not allowing two citizens to enjoy the benefits the state grants to others who it regards in all other ways as full citizens (they have to pay taxes, they can vote, etc) is exclusionary based on an arbitrary trait - a fact of their sex or their color or religion - not on any real difference.
It is therefore - by definition - discriminatory.
And again - even under your own terms.
(which I could take issue with otherwise, but for the - perhaps futile - sake of brevity, didn’t)

And I don’t buy any arguement from gay folks who will have sex with a guy, but argue against marrying one. Sounds suspiciously like someone dodging commitment to me. Or they have no balls (integrity, moral courage) whatsoever.

Further, I see no reason why two homosexual people would - for that reason alone - not be good parents.
I’m pretty strongly pro-life (with the exception of using legal means to enforce it) and more loving adoptive parents would mean less abortions.

“I think that could make parent feel like they are less necessary to their children, and maybe less willing to work through a difficult marriage for the sake of the children.” - rbecca

Again, allowing this point to stand for the sake of argument: why should my tax dollars go to make a parent feel more like parenting? Or stay in a marriage?

There are plenty of people who want to be parents. There are plenty of people who want to be married.
As far as I’m concerned the more loving marriages and loving parents there are - no matter their relationship - the stronger it makes my own.
When I go to the park, I want to see loving parents who want to be with their kids. I don’t want to see people phoning it in because they think they have to.
Don’t want a kid? Don’t have one.

Don’t feel like a real man and raising your kids? Plenty of people who can’t have them who want them.
If someone’s marriage can’t stand without my moral or financial support, to hell with them.
My wife and I are a strong, stable, loving couple who love our kids.
Matter of fact, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than be with my family. That’s my idea of heaven.
With the exception of the pipe and slippers we’re a 50’s stereotype, right down to my Johnny Unitas crewcut.

Last thing I need is some hypocrite next to me at the swings eyeing my wife’s (magnificent, really) ass because he can’t get it up with his own and half-heartedly pushing his kid with one hand because he’s on a cel phone.

I’d rather have a flaming stereotype next to me simpering about how absolutely fabulous a day it is to jump in the leaves - and not eyeing my ass (not because it’s not gorgeous, because it is) but because he actually loves his kid and has his head in parenting.

Someone doesn’t have the balls for parenting, it’s not my, or the governments, job to coddle them.

Furthermore - it’s not my job to make sure anyone else walks what they talk. Someone wants to save themselves for marriage - great. They can’t? That’s their problem. Not mine.
Plenty of religions that allow polyamory, gay marriage - all sorts of things. Whether I have a taste for that or not it is not my concern nor should it be my duty (and I mean literally - tax duty) to support their internal belief system.

My only concern is equibility under the law.
As far as I’m concerned it harms my children to see another group of people oppressed for any reason.
It doesn’t harm my children to see two people who love each other. The more love there is in the world, the better their future.

So I want to make justice: fair and equal.

I don’t care how love is made.

“Can someone explain to me in fairly small words how someone who's, say, married to two people gets more gifting etc. than someone who's married to one person?”

as per ericb’s comment and
link
There are tax benefits, estate planning and government benefits that someone could radically game.
Ceding of course that without these types of benefits polygamy would not be discriminatory.

Maintaining them or not, whether to and how to change the law to make it fair for all - whole other issue.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2008


(Yes, I’ know I’m late here, just had to give structure to the argument)
posted by Smedleyman at 12:40 PM on November 6, 2008


Pollomacho: he didn't come out until 87, at which point he was an incumbent.

Pollomacho - Barney Frank was elected in 1980, and came out in 1987. He already had 7 successful years in office prior to being openly gay and being then re-elected.


Ah, OK, thanks for the clarification. Of course, if you have ever met Frank, he wouldn't have to actually announce that he was gay for you to figure it out. It's not like he's ever exactly been flying under the gaydar. I didn't realize that he'd ever had to make such an announcement, but I suppose times have changed.

This is about civil marriage (rights, privileges and benefits) and not religious marriage. Once again, we're talking about Separation of Church and State. The state can not compel any religious institutition to marry same-sex couples, can not prohibit them from teaching and speaking against gay marriage, etc.

On the flip side of this however is that marriage is a religious rite forced upon the people who want their partnership recognized by the state.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:42 PM on November 6, 2008


Over 60,000 have signed as of this posting...

Language from the petition makes things crystal-clear vis-a-vis Prop 8:
Facts v. Fiction:

*****
Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gay people.

Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

*****
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. California’s top educators including Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell and California Teachers all agree: Prop 8 has nothing to do with education.

*****
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.

Fact: The court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

*****
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.

*****
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…

Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. Prop 8 is about whether Californians are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.

*****
Fiction: If Prop 8 isn’t passed, people can be sued over personal beliefs.

Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.

*****
Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.

Fact: The University has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.

*****
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, California parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
posted by ericb at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


On the flip side of this however is that marriage is a religious rite forced upon the people who want their partnership recognized by the state.

Huh? I have a brother and three friends who all were married in their County Courthouses and never had nor sought a religious rite of marriage.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the present case, it is readily apparent that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples clearly is more consistent with the probable legislative intent than withholding that designation from both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples in favor of some other, uniform designation. In view of the lengthy history of the use of the term "marriage" to describe the family relationship here at issue, and the importance that both the supporters of the 1977 amendment to the marriage statutes and the electors who voted in favor of Proposition 22 unquestionably attached to the designation of marriage, there can be no doubt that extending the designation of marriage to same-sex couples, rather than denying it to all couples, is the equal protection remedy that is most consistent with our state's general legislative policy and preference.

--from In re Marriage Cases, Supreme Court of California, May 15, 2008 (full text here)

The word "marriage" has grown past the solely religious case and become secularized, and the California Judiciary, at least, seems to think that makes it a word worth protecting and extending to cover everyone.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:13 PM on November 6, 2008


On the flip side of this however is that marriage is a religious rite forced upon the people who want their partnership recognized by the state.

You can get married in a religious ceremony only. However, don't expect to receive the numerous benefits that the government provides without the registration of your marriage with the state.

You can get married in a civil ceremony. However, you don't have to deal with any of the religious hou-haa and can expect to receive the numerous benefits that the government provides.

And if your gay, your shit-out-of-luck in the vast majority of places in this United States. Thank God I live in Massachusetts -- the home of many "firsts." Let's hope our 2004 Same-Sex Marriage Revolution is yet another "Shot Heard Around the World Nation" (as many other countries are already so far ahead of us in this regard).
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on November 6, 2008


Thanks to reading this thread, in a discussion this morning I used "hurters" and "actions with hurtful consequences" instead of "haters" and its derivatives. It seemed, in this case, to get one important point across (Yes on 8 hurts people) without detours into arguments about intention. (Different detours abound, but at least the one about intention was circumvented.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:23 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh? I have a brother and three friends who all were married in their County Courthouses and never had nor sought a religious rite of marriage.

You just said they were married. Marriage is a religious rite, just because you can have a judge do it does not make it less so, just ask those that decry gay marriage as somhow defying its sanctity.

Further, those who would conduct the ceremonies are required to be authorized by the state, so the state defines who is considered to be a minister. How is that not interferance into the free practice of religion?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:23 PM on November 6, 2008


You just said they were married. Marriage is a religious rite, just because you can have a judge do it does not make it less so...

Once again ... religious marriage and civil marriage are two separate things.

In the case of my brother (an atheist) no religion was involved. His marriage was secular. There were no religious words, invocations to God, emblems or rites involved. A government representative acknowledged their union ("By the authority vested in me by the State of Colorado I pronounce you husband and wife..."). Civil marriage. Not religious marriage.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2008


The word "marriage" has grown past the solely religious case and become secularized

Apparently not otherwise religious zealots wouldn't have gotten this bigoted tripe passed in the land of fruits and nuts. Clearly this term is still fraught with religious connotation. Why not simply abandon the term for all people altogether and simply licence contractual partnerships? Let the churches fight over their own dogma and move on.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:32 PM on November 6, 2008


Justices of the Peace and others deputized by the county are not defined as ministers. They are public servants granted the right to marry others. NO RELIGION IS INVOLVED. Once again, separation of church and state!
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on November 6, 2008


There were no religious words

Except for marriage, husband, wife... those are religious terms, abandon them.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2008


Justice of the Peace -- United States.
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on November 6, 2008


There were no religious words. Except for marriage, husband, wife... those are religious terms, abandon them.

Oh, really? Cite, please.

They are indeed secular words.
posted by ericb at 1:36 PM on November 6, 2008


"Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction."
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on November 6, 2008


Except for marriage, husband, wife...

So since my brother got married (with no religious component) he isn't really married by your definition. He is not a husband; his bethrothed not his wife. Really?
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Marriage is a religious rite, just because you can have a judge do it does not make it less so, just ask those that decry gay marriage as somhow defying its sanctity.


No.

Having a judge conduct a marriage does exactly that, it takes marriage out of the religious context and makes it a civil arrangement recognized by the government only. It has no religious significance. Just because we call both "marriage" does not make them the same thing. There are religious marriages recognized by various churches and then there are civil marriages recognized by the state. Prop 8 ONLY affects civil marriages. The previous ruling by the CA court legalizing same sex marriage also ONLY affected civil marriages.
posted by whoaali at 1:42 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am fully aware of "civil marriage" laws, guys, thanks. That is not the problem, the problem is marriage itself is a term fraught with religious meaning and history and is a convention that should not be forced upon those who do not want to participate in religious rites. Once again, seperation of church and state! Avoid calling any union a marriage, join partners or have unions for all, period. If bigots and fundies continue to have a problem with that, well then they can continue to not have gay marriage rites in their churches.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:42 PM on November 6, 2008


Why not simply abandon the term for all people altogether and simply licence contractual partnerships? Let the churches fight over their own dogma and move on.

I can back that position. If people are so hung up on "words," let's move past that to the concepts of equal rights, privleges and benefits.
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on November 6, 2008


The mixture of religion and legal contract is silly. It's like taking an oath in court and being required to add, "cross my heart and hope to die."
posted by troybob at 1:44 PM on November 6, 2008


From here:

"A major purpose of the Constitution is to protect minorities from majorities," said Elizabeth Gill, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups suing on behalf of the six unmarried couples.

"If allowed to stand, Prop. 8 so devastates the principle of equal protection that it endangers the fundamental rights of any potential electoral minority," said San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

Most of the population is right-handed. But, we don't allow a majority right-handed population to outlaw left-handed knitting.

Most of the population who worship do it on Sunday. But, we don't allow a Christian majority to outlaw worship on other days of the week by Jews, Muslims and others.

Most of the population who marry, marry someone of the same race. But, thankfully, we no longer allow a majority of same-race couples to outlaw mixed-race marriages.

...any measure allowing a majority of the public to take away minority rights violates principles of equality at the heart of the state Constitution.

Prop 8 can't possibly stand up in court, can it?
posted by marsha56 at 1:51 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


It may also interest you to know that in order to get a domestic partnership between opposite-sex people in California, one of them has to be at least 62 years of age. Make sense?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:52 PM on November 6, 2008


Keith and I were married by a county clerk at City Hall who was not a minister. There were no religious terms used in the ceremony, though I did appreciate the shoji screen in the room that made it look rather Zen. The clerk was very earnest and diligent, and did everything he could to help us appreciate the solemnity of the moment in a completely secular context. My mother didn't need any help, and must have gone through a box of Kleenex.
posted by digaman at 2:02 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once again, seperation of church and state! Avoid calling any union a marriage, join partners or have unions for all, period. If bigots and fundies continue to have a problem with that, well then they can continue to not have gay marriage rites in their churches.

I'm not willing to deny the fact that my legal opposite-sex secular union was termed a "marriage" in order to make a bunch of bigots feel better. As the ruling I quoted above states, the word that is used in legal terminology to define that specific family relationship is "marriage," and changing the words to make everyone feel better about it violates equal protection.

My atheist friends who consider themselves legally married are equally annoyed at the attempt to remove the legal term from their marriages and assign it solely to the churched (someone upthread also had that complaint, I believe).

As digaman said, he was raised in the same society as everyone else and he wants to participate in the institution of marriage. Playing the "well, civil unions for all!" card seems, to me, to attempt to dodge the struggle that gays and lesbians are waging right now, and I can't bring myself to do that.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I believe that the "haters" are the true minority, and are a small proportion compared to the thoughtless, the unsympathetic, the ignorant, and the scared.

Just the same, I think it is very valuable to point out to the "thoughtless, unsympathetic, ignorant and scared" just who it is that they've joined forces with, and I think it's important to do so in the most forceful, though not shrill or pejorative, terms possible. What we are talking about is so serious, so significant, that the time of sugar-coatings and diplomacy in the name of gentle persuasion is past.

With the exception of the fundamental truth that a "no" vote on 8 would allow gays to continue to marry in California, every other word of the "yes" platform was a blatant, pandering lie. The great failure of the No on 8 campaign was not jumping up and down and pointing and yelling "Liars! You're liars! You're great big lying liars who lie with lies!" in the loudest, clearest voices possible. They tried subtle persuasion. They tried appeals to the better angels of our nature. The results of the vote show fairly clearly that such reach across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation and naive Anne Frankish assumptions about the little nugget of good in the heart of every man aren't enough.

When it comes right down to it, we shouldn't ever be putting one of the "basic civil rights of man," (per the SCOTUS) up to a popular vote to begin with. That way lies madness and tyranny. But since we've somehow fashioned in our heads that this is in some way acceptable, then the stakes need to be clear. If it offends someone to hear that voting to deprive a segment of fellow citizens of their civil rights is an allegiance with hate, that it is a harmful, evil thing to do, that they are complicit with agents of bigotry when they cast such a ballot, then maybe they should think about whether or not they should (have) vote(d) that way. I am not responsible for their feelings of offense or guilt, I am responsible, as a member of a society, to do my part to protect the rights of minorities who are always outnumbered, and sadly, always at risk.
posted by Dreama at 2:07 PM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


There's a protest going on at the LDS temple in Los Angeles as we speak. I'm down the street from it about a quarter mile. A huge load of riot police just went by on some kind of special truck, all packing riot shields and zip-cuffs. About 15 cruisers (including various Men in Black) followed. There was even a park ranger in the convoy.

I'm getting on my bike and heading over.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:19 PM on November 6, 2008


Be careful, snuffleupagus. Stay safe and let us know what you're seeing and hearing.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2008


It may also interest you to know that in order to get a domestic partnership between opposite-sex people in California, one of them has to be at least 62 years of age. Make sense?

I have been having a conversation with a friend in L.A. on-and-off today. He and his partner have a domestic partnership in California which they obtained before this year. We're trying to suss out the difference between a "domestic partnership" and "same-sex marriage." There is the issue of "separate but equal," a 'second-class" status, as well as the fact that a "same-sex married" couple from Massachusetts would not be recognized in California as either a marriage or a domestic partnership. This is due to the fact that California statute prohibits recognition of another jurisdiction's validly performed same-sex marriage.

What other differences are there between "domestic partnerships" and "same sex marriages" in California?
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2008


What we are talking about is so serious, so significant, that the time of sugar-coatings and diplomacy in the name of gentle persuasion is past.

Is it more important than racism? Is that fight won, now that Obama is in the House? Because when I hear the man speak to those who didn't vote for him, and say that he will be their President, too, I know, you know, he knows, that numbered among those he is addressing are those who wouldn't vote for him because of racist beliefs. And he's moving past it. He's going to show them leadership that will turn some of those people around. Sure, only some of them. But what he doesn't do is say "Fuck you!" to those people.

Yes, by all means, point out that people who have voted for Prop 8 have, if we cannot discern their motives, aligned themselves with those who make their motives all too clear. I'm behind that completely. I just think that arguments from association are weaker than going to the root of their beliefs, if they're willing to go there with you. Sometimes they are; sometimes not.

(and if you leave aside motive, it's a weak argument, period. I don't discount it out of hand because we're talking about effectiveness, but any similarity you might have to the actions of a racist are meaningful only to the extent that your motives align. Maybe you listen to German metal because you like to thrash. Maybe he does because it's the music of the master race. Let's not drag an important issue like Prop 8 to the level of superficialities.)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:25 PM on November 6, 2008


How is it we can get an Assumtion Train out to Hypotheticalville but public transit sucks everywhere else? Unfair, I say! I want affordable public transit to Realitytown!

Ah, I love you, rtha! that was awesome. It made up for all the hot troll action in this thread. I had to put the computer DOWN last night and stop reading before my eyeballs bled...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:26 PM on November 6, 2008


Bobtroy and I were married on a ranch in California's Central Valley, where our favorite musicians live, but which happens to be bigtime pro-Prop 8 territory. (We've been lucky in the past few years to meet the best people there.) One guy played Tesla's Love Song on guitar to start off, and then our friend who got ordained just for this sang the entire ceremony and accompanied himself on guitar and harmonica. (The harmonica Here Comes the Bride was particularly neat.) No religious stuff, though.
posted by troybob at 2:27 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


“Of course, if you have ever met Frank, he wouldn't have to actually announce that he was gay for you to figure it out.”

Pretty much proves the gaydar thing. If Frank hadn’t come out, I’d never have known.
...of course that’s relatively proportionate with how much I think about anyone else’s sex life anyway.
(Typically I’m thinking of ways to fight them - if he moves here I can do x,y,z. That coat rack looks sturdy, I could hook his leg and push him through the plate glass - etc. So just an individual thing, not a social commentary)

“Further, those who would conduct the ceremonies are required to be authorized by the state, so the state defines who is considered to be a minister.”

Taking your point on the terminology - wouldn’t discriminating against a religion that allows gay marriage be interferance into the free practice of religion?

If my church ok’s marriage - religious marriage between two men or two women or even multiples (granting they don’t get additional secular civil rights of course) why can’t I call that marriage?

So - point taken on letting the churches fight it out amongst themselves.
But I think pointing to the blatant religious bias here is useful as well.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:36 PM on November 6, 2008


“My atheist friends who consider themselves legally married are equally annoyed at the attempt to remove the legal term from their marriages and assign it solely to the churched”

fairytale of los angeles - good points.

I think there is some right to exclusivity in terms of the churches use of the term ‘marriage’.
But I think you’re right in that it’s been in common social useage for a long time.
I suppose I wouldn’t have a problem with civil unions for all as it regards the state.
But I suspect people would feel strongly about their marriage in a particular church, etc.
I know I support that. (Given the government otherwise treats everyone equally under the law of course)

But I’m going to have to chew that over for a bit.

“Be careful, snuffleupagus. Stay safe and let us know what you're seeing and hearing.”

2nded.
(Although it was my understanding that snuffleupaguses’ were invisible. At least sometimes.)
posted by Smedleyman at 2:46 PM on November 6, 2008


Thanks, Smedleyman. I've had a pretty crap two days trying to explain to friends that, yeah, the emotional loading of marriage as a term makes it something that's worth protecting under law.

My marriage has been a profound experience for me on a lot of levels, and I know that this profound experience came to me under that term regardless of the presence or absence of religion. My atheist friends would regard it as a profound human experience, while my Christian friends would frame it in terms of divine grace... doesn't matter. That unexpected depth of experience-- that 3am "oh shit" moment of waking up next to your legitimate legal spouse-- sums up marriage to me, and I'm glad the law thinks it's worth keeping around.

I think everyone should have the awesome thing I have, really, although they can't have it specifically with Mr. F unless we both consent. ;)
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:15 PM on November 6, 2008


An answer to Proposition 8: Repealing DOMA
posted by homunculus at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


bitter-girl - I'm just irritated that I mistyped "assumption"!

Well, I'm irritated at a lot of other stuff, too, but I reckon I'll pick my battles....
posted by rtha at 3:56 PM on November 6, 2008


Everything went very well. The crowd was great, as were all the passers-by. Things were mostly upbeat and determined. The LAPD was surprisingly accommodating, shutting down Santa Monica Blvd (and parts of Overland and Westwood) as well as a few blocks of Sepulveda as the protest circumambulated the Temple compound. They only got assertive when the crowd started talking about blocking the entrances and exits to the 405 at SM Blvd and Sepulveda/Sawtelle. I ran out of time, but I'm pretty sure the protest is going to finish up at the Federal building.

I've never seen so many smiling riot cops (not all of them, but a lot.) That felt nice. The few LDS reps present were totally unable to bear confronting the crowd for more than a few minutes at a time. That felt nice too.

I'll post some pics later, gotta go catch up with a couple things I let drop.

On preview-- Best sign: "OMGWTF?"
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:04 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as an Angeleno who supports gay marriage... even I can't get behind fucking up traffic on the 405. ;)

Glad it went well, Snuffleupagus.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:20 PM on November 6, 2008


Homunculus, that Glenn Greenwald link just made my day. Thank you.
posted by digaman at 4:41 PM on November 6, 2008


the emotional loading of marriage as a term makes it something that's worth protecting under law.

This is not what laws are for.

I don't want a governmentally-protected magical spiritual bond. I want to roll my own spirituality, or follow my church of choice, and just get a value-neutral set of interpersonal legal abilities from the state.

Apparently, according to the voting majority, calling it "marriage" ruins my ability to do that. So stop calling it marriage.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:04 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm stuck grading exams at UCLA, so the fucked up traffic is my consolation because hey, why would I want to be on the bus ride home now anyway? I do wish I could have been shutting down streets with the protesters instead, though.

LA Times article on the protest.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 5:37 PM on November 6, 2008


Even now I still go back to the next-of-kin-contract idea. Really, what if the government established next-of-kin contracts (with the same legal benefits of marriage, but between any two people, whether they're in a romantic relationship or not) and left the rest of the marriage stuff as its own category. I wonder if reframing it in completely legal-contract terms would be acceptable to enough people on both sides of the issue; opponents have to see, on some level, that it's going to happen eventually; maybe taking this kind of route would let them feel like they won their cause, or that they could at least say so.

I guess that before I just thought of it in the sense that it could replace marriage, not be it's own thing in addition to marriage.
posted by troybob at 6:42 PM on November 6, 2008


A woman who supported the proposition faced off with an opponent, apparently calling him names.

When she walked away, another man chased after her, yelling "Hater, hater."

The woman, by then talking on a cellphone, burst into tears.
The poor dear.
posted by CKmtl at 6:46 PM on November 6, 2008


Ambrosia, I'm cool with it being still called "marriage' just based, as the California Supreme Court believes, on the history of the term's use to describe a particular family relationship. I would also be cool-- shit, I'd be most cool-- with everyone being given the option under law to pick the term that most suits their conception of their own partnership and get the same rights, although I believe that would be largely legally headache-inducing and thus very unlikely.

I rolled my own spirituality. We kept religion out of our marriage ceremony as a result. The legally-protected rights we got are still marriage rights, regardless of the lack of religious framing. The profound experience of being married, well, that happened after the legal rights were handed out and the paperwork signed off on.

I think that's what the judiciary was driving at, that this word is so loaded with societal, spiritual, and cultural baggage that the only way to make everything properly equitable is to keep the loaded word and make its legal protections available to all, rather than replacing it.

The folks ascribing religious framing to the legal term and attempting to dictate terms to everyone accordingly, although they may be voting majority, may not be correct either-- and in CA, they're almost certainly not correct, as the ACLU's filing attempts to prove.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:46 PM on November 6, 2008


fairytale,

I've been a maid of honor in two "atheist" home-styled weddings now, and I don't do this carping and quibbling in those venues, though they knew I was a marriage boycotter. As far as I can tell, if you are holding a marriage license, and it stipulates gender for an outmoded traditional/religious reason, you've got an non-secular document.

We can't always ahere to our ideals 100%, but this is a pretty simple one to avoid. It's black and white. Equality, or not.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:33 PM on November 6, 2008


What a fucking mess. Hey Brothers and Sisters: Human Rights! Equal Protection Under The Law! Respect for our common humanity.

I love my family and friends and I'm not going to rest until every one of them has equal protection under the law all over the world. I'll probably die before I see that happen, but I'm going down swinging.

And I love all of you, although it's a kind of thin attenuated distant pitying love for those of you who wish to exert your childish and ugly tentacles of control over my loved ones who are different than you. Some day America will be civilized and I'm not resting until that day.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:59 PM on November 6, 2008


Hmm, re: King's legacy . . . This, from Feb 2007. Too bad rbecca's not here to be refuted again.

taken from HuffPo

CHICAGO - Coretta Scott King, speaking four days before the 30th anniversary of her husband's assassination, said Tuesday the civil rights leader's memory demanded a strong stand for gay and lesbian rights.

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice," she said. "But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"

"I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people," she said.

"Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery (and) Selma (Alabama), in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the civil rights movement," King said.
posted by liketitanic at 10:41 PM on November 6, 2008


Sorry, those remarks are from 1997. Damn CSK. Right on.
posted by liketitanic at 10:44 PM on November 6, 2008


cashman: [after quoting the statistic that 70% of black voters approved of Prop 8] I'm already shaking my head at the mere thought of the stupidity that will be displayed as we relieve these people of their ignorant and hypocritical views.

What do you mean, "these people"?

/tropic thunder
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:48 PM on November 6, 2008


What do you mean, "these people"?

What do you mean, "these people"?

/tropic thunder thunder
posted by illiad at 11:27 PM on November 6, 2008


You just said they were married. Marriage is a religious rite, just because you can have a judge do it does not make it less so, just ask those that decry gay marriage as somhow defying its sanctity.

I'm going to assume that you are, as our friends across the pond so eloquently call it, "taking the piss." Because, no, it's not a religious rite, but it can be incredibly profound. I recently attended the marriage ceremony of two friends of mine, who, although they've been committed to each other for 14 years, decided to make a point of marrying, and using that marriage ceremony as a fund raiser for the "no on prop 8" cause - it was one of the most profound and meaningful marriage ceremonies I've ever attended. I've been married, I've seen my straight friends marry, but nothing matched this leap of faith in the face of irrational resistance. There was nothing remotely religious about it, but if the heartfelt hopes of 50+ friends counts for anything, there was some magic made.

Beyond all of the dogma and it's associated crap, there is a human need for the ritual of marriage. I hope that I might some day see my friends able to enjoy their union without censure or discrimination.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:43 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I, too, am pissed the fuck off about some of the racist bullshit (shame on you, Dan Savage) circulating around about how the record high turnout of black voters for Obama passed Prop 8 in California and how horribly homophobic they are.

But let's pretend for a moment that there were no people of color in the U.S. Let's pretend that this past Tuesday, all voters who went to the polls were white. How, then, would the election and the ballot measures have fared?


Let me break it down for you.
posted by lunit at 4:57 AM on November 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, The Latter Day Saints think they want to join the hatemonger's club? Allrighty then! I hope the events unfolding at their temples serve to remind them of Missouri, when the governor declared open-season to shoot Mormons dead, on sight. That's what happens when hate is a matter of public policy.

I had, in the past, seen the LDS as being above the hate-mongering crowd. I have defended them on these blue pages. Oh well, things change. They are going to suffer. They, of all, should have known better. Somewhere (here?) I heard they did it because they wanted better relations with the evangelicals. Oh dear, that's not what Jesus would do. They were concerned with what mere men would think of them? Oh dear.

Hey there, First Prophet: You've just blown decades of careful PR management, and worse, you've parted from the ways of Wisdom. Your plans will come to nothing good.

<><><><><><><><> How do you separate a pair of Mormon missionaries?


Throw cold water on 'em. (like, duh?)
posted by Goofyy at 5:31 AM on November 7, 2008


Bad news on Prop 8. Fight on for equal rights!

In other news, I don't think the community benefits from people informing new members that they wont fit or that they have come to the wrong place. What nonesense! We are an open and varied community with a wide variety of opinions and beliefs.

I may not 'fit in' with the majority of this community, but I am definately a member of it. Please extend the courtesy of accepting that people may hold opinions different to yours and still be a member of the community, just as you would expect from wider society. We don't need any more policing than is provided by the hardworking mods, IMHO.

rbecca may have been a troll, but I doubt it. Quite how a mother of 6* stumbles across a thread about a subject that they feel is important to them and has the time to read it, join the community and post a comment and then goes on to participate in the debate 'out of the blue' is a source for wonder, however. I can only assume that rbecca has been a reader of Metafilter previously in which case she may be fully aware of the tenor of debate here. Having said that, she seemed incapable of comporting herself in a manner that would convince anyone of her argument, despite a few friendly (and some not so friendly) requests for substantiation of her claims.

This is the problem I have with concision. She was arguing from her position, where it seems she is fed a load of bigotted codswollop by her church or similar organisation and accepts it as truth, probably along with friends and family. I would suggest that we come more from the 'reality based' mindset. Reaching across the aisle becomes a Herculean task when both sides are as entrenched and contrasting in outlook as this.

Concision requires a shared debating language and some platform to relate on. This is why controlling the debate by controlling language is such an effective tool, as evinced by the Rovian tactics utilised by the Republican party in recent years.

It seems that the simple fact of this debate is that rbecca has conflated civil marriage with religious marriage. If that is the only hurdle to overcome in creating a common understanding then it should not prove too difficult to do so, as some people have commented above.

*i.e. a very busy person
posted by asok at 5:41 AM on November 7, 2008


asok Some people want to believe lies, and rbecca seemed to be one of them. She was told several times that her central claims were false, links were provided to evidence that her central claims were false, and she still clung to her lies.

"ZOMG without Prop 8 the faggot squads will be storming churches and shutting them down!"

"ZOMG without Prop 8 faggot indoctrination teams at school will force my kids to turn gay!"

Etc. Even after several people patiently demonstrated that neither of those claims were true, she still repeated them and used them to justify her hate. As Astro Zombie said, you can't argue with squick, and rbecca's problem is that she's squicked by gay sex. What are people here, or anywhere, supposed to do? Say "you can believe your lies and I won't contradict or disagree with you?"

Reason, self evidently, did not sway her. Its possible nothing can, that her hate is so deeply ingrained that she simply can't change her mind. But, given that sweet reason has failed, perhaps she can be swayed by shaming. She's an evil hateful person and she should be ashamed of her beliefs. Maybe that won't change her either, but following the complete failure of reason to so much as budge her on any of her blatant lies, I think we ought to try shaming and see if that works.

I feel no need to try to be nice, or open, or even friendly to people who spout hateful lies and continue to do so in face of evidence that their lies are false. Nor do I feel the need to invite such people into my community.
posted by sotonohito at 7:02 AM on November 7, 2008


More Protests Planned Over Passage of Proposition 8: Schedule.
posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on November 7, 2008


"I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people," she said.

I saw her speak in Ohio when the gay marriage amendment there was on the ballot, or maybe the year before-- either way, everyone knew it was coming, and people were gearing up to fight it. She was an amazing source of hope in a very dark year.
posted by Tehanu at 7:50 AM on November 7, 2008


Also from Coretta Scott King (according to Wikipedia):

"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriage."
posted by Tehanu at 7:52 AM on November 7, 2008


"...the LDS Church mobilized in favor of California's Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that bans gay marriage. Mormons donated $19 million to the cause -- nearly four out of five dollars raised."

Strip the Mormon Church of its Tax Exempt Status
A petition drive has begun to the IRS to strip the Mormon church of its tax exempt status:
"Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."
Mormons Stole Our Rights [official site and petition].

"...were you thinking about skiing in Utah this year? Hmmm, Colorado's looking pretty appealing these days."

"...it's also time for the Sundance Film Festival to leave Utah. And for any gay and gay-friendly producers to pull their films, and for gay and gay-friendly Sundance goers to skip the festival until it leaves Utah."

Boycott Marriot Hotels.
posted by ericb at 7:55 AM on November 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


New York Times: Demise of Same-Sex Weddings Disheartens Businesses.
posted by ericb at 7:59 AM on November 7, 2008


Playing the "well, civil unions for all!" card seems, to me, to attempt to dodge the struggle that gays and lesbians are waging right now, and I can't bring myself to do that.

I don't understand how a solution that not only provides legal recourse to displaced citizens but also prevents the imposition of religious terminology and values on a secular legal system is somehow a "dodge?" It's not like what I'm suggesting is even unprecidented in American history. Take birth certifiactes for instance. Citizens used to have to prove their natural birth in the United States and the identity of their parents by providing church baptismal records. Some older people in this country still have to provide these records when applying for a passport or other legal document. Clearly this caused a serious problem for those who were not baptized so the state devised a system that seperated birth records from the Church and began issuing birth certificates. This is no different.

If marriage is a "sacred institution" as is argued by the people that fight gay marriage recognition then where does it have any place in a secular legal system? We do not establish religion in this country, why are we still using this clearly religious convention to establish legal partnerships? It's horse shit and it needs to be confronted and that is no dodge.

You don't want fundamentalist's chocolate in your peanut butter, then get the damn peanut butter off their chocolate! We can't have marriage as "sacred" and "civil" at the same time so let's stop trying. We complain that fundamentalists have no right to interfere in our bedroom activities or who we fall in love with, but really, we have no right to get involved in their religious decisions either. Let the churches have it. If a gay couple then wants to be "married" then they can go to one of the many religious organizations that will perform marriage rites for them, if they want to enjoy the rights and priviledges that married couples enjoy today, just as any couple, then they go down to the court house and fill out a notarized form stating that they wish to establish a "familial partnership."
posted by Pollomacho at 8:00 AM on November 7, 2008


Jon Stewart: "I Now Denounce You Chuck and Larry."
posted by ericb at 8:05 AM on November 7, 2008


Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene has this to say about whether current gay marriages will be invalidated under Prop 8:
1. One option is that they may remain valid, whether because the initiative is construed as not applying to existing marriages, or because the courts conclude such an interpretation is constitutionally mandated by the Contracts Clause ("No state shall ... pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts ....").

I highly doubt that this will happen. According to the text of the amendment, as soon as the amendment takes effect, only male-female marriages are valid or recognized. (Nor is there any language in the initiative summary, or the supporters' arguments, that purports to interpret this text as not applying to existing marriages.) Future marriages, preexisting marriages, in-state marriages, out-of-state marriages — all are valid and recognized only so long as they are between a man and a woman. And the Contracts Clause likely won't affect it, since it's been held not to apply to marriage contracts (see Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888); Home Bldg. & Loan Ass'n v. Blaisdell, 290 U.S. 398 (1934)), which is why statutes authorizing divorces have been allowed even as to marriages that had been entered into when divorces were not available.
This is not AG Jerry Brown's interpretation, and it remains to be seen which one will prevail in the courts.

So, to rbecca - whom I owe exactly nothing, not even the willingness to believe she is sincere in her beliefs rather than trolling for lulz - I would like to say that I'm impressed that you are so supportive of the institution of marriage that you voted for an amendment that would force me, and thousands of couples like mine, to be forcibly divorced by the state. The least hostile thing I can say, in the interest of not reigniting the debate here about education vs (verbally) punching people, is I hope your head falls off. You obviously don't need it anyway.
posted by rtha at 8:38 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I, too, am pissed the fuck off about some of the racist bullshit (shame on you, Dan Savage) circulating around about how the record high turnout of black voters for Obama passed Prop 8 in California and how horribly homophobic they are.

But let's pretend for a moment that there were no people of color in the U.S. Let's pretend that this past Tuesday, all voters who went to the polls were white. How, then, would the election and the ballot measures have fared?

Let me break it down for you.
"

Sorry, that LiveJournal post was bullshit. Yeah, yeah, we're all happy that people-of-color helped get Obama elected. That doesn't mean that they're not fucking retarded to the tune of about 70% on the most important civil rights issue of the day. And the responses there? "Guess there are no gay POC"? Well, yeah, there are. Probably about 10%. And another 20% are folks who get it. But 70% don't. And white Californians? I'm totally willing to admit that roughly 47% of them are fucking retarded on this issue. But blacks do deserve a significant part of the blame for this. If you're a POC and upset about being blamed for this, well, guess what—you gotta take that as a charge to educate your community, not complain about the big bad whiteys picking on you again.
posted by klangklangston at 8:50 AM on November 7, 2008


Seems like the right's "divide and conquer" strategy of pitting POC vs. gay rights advocates against each other has already started working here on Metafilter. Palin '12!
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:58 AM on November 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


"...were you thinking about skiing in Utah this year? Hmmm, Colorado's looking pretty appealing these days."

"...it's also time for the Sundance Film Festival to leave Utah. And for any gay and gay-friendly producers to pull their films, and for gay and gay-friendly Sundance goers to skip the festival until it leaves Utah."


LOL like Californians need to go to Utah for a damn thing. I ski Tahoe and Sundance is pretty usesless and crappy. I'm glad I scoped out Zion before this went down, because now there is exactly NOTHING than we don't already do better here. pbbbbtt! Also fix your beer. You are gross.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:11 AM on November 7, 2008


But blacks do deserve a significant part of the blame for this.

I don't think that's true, in light of the fact that California is a meager 6.2% African American. There are twice as many Asian Americans and six times as many Latinos. And shockingly, people recently arrived from Korea or Mexico tend toward social conservativism.

Sure, they could have swung the vote, but they are not the "significant" minority here, even if you charge them with "knowing better" from our history with them. In short, as a majority minority state, it's pretty stupid to break this down racially, when social conservatism as exacerbated by the churches was clearly the culprit.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:26 AM on November 7, 2008


I'm not American, but I do live in Canada's equivalent to Utah (Southern Alberta - half of all the Mormons in Canada live in or very near my city). Maybe that's part of why this is hitting me so hard. In part, I am just plain devastated that people just like me have been demoted to second-class citizens, with the constitution amended specifically to strip them of rights. It may not effect me personally, but it is a reflection of how people see me and my tribe and it directly affects people I care about. It hurts especially hard though, to know that it is the church associated with my town, the religion that my area is known for having a higher than typical percent of, who made the biggest effort to dehumanize people like me. I love my city, and I have a lot of friends who are Mormon, and it pains me so much to know that the people who make up this city that I am so fond of, think that I am a dirty animal. I wonder what my Mormon friends think, but I won't insult them by asking. I just have to assume that while the people in power may hate me, regular Mormons are just as variable as regular anyone-elses.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:29 AM on November 7, 2008


As a Canadian, is there anything I can do? I know that it is not my role to try to influence the goings-on of another country, but I just feel so much for my American co-homos.

If anyone wants to make good on their threat of moving to Canada, I've got a spare room. :)
posted by arcticwoman at 9:33 AM on November 7, 2008


I invite Pollomacho to keep obsessing about "civil unions" and parsing language into irrelevant nonsense. My husband and I are married, and will stay that way until the law catches up. Prop. 8 will not stand. "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" -- Martin Luther King.

The problem is not race. It's the hijacking of Christianity by mean-spirited bigots, a couple of whom posted here, wrapping their small-minded personal prejudices in rosary beads. My God is a God of love.
posted by digaman at 9:56 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


LOL like Californians need to go to Utah for a damn thing. I ski Tahoe and Sundance is pretty usesless and crappy.

A boycott over Utah should include all of us -- gay and straight -- from all 50 states.

It reminds me of the national boycott of Colorado after Amendment 2 passed (53 percent to 47 percent) in that state in 1992 to amend their constitution which nullified gay rights laws that already existed in Aspen, Denver, and Boulder.
"Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing."
Gays and straights from all over the country boycotted the state.
"In the seven months since Amendment 2's passage, the Colorado Boycott has garnered national attention and support. As of June 1993, more than 60 companies have canceled conventions or meetings in Colorado, and more than 110 groups have called for a boycott of Colorado to protest Amendment 2. Some 20 U.S. municipalities have severed ties with Colorado because of the anti-gay initiative. New York City has divested its stock holdings in any Colorado companies, and canceled a contract for new municipal buses. Ziff-Davis Publishing had planned to relocate their operations to Colorado; in the wake of Amendment 2, they reconsidered, costing the state $1 billion dollars in revenue over a five-year period had they chosen to operate in the state. Good snow and papal visits notwithstanding, the Colorado Boycott is resulting in long-term fiscal consequences for the state that voted against civil rights....more than 62 businesses report conventions or business cancelled in Colorado, and more than 100 New York City restaurants will not serve products from the state."
Boycott Colorado set-up toll-free numbers and received official endorsements and donations from all over the country (impressive and extensive list here).

Activists and lawyers filed suit.

In 1996 the United States Supreme Court struck down Amendment 2.

"Romer v. Evans is now considered a foundational decision in favor of gay and lesbian civil rights.

In his decision Justice Kennedy wrote:
…the amendment imposes a special disability upon those persons alone. Homosexuals are forbidden the safeguards that others enjoy or may seek without constraint…

…Its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.

The Romer v. Evans decision was instrumental in Lawrence v. Texas. This decision struck down the sodomy laws in Texas and other states. It struck down Bowers v. Hardwick. If you were in Texas in 2003, and applauded Lawrence v. Texas, you should thank some people in Colorado."*
Boycotts can't change legislation. But, they can help put focus on issues and bring about changes in minds and in attitudes.
posted by ericb at 10:08 AM on November 7, 2008


Hmmm ... maybe we should boycott California.
posted by ericb at 10:11 AM on November 7, 2008


Anyone want to try re-educating these folks?
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:25 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I invite Pollomacho to keep obsessing about "civil unions" and parsing language into irrelevant nonsense.

What is irrelevant about it? You want to be married, fine you be married, mazeltov, but you aren't going to get the fucking bigots to come to your side anytime soon and therefore it is going to be extremely difficult to get the legal rights that go along with it. It sucks. It sucks immensely. It sucks down to the very core of everything that is good and decent in the world, but it isn't going to change the fact that they exist and this thing passed for the near future. Those idiots vote and they can continue to get this kind of shit passed over and over and over all over the country.

We can continue to work for a society where bigots and hatemongers are relegated to the back of the bus and pieces of shit like this legislation don't get through, but right now that is not going to get you and your husband the legal status that every other loving couple deserves. What I am "irrelevantly" proposing does. It give you the same rights, the same priviledges of every other couple. So I will continue to talk about my "irrelevant nonsense" that could actually provide you a near term solution and you can continue to ridicule my ideas, that's fine. I'm just trying to help you and I will continue to do so even if you don't care to believe that I am.

Let's get the legal issues out of the way so that you can enjoy your lives together as a legally recognized couple, then we can continue to work at chipping away at the wall of hatred. The arc does bend towards justice, I believe you are right. This bigotry will fall, but it took 400 years to get black people from the slave ship to the White House, do you and your husband have that kind of time to wait or would you rather be able to be listed as "next-of-kin" on a hospital visitation list or a living will?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:33 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pollomacho, I hear you and welcome your support and good intentions. I am against the concept of settling for separate-and-not-quite-equal as a stopgap measure because entire generations of "idiots" in the South, who would never have voted for equality for blacks, were more or less silenced by court decisions like Loving v. Virginia. But I hear you.
posted by digaman at 10:59 AM on November 7, 2008


Devils advocate: didn't we in fact have stopgap measures that we *didn't* settle for during the civil rights movement's evolution? And didn't the social normalization of some rights by those measures, coupled with the untenability of the fictions they tried to maintain at the same time help the movement along by spotlighting their infelicities, thus inviting ridicule and providing a target for legal challenges?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:04 AM on November 7, 2008


It's really bizarre to me that we're directly legislating a religious sacrament and somehow not talking about the implicit first amendment issues. Matrimony, like baptism, is a religious sacrament. Can anyone explain why we should be making laws about it? In the eyes of the law, 'marriage' should be a state-recognized contract of commitment, with certain privileges and duties involved, but it should be completely unrelated to the religious sacrament. As such, protection should be equal for all and gender discrimination should not be allowed. Otherwise, if the government is in the sacrament business, what's next? Tax breaks for people who have been baptized? It wouldn't be any different than what we're doing now.
posted by mullingitover at 11:07 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am against the concept of settling for separate-and-not-quite-equal as a stopgap measure because entire generations of "idiots" in the South

I totally agree, and that's why, though I understand it seems like I'm just parsing nonsense, I'm trying to say (poorly) that if the bigots won't give a large section of our population the right of marriage because it is a violation of their "sacred" religious sacrament, then we shouldn't be legislating marriage at all. I think mullingitover is on the same logical track that I've been trying to go down, maybe he/she will be able to spit it out better than I am.

I just want to be clear though, I'm not in any way advocating for some sort of secondary class of partnership here. I don't think it should be "marriage" for breeders and "civil union" for queers and we all wink and nod and know they are the same but won't let it actually be the same. What I am saying is that if it's not marriage for all because that is too fraught with religious meaning and history and connotation (and bigotry), then it's civil unions for everybody and the churches and synagogues and mosques and temples and holy orders of thelema and ethical society halls and etc. get to decide who gets "married" in their own house of worship.

Of course that also means that if the First Four-Square Holy Bible Church of Godliness won't "marry" two guys then they head down to the Unitarians or the Episcopalians or the United Church of Christ or the whatever that will, legally however they, like anyone would just go to the courthouse and file papers for the legal side of the equasion.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:40 AM on November 7, 2008


Matrimony, like baptism, is a religious sacrament.

Only in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Mormon churches. In most Protestant denominations, marriage is not considered a sacrament--generally only baptism and communion are.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:47 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe Solmonese has released an op ed about Prop 8's passage. I really like his wording here:

In recent years, I’ve been delivering this positive message: tell your story. Share who you are. And in fact, as our families become more familiar, support for us increases. But make no mistake: I do not think we have to audition for equality. Rather, I believe that each and every one of us who has been hurt by this hateful ballot measure, and each and every one of us who is still fighting to be equal, has to confront the neighbors who hurt us. We have to say to the man with the Yes on 8 sign—you disrespected my humanity, and I am not giving you a pass. I am not giving you a pass for explaining that you tolerate me, while at the same time denying that my family has a right to exist. I do not give you permission to say you have me as a “gay friend” when you cast a vote against my family, and my rights.

Wherever you are, tell a neighbor what the California Supreme Court so wisely affirmed: that you are equal, you are human, and that being denied equality harms you materially.

posted by Tehanu at 1:08 PM on November 7, 2008


Pollomacho I agree that the position you take is logical. Get the state out of "marriage", give everyone civil unions, and if you want to be "married" in addition to unionized you just need to find a church willing to perform the ceremony. It sounds great.

I don't think it'll work though. The term "marriage" is not only embedded in too much US law, but also international law. If a US citizen marries a foreign citizen and wants to move to the foreign nation, the US citizen usually gets preferential immigration status. The laws in those countries are written to allow that status for "married" people. After the proposed civil unions for everyone law, what happens?

Even limiting ourselves to the consequences in the USA, and completely ignoring foreign problems, we'd have to change not merely one law, but dozens, hundreds, of laws, regulations, rules, tax code, etc.

It'd be an elegant way to sidestep their whole bullshit argument, if only it wouldn't produce a whole boatload of extra problems. The problem is that the term "marriage" has come to have a lot of social and civil meaning more, I think, than it has religious meaning. And unfortunately I think it'd be more difficult isolating all the myriad laws that refer to "marriage" and changing them to read "civil unionized" or "partnered" than it would be to kick the snot (electorally speaking) out of the bigots.
posted by sotonohito at 1:49 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you're a POC and upset about being blamed for this, well, guess what—you gotta take that as a charge to educate your community, not complain about the big bad whiteys picking on you again.

Yeah, POCs need to educate their communities are this issue just like everyone else does. Truth.

However, has it even occurred to you that the No. on 8 organizing was actually really racist? No on 8 specifically, and I do think this is common for LGBT initiatives, did little to no outreach to communities of color. They weren't printing up Spanish language signs. They weren't advertising in Asian-language newspapers. Yes on 8's television ads featured people of many races. No on 8's focused mostly on statements from white celebrities and elected officials.

When 7% of the state of California is black people, why is it on the shoulders of 10-30% of them to educate the rest of them instead of the huge numbers of white people in the state?

Also, people complain about "whitey picking on them" because racism exist, is real, and isn't really going anywhere.
posted by lunit at 2:17 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, the Nation has an excellent article on the campaign strategies of both sides and the racism/homophobia issue.
posted by lunit at 2:20 PM on November 7, 2008



Pollomacho I agree that the position you take is logical. Get the state out of "marriage", give everyone civil unions, and if you want to be "married" in addition to unionized you just need to find a church willing to perform the ceremony. It sounds great.


I've spent the last couple hours talking to the LDS members on the board I linked earlier. They all seem to think this is the solution. To wit, one of them posted this:


November 7, 2008

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

In the wake of the election – more specifically the passing of Proposition 8 – it has become clear to me that the ‘fight’ is not over. A large portion of Proponents of Proposition 8 are from various religious groups, banded together by the Christian Coalition. A main tenet uniting all these groups is that family is the central unit of society, ordained by God, consisting of a man and a woman. A husband and a wife. A mother and a father. To them, marriage is a privilege to be strived towards. Opponents of Proposition 8 argue that marriage is a civil right, and that the passage of Proposition 8 is unfair, and unjust. They cry discrimination at the fact that they cannot marry the person they love because they are homosexual, but their heterosexual neighbor can. Separate, but equal is not equal. No matter the outcome, if either side wins, we are forcing the other side to adopt morals, principals and beliefs that are not their own. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Can you feel it? I’m sure you do. The question is: what now?

I participate in an online forum where we discuss mostly religious matters, but also some political issues. Obviously, Proposition 8 has been the topic of a lot of our discussions lately. One thing that struck me was what someone said. “Separate, but equal, is not equal.” That comment resounded within me. What can we do to make us all equal – homosexuals and heterosexuals alike? The people of California have spoken twice now on this issue. Both times they agreed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. However, as stated earlier, this is in large part because of a religious belief shared by many of the proponents. Is it fair that these religious beliefs are being imposed on others who may not share them? No! There needs to be a division between church and state in this matter. It is, I have decided, the only way to make both sides happy.

The government is already on the right track. The answer may be civil unions. Do away with the government term “marriage” and allow it to be strictly a religious one. In its place, will be the words civil union. Any couple who wishes to spend their life together, ‘til death do they part, can enter in to a civil union. The legal rights and benefits to anyone who enters into a civil union will be the same, whether heterosexual or homosexual. It is then up to the couple to file for a marriage with their respective church. It is up to the church’s standards to decide whether they are “allowed” to marry (for lack of a better word). This marriage record will go on record solely with that church. Divorce proceedings would be the same as they are currently, dissolving both the civil union AND the church marriage, if there was one.

I know I am not aware of all the ramifications of this idea. But, in my mind, it is the only way we can please everyone. It is the only way the proponents keep their sanctity of marriage. At the same time, it is the only way the opponents can be truly equal. Hopefully the opponents can then realize and understand that those who are/were for Proposition 8 are not full of hate, but rather they are full of love for their families and their churches, their morals and beliefs. It is something that they cannot budge on, unfortunately, but this seems to be a great compromise.

I thank you for your time in reading this email. I will be forwarding this email to all the Senators in the State as well as my local Representative. But I thought: why not start at the top?

Sincerely,

Danielle XXXXX
State Employee
Member, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


How 'bout that?
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:45 PM on November 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


......aaannnd the thread was locked a few posts later.

:(
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:56 PM on November 7, 2008


snuffleupagus - that is a really great letter.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:20 PM on November 7, 2008


Why not simply abandon the term for all people altogether and simply license contractual partnerships?...marriage itself is a term fraught with religious meaning and history

The problem with this is that it is based on a misunderstanding of the history of marriage (and a ironic one at that).

Historically, in the legal tradition that forms the antecedent of the current situation (i.e. English Law prior to 1753), "a marriage was recognized as valid if each spouse had simply expressed (to each other) an unconditional consent to their marriage" 1 (as it was in the rest of Europe 2). That is to say, marriage was a contract between partners, rather than a religious rite. Religion came into it only as much as some couples chose to solemnize that contract by taking it before their God (as well as providing a form of recognition for that marriage) . Prior to 1753 it is possible to find plenty of examples of marriage contracted with out the church —In the 1740's over half of all weddings in London were 'Fleet Marriages' 3—clandestine marriages conducted first in, and later in the area surrounding, Fleet Prison, a debtor's prison believed to outside the jurisdiction of the church—up to 6,000 a year, compared to 47,000 in England as a whole 4. In addition certain groups had always maintained their own form of folk marriages, and marriage by agreement between individuals were widely recognised.5

This came to and end in England (& Wales) in 1753 with the introduction of Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act6 —but not in Scotland or America (where English Law no longer applied) 2. This brought marriage under the legal jurisdiction of the state for the first time, abolishing common-law marriage, requiring formal ceremonies in the Established church (except Jews and Quakers) and the consent of parents for people under the age of twenty-one. The act came about in response to the supposed scandals of Fleet Marriage, and although there certainly were abuses, Fleet marriages, and other forms of contact and clandestine marriage were popular for a reason. Firstly, cost: church marriage could be prohibitively expensive 5, and Fleet Marriages etc threatened the Church's income, henceforth the established church was granted a monopoly, secondly the ability for people to marry freely in the face of social disapproval (It's tempting to see premonitions of proposition 8 in this). 5 This was particularly the case in the years before 1753, Fleet Marriages were taken advantage of by couples wishing to marry across the class divide, and/or without parental permission to the increasing dismay of sections of 'respectable society'.

If there is a conclusion to be drawn from the historicity of marriage it should be one that reflects the fact is much wider than a narrowly religious definition. It should also be one that recognizes that marriage is (or at least can be) embedded in a much wider social context than just the couple. I recently got engaged and have been struck by just this, by how very much more it is about than just us as a couple, in particular it is about joining two diverse (and in my case very large) families as well as two people. Thus I have arrived at an idea of the uniqueness of marriage, something that can not be substituted for. In a set of families where the longest lasting partnerships among our parents is between two men it is one where not extending the uniqueness of marriage as an equal privilege reads like an attack not on just same sex marriage generally, but on the specifics of my/our own marriage and the wider family I will find myself part of.

Forming a view of marriage based on its historic origins in a contract between two people makes it very clear where the argument on same sex marriage should fall as there can be no doubt that there can be no justification on restricting the right of consenting parties to enter a contract. It also raises the possibility of developing other forms of contract that reflect the differing, but still very real forms of relationships that exist outside of marriage today (some that has a historical precedent in the notion of Bethrothal) 7.

1.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleet_Marriage
2.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage
3.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleet_Marriage#Irregular_marriages
4.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleet_Marriage#Fleet_Prison
5.Lawrence Stone, Uncertain Unions:Marriage in England, 1660-1753Oxford University Press, 1992 Available on Google Books. See also Lawrence Stone Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987Oxford University Press, 1990.
6.
a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_Act_1753
7. Peter Tatchell has argued something similar in opposition to civil partnerships in the UK. See. his website
See the Stone books for a general (and excellent) history of marriage pre 1753.
posted by tallus at 4:24 PM on November 7, 2008 [10 favorites]


That's fascinating, but I fail to see how it precludes separating legal partnership from marriage as far as the state is concerned. Marriage would still be available for the purposes of solmenization. So far as the social fusion and maintenance functions are concerned, those would happen regardless of whatever signifier you slap on the arrangement.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:38 PM on November 7, 2008


and by that I mean marriage would be available to everyone. Schism here, schism there; schism! schism! Everywhere!
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:40 PM on November 7, 2008


And you could still go to a judge for a ceremony if you wanted it to be completely secular but still a 'marriage,' as some couples do now. If that's important to you, due to the attached linguistic ideologies and historical meaning etc.

It seems like a pretty good idea, despite the potential pitfalls.

posted by snuffleupagus at 4:54 PM on November 7, 2008


snuffleupagus: Thanks for the link. I thought the discussion was really interesting, and I am in awe of people on both sides who maintained the respectful tone. While I am not sure about the ramifications of what it proposes (tallus' comment above makes it clear that there are people who have given it a lot of thought) I don't think the quality of the letter above could have resulted from anything but the patient educating on both sides. I learned a lot.
posted by Killick at 5:33 PM on November 7, 2008


This stuff about 'civil unions' for all sounds nice, but I find it patently ridiculous.

"Ohhh! Is that a ring I see on your finger Tom?! Seriously, dish. How did Steve propose?"

"It was breath-taking. You know that hill that overlooks the bay, about an hour out of town? We went out there for a walk since there was nothing good on TV. Just as the sun set, he dropped to one knee. A breeze kicked up and thousands of butterflies erupted from the wildflowers. God, I almost fainted."

"*squeeeeal* So. So. SO. When are you getting married? I better be a part of the wedding party!"

"Uh. Well. We haven't set a date for the Civic Unification. And, sure, you can be my Primary Witness-And-Supportperson."

Next you'll have people who are against inter-racial hetero marriages demanding that people change the language yet again, so that such unions will be termed Muddenings. Muddenings will confer exactly the same rights and obligations as marriage civil-union Purity Maintenance Unions, but inter-racial couples will have to refer to themselves as Muddeners and Hallmark will have to put out "Congratulations on Your Muddening!" cards.

Stupid. And about as meaningful as re-labeling the back of the bus the "Second Front", to appease Rosa Park et al.

Call me when the Mormons pump truckloads of currency into abolishing the terms involved in Common Law Marriage on the basis that such couples are living in sin.
posted by CKmtl at 5:34 PM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


AP: Utah faces boycott after Mormon work for Prop 8
“Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage.
It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, a spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford, among other popular tourist draws.

…Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which counts about 62 percent of Utah residents as members.

The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.

The ballot measure passed Tuesday. It amends the California Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual act, overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that briefly gave same-sex couples the right to wed.

The backlash against the church — and by extension Utah — has been immediate. Protests erupted outside Mormon temples, Facebook groups formed telling people to boycott Utah, and Web sites such as mormonsstoleourrights.com began popping up, calling for an end to the church's tax-exempt status.”
posted by ericb at 5:45 PM on November 7, 2008


You Can Forget My Taxes: Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the gay-marriage ban in California—and she won't be paying the state a dime.
posted by ericb at 5:47 PM on November 7, 2008


I Am A Victim of H8.
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on November 7, 2008


Tallus, awesome comment. Although much of California's legal traditions trace back to English common law, the legal concept of marriage as in all other community property states borrows heavily from Spanish civil law (via Mexico). I'm not sure how that would affect your historicity argument, but I thought you might be interested.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:18 PM on November 7, 2008


“When she walked away, another man chased after her, yelling "Hater, hater."”

Ah, yes. Inability to self-detect irony. The hallmark of any fanatic.


“the emotional loading of marriage as a term makes it something that's worth protecting under law.”

I can see that.

“This is not what laws are for... calling it "marriage" ruins my ability to do that. So stop calling it marriage.” - Ambrosia Voyeur

I agree in practical terms.
...I suppose I’d table the question on terminology until the legislation got put through.

For here though. Yeah, I have to reconsider my position on ‘marriage’.

Saw George Takei with his - partner? Wife? Husband?
...this is why termonology irritates me (not the source of it - just looking not to get in anyone’s face - hard enough when you look like I do and act macho. But whaddya gonna do, I’m f’ing rugged.)

Anyway, he’s definately ‘married.’
Some folks you can just see it on them.
They just belong together and you can pretty much see that just looking at them. ‘Civilly united’ doesn’t cover it.
Actually - neither does ‘partner.’ Not my call. But I wouldn’t call my wife my partner.
(There’s some presumption there. But who can you impose on (mom maybe) if you can’t impose on your wife? And vice versa.
I’m very much hers.)

Kind of brought the issue home for me. Oh sure, I like Star Trek (not a trekkie really, or trekkor...or perhaps then I am a trekkie - but anyway, I like the show). But I’ve heard him speak a few times - sure funky voice - but he has a lucid mind and speaks with candor, which I admire.

But those two own each other man. And I have nothing to relate to it other than the fact and experience of my own marriage.

So, would I say he’s married? The George Takei? Yeah. I would.

I just don’t know where to set the term socially.

Does it have to be an ‘official’ thing really tho?
I mean, even if my wife and I were ‘civilly united’ she’s still my wife and I’d still say ‘we’re married.’

Ahh, I’m just some fuckin’ guy. I don’t have all the answers. Hell, not even most of them.
I can lift heavy things though
posted by Smedleyman at 6:26 PM on November 7, 2008


“That is to say, marriage was a contract between partners, rather than a religious rite”

True. Often one of the partners had huge ...tracts of land.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:28 PM on November 7, 2008


‘Civilly united’ doesn’t cover it.

Julie Goldman on Youtube: I Wanna Commitment Ceremony You
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:26 PM on November 7, 2008


I agree that the word "marriage" is emotionally freighted, but I'm not sure I agree that the freight is worth fighting for in this instance.

If letting the ecclesiastical folk have the term "marriage" as their own sole property will help turn the tide by getting people to see that what the state does in conferring protections and rights to same-sex partnerships doesn't have a whit do do with anyone's religious practice, then I'm for it 100%.

I love my husband and I love my marriage. But if my marriage were called something else as a matter of law, assuming all other things were equal, I truly wouldn't care. Call it a partnership. Call it a civil union. Call it Fred. Hell, call it Daphne the WonderFungus, as long as adults of every race, gender, and sexual orientation throughout the land have the fullly recognized and inalienable right to Daphne the WonderFungus each other exactly as they see fit. In the end, it's just a damn word.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:49 PM on November 7, 2008


I don't think it needs to be their sole property, even, if all they truly want is to control who gets married in their own respective churches. It seemed, from the limited discussion that I had with them, that many of them don't care if people go to the city clerk and get a unification license, and then go to a judge and get a civil marriage. Or go to another sect and get a religious marriage. They don't seem to care if government accords equal status to the three different forms (union, union + civil marriage, and union + religious marriage.)

If those are honest sentiments, then I don't think that's a bullshit separate-but-equal cop out, I think it is a good solution to what ends up being a problem of language by providing what is essentially a distinction without a difference.

The law would make no distinction between the three, except to record the signifier preferred by the couple when issuing the Certificate of Union.

If the currently obstinate opposition to equal rights could be so easily satisfied by the linguistic enshrinement of a protection the constitution already provides, but they fear will be threatened, then we should go for it. The complaint I would forsee would be that it fragments the religious form of marriage, but that doesn't bother me. If it doesn't bother them, great.

And to be completely honest about it, I like the more complete separation of church and state this would promote. The more separation we can get, the better.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:23 PM on November 7, 2008


"However, has it even occurred to you that the No. on 8 organizing was actually really racist?"

Again, that's bullshit. I mean, seriously, you believe that? Because the state-wide campaign didn't have literature in Spanish and Vietnamese that they were actively discriminating and therefore it made sense for those communities to vote for 8? That's fucking retarded. Did No on 8 do all the outreach possible? No, obviously not. Is that "racist"? No, and implying that it is is bullshit martyrism. C'mon, you're really putting forth an argument that communities of color are too fucking stupid to do internal outreach and therefore it's whitey's fault for not properly educating you that 8 was unfair and wrong? That's more racist and insulting, implying that POC only respond to pandering.

I'll gladly concede the point that the real enemy here isn't POC, but rather the religions that they (disproportionately, but for valid historical reasons) subscribe to. But those religions are largely endogamic, and if Vietnamese queers need signs in Vietnamese, they should be willing to ask for them, not wait for some larger organization to provide for them. Activism is DIY, and, frankly, most voters speak English (at least as a second language) so it makes less sense to spend money on signs in other languages.

But is it "racist" to not provide signs in every language spoken in California? No. And claiming it is devalues the charge of racism.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 PM on November 7, 2008


There were fliers in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Spanish available on the No On 8 website. I got the sense their existence wasn't publicized as much as it should have been, though, and apparently they weren't distributed broadly.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:40 PM on November 7, 2008


N.Y. eyes gay marriage but opponents vow fight -- "Obstacle removed by state Senate power shift; protests grow in Calif., Utah."
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on November 8, 2008


snuffleupagus, if I thought it would make them shut up, and wouldn't cause the legal problems that somebody described upthread with immigration/visa/travel issues, I'd be OK with that. I personally would be very happy if we had something like what I've heard about the French system, in which the civil marriage registration is everything and the God-bothering is voluntary. But then I remember the fights about covenant marriage, another (ineffective) attempt to get us heathens marry in a more righteous fashion, and no, what people want is the government to publicly say marrying their way is better and marrying our way is worse, or ideally not allowed.

I'm a liberal values voter; I don't think one brand of religious people should get to dictate how civil marriage works, whether it's about the formation (who gets to) or the termination (covenant marriage being the solution to a perceived excess of divorce). They can judge my marriage and the marriages of other people all they like in the privacy of their own homes, but in terms of the law, I don't want it to be any of their business.
posted by immlass at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2008


"Uh. Well. We haven't set a date for the Civic Unification. And, sure, you can be my Primary Witness-And-Supportperson."

I think you missed the point of what we were saying and thus this part of the dialogue got left off:

"But, even though we haven't set the date for going down to the courthouse for the civil union licence, we'll be having a blow-out wedding ceremony at 3rd street Unitarian on June 21st. We'd love for you to be my man of honor."

Adam and Steve can still have their marriage and they can have their civil union too, it can be as religious a marriage ceremony as they want, so long as they can find a church that will perform the religious rites, but the civil union will be as thrilling as getting a drivers licence for Adam and Steve or Adam and Eve or Eve and Susan or Adam and Steve (who used to be Eve) or...
posted by Pollomacho at 9:59 AM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Smedleyman wrote “When she walked away, another man chased after her, yelling "Hater, hater."”

Ah, yes. Inability to self-detect irony. The hallmark of any fanatic.


You know, the idea that somehow, by magic, when people on the side of what's right, good and moral get angry because they were denied basic human dignity and rights they somehow instantly turn into the very thing they oppose is pretty damn stupid. How does it happen that, in your mind, the very instant someone gets (shock, horror, fetch the fainting couch) *angry* they've transmogrified into something exactly the same and exactly as bad as the people who voted for Prop Hate?

I'm totally and completely baffled by your viewpoint. "ZOMG someone got justifiably angry because they were treated like sub-human vermin! How dare the victim of discrimination, hate, and bigotry get *angry* about being treated like scum!?!" It makes for a nice bit of snark, but that's got to be the single most idiotic thing I've read in this thread and that's including the crap that came out of rbecca.

I mean, have you come to the conclusion that anger is always unjustifiable, that no one is ever excused an angry outburst, or is it just victims who aren't allowed to get angry in your mind?
posted by sotonohito at 10:16 AM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I should also add that if "fanatic" is also inherently bad, I guess I'm bad. I'm an equal rights fanatic, how dreadful.
posted by sotonohito at 10:16 AM on November 8, 2008


I think you missed the point of what we were saying and thus this part of the dialogue got left off:

Nope, that point came across loud and clear. Personally, I still think the whole thing is stupid.

The terms "marriage, wedding, husband, wife, etc." have become so ingrained in our language that they're the go-to words people use to describe those people, relationships, events and states-of-being, regardless of religious rites or sanctions.

If they're so set on masturbating with a thesaurus and formulating a terminological distinction between secular and religious marriages, let them be the ones to change what words they use. Have people obtain marriage licenses at city hall and be married by a magistrate of some sort. The church folk can have their Divine Bondings, or Mandated Pairings Through Heavenly Grace, or whatever comforting "we're special" words they want to come up with.

And it was Tom. Steve's going to be pissed if you're trying to drive a wedge between him and Tom, so soon after their engagement, by insinuating that he's messing around with some floozie named Adam.
posted by CKmtl at 10:48 AM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


If letting the ecclesiastical folk have the term "marriage" as their own sole property will help turn the tide by getting people to see that what the state does in conferring protections and rights to same-sex partnerships doesn't have a whit do do with anyone's religious practice, then I'm for it 100%.

You might not care - but liberal synagogues do, and liberal churches. There are a lot of religious gay people who wish to marry, and whose church supports their marriage. Like I pointed out upthread, the fight for gay marriage in Ontario was led by a Christian church. They wish to have both the state recognition for their union, but also the religious freedom to marry.

There are also plenty of agnostic and atheist gay people who still want the M-word because it is a deeply significant word in our society. But there are those - gay and straight - who wish to register legal partnerships, but don't like the M-word.

I say - get the government out of M-word debate all together. Make "marriage" a meaningless word under the law - replace all legal marriages with legal civil union or partnership or whatever - with no descrimination by gender. And whoever wishes to be called "married" can have that, and whoever doesn't wish to be called "married" can have that.
posted by jb at 11:12 AM on November 8, 2008



"I mean, have you come to the conclusion that anger is always unjustifiable, that no one is ever excused an angry outburst, or is it just victims who aren't allowed to get angry in your mind?"

sotonohito, not at all. It's contextual. If one opposes 'hate' then screaming about it - that is, using hate - is counterproductive.

"You know, the idea that somehow, by magic, when people on the side of what's right, good and moral get angry because they
were denied basic human dignity and rights they somehow instantly turn into the very thing they oppose is pretty damn stupid."

You know, the idea that somehow, by magic, when people on the side of what's right, good and moral, get angry and think somehow that's a license to do exactly the same thing they accuse others of doing to them - is pretty damn stupid.

An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

Now, had he called her, say, idiot or bigot, that wouldn't be ironic at all. It'd still be wrong. Understandable perhaps. But wrong.

Fanaticism is it's own opposition.

You're a fanatic for equal rights sotonohito?

You must then find it perfectly justifiable to throw acid in a childs face to achieve your goals? Blow up a train station perhaps?
That was Orwell's point when he wrote that (O'Brien asking Winston the lengths he would go to in order to overthrow Big Brother in 1984)

I can usually see a reasonable position behind anyone's POV.
I find the grievances of even some terrorist organizations quite reasonable and justifiable.

It's their methods I abhor. And method is all that matters no matter the message.
As soon as you adopt the method of your enemies you abandon your principles and your morals.

Me, I'd rather fucking lose than be right but have to sacrifice the ideals I stand for.

Want to work for equal rights? I'm right there with you. Want to hand out pamphlets, flyers, knock on doors, get out the vote?
Hey, I'm happy to volunteer.

Want to scream at people on the street? You're on your own pal.
I've filled enough body bags to know where that road leads, and don't hand me this "It couldn't happen here" or "We wouldn't do that" horseshit because I've seen it first hand.

I've spent months here saying the same thing to folks of any political persuasion that engagement is the proper course - especially with terrorists.
I tell people you have to convince an enemy in order to win.

But suddenly I'm a bad guy when I say that to people like you - why? Oh, because you're 'right.' They of course were wrong. And therefore their screaming at people unjustified.
Like the holding the incorrect political viewpoint was the problem there.

The neocons, Bushco, no, they never thought they were right. Never thought the ends justified any and all means as you've just argued. Never thought they had
been wronged and angrily sought revenge. (A path which has no end)
Nope, they crouched around twirling their villainous mustaches laughing maniacally about how evil they were.

Congratulations - you're well on your way to becoming everything you despise.

I use violence only when absolutely necessary, and even then I don't revel in it. You seem to think it's part and parcel of the process to a brave new world of political reconciliation.

So I assume I and folks like me will be first against the wall in your wonderful new righteous and angry world. I mean, I'm opposed to your methods.

Reason enough to abuse someone, eh?

Oh, only if you're 'right' of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:05 PM on November 8, 2008


I should also add that your own outbursts are indicative of the perspective you bring to the table.
I spent hours in thoughtful discussion in the thread, completely supporting gay marriage.

I've been nothing but civil and polite, but one single slight divergence from what you apparently think is the proper level of discourse, and I'm what?
An evil hateful person?

What should we do with squick, and rbecca and myself? HOW should we shame them?

The fact that I'm now a target of yours - despite the demonstrable fact that I fully agree with you on this issue - proves on a deep and fundamental level, how right I am.

Gosh, maybe I'm just not open to reason either. Tch. Gotta 'do' something with folks like me, don'tcha?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:19 PM on November 8, 2008


Want to scream at people on the street? You're on your own pal.

Did you read the same article excerpt as I?

The woman started it. She "faced off" with one of the protesters and "apparently called him names." I presume that the names she whipped out were ones from the general 'faggot' family of epithets.

All things considered, screaming "hater" at her is pretty damn mild. According to what was written, the second man didn't scream anything sexist at her. Didn't scream anything racist. Didn't insult her parents' virtue. Didn't loudly question her parents degree of consanguinity. Didn't scream anything about either her possible fatness or lack thereof.
posted by CKmtl at 5:26 PM on November 8, 2008


Smedleyman What CKmtl said.

I'm not so much railing against you, as against the mindset that thinks of righteous anger as something shameful, or something that means the person expressing it loses. You've said some cognizant things on this thread, not the least of which was a very lucid argument against legally recognized multiple marriage. I hadn't considered that angle before, and while I'm must definitely in favor of letting people have group relationships if they want, you've caused me to reconsider my position on legal multiple marriage. I'm still not sure I agree with your position there, but I think you raise valid points.

But I'm damn tired of people scolding the victims of oppression for being righteously pissed off at their oppressors. And, yes, anyone who voted for Prop 8 is officially an oppressor. I'll be the first to admit that righteous anger doesn't produce results, it isn't a strategy, and you can't base a movement around it. But it is a valid emotion, and I don't think its expression is particularly harmful, and in some cases it may be beneficial. The woman in question will, at the very least, probably think twice before calling gay people names again. Expressions of righteous anger can take a positive role in driving bigotry out of the mainstream, and I do think that's a worthwhile thing.

But, more to the point, I think its absurd to expect people who have just been declared to be sub-human vermin to discuss their differences calmly and dispassionately. Give 'em a few weeks before you start scolding them for expressing their quite understandable and justifiable rage at their oppressors.

As for your hyperbolic nonsense, I'll reply by quoting David Brin's excellent essay on ethics, morality, and Star Wars vs. Star Trek, I think its relevant here.
Let's see if I get this right. Fear makes you angry and anger makes you evil, right?

Now I'll concede at once that fear has been a major motivator of intolerance in human history. I can picture knightly adepts being taught to control fear and anger, as we saw credibly in "The Empire Strikes Back." Calmness makes you a better warrior and prevents mistakes. Persistent wrath can cloud judgment. That part is completely believable.

But then, in "Return of the Jedi," Lucas takes this basic wisdom and perverts it, saying -- "If you get angry -- even at injustice and murder -- it will automatically and immediately transform you into an unalloyedly evil person! All of your opinions and political beliefs will suddenly and magically reverse. Every loyalty will be forsaken and your friends won't be able to draw you back. You will instantly join your sworn enemy as his close pal or apprentice. All because you let yourself get angry at his crimes."

Uh, say what? Could you repeat that again, slowly?

In other words, getting angry at Adolf Hitler will cause you to rush right out and join the Nazi Party? Excuse me, George. Could you come up with a single example of that happening? Ever?

That contention is, in itself, a pretty darn evil thing to preach. Above all, it is just plain dumb.
posted by sotonohito at 6:32 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Did you read the same article excerpt as I?"

Did you read where I said my argument concerned the matter of context? Yelling 'hater' in a hateful manner? That's not ironic?

If she's yelling "faggot" and other derogatory terms I have no problem with someone yelling back. Saying "go fuck yourself" or "idiot" or some such. As I said.
But accusing someone of engaging in hatred while you yourself are consumed by it? Righteous or not - that there's irony.

"But I'm damn tired of people scolding the victims of oppression for being righteously pissed off at their oppressors...ut it is a valid emotion, and I don't think its expression is particularly harmful, and in some cases it may be beneficial."

Agreed. And I believe I ceded that point immediately - as I stated above. Obviously I wasn't clear. My apologies.

Given the terms of the argument as you've outlined it - no, I don't take issue with victims being righteously pissed.
I will say certain things - such as who's a victim - are matters of perspective.
As it is, here, I happen to fully and wholeheartedly agree that homosexual folks are being victimized.
So again - no sweat there.

We do agree in terms of counter-productivity.

In terms of the Star Wars argument perhaps my rhetoric was hyperbolic. But you have the luxury of thinking in in hypothetical terms and of the Nazis.
For me, it's not a hypothetical question. I myself have actually killed oppressors. People committing genocide. Other violent men.
That I did it in the spirit Krishna did doesn't much change the facts of their death or the violence done. It did change who I ultimately became and I think did keep me from becoming one of so many men I see who return from war broken or dogmatic. Men returning from war have always created friction and changes within their own countries (not just drug and alcohol addiction but riots and dogmatic political activism - the latter not such a bad thing, but as I say, single minded focus on anything can be counterproductive - the post-civil war terms of Grant and McKinley, just as an offhand example - Grant's was easily one of the most corrupt administrations in history)

So when I say I know whereof I speak, perhaps the terms I use are bombastic, but this is not some nebulous point I'm making. I speaking of blood and pain as a matter of science in human affairs as concrete as if I were a cardiothoracic surgeon speaking of a heart operation.

To be more fully clear - no, I don't have a problem with arguing one's point or anger (indeed, I'd be a hypocrite were I to contest those points - I fully understand, and indeed, I'm fully behind groups like the Pink Pistols and other self-defense groups) and I completely understand someone getting upset in that situation. And situations like it.

My point is that it is not only counterproductive, it is self-destructive.
It's easier to fight for one's principles than it is to live up to them.

Now I can't say that it's as bad as someone coming home from war. So there is some hyperbole there.

What I will say is that it is - at the absolute best - a wasted effort. Understandable? Sure. Effective for that woman? (As you say, she won't yell at any more homosexuals) Maybe. Maybe not.

But what's the effort here? Convincing some daffy woman she's wrong?

Look, I don't like to think about homosexual sex. Frankly it disgusts me.

Now, I've further considered that position - thanks to someone on metafilter who pointed out that most people think other normal people's sex is disgusting.
And, with the exception of some pornography, some films, some other intangibles I'll just omit for sake of brevity, I'd have to agree.
I don't much like to think about the older folks next door having sex. So it's a wash.

So what then is my distate for homosexuality about? Well, I don't have the neighbors next door trying to convince me it's ok.

This, to me, is part of the heart of the matter in this sliver of an instance we're discussing.
I fully cede (and as I've said above, in fact back) that homosexuals are oppressed. Unlike my next door neighbors.
So they do have to have a public front.

But if the neighbors came over and said "Look, I'm going to fuck my wife doggy style and lick her pussy while she gums my cock - you got a problem with that?" - I'm going to say I don't want to hear about it.

Again - let's stick to just the tiny sliver of this we're talking about. This guy and this woman beefing. And yeah - she's the antagonist so that's a wash too. And yes, I understand maybe it feels good to vent. And maybe the guy has a right to get pissed.

I stick with my asserting that angrily yelling 'hater' is ironic. But there ends my criticism (if indeed, it's criticism at all more that just wry comment).

However - the argument in question is not about the sex. It's not and should not be about identity or acceptance.

You can't beat someone into accepting you no matter how skilled you are.

What this is about is everyone having the same rights.

Do you want to win that battle? Or do you want to have a beef with some woman on the street?

See what I'm saying here?

So we go to back to my neighbor who wants to tell me all about rimming his wife and when she takes out her dentures and goes down on him.

They have the right to do that. And they have the right to be married. But someone who wishes to assert that facet of their identity on me - gay, straight, bi, whatever - is never going to win me over.

Someone who persists in following that line of reasoning is, yes, a fanatic.

I suppose if my neighbor did it, folks would call him a pervert.

But what's evident to me is the similarity to other social phenomena that exchange echoes.

You mention the nazis and 'sub-human vermin' - this is what the nazis' propaganda asserted. Exactly so - that the good Germans were victims. Stabbed in the back. Dolchstoss.

Hitler said - “the Jew robbed the whole nation and pressed it beneath his domination.”

Now look, we're reasonable. We all know what happened. I'm not equating the struggle of homosexuals against this discrimination with the nazi rise to power.

I'm simply pointing out the form of these things.

And to again be clear - I'm not arguing the anger the guy had. I'm arguing this sort of language.
If the guy said - completely calmly and clearly - that the woman was a hater and pursued the matter until she was brought to tears I'd argue the same point.

Did the woman deserve the rhetorical beating she took? Sure. Hell, she instigated it.

What I'm pointing out is this germination of this kind of idea and that it has a life of it's own.

Being righteously pissed off at your oppressors - solid.

But fight the right fight. You don't need to convince anyone that your identity is valid or assert it in a stronger fashion - that's exactly what they're doing.

This whole "this is what familes are supposed to be" and "what Jesus wants" etc. etc. - that's this whole worldview that's founded in an originating myth.

This guy yelling hater? He's into that. Oh, not fully. Not irredeemably. And certainly probably not comprehensively. It was probably just that moment.

But as soon as you relinquish you're intellectual honesty you're lost, man. Just for that moment with this guy, sure.

What bothers me is that your argument - your assertion that expressions of righteous anger can take a positive role in driving bigotry out of the mainstream - doesn't take into account what that will crystallize around.

Now this - all the above - is indeed, with the exception of my own experience - hypothetical.

But the tactical outline is sound. Continue to fight someone on the identity level, you're not going to get anywhere and all that anger is going to crystallize around a defining myth and you're going to go out and hurt yourselves and others.
And as more people get hurt, you're going to hold on to that anger and hold onto that myth harder and harder and more and more strongly deny the reality around you.

And you lose.

I've read about it. I've heard about it. And I've seen it happen.

That's not some facile admonishment against anger or being angry in the way one's oppressors are. That is just solid advice.

What needs to be done is legal work. Level headed and coherently focused activism. And a plea (or demand if you like) for the same basic human rights as everyone else.


Again - it's not just: 'don't let anger get the best of you' - it's methodology. It's not about this guy or acceptance, it's definitely not about this woman who started the pissing contest.

It can't be.
It can't be about them, or you, or forcing someone to recognize you. That will never - NEVER - happen. Never on your terms. Never. You will not ever change one bigot's heart by shaming them or yelling at them or punishing them.

For the life of me, I don't see how you can not see that.

The Nazis were evil. Ok. What is the identity of the Jews?

You see - the holocaust is intrinsically bound to Jewish identity.
(probably a better example than my neighbor talking about his sex life).

That's not what you want. Fight on identity terms and even if you win, or survive, you still are defined by it.

I don't know, it's a complex idea I suppose. More than I would have thought.

As short as I can put it - you're going to want to get equal acceptance under the law, more than you're going to want to defeat bigots or play identity politics.

As soon as you delve into the latter - as this guy did - albiet with all due concessions to the arguments sent my way - you've lost. Not because of anger, but because of framing. Of method in contesting. The way the anger was brought to fore.

I suppose I could get into Jean Baudrillard's argument of forms here, but I've gone on long as it is.

My mistake for appearing to contest your points (sotonohito, and CKmtl's.)
But hopefully my point is clear.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:50 PM on November 8, 2008


And I'll add - I hope it is clear. I grant, perhaps I'm reading a lot into this - but I do see the ways of these things. It's why I'm a good fighter (still alive, aren't I?). I soak in (in the 'Book of Five Rings' sense).

I mean, people are already blaming black folks.
And - not at all that this is what you've said - but that is the result of that anger.

...I suppose it boils down to "don't get mad, get even" but that's pretty simplistic.

Don't be defined by the struggle, be defined by the goal*, is better.

*(that's mine, not Mao's) - but Mao did say concerning guerrilla warfare - of which political struggle is similar in some particulars (there's a political front in any revolutionary or struggle, etc) - "The concept that guerrilla warfare is an end in itself and that guerrilla activities can be divorced from those of the regular forces is incorrect" - essentially - you want to beat the bigots, not convince them. If you can't make the shift, from guerrilla forces to regulars or from these kinds of street engagements to coherent political action, you're going to lose. Worse - you're going to keep fighting a hopeless cause just to keep fighting.

Just being right doesn't mean you get to win.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 PM on November 8, 2008


"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it...always."
— Mahatma Gandhi
posted by Smedleyman at 11:12 PM on November 8, 2008


Actualty, jnaps put some of what I was alluding to quite well in another thread. It's about integration, not self-assertion. (emphasis on 'self' there, not an admonishment against assertion)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:21 PM on November 8, 2008


Saying "go fuck yourself" or "idiot" or some such. As I said.

Yelling "idiot" at someone is better than yelling "hater"? Insinuating that they have a mental development problem because they said a hateful word is better than saying they're hateful because they said a hateful word? It's describing exactly what she did. Like screaming "WINDOW-WASHER!!" at a dude who's dangling from the side of a building with a squeegee in his hand.

But, whatever. I'll listen to your pearls of wisdom once you start rebuking blacks for calling klansmen names when the klansmen call them niggers. Or when you start chastising women for shouting "pig" at men who act like pigs.

You and many others have a lot of growing up to do if the mere thought of a sex act different than yours, or people you don't find attractive engaging in any sex act, disgusts you.
posted by CKmtl at 9:28 AM on November 9, 2008


"But, whatever. I'll listen to your pearls of wisdom once you start rebuking blacks for calling klansmen names when the klansmen call them niggers. Or when you start chastising women for shouting "pig" at men who act like pigs."

I've saved many lives from murderous racist thugs. I've risked my life to stop the systematic rape of women. You come and tell me when you can say you've put your principles to that kind of test and maybe your dismissal will mean shit to me. I need to grow up?
You need to go back to grade school and learn to read.

First fucking thing on my comment was my apology for not making it clear and my concession to the point you just reiterated because I'd taken it the wrong way.

Feel free to have the integrity to offer courtesy any time.

"You and many others have a lot of growing up to do if the mere thought of a sex act different than yours, or people you don't find attractive engaging in any sex act, disgusts you."

You masturbate to the thought of your parents having sex do you?
Think about your kids when you jerk off? That wouldn't disgust you at all?

The point there is, and apparently I have to belabor it, you do not have to, nor should you try to, convince someone to feel a certain way about things.

When you try to do that - yes, you have a mental problem.
Not wholly, not for all time. But at that moment - yes, it's a problem. Yes, it's fanaticism.
Yes, it's counterproductive.

I'll try another tack: if your child is kidnapped. The police (FBI here, but catchall for LEA 'police') - will ask you a number of questions. In the course of some of these questions and investigations they will attempt to ascertain if you yourself are responsible for your child's abduction.

Some people take offense. Some people say "How dare you!" and so forth. They won't offer up their bank records. They won't - for example - admit to having an affair even though it's never going to come out and all pains are taken to protect the innocent. (Innocent of kidnapping that is).

I ask you - are they thinking of their child at that moment?

I'm not questioning the overall love they have for their kids. I'm not questioning whether their shame or anger is appropriate.
I'm saying, at that moment, they're thinking of themselves. Their ego is involved.

They don't see - at that moment - that the best way to get their kid back is by cooperating with the investigators to the fullest degree so they can shut down that avenue of investigation as soon as possible and devote their resources to getting their child back.

Now, are the parents justifiably distraught? Sure.
Is it still counterproductive? You're damn right it is.
Hell, it's even kind of ironic.

I don't know how many times I can stress this is not about whether the terminology is apt or not, it's about flawed methodology. In that moment - yes, fanaticism. He forgot himself. Understandable, sure.

I cut this guy all kinds of slack and fully ceded the valid emotion part of it. But draining it of all other particulars, my criticism stands. And you yourself know that - and have asserted that.
You said 'spleens' should not be vented at black homosexuals, that black folks on the street shouldn't be yelled at.
Well, why not? Is it that black folks can't be haters? Shouldn't you inform them then of their hatred?
Why not? Oh, because that might sabotage the political effort, start unnecessary trouble and be an otherwise waste of time. Gee, ya think?
Gosh, it must be wisdom because I didn't say it.

If you can't understand the simple point and insist on continuing to attack someone who is in all other ways on your side of this issue then I can see no clearer illustration of more willing to fight for one's principles than live up to them than you.

Now, do you want to continue to cherry pick phrases out of my comments and cast aspersions or do you want to make an actual counterpoint? Or do you want to come to terms?


(Probably a waste of my time. I'll come back and see a whole lot of nothing for days. But I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn't try.)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:19 AM on November 9, 2008


"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it...always."

Gandhi was a fake who gets the credit for driving the British out of India because it makes the ruling classes extremely nervous to suggest that the ongoing violent uprisings and murders of British occupiers might have done it.

Peace, love, and "truth" always lose to assault rifles, and it's sick how our culture insists that the former are the only legitimate means by which the oppressed may seek justice.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:49 AM on November 9, 2008


I'm "cherry picking" phrases out of your comments because I only have a problem with those particular points, and your comments are usually very long (which is fine, that's your writing style). So, three things:

1) The pointing out of the "irony" of the various behaviours strikes me as accusatory. If you only meant it in some sort of meta-commentary way... fine, I guess. Whatever.

2) No, I wouldn't masturbate to fantasies of my parents or children (I don't have kids, but theoretically speaking) having sex. I don't masturbate to the thought of my >70yo colostomy-bagged uncle having sex with my >60yo aunt. I don't masturbate to the thought of my straight friends having sex with their partners.

But there is a huuuuuuge expanse on the continuum of reactions between outright disgust and sweaty fantasizing. I'd be happy for my single mother if she found a emotionally and physically satisfying relationship. I'm happy for my uncle that his wife finds him attractive, despite the colostomy bag that he thought would disgust her. I'm happy that my straight friends have emotionally and physically satisfying relationships, despite my personal distaste for the female anatomy.

I mean, do you realize how quickly and severely other MeFites (and probably admins) would come down on me if I popped into every straight relationship question on AskMe to chime in with "Y'know, I think tits and pussies are gross, but here are some options that may be helpful..."? That's what it feels like whenever some straight person pops into a gay-related thread with "ew, cocks. ew, buttsex. ew, lesbians."

3) You said 'spleens' should not be vented at black homosexuals, that black folks on the street shouldn't be yelled at. Well, why not? Is it that black folks can't be haters? Shouldn't you inform them then of their hatred?

I said that meaning that you have no way of knowing whether that random black person on the street, just by virtue of their blackness, is among the 70% of black Yes-voters or among the 30% of black No-voters; that 30% is not a negligible minority. And because the black homosexual's blackness does not make them responsible for the way the 70% voted.

Now, if a black man or woman were flinging anti-gay epithets, that's another story altogether. I'd be all for telling that person off and calling them a hater.
posted by CKmtl at 11:56 AM on November 9, 2008


"Peace, love, and "truth" always lose to assault rifles"

Really? Pick one up. Find out. Shoot some of these folks. Go right ahead. Let me know how it works out.

I've actually walked the walk, so I can talk the talk. Come back and let me know when you can.

Violence is often a component of any given struggle. It is not the basis for legitimacy, however. Legitimacy is earned through consistency and trust. Most certainly through truth.

Why haven't we won in Iraq of Afghanistan? Why didn't we achieve our objectives in Vietnam?
Who did 'win' there?

It's sick how our culture insists that violence is so necessary to creating any form of change and yet when it comes time for them to pick up a weapon and perhaps take the responsibility themselves they're more than willing to push someone else to do it.
Oh, and shit all over them when they come back from doing it as well (that's not just the U.S. though - pretty universal).

That said - the Gandhi quote was more an extension of my hand - an encouragement - a way to say "don't let it get you down" sort of thing.

I am not - again especially given the copious amounts of argument I've made on the topic - asserting that non-violence is the only method by which one can legitimately seek justice.


"The pointing out of the "irony" of the various behaviours strikes me as accusatory"

I didn't mean it that way. I did apologize for it. Want me to say I was wrong in how I put it? Ok, I was wrong. Again - my apologies.

"But there is a huuuuuuge expanse on the continuum of reactions between outright disgust and sweaty fantasizing."

Agreed - but again - perhaps you think I'm joking when I say outright that you've missed my point even when I cede it as my own fault.
(I have much the same problem when I argue "God" with atheists who insist on framing my argument in judeo-christian terms.)

My point is NOT one of the same old tropes you mention. Had you read anything I've posted on this topic I've strongly defended homosexual love as love. As such a thing that AUGMENTS my own relationship and the world my children will inherit.
Hell, I even did it here with Takei.

I don't much care how you feel when someone says "ew buttsex." I don't much care if someone dislikes broccoli either or if you feel any way about that.
And I understand if a gay man is disgusted by vaginae - but I don't much care.

The point is exactly that I don't have to convince him to like them for us to get along. I don't have to engage in that facet of his identity.
Everyone has a sexual identity. Everyone - but we universally tend not to think about it.

Why? Because it doesn't matter in common discourse. My mom has sex. It's great that she has an emotionally and physically satisfying relationship - but it's not part of any dialogue she and I have on a regular basis.

Nor is it necessary to me recognizing and respecting her basic humanity.

My point, as I mentioned, is about 90% jnaps's (as I linked to above) - homosexuals are a normal part of society. I obviously failed to illustrate that well as the core component.
But again - society doesn't much talk about their sexual identity in terms of requiring acceptance. I mean sexuality - not relationships.

And I don't mean in terms of derail on AskMe. Far as I know there's nothing to prevent someone asking a question there about homosexual relationships or homosexual sex. If someone came in and said 'I find this disgusting' it would be just as much of a derail as your counter example.


"...if a black man or woman were flinging anti-gay epithets, that's another story altogether. I'd be all for telling that person off and calling them a hater."

Well, again - here's a slight disagreement we have. I think the framing of an argument is relevant. I think it's counterproductive. And I think it's besides the point.

Again - do you want to fight or do you want to win?
Is it more important to try to argue with a bigot and show him/her they're wrong (and again - however understandable it might be)

Let me stress it, because you're right, I do write long - but I'm trying to be clear:

as a matter of course - is it more important in your opinion to confront the anti-gay person flinging epithets in the street - or is it more important to devote one's attention to 'becoming an integrated part of society, with the same legal rights that are granted to every other citizen'?

Furthermore - do you agree, or not, with the point that a more tactically focused effort on changing the law and public opinion is sabotaged by undue confrontation, whether its warranted or not?


And if the answers to those questions are that it is more important to work on changing the law than it is getting in a beef with someone on the street where nothing is going to change and that that effort could be derailed - then my (slight) criticism stands. Again - with all due concessions in the arguments that have been put to it.

(Thanks for the courtesy of answering btw - I know Pope Guilty won't honestly address a counterpoint)

And if nothing else illustrates that most of you are looking more for a fight on this topic than a win - why the hell are you arguing with me who is 100% on your side over this minor observation?

What, I'm a prick if I don't wholly agree with ever single thing any gay person does? You're all for telling someone off and calling them a hater. Swell. I disagree. I understand. I see your point. But I slightly disagree in terms of efficacy and such action as a matter of course.

Man, I must be a fake piece of shit just like Gandhi.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:02 PM on November 9, 2008


I find it necessary again, unfortunately, to apologize. That last bit was sort of snide.

But this is trying my patience and indeed, if I'm being put off and I'm all the way over on this issue, you might question whether it is I who has changed position or whether this sort of thing does have an element to it that is to the exclusion of other possible points of view.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:12 PM on November 9, 2008


I'm not trying to get down your throat on the issue of gay rights, or exclude you from being in favour of them.

The points I disagreed with are completely ancillary to the larger issue: the first had to do with how a person handles a confrontation with a person flinging epithets, and the second had to do with the appropriateness of people bringing their personal views on various sex acts into the debate even as an aside.

As to the first, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't see such a confrontation as a campaigning opportunity, since a person who's angrily calling someone "faggot" seems like a lost cause to me. In general, campaigning and fostering acceptance are more important. But in that specific confrontation, with that specific person, I'd rather not let them walk away thinking that I just lay down and take it.

As to the second, I don't know how I can express to you how utterly tiresome it is. Not the single instance of you doing it, but the general habit of people doing it. It happens all too often online and in person. A couple examples:

I forget who it was, but there was someone here who said something similar to: "I think if it were just about lesbians, the issue of gay marriage wouldn't be a problem. People out there have a big problem with stuff going up their butts." Which is ridiculous, if you think about it, since Straight Person A allowing gays to marry will in no way affect what does or doesn't go up Straight Person A's butt.

I was listening to The State We're In (a show about human rights) on Radio Netherlands International last night. A large part of it was about gays in the military, so they had a gay officers from the Dutch army on as a commentator. He's the head of the gay soldiers' group/union/whatever in the Dutch military. At one point the host was asking him about how much acceptance of homosexuals there is in the Dutch military... The officer said it really depends: when the issue is just the theoretical presence of gays, about 90% of people in their military are accepting; but when the issue of actually seeing two military men kissing or holding hands (intimacy, not even sex) comes up, that number drops to a little below 50%.

Could you imagine if urologists were in the habit of acting similarly? "I don't want to think about you two wrinkly saggy people having sex, but here's your Viagra prescription."
posted by CKmtl at 1:54 PM on November 9, 2008


(Also, my soon-to-be-former ISP is being an asshole with surprise bandwidth caps, so I'm not going to be reloading this long-ish thread. I know it's ultimately a small download, but I don't want to accidentally go over and get an extra bill after I switch providers. So if you want to discuss it further, drop me a MeMail.)
posted by CKmtl at 2:36 PM on November 9, 2008


"the first had to do with how a person handles a confrontation with a person flinging epithets,"

As to that, I think the point where we diverge is my consideration of this within the context of this particular issue. It sounds to me like you're saying generally speaking handling confrontation with someone flinging epithets by yelling back is ok.
I'd agree.
My point is only as it relates to the broader issue. Letting them walk away thinking you would lay down and take it is a whole other thing.
I disagree in principle. But I fully cede that's easy to say in a calm situation from afar. It's easy to say "you should" or "this guy should have" from behind a computer screen.
If it were me, maybe I'd do the same thing.
But me getting angry and losing control is a real problem. Not that I lose it, but when I do.
Offhand I'm thinking of the Richard Simmons confrontation with the trained fighter. He slapped the guy in the face (granted the other guy pretty much instigated it), but Simmons made it physical.
Well, should the other guy have reacted? And if he did get angry - he's a trained fighter. Simmons is a fitness guru. No contest.

It's mostly just a caution not to let things get out of hand. I know what I can do if I let myself go. So I tend to be very guarded and disciplined against it. I suppose broaching that can sound like a condemnation.
Did this guy let things get out of hand? No.

I'm just asking for a little slack in making my point. The metaphors aren't meant to be tight formal arguments.

And yeah, I don't know what it's like to be on that end of things - that is people bringing their personal views on various sex acts into things.
(I didn't do it - btw - it was meant in the negative).
I can see how it's tiresome. And I can see how one can react to something one is sensitive to. Again - like myself and anger and violence.

I mean, people have to treat homosexuals like anyone else. You don't talk to your grocer about his sex life. Your urologist doesn't say "hey, I don't want to think about you using this"
No, I entirely agree with that.

Hell, my wife and I a bit ago defended two guys walking arm in arm near Boystown (self-applied epithet there, so I use it) in Chicago.
Some knuckleheads were laughing and said some things. "Fags" or whatever.
I'm a large man. I strolled over and said "What are you jagoffs from Kansas?"
So the gay guys stood their ground and it was basically the four of us on the three of the bigots and we had a nice "wanna do something about it?" moment there.

It's not an intimacy issue for me. It's that intimacy is something accorded everyone. I mean exactly - intimacy. Something not discussed about folks. I kiss my wife in public all the time. If someone told me that was gross and they didn't want to think of us in bed together I'd be pissed off too.
And that's what I'm saying - people accord the courtesy of not bringing the sex act into their minds when two people are being intimate. They allow discretion there. There's a sort of mental/social cut off where - as you say - the urologist just hands over the viagra and doesn't think about what it's for. Not really.

I merely pointed out (or tried, poorly) that my thought process changed on this. From the perspective you mention - that is - I'm disgusted by gay sex. To - after reading commenary by someone on mefi about it - hey - I'm disgusted at the thought of pretty much anyone having sex.
...and that's why I don't think much about it.
....so why would I think about gay men having sex?

And from there the thought that - well, I shouldn't. I accord people the social courtesy of not being oversensitive or obsessing about what they do in the bedroom by extrapolating that from holding hands or kissing.

People do that with me (my wife and I are very affectionate). So why the omission?

Ergo, I concluded my thinking had been wrong and I changed it accordingly.

So yeah, I think the mix up is I was augmenting your point from the straight perspective. Perhaps by a not so traditional path - but I'm most certainly there with you.

---
Off point but - I've always argued for homosexuals in the military.
Bit off track here, but my only argument has been in terms of restricted housing. I think someone should live with whomever they wish. As it is, military rules on boarding restrict that. But if two men can live together, I see no reason why I can't live with my girlfriend or just a female who I get along with.

(And I'm not making the tiresome argument that any two men who are gay are attracted to one another - merely saying the option is currently restricted so there would have to be sweeping changes in housing - which I support).

Barracks options would have to remain the same for efficiency sake. Men can easily stand and pee. Women need tampons. Homosexual, straight, bi, that's not going to change. And anyone having sex in those close quarters is a morale problem (not just gay folks - so that counter argument doesn't work either).

---

Anyway - somethings I don't understand. The experiences gay folks are going through I can't comment on. And maybe I miss some facets.
Doesn't mean I don't empathize.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:58 PM on November 9, 2008


Nationwide protests against state amendments banning gay marriage will take place this Saturday, November 15th. There is at least 1 protest location in every state, including DC. Facebook group for the nationwide event. There are also Facebook groups for every individual protest. There is a video ad.

8:30AM HST
10:30AM West Coast
11:30AM Mountain
12:30PM Central
1:30PM East Coast

DC people, we are doing the old school thing and marching from the Capitol.
posted by Tehanu at 1:11 PM on November 12, 2008


Why I Keep Going.
posted by Tehanu at 6:34 PM on November 12, 2008


California Supreme Court filings on Proposition 8. You can sign up to receive updates. Cases: S168047, S168066, S168078, S168281, S168302, S168332.
posted by Tehanu at 11:58 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


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