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No More Mr Nice Gay...
November 8, 2008 3:41 PM   Subscribe

"We should have got nasty a long time ago,". So the mormon church has decided to get itself involved with the politics in California? Some California residents have decided to attempt to have the church's tax exempt status revoked while others are taking the fight more directly to the church. Some have called for a boycott of Utah while possibly the only mormon in Utah who doesn't give a crap about gay marriage has written a very insightful piece.
posted by Talez (220 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
My friend told me about this yesterday and I love it. My favorite line from the last link is "The only serious concern I have about gays getting married is that they'll register someplace pricey."
posted by cashman at 3:52 PM on November 8, 2008 [12 favorites]


I used to live in Salt Lake and as far as I could tell Mormons were just like any other group of fallible humans, except that they don't realize or accept their own fallibility--just like every other group humans.
posted by RussHy at 3:54 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


So are they also going to "get nasty" and boycott African-American and Latino owned businesses? Seems like those two groups had much more to do with Prop. 8 passing than Mormons.
posted by gyc at 3:55 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


As a non-Mormon Utahn for 23 years, I agree with the sentiment, but Utah is not a "hate state." I'm extremely disappointed about Prop 8, but I don't understand why the response to prejudice is always prejudice.
posted by OrangeDrink at 3:56 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


...I don't understand why the response to prejudice is always prejudice.

Prejudice is every human's default state. It saves us the energy of thinking.
posted by RussHy at 3:58 PM on November 8, 2008 [8 favorites]


I passed by a protest in San Francisco last night, my favorite sign was "Joseph Smith had 34 wives, I just want 1".
posted by bradbane at 4:01 PM on November 8, 2008 [17 favorites]


Seriously? You're going to hate the Mormon church for hating you?
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change. - Thich Nhat Hahn
Unlike like Nhat Hahn, I think people can be persuaded, but understanding has to come first.

Protestant evangelicals must be delighted: sodomite gays versus apostate Mormon cult.
posted by phrontist at 4:01 PM on November 8, 2008 [15 favorites]


Doesn't "separation of church and state" mean that states can't compel churches to marry gays; rather, that the state cannot deny them the legal right to be married (eg. by a justice of the peace or more accomodating churches)?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:02 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Strip the Mormon church of its status as a religious organization.

I'm sorry, that's all kinds of stupid.
posted by dhammond at 4:03 PM on November 8, 2008


So are they also going to "get nasty" and boycott African-American and Latino owned businesses? Seems like those two groups had much more to do with Prop. 8 passing than Mormons.

I guess you missed the bit where people are born black, but choose to participate in the vigorously homophobic Mormon church.
posted by rodgerd at 4:04 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


...You never blame the lettuce....

If the lettuce hates me and tries to harm me I understand, but I also act to protect myself and my loved ones, and I act to neutralize the lettuce so it doesn't harm me or others.
posted by RussHy at 4:05 PM on November 8, 2008 [23 favorites]


If the LDS church had a hand in putting out any of the propaganda like "it will force schools to teach about gay marriage", I really hope there's strong evidence and that the IRS will act on it.

Also, I'm going to instruct the crickets to spare Robert Kirby. Then, if he wants, he can rebuild the church in his image: that of a man with a good head on his shoulders, a good sense of humour, and a rockin' cop 'stache.
posted by CKmtl at 4:06 PM on November 8, 2008


All of the Yes on 8 signs near me were in Mexican yards and supplied by the Catholic church. The Catholic church had a more effective get out the yes vote from what I've seen.
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:06 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Catholic church should read as Knights of Columbus. My bad
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:08 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was there Thursday night and I kind of got the impression that most of the people there didn't care about the Mormons in particular--at least, no more than they cared about all the other people who voted "yes". It seemed like the protests were started by the anti-Mormon contingent, but the folks who came later on just found the big giant temple to be a convenient gathering place.

I think the first article plays up the anger a little too much; hardly anybody was really angry. In fact, people were snickering at the woman who "led" the march when she begged us to be peaceful; she just came off as really self-important, since everyone had already been completely peaceful for like two hours.

But, yeah, I don't really like this anti-Mormon stuff. How many of the "yes" voters could possibly have been Mormon, anyway? 5%, tops?
posted by equalpants at 4:08 PM on November 8, 2008


That Buddhist stuff has a place, and this isn't it. Phrontist, can you effectively apply the metaphor to this situation and say what it is people need to "understand" about these folks? They were using force and power to make their families donate money to the 8 campaign. They are deliberately self-isolated from meaningful communication in which they could perceive your understanding.

I think that these Buddhist quotes often serve to make the quoter look good or have some mystical detached aura. This isn't the place or the time.

Let's look at MLK, for instance. He went a long way using the Bible as a very effective tool to get whites to understand him, and he was assassinated.

It's at moments like this that I remember, realise and am proud of the fact that I am Western through and through.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:09 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seems like those two groups had much more to do with Prop. 8 passing than Mormons.

Their churches organized a $19 million donation to the cause?

For a non-profit tax-exempt organization to actively lobby as a political action committee is a serious problem. Today, the Mormon Church targeted gays and lesbians for discrimination. Tomorrow, another church will actively intervene to take rights away from another minority.

I agree that there is a lot of blame to go around — particularly among minority groups who should know better than to take rights away from other minorities — but it's fair to say that the Mormon Church broke the law and its tax-exempt status needs to be revoked.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:10 PM on November 8, 2008 [36 favorites]


particularly among minority groups who should know better than to take rights away from other minorities

This is a laughable aside.
posted by phaedon at 4:11 PM on November 8, 2008


I guess you missed the bit where people are born black, but choose to participate in the vigorously homophobic Mormon church.

I think you're missing my point that it was African-Americans that voted overwhelmingly for Prop. 8, and many more African-Americans live in California than do Mormons.
posted by gyc at 4:13 PM on November 8, 2008


A Black lesbian shares an interesting perspective in today's LA Times
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:13 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


"possibly the only mormon in Utah who doesn't give a crap about gay marriage"

Obviously, you've performed some very rigorous polling.

Listen, I'm sorry my gf's best friend didn't invite you to her wedding. I really am. It wasn't my place, though, to make demands on the guest list. But I assure you that both she and her husband don't "hate gay marriage" just because they couldn't invite every person who posts to every website I frequent to their wedding. I mean, like I told you at the time, I'm really sorry about this, but you're going to have to get over it.

I mean, I guess you could say you're technically right. They do give a crap about gay marriage. Despite being Mormons, they are both theater folk, and very pro gay as a result of it. But still, dude. Let the wedding thing go. Think of it as one fewer gift that you didn't have to buy.
posted by Eideteker at 4:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a laughable aside.

There's not much to laugh about here. It's pretty depressing, actually.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:16 PM on November 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


For a non-profit tax-exempt organization to actively lobby as a political action committee is a serious problem.

I'm fairly certain the Mormon church itself did not donate money from its own coffers to the support the proposition. And I'm not splitting hairs here...the right of private citizens who happen to be religious to support political causes is wholly within the law.
posted by dhammond at 4:16 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly certain the Mormon church itself did not donate money from its own coffers to the support the proposition.

Given how the Mormon Church functions, the only difference between it writing a check and it instructing its flock to write checks is — maybe — a technicality, at best.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:22 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


So are they also going to "get nasty" and boycott African-American and Latino owned businesses? Seems like those two groups had much more to do with Prop. 8 passing than Mormons.

There are a few critical differences. From what I understand (I repeat, from what I understand) the Mormon Church organized an extensive, systematic and church-wide campaign for Prop. 8, whereas the involvement of minority churches was on a pastor-by-pastor basis. Moreover, the degree of formal involvement suggests that the Church violated the requirements for non-profit status.

And no, I don't think nastiness solves anything. Smart outreach and campaigning does. But it's important to identify your enemies, and they usually are institutions rather individuals. While I'm skeptical enough to think that many people who oppose equal treatment of gays under the law are merely out-and-out bigots who find convenient euphemisms for their prejudices, I think there are a significant proportion of people who voted for the proposition whose minds can be changed with enough outreach: explaining the difference between civil and religious marriage, dismantling the silly slippery slope arguments against queer marriages, humanizing the people who they currently fear and consider "the other."

However, I think it's entirely appropriate to recognize the Mormon Church and the Knights of Columbus as the hate groups that they are.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:23 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's always sort of amazing how quickly people whose rights are not being threatening pipe up with some words from the Buddha or MLK, or to argue that certain tactics are too harsh or unfair.

When they strip away your right to marry, we'll see what tactics you tale off the table.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:23 PM on November 8, 2008 [29 favorites]


However, I think it's entirely appropriate to recognize the Mormon Church and the Knights of Columbus as the hate groups that they are.

You know what, scratch that. It's hyperbole. Make it:
However, I think it's entirely appropriate to recognize the Mormon Church and the Knights of Columbus as major barriers to social equality.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:24 PM on November 8, 2008


I'd recommend that anyone who wants to blame black Californians for the passage of prop 8 ought to read this post.
posted by shaun uh at 4:25 PM on November 8, 2008 [14 favorites]


Seriously? You're going to hate the Mormon church for hating you?

Seems entirely reasonable to me. Since I'm not a crazy God-ist, I don't believe there's any moral imperative to turn the other cheek.

The taxation of churches is one of my three or four pet peeve issues. Churches have been involved, deeply, in American politics since the beginning, but they've really gotten bold. There is a clear violation of the constitution, to my mind, in allowing priests and ministers to electioneer (even using subtle dog whistle code words) from the pulpit; allowing churches to make profits off landholdings and businesses; and allowing churches to use public facilities when they are exempt from taxation.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


from buggzzee23's link:

At a time when blacks are still more likely than whites to be pulled over for no reason, more likely to be unemployed than whites, more likely to live at or below the poverty line, I was too busy trying to get black people registered to vote, period; I wasn't about to focus my attention on what couldn't help but feel like a secondary issue

this absolutely infuriates me!!!

civil rights are civil rights, period.

this just eviscerated my last vestiges of obamalove. oh well. it was a nice few days.
posted by CitizenD at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


maybe — a technicality, at best.

Those technicalities matter a great deal when you're talking about whether or not someone broke the law. I'm guessing the LDS lawyers looked at their actions fairly closely before deciding what actions to take.
posted by dhammond at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2008


I think you're missing my point that it was African-Americans that voted overwhelmingly for Prop. 8, and many more African-Americans live in California than do Mormons.

I think you're missing the point that this isn't about people voting as a bloc or whose bloc is bigger.

It's about this section of the IRS code w.r.t. tax exemption which the LDS church may have violated: "no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation".
posted by CKmtl at 4:28 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Those technicalities matter a great deal when you're talking about whether or not someone broke the law.

Whether the Mormon Church broke the law directly, or whether they used a technicality to get around the law, I'm perfectly happy with the IRS placing this hate group under greater scrutiny, as they deserve.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:31 PM on November 8, 2008


gyc, the Mormons paid for a lot of pro-8 advertising (and spent over $15 million on the campaign), which no doubt had an effect on the African American community's choices. That was their goal--to convince people who live in CA who are not Mormon to vote for prop 8. People voting what they believe is one thing, but the large-scale campaign the Mormons mounted is on a different order.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:33 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


The last link sums up my feelings. This feels like such a non issue in the sense that why would anywhere care that gay people want to marry. Are they paying taxes and not playing their stereo too loud after 9pm? Fine, whatever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:33 PM on November 8, 2008


Waits patiently for someone to jump down Blazcock's throat for calling the Mormon Church a hate group, because the most important thing of all in the discussion of a violation of civil rights is to not use harsh language when discussing the people who are violating civil rights.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


I think the LA Times writer's comments about problems with political outreach to minority communities are helpful. But this:

The first problem with Proposition 8 was the issue of marriage itself. The white gay community never successfully communicated to blacks why it should matter to us above everything else -- not just to me as a lesbian but to blacks generally. The way I see it, the white gay community is banging its head against the glass ceiling of a room called equality, believing that a breakthrough on marriage will bestow on it parity with heterosexuals. But the right to marry does nothing to address the problems faced by both black gays and black straights.


is the same nonsense I've heard over and over again since the emergence of gay marriage as a mainstream political issue over a decade ago -- namely, that marriage is politically unimportant because it is a bourgeois luxury that is irrelevant to minorities or the poor. This is simply nonsense. The right to obtain health coverage, to visit your partner in the hospital, not to mention many others -- are simply not luxuries for the wealthy. It's fine that the writer doesn't consider marriage part of her political priorities, or doesn't feel that it's relevant to her life opportunities and choices. But her argument is specious.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2008 [14 favorites]


...You never blame the lettuce
Throughout history, people have salted & scorched the earth rather than allow weeds to grow.

posted by MaxK at 4:35 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


*i just want to clarify my comment above: by obamalove, i don't mean my love for the candidate, or for people of color. i just mean that much of the joy and glee i felt immediately after the election (ie. 'obamalove') has faded, in light of the anti-gay ballot measures which passed on tuesday.
posted by CitizenD at 4:35 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, shaun uh, that post is amazing. Great work whoever that blogger is. I'd thank her, but there are already 1,984 comments.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:40 PM on November 8, 2008


Dale Carpenter:
Here's my advice to righteously furious gay-marriage supporters: Stop the focus on the Mormon Church. Stop it now. We just lost a ballot fight in which we were falsely but effectively portrayed as attacking religion. So now some of us attack a religion? People were warned that churches would lose their tax-exempt status, which was untrue. So now we have (frivolous) calls for the Mormon Church to lose its tax-exempt status? It's rather selective indignation, anyway, since lots of demographic groups gave us Prop 8 in different ways — some with money and others with votes. I understand the frustration, but this particular expression of it is wrong and counter-productive.
posted by Class Goat at 4:45 PM on November 8, 2008


gyc, the Mormons paid for a lot of pro-8 advertising (and spent over $15 million on the campaign), which no doubt had an effect on the African American community's choices. That was their goal--to convince people who live in CA who are not Mormon to vote for prop 8. People voting what they believe is one thing, but the large-scale campaign the Mormons mounted is on a different order.

I understand that point. But I give more blame more to the people that could actually directly affect the results by voting than people who could not directly affect the results (i.e. out-of-state Mormons).
posted by gyc at 4:47 PM on November 8, 2008


I think that these Buddhist quotes often serve to make the quoter look good or have some mystical detached aura. This isn't the place or the time.

I am not a Buddhist. By quoting someone from that tradition I mean to forward a very limited statement the guy once said, not endorse a huge and poorly defined cultural tradition. If we want to claim so allegiances, I'm a metaphysical naturalist (so, athest, afairyist, aboddhisattvaist, aghostist) who finds himself agreeing with Spinoza and Dennett more often than not. So, I quote this robe wearing fellow because I think he has a way with words, and expressed an idea better than I've been able to - why reinvent the rhetorical wheel, eh?

Phrontist, can you effectively apply the metaphor to this situation and say what it is people need to "understand" about these folks? They were using force and power to make their families donate money to the 8 campaign. They are deliberately self-isolated from meaningful communication in which they could perceive your understanding.

Yes. And, in fact, you've started things off very nicely. The parochial mindset of these religious types makes them fearful of the unknown. If you've never met an openly gay couple, and your mental models come from ancient bedouin fairy tales involving depraved hedonists smited by Yahweh, it's not surprising you're going to try to sway an election such a seemingly "obvious" issue. Moreover, these cultures have a huge emotional investment in marriage as a cultural institution and in an increasingly secular world feel their traditions being chipped away at.

So yeah, don't hate the lettuce for attacking you, it doesn't know better. That doesn't mean you have to lay down and take it - I'm very much in favor of the Mormons (and many other groups, for that matter) losing their tax exempt status for their clear interference in the political arena. A boycott sounds like a slightly more complicated situation, because there would be a lot of collateral damage amongst more tolerant Mormons.

I'm just saying you can't hate these people, you can't stoop to that level, tempting though it may be. You become prejudicial and distraught - which should be reason enough - but from a purely pragmatic standpoint I think it detracts from your political goals.
posted by phrontist at 4:51 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Look, no one's ever given me a good reason that the massively rich churches of the United States don't pay taxes. But it's the law. Fair enough. However, the law also states that these churches are not allowed to engage in politics if they wish to maintain their tax free status.

By flouting this law, the LDS is literally taking money from my pocket and using it to attack people's rights. There are obvious logical consequences - they should lose their tax exempt status.

I fail to understand why this is "frivolous". They cheated to win; they need to pay the penalty. If they're allowed cheating on their taxes, why aren't any of us?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:53 PM on November 8, 2008 [15 favorites]


That black lesbian's column was a mess. She lost me at "Gay marriage? Please." I'm married, thanks, and I don't look forward to our marriage certificate being tossed out because a bunch of Mormons pumped out a never-ending stream of flyers and online ads with the faces of Barack Obama and Joe Biden on them, despite the fact that both men expressed their opposition to this mean-spirited bill. I frankly think the Mormons are trying to build an alliance with the Christian right so the decks will be cleared for Romney 2012.
posted by digaman at 4:56 PM on November 8, 2008 [9 favorites]


he parochial mindset of these religious types makes them fearful of the unknown. If you've never met an openly gay couple, and your mental models come from ancient bedouin fairy tales involving depraved hedonists smited by Yahweh, it's not surprising you're going to try to sway an election such a seemingly "obvious" issue.

I don't know. I would say many of the people who are agitating for anti-gay causes have experience with gay people. The issue isn't ignorance, it's power, and the anti-gay marriage thing hasn't come to the forefront because people are superstitious about gays, it is because certain groups have found it useful to invent and promote a common enemy. You can educate all you like, but as long as those in power are able to make useful political hay out of things like this, your education is going to be undermined at every step by a concerted and well-funded program of mis-education, as we saw with the anti-gay marriage propaganda that was spread around California. It's not enough to say "oh, educate." You have to identify who benefits from promoting hate, and you have to figure out how to strip those benefits away. That's how real change happens.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:56 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


phrontist: I'm not talking about "hating" Mormons; I'm talking about logical consequences, in exactly the same way you'd punish a child if they did something wrong.

Losing their tax exempt status for a few years wouldn't kill the Mormons - they'd survive - and perhaps they'd learn that they cannot have their cake (tax exempt status) and eat it (be active in politics - particularly hate politics that hurts millions of others).

Unfortunately, like children, if you allow them to get away with their misbehaviour, they will believe that it's acceptable and continue to do it. For the common peace, it's neccessary to punish the Mormon church for breaking the extremely clear laws of the land.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:56 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Some day you will want to marry a head of lettuce and then you will understand.
posted by Postroad at 5:02 PM on November 8, 2008 [13 favorites]


If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

The way I imagine the future is a boot stomping a human face, forever, while the human face "understands".
posted by DU at 5:04 PM on November 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


I will say this: Never marry a head of lettuce without an iron clad prenup. I speak from bitter experience here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:04 PM on November 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


It seems to me that a religion going on a deliberate campaign against an initiative is a violation of the IRS rules. If they violated the law, they should lose their status. If they didn't, they shouldn't.

If you become political, you have to deal with the rules of politics. If you want tax exempt status, don't go becoming the largest donor to a political campaign.

Imagine if the Mormon Church had been the biggest donor to McCain's campaign and had given him more $ than Obama raised and he'd won the election. Do you think it would be unfair for African Americans-- or anyone else, for that matter-- to target the church by advocating for prosecution of it for violating a law it did appear to flagrantly violate?

You want to get concessions from Caesar, you have to play by his rules. If you violate them, you should be prosecuted. If there's another religion that has done this so blatantly, I'd like to hear about it. The Catholics with abortion don't count because they do not give $ as the Catholic Church to political campaigns, although there are Catholic organizations who do so. When it's $, not just speech, and when it's not a spin-off, but the church itself, I think you risk your tax status rightly.
posted by Maias at 5:05 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's look at MLK, for instance. He went a long way using the Bible as a very effective tool to get whites to understand him, and he was assassinated.

MLK's approach was not invalidated by his death, and I'm sorry you feel that way (if that is indeed what you mean to imply). It wasn't about using the Bible to get white people to understand him so much as understanding white people through a tradition related to his own. I was argue his nonviolent and understanding approach (which he patterned after Ghandi's) lead to immense progress in this country. He is as a good a role model as any you'll find in that regard.

As an interesting aside, Thich Nhat Hahn convinced MLK to oppose the Vietnam war, the end of which was Hahn's goal for many years. MLK later nominated him for the Nobel prize.

Seems entirely reasonable to me. Since I'm not a crazy God-ist, I don't believe there's any moral imperative to turn the other cheek.

I'm no God-ist, nor do I feel we should always turn the other cheek. I'm talking about is our internal reactions, which ultimately dictate our actions and (I would argue) how they are received.
posted by phrontist at 5:06 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm talking about is our internal reactions, which ultimately dictate our actions and (I would argue) how they are received.

Well, go ahead and love and understand. I'm going to go ahead and boycott any business or organization that had a hand in stripping away the rights of a group of citizens. And I won't be loving them when I do it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:09 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been a practicing Buddhist for about 30 years now, and I'm a huge admirer of Thich Nhat Hanh, but I'm not a gaddam wimp. I don't advocate hating the Mormons or the blacks who voted for this bill or the whites or whoever. But there's nothing un-Buddhist about massive civil disobedience, questioning the Mormon church's tax-exempt status, or boycotting Utah.
posted by digaman at 5:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


The LA Times piece really resonated with me. My sense (as someone who followed the Prop 8 thing with some interest, but who does not live in CA, nor is affected directly by the legality of gay marriage) is that the opponents of Prop 8 chose a strategy that proved deeply ineffective at reaching many minority and religious voters, and even so they can within inches of winning.

My guess is that the next time a variation of this comes up, there will more effective strategies chosen, plus the national drift on this is definitely in the direction of equality for gays. That doesn't make this defeat hurt any less, but the long term prospects are really good.

I also think that people are sometimes much too fast to conflate racial civil rights with gay civil rights. Both are civil rights issues, both have a nasty history in this country, but it is far more complicated than simple them both being the same. The histories are different, the ways oppression has been experienced are different, and the effective strategies for moving towards equality have been different. Asserting that they are the same doesn't make them the same, as the opponents of Prop 8 found.
posted by Forktine at 5:16 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Outside the Los Angeles temple Thursday, dozens of protesters screamed "Bigots" and "Shame on You" at half a dozen men in button-down shirts and ties who looked out at the demonstration from behind the temple's closed gates.

See, that's what I mean. What does that achieve? "Oh, look Teh Gays are so riled up and out of control while we sit here Righteous in the Lord's Glory."

I'm going to go ahead and boycott any business or organization that had a hand in stripping away the rights of a group of citizens.

Sure, absolutely. If Organized Mormonism can be shown to have violated it's nonprofit status by taking political action (as appears to be the case) I'm all for seeing them lose it. If individual business contributed, then hell yeah, boycott them - their religious affiliations should have nothing to do with it (unless contributed indirectly, by tithing, as I understand mormons are required to do). But don't go around yelling at them.

I have no sympathy for any religious institutions, much less mormonism, but I do have sympathy for individual Mormons. Hate on the religion, not the religious.
posted by phrontist at 5:20 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I'm not a gaddam wimp. I don't advocate hating the Mormons or the blacks who voted for this bill or the whites or whoever. But there's nothing un-Buddhist about massive civil disobedience, questioning the Mormon church's tax-exempt status, or boycotting Utah.

I never said this. Someone assumed this and several others followed suit. I agree with all this except boycotting Utah. There are many non Mormon Utahns.
posted by phrontist at 5:23 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, that's what I mean. What does that achieve?

I never know what any protest achieves, except letting off anger. But that seems legitimate. I honestly suspect the same people who would say "Teh gays are so riled up" are predisposed to having a problem with the gays, and it is not like this protest is going to make any new homophobes. Not unless they were stopping traffic and pulling straight people out of their cars to beat them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:26 PM on November 8, 2008


Hate on the religion, not the religious.

GET A BRAIN MORONI
posted by kittyprecious at 5:30 PM on November 8, 2008 [16 favorites]


I've got to go along with Roseanne Barr, who was raised Mormon, and refers to them as the Nazi Amish. They are a dangerous influence on politics.
posted by JackFlash at 5:32 PM on November 8, 2008


re: protests, and Zen.

The Japanese forcibly prostituted thousands of Korean women, and claimed after the war that the women served willingly, despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary. These women have demonstrated in front of the Japanese embassy in Korea for over thirty years - demanding an apology from Japan.

"What does that achieve?" I don't know, but I'm personally proud of them.

I've studied Buddhism and Zen in specific for many years. It's an important reference point, but the passiveness that is many people's interpretation of it is not sufficient to a difficult and dynamic modern world, where without our strong and active participation there may be terrible disasters within the century, even within our lifetime.

Do not forget that there is no "right inaction" in the eightfold way.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:35 PM on November 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


I reject and denounce the lettuce.
posted by homunculus at 5:38 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


How is it possible to say this is a "state's rights" issue, and still endorse something primarily pushed by an out-of-state religious organization? How can that be intellectually consistent?
posted by luriete at 5:44 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


You say tomayto, I say tomahto.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:45 PM on November 8, 2008


I'm extremely disappointed about Prop 8, but I don't understand why the response to prejudice is always prejudice.

Wow, I am getting so very tired of this type of statement. The LDS church put a lot of energy and money into getting Prop 8 passed - and you expect the people hurt by this to just turn the other cheek? Do you remember how this turned out the first time? (hint: nails and thorns) I think that gays and lesbians have been more than patient, more than civil, and more than reasoned in their efforts to achieve equal rights in this country. The last thing they need is some bystander tut-tutting when they actually show some teeth. A boycott of the state that suckles at the LDS teat is completely within their rights, and I think that it's a very appropriate response to what just happened. Rights will not be won by quietly disagreeing with a financial powerhouse like the LDS church - they brought it, and now it's on.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:47 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think the LDS church, which we might want to recall spend lots of cash with a PR firm to change their name in a formal image makeover, has often run afoul of this whole separation thing - which his hardly murky. I know people how think recent events in Texas were a line in the sand to get the church, which formally, publicly, says oh heck no them people ain't us, to stop providing yet more cash to compounds full of underage child brides and stop 'em before they overwhelmed the county healthcare budget, as not-officially LDS compounds have done in other counties in other states.

It is one thing for the spiritual leaders of a group to urge their congregants to do this or that, it's another for a tax-free group to flout the rules and use tax-free donations for naked campaign efforts.

If you travel through Salt Lake City, it is amazing, an ultimately disheartening, how many small businesses are jovially anti-Mormon. (Independent coffee sheds have lattes named
"Joseph Smith can blow me" and like that.")

You could read the Book of Mormon sometime. As people like to say on relationship-based Ask Metafilter, believe what people tell you about themselves.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:52 PM on November 8, 2008


Imagine if the Mormons had invested $20 million in stripping the Jews of their marriage rights. It would all seem so much more sinister and obviously wrong -- unless you're a married gay man, like me.
posted by digaman at 5:55 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Imagine if the Mormons had invested $20 million in stripping the Jews of their marriage rights.

The Mormons couldn't risk Israeli paratroopers descending on them, singing "Eli, Eli" and firing grenades into their printing presses.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:03 PM on November 8, 2008


Strip a church of its tax-exempt status because of its nonpartisan political activity? Well, shit, that cuts both ways. Around here, the campaign against Prop 8 was led by a very spirited coalition of local churches, including ministers representing Unitarian, Methodist, MCC, and Jewish congregations. United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, and Episcopal congregations also were very public with support for marriage equality. More than a dozen ministers/churches participated in a pre-election rally to get out the No vote, and even more signed an open letter to the county's biggest newspaper.

That the huge vote gap of just eight years ago had closed so much is due in part to so many churches like these across the state taking an active stand against Prop 8. The Mormon church can afford to fight Uncle Sam for the next few millenia if necessary; you're not going to get their status revoked for supporting a ballot initiative, seriously. But keep pressing this, and we'll get to find out exactly how many of the churches who supported our side have the financial resources to defend a tit-for-tat attack on their tax-exempt status.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:03 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


I never know what any protest achieves, except letting off anger. I dunno either. We live on the the edge of WeHo and when we heard the impromptu street march that went down Sunset, my wife, my mother in law and I went and walked with them. We weren't angry, mostly disappointed, but we marched anyway. We attended a couple of gay weddings last month and they were the very best of what a wedding should and can be, we should know - we take pictures at these things for a living. We also watched the election returns with one of our gay neighbors - he made hundreds of phone calls for BO - and while we shared in that victory, we also had to watch him cry after the prop 8 numbers started to look bad. I'm not angry, but if someone else wants to be angry and push back, godspeed.
posted by lazymonster at 6:05 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you travel through Salt Lake City, it is amazing, an ultimately disheartening, how many small businesses are jovially anti-Mormon. (Independent coffee sheds have lattes named
"Joseph Smith can blow me" and like that.")


I find it very heartening. For example, Wasatch Brewery bottles Polygamy Porter with a label that says "Why have just one!"
posted by JackFlash at 6:05 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Both God and Marriage are imaginary. You are fighting a war over imaginary ideals who's victims will be, as always, mostly innocent bystanders.
posted by Osmanthus at 6:06 PM on November 8, 2008


Both God and Marriage are imaginary. You are fighting a war over imaginary ideals who's victims will be, as always, mostly innocent bystanders.

Yes. They are exactly alike. Because gay people are denied the opportunity to share health insurance with God every day, and they often try to go to God's sick bed but are denied by God's family.

Oh, wait. You were just randomly banging on the keyboard and those letters coincidentally formed two completely nonsensical sentences. My apologies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:09 PM on November 8, 2008 [16 favorites]


The tax exemption of churches directly violates the establishment clause of the Constitution. Why churches and not car washes? Car washes do good things with the money I donate. Why churches and not brothels? Surely the sanctity of sexual worship is not being protected equally under the law. In fact the money going to support the working people of the institutions I support is money better spent than on the new audio/video system at the local Baptist church.

So, not just the Mormons. All of them. Strip all the churches of tax exempt status. Because I believe in fairness.
posted by Xoebe at 6:12 PM on November 8, 2008 [10 favorites]


This is a much bigger problem [PDF] than California or the Mormon church. The only difference is that the Mormon church was more visible and California was a surprise and a place with highly visible gay communities who are publicly displaying their outrage. Power to them, but we're just going to keep losing states one by one if we keep fighting the way we've been doing.

I don't know the best strategy for this, but I do think something more proactive is called for, and nothing targeting a specific group for outrage. Outreach, yes. There are allies among the Mormons, and they should be sought out. This kind of social change only works if you build a coalition. Let's face it, the Mormons are one of many groups against us on this, and one of several throwing obscene amounts of money at state-level smear campaigns. There is a massive disconnect between what people who voted Yes on 8 are concerned about and what specific rights and benefits a lack of marriage prevents. Targeting the Mormons is a waste of time and energy. Instead people need to be brutally assessing what gay rights organizations need to be doing better or differently to get the argument for equality across. That is the only path to progress. Everything else is a dead end.
posted by Tehanu at 6:12 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Also we really have to shake the religious framework for this to work. That is critical. This is not about religion at all, but as long as it is framed as such, we will get absolutely nowhere on this.
posted by Tehanu at 6:13 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Both God and Marriage are imaginary. You are fighting a war over imaginary ideals who's victims will be, as always, mostly innocent bystanders.

That's only half of the equation in Buddhism. Form is emptiness, but emptiness is also form. And the form of marriage is a very powerful incentive to compassion and insight in this empty universe.
posted by digaman at 6:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Both God and Marriage are imaginary.

Marriage is only Imaginary if you believe such things as Health Insurance, Wills, and Tax Exemptions are Imaginary.

My guess is you are under 25. Am I right?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:17 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


(If you believe that Buddhism says that the "real world" is imaginary, I commend this story to your attention. "Thus I refute him!" - funny it's always a stone, isn't it?)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:20 PM on November 8, 2008


astro: so what I'm hearing is you want to legitimize the practice of barring a persons loved ones from visiting their bedside and sharing health insurance based on their religious ideology?
posted by Osmanthus at 6:23 PM on November 8, 2008


phrontist: If individual business contributed, then hell yeah, boycott them - their religious affiliations should have nothing to do with it (unless contributed indirectly, by tithing, as I understand mormons are required to do). ... I agree with all this except boycotting Utah. There are many non Mormon Utahns.

Y'know, I get your point. It would bother me that non-participants in this would be hurt financially for no other reason than living in epicenter of Mormonism.

However...

How would you propose that I take a vacation in Utah without allowing a cent of my money to fall into the hands of the LDS Church via its tithing members?

I have no way of knowing whether or not the owner of the vending machine at the airport (mighty thirsty after that dehydrating flight) is Mormon. Do I interrogate every cab driver, or car rental place? I'd have to find a hotel that has *zero* Mormon owners. No employees either, as the money I pay for the room will trickle down into their pay check. Can't tip the person who cleans and makes my bed unless I ask him/her. I could eat and drink at some of the aforementioned indie coffee shacks, but what if I want a proper sit-down meal? Do they have Mormon waiters, busboys, hosts, dishwashers? Movie theatres are out. Too many people to ask, what with ticket agents, projectionists, concession workers, janitors, security. Ditto pretty much any attraction or entertainment venue.
posted by CKmtl at 6:25 PM on November 8, 2008


I'd be happy if all religious groups in the U.S. were stripped of their exempt status. Period.
posted by photoslob at 6:25 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think you're missing my point that it was African-Americans that voted overwhelmingly for Prop. 8, and many more African-Americans live in California than do Mormons.

And I don't think you miss the point at all that people voted for Prop 8 regardless of their race or gender or anything else partially because of a multi-million-dollar campaign funded by a church that is supposed to not campaign politically as a condition of its tax-exempt status. I think you're well aware you're just finding an insidiously vile way to duck the actual issue of the FPP.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:26 PM on November 8, 2008


so what I'm hearing is you want to legitimize the practice of barring a persons loved ones from visiting their bedside and sharing health insurance based on their religious ideology?

Yes. Absolutely. That's exactly what I said.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:27 PM on November 8, 2008


There are real, tangible things like stones, there are imaginary things like God, and then there are real things that are intangible, like the objective contents of thoughts.

So things like "the unit circle" are probably real because it seems that everyone who studies them ends up having exactly the same beliefs about its properties. Things like "God" are probably not real since everyone who studies them gets different, contradictory beliefs.

Marriage is "real" since there's a general consensus on what's going on, and specifically, the operational characteristics of it: you get such-and-such tax deduction, so-and-so legal rights, etc. Sure, there are grey areas ("It turned out that the preacher who married them was defrocked! Are they really married?" ((Legal answer: yes.)) ) but in general it's well-defined and physically important to real humans as they live their lives (as in "my partner is dying but they are physically barring me from the room where this is happening").
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:29 PM on November 8, 2008


It takes a pretty twisted mind to invent an invisible friend who is not only a prude but a voyeur.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:31 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


And I'd like to add, by the way, that the "blacks caused Prop 8 to pass" is a very curious talking point. The argument here, essentially, is that if there wasn't record black turnout in California, there wouldn't have been as many black people voting for Prop 8. The curious part of that argument is where, if a few million black people didn't vote, that would have changed in any way whether or not they actually wanted gay people to have marriage rights.

To be honest, the only thing I find curiouser is the idea of a "boycott" of Utah. I've managed to boycott Utah for my entire life, by nature of wanting to be where there's actually shit to do.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:32 PM on November 8, 2008


It takes a pretty twisted mind to invent an invisible friend who is not only a prude but a voyeur.

I dunno; that's a pretty common character in porn.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:33 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hate on the religion, not the religious.

Hate Naziism, not the Nazis!

See how stupid you sound? If a belief system is loathsome, so are the people who willingly follow it.
posted by rodgerd at 6:34 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Independent coffee sheds have lattes named "Joseph Smith can blow me" and like that."

Apparently, the head shops in Utah sell bumper stickers that read 'I heart Mormon pussy'. I want to buy one that says 'I heart Mormon bumholes'.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:38 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you believe the CNN exit polls...

The number that matters is that of the 22% of the electorate that attended church weekly 82% voted yes on prop 8. The 21% that never attended church voted 82% no. That's the problem. Blaming blacks, Latinos, or other minorities is pure bullshit. African-Americans are 10% of the electorate. If African-Americans had voted exactly like the overall electorate, then prop 8 would still have passed.

I think it's shameful that the LDS dumped money into passing a disgusting initiative but Mormons aren't a big voting block. If people want to go after the religious intolerance that got this proposition passed, then they should be going after organized religion in general. While they're at it they might want to push hard to improve access to quality education in this country because keeping people ignorant is another tool that's used to ensure support for conservative policies.
posted by rdr at 6:49 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


If a belief system is loathsome, so are the people who willingly follow it.

Why?
posted by phrontist at 7:03 PM on November 8, 2008


Why?

Because the loathsomeness of a belief system is only evidence in the loathsome behavior of its followers.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:04 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


evident, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:05 PM on November 8, 2008


I'm a white queer and I need to publicly comment that not all of us queers are blaming the Black and Latino communities for legally sanctioned homophobia. Its particularly embarrassing to see the way some white queers are talking about this knowing how many queers of color have been impacted by this stupid proposition.

Sure, Christianity and its various subsects has had, for the last couple hundred years, a pretty nasty record on the issue of homos (though it wasn't always so). So I'm not surprised that in communities that are heavily Christian or Catholic (Latino, African American) support for Prop 8 was common - as it is among Mormons. But to me this really isn't the primary problem (the percentage of California's electorate that is Black is not near the majority - in other words, white people passed prop 8), and it misses subtleties of how queers are accepted and not accepted in various communities. I think a lot of white queers would be surprised to understand that even among socially conservative African American christians who oppose gay marriage, there has traditionally been more acceptance and basically love for gay and lesbian members of the community - even among folks who balk at legal sanction of marriage - than you'll find in socially conservative white Christian communities. Anyway, the courts and executive branches have a responsibility on this type of issue to keep it out of the hands of the electorate. Do you think the Virginia electorate would have approved the decision in Loving vs. Virginia that struck down miscegenation laws?

Anyhow, smarter people than me have been writing about this so I'll stop ranting, but like I said, not all of us queers - not even all the white queers - think that Black people are somehow "the problem" here.
posted by serazin at 7:06 PM on November 8, 2008 [5 favorites]


I can't wait to ____ that lettuce.
posted by Balisong at 7:09 PM on November 8, 2008


At least the Mormons aren't engaging in assassinations and mass murder these days.
posted by empath at 7:09 PM on November 8, 2008


or uh, Mass Murder
posted by empath at 7:09 PM on November 8, 2008


Damnit, link here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_mass.htm
posted by empath at 7:10 PM on November 8, 2008


So are they also going to "get nasty" and boycott African-American and Latino owned businesses? Seems like those two groups had much more to do with Prop. 8 passing than Mormons.

Did African Americans and Latino groups fund 80% of the campaign? The answer is no. They were more likely to vote for the prop, but the Mormon church directed it's members to donate money to the Yes on 8 campaign, and funded 80% of the cash. The also provided "ground troops" – volunteers to help turn out the vote. The Mormon church, as an institution took deliberate steps to get this prop passed.

I think you're missing my point that it was African-Americans that voted overwhelmingly for Prop. 8, and many more African-Americans live in California than do Mormons.

Right, most of the mormons don't live there at all, they just funded the prop from out of state.

this just eviscerated my last vestiges of obamalove. oh well. it was a nice few days.

Because some random black person irritated you, you no longer like Obama? Interesting.

Also, I wonder what all these Gay people whining about "what the blacks did to them" think they're going to accomplish by attacking black people. Attacking the Mormon Church, as an institution might disincline them from trying the same thing again. After all, the church is run by an organization with a single leader. On the other hand, I can't see how riling up black/gay antagonism could possibly help accomplish getting gay people married. It seems like it would simply make it even harder to pass measures in the future. I've read quotes from people saying they're not going to be "PC" anymore. If you're not going to be "PC" then there is simply no reason to support gay marriage whatsoever.

Finally, the no on 8 campaign was terrible. They only really got things rolling a month or so the election (or so it seemed). There was no coherent strategy (which makes sense for an opposition campaign) and they generally missed the ball. Since the election was so close, if they had run a smarter campaign they could have defeated it.

Also, keep in mind that it's not known what will happen to existing marriages. So far they have not been invalidated.
posted by delmoi at 7:10 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


On the issue of whether or not to boycott Utah: ultimately we've got to realize that the enemy of gay rights is monotheistic religion (Judaism is probably the most progressive of the big three, but certainly not perfect). So if religion is to blame, where do you take your protest?

You can't protest an ideology, all you can do is protest the people who promote the ideology. A bank robber robs banks because "that's where the money is". There's a very practical logic to protesting the state of Utah because that's where the homophobia is. At least that's where there's a very large concentration.
posted by serazin at 7:16 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm a white queer and I need to publicly comment that not all of us queers are blaming the Black and Latino communities for legally sanctioned homophobia. Its particularly embarrassing to see the way some white queers are talking about this knowing how many queers of color have been impacted by this stupid proposition.

Oh jesus, puh-lease. Allow me to be among those happy to backlash the "stop blaming black communities" backlash. It is NOT "blaming Black communities" to state this loudly and clearly for the record:

ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.
posted by mediareport at 7:17 PM on November 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


delmoi: see here re: "obamalove".
posted by CKmtl at 7:21 PM on November 8, 2008


Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:34 PM on November 8, 2008


ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.

You've got to be kidding. Does that means the whites who voted for it aren't assholes? Does that mean that blacks who voted for prop 8 and McCain aren't assholes? Or is it just the fact that they're black and that they didn't vote the way you wanted them to that make them assholes? Thank you for spelling out how you think democracy should work.
posted by rdr at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Does that means the whites who voted for it aren't assholes?

Why would you even say that? The point I'm making should be obvious: Anyone who votes against the equality of *any* citizen is an asshole. Period.

Why it's not ok to say that about black Obama voters is the real question.
posted by mediareport at 7:38 PM on November 8, 2008


Yes. They are exactly alike. Because gay people are denied the opportunity to share health insurance with God every day, and they often try to go to God's sick bed but are denied by God's family.


Prop 8 has done nothing to change the fact that California still has domestic partnerships. Gay partners can make health care decisions and visit the hospital and prison. They can share health insurance, adopt step children, and have community property rights.

I'm not saying that marriage is therefore unnecessary; I'm just pointing out that this line of argument is not an accurate reflection of the current legal rights of gay couples in California.

ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.

WTF? Why do black people have some special responsibility to vote against this that other people don't? There are hardly any black people in California. They are 6 percent of the electorate. What about people in general over the age of 65 that voted in favor 59-41? And the 40-49 age group that were right behind them, at 58-40? How about the people who didn't bother to vote at all, since San Francisco county had one of the lowest rates of turnout in California? How about the No on 8 side that pretty much failed to mobilize at any large scale until a month before the election, and even then failed to anticipate that Yes on 8 would effectively deploy the OH NOES CHILDREN bullshit they always do? And No on 8 countered with a war on Religion, which totally alienated the very people they needed to win. I read an email from a No on 8 worker that was pissed because she was sent into San Francisco's gay community to do No on 8 outreach, rather than anywhere it was truly needed. So, are all these people assholes too? I'm fine with thinking that there's plenty of blame to go around, and everyone is an asshole. I am not fine with blaming "black voters". That is some divisive, fucked up racist bullshit, and I'm frankly tired of hearing it.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:43 PM on November 8, 2008 [9 favorites]


Does that means the whites who voted for it aren't assholes?

Why would you even say that? The point I'm making should be obvious: Anyone who votes against the equality of *any* citizen is an asshole. Period.


That's not what you wrote.
posted by rdr at 7:46 PM on November 8, 2008


Obama opposes gay marriage too. I could easily say that anyone who voted for Obama is an asshole, but I think that would probably offend. People are complicated. I'm actually OK with that.
posted by serazin at 7:47 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here, oneirodynia, for you:

ANY VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.

And that includes black voters.
posted by mediareport at 7:49 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.
...
Why would you even say that? The point I'm making should be obvious: Anyone who votes against the equality of *any* citizen is an asshole. Period.


That's not what you said though. There are a lot of whites and Hispanics in California who voted for Obama, and yes on 8, but why did you chose to single out African Americans only?
posted by delmoi at 7:52 PM on November 8, 2008


That's not what you wrote.

Whatever. The statement stands as true: ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE. A subset of the general category of asshole who votes against legal equality for fellow citizens, but clearly an asshole nonetheless.

This fearful dancing around obvious anti-gay bigotry is ridiculous and doesn't help anyone move forward.
posted by mediareport at 7:53 PM on November 8, 2008


Whatever. The statement stands as true: ANY BLACK VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.

There was a truckload of misinformation going on. Some people voted Yes not really understanding what it meant. Others voted Yes understanding the main idea but not how it actually affects gay people. The b.s. of "we need to protect marriage" coupled with "oh I respect gays and they are perfectly ok without marriage, they have the same rights as anyone else" is a powerful 1-2 punch of bullshit applied to anyone with only casual familiarity with the issue. Which is most people.

Only some of them are assholes, and anger's not going to change that.
posted by Tehanu at 8:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


This fearful dancing around obvious anti-gay bigotry is ridiculous and doesn't help anyone move forward.

Yes yes, calling people assholes is a fantastic way to win them over. Throwing a temper tantrum about "black assholes" can only improve your odds of success next time around.
posted by delmoi at 8:20 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Telling the oppressed that being angry makes them just as bad as their oppressors is the same victim-blaming logic that responds to accusations of rape with "Well, you shouldn't have worn that skirt."
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:20 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


mediareport: I don't want this to turn into a dogpile, and I believe you are coming from a place of caring for the fundamental rights of gay and lesbian people, and from justifiable anger at those who still harbor homophobic hate even at this moment in history, but I ask you think carefully about how what you're writing comes across to others. What it sounds like when I read it is that you seem to believe that black people are more homophobic than people of other ethnic groups. If not, why single Black people out as "assholes" for voting Yes?

The California proposition system is extremely problematic and frequently disasterous. Voters rarely understand the complexities of what they are voting on and Californians often vote yes on measures that result in laws that, for example, unfairly impact people of color. And as was mentioned above, the No on 8 campaign was poorly run and poorly organized and did almost nothing to reach out to communities of color who were being heavily targeted by the Yes camp. To reduce what happened Tuesday to "voting yes on 8 = asshole" ignores the realities of this system. It ignores the complexities of religion, race, and sexual orientation. Yes, I agree that homophobia is real (I experience it frequently), and deplorable. It is to be struggled against. On the other hand, i don't belive that marriage rights are the pinnacle of human equality. The passage of 8 tells me that the majority of Californians are still homophobic. Depressing. It doesn't tell me much more than that though and I'm not willing to extrapalate from it or to make generalizations about the people who voted yes. Marriage equality will happen soon - of that we can be sure. But we need federal legislation or a Supreme Court decision to have full citizenship in this regard, so honestly, I'm not too concerned about 8 (though I am obviously disappointed and saddened for my many friends who were recently married)

We all know that bigotry takes years to undo. And undoing bigotry requires a willingness to understand the realities of others. It also requires a discipline and moral focus - a commitment not to scapegoat others or be drawn into our own prejudices. If we want to undo homophobia, let us, ourselves, model behavior that shows respect and understanding for all people.
posted by serazin at 8:21 PM on November 8, 2008 [6 favorites]


Obama opposes gay marriage too. I could easily say that anyone who voted for Obama is an asshole, but I think that would probably offend.

This is tiresome, but I'll say it again: Obama's position on gay marriage is a non sequitor.

Prop 8 was about taking rights away from a minority, not a referendum on marriage. If Prop 8 had anything to do with protecting marriage or procreation, it would be illegal to divorce, and sterile couples would be put to death.

Obama may be against gay marriage, but his position doesn't explain Prop 8's passage, nor does it explain the rationalizations used by its supporters.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 PM on November 8, 2008


you don't blame the lettuce

Possibly the dumbest analogy I've ever read. I don't know which is more ridiculous: that someone thought of it or that someone quoted it.
posted by Manhasset at 8:31 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mormons can't lose from all this negative publicity. They struggle to be noticed as a mainline religion, even as other outdated Bible faiths grow faster by conversion, in part because Mormons charge 10% of gross income just to be in average standing (in order to be able to witness the marriage of one's own children, for example). Because it's a very demanding faith on time, resources and abstinence, they compensate for making it automatic to get to heaven by simply following the program, which ideally includes having a large family (also breeding loyal followers). Gays aren't even wanted as sympathizers. More importantly, gays can be useful as scapegoated antagonists, because Mormons have perfected the modern persecution complex. They can use the controversy to emphasize their ideal family-centered growth program to potential converts, most of whom are insecure about their own sexuality.

If one is new to the basics of thought reform, let this be a brief introduction. Cults find people who are insecure at any given moment, such as a death or divorce, and they offer a support structure on demand. The cult then demands all of their extra time and money, often given as a natural response to being adopted. If the convert later attempts to leave, immediate social withdraw is threatened, and the doubter becomes threatened with the same world they fled in the first place. It's a very simple trapping device, and when people feel sorry for the believers, rather than the outcasts of the believers, it signals the subconscious awareness that the believers are pitied as trapped victims. It is a signal any cult missionary looks out for, because the sentiment identifies an insecure potential convert. Everyone else is shunned as bitter, worldly or erudite antagonists to God's special chosen.
posted by Brian B. at 8:32 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


This fearful dancing around obvious anti-gay bigotry is ridiculous and doesn't help anyone move forward.

Here's the official No on 8 Campaign's statement about moving forward:

“In working to defeat Prop 8, a profound coalition banded together to fight for equality. Faith leaders, labor, teachers, civil rights leaders and communities of color, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, public officials, local school boards and city councils, parents, corporate law firms and bar associations, businesses, and people from all walks of life joined together to stand up against discrimination. We must build on this coalition in order to achieve equal rights for all Californians.

“We achieve nothing if we isolate the people who did not stand with us in this fight. We only further divide our state if we attempt to blame people of faith, African American voters, rural communities and others for this loss. We know people of all faiths, races and backgrounds stand with us in our fight to end discrimination, and will continue to do so. Now more than ever it is critical that we work together and respect our differences that make us a diverse and unique society. Only with that understanding will we achieve justice and equality for all.”
posted by oneirodynia at 8:33 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


About the "blame the blacks"/"assholes" stuff...

I think the people criticizing that reaction are ignoring one of the many elephants in the room: the not-so-distant Civil Rights fights and the idea that such rights and equality are for everyone.

It's the idea that the black voters who voted in favour of Prop 8 can be so conscious of their own struggle, yet not see the struggle over Prop 8 for what it is (or, worse, possibly see it for what it is and actively oppose it).

Does that mean that they're to "blame" for its passing? No. Does that mean spleens should be vented at black homosexuals? No. Does that mean random-black-person-on-the-street should be yelled at, or that people should "stop being PC (whatever that really means)"? No, absolutely not.

But I think it does mean that there's a valid gut feeling of... hmm, disappointment doesn't seem to be the right word, but it's close. A feeling of 'disappointment' at those Yes-voters, more so than at a WASP Yes-voter.

FWIW, I'm similarly 'disappointed' (and I don't think I'm alone in this) that the Yes movement was launched and caught on so virulently among the Mormons, given the importance of their history of being targets of discrimination and oppression (i.e., how much they honour Brigham Young and their american exodus).
posted by CKmtl at 8:41 PM on November 8, 2008


"Prop 8 was about taking rights away from a minority, not a referendum on marriage. If Prop 8 had anything to do with protecting marriage or procreation, it would be illegal to divorce, and sterile couples would be put to death."

Ignoring Obama for a moment what the hell? If I weren't already in your camp you couldn't convince me with that weirdness. It is about taking rights away from a minority sure. But it's also about gay marriage. How can Prop 8 not be about gay marriage?

I don't find this convincing at all. I'm convinced because I think gay marriage is a good idea. If you're trying to convince people who don't agree with that to vote for prop 8 then good luck with that. I'd suggest being straight with people. (Seriously no pun etc.)

So how can Obama be against gay marriage and also prop 8? A waffle the size of the moon.
posted by Wood at 8:43 PM on November 8, 2008


Obama's position on gay marriage is the same as most liberal Democrats right now. Which is to say he hasn't yet suggested he's moving away from the public position they've all been holding for a few years now-- support workplace rights, usually hate crimes legislation, but walk the "they should all have the same rights but marriage is different and it's against my beliefs" line. I think of it as the Democrats' Big Gay Tightrope Walk. They have it down to an art form. (It helps me not throw things at the tv to imagine them in sequins as they perform it. The stodgier, the better.) When asked about gay marriage, they say what Biden said during the debate. Which is to say they completely contradict themselves. Often with no pause for breath between the two different statements. It's amazing. It's like watching someone perform ventriloquy with their own face. Who's really talking? We have no idea.

Their stance is ridiculous, but the other side is aggressively hateful, so we all watch them walk, and wobble, and walk a few steps more with bated breath. They keep letting us down, but they're all we've got. The Democrats do actively involve gay people and have gay representatives working on the issues. In comparison, the GOP has actually shut out the Log Cabin Republicans in recent years. They are simply not welcome at the table.

The Democrats are responding to public opinion, as frustrating as it is to watch, and that ridiculous opinion is where the line currently stands. It pisses me off, that the choice as a gay voter is often between active hatred and a few coded campaign promises the Dems never dare say opening. We don't currently know what Obama's stance will be in practice. He included us in his speeches openly but in rhetoric that could mean a large range of things in practice. I just hope I was right in thinking he meant what he said and he's going to push the line to whatever extent he judges will help move us toward real equality rather than maintain the talking point of separate but equal. Including sexual orientation and gender identity as characteristics not to be used as a basis for discrimination in his administration's hiring practices, he has already taken one big and long overdue step before he's even in office.

Exit polls suggest that Obama won fewer gay votes than Kerry. I don't recall Kerry's campaign trail stance being any better than Obama's.
posted by Tehanu at 9:00 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


So how can Obama be against gay marriage and also prop 8? A waffle the size of the moon.

He said it was because he thinks it's wrong to amend a state constitution in order to remove rights. He said constitutions should be amended only to expand rights. I don't think he mentioned Florida, Arkansas, or Arizona though. But I don't think his quote was getting used in ads there. So yeah, there the usual Democrat play of trying to fly under the radar on that one in order to not alienate moderates for whom that's a potential dealbreaker.
posted by Tehanu at 9:04 PM on November 8, 2008


So how can Obama be against gay marriage and also prop 8? A waffle the size of the moon.

Well, he basically said he didn't think people should take away rights that already exist.
posted by delmoi at 9:04 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let me preface this by saying I just got back from the protest in Silverlake and I can hear sirens and helicopters outside now.

In the last few days, I have felt a lot of the things written here. I too had the gut reaction of "how could they?" when i read the statistics about the African-American vote. (I have no reason to believe those numbers aren't real, despite the mathematical contortions linked to above) It bothers me very much that any African-Americans deny or simply cannot see the parallel of "standing in the schoolhouse door" against someone else's rights. (it also bothers that anyone of any color or group voted "yes" on 8. The very fact that people's rights would ever be on the ballot in this country is disgusting).

We would all like to believe that victims of injustice would be less, not more, likely to pass the injustice on when given the chance. But the world proves time and time again that it just doesn't work that way. I don't know of a racial or religious group that hasn't been guilty of this at one time or another.

Another thing that's going on here is people realizing that not everyone who voted for Obama thinks exactly like them. If the only votes he had gotten where from gay-friendly progressives, he would have lost by the largest margin of any candidate in history. There is only one president who has to represent this entire, huge, diverse country. Any successful candidate has to build a coalition of people who, while they share certain core values, may be very very different from each other. This is how it has to be, and how it should be.

All I can say for certain is that this whole thing has turned straight me into a gay rights activist, and I'm far from the only one.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:09 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama's position on gay marriage is the same as most liberal Democrats right now. Which is to say he hasn't yet suggested he's moving away from the public position they've all been holding for a few years now-- support workplace rights, usually hate crimes legislation, but walk the "they should all have the same rights but marriage is different and it's against my beliefs" line.

One thing that really irritated me about Obama's position was that he claimed it was due to his religious convictions. But we all know the bible doesn't say anything about Christians not getting gay married. Homosexuality is only mentioned in Leviticus, in the section that bans eating pigs and shellfish. Leviticus isn't supposed to apply to modern christians.

And furthermore, unlike many black preachers Rev. Wright Was a huge supporter of gay rights. So where exactly would Obama be getting this idea that his religion dictates he be against gay marriage?
posted by delmoi at 9:14 PM on November 8, 2008


you seem to believe that black people are more homophobic than people of other ethnic groups

Um, up yours. There's nothing in what I wrote to suggest that (the way you filled in the rest for yourself sure is interesting, but we'll leave that for another time). But pretending there's not a delicious irony in black voters who, when finally given the chance to ratify their own legal equality at the highest level, use that moment to deny legal equality to other voters is absurd. The peculiar shape of that moment deserves a specific, angry callout.
posted by mediareport at 9:15 PM on November 8, 2008


How can Prop 8 not be about gay marriage?

When those supporting it were claiming that they didn't want gays recruiting their kids to the homosexual lifestyle, it was pretty obvious that this was about coercing the government to threaten gays and lesbians with oppressive force for sexual behavior that did not and does not affect anyone else. In other words, this was passive-aggressive revenge for the unwanted outcome of Lawrence v. Texas. As such, it had nothing to do, really, with the notion of "protecting" straight marriage, but with the ick factor of what two same-sex human beings and American citizens do in the privacy of their bedroom.

Further, Prop 8 had nothing to do with gay marriage when those supporting it claimed that it was about protecting the sanctity of straight marriage, when laws were not enacted, let alone proposed, to provide strict penalties for straight idiots getting divorced. It was even further obvious that "marriage is for having kids" was a joke, since there is no push to put sterile married couples in jail for not procreating. I'd take seriously their notion that gay marriage might really be a problem, if the Kevin Federline's and Britney Spears' of this great nation of ours were thrown in jail by these fucking yahoos.

Everything about this proposition was about sticking it to the faggots and dykes. Protecting marriage was a red herring from the start. The whole thing had nothing to do with the notion of marriage. Invoking Obama's name as a rationalization for supporting this ballot measure is fucking farce. Prop 8 has nothing to do with protecting marriage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:18 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


I also agree that the "no on 8" campaign was, in hindsight, piss-poor. (although using a poor campaign to excuse "yes" votes is a rather bizarre blaming of the victims).

And a lot of Californian progressives were distracted by the Obama campaign- tons of us were so busy heading to Nevada to work for Obama that we completely ignored what was on the ballot in our own state until it was too late. So some of this is just bad luck- a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who inspired people so much that they ignored their own state because they knew it wasn't even in play in the presidential race.

But that activism is not going anywhere, and in that way I think Obama will help the cause- by inspiring continued protests and the eventual overthrow of prop 8 by either the CA or US supreme court. (I can still here those helicopters)
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:20 PM on November 8, 2008


One thing that really irritated me about Obama's position was that he claimed it was due to his religious convictions.

This bothered me too, a LOT. Somewhat for the bigotry inherent in the statement, but mostly because now we have a DEMOCRAT openly taking policy positions based on his religion. That's scary.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:25 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


One thing that really irritated me about Obama's position was that he claimed it was due to his religious convictions. But we all know the bible doesn't say anything about Christians not getting gay married. Homosexuality is only mentioned in Leviticus, in the section that bans eating pigs and shellfish. Leviticus isn't supposed to apply to modern christians.

And furthermore, unlike many black preachers Rev. Wright Was a huge supporter of gay rights. So where exactly would Obama be getting this idea that his religion dictates he be against gay marriage?


Well, 1) that doesn't stop a lot of people from saying it's religious. Really the truth is that homophobia is a traditional American value, like misogyny, racism, and believing that even though church should be separate from the state, the state has a divine mandate to some extent. The problem is that these things hide behind religion and get deliberately confounded with it whenever there's a social movement to push against them. Freedom and individual liberty are our true core values, but we've yet to fully live up to them for everyone.

2) I'm not sure how religious Obama really is. Granted, I have not read his books. I think being a person of faith is also a political gambit for politicians. Which is not to say that most of them aren't actually religious to some degree. But these are people constantly in the spotlight and constantly networking. I think even for the ones who are truly religious, religion is also a necessary ingredient to their public persona and also another network. A d I suspect for more of them than we realize, religion is only a necessary persona element and a network.


3) I really do think it's the Democratic party line because their polling data suggests that's what most of the voters think about this right now and that's the wording that best avoids both open homophobia and complete support of the gay community's concerns on this issue.
posted by Tehanu at 9:27 PM on November 8, 2008


openly

And of course by "openly," I meant never ever mentioned publicly and buried like 8 tiers deep on his website where he hoped his progressive and gay supporters would never find it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:30 PM on November 8, 2008


I still don't get you though Blazecock. I mean, I totally get and agree that prop 8 was about homophobia, and that the Yes campaign's statements proclaiming their love for gays but hatred of gay marriage was a bunch of motherfucking bullshit. Of course they hate gay people. They hate us, they hate us fucking each other, and also, they hate us getting married and having kids. They don't want us to have equal citizenship or to have access to social institutions like, marriage.

So I understand the motivation is pure homophobic hate. But the proposition was most certainly about gay marriage. It was a way they could legislate their hate into one small aspect of our queer lives.

And to me it matters quite a bit what Obama thinks about this issue. The left, as illustrated in this thread, will come up with any number of justifications for mainstream Democrats to oppose equal rights for queers but the fact is, his stated position, as voiced by Joe Biden in the vice presidential debate, is that marriage should be reserved for straight people. And I think that fucking sucks. And it also happens to agree legally with the wording of prop 8. So I think its related and relevant.
posted by serazin at 9:32 PM on November 8, 2008


now we have a DEMOCRAT openly taking policy positions based on his religion. That's scary.

Why is it scary, afraid of catching God cooties? If Obama said he believes in social justice, defending the poor and down-trodden, because of his religious beliefs, would that be scary, too? What if his entire platform were based on his religious beliefs, but he never said so - would his revealing to us at some point that his faith is behind his policies suddenly cast a pall of spooky over it all? Shouldn't the policies themselves be the issue?

I think your actions are what define you. In this case, the Mormon church can talk until they're blue in the face about how holy they are and how God guides their decisions; their actions of aggressively spreading intolerance define them as hateful to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:39 PM on November 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


To Obama's credit, whenever he mentioned minority groups deserving equal treatment, he mentioned gay Amercians. I think he's the first presidential candidate to do that in front of mixed crowds and on national television. And he did have a LGBT link at the top level of his website. Believe me, I looked, and I compared the groups he mentioned and where in the structure he mentioned them to McCain's. On McCain's site we are under the same section as Roe v. Wade, and only protecting marriage from our gayness is mentioned. And not even so clearly as that. Obama's site was much clearer in comparison even though there was some digging involved.

Maybe I should start blogging the random shit I do on campaign websites as compare/contrast.

And yeah, serazin is right about the wording of Prop 8 being completely in line with Obama's stated position. On many issues, Obama did not say the safe things other Democrats say that are complete bullshit carefully tailored from polling data for the defense of the party-- which means completely absurd and unactionable in the real world. Gay marriage was one of a few things he said that was exactly from the old script and deeply disappointing.
posted by Tehanu at 9:40 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Prop 8 was about taking rights away from a minority, not a referendum on marriage

What I see in the actual text of Prop 8 and hear in the positions of the folks I'm acquainted who gave it support suggests to me that you're wrong, it is in fact 100% about the term marriage, and beyond that, not a lot of 'em care if gay couples can visit each other in the hospital, share health insurance, get tax breaks, whatever, and I'm mostly certain the prop would have failed if any serious portion of its supporters thought that's what it was about.

Now, maybe you're acquainted with a different set of prop 8 supporters for whom it is all about oppression, or maybe I've been deceived and my acquaintances just let the hate out when I'm not around, but on the other hand, maybe it simply pleases you to imagine worse and worse things about people who disagree with you. There's certainly no shortage of that going around.
posted by namespan at 9:50 PM on November 8, 2008


maybe I've been deceived and my acquaintances just let the hate out when I'm not around

Nearly everything I seen and read shows bigots nervous about schools teaching the "homosexual agenda" (whatever that is) in schools. I've seen nothing about outlawing divorce or punishing sterile couples. Have you?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Couple of links via racialicious comments:

from The Transplant, you simply can’t build real solidarity without building real relationships across communities. any real ads with good messaging targeted toward black folks were done by independent operators, in many cases black gay people who didn’t have the resources to run them widely.

This blogger goes on to make blunt charges (I'm not familiar enough with LGBT history to judge if they're accurate. If they're arguable, then it seems to me that there are parallels with the trouble that establishment feminism has often had in attracting and retaining the support of women of colour): . . . if the movement for full gay inclusion is going to be successful, gay advocates cannot afford to sit on the sidelines on issues that matter to black folks. you can’t ignore the black community, and then call them a failure when you realize we’re critical to full inclusion. i’m not talking about patting backs here. when black gay men and women are consistently murdered, where is the white gay community? when black gay folks are targeted by police officers, where is the white gay community? when funding for hiv/aids services dries up in black communities (not talking about AMFAR research here, folks), where are the white gays?

Kathryn Kolbert, President of People For the American Way Foundation, puts it more temperately: If we either take black voters for granted because they are “supposed to” be liberal, or we write them out of our campaign strategies because we label them inherently homophobic, we cannot turn around and make them the scapegoat for our failings. . . . How many white LGBT leaders and activists have been at the forefront of battles to preserve affirmative action, or raise the minimum wage? . . . Religious Right leaders have exploited the discomfort among many African Americans with white gays who seem more ready to embrace the language and symbols of the civil rights movement than to be strong allies in the continuing battle for equal opportunity. . . . Broad-brush denunciation of African Americans by white gay leaders also fosters the incredibly damaging perception that the LGBT and African American communities are two separate, rather than overlapping entities, and undermines the work of African American LGBT leaders.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:10 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


In this case, the Mormon church can talk until they're blue in the face about how holy they are and how God guides their decisions; their actions of aggressively spreading intolerance define them as hateful to me.

Sounds pretty holy to me.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:14 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


ANY VOTER WHO VOTED FOR OBAMA WHILE VOTING AGAINST GAY EQUALITY IS AN ASSHOLE.
posted by Bonzai at 10:15 PM on November 8, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm really, really, really sick of being patient and understanding of people who hate and fear me, some of whom include my own family. The GLBQT community in general has been passively pursuing equality for some time, but this time we're finally angry. And maybe that's a good thing.

I am so proud of those of you (gay and straight) who are protesting, who are marching, who are FINALLY standing up for our rights.

This is not just about marriage, ok? It's about finally becoming an integrated part of society, with the same legal rights that are granted to every other citizen. Due to the prejudice in our society, our relationships are in much greater peril than that of our straight brethren. This is not a luxury, damn it. It's not.

That said?

I don't care how angry you are. Swallow it. Do not yell at old ladies on the street, for God's sake.

We need to protest, we need to organize, and we need to demonstrate until our voices are too loud to be ignored, but we need to do so tactically. Don't blame the Mormons, don't blame black people, or Catholics. Coming across as racist or anti-religion is not going to help our cause, and it causes undue pain to members of our community who are members of those groups. There's nothing to be gained, so quit it. Please.

We are a normal part of society. We need to show this: be good citizens, help your neighbor, and be more involved in your community. We need to come out, if it's safe to do so, especially in the workplace. We need to win hearts and minds, even if those people hurt us.

The Supreme Court will change soon. That's not a lot of comfort to those who want equality right now. You should have it now. But the course of human history has shown that sometimes people need to battle for their rights. We've come a long way already, thanks to the generations ahead of us. If we persevere, then the generation after us won't need to fight.
posted by jnaps at 10:40 PM on November 8, 2008 [7 favorites]


Obama's denomination, the United Church of Christ, is pretty big on gay rights in general, including a General Synod vote to endorse gay marriage in 2005.

However, the General Synod doesn't enforce policy among UCC churches, and Rev. Wright apparently wasn't in accord with that vote-- based in part on the same reasoning the LA Times blogger has:

Monroe said Wright spoke out against the Synod’s position, which she said prompted “LGBTQ parishioners to leave” the church.

She points to an article written at that time by Wright in The Trumpet, his church’s magazine, calling the same-sex marriage issue a distraction that diverted attention from other, more important issues such as health care and poverty.


(source: Obama Pastor Backs Gay Rights, Washington Blade, March 20 2008.)

I'm guessing Obama's personal objection to gay marriage is based in similar reasoning. I'm at least somewhat mollified that he doesn't think the Prop 8 approach is a valid use of constitutional law, and that he admits that he could be wrong about the entire issue on his personal religious level. I'll be interested to see what he does in the next four years and if his thinking changes any.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:59 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems naive to assume that Obama's stated position refects his genuine and personal views on gay marriage. Democratic leaders oppose gay marriage because they feel they have to to get elected. But it's equally naive to assume that once he's in office he'll recant his "separate but equal" solution and suddenly call to enfranchise the queers. Since homos insist on voting for Dems each election despite the consistent lack of concrete policy support by Democrats for gay rights, there is no motivation to actually change policy in our favor.
posted by serazin at 11:11 PM on November 8, 2008


Prop 8 my balls.
posted by the_bone at 11:19 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


It doesn't matter if Blacks are bigoted on this issue or not. If you are in favor of securing marriage equality for gays, focusing on the Black community will not get you across that finish line. The numbers aren't there, and The Black community just is not the monolithic political bloc that everyone wants to think they are.

And why focus on that demographic split? Why not age, or income, or level of education ?

More specifically though, i want to address the question of "why would an oppressed people not standup for another groups civil rights?" The first obvious answer to this is that the effects of being oppressed do not put you in the best position to stand up for anyone. Some of the ugliest most violent racism I've experienced has come from Native Americans. As with any community, social mobility, access to education and opportunities leads to more enlightened views on social issues. It seems to me that marriage issues would be especially dicey considering that statistics concerning marriage and the family unit are not really a ray of hope and sunshine these days.

Another way of looking at it is that if Blacks should be more likely to vote for another group's civil rights,and they aren't doing so, maybe that's a sign that you haven't done a good enough job at framing your issue as a civil rights issue. A ballot initiative isn't exactly the right forum for making the type of emotional humanistic appeal that it usually takes to change people's minds about these types of things. There's traditional and longstanding skepticism in the community for people who come in around election time pushing their pet issue, and don't come back until the next election rolls around.

All of you who care deeply about this issue, trust me on this one... It is my long held belief that whenever people start blaming "Black People" for a larger societal issue, someone is trying to trick you.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:21 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I think the Silver Lake protest is still going on. kaiserin and I bailed when it hit Sunset and Vermont (we were close to our respective places), and as we left about 40 riot cops came down Vermont in response to a bunch of protesters who wanted to pass a barricade and march west on Sunset. Around 10:30, we watched from kaiserin's balcony in Los Feliz as several hundred marchers (after the main event was long scheduled to have ended) marched west on Hollywood, escorted by dozens of police. An hour later, and there are still helicopters buzzing around in the neighborhood.
posted by the_bone at 11:25 PM on November 8, 2008


I strongly suspect the cop cars and helicopters I'm hearing at my place are heading to Hollywood and Highland, where there's a protest ongoing. (Twitter user in the area is reporting that the group is "sitting and chanting.")
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:53 PM on November 8, 2008


Yanking the tax-exempt status of the Church of the Latter Day Saints? Good by me.

Yanking the tax-exempt status of the other religious organizations who tried to counter their funding of propaganda? Also good by me.

If we start granting tax-exempt status because someone has a bunch of buddies with identical printed copies of the strange rantings of one or more folks with a poorly-controlled mental illness, and they like to engage in clearly irrational practices, but their leaders can occasioanlly surface for enough lucidity to mention that they'd like to keep a little more of the cash they're raking in ... well, the only thing that separates Fight Clubs from organized religion is that I don't know of any money changing hands at a Fight Club.

I'm at a loss to understand exactly why organized religions are tax-exempt.
posted by adipocere at 12:11 AM on November 9, 2008 [3 favorites]


What I find interesting (admittedly, in a very depressing way) is the difference in wording between California's initiative and other anti-gay propositions that ran in other states. CA's was actually one of the more modest ones, in that it only went after "marriage" specifically, instead of trying to totally destroy same-sex partnerships completely.

Compare California's Prop 8
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
to Florida's Proposition 2
This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.
In the case of California, you can make a passable argument that the issue is about "protecting 'marriage'" but you certainly can't do that with the Florida-style measure, since it goes so obviously and blatantly out of its way to eliminate domestic partnership or civil union arrangements as well.

If any proof is desired that the real issue is an anti-homosexual one and not a pro-traditional-marriage one, you need look no further than Florida.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:22 AM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


You could also look to Arkansas and the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban, Kadin. The issue doesn't even have to be about marriage, just about making sure that GLBTQ folks don't have rights.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:33 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't forget to protest Courtney Love.
posted by PenDevil at 2:21 AM on November 9, 2008


Don't forget to protest Courtney Love.

We're boycotting Utah and Courtney Love? This is gonna be the easiest boycott ever!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:39 AM on November 9, 2008 [3 favorites]



Also, keep in mind that it's not known what will happen to existing marriages.

It looks unlikely that the initiative will be applied retroactively.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:58 AM on November 9, 2008


For MeFites in NYC who want to engage, there is a protest planned at the LDS temple in Manhattan for Wednesday evening, 6:30-8PM, 125 Columbus Ave at 65th Street.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:31 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anybody who thinks this is just about gay people is going to be in for a hell of shock when laws and constitutional amendments banning divorce start showing up in order to "protect marriage." Pastor Niemoller would like to have a word with you.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 5:48 AM on November 9, 2008


LastOfHisKind: That's already going on. They call it covenant marriage and because there's not enough political will to force fault divorce with limited fault lists on everyone, they've made it opt-in. Thing is, apparently nobody's opting in.
posted by immlass at 7:12 AM on November 9, 2008


particularly among minority groups who should know better than to take rights away from other minorities

Sadly, sometimes equality means that people all races, colors, creeds and persuasions are as capable of being mean and stupid as anybody else.
posted by jonmc at 7:27 AM on November 9, 2008


Planning is underway for nationwide protests of Prop 8 on November 15th.
posted by Tehanu at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2008


No On 8: ‘Don't Say 'Gay'‘
“I worked for both the No on 8 campaign and the Obama campaign this year and cannot tell you how far apart those two were in style and substance. One was top down, the other bottom up. Ironically, it was the presidential campaign that was the grassroots model, not the state-level proposition campaign. As soon as I started working for the No on 8 campaign I was amazed at the level of scripting: ‘don't say 'civil rights,' don't say 'constitution,' don't say 'gay.'‘ I couldn't believe it.

… One of the most brilliant things about the Obama campaign was that they didn't expect callers and canvassers to be policy wonks. They just said ‘tell your story, let people know why you're voting for him. Connect with people.’ I can't help but feel at this point that if the gloves were taken off we could've helped people get a grip on the real issues at stake here, which I happen to think is a matter of soiling the state constitution.

What was even more confounding was the No on 8 campaign's decision to stay away form polling places at churches and schools. First of all, most polling places are at churches and schools, and second, that mentality buys right into the Yes on 8 brainwashing campaign that same sex marriage is going to corrupt our morals and our children. This idiocy was obvious to everyone that I worked with on the campaign. What was going on with the leadership upstairs?!!!”
posted by ericb at 8:14 AM on November 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Equality’s Winding Path
“Amid the soaring oratory about the presidential election, it was Barack Obama who put it best late Tuesday night. ‘That’s the genius of America, that America can change,’ he said. ‘Our union can be perfected.’

But as Mr. Obama’s victory showed, the path to change is arduous. Even as the nation shattered one barrier of intolerance, we were disappointed that voters in four states chose to reinforce another. Ballot measures were approved in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida and California that discriminate against couples of the same sex.

We do not view these results as reason for despair. Struggles over civil rights never follow a straight trajectory, and the ugly outcome of these ballot fights should not obscure the building momentum for full equality for gay people, including acceptance of marriage between gay men and women. But the votes remind us of how much remains to be done before this bigotry is finally erased.” [continued…]
posted by ericb at 8:19 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The 'Yes on 8 Campaign' -- which indeed was primarily funded by Mormon dollars ("...Mormons donated $19 million to the cause -- nearly four out of five dollars raised.") -- spewed misinformation in television advertisements, pamphelts, blog postings, etc. Many folks went into the voting booth believing some of the "fiction" laid out by the misleading campaign.

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 9:11 AM on November 9, 2008 [6 favorites]


Quite ironic, huh?
"Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have."

-- Mormon Prophet Brigham Young | Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm at a loss to understand exactly why organized religions are tax-exempt.

Because they are non-profit organizations. They sustain themselves on the contributions of their parishioners. They don't sell anything. If we were to tax churches, we would also need to tax every other organization that enjoys 501c3 tax exempt status. This would include not just churches, but also the American Red Cross, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army and the United Way.

That said, in order to maintain your 501c3 tax-exempt status, you must recuse yourself from political activity. You can talk about your policies and positions but are specifically barred from advocating a specific position on a bill. The Mormon Church has violated tax law by very aggressively and openly advocating a specific position on a specifc bill and should lose their 501c3 status.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:29 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


This would include not just churches, but also ... The Salvation Army.

They are a church. Just sayin'.
posted by CKmtl at 9:49 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Mormon Church has violated tax law by very aggressively and openly advocating a specific position on a specifc bill and should lose their 501c3 status.

According to IRS law:
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.
From IRS Publication 1828 Page 5 [PDF]:
Substantial Lobbying Activity
In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


While framing gay marriage as a civil or equal rights issue certainly sounds like a valid argument, it actually doesn't make sense. Marriage laws are, by their very existence, NOT about equal rights. They are special rights granted by society to people in order to encourage behavior that society wants to encourage. Society sees marriage as beneficial to society, therefore they give married couples extra rights. If society does not want to encourage a certain behavior, it is under no obligation to give special rights to that behavior.

Gay marriage advocates can certainly argue that having official state recognition of committed gay coupes is in the best interest of society, and should therefore also be granted these special rights. That's a valid argument. But claiming that marriage laws are a matter of equal or civil rights misses the fact that marriage laws are special rights used by society to encourage behavior that it finds beneficial to itself.

It's the same concept as giving hybrid car owners a special tax break. I can argue that my diesel car should get the same tax break since it gets such great fuel mileage. But it doesn't make sense for me to argue that the tax break is a matter of equal rights, or that it is discriminatory against me as a diesel owner. Instead, I need to convince society that my diesel car is good for the environment and society as well.

*I'm not arguing against gay marriage here, just pointing out a flaw that some use in their arguments.
posted by jsonic at 9:54 AM on November 9, 2008


While framing gay marriage as a civil or equal rights issue certainly sounds like a valid argument, it actually doesn't make sense.

It most certainly does make sense. This entire struggle is first and foremost about civil and equal rights.

Let's set aside religious marriage (no religion can be compelled to marry same-sex couples) and look at civil marriage.

Let's look at the benefits, rights and privieges that are afforded married couples and not to unmarried couples.

Allow me to once again pull-out "the list":
"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."*
What gays and lesbians are seeking is equality and not second-class citizenship.

As it stands we in the LGBT community are separate and not equal under the law.

It's not about gas and fuel efficency.

It's about not being constrained to back country roads and being allowed to drive on the same highway as everyone else.
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on November 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


jsonic: What are the behaviours that are supposed to be encouraged by marriage, then?

Conceiving children? Married couples are under no obligation to reproduce, or prove that they're able to reproduce.

Raising children? Married couples are under no obligation to want to raise or actually raise a child, either their own or an adopted one.

It's about the equal right to access marriage.

To use your car metaphor... Car ownership is inherently unequal: not everyone can afford a car, not everyone needs one, not everyone wants on. But an amendment barring one class of otherwise able-to-drive, able-to-purchase adults from owning a car would be a matter of equal rights. Their right to access car ownership would be violated.
posted by CKmtl at 10:15 AM on November 9, 2008 [7 favorites]


Let's look at the benefits, rights and privieges that are afforded married couples and not to unmarried couples.

Society has every right to give special benefits to people in order to encourage their behavior. It is not discriminatory or a violation of your civil rights if society chooses to encourage someone else's behavior.
posted by jsonic at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2008


So as you can see right there in blue and white, 501c3 status is pretty clear. The history behind it is an FPP in itself, but in a nutshell:

In 1954, then Senator Lyndon Johnson advocated the adding of religious organizations to the 501c3 tax code. A lot of evangelicals believe this was done in an attempt to temper the political influence of the church. Many are still unhappy about it.

Now, why would religious people want their tax exempt status revoked? The short answer is, they don't - they only want their 501c3 status revoked, so they can be free of the political strings attached. Some have argued that the church is naturally tax exempt due to the First Ammendment.

So, would revoking the Mormon Church's 501c3 tax exempt status free them to engage in whatever political advocacy they pleased? Yes. But then they would be taxed, just like most other lobbyists.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is not discriminatory or a violation of your civil rights if society chooses to encourage someone else's behavior.

So, was it right for society to ban interracial couples from marrying until recently?
posted by ericb at 10:21 AM on November 9, 2008


jsonic -- your belief that this involves "special" rights and "special" benefits differs vastly from my POV. I believe that what we are talking about are "inherent" rights and "inherent" benefits due all and not some.
posted by ericb at 10:26 AM on November 9, 2008


So, was it right for society to ban interracial couples from marrying until recently?

I don't think it was right, if that's what you're asking.
posted by jsonic at 10:28 AM on November 9, 2008


your belief that this involves "special" rights and "special" benefits

This has absolutely nothing to do with "my" beliefs. I'm simply pointing out that society has the ability to influence behavior by granting special rights.

I believe that what we are talking about are "inherent" rights and "inherent" benefits due all and not some.

I don't think that I have an inherent right to have the government recognize my marriage. I honestly don't even care if the government recognizes my marriage. The government's approval, or lack thereof, for my marriage has no impact on my relationship with my spouse.
posted by jsonic at 10:38 AM on November 9, 2008


A feeling of 'disappointment' at those Yes-voters, more so than at a WASP Yes-voter.

So white people get away with more because they have historically had more civil rights...?

It's hard for me to see how this "forgiveness" of whites and irritation and disappointment at POC isn't white privilege in action.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:45 AM on November 9, 2008


The government's approval, or lack thereof, for my marriage has no impact on my relationship with my spouse.

Well, how nice for you. However, it certainly has an impact on how the government sees your relationship with your spouse.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:50 AM on November 9, 2008


sondrialiac: I don't know if I'd call it a matter of letting whites "get away" with more, or "forgiving".

There's a base level of irritation at all the Yes-voters, and a pinch more irritation at those Yes-voters who faced similar fights but acted against this fight. I feel the same extra pinch of irritation when I see conservative Jews fighting against equality, even though the yellow star and pink triangle were worn behind the same fences.

But as drjimmy11 said upthread, history teaches that the 'expectations' behind that extra pinch of irritation are pretty unfounded. Which is itself disappointing in a larger way.
posted by CKmtl at 12:21 PM on November 9, 2008


Jsonic, but was a ban on inter-racial marriage "discriminatory or a violation of [...] civil rights"?

What about giving only Black hybrid owners a tax break, would that be discriminatory?

Anyway you can't discriminate against cars. The whole notion of discrimination as a bad thing has to do with treating people fairly and decently. If this were the Pixar movie "Cars" perhaps you'd have a point.

I have a strange sort of sympathy for Jsonic though. People can twist abstract and vague concepts like "rights" to mean whatever they want. I don't think there's anyway around GOING TO THE POINT.

I am 100% in favor of gay marriage.

I have neglected as of yet to form a solid opinion about the general idea that "constitutions should be amended only to expand rights". I have no idea why the fuck anyone would want to hang their hat on such Harvard Law Review bullshit. (Well in the case of Obama it involves a waffle the size of the moon.) If one day the an activist moonbat judge decides that fathers should have a veto over abortions I would be in favor of amending away that "right".

Sadly folks who I generally "caucus with" (my du jour expression of sympathy with the left) are readily able to resolve this by pointing out that rights are basically whatever they say that they are no more no less. This neither popularly effective nor intellectually satisfying.
posted by Wood at 12:28 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


As an observer of the no on prop 8 campaign here is my 2 cents. It was not effective in conveying it's message to people who are supportive of protecting the right's of glbt couples to marry and enjoy the privileges under law afforded by state recognized marriage.

That is why people like Courtney Love voted yes. The no on 8 campaign did not clearly convey the gravity of the issue to people who are not glbt. So, I think, many people who empathize with with the glbt community voted for it not even knowing really what they voted for.
This is partly due to the fact that it is not a priority on their agenda. The outreach to education of people who are on the line or who empathize on these issues must become a priority.

The yes on 8 people were extremely active in distorting the issue and in their campaigning on the ground level. They were out in the streets standing on corners handing out info etc. They out campaigned the no on 8 people and this ultimately carried the vote.

Scapegoating and blaming blocs of voters for it's passage will surely backfire and set back the cause. In order to insure that this does not happen again this tactic should be avoided like the plague. The conservative power structure that is opposed to gay marriage and civil rights in general is laughing in glee about this and is probably encouraging the scapegoating in order to set back glbt rights another decade.
posted by yertledaturtle at 1:02 PM on November 9, 2008


Please Support California Prop. 13 - Eliminating Right to Divorce.
posted by ericb at 1:29 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


They out campaigned the no on 8 people and this ultimately carried the vote.

I agree with this very much. I just have yet to see where any large bloc of the voting population cares about this issue enough to expend any political capital on it either way. I know many people who are all over the place on this issue depending on how you frame the question.

I think it should also be noted that the "civil rights movement" of the 60's was the endgame of a strategy that started in the 30's with a whole lot of lawyering and court battles. These things never come easy, and this round of elections wasn't a permanent fatal setback.

Also, after seeing your list ericb, I'm ready to take to the streets for bachelor's rights. It's not fair that I should miss out on all that good stuff because I'm not good at finding a wife.
posted by billyfleetwood at 1:36 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since homos insist on voting for Dems each election despite the consistent lack of concrete policy support by Democrats for gay rights, there is no motivation to actually change policy in our favor.

Although in this election a smaller percentage of gay voters voted dem, and a larger percentage than last election voted repub. McCain received 27% of the gay vote, up from 20% four years ago.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:39 PM on November 9, 2008


The yes on 8 people were extremely active in distorting the issue and in their campaigning on the ground level. They were out in the streets standing on corners handing out info etc. They out campaigned the no on 8 people and this ultimately carried the vote.

I got four Yes on 8 calls from live people, not a single call of any sort from No on 8. Unfortunately I didn't get to tell any of the Yes people that I had already voted No the weekend before the election, since I don't answer calls on my cell phone from "private". It made me wonder if I was getting called from Utah, where McCain was guaranteed to win, and conservatives had time on their hands to make other calls.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:55 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The protests against the Mormon Church are great, and well worth supporting as Americans. After all, every time I go over to the local Y to exercise, I see more than a few churchies hanging out right in front of the Planned Parenthood across the street, peskering women with giant distorted scary foetus pictures. Why should they *NOT* be peskered for their behavior too?

As I said shortly after the election on my blog:

"So, since turnaround is fair play, why not create a constitutional amendment to permanently remove all tax exemptions for the Mormon Church, and forbid them from knocking on people's doors early in the morning? Or perhaps the GLBT community should get the Sisters of the Perpetual Indulgence, cross dressers, gay club kids, and members of Beach Blanket Babylon to pass out info to Mormons outside their places of worship throughout California, explaining how to secretly pursue their latent homosexuality, where to buy a buttplug, give them packs with free condoms and lube, etc. Make their appearances so damn frequent and **F-A-A-A-ABULOUS** that the Mormons feel compelled to go elsewhere.. or maybe just leave others who are just trying to live their lives with some dignity and the same basic rights as everyone else the hell alone!


Really, I think it would be helpful to have a major GLBT-Mormon "outreach" program. There are certainly similarities between Mormons and homosexuals, after all... they both appreciate funny underwear, short haircuts, and intensive personal grooming!"

posted by markkraft at 2:17 PM on November 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since you mentioned 'em, I feel like I have to share that the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence performed a marriage ceremony at the protest on Friday night in San Francisco.

I think I just like saying/writing "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence."
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:52 PM on November 9, 2008


I have neglected as of yet to form a solid opinion about the general idea that "constitutions should be amended only to expand rights". I have no idea why the fuck anyone would want to hang their hat on such Harvard Law Review bullshit. (Well in the case of Obama it involves a waffle the size of the moon.) If one day the an activist moonbat judge decides that fathers should have a veto over abortions I would be in favor of amending away that "right".

Sadly folks who I generally "caucus with" (my du jour expression of sympathy with the left) are readily able to resolve this by pointing out that rights are basically whatever they say that they are no more no less. This neither popularly effective nor intellectually satisfying.


A man-veto over abortion would infringe on a woman's right to control her body. The man-veto right would lead to loss of freedom for the woman.

Recognition of a gay marriage doesn't prohibit a straight couple to marry, cohabit or otherwise control their own lives. I don't see any discrepancy; gay marriage is a Pareto improvement.
posted by ersatz at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2008


I'm boycotting pants.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:08 PM on November 9, 2008


Mormon bosses: BAAAAAAAW YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO HIT US BACK!
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:39 PM on November 9, 2008


While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.*

Don't like it? Trade in your 501c3 status then and be honest about it - you're lobbyists; not a house of worship.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:00 PM on November 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


While framing gay marriage as a civil or equal rights issue certainly sounds like a valid argument, it actually doesn't make sense. Marriage laws are, by their very existence, NOT about equal rights. They are special rights granted by society to people in order to encourage behavior that society wants to encourage. Society sees marriage as beneficial to society, therefore they give married couples extra rights. If society does not want to encourage a certain behavior, it is under no obligation to give special rights to that behavior.

Oh, this is so absurd. You freely admit in a later comment that marriage entails "extra" rights. But gay people don't have those rights, which means that rights are unequal. Now, you are certainly free to believe that equal rights are not important, your argument does not at all show how gay marriage is not a question of equal rights.
posted by delmoi at 9:19 PM on November 9, 2008


yeah
posted by jimahon at 4:44 AM on November 10, 2008


markkraft: What a fabulous idea! Where do I buy a habit, in my size? I LOVE the idea of information campaigns outside Mormon ward houses!

I am all for taking the LDS to task for their backing of this piece of trash. Previously I viewed them as quite separate from the haters in the Christian Right. Now, they've freely chosen to be counted amongst those. Well, this just shows who they really are: A bunch of haters, albeit a relatively good-looking bunch (what can I say, I like the clean, wholesome look).

As for the rest: I get that the No-on-8 campaign sucked. So who are these "leaders" that dictated the nature of that campaign, and who elected them? Ah, I see. No one. Self-appointed, self-important "gay leaders" are worth what you pay for them (used to be 10 cents a dozen, but I understand deflation has hit, and now that's 1 cent a dozen). Of course, I didn't do anything either, but then, I don't live in California, nor even the USA, anymore. When I did live in LA, I worked with the short-lived org "Out and Outraged", and watched the "leaders" close down the organization as soon as things got complicated. Years earlier, I worked at the Gay Switchboard, in NYC, until a friend was purged because Der Leader (Harvey Duke) felt threatened because my friend (a retiree) was working "too much".

I don't know why, but I just am no good at taking shit from self-appointed "leaders". I have hard enough time taking shit from honest-to-gosh legally appointed/elected leaders, or authorities of any kind (but with those, at least, I'm expert at faking it). Tell me what to say or not say, on a campaign to secure my own rights? I don't think so, mary. Go swish your swollen head somewhere else, Miss Thing. Bringing division in the "ranks"? Sorry, not in the army, there are no ranks. Only us citizens, citizen. Have a condom, so you can safely go fuck yourself.
posted by Goofyy at 6:29 AM on November 10, 2008


This should be an easy case for the IRS, since the LDS Church freely admits their participation in their own BAWWWW statement.

Also, I never knew their PR people moonlighted as stand-up comedians: "No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information."
posted by CKmtl at 6:53 AM on November 10, 2008


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
"I think that the people of California just again have spoken on this issue and they went against it. Just like in the year 2000 when they voted against it with Proposition 22. They had a very, very strong campaign the pro- Prop 8 people, and I think that the people that tried to defeat it did not have maybe as good a campaign or as much money behind it. Whatever. I think it is unfortunate obviously but it's not the end because I think this will go back into the courts, this will go back to the Supreme Court because the Supreme Court very clearly in California has declared this unconstitutional. It's the same as in the 1948 case when blacks and whites were not allowed to marry. So I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."
posted by ericb at 7:30 AM on November 10, 2008


I'm very very late to this discussion, but I can't favorite serazin's comment too many times, especially:

We all know that bigotry takes years to undo. And undoing bigotry requires a willingness to understand the realities of others. It also requires a discipline and moral focus - a commitment not to scapegoat others or be drawn into our own prejudices. If we want to undo homophobia, let us, ourselves, model behavior that shows respect and understanding for all people.

I hear an awful lot of people venting and raging, but in the long long haul, there's a lot of work to do. We've been doing it for a generation and then some.

When I came out back in the early '80s, I committed a felony every time I had sex -- imagine that! Now sodomy laws are gone, gone, gone. Same-sex couples in many places can marry, in marry other places they can achieve significant, if less symbolic rights. (Hey, is anyone calling the UK horrible because they have civil unions instead of same-sex marriage? But I digress...)

You Californians are hurt, mad, and heartsick, but look how much progress you've made, even since 2000. Look how much more you have than the many states which have so much less. How much sooner you will reverse this decision then we will here in Texas, or in Florida, or Ohio! Remembering Gwen Araujo and Lawrence King and so many others, you aren't in Paradise out there, but you have tremendous opportunity.

The thing is, the tide of history is on our side. Even though we measure it in court decisions and election nights, social change takes years, not moments. Ultimately, we will win simply by living our lives openly, with the witness of who we are.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:27 AM on November 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Historical progress is not a tide so much as certain people changing their minds about how the water should move and making it happen.
posted by Tehanu at 9:55 AM on November 10, 2008


Don't like it? Trade in your 501c3 status then and be honest about it - you're lobbyists; not a house of worship.

You know, I'm aware that we disagree pretty fundamentally on the nature of religion, but if you think that attempting to control the workings of society is somehow inconsistent with religion, you're delusional. The Mormons working for Prop 8 was religious folk doing what religious folk do, and what religious folk have done ever since the first priest.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:12 PM on November 10, 2008


You know, I'm aware that we disagree pretty fundamentally on the nature of religion, but if you think that attempting to control the workings of society is somehow inconsistent with religion, you're delusional.The Mormons working for Prop 8 was religious folk doing what religious folk do, and what religious folk have done ever since the first priest.

I have absolutely no idea where you derived the idea that I might think "religion" somehow always recuses itself from trying to have an effect on society, and it's neither here nor there to go into it. Of course people of faith are going to want to influence society, but there's ways to go about it. Leading by example, talking to people about issues, or any other numerous ways that don't involve becoming a lobbyist. I'm talking about a violation of tax law here. The Mormon Church is enjoying having their cake and eating it, too, through aggressive lobbying of a particular bill. They've stepped over the line from "influence" and into straight-up lobbying. As such, they need their 501c3 revoked.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:52 PM on November 10, 2008


Of course people of faith are going to want to influence society, but there's ways to go about it. Leading by example, talking to people about issues, or any other numerous ways that don't involve becoming a lobbyist. I'm talking about a violation of tax law here. The Mormon Church is enjoying having their cake and eating it, too, through aggressive lobbying of a particular bill.

And I'm saying that this is historically what religions have done. The idea that religions will peaceably and respectfully engage in honest debate over matters of public policy is a nice one, but it is entirely modern. This idea that the church will persuade people to accept its teachings and prescriptions- rather than seeking to use politics to force them- is naive and ahistorical.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:06 PM on November 10, 2008


And I'm saying that this is historically what religions have done. The idea that religions will peaceably and respectfully engage in honest debate over matters of public policy is a nice one, but it is entirely modern. This idea that the church will persuade people to accept its teachings and prescriptions- rather than seeking to use politics to force them- is naive and ahistorical.

What is your point? We live in a secular society, and the church still has to abide by secular law. The Mormon church isn't. Seems pretty cut and dry to me, your feelings about religion aside.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:22 PM on November 10, 2008


Los Angeles Protests Stop Mormon Marriages
"Whenever opponents of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that eliminates the right of gays and lesbians to legally marry in California, protest outside a Mormon temple, they effectively stop church members from getting married, according Levi Jackman Foster, an ex-Mormon who lives in West Hollywood. Foster, a 22-year-old, openly gay man, should know. As the great-great-grandson of Nathaniel Tanner, one of the founders of the Mormon Church, Foster has an intimate knowledge of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The ex-Mormon is also related to Levi Jackman, who surveyed the land where the church created its national headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. 'A temple is the only place (Mormons) can get married,' Foster says, 'if they want to get sealed to God.' A Mormon temple, in other words, plays a vital role in a religion that strongly promotes marriage among its members. 'Whenever protesters show up,' Foster explains further, 'they close the gates (at the temple) so no one can get in. It becomes a convent where no one can get married.'"
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on November 10, 2008


Lest we forget: Mormons gave $500,000 of total $600,000 budget to try and ban same-sex marriage in Alaska in 1998.
posted by ericb at 5:54 PM on November 10, 2008


Olbermann had a great special comment on the issue tonight.
posted by the_bone at 7:49 PM on November 10, 2008


Olbermann had a great special comment on the issue tonight.

I always feel like Olbermann is screaming at me.

Very touching, though, thank you.
posted by jnaps at 1:10 AM on November 11, 2008


Warren Jeffs in da Hizzouse.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:12 AM on November 11, 2008


We interrupt this boycott for a brief announcement:
Gay Leaders in Utah Plan 5-Bill Attack in Legislature
...leaders of the rights group here, Equality Utah, said statements made by Mormon leaders in defense of their actions in California — that the church was not antigay and had no problem with legal protections for gay men and lesbians already on the books in California — were going to be taken as an endorsement to expand legal rights that gay and lesbian couples have never remotely had in Utah, where the church is based.

“We are taking the L.D.S. Church at its word,” said Stephanie Pappas, Equality Utah’s chairwoman.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:48 AM on November 11, 2008


Nate Silver: "Certainly, the No on 8 folks might have done a better job of outreach to California's black and Latino communities. But the notion that Prop 8 passed because of the Obama turnout surge is silly."
posted by Tehanu at 5:51 PM on November 11, 2008


I always feel like Olbermann is screaming at me.

He's not screaming at you, he's screaming with you.
posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sometimes that's not a real difference. It's just a yelling talking head I happen to agree with.
posted by Tehanu at 10:06 PM on November 11, 2008


U.S. Gay Marriage Fight Takes to the Internet. Be sure to visit: Join The Impact -- Protest Prop. 8 on November 15.

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Votes To Join Prop. 8 Lawsuit.

44 California State Legislators Seek to Overturn Prop. 8.

Prop. 8 Protestors Boycott Businesses.

L.A. Hotspot El Coyote Prop. 8 Press Conference Goes Horribly Awry.

California Musical Theater Artistic Director Quits in Fallout from Prop. 8 Support.

Mormon Bill Marriot Seeks to Forestall a National Boycott of His Hotels by Way of an Official Public Statement.
posted by ericb at 7:05 PM on November 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


George Clooney:
"At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won't be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black."
posted by ericb at 7:05 PM on November 12, 2008


In related news...

Connecticut (my birth state), welcome to my chosen home state (Massachusetts)!

Gay Marriages Begin in Connecticut.
posted by ericb at 7:07 PM on November 12, 2008


Complaint failed against Mormon Church Prop. 8 activities.
posted by ericb at 11:22 AM on November 13, 2008


Failed or filed?
posted by Tehanu at 11:34 AM on November 13, 2008


*Complaint filed...*
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on November 13, 2008


Failed or filed?

Failed [sic] is currently in their headline and hyperlink (http://www.americablog.com/2008/11/complaint-failed-against-mormon-church.html). Let's see if they catch it.)
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2008


Yeah I noticed it was in their version-- that's why I asked for clarification here. I was prepared for bad news and was pleasantly surprised to see what it really was.
posted by Tehanu at 11:45 AM on November 13, 2008


Wrap-ups and photos/videos from Prop. 8 rallies/marches across the country today - 1, 2, 3, 4.

Here in Boston, despite the rain, there was a large turnout | video.
posted by ericb at 4:22 PM on November 15, 2008


Some follow up on the prop 8 and race discussion.
posted by serazin at 7:37 PM on November 15, 2008


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