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Further Opinions of a Fag Hag

November 5, 2008

Since the initial surge post-Dr. Horrible has passed, I don’t know how many people will see this, or even if I have anything new to say, but it needs to be said.  Or written.

I should be ecstatic today, walking on air, whatever else it is you do when you finally have hope, but there’s this unfortunate weight around my neck called Proposition 8 that keeps me from full celebration.  I blame the Mormons.  I blame the 50-goddamn-percent of Los Angeles County that voted yes.  But I also blame my own misconceptions about California.

Everyone and John McCain’s mother knows that California is a Blue State, fifty-five electoral votes in the bank for Democrats.  We’re the liberal media, the “cool kids,” we’re Hollywood and San Francisco, WeHo and Castro, we gave Ellen a talk show and made a movie about Harvey Milk.  We’re not to be trusted where so-called ‘family values’ are concerned.

But while we weren’t looking, California has been shifting.  Liberals from Los Angeles and the Bay Area may be the most vocal, but we aren’t the majority.  The state went for Obama, but the people went socially conservative.  Until two years ago, I assumed Californian Conservatives were just a myth. 

Conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter.  Proposition 8 was about equality.  It shouldn’t have even been on the ballot.  A measure to prevent equality shows that we haven’t come as far as we might think. 

“I think the voters were thinking, well, if it makes them happy, why shouldn’t we let gay couples get married. And I think we made them realize that there are broader implications to society and particularly the children when you make that fundamental change that’s at the core of how society is organized, which is marriage,” [Jeff Smith] said. (latimes.com)

So tell me, Mr. Smith, what exactly are those broader implications?  How the hell does a piece of paper held by two men or two women affect you?  These past four and a half months, has your marriage crumbled and failed?  Have you been afflicted with some sort of plague traced to San Francisco City Hall?  Those married men and women act exactly as they always have acted, your measure doesn’t change that, all it does is classify them as second-class citizens.

And won’t somebody think of the children.  Of all the nastiest, most underhanded, dirtiest tactics, manipulating the public with threats against children is the lowest of the low.  What next?  Does homosexuality threaten puppies and kittens, too?  I want to know what exactly these people think gay marriage will do to their children.  My least favorite attack ad highlighted the picture book King and King as an example of gay marriage taught in school.  A Massachusetts couple was horrified when their child came home exclaiming that boys could marry boys!  Do they take issue with learning?  With education?  With tolerance?  Yes, that’s a terrible thing to teach children, how dare they.

“This has been a moral battle,” said Ellen Smedley, 34, a member of the Mormon Church and a mother of five who worked on the campaign. “We aren’t trying to change anything that homosexual couples believe or want — it doesn’t change anything that they’re allowed to do already. It’s defining marriage. . . . Marriage is a man and a woman establishing a family unit.” (latimes.com)

It is the 21st Century, lady – there is no such thing as a traditional marriage anymore.  Why is it so important to define one?  What difference could it possibly make to our lives?  Telling someone their family is not legitimate isn’t going to make them run out and get one of yours.  My grandmother was married four times.  My aunt, great-aunt, her two daughters, and one of my uncles have all been divorced.  My gay uncle?  He’s been in a stable relationship for twenty years.  In 2002, the census revealed that 16% of families were single-parent households.  Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin both come from ‘traditional’ households, and look what happened to them. 

I assumed Californians were more open-minded than than Prop 8; my mistake.  In a country at war, in the midst of a financial crisis, with all the other things there are to worry about, why do we take precious time and money to fight commitment?  Whatever your religious beliefs, other people getting married should not affect you.  You think gay people are going to hell?  Great!  They don’t.  So pray for their souls, and meanwhile, while they’re alive they can enjoy the same rights you enjoy.  Let your God sort it out later.

 

Quote of the Day:

“More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion.” – Harvey Milk, San Francisco city supervisor, 1977 until his assassination in 1978.

Link of the Day: Gay rights advocates to challenge Prop 8 in court.  I like Jenny Pizer’s example about free speech.  

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Derek permalink
    November 10, 2008 4:42 pm

    I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with your opinions. In my own mind, marriage has ever been the official, spiritual, and emotional joining of two hearts that beat as one. It is the physical representation of two souls becoming one, joined forever in love as much as it is a legal contract that must be recognized by the state. Personally, I don’t see how it makes a difference if those two souls happen to belong to a pair of men or a pair of women. A heart is a heart and a soul is a soul and whether the physical/legal union is allowed or not, nothing can stop the spiritual/emotional joining.

    As a man trained in college to be a teacher of history and political science (even though I wound up teaching English), I find myself often searching for answers in these matters from that most sacred and important of American documents: the Constitution. Therein, one may find many of the answers one seeks (at least in relation to the laws and identity of this great nation). Does it not seem odd then that so rarely is this document mentioned in the struggle for equality fought by homosexuals? Perhaps I have merely missed it among the heated debates and frivolous/illogical arguments, but it seems to me that the only side mentioning the Constitution is the religious right, the moral majority. Even then they only mention their ultimate goal of amending this Constitution to curtail the rights of their opposition permanently. This obviously bigoted and insane goal, however, actually gives us a clue to the answer…

    Why would the religious right, the moral majority need to amend the Constitution in order to keep homosexuals from getting married? According to the laws of most states and their allegedly supportive scripture, gay marriage is already illegal almost everywhere. While it is certainly probable that your obviously superior wit has grasped this idea already and I’m just a little slow on the uptake, it suddenly occurred to me one day the reason GW and his cronies want so desperately to amend the Constitution is that they are afraid of Americans learning the truth. According to that most sacred document of American history and culture, that shining beacon of light in a world of cruel darkness, that social contract which we have defended tirelessly with the blood and sweat of countless patriots, gays and anyone else in this country against whom we might discriminate (intentionally or otherwise) already have the right to get married.

    Hopefully, I’ve impressed you with this shocking revelation, because otherwise I’m just proving myself the fool for continuing. Here’s my argument (just food for thought):

    On December 15, 1791, the original Bill of Rights was ratified. Ten amendments were made the Constitution of 1787, ranging in content from freedom of speech to the rights of states. The tenth and final amendment added in 1791 generally remains outside of the public consciousness these days. Everybody knows about free speech and religion or about illegal searches and seizures. These rights directly affect the people while the tenth affects them rather indirectly. The tenth Amendment to the Constitution states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. This means that anything not specifically mentioned in the Constitution as being a power of the Federal Government is in fact a power that falls to the State governments. It also means that State Governments do not have the right to wield powers specifically given to the Federal Government.

    Heretofore, this amendment has been the basis for each state deciding for itself whether to allow gay marriage within its boundaries. On the surface, it would seem that they have a solid argument: gay marriage, indeed marriage of any kind is not mentioned in the Constitution, therefore power over marriage resides with the states and with the people. However, this argument has a major flaw. While it is true that the United States Constitution does not mention homosexuality or marriage, it does have quite a bit to say about the rights of its citizens.

    “No citizen of the United States shall be deprived of life, LIBERTY, or property without due process of law.” This is a quote that one can find more than once within the pages of the Constitution. While it does not list specific freedoms, it is VERY clear on the idea that no citizen shall have his/her right to liberty be taken from him/her without due process. Also, there is another Amendment to the Constitution that has bearing upon this issue: The 14th.

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Basically this means that if you are an American citizen, you are guaranteed by Constitutional law the same rights as every other American citizen and the same protection of its laws. It also means that neither Congress nor the governments of the States have the power to make or enforce any law that denies a certain segment of its population any rights that are afforded to other citizens.

    To my mind, this is the answer to the gay marriage debate. According to the 10th Amendment, no State can override the laws of the Federal Government and according to the 14th Amendment; no state can curtail the rights of any citizen or group of citizens. If any American is afforded by law the right to vote, then all Americans must therefore be afforded that same right. Any law that states the opposite is utterly invalid.

    Now I have had my say and while you who reads this must surely think me mad by this point, I must admit that your argument enflamed such a passion within me that I needed to add my voice to the chorus. I hope you find my words at least a fraction as interesting as I find yours. Adieu.

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