Friday, November 07, 2008

Prop 8, Gay Marriage & Mormons.

Left: A protest on the streets of L.A. last night in front of the Mormon temple.

The Mormons must be fabulously wealthy to be able to raise at spend 10 million dollars to interfere in other peoples' lives, as they did in convincing religious Californians to strip us of our right to marry.

I think back to the country church my daddy raised us in and how we scraped by on pennies from people working graveyards at the paper mill. But the Mormon Church has millions to throw away on TV ads. Dishonest and ugly ones at that.

I think it's good that the protesters have tried to focus media attention on this sensational waste of tax-deductible money, but I would also remind my allies that religions LOVE being persecuted. It makes them feel noble, that they are fighting God's Fight.

This is an attention-diverter. The only issue that matters is equal rights under the law.

I'm convinced that if they hadn't run those dishonest and "what about the children?" spate of ads, the people of California would have seen our HUMANITY and sided with us. And the issue would have faded into obscurity as everyone went about their own business.

Since when are human rights subject to the whim of the majority, anyway? The supreme court made the right decision that we are equal before the law. It's too bad that it was our only recourse, given the absolute hate being thrown at glbt persons by religionists over the centuries.

It's all the same. This is about hate and bigotry. It's about trying to find a way to make us disappear. We have disturbed the primal forces of the heterosexual elite society and the Mormons and Catholics and evangelicals are striking back by taking away a right to marriage.

If you had lived in California, you would have seen the most vile, dishonest ad campaign imaginable focused on trotting children out and making it seem as if this law would require school trips to a leather bar. (The operative line was, "They'll be teaching children about gay marriage.") Well, that's a little like saying you're going to teach them about air. Air exists. Gay people exist. And I have news for you, most kids already know we exist.

But hey, anti-gay religionists have a history. They've tortured us, thrown us in jail, banned us from literature and history, subjected us to electric shock, filled us with hormones and castrated us. It's something they're used to. They frequently cite how badly they want to go back to "the good ol' days" just like white racists wish they didn't have to look at all those "coloreds" on TV.

But we have tasted freedom and equality, the most basic and primal forces of nature. How long do you think they can stand there and pretend they aren't doing something very wrong?


Anonymous said...

I was in Los Angeles last weekend and saw some of the Vote Yes on Prop 8 commercials. You are so right. They made it seem like gradeschoolers would be subjected to tales of gay male honeymoons.

And this was done by millions of people who claim to follow a holy figure who taught us to "Do unto others..." and "go in peace." Also, this was done in California -- a state where interracial marriage was still illegal when Lena Horne was making MGM musicals. She had to go elsewhere to wed her Caucasian husband.

Elizabeth Pax said...

Gay is the new black.

Gay people are the only ones left in the country that it is socially acceptable to hate, bash, and discriminate against because they say it's for 'religious reasons'.

Don't worry, someday the federal government will step in, just like they did for blacks and inner racial marriage, and gays will be recognized as equal citizens.

Amy Lynn said...

But it's not about hate and bigotry. It's about ignorance, which the No on 8 people did nothing about.

Steve Schalchlin said...

Meet some anti-gay religionists face to face. Trust me, it's about hate and bigotry, but it's disguised as love. That way they can pretend it's a holy act.

Amy Lynn said...

I'm not saying that the Prop itself wasn't bigotry. But certainly you can't think the millions of people who voted for it are all bigots. That's simply not true.

Steve Schalchlin said...

If someone decides to vote against Black people, saying that they can no longer marry each other, you don't think that decision would be rooted in bigotry?

Why is this different?

Amy Lynn said...

How would I know, unless I asked each person why they made the decision?

Anonymous said...

71% of African Americans in CA voted for Prop 8, 52% of Hispanics (which I am) in CA voted for Prop 8 - whether they are bigots or not, hateful or not, is not the point. You would think people who have been discriminated against would be less discriminatory - we found they are not.

On Tuesday, CA gave rights to animals (mainly chickens) in this state to be able to live a more humane life and on Tuesday, a right that I had, guaranteed in our constitution was TAKEN AWAY!

Chickens - 1 Gays - 0

Steve Schalchlin said...

Because disguised bigotry almost never admits it out loud.

Amy Lynn said...

That's the kind of argument, I think, that does more harm than good.

1) Comparing chicken rights to gay rights is nuts. No matter if the cages are bigger, we still eat them. Those of us who are comparing prop 8 to the Nuremberg laws are going WAY too far.

2) Blaming the Black voters is ridiculous, and so anti-the change all voted for on Tuesday. Many Black voters were encouraged by their churches to vote a certain way. Since the No on 8 people DID NOT come out there and HONESTLY campaign against the prop., why should they have voted otherwise?

3. I gather you all voted for Obama. So did I? Does that make us hypocrites, since Barack himself believes marriage should be one man, one woman?

Amy Lynn said...

Also, as long as we're blaming the Blacks, why don't we blame the white men over 65, who overwhelmingly voted for Prop 8? Or the 50% of college graduates? the 22% of liberals?

Anonymous said...

You do realize that if homosexual marriage is passed as a federal law (which i'm sure it will be eventually), then it will be discrimination for churches and any religious group to not approve of it? Prop 8 would lead right to that.

Our country was founded on Christianity and suddenly parts of it will be "discrimination"? Well when it passes we will have the people and animals getting their marriage and discrimination laws (Hollywood already has several plays and movies with that in it) people marrying multiple people, and people marrying siblings, parents, etc. If you will allow this then anything goes.

Amy Lynn said...

1) Contrary to your belief, anonymous, most of the founding fathers wanted Christianity to have very little to do with the new country

2) I don't think people will be marrying animals any time soon. Animals aren't consenting adults.

Anonymous said...

Amy -

Not blaming anyone - just numbers that show how people who have been down trodden voted - it is just surprising, and it saddened me when I read those numbers - but blame someone heck no – if there is any blame to be made it is of our society that allows a minority to be persecuted (and I am sorry but I am feeling a bit persecuted) – but Prop 8 will be overturned – I am confident of it.

And in terms of the Prop 2 - animal rights - again I just found it flabbergasting that a majority of the voters would think to give animals a more humane way of life - at a cost to their pocket books and the livelihood of small farmers but take away my right to marry that costs them nothing, that affected them in no way, shape or form.

Obama was against Prop 8, most liberal politicians were, and most liberal politicians would say that marriage is between a man and a woman, (Hillary believes that) give the Gays civil unions, separate but equal. Just like in 1954 - they were wrong then and they are wrong now.

Another sad thing is that it is political suicide for a politician to say they believe in Gay Marriage - it would be like them saying they don't believe in God; and I am sure there are many Atheist in office right now – just in the closet – why?

I just read ANON's - that's why - people have been brainwashed to believe that our founding fathers were good ol' Christians - they were'nt many were Atheist - read the writings of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin.

Amy Lynn said...

Here's the thing... Prop 2 has NOTHING to do with Prop 8. Comparing them is silly. For many votes, Prop 8 has a HELL lot to do with how they value things in society than Prop 2. Sad, but true.

Amy Lynn said...

Also, you never answered my question - do you think the white men over 65 were down trodden, as well?

Anonymous said...

I think what we should do in CA is have a proposition to stop propositions! Props are a bad way to make law - mob rule is never good. (Want to sign my petition?

Why do we vote for a legislature? Aren't they supposed to make laws and the court rules on them?

Amy thanks for the fun afternoon of exchanging ideas!!

But I still don't think it's silly to compare 2 and 8 - hold on while I make sure I can turn around in my cage...

I will shut up now :-)

Amy Lynn said...

That's the kind of mindset that gets GLBT people in trouble. If we act like victims, we'll be victims.

Anonymous said...

NO - they are just biggoted and hateful.


My point was I was saddened by the fact that people I grew up with - I grew up in a black/latin neighborhood - would not think they were being discriminatory when voting for 8.

I knew people that lived in the south in the '50s and they told me stories about separate water fountains, sitting in the back of the bus, and lynchings.

It is them and thier children that voted against me (that's sounded a bit "blamy" sorry).

I take this very personally, I was married to my partner of 25 years on July 1st.

Granted 8 is not going to change they way I feel about him or our life - but for a brief moment in my life I felt like a true citizen - now I don't.

I guess I am just angry - but I am also very happy - Obama won! WE WON! and some of us lost.

Anonymous said...

and it's LGBT (Lesbians get 1st billing)

and I am not a victim - just pissed.

Steve Schalchlin said...

> You do realize that if homosexual marriage is passed as a federal law (which i'm sure it will be eventually), then it will be discrimination for churches and any religious group to not approve of it? Prop 8 would lead right to that.

Catholic churches are not compelled to marry divorced people. They won't be compelled to marry gays.

Freedom of religion is still a part of our constitution.

Amy Lynn said...

Ernie, I'm not saying you're a victim.

What I'm saying is that many of the people rioting in the streets since the election didn't even vote. Just over half of registered San Franciscans voted. I know not all SF'ans are gay, but still... LA count did just a bit better.

If you can't stand up for your own rights, why should the rest of the country?

The LGBT community has no one to blame but itself.

Anonymous said...

Correction Steve Schalchin: It's Prop 8, Gay Marriage, Mormons, and Black Americans. P.S. Click my name.

Anonymous said...

Gay is the new black Lola, espacaly concidering the way Blacks (and Mormons) treated gays this election. P.S. Click my name.

Lea Ann said...

I have no first hand knowledge of what it is like to to have hate and fear hurled at me. I'm a christian though, who happens to follow a Christ who very boldly reached out to those on the fringes of society, or the folks considered to be misfits by the religious leaders of the day. The following is a quote from a Pastor whose devotionals I read

- "When our attention turns to those on the edges of the crowd, to those folks we recognize but have never allowed ourselves to reach out and engage them, we are tempted to see them as victims. We are tempted to feel sorry for them. But that we need not do. Far better to see them as our teachers, as our colleagues, as people who can help us gain a new and deeper perspective on what it means to be a human being."

I'm upset when any people are sent to the margins of life. I feel sorry for them. But when I read what Steve writes on this blog I am reminded of the quote above and that I need to watch and listen and learn what it means to be a human being in this big diverse world we all live in. Thank you Steve for being my teacher and colleague, and for helping me to gain perspective on what it means to be a human being. God bless you.

Keith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am Mormon, and I advocate respect for homosexuals, as do many others of my faith. I mourn the hatred homosexuals face on a daily basis and pledge my efforts to eliminate wrongful hatred towards gays.

David said...

Demonstrations like this certainly do feed the stereotype of the in-your-face aspect of the gay community. Play my way or I'll scream until you do.

I suspect that it is exactly why so many groups are so opposed to gays. Based on the videos of this event, the stereotype appears to be the actual.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 28 comments!

I'm glad to see people waking up to the realization after the fact.

Prop 8 failed on so many levels that it's beyond comprehension.

And it was mostly because there are too many people who should have and could have but did not.

Let's face it, Steve, everyone should have been on their A game on this one, no exceptions, and it just didn't happen.

The entertainment community should have been calling out those celebrities who said yes on 8 and did not; the black and latin@ community should have been calling out those black and spanish speaking pastors who were saying things like I didn't choose to be born black or latino or don't equate sinwith skin - they did not. The ex-ex-gays should have been addressing what the ex-gays were saying as well and they did not.

Anonymous said...

NG - you are right on - but we (people in CA) really felt that this was a done deal. It was'nt.

We are to blame, I am to blame for not getting out there and making sure. Can anyone say "wake up call"?

The demonstrations happening throughout the state makes me realize that equal rights are fought on the streets and in the courts - not in the ballot box. If it was up to Americans there would still be Jim Crowe (sp?) laws.

It was ActUp that got in peoples faces - that pushed new meds and because of them - Steve is alive - I am alive and those are good things.

So now is the time to march - to talk - to holler!! - We will no longer live in the margins - WE ARE AMERICANS!!!

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate your adversaries. It's a lesson that I often forget myself.

Though I'll have to replay again for correction and clarification when I'm back on my own PC, but on GayUSA with Andy Humm and Ann Northrop, they said in Michigan opponents to same sex marriage conducted a similar campaign, they said they were perfectly okay with domestic partnerships, and no sooner than they got their wish, they want after domestic partnerships.

Re Act Up: Unfortunately, many of those Act Up guys have themselves gotten lazy too.

Anonymous said...

Re: Act-Up: Unfortunately many of those Act-Up guys have died. Some have just gotten a lot older and a little burned out. But some of us didn't die and have not gotten lazy.

There's a whole new generation out there to take up the lead in this fight and some of us old Act-Up guys are out there with them. This is a generation that grew up with Ellen and Rosie and Will and Grace. This is their first bitter taste of civil injustice and they are just getting fired up. They're also the first generation of gays and lesbians with a history. They have a previous generation to look up to for advice they'll probably ignore! I know many of us old guys are trying to get the word out about keeping it peaceful and orderly.

It's been so exciting for me to see mobs of young people out there expressing their outrage over prop 8. They remind me of myself 25 years ago. They're angry and they haven't figured out exactly what they're doing yet, but I believe they'll figure it out soon. I expect a few primary voices will emerge to speak for for this new movement and some greater focus and direction will begin to be formulated.

In the last few years since Bush took over the White House and invaded Iraq, I've been feeling a little dumbstruck by everyone's apparent complacency. I've been wondering why people were not out in the streets making noise. Now, finally, it's happening.

I wonder if electing Obama has something to do with all of this? People feel hope again, even with the nasty prop 8 situation. If Obama had lost, I wonder if people would have just taken the prop 8 loss as just more of the same awful crap we've gotten used to and gone about their business?