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.