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Keep it simple...

repost as much or as little (or none) of this as you like:

Are you a California voter?

3 years ago, we had a commitment ceremony. It was presided over by a minister. 3 months ago we got married. It was provided over by a minister. California Proposition 8 isn't about religious rights. This is about denying religious rights.

You can't save marriage by destroying marriages.

A vote for California Proposition 8 is a vote to destroy my marriage.

A vote for California Proposition 8 is a vote to destroy my family's life.

A vote for California Proposition 8 is a vote to destroy my friends' lives.

A vote for California Proposition 8 is a vote to ruin the lives of ordinary Californians.

And I'm going to take it personally.

What? You don't vote? It's too hard? It's too inconvenient?

I'm going to take that personally too. An abstention might as well be a vote in favor. Get your sorry ass registered and out to the polls. Read up on the other propositions too. Read up on the candidates for office. Do your fucking civil duty.


Oct. 14th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)

I'm voting absentee as well and I will be voting against Prop 8.

But I gotta say I really hate how things have gotten to this point.

As "warm 'n fuzzy" and emotionally appealing as demanding the recognition of gay marriages is, I think it a tremendously shortsighted move on the part of the gay community.

Demanding that recognition - as right as it is - is an "all or nothing" strategy. And the gay community political leaders knew damn well such a demand would evoke a huge backlash.

There are an awful lot of people out there - people who are reasonable, rational, caring, and otherwise thoughtful - who are simply uncomfortable with and opposed to the idea of same sex couples being married. This isn't out of any real anti-gay bigotry.

Instead it comes down to a matter of their religious faith and the current interpretation of that faith in which it precludes religious recognition of same sex couples - let alone recognition of their being able to marry.

No, those arguments against that really don't hold up to rational scrutiny. But then, religious faith isn't about such secular analysis anyway.

And before you jump on the argument that religious opposition to recognition of gay marriage is nothing more than religious folk forcing their religion upon gays bear in mind that the state's declaring gay marriages as being legal is, in turn, nothing more than forcing non-religious views upon the religious folk as well.

Neither way is right. Neither the religious forcing their views upon gays are right nor is the state or gays forcing their views upon people of faith is right. We live in a pluralistic society and have done pretty well at finding compromises to work our way past such differences.

And that's where things have gone wrong here.

Instead of pursuing legal recognition and acceptance of civil unions, the gay community pursued marriage first.

No, civil unions are NOT equal to marriage. Not the way we currently have things set up. They can have all the legal equivalence, if done right, but no they are essentially back to the level of "separate but equal."

However, such a recognition would've been key to demonstrating to the majority that gays are worthy of such recognition.

Should gays have to prove that they are "worthy?" In an ideal world, no. In the real world? Well, every other minority has had to prove their worthiness before the majorities of the day. One advantage of having to go through such proving is that once achieved it tends to stick.

Having such approval "forced" upon the majority through court action or through the passage of laws only freezes the process and actually draws it out. Just look at the fight over abortion still going on.

That, I fear, is what we have here. The gay community has sought to take a short cut to the end goal. The risk here is that this will fail and thus cause equally as powerful laws to come in place holding back such recognition as would've advanced it.

Given the overall conservative nature of the US, the overall conservative nature of most Californians, and given how offensive the idea of gay marriage is to people even moderately religious, I think pushing this hard, this early for it has been a grave strategic error.

Mind you, I say this as a guy who supports full legal recognition of gay relationships and full acceptance of gay "marriage" through whatever church blesses the union.

I'm hoping enough Californians will see the essential rightness of such recognition and defeat Prop 8. But I curse the political players in the gay community who have forced this issue in this way. To me, even though it is the rational and ethical thing, demanding recognition of gay marriage before achieving widespread acceptance of civil unions is only inviting disaster at the polls.

Oct. 14th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Just something to think about Madoc, straight domestic partnerships aren't "Separate but equal" either. They have restrictions on them as to when they can be filed for (age differences, minimus age requirements), and are not treated as "married" for tax purposes either.

So the legal equality has to change for all, first. Not just gays.
Oct. 14th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)

Yup, I know that all to well.

Back when I was last with Julia, I got hired at a new job and I noticed that they offered full medical benefit coverage to domestic partners. I made some inquiries and found that, under the medical policy's "spouse-like" benefits, Julia could be included on my plan were we to become domestic partners.

Then I learned that in the state of California, domestic partnerships are only allowable for couples over sixty five. So much for that.

Oct. 14th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Ah, the classic "sit back and wait, and maybe someday you'll get what you want" argument. It doesn't hold water.

Every civil rights advance has faced monumental opposition. Most of them have been forced rather than generally acclaimed.
Oct. 14th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)

No, it's not the "sit back and wait" argument.

Rather, it's fight the battles you can win - and don't fight the battles you can't afford to lose.

And as far as the other minorities go, look at the different results between those which fought for acceptance and "earned" it versus those which had such acceptance "handed" to them.

In many ways, blacks in this country have been severely held back due to the government's stepping in and forcing the issue. Not just enforcing equal application of existing law but in granting what was perceived as "special" rights.

It has only been through the establishment of the black middle class - and their proving themselves as capable as anyone else _without_ the government's saying so - that blacks in this country have really started moving ahead of where they were in the 60's.

Andy, I'm not saying it's "right" or that this is the way it "should" be. I am saying, that if you look at how this nation has operated and if you look at how people actually _are_, then you'll see that forcing such a recognition is a bad idea.

We might get away with it in California and if we do then I'll be cheering right alongside you. But pushing for it entails a horrendous risk and that's one which the gay community simply didn't have to take on.

Oct. 15th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
Funny how you seem to think the queer movement's responsible for a proposition which wishes to ban certain kinds of marriages.

I don't think asking people to vote against something which will take away a right established by the courts to be "pushing the gar marriage agenda".
Oct. 15th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)

No, I don't think that and I find it interesting that you could infer it.

Note, please, how I already said I'd be voting.

What I was pointing out was the shortsighted decision by the gay community in California which has thereby allowed this situation to come to pass.

Had the gay community pushed for _real_ domestic partnerships - ones equal before the law to those of marriage - then there's be no religious objections to it. Thus, the gay community would stand a far better chance of gaining the legal rights it seeks in this area.

Instead, because it pushed for marriage recognition, there's now a backlash and that may well lock in the prohibitions to gaining that recognition.

Oct. 15th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Had the gay community pushed for _real_ domestic partnerships - ones equal before the law to those of marriage - then there's be no religious objections to it.

I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for you cheap. The stink over the name "marriage" would merely translate into a stink over the trappings of "marriage."
Oct. 15th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)

You got that Bridge to? Damn, and here I was thinking I had the only deed to it. That guy I bought it from swore it was legit! :)

As to "marriage" vs. "trappings thereof" we'll never know.

I wish things were set up on this issue more like the French have it. Over there, as I understand it, "marriage" is purely a sectarian thing. The state handles what is essentially "civil unions" and that's the way it's been done for a long, long time. Since the Napoleonic era, at least.

Couples can go just for the civil union thing and not bother at all with the church. In the eyes of the state - and of all relevant laws - they are fully married. If they opt only for the church ceremony then they gain none of the legal stuff.

But, that's not the way things are.

Oct. 15th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
As to "marriage" vs. "trappings thereof" we'll never know.

Read the position papers and the arguments. It's right there.

I wish things were set up on this issue more like the French have it.

Last I saw the French didn't sanction same-sex unions. It's the Spanish (and the Brits and a few Scandinavians) you're thinking of.

Over there, as I understand it, "marriage" is purely a sectarian thing.

You have it partially right. Many European countries separate the civil contract of marriage from the religious sacrament of marriage. A wedding by a religious officiant has no legal standing. A civil wedding is still a wedding, though, and the result is legally a marriage.

Of course, the mere fact that those Godless European Liberals (who mostly inhabit countries with state-established and -supported Christian religions, for some odd reason) do it would kill the idea here. Mexico does it too, and we don't want to be like Mexico, do we?

It doesn't matter. Contrary to your belief, that actually is the way things are.

We already optionally separate the civil contract of marriage from the religious sacrament. One can get married at a government office by a civil authority with no religious involvement, and that's a marriage.

We also already optionally separate the sacrament of marriage from the civil contract. I have (straight) friends who have had religious weddings with no license. I find it hypocritical that some of the devout see the license as being the lynchpin of the sacrament.

So, again, you've got an argument that holds no water.

Edited at 2008-10-15 02:34 am (UTC)
Oct. 15th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
The Federal government has dodged the issue by saying it will leave marriage law up to the states. If the Feds aren't willing to be persuasive enough to give people fully equal domestic partnerships, since many of the marriage benefits exist at the Federal level, the only option for equality at this time is to push for full marriage rights state by state.

And in any case, "separate but equal" has a long history of not being equal.

I truly don't understand why so many people seem to think that domestic partnerships are an acceptable answer, when a) they aren't equal and aren't likely to be at a Federal level, and b) nobody in their right mind these days would say that if we were talking about a mixed-race couple.

You seem to feel that the churchy opposition means the "gay" (hello?) movement should have backed off from a fight with the Religious Right and its cronies in order to settle for a baby step. But domestic partnerships aren't a step in the right direction if they aren't equal. They're a step in the direction of creating a separate-but-not-really-equal class system.

If the folks with a religious opposition aren't capable of understanding that a church marriage is different from a civil one, then I'm not sure they could be reached by any education campaign.

But as a firm believer in the separation of church and state, I am appalled at the amount of power that people like you are willing to give to religious objections.
Oct. 15th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
Except the Feds also passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. The DOMA states that individual states do not have to recognize other states' laws regarding same-sex marriage and the feds will not recognize same-sex marriages for Federal purposes - like taxes, pension benefits, health insurance benefits, etc.
Oct. 15th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Or for purposes of immigration.

My wife and I are legally married in Canada, and have been since Sept. 1, 2005. The U.S. Federal Government does not recognize that marriage for purposes of immigration.

My wife and I were married here in California, this year. The Federal Government still does not recognize that marriage for purposes of immigration.

Therefore, I'm immigrating to Canada. As the spouse of a Canadian citizen.

I see Madoc's point - I do. It's a valid point. Unfortunately, there are many, many people who can't wait - whose lives and families can't wait - for the baby steps.
Oct. 15th, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)

Please go back and read what I actually wrote. At no point did I say that anything short of full legal recognition of same sex marriage was the desired _end_ goal of the process. At no point did I say that anything less than that was acceptable as the equivalent to marriage.

I did state that gaining legal recognition of domestic partnerships was an essential first step in the process. And no, such a recognition would hardly be a "baby" step.

As to the religious objections, FAS you are dismissing those a bit to blithely. Marriage, as currently set up in this country, is and is perceived as being, both a secular and sectarian thing. For a large number of Americans they are viewing this demand of recognition as nothing less than the state curtailing their religious freedoms. Freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution.

The US has had a long history of seeing the sectarian bend to the secular when it comes to governance and the maintenance of the social compact that holds the nation together. This has worked primarily due to that bending taking place almost entirely in the secular arena. Marriage is one of those points where both the secular and sectarian arenas overlap. Thus, the state dictating changes in marriage is the state dictating changes in religion. And that cuts right to the core beliefs of millions of Americans. It also cuts to the core of how this country was set up.

To those millions of Americans this is indeed a separation of church and state issue - with the state violating that separation.

Dismissing that, as lightly as readily and sneeringly, as you just have is something which drives away potential supporters of gay marriage and polarizes the debate thereby making it harder to achieve our goals.

To many in the gay community have also taken this tact and it's one reason there is so much opposition even to the idea of gay marriage. As I've posted previously, the majority of folks opposing gay marriage are not "ChristoFascist," knuckle dragging, hate speaking bigots.

Instead, they have some very legitimate objections that should be addressed rationally. And instead of going off as to how _wrong_ they are we should be concentrating on how _right_ we are in calling for legal recognition of gay relationships as simply being an equal treatment issue.


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