Thursday, October 30, 2008

Prop 8


I have a "No on 8" sign on my lawn. I placed it carefully so that people driving both up and down the hill would see it clearly. What's the big deal, right? A gay man in liberal Los Feliz (where probably a third of the homes have "No on 8" signs and where there is not one single "Yes on 8" sign)... The big deal, for me, is that I don't believe in the institution of marriage. And beyond that, I'm uncomfortable with the homogenization of society. When I figured out I was gay and would accept that happily, one of the appeals was to the rebel in me. There was-- at the time, at least-- something "outlaw" in being openly gay. When this whole gay marriage thing came up it just made me cranky-- more of society's clone-like superficiality leaking into what's left of an independent gay world. But I'm mature enough to know that most gays-- like most non-gays, don't want to be outlaws or outsiders or freethinkers or anything but someone who fits in and is accepted. I accept that and I empathize and realize their point of view is probably more reasonable that my own. As long as no one ever tries to force me to marry-- gay or otherwise-- it's better to just opt for equality.

Stanford Law Professor, a married heterosexual and an advocate for preventing restrictions on the Internet, Lawrence Lessig, has put together a very straight forward 8 minute explanation of what's at stake in the battle over Proposition 8 and why all progressive-minded people should oppose it. This is only for people with 3-digit IQs. The ACLU has something out today that is also very, very effective, although more overtly emotional, Why Marriage Matters; it even made me-- an avowed anti-marriage curmudgeon-- cry.

I saw my first and only "Yes on 8" sign a few days ago. It was on the door of a church and not even a Mormon one, a real Christian Church where, ironically, they profess a believe in the message of Jesus Christ. Again, ironically, there was a marriage going on in front of the church when we drove by-- a young Filipino couple. Everyone seemed so gay and ebullient. I can't imagine that anyone in the marriage party was a hateful bigot, not like the horrible, false, vicious ads on radio that try manipulating people's minds into thinking that gays are "the other." I may actually BE "the other" because I do reject your stupid Bronze Age superstitions and social constricts. But most gays, the ones who want to marry especially... they're just like you! I recalled Hemmingway recounting-- probably in For Whom The Bell Tolls-- a village rising up during the Spanish Civil War and locking a bunch of rotten reactionary priests in a barn and setting it on fire. It's such a violent reaction but these folks were the victims of the church's violence for so many years, so many centuries...

I went to lunch a few weeks ago with a staffer who's worked for Dianne Feinstein for many years. He told me how supportive she was when he and others spoke with her about how important it is that she take a stand on Prop 8. She issued a press release opposing it. Seemed fair enough to me. And then, this week California's most popular elected official, someone who is respected across party lines by voters in this state, went as far out as I could ever imagine her going on this. Take a look:

Extra credit for anyone who can explain how this story in the Houston Chrocicle about how 23% of Texans are convinced that Barack Obama is a Muslim is related to the post above.

Labels: , , ,


At 9:19 PM, Blogger tech98 said...

Everything's Bigger In Texas...
especially Teh Stupid.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Tiffani Ellis said...

Let's see...23 % of Texas believe that Barack is a Muslim. Isn't that about where Bush's approval rating is these days? I guess his last supporters have migrated to Texas. As for tying this in with Prop 8, these 23% of Texas are likely going to oppose gay marriage until they are allowed to marry their cousins. It's a moral issue.

For the record, I am from the heart of Texas, so the inbreeding thing is fair game for me (to mock, not practice):)

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post about prop 8,


Post a Comment

<< Home