Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not All Good News

It looks like proposition 8, which will amend the California constitution to say “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California,” will pass. That's terribly unfortunate and a sign that bigotry and injustice are still woven into the fabric of the United States.

If we are lucky, Obama will be a truly transformative president and continue to follow in the footsteps of Lincoln by putting a stop to this petty, irrational violation of civil rights. But it would be an unpopular fight.

Alas, the people have spoken and they are dumb.


matt said...

It's unfortunate but I can't disagree with Rod Dreher's response:

...this result shows the strategic risk of trying to carry out a social revolution via the courts, without consulting the people... what I would like to see is an honest reckoning over why Prop 8 won, something that goes beyond, "They hate us! They hate us!" If you blame it all on bigotry, that doesn't require you to think about other reasons why people voted for Prop 8 -- like, for example, resentment over something as radical as same-sex marriage being imposed by a judicial elite.

Jay said...

Ugh. I like to think that I appreciate strategic compromise and shared understanding. But sometimes I have no patience for apologetics.

SuiginChou said...

I have no more problem with "same-sex marriage being imposed by a judicial elite" than I do with hetero-sex marriage being imposed by a judicial elite. Either have the judges impose 'em all or impose none of them! Either we all get married or none of us do! Fundamentally (to me; can't speak for the GLBTs fighting for this), this isn't a fight for marriage any more than it's a fight against others' legal marriages. This is a fight for legal equality on the one level (answer: civil unions) and social acceptance (as would be evidenced by marriages) on the other.

Personally, I'm torn on this one all the time. On the one hand, I don't see why we can't all "get married" or why American English-speaking Christians can't share the word "marriage" with the GLBT community.

But on the other hand, I really do believe there's merit to the argument, "We [the Church] invented marriage, so why must they insist on ruining it for us? We say 'By all means! You are free to do as you will -- but please! do not desecrate our sacred ritual! We do not mean to hurt you, but we believe that you are involved in a sinful relationship and that your attempts to consecrate that union with our ritual and our label makes a mockery not only of the ritual itself but of our religion."

I don't like it when people attempt to force their ideas onto others -- instead of allowing people to pick what they want and (hey!) if they happen to want to pick your idea then good for you! If it were a question of air or water or sunlight, sure, but it's not: and we all know that. It's a question of a word (on a superficial level) and a ritual (on a deeper level) that was invented by, and in a sense belongs to, the church. Synagogues have theirs. Mosques theirs. Homosexuals should be able to get their own thing, too. But to invoke God's name, for example, or to insist on using the specific word "marriage"? To me, this seems awfully similar to the thought-experiment where you take one-thousand young atheists named Christian and get them to do some demonstration that contradictions Christian (rel.) teachings while reporting to the media, "Hey! We're Christians!"

But maybe I'm talking out of my ass according to some people. Whatever.

Daniel said...

Point of fact, Obama doesn't support gay marriage. He doesn't support a ban either, but a lot of his supporters do, apparently. Just sayin' I wouldn't hold out for that transformative figure if I were you.

Jay said...


matt said...

Ryan: the arguments for not allowing gay marriage frequently focus on something more important than semantics & ritual (and their corollary, public perception), namely religious liberty. The worry here is that churches could potentially violate the law if they did not allow gay people to marry in their church, or if they did not allow gay married people to adopt children from their orphanages (this is why Catholic Charities of Boston no longer is in the adoption biz), and the Churches could lose their tax-exempt status which would place a huge burden on them.

Dan: Obama opposed Prop 8.

Daniel said...

Oh I know he opposed the ban, but he doesn't support gay marriage so I don't think he's going to bat on anything of that nature. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.