With everything that’s going on in the world and in the state of California, I’m frankly disgusted by the millions of dollars being spent to try to turn back the clock on gay marriage in our state. If passed, Proposition 8 would override the recent Supreme Court decision and amend the California Constitution with the words: only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. It remains to be seen whether this amendment would be retroactive, invalidating the thousands of weddings that have taken place among same-sex couples since last June. The campaign for Proposition 8 is a mean-spirited attack on the very people in the gay community you’d think conservatives would find the least objectionable. But, as I quoted from Roy Zimmerman’s excellent song in the post I wrote on the day gay marriages became legal:
Every time we think about same-sex marriage, it makes us sick to our guts. I mean, two people who want to commit to a stable, monogamous, lifelong relationship—what are they, nuts?
I’ve been to several such weddings since June, including our beloved rabbi’s, and I would challenge any of the supporters of Proposition 8 to attend these beautiful, heartwarming events and continue to spew their crazy bullshit.
That’s what gets me the most—the attempts by the Proposition 8 people to instill fear and hysteria among their supporters using misinformation and propaganda techniques. The website set up by the “Yes on 8” supporters is called “Restoring Marriage and Protecting California Children.” If they were just focused on their belief that marriage should only be between men and women, I could at least understand their point of view. But, knowing that this is no longer enough to whip up a frenzy of fear, these folks have added a new element: the completely bogus charge that public school teachers will now be forced by law to teach about all aspects of gay marriage, starting in Kindergarten. They make it sound like there will be armed guards at the doors of the public school classrooms making sure teachers go into explicit detail about different gay sex positions. Maybe they’ll have to install hooks on the ceilings of preschools so they can demonstrate the use of slings and then be forced to demonstrate the proper use of condoms on live models. The scare tactics are the same ones used in the recent ad the McCain campaign put out about Barack Obama’s support of a perfectly innocuous piece of legislation regarding developmentally appropriate sex education instruction. McCain’s ad twisted the words of that bill, leaving out phrases that didn’t suit their needs, and made it sound like Obama’s support of “comprehensive sex education” would involve teaching five-year-olds how to use dildos or giving them extra credit homework in bestiality. It was one of the most repulsive political ads I’ve ever seen in its blatant, desperate manipulations designed to frighten the masses.
I’ve been listening to people debating the merits of Proposition 8 on the radio and have been shocked at how inarticulate they tend to be. One discussion I listened to last week was full of claims by a Prop 8 fearmonger about what’s in the California Education Code. The conservative host kept having to interrupt his guest’s diatribe with comments such as “No, that’s not accurate, I have the wording right here and what you're saying simply isn't true.” But even in the face of black-and-white evidence refuting her lies, this woman wouldn’t budge, and she came close to implying that the Republican host was part of some left-wing conspiracy.
The language on the official “Yes on 8” website is poorly written and full of attempts to dredge up old fears. You know—the one about how if we let two men or two women get married, it’s going to lead to all sorts of unholy alliances: “The Court decision has opened the door to any kind of ‘marriage.’ This undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it.” Yawn. Is there anyone, even among ultra-conservatives, who truly believes that the decision to allow gay people to get married in California is going to lead to other people trying to marry young children, farm animals, or kitchen appliances? That’s SO 2004, I want to say to the misguided writers of this tired propaganda.
Do you want to hear a typical argument of a Prop 8 supporter? Here’s a verbatim excerpt from one of the blogs promoting the initiative.
Imagine the absurd conversations that would happen soon if homosexual marriage gained ground and became accepted in society. Upon seeing the wedding ring on the finger of someone you just met, you would have to ask the person: “Are you married to a man or a woman?” If that’s a logical question, then why not ask: “Are you a man or a woman?” Because, after all, don’t homosexual men say they’re a woman in a man’s body (and vice versa)? It would be like living in Alice In Wonderland. Once we depart from God’s definitions, things get strange very quickly. The homosexual imposters who think they are now married (such as my next door neighbors—I’m not joking—my lesbian next door neighbors had their “wedding” last month and their “honeymoon” in Aruba) are in reality trying for abolition of God’s law throughout the land.
To accept this and not to fight it is to deny the faith! Why do I say this? Because, a few tyrannical judges in the judicial branch of the State have decided to redefine marriage. Clearly, they have exalted themselves as lords above God. Accepting this would require us to accept the State as god and deny the Lordship of Christ. That puts Christians back where they were in Caesar’s day, when Caesar exalted himself as god. In the Great Commision, Jesus taught us to teach all peoples to obey all of His commandments. Not just the politically correct commandments. How can we let go of God-ordained marriage without a fight to the death????
Hold it…I’m still basking in “after all, don’t homosexual men say they’re a woman in a man’s body?” How can we possibly counter such ignorance among otherwise educated people? I used to think if such people simply met gays or lesbians who were just trying to love each other and live their lives in peace, they would change their tune, but this woman clearly was not affected by her lesbian neighbors. Maybe those women were on the butch side and therefore clearly “men in women’s bodies.” My God.
I’m relieved to see that support for Proposition 8 is slipping in California. In the most recent poll, 55 percent of voters said they would say no to the proposed amendment. I only wish that were 85 percent. And yet, the money is pouring in. The list of supporters of Proposition 8 includes most state Republican politicians (with the large exception of Governor Schwarzenegger), hate-spewing organizations like Focus on the Family, movie star Mel Gibson (are you surprised?), and John McCain and Sarah Palin.
In light of this and so many other factors, I was surprised to see the enthusiastic endorsement of the McCain-Palin ticket by the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay and lesbian GOP organization that’s been around since the late 1970s. On the one hand, I totally understand why they don’t want to be told by the PC police in their community which party they should support. Same goes for African-Americans, Jews, and other groups who have typically voted one way for much of their history. I admire anyone who risks ridicule, condescension, and persecution in their own ranks in order to follow their conscience. So part of me says, “You go, Log Cabin Replicans!” But another part of me wants to say to them, “Are you freaking NUTS?”
Would YOU support a party that didn’t want anything to do with you? One that fought vigorously to have your hard-won rights and protections taken away? A party that included MANY elected officials who actively spread vicious lies and slander about you? A party that, at best, just wished you’d disappear quietly into the woodwork?
But no, the Log Cabin folks would say, they are simply people who believe in Republican values. As the Log Cabin website makes clear:
The mission of the Log Cabin Republicans is to work within the Republican Party to advocate equal rights for all Americans, including gays and lesbians. Log Cabin’s mission derives from our firm belief in the principles of limited government, individual liberty, individual responsibility, free markets, and a strong national defense. We emphasize that these principles and the moral values on which they stand are consistent with the pursuit of equal treatment under the law for gay and lesbian Americans.
How’s that been working for you, guys? Not only the support you’ve been getting from Republican officials, but their adherence to those values that are so important to you: limited government, individual liberty and responsibility, and so on. Is that how you’d describe the focus of the Bush administration during the past eight years? You say you're a fiscal conservative? Great, then why the hell would you consider sending another Republican administration to the White House? George W. Bush is about as fiscally conservative as a crack addict on a bender.
In their reasons given for supporting McCain, the Log Cabin Republicans cite the senator’s opposition to a federal amendment regarding the definition of marriage. They then ignore McCain’s support of Proposition 8 and his desire for individual states to write discrimination into their constitutions.
Another site set up by a Gay Republican group contains no mention of Proposition 8 and makes the case that gay rights are inextricably linked to George Bush’s so-called War on Terror. Just to prove I’m being fair to all sides, let me show how gay Republicans can be just as ignorant as homophobic Republicans. Here’s an excerpt from that website:
The spread of gay rights depends on the survival of freedom in the United States. And that freedom is threatened today by terrorism, especially nuclear terrorism. And it has become clear since September 11, 2001 that the Republican party, despite its many serious flaws, is the only party willing to defend America.
Under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that has not been the position of the Democratic party. These two ultra-left liberals have seized every opportunity to blame America, blame the troops, blame the President, comfort the terrorists, tie the hands of our intelligence agencies, and legislate defeat—even today, when the surge has clearly worked!
Americans must come together. We must stop blaming America. We must drill for our own oil, and stop ceding our freedoms to the government.
Okay, I realize that I've been bemoaning the polarization that exists between Democrats and Republicans in this country and this post certainly does nothing to address that problem. Sorry. If only I could be as evolved as Brad Pitt and put my money where my mouth is. Last week, the actor donated $100,000 to help fight Proposition 8. “Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn’t harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8.”