Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another Prop 8 discussion

So it has been awhile, but people are still talking quite a bit about this issue. I know it is going through the courts, and those that have always been on the battlefield are still there fighting, but this is different. Regular people that don't discuss politics generally, and whose lives were not really affected by prop 8, haven't just gone back to their lives. They are still talking about this. Even those that voted yes are still asking questions about this issue.

I Hear: I don't understand, but I want to.

This is how I got involved. I was so angry over this, for the past many months. I really didn't get it. I listened, and I feel I have gotten a much better understanding of the issue. Not just the tricks, and the lies in the ads, but where people really feel conflicted, or just comfortable with voting yes, as if, in my mind, it wasn't going to hurt people in the same way it wasn't going to hurt them.

Anyway, I got a kind letter from someone I did n't know that enjoyed the satirical exchange between myself and YesJesusYes on YouTube. I Visited their page and read the following qustion / comment left on their page:

From standj21:
Yeah I see what you are saying, and I support your position , but you first need to explain to me how one has the "right" to be married, and Im not talking about gays Im talking about everyone. No one has a right to be married, if it were true we would not be having this conversation, what you need to understand is that it like many things is a privilege, and privileges can be taken from you, or in some cases never granted to you. It is my understanding that civil unions are allowed, and that can be between gay couples, and straight couples.

Like I said I may be wrong I never really spent much time researching it. If prop8 was designed to keep gay couples from the same benefits as straight couples then I would take issue with it, because the only purpose of a law should be to protect, never to impose ones believes, if by enacting a law that protects religious rights to not observe gay marriage, or to protect anyone from penalties from the government for not observing gay marriage (which by the way is one of the strongest arguments on the other side) I feel that its worthy of being passed.

Which begs the question, what are gay people looking for, what do you specifically want? Please dont say you want the right to marry, hell I want that to be my right too, but it just aint gonna happen, and Im straight even. Is it that you just want to have a ceremony? If that is the case then the government should not have a say in it anyways, and neither should anyone else.

Kind regards, and best wishes, Justin
I know where you are coming from. I'll never be able to put it as eloquently as Keith Olberman or Lawrence Lessig, but here was my response I left to some of the questions not necessarily covered the two people mentioned on my feelings.

@Justin: Is it a privilege, or is it something special that goes along with something religious? Separation if church and state PROTECTS religion, would you want one Christian sect telling all the others what to believe? Civil Union does not give the same rights as marriage, even if everyone agrees it should; that is a much more technical argument, however, Supreme Court has said separate is inherently unequal.

And great question, is it a right or a privilege? It is a right. What are the rules to get married? 18 or parental consent. There is also the argument it is a human right, legal recognition that two people want to be together across national lines, disaster, keeping a home and tax issues related to such things. The first of which is not granted in the US, domestic partners can not be foreign nationals.

Next, have you ever heard of a court ordered divorce where couples were doing so bad the court made them split up? Denied marriage to two straight people for an issue other than race? I could totally agree marriage could or should be regulated. Why not a 30 day waiting period? Why not mandatory background checks or full disclosure such as is required when you buy a house or a gun? I know why, cause we don't want the government that involved in our personal lives. We protect marriage as a human right.

Finally, critical in this fight, was labeling homosexuality a behavior, and NOT a person. Seems like semantics, right? no. The issue makes a big difference with regard to law. If there were not just homo-behavior and we actually had homo people, 'they' then get special rights as what is called a 'suspect class'. Religion and forms of worship and classes of people can be regulated, but only with a super-majority, >75%. This is why we can have pedophiles as people, not "a behavior", and they don't get legal protection... just as a matter of the law anyway.

Democracy fails when it is the majority ruling over a minority. This is why I do not recognize "The will of the people" as any legitimate argument, especially when it is 52%. Your words acknowledge gays as people, a class of society that are being put to one side versus another, not just a behavior to be discouraged. If we like this country, and want to give meaning to that term law, then we need to recognize these people, like em' or not, as a suspect class with rights, rights, such as marriage that can not be taken away without a super-majority. This is a class war, and that is why people are so angry, so bitter. 52% (down from 63%, both less than super-majority) is not getting regulated away any time soon. Which side do you feel proud to stand on?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Ant in response to this video I just saw with Dr. Phil:
I think someone needs to reread Uncle Tom. No ex-black people, huh? I think that was what Uncle Tom was all about, a color blind society. In a color blind society there are no black people, just people. Uncle Tom today says "be straight and no one will discriminate against you". You can have black skin, just don't 'be' black, and don't have 'black' thoughts. Well to those people, I say with all my heart FUCK YOU and your Uncle Tom idealism. That is NOT how we fight classism in this country.
Sometimes it is really hard to fully express yourself in 500 words, in case that seemed really broken up. Listening to it again...
"sexual preference"? Lessig has a great video on how and who we "choose" to love. Do you really "choose" the person you love? I choose who I let in my life, but I don't think we get much choice who we love. Battered women can not choose to not love their abuser, they can only choose to not have it be a part of their life. That is why leaving is so hard, cause you CAN NOT choose who you love, gay or straight.

No comments: