Friday, December 19, 2008

I am choosing to be optimistic about the fate of Prop 8

If that title left you wondering, my idea of optimism about Prop 8 involves the California Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional as a matter of state constitutional law. That ruling would void the mean, hateful law and make its ruling unreviewable by the United States Supreme Court.

A couple of briefs were filed today that establish the arguments two key parties will make to the CA court. Today, the proponents of Prop 8 made it clear what they think should happen to the thousands of same-sex marriages that have been legally performed in the state. They think these marriages should be declared null and void.

I'm not going to stress out over the meanness of trying to use the court to take away rights that people have exercised and lived with. Because in the end, I think this argument by the Prop 8 folks will backfire. I actually think this argument by the proponents helps the opposition. The lawsuits seeking to overturn Prop 8 are attacking the amendment on a couple of angles that all basically stem from the same place: you can't use a straight-up popular majority vote to strip people of fundamental rights. I think the pro-Prop 8 brief, seeking nullification of all the legal same-sex marriages in California, helps to illustrate the anti-Prop 8 point. There are thousands of real Californians who have been exercising actual rights for months, rights fully recognized by the state. You simply can't take away existing rights from a select group of people on the basis of a 52% majority vote.

The other big development on Friday was the brief filed by Attorney General Jerry Brown (yes, Governor Moonbeam). He had previously indicated that while he personally opposed Prop 8, as AG, he would defend the amendment. But in the end, he couldn't do it. He just couldn't make the legal argument in defense of the amendment work. Because you can't use a majority vote to strip fundamental rights from a minority.

I already thought the anti-Prop 8 lawsuits should win. Today's briefs by the pro-Prop 8 folks and by General Brown only strengthened my opinion.

14 comments:

mikeb302000 said...

I never could understand what these people think. How in the world does gay marriage hurt them? How would any of this diminish what they do and believe in, all that family stuff? The only thing I can come up with is what you alluded to, that it's pure mean-spiritedness. What irony for self-proclaimed Christian people to do that.

Frank said...

hy is it that if people do not agree with you on this subject that they are automatically "hateful and mean spirited? I do not agree with gay marriage. I am not a christian and do not hate anyone for what they are be it gay, straight, black, green or pink. I just don't think that the word marriage should cover a gay union. I am getting sick of being labeled a hater because of this opinion.

Anonymous said...

Family Stuff??? Christian People??? What a prejudiced profile of legitimate citizens of this country. Some ideals are worth expressing a solid opinion about. Marriage is and always will be a union of one man and one woman. Call marriage anything else and you could end up with beastiality.

Jess said...

I think the effort to nullify the existing marriages is a big mistake on the part of the pro-Prop 8 folks. Say what you want about the supposedly "traditional" marriage, but this just appears mean spirited and reveals their true intentions.

Anonymous said...

The institution of marriage, which is ancient, has always been the union of men to women, whether it be monogamous or polygamous. It is one of the basic structures that has long bonded us as a society. People are bound to be resistant to fundamentally changing it, since to do so, carries little to no value to society.

Yet gays are demanding that we do so and be instantly accepting of it. Why would they have so unrealistic an expectation? Compromises have be offered in the form of civil unions and the extension of domestic partner benefits. Like the Equal Rights Amendment, which in reality, did not expand the rights of women beyond the Civil Rights Act of 1964, allowing gays to marry does not convey any additional rights.

It is unreasonable for gays to demand anything from society beyond basic acceptance and respect. They cannot demand that everyone accept their lifestyle as "normal." While many of us accept their right to live their lives as they choose, we do not accept homosexual identity as normal. Some refuse to do so for religious or moralistic reasons. Many of us understand that while homosexual behavior is a normal part of human sexuality, and may even partake of and enjoy homosexual contact, homosexual identity is, in reality, a psychosexual maladaptation. Gay people are not "born that way." While there are certainly societal advantages to homosexual behavior (lessening male aggression, increasing female communal bonding, etc.), there is no direct biological advantage to exclusive homosexuality. Many aspects our sexuality, personality, temperament, etc. are formed in the first three years of life and unchangeable. While no one knows what conditioning during this early period is responsible for homosexuality in adulthood, it is generally agreed upon that this is the origin of the maladaptation.

So, gays cannot "help" being gay and they cannot change. They are who they are and whom they chose to love and mate with is not for the rest of us to question. Gays have come a long way in the last 30 years in terms of societal acceptance. Only the most ignorant and threatened people are still homophobic. Yet gays are demanding that in less than a generation's time, society alter an institution that has roots going back over 500 generations. It isn't going to happen so quickly and they should understand and except this. This is not to stop them from choosing to commit themselves to one another and live their lives together. They can call it what they want, but don't demand that it be marriage.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, replace the word 'gay' with 'black' and see how primitive and outdated your argument truly is.

Evolve or die.

Anonymous said...

"Hateful"?? "Mean-spiritedness"??

Get real!

I am not religious at all, I have no family, and I am not married.
Okay, ..having said that, It is my opinion that this whole issue of "gay" marriage is a farce and gays ought to be grateful that they haven't been rounded up and incarcerated in some sort of mental institution.

Never mind the wishy washy B.S. about equality, marriage, etc; why don't we talk about what the real issue is here: PERVERSITY!

Non-gay people have become cowardly in this day and age of political correctness and it is an outrage.

The gay community's lifestyle is something that is never spoken in depth about. Why is that???
The sex acts performed in a "gay lifestyle" are abnormal to say the least and I share the opinion with many, many others that allowing homosexual behaviour to become acceptable is akin to accepting bestiality or pedophiles.

It is time to expose homosexuals for what they are, perverts!

S said...

Wow, lots to respond to.

First, Frank, yes, I think Prop 8 is mean and hateful in that it seeks to take away a right from a group that had the right. That's a rare and unpleasant use for a state constitution. I'm afraid you're stuck with people thinking that if you support Prop 8, and especially if you support declaring the already-recognized marriages null and void, you're mean and hateful. If you don't like those labels, maybe you should rethink your stance on the issue.

To the folks who argue about bestiality, let that one go. It's a really bad argument. Find me a sheep or a dog that can negotiate and sign a contract, and then we'll talk. Otherwise, there is no legal connection between recognizing gay marriage and legalizing bestiality.

And Anonymous 7:53, there's just nothing redeeming about your comment. Homosexuality is not a psychosexual maladaption. It's not a perversion. It's not a lifestyle. It's not a choice. It just is what 5-10% of our population is. Just as the other 90% is heterosexual (with some small group not fitting either category).

Marriage is the word states use to describe state-sanctioned relationships. We can't use one word for the straight relationships and a different one for the gay relationships. Separate is inherently unequal.

Drew said...

@ Frank:
"why is it that if people do not agree with you on this subject that they are automatically "hateful and mean spirited? I do not agree with [interracial] marriage. I am not a christian and do not hate anyone for what they are be it [black or white]. I just don't think that the word marriage should cover a [interracial] union. I am getting sick of being labeled a hater because of this opinion."

@ Anonymous:
"Family Stuff??? Christian People??? What a prejudiced profile of legitimate citizens of this country. Some ideals are worth expressing a solid opinion about. Marriage is and always will be a union of one man and one woman [of the same race]. Call marriage anything else and you could end up with [gay marriage]."

@ Anonymous:
""Hateful"?? "Mean-spiritedness"??

Get real!

I am not religious at all, I have no family, and I am not married.
Okay, ..having said that, It is my opinion that this whole issue of ["interracial"] marriage is a farce and [interracial couples] ought to be grateful that they haven't been rounded up and incarcerated in some sort of mental institution.

Never mind the wishy washy B.S. about equality, marriage, etc; why don't we talk about what the real issue is here: PERVERSITY!

[White] people have become cowardly in this day and age of political correctness and it is an outrage.

The [interracial] community's lifestyle is something that is never spoken in depth about. Why is that???
The sex acts performed in a ["interracial] lifestyle" are abnormal to say the least and I share the opinion with many, many others that allowing [interracial sexual] behaviour to become acceptable is akin to accepting bestiality or pedophiles.

It is time to expose [interracial couples] for what they are, perverts!"





I think you all get my point.

Sum1 said...

Hi, I found this blog on CNN.com and wanted to throw in my $.02.

I voted against Prop 8 but I happen to think that a majority of those who voted "yes" aren't as mean-spirited and hateful as some are making them out to be. Sure, there are a those who want nothing to do w/ the GLBT community and are simply standing in the way of progress out of spite. But to label everyone out there who voted for Prop 8 as mean-spirited, hateful homophobes is tad fallacious.

A lot of people I spoke w/ on the issue were against gay marriage simply due to a definition disagreement on the word "marriage" itself. However, a great deal of those same people were okay w/ the term "domestic partnerships" or "civil unions" and were fine w/ allowing homosexual couples the same benefits as married heterosexuals.

IMO, Prop 8 was successfully passed due to many things like the upward battle of the GLBT community on the issue, better funding for its support, and (I hate to say it but) bad campaign planning on our "NO" vote's side, to name a few. Unfortunately, in these days, you can't just throw a few ads in the media, hold some rallies in our state's inner-cities, and just expect a state of millions to vote the way you want them to vote. Politics is much more personal than that. Besides, pointing the finger of blame at religious people, Blacks, or Latinos and whining about results and who Obama chose to pray in an inauguration isn't a good way of gaining support either (not saying that anyone here is doing that, it's just what I see in general).

Time to go back to the old drawing board and come up w/ a better campaign or a better solution, which is something I'm noticing that no one seems to be trying to do. Here's an idea I've been passing around: We supposedly live in a country where there is a separation of Church and State; and the word "marriage" apparently has religious connotations and value to many in this country. So why not just eliminate the word "marriage" in all government documents and language, replace everything w/ "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships", and define it as a union of "two consenting adult persons". This way religious institutions can continue to constitute what they believe a marriage is, gays can form a union, and there is no separate but equal programs in our state.

Sorry that was more than $.02.

S said...

Sum1, I hear that suggestion a lot and I understand why it seems so reasonable to people. If that's the way this ultimately has to go, I guess that's fine. But I am a little tired of the folks who just can't cope with the fact that there are actually two institutions of marriage in this country: the civil one and the religious one. This debate is only about the civil one. The state calls that civil institution marriage. It drives me nuts that people can't see that making that civil institution of marriage inclusive, as I think is required by the constitution, does not have anything whatsoever to do with the religious institution. Except that they happen to share the same name.

And I stand by my statement that people who voted for Prop 8, which was different from any other anti-gay marriage amendment ever in that it took rights away, are mean. It's just mean to take rights away from people. It's especially mean-spirited to now argue the marriages that were legally registered should also be taken away. I don't see what's so bad about calling that mean-spirited.

Sum1 said...

I agree w/ you. Prop. 8 itself was very mean-spirited. Those who proposed we vote on it and place it in our state's constitution were mean-spirited. What certain supporters of Prop. 8 are doing right now to nullify legally-married gay couples, mean-spirited. Every single person who voted "yes" on Prop. 8... well, that's a bit dicey (victims of heavy propaganda or just stuck on old school stubborn, maybe), I'm just not convinced that they all went to the polls w/ the sole "mean-spirited" intention of taking rights away from a particular group of people. I understand we won't fully see eye-to-eye w/ each other on this but I respect your opinion anyway. Hey, it is your blog.

As far as the debate of civil institutions go, I can care less about what it's called and, for what it's worth, neither should the State of California. If it's simply a certain word that is holding this issue back, then I say let'em have it as long as everything about this issue is solved, fair, and equal. A majority of people in this state (and country) feel strongly for that word and I, for one, am not going take it away from them just to force what I believe. Does that mean that couples in a civil union can't colloquially call what they have a "marriage"? Absolutely not. It just means that CA will not recognize it as a marriage but as a "civil union" or a "domestic partnership".

Take care and keep up the good work w/ the blog.

S said...

Sum1, I think we're pretty close on this. You have a very fair point about it not being mean-spirited for every single yes on 8 voter. I will adopt that addendum. I was mostly meaning the vocal proponents, especially the organizations that created Prop 8 to begin with and are now promoting the legal argument that the marriages should be nullified.

Thanks for stopping by.

Stacy said...

I like all the useful comments here, the others are kind of just emotional. The people that voted Yes to this weren't stupid, or mean, there isn't 52% of the population anywhere that is evil and vile and hateful. They are just people. And unfortunately a majority of the country (including our new President) are against gay marriage. Whether that's fear driven or just preservation of vows they hold to be sacred (meaning not able to draw the line between civil and religious) I don't know.

I have no answer to this. I don't want to change my marriage, even though I think adopting civil unions for all is the quickest fix. But I also don't think that the GLBT community will stop with just civil. I think you will have many people that want to be married in churches, as I'm sure many of them are religious themselves. Which I understand will be up to the churches to decide, but imagine the pressure those organizations will be under?

It will be interesting to see how this resolves and how years from now we have handled this.

 
Blog Designed by : NW Designs