November 13, 2008

Proposition 8

It's been more than a week, and I still can't talk about it. The growl in the back of my throat isn't going to come across well on a blog. Luckily, some people still have use of their voices.

Monica has the Olbermann video. Watch it if you haven't. This should be on 24-hour continuous loop in every state that has voted down gay marriage--and 23-hour rotation in those that haven't made it fully legal.

Dr. J is also bringing the righteous, taking religion to task for its role in this travesty.

If marriage is to be defined by religion then there is an obvious extension of this argument...any heterosexual people who are not religious should also not be allowed to get married. I can just see the 'moderate' 'liberal' religious people out there squirming away at this, saying I'm just being ridiculous. Well why? It is time you faced up to the fact that it is YOUR religions that are the source and fuel for most this sort of hatred and division and you by being part of it are totally complicit in this.

My friend Catherine takes a more forgiving and optimistic view than I do.

That said, Proposition 8 passed in California, other marriage bans passed in other states and Arkansas outlawed "unmarried people" from adopting and fostering kids. My partner and I have seen our share of changes, good and bad, in the 15 years we've been together. This year, her Mormon family fully acknowledged me as her partner; it took them 14 years but back in the spring, I was actually told that I was "part of the family." It was a lovely grand gesture, even if we still can't talk to her aunt about her forty year long relationship with her "roommate"; that remains off limits.

We've also seen the the possibility of legal marriage fail more times than pass, but the fact remains that we've seen it pass at all. We've seen churches change and families embrace what they wouldn't or couldn't before.

And then she gives us just a little more to celebrate. Congrats, guys.

Comrade PhysioProf is also in a rare celebratory mood. He's bringing good news, so I'll even forgive him for not swearing as much as the issue deserves.

A judge in the state of Connecticut has just entered judgment for the same-sex couple plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking the right to wed, based on the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to wed rather than accept a civil union.

Dr. A reminds us that the election may be over, but that doesn't mean the fight is. Want to do something to help? Of course you do.

I'm a post-doc with many responsibilities. You are too. Or you are running a lab, making lesson plans, grading papers, changing diapers, walking dogs, paying bills, traveling the world, treating patients, changing tires, writing books, cleaning toilets, catching criminals, or whatever it is you do. We are all busy, but we can take an hour out of our Saturday and unite to show the world we will not stand for Proposition Hate.

Go learn how you can help. Find your voice.


Glendon Mellow said...

It's still so bizarre to me. Here in Canada, it's such a non-issue. Sure there are some groups who think gay marriage is wrong, but we have the Charter of Rights & Freedoms which protects minority rights from the majority.

I hope your friend Catherine is right.

I always wonder, when religious groups try to bring up the idea of "civil union", why they don't come up with a new technical term for their own in-group religious marriage instead? Then they can feel all sanctified and cut off while everyone else is just free to get married.

Dr. J said...

I live in Canada too and it doesn't seem to have occurred to the bigots that voted for prop 8 to look north and see that society has not collapsed, the sky not fallen, the sun still rises - in fact quite the opposite!

My own country (GB), however, still persists with the ridiculous division having only recently permitted civil unions but refusing still to call it marriage (something also fueled only by religious interference). Things are improving even there though. A while ago the government in Britain introduced legislation saying that all business that offer services to the public must do so without discrimination. This sent the Catholic church into a tizz because it would have to shut down its orphanages (although quite why anyone, given the record of that organisation would entrust a child's welfare to them is somewhat beyond me) because they were legally business and were refusing to adopt children into gay couples homes. There were a some Catholic government ministers who tried insert their silly beliefs into public policy and argued for an exemption for them. Eventually it was pointed out that you are either for discrimination or you're not so the bill passed without exemption.

While I fully intend to honest in my views of religion in this and much other corruption in society (precisely the opposite of what they claim - in the UK when an issue of morality comes up journalists regularly run to clergy for comment, what qualifies the clergy for this I know not) I am very optimistic this is a temporary set back. There is just no decent moral human position that can possibly object to gay marriage.

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

On a more interesting note the prior bans were shot down due to the equal protections clause in the state constitution. So they added this as a constitutional amendment. Since no part of a constitution is more constitutional than the rest now both the gay marriage ban and equal protections clause are valid. So now same sex persons may not marry in the state of California and all people must be under the same rules. So the state of California may have just denied itself the ability to recognize ANY marriages. I can't wait till someone gets the opertunity to argue that angle!

Stephanie Zvan said...

Oh, this whole thing is such a sordid little mess. People are tying themselves into stupid, pretzley knots trying not to notice that there's nothing to be scared of or freaked out about.

Considering the laws that have already been struck down, I think it will be soon (or soonish). But there will be much pointless screaming from people who are utterly unaffected by the change, and it's insane that it hasn't happened already.