Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gay Marriage Protesters Strain Concept of Equality

Same-sex marriage protests were held nationwide yesterday.


This picture showing demonstrators in Los Angeles illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy of the movement. There simply isn't much analytical substance to the claim that gays are forced to sit at the "back of the bus," which is the attempt by the gay rights movement to capture the moral legitimacy of America's historic black freedom struggle from themselves.

It's a pitiful effort, however, since gays enjoy full civil rights under the law today, and even black Americans see the homosexual push to coopt the African American legacy as an affront (as we saw with the 70 percent of black Californians voting Yes on 8).

Jeff Jacoby has more:

The civil rights once denied to black Americans included the right to register as a voter, the right to cast a ballot, the right to use numerous public facilities, the right to get a fair hearing in court, the right to send their children to an integrated public school, and the right to equal opportunity in housing and employment. Have gay people been denied any of these rights? Have they been forced to sit in the back of buses? Confined to segregated neighborhoods? Barred from serving on juries? Subjected to systematic economic exploitation?

Plainly, declining to change the timeless definition of marriage deprives no one of "the civil rights once denied" to blacks, and it is an absurdity to claim otherwise. It is also a poisonous slur: For if opposing same-sex marriage is like opposing civil rights, then voters who backed Proposition 8 are no better than racists, the moral equivalent of those who turned the fire hoses on blacks in Birmingham in 1963 ....

If black voters overwhelmingly reject the claim that marriage amendments like Proposition 8 are nothing more than bigotry-fueled assaults on civil rights, perhaps it is because they know only too well what real bigotry looks like. Perhaps it is because they resent the assertion that adhering to the ageless meaning of marriage is tantamount to supporting the pervasive humiliation and cruelty of Jim Crow. Perhaps it is because they are not impressed by strident condemnations of "intolerance" and "hate" by people who traffic in rank anti-Mormon hatemongering.

Or perhaps it is because they understand that a fundamental gulf separates the civil rights movement from the demand for same-sex marriage. One was a fight for genuine equality, for the right of black Americans to live on the same terms, and under the same restrictions, as whites. The other is a demand to change the terms on which marriage has always been available by giving it a meaning it has never before had. That isn't civil rights - and playing the race card doesn't change that fact.
What we will continue to see, frankly, is more of the in-your-face authoritarianism that's been the norm so far.

What's somewhat depressing, of course, is that we've seen few political leaders in California speak out in defense of the majority's vote on November 4.

Since when did it become shameful to live in a system that governs on the basis of majority rule?

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times


AmPowerBlog said...

I'm not gay, Philippe, rest assured, and we are all fine here.

Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Sorry everyone but I fully support gay marriage. How do two people of the same sex getting married affect your everyday life? Why would you even care what other people do. I believe gays should be afforded the same rights as all citizens.
Whether or not you like Keith Olbermann of Countdown on MSNBC, he gave the most eloquent and moving commentary on tonight's show about Proposition 8, the ban on gay marriage in CA. Here's the link....

http://www.msnbc. 21134540/ vp/27652443# 27652443

We hope you'll watch it and forward along to your friends and family, especially those who may have voted Yes on Prop 8.

Righty64 said...

It is fine for those that support same-sex marriage to say so and advocate it. But, they are doing a lousy job and the Dinosaur, Drive-By, Mainstream, Obama-worshiping Media are doing cover for them. Look, the vote here in California is very simple. It restored the understanding that marriage will be recognized as that between one man and one woman. The reality is that NO rights were taken away. Same-sex couples can register as domestic partners and have a slew of the legislative benefits there of. The California state supreme court tried to rewrite the laws already on the books to seek their understanding. They overstepped as in California, such matters are left to the legislators and the people. The people spoke. Now, the advocates of same-sex marriage need to make their case better than they did before. Until they do, people will continue to not trust the courts to settle this. And they should not because a court that "gives" rights can easily "take away" rights.

Anonymous said...

I'm still not understanding the problem. Who cares whether it's one man and one woman, or one man and another man, or one woman and another woman? You haven't told me how that affects you. I think that gays are being discriminated against and it is their right to get married, just like anyone else. Furthermore, I find it disingenuous that as blacks were voting for the first AA, they chose to vote against the civil rights of gays. Wonder how gay blacks feel?

Martin Schecter said...

If people who support Yes on 8 really believe that marriage rights should be subject to a popular vote, then by your logic, you'd be against Obama's parents being married and think they should have been divorced by the government. A majority of Americans did NOT support interracial marriage until 1991; yet the California supreme court ruled interracial marriage a protected right as early as 1948, when it was still extremely unpopular.

Of course, the experience of discrimination of gay peope is in no way the equivalent of the experience of blacks. Gays have the option of "passing"; blacks don't. Gays have the experience of being rejected by their families; blacks generally don't. And gays weren't made into slaves and their struggle for equality isn't tied to the foundations of our country in the way African-Americans' ancestry is.

But just because they aren't equivalent, doesn't mean gays don't suffer discrimination. This is a civil rights movement; those who oppose it are on the wrong side of history, just as were those who opposed civil rights for blacks and women.

Norm said...

I am sure other people can offer you their wonderfully intellectual answer, but for a guy like me it is like this. This issue is the definition of a word. If we change the definition of the word it will have a tremendous long term affect on the character of our society. I do not consider gay couples to be the normal state of affairs and wish to hand down to my children and grandchildren a morally stable society.If gay
couples would like to have a ceremony within which they pledge themselves t each other for life...then call it another name.
Call it "Kasambo". And the definition of Kasambo will be a gay couple who pledge their lifes to each other. Then the courts can spend the next hundred years defining exactly what Kasambo means when these gay couples want to break up; and the lawyers will have another class of people to rip off.
Leave the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman alone.
And by the way, in case everyone realizes that I have been railing against divorce attorneys too much...I have never been divorced.

Anonymous said...

Norm: You state you "do do not consider gay couples to be the normal state of affairs." That is your opinion. Being gay is genetic. Gay people are born that way. Why would they choose to be gay? So someone like you could put them down every chance they get. In the two states where gay marriage is legal, I don't see the tremendous long term effect on the character of our society even remotely beginning to happen. From what you are stating, I assume you are an extremely religious person and take the bible literally. I personally do not think you should be allowed to vote on someone else's civil rights. If men and women are afforded the right to marry, so should anyone else. The idea that if gays marry, you would hand down to your children and grandchildren an unstable moral society is ludicrous. It is closed-minded, homophobic people like you that scare me. Do you know anyone gay or do you avoid them because you are afraid whatever it is about them is catching? That's what you are basically saying, to be around married gay people, your children and grandchildren could suffer the consequences.

Norm said...

You asked for someone to give you an explanation why we should be against redefining the word "marriage". I tried to offer you my honest opinion and in return you call me names. I resent being called a homophobe. I am not a homophobe and nothing I wrote could be considered homophobic.
I have never met a straight or gay person who would argue with the statement that the normal state of affairs is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Of course, the definition of man or a woman was the subject of another discussion.
And no, I am not a particularly religious man.

Now you can continue this discussion with someone else.

Anonymous said...

Norm, sorry if I offended you. I still don't understand why it bothers anyone and I don't think other people should be able to vote what someone else's rights are. Let's just drop the conversation. Peace.

Norm said...

Forget it. We all let our emotions get ahead of the keyboard sometimes.
This is an important topic and some of us are going to keep the discussion civil. I do have doubts about my position, I admit that, but I am not ready to make what will become a huge change in our future society. Too many things flow from changing the definition of marriage.
Peace to you too.

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
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Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Grace Explosion,

what makes you think your "Literal" translations of the bible are any better than those who have opposing views than yours?

What gives you the pedestal?

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ladyhawk, re: "Furthermore, I find it disingenuous that as blacks were voting for the first AA, they chose to vote against the civil rights of gays. Wonder how gay blacks feel?"

Would it help your understanding of the Black vote on this issue to learn that the overwhelming majority of AA churches are Evangelical?