Monday, November 03, 2008

Divisive


Neighbor

vs.

Neighbor




Help me understand, how exactly does intolerance protect marriage?

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[add/edit ...one day post election]

As per normal, the state results are split... urban/coastal versus interior. Go here to view national and state-wide election results. Navigate down to see the county-by-county maps. The Prop 8 results are shown on the map at the right.

With 90+ percent of the votes counted, it appears that Prop 8 will pass. Disappointing as it may be, the bright side is that it is getting closer. Much closer than the last time it was put to popular vote. It took a long time to overturn racial prejudice in the US, and look where we are now. We are moving forward more or less.

[Add/Edit ...two days post election]
I'm turning off the comments because nobody will change his/her viewpoint and I don't want people attacking each other. But this issue is not going away, and the title of this post remains sadly appropriate.

I am heartened to see that, at least, the South Coast of SB county--where I live--voted "No" overwhelmingly on Prop 8. Like 2-to-1, and it would have been much greater except for two groups: the over-65 voters and religious conservatives. State wide, those two groups made the difference. Change takes time as the electorate and the judiciary evolve.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't equate intolerance with not wanting homosexual relationships to be called 'marriage'. Some think that they can go and do what they want, but it's not 'marriage'.

Anonymous said...

Sign wars in my neighborhood also. Started with someone placing a "yes on 8" bumper sticker on a couples car and sign across the street. A bunch of us now have "no on 8" signs. Which, have been taken from my yard 4x. No biggy, I just keep getting more signs.

It is intolerance.

Funny, how the Christian conservatives don't want homosexual relationships being called "marriage" but have no problem with "homosexuals" and "pedophiles" being Master of Ceremony for heterosexual marriage.

I'll sign my name.

Cook

Anonymous said...

Proposition 8 people are holding onto nothing. I bet your "yes on prop 8" person above has no valid reason besides religion which, in my opinion, is not a good enough reason - I thought god didn't judge.

Steve Weixel said...

I don't get it. I don't understand how a rational adult can care whether homosexuals can be "married" or not. Really they don't want to allow civil unions either, but with that war lost they are fighting one last battle. It sound like more of a "so there!" playground taunt than a real argument to me...

TnA said...

What? No pics of you being surrounded by McCain/Palin signs by both of your neighbors? ;-)

I'm not getting the whole prop 8 thing either...especially considering that registered domestic partnerships are basically the same as marriage in a civil/legal sense...so, what's the point?

Anonymous said...

I intentionally didn't put my name, because I knew people would misunderstand.
Marco went and called all the Yes on 8 people intolerant. Making a broad sterotype and not allowing for other reasons to vote yes on 8. Oh, yes, all people that vote a certain way are a certain way. Let's go say that. Anybody that votes for Obama wants the terrorists to attack us. Anybody that votes for McCain wants to kill all the Iraqis. Whatever.

Marco Fanelli said...

"Separate but equal"... is basically what you're saying when suggesting that a legal civil union is good enough.

Maybe there's a better word than intolerant... Whatever that word is, it should capture the essence of the situation, which is Yes-on-8 voters want to deny some people the right to get married.

I really don't understand it. What is marriage being protected from? Whose marriage is being protected? What exactly is "The Institution of Marriage" in simple terms I can understand?

Bob Hazen said...

Marco -

I've been thinking the exact same thing. MY neighbors has the exact same signs up approx 20 feet from each other, and I'm not sure what we are being protected from or more pointly what we are protecting our kids from.

I mean we see the 'scary' ads that say our kids are going to be taught about same sex marriage in school - it that really that scary? Shoot I grew up in Laguna Beach and let me tell you as a kid that's a shock - but it didn't 'destroy' my fragile being. In fact as I grew up it made me understand they're different people out there who don't believe in my core beliefs but that doesn't make them evil or less human.

I'm actually shocked on how this prop has ignited everyone - enough so they are standing on corners this morning in the cold rain! Why? Is it because it challanges some religious beliefs? Or maybe because it forces some people to take notice over a subject matter they feel uncomfortable with?

Either way after tonight all I know is that my neighbors (who WERE good friends) will not talk together - or come join our neighborhoor bonfires, BBQ's when the other is out, nor will they let their kids play together. Now tell me what's harder as a parent; everyone is worried about same sex marriages being taught in school, but now these parents will need to teach them this exact same lesson at home because their kid can't play with little Tommy next door. Also this attitude will just teach our kids that it's ok to hate anyone who is different from them.

Tell me again what are we being protected from? I'm going to the polls after work tonight and as a Christian, father, and home owner I'll be voting NO on this unless someone can tell me what we are being protected from. (please don't tell me it's the sanctity of marriage - because marriage does fine with two people in love, there would be marriages without the government so I really don't need a LAW to tell me that people can get married.

bob

Anonymous said...

I'll wade into this debate Bob. You wrote:
"I'm actually shocked on how this prop has ignited everyone - enough so they are standing on corners this morning in the cold rain!"

I rode in the "cold" rain here in Portland yesterday. These people are standing in a luke warm rain at best.

Jake

meh-wee-uhn said...

I kind of agree with you Marco.

And I can't help but get the heebie-jeebies when people talk about "tradition" because oppression & inequality are so traditional.

Maybe "tradition" is like "states rights" in that it's a new code word/phrase.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not marriage is taught in schools is a local ordinance issue. Moreover, because marriage is taught in health class and most schools give parents the opinion of opting out thier children of the class, thier children don't have to learn about it. So what is the problem? I just hate the fact that the people who don't want gay marriage taught in school are forgetting about kids who are gay and making sure they are accepted in this world.
I was at a prop 8 panel last week and some women said that gay marriage is not a fundamental right because they have only had since May...so is that same person saying that women, for example, don't have the same fundamental right to vote as men because it hasn't been our right since the inception of the Constituion? The reason the California Supreme Court said it was a fundamental right was because the right for everyone to marry has been inbedded in the Constitution since the very beginning.
Yes, the statute for civil unions gives gay people the same rights as married people, but that is not what this is about. It is about the joys of marriage. Its about how one feels to be married and how it feels to experience marriage; one of the true joys in life. That is my two cents.

Carissa

Anonymous said...

40 years ago it was still illegal for a white person to marry a black person in some states. The ban on interracial marriages was often justified by biblical means. It took the bravery of a few loving couples (or Loving couples: http://www.google.com/musicl?lid=J6pLuw3pcbD&aid=HG-HNDPlDsK) to break down this discriminatory barrier. Now, in 2008, we can again deal a death blow to bigotry and establish equal rights for all...
Vote NO on Prop. 8

Swartzendruber

Anonymous said...

Marco,
You still say there is a word for voters who vote yes on 8? You will still characterize them, lump them together?
Prop 8 defines a word. Words mean what society thinks they mean. If marriage means man+woman for the majority of Californians, then that is what the word means. There is no denying of rights here. It's a denying of a definition.

Anonymous said...

I thought about it some more. We shouldn't call black people black anymore. After all, it's a seperate word for a group of people, and seperate is not equal. We are all 'whites' now. Come, let's make an ammendment so all people are treated equally- they all need to have the same label. We're all 'whites'. It's a linguistic distinction we're voting on here.

Anonymous said...

Seriously???

Marco Fanelli said...

Anony (4:45 PM),

First of all, it's spelled sepArate... (a confession: I used an "e" also until a co-worker ranted to me 15 years ago that my misspelling bugged the crap out of her!)

But to your comment... Look at the bigger picture here. It's not just semantics and labeling. Do you realize that at the federal level, same-sex couples do not have the same rights as historically-defined married couples do? The feds don't care what label you apply. Now, to me, that's just wrong. You obviously feel differently and that is your right.

California has stepped in the right direction by legitimizing same-sex marriage. This proposition is not about definitions and semantics, rather, it clearly states: "Eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry" If it passes, it will modify the state's constitution.

Let me ask you a simple question, assuming whatever label you want to use to define a committed relationship, do you believe same-sex couples should have ALL the same rights as male-female couples?

Anonymous said...

i have no problem with same-sex couples having the same rights. they should get their rights. I just have a problem with a few judges saying for the rest of California that it is a marriage.

Anonymous said...

That is the role of judges. We wouldn't be where we are today without a lot of thier decisions. The reason we have judges is to keep people like you from taking away FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS (hence the words "fundamental")!!!!

Anonymous said...

No. Words are defined by society as a whole. I don't see how a right is different if it goes by a different name.

Tom in SJ said...

"Don't equate intolerance with not wanting homosexual relationships to be called "marriage."

Intolerance -noun
1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.

A country, & state divided...so sad.

Professa' Smitty said...

Actually, one of the issues here is why government is involved in marriage at all? I mean, what does government have to do with a loving commitment between two consenting adults? My understanding is that the history of government-sponsored marriage relates to protecting "racial purity" in the post-Civil War era. I think that ALL marriage should be removed from government oversight. While we can still have legal agreements between people (i.e., civil partnerships), I don't see a reason that "marriage" should be a separate form of legal contract.
Until that happens, all people should be offered equal rights. I'm not sure why folks will go so far out of their way to deny someone else a civil liberty. This is a regrettable day in state that is supposed to be "progressive."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you are a bigot and you've had your day. You are no different than the segregationists in the south who would deny interracial couples the right to be married. You can try to justify your antiquated thinking anyway you can - in the end it's still all about your prejudice against a part of our society.

Druber

Anonymous said...

So, more than half of Californians are bigots?
I repeat, there is no denying of rights here. It's the denying of a label. If more than half of Californians want homosexual unions to have a different label, so be it.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Anonymous said...

Yes it is a name or a label. So why do you care? Apparently you feel that calling yourself married gives you some status above a gay couple. And I have no doubt that this stems from your religious beliefs. Otherwise you wouldn't care. Just so you know, the bible is thousands of years old. Comets flying across the sky are not signs from the almighty. One sentence written by a man eons ago need not be taken 100% literally. The bible is full of ideas that religious types like to pick and choose from. You can't say that marriage is between a man and a woman but the earth is millions of years old. If you're going to follow it, be 100% for everything in there. You don't get a choice of this page and that page. That's hypocritical. Hell the old testament and new testament contradicts itself over and over..wrath of god, loving god etc.
Well maybe you do think the earth was built in 6 days, I guess I don't know. But at the end of the day stop being so afraid of two dudes saying they're married. It's just a label right?

Anonymous said...

I've seen no argument here to show why the label matters, why it should be called 'marriage'. All I see are personal attacks. "Intolerant" "Bigot" "Religious Nut". Good job. You really convinced me to change my mind.

Anonymous said...

On a slightly different note; I have to say this is the first time in my life I can actually say that I am proud to be an American. (with the exeption of the results from prop 8) I am really proud of my fellow Americans for making such an educated vote.
We now have a president who I would want to sit down with, shoot the shit and have a beer.
choo choo
chris brown

Anonymous said...

You are attempting to argue that it's only a label so it shouldn't matter. Exactly. However it is quite obvious that it means very much to you were a gay couple to label themselves married.

Just as a side note, I didn't call you a "religious nut". However I would like to hear why you are so committed to the marriage term being so reserved. Is it a sense of privilege?

Anonymous said...

Main Entry: big·ot
Pronunciation: \ˈbi-gət\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
Date: 1660

: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
— big·ot·ed \-gə-təd\ adjective
— big·ot·ed·ly adverb

Bigot sounds right to me. Tell me, do you believe that being gay is wrong?

Yes, the majority of Californians did vote that they believe that marriage should be defined to be only between a man and a woman. However, just because the majority believe something, it does not make supression of the minority right or good.

This effectively denies them the right to one of society's benefits, to be able to call yourself married, to refer to your husband or wife, even if they legal & contractual benefits are no different.

I feelt today that I lost a bit of faith in humanity that so many people feel this way about something so inconsequential to them, but potentially so important to those it actually affects. I was given a little faith that there is hope for us yet when I saw a church, of all places, with a sign to vote no on 8, to "vote for love"

Marco Fanelli said...

Yes, we should try not to get into personal attacks, even though emotions run high on both sides.

I'll try to summarize why I think it's more than just a "label" issue. The reality is that committed gay couples do not have equal treatment and rights under the law. Social Security benefits, joint tax filing, survivorship rights, etc. are only allowed for marriages defined as man-and-woman. That's a fact.

Also, despite what the equal-rights law in California says, a domestic partner might be prohibited from being with his/her partner at the hospital or in an ambulance in an emergency situation. Certainly that problem exists in other states that don't recognize California's domestic-partnership laws. Think about it, some registered couple is vacationing in, say, Wyoming, and one has a serious accident and is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The other partner is shut out. How must that feel?

Now, if California were to declare that marriage can be between any committed couple, regardless of sexual orientation, it still doesn't solve the Federal problem. BUT IT IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. We would be leading the way, like California usually prides itself for doing.

As has been mentioned in earlier comments, not long ago some of our "United States" forbid mixed-race marriages. Thank god other states were progressive enough to change their own laws. It has to start somewhere.

Like Choo-choo, I'm extremely proud that the US elected Obama, overcoming some pretty evil mis-information put out by hate groups. I cannot say I feel the same way about my state when it comes to equal rights for same-sex couples.

If nothing else, the comments on this blog post have got people thinking. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Choo-choo is gay. Yes, I would know.
Cook

Anonymous said...

If the problem is that there are not sufficeint rights for civil unions or domestic partnerships, then that needs to be fixed. Just don't expect people to think that the term 'marriage' should be changed. If people instinctively think that 'marriage' means man + woman, then so be it. If you take a Darwinistic perspective, male homosexual behavior is naturally repugnant. (If you don't think you think it's repugnant, think about how appealing it sounds to watch a gay porn marathon.) It serves no evolutionary purpose, and actually is counterproductive to evolution. I don't pretend to be able to undo eons of natural selection and think that somehow we can make the whole world not think homosexuality is somehow not right. You can hold yourself as above the natural inclination to think that homosexuality is somehow unnatural, but unlike you, I don't expect people to change from their nature. I think it's ridiculous to think yourself somehow better than other people who don't overcome their biologically ingrained inclinations.

P.S.
I know I wasn't outright called a religious nut, but I think that paraphrases some entries on this quite well. Why else would they claim that I think the earth was made in 6 days, if not to further an ad hominem attack on me. Somehow if I hold a ridiculous view, all my views must be ridiculous. Geez people. Grow up, and try to have an intelligent conversation.

Marco wanted to understand, and I am explaining it to him.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and many of the same 'progressive' people who voted for Obama voted for Prop 8. I figured Obama would win the democratic nomination over Hilary, as blacks got the vote before women. Therefore, less prejudice. It's not a suprise that there is now a Democratic president. Gee, I wondered what happened last time there was such strong anti-Republican sentiment & a Democrat sailed into office on his smile?

And not to say that you specifically think yourself better, but it's obvious other posters do think themselves somehow better than me.

Marco Fanelli said...

Holy cow I don't know where to start...

Maybe it's time I figure out how to turn off comments because this is getting bleak.

Anonymous said...

intolerence breeds hate - a place that poster is already very familiar with.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the nation's outlook for the next 4 years is bleak. Oh, that's not what you meant?

Professa' Smitty said...

Well, even though I don't agree with the anonymous poster's perspective, I appreciate the guts to speak up and express his/her perspective.

I know what it's like to be an ultra-lefty liberal in a ultra-righty part of the US (and my father is an ultra right-wing conservative Christian who doesn't believe in evolution and does believe that the earth was created in 6 days...yes, really), so I know what it's like to try to express a locally unpopular viewpoint.

I just hope that, at some point, he/she will have a change of heart and mind on this particular issue. A right isn't a right unless it is shared equally by everyone.

Anonymous said...

"If people instinctively think that 'marriage' means man + woman, then so be it."

That's not instinct. Come on. That's religion. Who's the biggest opponents to gay marriage? Religious individuals. Are people instinctively inclined to say the term 'marriage' is between a man and a woman? Of course not. We are told that and then we repeat it. Hence a non-religious individual being more inclined to say it is a union between two loving people.

We are all entitled to our opinions of course. Question is, did you form your own opinion or were you told what to think? I was raised catholic and it took years to overcome the stuffy constraints and opinions of the religion. Maybe I'm taking the religious perspective too far, but I can't help but think that it's at the base of this entire argument no? At the end of the day, no one can claim to 'know' the answers in terms of god's? wishes. Any suggestion otherwise is conjecture at best. Therefore, who are you or I to force these constraints on others when we can't truly know the answers? Because it is written in that really old, old book? Written by men who possibly never left a 100 square mile radius in their lifetime? That just doesn't cut it for me.

This brings me to my final thought getting back to the election. The best thing Americans can do for the future of America, is visit the world and leave our little shell.

Anonymous said...

Religion spread across the world standing behind an army

Anonymous said...

Cookie I would ask you to marry me but we would not have the same rights as we both have now; Sorry
Your little choo choo

Anonymous said...

It looks like you two lovebirds can have a civil union and remain married.

Carissa