Wednesday, November 05, 2008
U.S. to GOP: Sit down and shut up
Step inside our tent and ask how you may be of assistance.
"It remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change."
"Nation Finally Shitty Enough to Make Social Progress" -- the Onion.
There's still a lot of work to do.
2) There's a part of me that wants to just be pinched, because I find it so hard to believe. Pres. Obama. I have to type that a few times. President Obama. President Barack Hussein Obama.
So, those providing victory were hardly overcoming color prejudice. There is a possible exception of overcoming cultural tensions between black and brown communities but this can also be explained by the fact that younger Hispanic voters do not hold the same unease with black Americans that older ones do.
Finally, for Alan, both communities tend to be conservative on family issues due to church influence. Perhaps the gay community has work to do in reaching out to the black church and latino catholics more so than to the 43% of whites who voted for Obama untroubled by his "race."
But now there does seem to be two nails in the four-square coffin lid.
No one of any race gets elected to the Presidency in this country without a significant proportion of the white vote, regardless of the turnout in the African American or Latino communities.
When Kent County and Washtenaw County, two of the whitest areas in Michigan, one deeply conservative, one deeply liberal, both go for Obama, I think the story is more far more complex than simply a large African-American and Latino turnout got Obama into office. So those providing victory were certainly doing something different than they've ever done before.
It also doesn't help of course that even President Elect Obama couldn't be bothered to come out strongly against the measure. Now, I'm a pragmatist, so I understand that gay issues are toxic. And I know that we have a much better chance of getting ENDA and hate crimes legislation passed with an Obama presidency than a McCain presidency. Still, it's too bad that the first African American presidential candidate couldn't actually be seen as being too supportive of equality for everyone.
We don't yet know who voted for what in California, so we can't tie the Prop 8 vote to any specific group yet. (And there are still several million votes to be counted, so keep your fingers crossed.) What we do know is that the people who wrote the amendment and funded its passage were not African-American nor Latino. They were, for the most part, Mormons who didn't even live in CA. Given their rather spotty reputation on marriage, I find that even more ironic.
What we have found out is that we only need a few percent to defeat these measures, which is good news because these measures are overwhelmingly supported by the very old. Change happens one funeral at a time. I'm only 36; I'll outlive them.
Hopefully someone will be clever enough to put this on the 2010 ballot in CA, and the 2012 ballot, and the 2014 ballot until it gets rescinded or until we bankrupt the Mormons, whichever comes first. I'd be happy with either outcome.
Alan, I share your pain and sorrow over the passage of the various anti-gay-marriage props around the country. There is still much heavy lifting to be done to stop this kind of crap.
Yet, I do think we can still hope, due to the Democratic victory, that the entire agenda of the country will change in the coming months and years. I think the biggest thing to remember is this - if Prop 8 in Cali does, indeed, change the state constitution, the battle over whether or not those marriages contracted under the previous legal regime are still valid will wind up in the courts. The entire thing will probably take years, but it might just be that the window of opportunity opened up by legalizing same-sex marriage in California may nullify the proposition.
But I think any fight for equal rights is most forcefully fought on the national level. We need federal legislation protecting gay equality just as we did for race and gender equality.
The definition of "marriage," however, is an appropriate and interesting topic that is far from clear cut in a context of Christian theology. Many gay friends schooled in Christian theology are very ambivalent in taking on the cultural history of the institution.
This is not to deny, though, the powerfully psychological and emotional ways in which the sacrament of "marriage" seems normative social sanction for monogamous commitment.
This, in part, is what lies behind Obama's support for Gay union rights but not necessarily marriage rights. I think he has theological problems with what is normative terminology.
Which leads me back to my point. Gay rights to full civil protection of family law should be on the national agenda as an issue of equal rights, not on a state by state referenda fight. Agents of hate are more successful in generating emotions in smaller pools.
VA, NC, FL, OH, IN, IA, CO, NM, NV
This is the black and hispanic vote putting him over the top.
MI was Democratic and remained so.
Unfortunately that train has already left the station, so the only option that provides equality is marriage.
Black voters only made up 13% of the voters in this election. So they did not put him in office. 43% of white voters went for Obama, so they did not put him in office, either. My point is that one cannot dispute that the voters who pulled the lever for Obama did so by doing something they'd never done before, yet at the same time they also voted for bigotry, as did minority voters. So I think it is reasonable to say that So, those providing victory were indeed overcoming color prejudice in this country.
Sorry, Alan, you don't know what you're talking about.
Firstly, what difference does it make when a church comes out one way or another on an issue--whether it's Salt Lake or Rome? I'll have you know that California Mormons were joined by several other religions--the Catholic group Knights of Columbus big in the support. There may have been some money come from out-of-state, but LDS church members did NOT fund it all by themselves. Wanna see my cancelled check?
And what do you mean by "spotty reputation on marriage?"
Another thing, Feodor had it exactly right that it was the black and latino communities that kept Prop 8 from being defeated. They came out for Obama and voted in Prop 8 while they were there.
Bigotry is NOT a one-way street, Alan.
ER, sorry. Not that I generated much traffic for you anyway, but I can't steer anyone here, if even by accident.
More than a few stripes of "liberal." Economics-FDR types tend to be socially conservative, I think.
Again, we don't have the breakdown yet (or at least I haven't seen it) but I'd wager the percentage of religious people of color that voted for Prop 8 is no higher than the percentage of religious whites who voted for it. So it is probably just as accurate to say that religious people passed this. We do know that it was highly favored by married people. So, it is probably just as accurate to say that married people passed it. Scapegoating people of color, who are a minority of the voters, is an easy way to ignore the real issues here.
If a measure passes by 3%, and 10% of the total is from a minority group, the other 90% of the vote is from the majority, so the minority did not pass it. The majority of people who voted for 8 were white, because the majority of people in California are white. It's just simple math.
And stating some religious folks of whatever stripe want to force their so-called morality on everyone else isn't bigotry, otherwise nearly everyone who comments on this blog is a bigot.
Also, stating that much (at least 44%) of the funding for the Yes on 8 campaign came from Mormons isn't bigotry. All other religious and non-religious organizations combined (Catholic, COW, FotF, AFA, NOM, etc.) accounted for 30% of the funding. Thirty percent is less than 44%, so saying that Prop 8 was largely funded by Mormons isn't bigotry, it's a simple fact, one that's readily available online, from publicly available campaign donation reports.
The statistic that matters is this: If it passes, straight people passed it, black and white and brown and purple. They voted for change, they voted for the first African American President, and yet they voted, not just to ban gay marriage, but in California to actively take it away from people who are already married. They voted to make LGBT people second class citizens. Again.
That, FF, is bigotry.
Not riled up, ER. This is all too common and far too expected to get riled. I didn't even get my hopes up. Resigned is more accurate.
On the other hand, in my opinion the original California Supreme Court decision that mandated recognition of gay marriage was overreaching, and the original campaign of the anti-8 folks not to permit a constitutional referendum in the first place on the grounds that they just really didn't want one pretty much ended their legitimacy for me. I'd have voted against it myself just to spite the antidemocratic self-righteous cultural warriors. You know: the folks who use "people of color" with a straight face.
I imagine that America will eventually embrace gay marriage, unless the demographics actually do presage a slow cultural counterrevolution. meliorist is someone who can only count backwards.
If it was your marriage, I'll assume you'd just let people steamroll over you whenever they want without a fight?
If it's OK for the public to use their basic rights to amend the CA constitution, it seems a little inconsistent then to get annoyed that other people use their basic rights to try prevent that amendment.
BTW, thanks for the heads up. I had no idea that my use of the collective term "people of color" instead of the longer to type "African Americans and Latinos" pegged me as an "antidemocratic self-righteous cultural warrior." I shall try to be more stealthy about my anti-democratic self-righteous cultural warmongering in the future. ;)
And you know what else? I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of funding came from California Mormons--we are an organized bunch. Big, fat, hairy deal.
And so what if religious people passed it? What's that got to do with the price of tea in China? We have as much right to form society to our preference as everybody else--including you, and in this instance, you were outvoted. Pout all you want.
Alan: ...yet they voted, not just to ban gay marriage, but in California to actively take it away from people who are already married. They voted to make LGBT people second class citizens. Again.
There is nothing in the amendment that makes it retroactive. Apparently there will be approximately 18,000 legally married gay couples in California. There just won't be any more. And the issue for me, personally, was religious freedom. Like the Catholic church, the Mormon church has social services that include adoption. If a child is placed with a Mormon or Catholic service, it's because the natural mother wants it that way. Who are you to tell any church that they'd have to let anyone not living a lifestyle compatible to Mormonism or Catholicism that they have to adopt those children out to anyone?
TS: On the other hand, in my opinion the original California Supreme Court decision that mandated recognition of gay marriage was overreaching, and the original campaign of the anti-8 folks not to permit a constitutional referendum in the first place on the grounds that they just really didn't want one pretty much ended their legitimacy for me.
That's very true, that the people of California, via Prop 22 eight years ago already said how they wanted it. The Ninth Circus Court ruled that it was unconstitutional because it wasn't part of the constitution. We really didn't want to go so far as to amend the state constitution eight years ago, but our hand had been forced if the MAJORITY of CALIFORNIANS were going to be listened to. If we have to keep repeating ourselves til the clowns on the bench get it, so be it.
I am in the minority of a blue county that voted for Prop 8 by a margin of 2 to 1.
Scapegoating people of color, who are a minority of the voters, is an easy way to ignore the real issues here.
Wrong. I'm in the minority and I'm white.
Unfortunately the language of the marriage debate got co-oped early on by the far right (who actually started this fight. They were extremely clever in making gay marriage an issue long before gay people even thought about it.) I for one would have much rather had a debate about the merits of changing marriage for everyone in this country by separating the civil side from the religious side. That is, civil unions for everyone, and if you want to celebrate a religious marriage ritual, find a church that will do so.
Yep, we're diabolical that way. Uh-huh. Marriage is a state issue, so it will most likely not be a federal issue.
YOU find a SOCIETY that wants to celebrate a gay marriage ritual, and YOU go there and quit insisting the majority here kowtow to you. I hear Canada and South Africa are two places open to it.
We're not annoyed, just making sure you don't steamroller over us.
Really? This is the level of discussion here?
How someone can so cavalierly dismiss my objections to a law that calls my marriage to my husband a sham as "pouting" is beyond me. Perhaps you think this is on the level of a bully on the school yard stealing my twinkie, but I tend to believe marriage is more important than that.
"Marriage is a state issue, so it will most likely not be a federal issue."
Given the existence of the Defense of Marriage Act and that folks keep proposing an anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment I think it isn't exclusively a state issue.
"There is nothing in the amendment that makes it retroactive. Apparently there will be approximately 18,000 legally married gay couples in California. "
That isn't clear at this time. There are conflicting opinions on that issue. I hope it isn't retroactive, but it will likely take a court case to know for sure.
"YOU find a SOCIETY that wants to celebrate a gay marriage ritual, and YOU go there and quit insisting the majority here kowtow to you."
How pleasant. So I should just leave then? Shall I wait until morning, or would you like me to leave immediately? Wow, I can really feel the love here.
Actually, I am insisting that we follow constitutional law: that all people are created equal. I'm not insisting that anyone "kowtow" to me or anyone else.
Don't like gay marriage? Don't have one.
See? You don't have to do anything I say. Now, if folks would just return the favor, problem solved.
You simply don't know enough about constitutional law to claim that's what you're defending. A Federal constitutional amendment would take precedence over any state constitution, so an amendment to either promote or ban gay marriage would be the law of the land. In the the absence of ths, it gets murkier what federal authorities would be in this case, and the current Supreme Court has leaned further in the direction of states' rights than the last generation or two. I would think the clause that gives the Feds the power to adjudicate disputes between states might mean DOMA would prevent one state from having to recognize a marriage performed under another state's rules and may have consequences for benefits (e.g. health insurance) mandated from companies that are interstate actors - not a state's own laws, but now I'm beyond what I can talk about with even false confidence.
Glad you're swearing ff "people of color." Orwell - and maybe even Edward Said - would be proud of you. You get a gold star to go with your magenta lambda!
LOL. Yeah. Clearly I've never heard of equal protection, and I just made it up.
Anyway, if you'd care to reread what I've written, I think you'll see that I didn't make any claim of certainty regarding how an anti-gay federal marriage amendments and DOMA would affect states rights (which doesn't really have anything to do with equal protection, which is what I actually claim to be defending, but I'm sure you can school me on that too.)
Care to be snottier if possible? You know how us gays love the bitchy, sweetie.
"but now I'm beyond what I can talk about with even false confidence. "
When in doubt, pontificate.
"You get a gold star to go with your magenta lambda!"
Gold star? I would have expected a pink triangle.
See? That's how you bring the bitchy, "darling". ;)
This will most probably go to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it is taken up under the "equal protection clause" it may be found to be unconstitutional at that level. The proponents of the ban would be stupid to fight it that far. If they lose, then no State could prohibit such.
In the final analysis however, the solution is in the demographics. There is unknown given amount of funerals that have to occur before the demographics will be politically and logically favorable to recognize what is actually an American and God given right to pursue "Happiness".
Actually that's not exactly true.
That is why the Bill Of Rights was passed to keep the majority from having it their way over everyone else.
If that were not true, the Utah branch of Church of the LDS would be a footnote in history. It had a hard time, but in the end it was the Constitution that kept the majority from doing it, and many other religions in. OK,OK, I am discounting God. But I don't believe in the LDS version of God so I can do that.
Under our government, Minority rights are as "God" given as Majority rights. The Church, a church, any church, can disagree with that. The minute they move politically to create law to enforce it, then they are in violation of the Constitution.
So if indeed,and it can be proven, that the LDS did directly or indirectly through third parties finance, sponsor, preach from the pulpit, or publish documents supporting prop 8, then I would recommend that the opponents of prop 8 go after the "Church" directly. Tax Status would be one area that could be painful, in that it extends to so many commercial properties across all States. If an LDS arm in Vermont contributed to an illegal activity in California would that not be a Rico action?
So, get organized and go get em. I mean they've interfered with your lives, then interfere with theirs. Right? ;)
You could make an argument that the 14th Amendment mens equal access to contract could apply to your hazy equal protection formulation, (doubtful the USSC would think the same way) but don't you think you should cozy up with a few books and make a coherent argument? And of course that's entirely different from your schoolyard feeing of it being just not fair .
Anyway, just so you know - you're still married in my book.
If the law says that marriage must be between a man and a woman...they just put the courts in charge of determining who is a man and who is a woman.
Messy stuff in some cases, and no, Im not being funny.
Not a bad idea. I've been saying for some time that we should just bring up amendments every year until we bankrupt them.
I'm now done with this thread. It's been interesting, but since I live here, I'm sure I'll have to keep hearing it.
Thanks for the stimulating conversation. :)
I just heard that California passed Proposition 2 by a landslide (63%). This proposition gave chickens and little baby cows bigger houses to move around in.
So... more rights for barnyard animals, but fewer rights for people. Srsly.
We live in a very odd country.
If only gay people were tasty when deep-fried and smothered in marinara, perhaps we would have beat back Prop 8.
Here is the real smoking Gun:
SALT LAKE CITY 30 June 2008: The following letter was sent from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008:
Preserving Traditional Marriage and Strengthening Families
In March 2000 California voters overwhelmingly approved a state law providing that “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The California Supreme Court recently reversed this vote of the people. On November 4, 2 008, Californians will vote on a proposed amendment to the California state constitution that will now restore the March 2000 definition of marriage approved by the voters.
The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage.
A broad-based coalition of churches and other organizations placed the proposed amendment on the ballot. The Church will participate with this coalition in seeking its passage. Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause.
We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.
Allen my friend, after 30+ years in the civil right business, and an outsider to both parties engaged, I have to say this piece of stupidity, is worth Billions, and I do mean Billions of dollars to the Utah based LDS Church. Amazing, the LDS is simply ignoring case law. There are probably several hundred high dollar lawyers drooling over the possibilities of contingency fees. Sure the LDS lawyers passed on this, but they would have had the blinders of loyalityon, and times have changed since June 2008.
MY MY this will be interesting.
The LDS might actually be bankrupt after this. That is not a reasonable risk. Then why would the LDS President and power structure risk this? It probably means that there is some type of internal struggle and this focuses attention away from it.
It is not the subject of the political involvement, it is rather the political involvement itself that will be the problem.
Of course I got my law degree out of a cracker jack box at a Texaco Gas Station in Shamrock, Texas, so what do I know?
By the way I have watched a similar diversion activity during the neo-con take over of the Southern Baptist Convention. I also think the SBC is in for some IRS attention in the near future.
But I will tell you a bit of what I found that speaks only of out-of-state contributors AGAINST Prop 8.
California - $28,855,658
Out of State - $12,760,003
Those are contributors listed with the CA Sec of State where state is indicated. There are several where that info is missing.
Those contributors with states listed, 31% came from out of state.
Not included in the above is $16,000 from out of the country.
Being an in-law of an African American and black Panamanian family, I am not surprised by the California vote for Prop 8 by blacks and latinos who turned out for Obama. FF is right in this. Given the long standing bare majority of those against, the only plausible explanation are the socially traditional constituencies that voted in far greater numbers this time.
The social conservatism of such groups is often born out of an FDR kind of reserve rather than the intolerant stripe of white evangelical anti-intellectual, literal, and anxiety-ridden reading of scripture.
The respect for tradition among most blacks and latinos is balanced by an experience based respect for liberation and civil rights. The tension is something like pro-choice folks uneasy with abortion but who will not sacrifice privacy.
But in this case, the model of a two-income professional gay couple such as that in NYC, San Francisco, LA, etc. is not as often seen.
We may be talking about class experience differences as well when we analyze the constituencies making up Prop 8 support. Aggressive white suburban and rural evangelicals and communities of color that have a long-standing respect for institutional traditions. Both groups have worked themselves up the economic ladder, striving and reaching middle and upper middle class success but not familiar with life in Chelsea or the Mission District.
In the end, we are tangling a few issues. Privacy and Family Rights, Class, culture, moral argument, all elements of sociological change. We are in the midst of it. Obama is not the end times. We will have to keep thinking about ourselves and each other.
Toleration, in the end, is another name for the expansion of reasonableness in societies which are diverse and need to go forward. The pace is what is up for discussion. To paraphrase a great scholar: tradition is the living custom of the dead and will be negotiated in new ways. Traditionalism is the dead custom of the living, and is jettisoned eventually.
"Reserve" is right -- not "intolerance.
And this is me: "pro-choice folks uneasy with abortion but who will not sacrifice privacy." In other words, I'm pro-choice out of a strain of conservatism.
Lynn Westmoreland, R - GA, is intolerant.
James Inhofe, R - OK - is intolerant. ("outraged at the outrage" over Abu Ghraib).
All proud Christians. And therefore cousins of mine.
But like I said before I got my law degree..........
By the way, I'm disengaging with this blog for a while as I travel for a while.
See you around.
They have become just a hindrance, not a political force.