Proposition 8: What’s with the hate, California?
There are a few things about this proposition that I just don’t get.
1 – Is it just about gay? If so, why? Despite what some bigoted pastors and priests say, being gay (according to the Bible) is not any more of an abomination than, say, wearing a suit made from mixed cloths. It takes a special, completely ignorant reading of the Bible, stretching the understanding of what’s written in it (and of course putting aside the interests of those who wrote it in the first place), to find support for this hatred. For a much more eloquent take on the Biblical aspect of this, I highly recommend this great film: “For the Bible Tells Me So.” Clearly, using religion to support hatred happens all the time, but regardless, it’s unconstitutional for the state to endorse religion is such a way. So it can’t (legally, at least) be just about this.
2 – Is it about tradition? If so, how is that a reasonable argument? Tradition is what kept black people from being allowed to marry white people in 16 states as recently as 40 years ago. That’s creepy. Tradition is not always right, frankly, and while there may be some skinheads up in Idaho who still think the races shouldn’t mix, for most people it’s a given that it is well within a black person’s rights to marry a white person, and vice versa. So clearly tradition can change.
And, as Jon Stewart pointed out so hilariously on his show last week, ‘traditional’ marriage has been kind of a crock of s–t. It was about securing property and control – why do you think women traditionally changed their last name when they got married? I certainly don’t want to be forced into a marriage and required to provide a dowry. I don’t think the ‘traditional’ concept of marriage was all that good – why do the Mormon and Catholics who supported this measure seem to think that loveless marriages secured based on property decisions are the ones that should remain the model?
3 – Is it about family? I’ve heard some say marriage exists solely for the purpose of family, and by family, they mean at least a kid or two. If that’s the case – why haven’t the supporters of Prop 8 also introduced propositions to prevent women who have gone through menopause from marrying? I mean, they certainly won’t be having any kids. Or what about people who are naturally infertile? Should there be a fertility test? Should all couples, when applying for a marriage license, also sign their pledge to reproduce? No? Okay then. This argument is clearly ridiculous.
The point, for me, is this – it is not okay for the majority to deny civil rights to the minority. It’s not okay to prevent blacks from marrying whites, and it’s not okay to prevent gays from marrying each other.
I believe marriage is a very precious thing. It’s pretty amazing to think that so many people find someone with whom they want to spend their entire life. That’s beautiful, and something that should be celebrated and supported, not denigrated with hatred and bigotry.
Keith Olbermann put it quite eloquently last night; I encourage you to read his message.