Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's Over

No, not my awesome t.v. dramas list. Still working on that. It's the fight on gay marriage that has the fat lady warming up.

I knew I would see this in my lifetime, but I didn't think it would happen this soon. Just after hearing the Supreme Court's ruling a couple weeks ago, I was so elated I stalked the halls of my high school, interrupting five or six of my male colleagues' classes during my prep period to propose to them in front of their students. We boldly preclaimed that since gay marriage was now legal, there was no need for our wives. Part satire, part celebration.

Then came word: the backward, hateful, illogical, busybody religious conservatives were already mounting a petition to get an anti-gay marriage amendment to the constitution on the November ballot. I girded my now a little flitty loins and promised myself that I would actually get off my lazy ass and go to rallies, sign up voters- whatever it took in order to make sure the most significant civil rights gain of my generation did not go for naught.

I even mentioned to my students (overwhelming supporters of gay marriage- see my blog from a couple months ago) that even though they wouldn't be able to vote in November, if they really cared, there were things they could do to get involved. Bill O'Reilly's head would explode: I was encouraging students to break out of their apathetic malaise for a political cause they believed in, but it's one he abhors. I'm guessing he would call for my immediate "removal." I have two words for him: Tenure, bitch.

At any rate, it looks like neither I nor my students will be needing to get up off our lazy asses anytime soon, thank god. Yesterday's SF Chronicle showed a well-respected survey, the Field Poll, has the majority of registered California voters backing gay marriage for the first time ever, 51% to 42%, with 7% having no opinion. That's not even that close. With numbers like those, an anti-marriage proposal has virtually no chance of passing.

The poll showed all the demographics you'd expect: Democrats favor gay marriage much more than Republicans...Nor Cal and L.A. favor much more than Central Valley hayseeds (I'm lookin' at you, Fresno), non-religious folk favor much more than believers of all stripes (more on them later), and of course younger people favor it much more than old fogies. Check out these numbers: 65 and older in favor: 36%...50-64: 47%...40-49: 51%...30-39: 58%...18-29: 68%. See a pattern? No wonder the haters are so anxious to get that amendment passed NOW. They're literally losing ground every day. Yet they refuse to see the writing on the wall.

Yep, that last line was a very clever allusion. Dig it, y'all.

Alongside the story was the usual "two cents" feature, where regular Joes from the Bay Area give their opinions. Predictably, there were a few of the same ridiculous arguments against gay marriage that people who think homosexuality is wrong or dangerous throw out to disguise their true prejudice. The fallacies in these points have been covered ad nauseum, most recently by my fellow BlogStar Lance Johnson, but I just can't help eviscerating illogical nonsense. Indulge me:

The "activist judges" argument:
"I support the right of gays to marry, but only if they get the backing of a majority of people, which means I do not support the decision of a judge to overthrow the will of the people." -Nelson Hyde Chick, 45, San Francisco

Nelson, you are a goddamn moron. What if you had to get 50% of the people who know you to approve your marriage? I'd never have made it- no one on Eileen's side would've voted for me. Yeah, I'm being a bit extreme, but c'mon. I have no problem with the majority of Californians deciding the state color or bird or other such nonsense. But the reason the court ruled the way it did was because the law was discriminatory. And it's their job to rule if a law-say it with me now-discriminates against any of its citizens.

What if a proposal made the ballot that outlawed the practice of Scientology? Scientology is ridiculous. I firmly believe the world would be better off without it. I'll bet the majority of Californians feel the same. What if we got it on the ballot and banned it? Would Nelson use the same logic?

Or how about a real-life example: California used to have a law against interracial marriages. The people voted for it and everything. The court struck it down. How would Nelson feel about that? I'll bet he'd say the court was right in that instance. I'm not the first to point out that "activist judges" are judges who make rulings that the fucktards who use that phrase disagree with.

The "marriage is for having children" argument:

Not as stupid? Just as stupid? Stupider? I'll go with the latter. Listen to this dunderhead: "Marriage is about children, fostering the progeny. Most psychologists show that a mother and father play vital roles to a child's development. This is why societies throughout the world condone heterosexual marriage alone. Gay marriage mocks heterosexual marriage. The gay argument that many married couple who don't bear children should also be prohibited from marriage is without merit. They can adopt." -Adam Sparks, 57, San Francisco

First, let's take his assertion that children require both a "mother and father." I agree that two parents are the best situation for a child. But if he's in favor of a law that is based on not allowing kids to be reared in any other than that scenario, then he's an unrealistic fascist. In addition, he throws out there that this has always been the way it's been, implying that two people of the same sex can't effectively raise progeny. Did he ever see My Two Dads? The fact is that there is very little long-term evidence on same-sex parents raising kids together because it hasn't been societally acceptable for very long. As for the short-term evidence, it shows that there's not much difference between homo and hetero parents' kids' performance. Not that this numbskull would bother doing any kind of research like that.

I haven't even attacked the most ridiculous part of his opinion yet. What about people who just don't intend to have kids? Should they be given an asterisk on their marriage license if they don't reproduce? What about senior citizens who get married well past child-raising years? Adam, you're a fucking idiot. Gay people can adopt, too. And they'd have done a better job raising you than your biggoted asswipe excuses for guardians did.

The religious argument:

"This reminds me of the child that won't take no for an answer. The people of California made it clear on Proposition 22, for which I canvassed neighborhoods. Clearly, the word marriage signifies an agreement between a man and a woman and is ordained by God." -Olivetta Chavez, over 50, Concord

I actually respect Olivetta's view more than the other ones because at least she gets down to what this is really all about: religion. Religion, in nearly all its forms, has been an enemy (and a violent one, at that) of homosexuality for thousands of years. It is the reason for all these people's hangups. At least Olivetta comes out (no pun intended) and says it, unlike those lawyers who have to use smoke and mirrors in court involving "tradition" and "societal values." You see, they can't argue on strictly religious grounds because of that pesky First Amendment. That one's really a bitch. All that freedom really fucks with a very nice theocracy.

But I gotta disagree with you there, Oli. The problem is that this is a legal issue before the courts, not a religious one. So while it may be "clear" to your religion that queers don't get to marry, the State of California has to play by different rules. If it's any consolation, the same abominable legal system that guarantees gays the right to equal contributory benefits is the same one that can't force your church or your clergy to marry any of those sinners. So feel free to keep your prejudices handy.


I usually try to lay off the obscenity when I write, sprinkling it in like spice on food. As I re-read this lengthy diatribe, I see lots of cursing. I tend to swear when I'm angry, and that seems to apply to my writing as well as my oral arguments. I'm just tired of battling people's prejudices. I'm tired of ignorance. I'm tired of illogic. I'm tired of excusing intolerance toward a group of people by claiming it's prompted by a philosophy of love.

Mostly, I'm tired of people who refuse to learn from history. My in-laws are both conservative Republicans. I usually try to stay out of political discussions with them, but recently my wife and I got into with them on this topic. We made all the usual points, and my wife said to them, "It's going to happen eventually, you know."
Her dad responded, "Yes, I think you're right."
Eileen rejoindered, "Well, doesn't it bother you that in 50 years you're going to look bad, just like the segregationists in the South, like you were on the wrong side?"
Her mom: "No."


I guess it's time to get over being angry. History shows that where California leads, the rest of the states eventually follow. Hopefully, this is the last I'll post on this for a long time. Progress wins. Intolerance loses. Again.

I just wish it didn't always have to be this hard.

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