Sunday

Post Mortem - RIP the 2005 campaign & Prop 8










ah... it's over.

finally.

we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

unless you're gay in LA. I think it's interesting to hear and read pundits debate this vote in california. On bill maher last night, it was opined that Hollywood was too chicken to vote down Prop 8 - (Prop Hate) and the evidence was that "Crash" beat "Brokeback Mountain" for an Oscar. C'mon.

It's pretty simple. People are prejudiced. They were and are prejudiced against other minorities that are different than they are. I was part of a program in the 60's called "Wingspread" - where a black high school from the south side of chicago teamed up with a white high school from the suburbs - and a group of students switched with each other. I became friends with the guy that I was assigned to - Frank Allen - despite growing up in the projects, he was like me in many ways, same kinds of interests (blues and piano) same position in football (guard and linebacker) same sense of humor (wacked) a fan of ripple wine that we'd get from Walgreens, we had many many laughs. However, the color of his skin was blacker than any person I'd ever met at the time, and I'll never forget when my friend Dave's mom nearly fainted when she ran into him at the local grocery store. Her three boys stood there and stammered and she had her mouth agape. Frank just smiled. Also remember hanging with him on the South side, and one of his friends little brothers coming over and feeling my arm. "I just wanted to see if the color of your skin would come off," he said "cause I've never touched a white person." That was pretty weird. We lived about 20 miles apart, but lifetimes apart.

But that was the 70's. And when the group of students who gathered together as part of Wingspread went to their final lunch together in Chinatown, I remember how everyone in the group made fun of the Asians in the restaurant - mocking their accents, eyes, etc. I thought to myself, "Wow, people don't learn anything other than their own world view." I was 15 at the time. I saw that prejudice was always there until you got to meet the other person, or minority.

Well it is everywhere. Some 70% of the minorities in California voted for Prop 8, the anti gay marriage ballot. 49% of the white voters voted for it, the rest against. So it was the minority vote that put it onto the books, preventing gays from marrying each other (or being legally bound to each other.)

Hey, I got news for you. And listen up you folks in Mormonland; MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL MATTER OF LAW. A legal matter if you will, which only means something to the state and the courts. A WEDDING IS A MATTER OF RELIGION, or ritual, or getting together, or whatever it is that you want to have to commemorate your vows.

So, people can have whatever wedding ceremony they want. It can be Mormon, it can be Lutheran, it can be on the moon - but it has nothing to do with the eyes of the law, which doesn't recognize a marriage unless it's a contract.

About 50 years ago it was illegal for races to intermarry. Was that a religious choice? I saw in the LA Times today, some nincompoop saying "I was born black. I didn't have a choice. These people weren't born gay. They chose being gay." Well, that's not true. At least if you believe in science - but genetic studies show that people have a predisposition to their sexuality. If you ever ask anyone when they started having feelings for someone else, they'll tell you it's in the early teen years when they start to know what kind of lover they prefer - even if they don't wind up going down that path.

However, I can't let the euphoria of Barack Obama's historic victory to get in the way of my feelings how wrong this Proposition was. I agree that the anti prop 8 people probably missed a chance to go into African American and Latino churches and preach tolerance - but they also missed the opportunity of showing how this is a matter of civil rights - because it's about civil laws - and you can't legislate civil rights away.. at least not while the country has a Constitution. If it's okay for races to intermarry, then it's okay for sexes to intermarry. That's pretty simple. If you're offended by races intermarrying, you have no right to stop them - it's the same with people of the same sex. The legal argument is the same.

So.. they have to go back into court, and they will win in court, because logic and the law is on their side. And until we decide that civil rights don't matter, then it will remain an unsolved mystery - but someone has to get out into the world to teach the truth; gays ARE BORN THAT WAY (as if shouting would help!), Marriage is a matter of civil law, and Weddings are a matter of ceremony - and one has nothing to do with the other.

Barack and Joe say they're "anti gay marriage" but pro gay unions. That's nonsense. I agree it's the most prudent position to take in an election, but it's false - it's based on prejudice. It's based on a belief that marriage has something to do with morality - when we all know how quick divorces can become law, and how easy it is to get married in Vegas but Marriage is a matter of the heart, and a matter of law - and no amount of legislating it is going to change the fundamental truth; gays have a right to marry, just like blacks and whites have a right to marry each other, just like Chinese and Latinos have a right to marry each other, just like an 80 year old business mogul can marry a girl 60 years his junior.

We are either a nation of laws, or we aren't.

my two cents

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