Proposition 8

See What You’re Missing on Twitter (Not!)

I know, I know.  I’ve been a little heavy on the videos this week, and I do apologize for that. But you gotta watch this one. I have tried to Twitter, but apparently I am not much of a Twit. (Or maybe I am a Twat.  I’m confused.) Anyway, you’ll be glad you watched this one. I promise.

h/t to Jesus’ General.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“It was a great feeling, while it lasted”

Thanks to Fed. w/ too many goats for pointing out an essay in yesterday’s New York Times, which says so eloquently what many of us are feeling:

Now, I hadn’t exactly ignored the spate of anti-gay ballot initiatives that had passed — in California, Arkansas, Florida and Arizona — on Nov. 4. I’d read about the success of Arizona’s long-attempted gay marriage ban and California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited gay marriage just six months after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the right to marry was fundamental, and constitutionally protected, for all.

I’d read about how voters in Florida had decided to target not only same-sex marriage but all relationships that were the “substantial equivalent” of marriage, like domestic partnerships and civil unions, and how in Arkansas, where gay marriage was already banned, voters had decided to deny anyone “cohabitating outside a valid marriage” the right to adopt or be a foster parent.

How strange, I’d thought, reading about how, on the day of progressive victories — Obama’s historic win, South Dakota voters’ rejection of a wide-ranging abortion ban, Californians voting down a ballot initiative that would have required parental notification for abortion — these states had passed such uniquely reactionary and discriminatory measures. How ugly. That’s really too bad.

And then I’d moved on. As most people who were not directly affected by the anti-gay rights measures did. There was just too much else to feel good about.

“I think the country was like, ‘Look, you get Obama, call it a day and go home,” is how Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic state representative in Arizona, who’d opposed her state’s anti-gay ballot initiative, put it to The Times last week.

Please read the rest here.

In America, you can be a church. Or you can be a lobby group. You cannot be both.

So many of us are stunned by the passing of Proposition 8 in California, which specifically stated that it would “eliminate the rights of same-sex couples to marry.” In other words, eliminate a right that existed for the citizens of California. In other words, to strip away rights of their fellow citizens that had been affirmed by the California Supreme Court.

Why are we voting on each others’ rights in this country?

A large part of the lobbying for passage of Proposition 8 was done by the Mormon Church. Not just local pastors, which is bad enough, but by The Mormon Church in Salt Lake City. They did this by airing ridiculously (or so we thought) false ads about the “effects” of same sex marriage on society. They told lies about what would be taught in the schools.

And they’re tax exempt.

Please sign the petition to amend tax laws so that religious organizations such as the Mormon Church cannot continue to lobby and remain tax exempt.

Why we’re not ALL dancing in the streets today

As with so many things in life, unfortunately, the build-up led to a somewhat disappointing end result. (Like when I went to the Varsity in Atlanta for the chili dog and it was, well, okay. I should have gotten the fried pie. I should have listened to Nan.)

Don’t get me wrong — I am thrilled that Barack Obama is the President Elect. Getting a Democrat into the White House has been my hope for the past 8 years. And for America to finally show that it — collectively — is mature enough to look at a person and judge them on their merits and not by their skin — that is huge.

But here’s the thing. I mean, I hate to rain on anyone’s parade. But at the same time that America was being all mature an stuff by electing an African American as President, it was also showing its — collective — immaturity and insecurity by stripping away civil rights from its fellow citizens.

In California, 18,000 Americans who happen to love someone of the same sex have gotten married since June. That is, they have entered into a contract with each other, the same way that heterosexual couples do. Because that’s what marriage is in the eyes of the law. What your religious beliefs are, well, that’s your right to believe. But you and I may have different beliefs on this.

And that’s why we have a little thing called Separation of Church and State.

For example, I know very little about the Catholic Church, but I do know that divorce is out of the question. Yet, as we well know, divorce is quite common and completely acceptable in the civil arena. Why? Because the concept of divorce being terrible is a religious one.

This post is not very well written, and I apologize. But it’s been rattling around in my head all day as I talk to friends and co-workers about the wonderful thing that is the election of Barack Obama. Those same voters who elected him also chose to take away basic civil rights of your fellow Americans in California, Arizona, and Florida, as well as deny the possibility of children in Arkansas to be adopted by loving gay parents. No special rights were being asked for. Only equal rights.

Yes, America has come far to elect Barack Obama. But clearly some in America are still more equal than others.