General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Have backers of Gay Marriage in California gone too far?

Asked by wundayatta (58617points) March 5th, 2009

As told in Backers Of Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Face Backlash, activists have been boycotting and picketing businesses whose owners contributed to the proposition amending the CA constitution to prohibit gay marriage. One guy gave $20 K to support the ban, and said he was mystified when he got picketed, because he had always had good relations with the gay community.

How can people be so clueless? How can you hate gays on one hand and say you love them on the other? I don’t get it.

Some businesses have been hurt, and others, not so much. I don’t think there’s been any violence, but perhaps there should be? Maybe they haven’t gone far enough.

What do you think?

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78 Answers

elijah's avatar

I don’t think it’s right to picket companies. Boycotting is ok. If you don’t like someones views, you can choose to not do buisiness with them. If a company doesn’t believe in gay rights, the gay community shouldn’t help the buisiness succeed.
There’s no need to march in front of the store or slander the owner. I think more people will hear your message if you do it in a calm mature way. You can’t beat dumb with loud.

ubersiren's avatar

There seems to be a fair amount of stupidity, ignorance, and intolerance from all sides of this issue. The contributors who are baffled by why their dollar means as much as their word are just ignorant. It’s almost like they’re graciously letting them patronize their establishments, but they openly are opposing their “lifestyles.” They want their cake and to eat it, too. Of course the gay community is pissed. That’s like saying, “We like you well enough to allow you to spend your money here, but you’re so unequal to us that we’re willing to invest tens of thousands of dollars to ban you from some of ‘our’ rights.”

On the other hand, the protesters need to realize that the store owners were simply practicing their rights to vote the way they wanted to. They contributed to what they considered a good cause. Of course it’s a slap in the face to the gay community, and I don’t personally agree with it, but you must respect a vote, because we live in an effed up system known as “democracy.”

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. ~ Thomas Jefferson

We vote apart, and suffer together. – ubersiren

SuperMouse's avatar

These guys can’t have it both ways. They can’t shell out thousands of dollars on the one hand and hope for support from the gay community on the other. If this fellow has $20,000 sitting around to support an amendment to ban gay marriage, he should have some pretty good reserves to get him through tough times when people find out that he is an ignorant, intolerant, two-faced jerk. If he doesn’t he is a dumb, ignorant, intolerant, two-faced jerk. I see no reason why folks shouldn’t picket this guy, he can’t pretend he has a good relationship with the gay community when he is working hard to take away their rights.

Jack79's avatar

I’ve already said that if I were gay I’d picket gay weddings.
I think a lot of what the gay community has been doing over the years (and I don’t mean this example) has been undermining their own cause. Hopefully our children (whether straight or gay) will live in a better world.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

I don’t get why they would picket these businesses. They can’t do anything to change the laws—the vote’s already been made. It’s not going to change anything. It’s stupid. This economy is already suffering enough as it is.

What they need to do is voice their protest against the lawmakers, if they’re so angry, and stop taking it out on people who’re just excercising their right to vote (in this case with their money). They’re taking their complaints to the wrong people.

elijah's avatar

The way I see it after reading the article, some people are told by their religion to donate. I can imagine how hard it must be, the internal struggle some people face, to honor the church but at the same time hurt people that claim to care about. By discriminating against someones religious beliefs, the gay community is doing to others what is being done to them. That’s why I say it’s ok to choose not to support the buisness, but the picketing is over the top. Its going out of your way to hurt someone. Maybe by loosing money or their buisness the owners will see the hypocrisy in what they believe, and start to love others because it’s what in their heart.

Jayne's avatar

Democracy is only effed up, in demanding that we respect the tyranny of the majority, when the system extends the power of the collective to areas where it has no right to be. The very personal issue of marriage is not the territory of the community, and so these protestors are perfectly justified in trying to coerce a change in the laws through financial and non-democratic means; democracy should not apply here. Whether or not this is the most effective method of acheiving their end is debatable, of course.

pekenoe's avatar

@Jayne : so where do you draw the line between socialism and democracy?

I think 95% of the population has a right to tell 5% to live by their rules.

I think the 5% has the right to disagree and boycott.

I doubt that gays even amount to 5%, used that as an example.

zenfarian's avatar

Seems fair to me.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I have no problem with picketing these businesses. If you don’t care about gay rights, you won’t care that they donated and can shop there anyway. If you do care, you’ll be thankful the picketers let you know what the company was up to. It’s not like if I go to the store for a jug of milk and it is being picketed, I’m going to go home. I’m going to go to another store for that milk. So the money is still being spent, just not at the location of bigots.

But more importantly, @elijahsuicide, it’s only slander if it isn’t true.

Also: in this day and age, the world of the Internet, assuming you can give large political contributions and everyone won’t know what you supported is incredibly misguided. You have to walk the walk—don’t depends on homosexuals for business if you are busily making sure they don’t have equal rights.

Judi's avatar

@elijahsuicide ; I think picketing is a great way to get your voice heard and I don’t think America does enough picketing. The only people I ever see picketing in my town is the Union when big construction projects are granted to non-union contractors. I think America has lost something by being afraid to march and protest. (I’m going to be in a protest Friday against rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My first protest. Hee hee)

That being said, someone who would prefer to keep marriage heterosexual and who prefers civil unions does not necessarily “hate” gay people as daloon has suggested.

I liked the idea I heard on a post here months ago (I don’t remember who said it or I would give credit.) Have the government get out of the marriage business. Let the government grant civil unions regardless of orientation and let the Churches or officiants determine what they want to sanction as marriage and what they don’t.

cwilbur's avatar

The people who gave money to oppose gay marriage had every right to do that. The people who picket outside have every right to do that. So nobody’s going too far.

If you want gay people to give you money, you can’t give donations to large organized groups that are aimed at taking away rights from gay people. I don’t think that’s especially difficult to understand.

@Introverted_Leo: the picketings make even more sense with the economy the way it is. This means that the businesses that gave money to oppose gay marriage are now finding out just how much they need business from gay people.

@elijahsuicide: the best cure for stupidity and ignorance is exposing it for what it is. If people are ashamed to give money to anti-gay political causes, then the solution is not to give the money and then try to hide it, but to not give the money in the first place. If churches are telling people to do something that is hateful and wrong, then the solution is to fix the church or leave the church—or at the very least to just not do the hateful thing—not to do the hateful thing and then claim that it’s not your responsibility because you let the church make the call for you.

tinyfaery's avatar

Today the CA Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on whether or not prop 8 is unconstitutional. So there is a point.

Companies have been pursuing the gay dollar for years. Gay couples tend to have high, dual incomes and no kids. But, these same companies who want my money want to take away my rights. I thank these protesters for letting me know where NOT to spend my money.

pekenoe's avatar

@tinyfaery : you have a right to vote, to pay taxes, practice the religion of choice, bear arms, etc. You have many many rights in this country but the majority of the population does not support your right to marry another person of the same sex.

I support your right to try to peacefully change that, but until you do, you should support the right of us to say you cannot be married legally and stop trying to subvert the democratic process.

cwilbur's avatar

@pekenoe: er, if you pay attention to California law, you will see that there is a clear case that Proposition 8 did not follow the appropriate legal procedure for making a significant change to the California constitution. “The democratic process” that you are trying to reify is a subset of “due process of law,” and a popular referendum is not enough to change the law in many cases.

The question before the California supreme court today is whether a simple majority is sufficient to amend the California constitution to take away civil rights from a group of people. This may be subverting the primacy of popular referendum, but it is enforcing the due process of law—the founders of the US and the authors of the California constitution did not trust simple majority votes in many cases.

The legal theory that forms the basis of this country’s laws is that people have a certain set of rights, and that it is not the job of government to grant rights, but rather the role of government to protect those rights from being infringed upon. Popular referendum, and what “the majority of the population” thinks, simply have no bearing on the matter.

Judi's avatar

@cwilbur ;
Wow, If you’re not an attorney, you SHOULD be one!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

“Marriage” should be better defined as a civil arrangement. Currently, you get a license, have a ceremony, go to court to end it. It should be you sign a partnership agreement going into it, and go to court to get out of it. For everyone and anyone. When you sign the agreement, you establish a partnership and are subject to all the benefits of what’s currently defined as a married “couple.” There needs to be a movement away from the image of two brides or two grooms on top of a wedding cake.

If I decide to move in with my unmarried nephew and keep house for him, how does that make us less of a household than a married couple? From a legal perspective, a definition of “household” and the protection/status it receives should have nothing to do with who’s having sex with whom, or if they’re having sex at all.

Judi's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock ; great answer, but marriage and civil unions have rights I wouldn’t necessarily want to extend to my nephew. In the absence of a will there are rights to property upon the death of the other, rights to make decisions in case of incapacitation…. It is different than most other contracts. There are “assumed” rights that go along with this contract.

cwilbur's avatar

@Judi: I’m not an attorney, I’m a software engineer. I’ve thought about going back to law school, but I don’t think the effort would result either in more income or more job satisfaction, so I’m staying where I am.

@AlfredaPrufrock: I think that’s where things are going, but it’s getting there step by step.

What I want, more than anything else, is the ability to say ”this person and I count as family.” There is a person out there that I would declare, “this person is not my biological sister, but I want her counted as among my next of kin whenever that matters legally.” I’m fortunate in that I have a reasonable family, but a lot of gay men and lesbians don’t, and I think the end goal here is not so much that marriage gets recognized legally but that our constructed families get recognized legally—marriage being an important subset of that.

I mean, I know gay men who haven’t spoken to their biological relatives in 10 years, and who have created a network of close friends that rivals any heathy, functioning biological family. Is it really reasonable that, in the case of a medical catastrophe, the people who get to make the decisions are the estranged family members rather than the close friends?

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Judi, and that would continue to differentiate cohabitation from a household. If my nephew were providing all or most of my support, and we entered into a legal agreement, it would be because I wanted him to inherit my property, wanted him to make decisions in case of incapacitation. Anyone who has strong feelings on these subjects should a will and durable medical power of attorney, and not leave it to chance. Just because someone is a blood relative, it doesn’t mean they necessarily have your best interests at heart, or are entitled to your property.

Perhaps “Domestic Arrangement” would be a better term for everyone, with a ceremony of any sort being optional. Even with heterosexuals, a church ceremony or a civil ceremony doesn’t affect being “married.”

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@cwilbur: businesses need business from people, period, gay or not. They (generally) don’t care who it comes from, so long as they get it and so long as no laws are being broken in the process.

(And I bet another main reason why businesses are seeing a drop in their sales that isn’t being mentioned is because these people are outside of the restaurants picketing while customers are trying to eat. People genrally don’t want to see that kind of stuff. They’re just there to enjoy the food.)

With that said, is the primary issue for the gay community changing the law, or is it pestering non-lawmakers about a vote that’s already been made? I just think they need to re-think their strategy, is all I’m saying, if they’re really looking for change and not just a way to vent their frustrations. What is their goal—really—and do they think they’ll accomplish it by picketing at restaurants? What do these protesters think these businesses are supposed to do anyway?

shilolo's avatar

It is a simple lesson in cause and effect. These business owners undoubtedly used the profits from their businesses to then donate to the anti-gay marriage groups. They now need to understand that this type of vote will hurt their bottom line (the effect of their actions). Furthermore, the less money they make (from the effects of the picketing), the less they can donate in the future. This is a win-win proposition as far as I’m concerned for people who support full and equal gay rights.

elijah's avatar

@cwilbur I’m not defending the donations, what I’m saying is it’s hard for people to go against their church when they were raised that way. I’m not in any way saying they shouldn’t be exposed for the donation, if they believe in the cause they shouldn’t be afraid to say so. I agree with everything you said, I hope that by being faced with this issue people see that the church isn’t always right and they shouldn’t of donated just because someone told them to. Maybe this is the eye opener they needed.

wundayatta's avatar

@elijahsuicide: People have a choice about what religion they adhere to. People have a choice about whether they should do everything their religions leader suggests.

elijah's avatar

@daloon yes, exactly what I mean, I just think I’m not saying it clearly. When something is put into your head since the day you were born (religion) it’s hard to seperate yourself. Maybe by seeing how their religion is hurting other people it might change them. Maybe it will take losing money or the buisness itself to show people that in the long run you have to do what is right for everyone, not just the church.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

The fudemental argument lies in answering this: is marrige, for anyone, considered a constitutional or civil right or is it a priveledge (or something else)?

tinyfaery's avatar

How am I personally subverting the democratice process? If we had left civil rights up to a majority vote where would we be now?

Introverted_Leo's avatar

The problem with government overall is that it is always going to be controlled by fallible persons. Someone has to make the decisions, but they aren’t always going to the the right ones, no matter what form of government is used to govern the people.

ubersiren's avatar

@pekenoe : You think that 95% percent of the people have the right to tell 5% how to live? Is that really fair? I’m going to quote one more great mind,

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. ~Ben Franklin.

So, that 5% has the right to boycott, to complain (most likely without result)... but what happens when that 5% has been eaten by the wolves and cannot boycott because they’re effing dead? They are then obliterated, and it’s because they’ve been bullied into extinction. Not because they’re weaker or dumber, but because they are fewer – that’s an unfair fight.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Wasn’t our government formed the way that it was so that it could protect the rights of the minority against the will of the majority? There is a quote about that from one of our founding fathers somewhere. TinyFaery is exactly right.

pekenoe's avatar

@ubersiren well….. yeah, I think that 95% of the group has the right to do any damn thing they want too, I think 5% needs to cover their butts and stay out of the way. If they piss off the 95 and get obliterated, well, they shouldn’t have done that.

I’m tired of a 2% faction of any group trying to force the other 98% to do things “their way”

A democracy is majority rule, if you don’t like that, move.

Judi's avatar

This country was built on protest. I am pro protest! Abolish the anti protest movement!! Protest is the patriotic American thing to do!

pekenoe's avatar

Protest is fine, argue is fine, just don’t forget who rules the roost. If you don’t like the rules, get 51% of the people to support your side of the rule change and get it done.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

What is the ideal government anyway—live by your own rules without anyone telling you what to do or getting in your way (anarchy?), minority over majority (unfair?), majority over minority (unfair?), monarchy (too much power in the hands of one man/woman?), etc…? And will people ever be 100% precent happy with the results?

Of course not.

The fact is we live in a world where people differ in every immaginable way. There is always going to be a minority and a majority, and no matter whose vote is on top someone is always going to be unhappy with the results for whatever reasons. Regardless, people have to agree to a form of government (or not to have one at all) and stick with it or else nothing viable gets accomplished.

On another note, about the original question. I don’t think they’ve gone too far—they haven’t broken any laws. But do I think it’s helping their cause? Probably not. Gay marriage is a question of what’s considered rights and what’s not, and that hasn’t even been addressed here, as far as I can see.

ubersiren's avatar

@pekenoe: It’s not about the minority forcing the majority to do things their way, either. It’s about everyone letting everyone else do what they want. The 95% can stay out of the minority’s hair and everyone can live happily ever after. But that’s not the democratic way, is it!?! The majority has to pick a fight because they must have that control to feel important. Well, that’s bs. Why must we all live under one law? This message of “unity” would be all well and good if everyone had the same sexual orientation, religion, and cultural and personal beliefs, but we don’t! These types of votes don’t work! This is the effing USA and we are a diverse nation! “You can’t please everyone” right? Well, you can if you let each side of the issue live the way they want. Gays marry up. Anti-gays don’t have to go to the wedding.

That’s ridiculous to tell me that if I don’t like majority rule to move. Are you 15? I was born in this country and just because I don’t approve of the type of government we have doesn’t mean I’m a traitor to my country or that I don’t have the basic freedom to live where my home is.

95% of the people have the right to do any damn thing they want to? Anything? And just because certain people disagree with that, they must go along with it? Are you sure you mean any damn thing? Those were your words (only, I used the correct spelling of “to”). That makes no sense. When you’re in the minority, you have no rights is what you’re saying…? Jesus, that’s arrogant.

cwilbur's avatar

@Introverted_Leo: if the businesses don’t care who they get their money from, they are free to give money to whatever political cause they want.

You seem to think that gay people should just continue to patronize businesses that gave donations to take away their rights, because otherwise it hurts the business for no good reason that you can see. On the contrary, I think that gay people should continue to boycott and even picket outside businesses that act in anti-gay ways, because business owners need to learn that actions have consequences and that the 5–10% of their revenue that comes from gay people might actually make a significant difference to their businesses’ viability.

Also, a company that gave money to ban gay marriage will give money to support other anti-gay causes, and gay people shouldn’t be expected to contribute financially to our own oppression. If a business fails because it gave money to anti-gay political causes, there will be that much more room for a better, less discriminatory business to grow in its place.

@pekenoe: the difference here is that legally recognizing gay marriage does not impose on the 95% in the slightest. No straight marriages are going to be performed; no churches are going to be forced to change their ceremonies or to perform gay marriages. People who want to continue being bigoted and intolerant will not face any legal censure. The 95% here do not have the legal standing to say that the 5% may not do as they please, because the things the 5% choose to do do not affect the 95% in the slightest.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@cwilbur – The businesses are not the primary issue; they’re only part of it.

Here’s the thing, CW, which no one has yet to answer here: legally, what constitutional/civil rights are the gay community having taken away from them?

cwilbur's avatar

@Introverted_Leo: the right to get married to a person of their choosing, which they had in theory all along and in fact according to the California constitution before Proposition 8 amended it.

If you want more of a legal rationale: the state needs to show a significant and compelling justification in order to prohibit what contracts citizens may enter into. This means that the state needs to have a damned good reason to say that some people may enter into a certain type of contract but others may not. “It offends 53% of the population” does not count as a damned good reason.

Further, the 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights emphatically underline the notion that people have the right to do whatever they want until it infringes on someone else, and that the role of governments is not to grant rights but to protect rights. In other words, people have the right to marry whomever they wish, and it is the role of the government to protect this right.

And finally, “the government doesn’t recognize that they have that right” is a pretty piss-poor justification for permanently denying it. Should we now deny women the vote because years ago they didn’t have it, and so it’s not discriminatory to deny people a legal right that the government denied them in the first place?

tinyfaery's avatar

@pekenoe May that 2% never apply to you. Or maybe I hope it does.

pekenoe's avatar

If and when it does my ass will be under cover and I will not piss of the other 98%.

I could give a rats ass what anyone wants to do as long as it above the law and does not interfere with me or my offspring and I will defend that right. You start pushing that right when you attempt to convince my children that “sex” between two same sex individuals is “natural”.

You want to get married, get married, I don’t care. You want the same rights as women and men who get married, then marry someone of the opposite sex. The rules are there, you want them changed, get 51% to agree with you.

cwilbur's avatar

@pekenoe: What will you do if one of your children turns out to be gay?

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@cwilbur: The right to get married. Alright, I’m no legal expert, but I can look up a document and read it for myself. So let’s take this one step at a time.

“…the state needs to have a damned good reason to say that some people may enter into a certain type of contract but others may not.”

I noticed you used the phrase “enter into a certain type of contract” instead of “be granted certain types of rights.”

And they do have a good reason for this pertaining to gay marriage, and though it has gone without saying as an underlying warrant for centuries, it has only been recently that it was made crystal clear in this amendment in the California state constitution. The people voted to amend their state constitution so that only marriages between a man and a woman would be recognized as “marriages.” What they are saying is that same-sex unions should be recognized as “domestic partnerships” because the two aren’t the same, when it comes down to it. They realized that this distinction had not been clearly made before, even though this is how it was vastly understood for centuries; and so they made it.

Still, it is my understanding that the legality of domestic partnerships in California has not changed in effect of this Prop. 8.

“Further, the 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights emphatically underline the notion that people have the right to do whatever they want until it infringes on someone else, and that the role of governments is not to grant rights but to protect rights.”

Straight from the Bill of Rights:

“Article the eleventh [Amendment IX]: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Article the twelfth [Amendment X]: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

I think you might have gotten that from the wrong place.

“Should we now deny women the vote because years ago they didn’t have it, and so it’s not discriminatory to deny people a legal right that the government denied them in the first place?”

Only if they are under the age of 18, as stipulated under Amendment 26.

My point is, there’s nothing in the Constitution that defines marriage (for anyone) as a constitutional right. It is left up to individual institutions to recognize marriages, and so far those institutions have been either the state or church, or both. As such, state constitutions have stepped in and pointed out that there is a difference between marriage between a man and a woman and unions between same-sex couples—one involves a man and a woman and the other two men or two women. I don’t think it is discrimination to point out this difference, but to say they are the same is irrational.

But, what I understand is that the gay community is most upset that they don’t have the same benefits as heterosexual couples under the title of domestic partnerships. The distinction between the two has been made clear; now the legality of the difference in benefits issue must be dealt with. These points laid out on Wikipedia would be a great place to start discussing the particulars of these benefits, if anyone cares to.

cwilbur's avatar

@Introverted_Leo: the nature of marriage for gay people in California did change, because before Proposition 8, there was civil marriage for gay people—an identical legal status to civil marriage. After Proposition 8, there was no more civil marriage, only separate-but-equal “domestic partnerships.” This is a huge change.

And yes, the fact that the right to marry is not enumerated in the Constitution does not mean that it does not exist. You say that there is nothing in the Constitution that defines it as a right, and I agree; you say that it is left to the states, and I agree with that too. But now you’re harping on the idea that a simple majority vote in California means that the right does not exist, and I think you’re simply wrong there—not least because Californians did briefly have the right, and there is a legal argument being made this very afternoon that the referendum process is not sufficient to alter the California constitution to either recognize or take away rights from people.

So you can claim that no such right exists, which is wrong, and you can claim that the legal status of gay couples in California has not changed, which is wrong, and you can claim that the fight is over, which is wrong, and you can claim that gay people should just give up because the state constitutions have spoken. Your example is inconsistent: either women should have accepted their second-class non-voting status because that’s what the state constitutions said—since that’s the argument you’re using to claim that gay people should accept our second-class non-marrying status—or gay people should keep on working to get the law changed—because that’s what you seem to have approved of the women’s suffrage movement having accomplished.

I am actually waiting for a U. S. Supreme Court decision that basically says, “We established in Brown v. Board of Education that separate but equal is inherently unequal. What part of that are you having such a hard time understanding? Oh, and you morons, full faith and credit means that marriages in Massachusetts are recognized as marriages in Utah, no matter what your resident theocracy has to say.”

Judi's avatar

I am going to make a confession that will shock and amaze people who know me here. I actually voted for prop 8. Before you crucify me, let me tell you 4 things, 1. That I don’t hate gay people 2. that I struggled with it an 3, the reason I voted the way I did, and 4, the way I feel now.
1. Those of you that know me know that I am a civil rights advocate. I am not a hateful person and I could really care less what people do in their bedroom
2. I went back and forth on this issue and discussed it with people who also struggled, (most of whom ended up voting against it.)
3. The deciding factor (for better or worse) that made me vote the way I did was because I listened to the argument, that the argument used to throw out the previous election results would force religious institutions to hire gay people even if homosexual behavior violated their moral standard.
4. There was not a lot of counter argument at the time of the election to my reason. I have since been told that that would not be the case, but I have not seen anything really to quantify this situation. If the election were held today I would probably abstain on the vote until the issue was cleared up.
Do I have some shame for voting the way I did? Yes. My children all voted against it. I hope no one hates me, because I certainly don’t hate anyone else, but I would also hate to see Churches prosecuted or loosing their tax exempt status for keeping to the beliefs that they have held for centuries.

cwilbur's avatar

@Judi: I don’t want to see the Mormons lose their tax exempt status because of what they believe. I want to see them lose their tax exempt status because of what they did—they acted as a political lobbying organization and not a church. They took money donated for charitable purposes and used it for political purposes.

And, to be honest, I have a hard time reconciling “I am a civil rights advocate,” “I do not hate gay people,” and “I voted for Proposition 8.” It seems to me that all three of those things cannot be true simultaneously.

Judi's avatar

That’s why I have shame about it and I don’t know what I would do today (If I am honest with myself and am not trying to just be politically correct.) I did say that today I would not vote for it. It has nothing to do with hate, it has to do with balancing rights between individual rights and churches rights. That’s why it would be great if Governments granted Civil Unions and left the question of marriage up to the Churches, and officiants to call it what they want. cwilber, you know I am not a hateful person. I am confessing my struggle and would appreciate a counter argument, rather than condemnation. I would love to find a way to reconcile my love for all people and my love for the freedom of religion. Rather than accusing me of hating gay people, answer the struggling question in my heart.
I should also say, living in California that the only “no on 8” stuff I saw was a few bumber stickers. They were not nearly as effective or vocal before the election as after.

Bri_L's avatar

I am curious to know if those who donated money were told that they had actually donated money to a food bank or to help under funded schools in poor neighborhoods if they would yank their money. (aside from the obvious reason of not being forthcoming about the real reason for the fund raising)

I will give money to help stick my nose where it doesn’t belong so I can prevent something that doesn’t effect me, but don’t ask me to help where it matters.

Judi's avatar

@cwilbur ; I have always respected what you have had to say here (on fluther). I really wish it was as black and white to me as it seems to be to you. How I wish I had that clarity.

cwilbur's avatar

@Judi: I’m not accusing you of being hateful, but those three things are, I think, irreconcilable. It sounds like you’re not as much of a civil rights advocate in this case as you think, because you’re putting churches’ “rights” ahead of people’s rights.

The legal point is that churches that are entirely private organizations and don’t offer any public accommodations aren’t usually bound by anti-discrimination laws. The government cannot force a church to perform a gay wedding, any more than it can force a Catholic church to marry two Jews or a Baptist church to marry two Muslims. (On the other hand, there was a case of a church in Virginia, I think, being sued because they advertised rental of their chapel for all sorts of ceremonies and gatherings, and then denied it to a gay couple that wanted a commitment ceremony there. If they’re asking for all comers, they can’t turn any away, but if they say “Only marriages performed by our clergy can be performed here,” they’re covered.) Of course, the Mormons were not going to announce this, because they were counting on the visceral reaction of people thinking “two faggots or dykes at the altar? not in my church!” and not actually bothering to find out what was actually legally required.

And the reason I think it’s black-and-white is because (as outlined in several threads), I think that (a) Christ came to do away with purity codes; (b) said that injustices done to the disadvantaged would count as injustices to Him; and© said that we should render unto Caesar (i.e., the worldly authorities and government) that which pertained to Caesar. So any Christian church that advocates so strongly in favor of keeping people second-class citizens has already strayed far away from Christ’s teaching.

I do respect that you’re conflicted about this, and I think the best sign is that you wouldn’t vote the same way now without finding out an answer to the question. Coming back to the three statements, it sounds like if you could vote again, “I voted for proposition 8” would be the false statement, and I think that’s progress.

tinyfaery's avatar

@pekenoe “I could give a rats ass what anyone wants to do as long as it above the law and does not interfere with me or my offspring and I will defend that right.”—Me too. You are contradicting yourself.

“You start pushing that right when you attempt to convince my children that “sex” between two same sex individuals is “natural”—Has nothing to do with making gay marriage legal.

“If and when it does my ass will be under cover and I will not piss of the other 98%.”—Easy for you to say. Wait until they start coming after you.

Which Goes back to “I could give a rats ass what anyone wants to do as long as it above the law and does not interfere with me or my offspring and I will defend that right”

Do you even know what you are saying?

pekenoe's avatar

@tinyfaery: Yes I do know what I’m saying, if you’re gay, shut up and be gay, I don’t want to hear about it, I’m tired of hearing about it. You don’t want to hear about my sex preferences, I sure as hell don’t want to hear about yours. It’s a private affair, keep it there.

Regarding gay marriage. Gay marriage should not be recognized, it’s perverted. Perversion should not be rewarded but subdued lest all perversion become the norm. If this becomes accepted as normal… what’s next? Acceptance of ??????

SuperMouse's avatar

@pekenoe perversion according to who? Please site your sources.

If sexual orientation is indeed a “private affair” as you have so aptly stated what business is it of yours whether or not a gay couple gets married? Your own statement is a fabulous argument for legalizing gay marriage. “It’s a private affair, keep it there” – precisely, the government has no right to be messing with something as private and personal as marriage.

Bri_L's avatar

@pekenoe – If only you showed the kind of tolerance you asked for here. So would you say your “intolerance” fell into which of these catagories

pekenoe's avatar

@Bri_L nice try, I don’t like gay sex, it’s perverted, unnatural. Tolerant I am, perverted I am not. If that makes me a bigot, I am.

shilolo's avatar

I guess some here are blissfully unaware that the United States Supreme Court overturned state sodomy laws in 2003 in a similar vein to its ruling in 1967 overturning a Virginia law outlawing interracial marriage. So, sodomy is legal, and interracial marriage is legal, but, gay marriage is not? Hmmmm. Smells a lot like discrimination to me.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

@cwilbur: I’m going to make this as short as I possibly can.

“The nature of marriage for gay people in California did change, because before Proposition 8, there was civil marriage for gay people—an identical legal status to civil marriage. After Proposition 8, there was no more civil marriage, only separate-but-equal ‘domestic partnerships.’ This is a huge change.”

I never said anything about the nature of gay marriage not changing, but I did mention the “legality of domestic partnership” staying the same. We were actually talking about two different things. The proposition declares that gay civil “marriages” are no longer legal, which leaves me to assume that they are to now be considered “domestic partnerships,” so liberties available to gay couples have changed somewhat under the law.

Now, my actual opinion (which you’ve had no accurate idea of so far, judging by your list of “claims”) is this: I don’t think churches are obligated to support gay marriages (and I personally don’t think they are good for reasons pertaining to sexual morality); but having the state support gay marriages, I think, must depend on their (non-religious) definition of marriage. In religious institutions, there is no question as to the definition of marriage, but when it comes to the definitions of state-recognized marriages there has been room left for interpretation. Therein lies the crux to the question of granting marriages to gay couples. Should states limit civil marriages to heterosexual partners? Only if they can come up with another title for same-sex partners which entitles them to the same liberties. But if they want to somehow differentiate between the two by name, then I see no wrong in so because they are, in fact, different. Why not call a spade a spade? Though it isn’t entirely necessary, it can be helpful for categorical purposes.

I think that, essentially, addresses all the other “claims” you brought up, none of which I’d make or have made, by the way.

cwilbur's avatar

Why not allow separate but equal “civil unions” and “marriages”?

Because it’s long-established law in this country that separate but equal is inherently unequal. Because the only way to make sure that the status of “civil unions” and “marriages” are equal is to make them the same—otherwise you’ll get bigoted lawmakers granting benefits to married people but not to civilly united people.

What compelling interest does the state have in creating a “separate but equal” status for gay couples? Only pandering to the fears of bigots, I think, which is not something a state should be doing in the year 2009.

Bri_L's avatar

@pekenoe – Some would say you have a perverted sense of ideals. Me for instance.

Your personal opinion shouldn’t interfere with others human rights. Especially when they are unrelated. ” I don’t like gay sex so I don’t think the government should allow a legal union.”

I don’t like scarves around necks because I think it is a sign of not changing with the times or updating your thinking, so I think that the voting of a certain age should be waited.

There is as much correlation in what I made up as what you are saying. And know I don’t believe in what I made up.

pekenoe's avatar

@Bri_L that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion.

I don’t remember having a **** buddy as being a human right.

Personal opinion not interfering with others????? Where have you been, what shapes most laws and rules if not personal opinions?

Gay sex and gay marriage are certainly related, how not?

The more perverted we become, the deeper the moral gutter.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@pekenoe: I believe it falls under “pursuit of happiness”.

Bri_L's avatar

@pekenoe – “I don’t remember having a **** buddy as being a human right.” that sentiment only shows the juvenile level your approaching this with.

As far as opinion interfering, your right it certainly interfered back when some thought blacks shouldn’t be free or vote and women shouldn’t vote. But I am sure you are able to explain away all that. But before that was changed it was the way it was. People thought about it like you do about gay marriage. It was their opinion and just isn’t right based on the fact that they were different. Its superficial bull at best.

What they do in their bedroom isn’t any more of your business than what you do is of theirs. That’s an egocentric attitude. Marriage, or more specifically their ability to benefit the same as other couples is what should be the topic.

Or maybe it should be the intolerant people who shouldn’t be making policy and poisoning our youth with prejudicial concepts that deny others their rights by way of pointless baseless vulgar ineffective comebacks their grandpa comes up with.

pekenoe's avatar

exactly, my point exactly

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m seriously confused.

shilolo's avatar

It is hard to construct a cogent argument when you don’t know what you want to say.

Judi's avatar

I was at the civil forum when Obama said he did not support Gay Marriage, that he supported Civil Unions. I was just wondering, does that make him NOT a civil rights advocate either?

cwilbur's avatar

@Judi: I think it makes him politically savvy. He’s playing both sides: he’s supporting civil unions to draw gay and lesbian supporters and their allies, and he’s not pushing for gay marriage in order to avoid alienating socially conservative voters.

That said, if our first African-American President truly believes that there are circumstances in which separate but equal really is equal, I’m sorely disappointed in him. One would expect him, of all people, to know better.

shilolo's avatar

@cwilbur. Great answer. I wish I could give you more than one GA!

Bri_L's avatar

But isn’t that saying that marriage is decided by religious organizations while civil unions and the rights that come with it are decided by the government. How is that bad? Isn’t that supporting separation of church and state?

shilolo's avatar

He’s splitting hairs for political expediency, plain and simple.

Bri_L's avatar

I don’t consider it splitting hairs. It makes sense to me. A large part of the objective movement is based on religious objection. If gays and lesbians are granted the same rights as we are under civil union then I think that’s great.

I know there are religions and places they can go to have their unions acknowledged in the religious sense.

laureth's avatar

Gay sex and gay marriage are about as related as straight sex and straight marriage.

Bri_L's avatar

@laureth – Thank you Laureth.

pekenoe's avatar


laureth's avatar

Meaning, of course, that they don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Old married couples (of any kind of sexual preference) often don’t have any sex at all. Straight and gay couples can have sex without getting married, too. They can have sex with their spouse, or outside of the relationship. It’s all over the map.

It has more to do with the benefits accorded married couples than it has to do with sex, if I must make it more clear. And everything to do with the ability to choose who one shares those benefits with.

Bri_L's avatar

I believe pekenoe has checked out of this one.

He has made his opinion, however crudely, apparent.

pekenoe's avatar

Exactly so,glad you see my standing.

cwilbur's avatar

@Bri_L: I don’t care whether the state calls it “marriage” or “civil union.” I do care that the state uses the same category, and the same terminology, for opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples.

A solution where the state calls all couplings “civil unions,” whether they’re same-sex or opposite-sex, and the word “marriage” is reserved for the religious aspects of the situation is perfectly acceptable, as far as I’m concerned. It’s just not acceptable to have one category for opposite-sex couples and one category for same-sex couples.

When Obama says he supports civil unions for gay people, I don’t think he’s advocating replacing all marriages with civil unions. (And if he is, he’s being rather silent about it.) Rather, he’s advocating a separate but equal status for same-sex couples, and it’s long-established law in this country that separate but equal is inherently unequal. The separate but equal status is better than nothing at all, of course, and it’s a useful step on the road to full equality, but it’s an intermediate step and not a goal.

Bri_L's avatar

Right. So I think the wording should be changed to state civil union for straight or gay people with regard to the state and reserve the term marriage for religious declaration.

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