Sunday, November 9, 2008

More on Oakland/Prop 8

I was looking for videos on youtube to supplement the very serious, thoughtful blog I posted earlier today.   Nothing up yet, but I did find a video posted by a guy a couple weeks ago who went down to MacArthur and Lakeshore to ask questions of protestors from both sides.  I had a lot of faith that Prop 8 would fail, and though it was disappointing when it passed, I took comfort in the hope that I will live to someday see an end to this ridiculous bigotry.  This is a major setback, but I'm confident that 8 will be defeated in years to come.  

However, after talking with a few friends who share my beliefs on the issue, and then reading smug, hyer-moralistic commentaries which indicate that it wasn't intolerance and discrimination that was responsible for 8's passing, but God's will, I'm finding myself pretty angry.  More serious and thoughtful commentary that isn't the least bit snarky below the video:

- First thing's first, and this has to be said: Jesus Christ!  I didn't know Jabba the Hut's sister lived in Oakland (see 1:40-2:20).  The guy asks her what her "position" on 8 is, and the answer is definitely "sitting down,"  preferably with a small trash can filled with buffalo wings, two buckets of Halloween candy, eight orders of bread sticks and a jar of mayonnaise.  What car does she ride in?  On a side note, I hope she's not in a wheelchair.  If she is, I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell.

- It's hard to tell, but a couple of the pro-8 people in this video appear to be Mexican-American.  I may be wrong, but riding on that, hispanics as a group have a history of mostly voting Republican and being pretty conservative when it comes to politics that conflict with  the views of the Roman Catholic Church (results show that 53% of the Hispanic vote was for 8).  At the risk of making an already volatile situation worse, if I were the guy holding the camera, I might ask these people how they stand on proposed legislation against amnesty for illegal immigrants already here, the vast majority of which are from Mexico (everyone remember Prop 187?).  

I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to belittle the struggles of people who come here illegally because they have no alternative.  I'm aware that the right to health care carries a lot more weight than the right to marry.  I want to be clear on that, but I think it's a relevant question simply because it has to do with two wedge issues concerning two separate groups that are historically discriminated against in this country.  No, opposition to granting illegals an easy path to citizenship doesn't have anything to do with core values.  The arguments from both sides have to do with economics in the best cases and race in some of the other ones.  But I wonder where these core values that dictate who can and can't get married come from.

The answer should be obvious, but let's see what these pro-8 people have to say:

"It's all about family with us."
"The state of California has always been a man and woman state"
"(It doesn't) just (affect us) directly, but for the future of the kids.  It's important."
"A man and a man and a woman and a woman is not okay.  It's not good."
"God ordained marriage between a man and a woman."
"If gay men are approved, no more children in California."

Just a geyser of eloquence, huh?  I really feel bad for the one anti-8 guy who's making an attempt at dialogue with these people (5:12-6:58), but I think their "arguments" make it a lost cause.  It's a sad state of affairs when we have to try and elicit real answers from tired old slogans or just sheer nonsense (" more children in California").  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the "values" that these people espouse can be traced to a belief in God.  

I'm a man, so I'm naturally a polytheist (my spiritual realm consists of Me and My Penis), but as a general rule, God has a talent for really fucking up the machine that is U.S. politics, and we should try and avoid any talk of God when there's no place for it, specifically those things we like to call our individual rights as Americans.  This is coming from a straight man who will be a bachelor 'til the day I die, but I've always maintained that anyone who wants to make the mistake of getting married should be able to.  My father was a divorce attorney and peoples' lives (straight mens' particularly; sorry, but I have to say it because it's true) get fucking WRECKED by failed marriages.  That's my soapbox moment.

- To the woman who went out to protest in defiance of the epithets she heard when getting home from work (4:29), I salute you.  There's a word for what you have and it's called integrity.  I wish more people had it.

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