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California Vote on Gay Marriage
derF
As some of you may know, California is poised to vote as to whether or not gay marriage will remain legal or become unconstitutional. Last year California's supreme court ruled that banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional. Since then small minded people have pushed for making same sex marriage unconstitutional again under California law. The debate has been mean and passionate. Below is a letter I wrote to a local newspaper stating my views on the subject. Perhaps it could be fodder for a lively debate here.

Proposition 8.

Since our countries inception certain minorities and ethnic groups have had to battle for their rights. The original fight was over the peoples demand that there be no taxation without representation. A revolutionary war was fought and won over that right. It has proven to be a beneficial right. Later battles were fought to give certain groups the rights that the rest of the country enjoyed. A civil war was fought at great loss to both sides with a central tenant being the ending of slavery. Many thought it would be detrimental to the country as a whole. It proved, also, to be beneficial. The women of this country fought another long, hard battle for their right to vote. Those who opposed it felt women were not qualified to govern themselves. The passage of that right has also proven to be beneficial. Multi race marriages were opposed because it was thought that it would lead to a decline in the human species overall. Such was not the case.

Every time those who opposed granting freedom to minority and ethnic groups they did so for reasons of hate, prejudice and fear. Those are not good reasons to deny anyone their basic freedoms and history has proven over and over that bestowing the same rights on everyone has been beneficial to the entire country as a whole.

Now the agents of ignorance are hurling all sorts of nonsensical reason around to oppose same sex marriage. It will change the definition of marriage. It will endanger the sanctity of marriage. It will open the floodgates for laws being passed to permit inter species marriage and bigamy and the like. Do not allow these agents to sway you with their message of hate, fear and prejudice. Vote no on Proposition 8.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Hypatia
Bravo, derF. Well said and well written. You brought the point home in an exceptional manner.

 
catman
Change the definition of marriage? Good!
Endanger the "sanctity" of marriage? Great!
Encourage inter-species marriage and bigamy? Absurd!

If that's the best they can do, they may as well forget about it. I hope Proposition 8 goes down in flames. But you can never tell. I agree with Hypatia, derF: Very well written!
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
JohnH
Curious derF was the letter published.

I will admit to a certain amount of conflict on the acceptance of homosexuality.

I have lived within 20 miles of San Francisco essentially all my life. I also lived in the "City" for more then 10 years. Without going into all the occurrences I have far too many times run into places where overt homosexual behavior has intruded into my life without my approval. I have found that unpleasant. I also find overt heterosexuality unpleasant but the times I have run into that are far less frequent.

The other hand of course is that today I was joking at work with a very out lesbian. A woman I in fact very much like.

All the above said I am with you. It is rather like the demonizing of atheists. Easy to do because "those people" are offensive to polite society.

I will proudly vote no on prop 8.
Edited by JohnH on 10/22/2008 03:31
 
derF
John, to answer your question, no the paper hasn't published it yet but it usually takes a few days to wend its way through the process. I'll let you know if they do.
Edited by derF on 10/22/2008 18:10
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
seeker
If this election is about anything it seems to be about rejecting the bigotry of the past. The last time I've seen so much racial and homophobic stereotyping play out on a national stage was the 60's when racists like George Wallace were conducting hate rallies to try to prevent integration in the South.

I'd like to think that after November 4th the US can actually finally begin to live up to its ideals for everyone.
 
neilmarr
***"those people" are offensive to polite society***

Hey, John; you and most others here are 'polite society'. That term should be re-defined these days, doncha think? Bestest. Neil
 
derF
John Wrote: I have lived within 20 miles of San Francisco essentially all my life. I also lived in the "City" for more then 10 years. Without going into all the occurrences I have far too many times run into places where overt homosexual behavior has intruded into my life without my approval. I have found that unpleasant. I also find overt heterosexuality unpleasant but the times I have run into that are far less frequent.


I have found that when people feel they are being deprived of their rights they usually get loud and vocal and protest and bring attention to their condition. I think that when gays are granted the same rights as the rest of us you will see a drastic reduction in this kind of rebellious behavior.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
Good point, derF. I've never been bothered by overt gay behavior any more than I have by overt straight behavior.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
General-Pryce
I've only just found out about this, I missed the thread first time round but headed in here to start it up myself after stumbling on a youtube video regarding "Yes on 8" and was disgusted.

It seems again that it's down to religious views and not political ones or even personal ones. All the people in favour of Prop 8 seem to be Christian and opposed to it because their sky fairy is opposed to it. They seem to feel they will lose something, but none of the videos or comments I saw could say exactly what would be lost other than the religious ideals of Marriage.

Surely opening marriage up and expanding on it isn't taking anything away but adding to it. I'm not American but I'd be voting "no on 8".

Novemeber 4th is an important day, bot just for you guys, but the rest of the world. America is one of the last main superpowers, what happens over there affects the world. No on 8!
 
derF
Good post General-Pryce. Yes, Catholic and Christian organizations are pouring a lot of money into passing Prop. 8. Most of the money is coming from outside of California and a lot of people who may have been undecided have leaned toward voting against it because they are offended by the outside meddling on what should be strictly California's business. Also, the Mormons have contributed huge sums of cash in an effort to get 8 passed. A lot of their Temples around the state are experiencing lots of protesters who feel that Salt Lake City should keep its nose in Utah. Curiously, if Prop 8 is defeated it may be because the citizens of California resented the meddling by these non Californian organizations.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
neilmarr
Just to open this up a little:

I would not go out of my way to encourage gay marriage.

Then again, neither would I go out of my way to encourage heterosexual marriage.

Reliable statistics (as opposed to opinion polls) show that marriage is anything but a guarantee of a happy, long-term relationship.

Sure, it's a public statement of love and good intent and so does carry some value there. Personally (after two divorces [neither nasty] and now happily unmarried to Skovia for eighteen years and counting), I feel the statement is more meaningfully made privately and daily.

Hey -- before you married chaps and chappesses cross me off the Christmas card list -- I'm not against marriage. I just don't think it's necessary now that religious sanction is no longer necessary to bless a uniion or of secular value now that long-term partnership is recognised by law in most Western states. And there's a certain satisfaction in knowing that your relationship survives with a passion without the artificial pressures of having made a public promise ratified by law.

Perhaps those -- like gays -- celebrating new-found and well-deserved acceptance in the modern world should go one step further in their stance against traditional values and ask: "Marriage; who needs it?"

Bestest. Neil



 
catman
But still, gays who want to marry should have the right to make their own decisions.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
derF
neilmarr wrote:Perhaps those -- like gays -- celebrating new-found and well-deserved acceptance in the modern world should go one step further in their stance against traditional values and ask: "Marriage; who needs it?"



A very interesting point as usual, Neil. But there are still some legal and financial benefits granted under law to married couples. They would be difficult to grant to single individuals because they require a spouse of some sort as the recipient. Therefore it is illegal, immoral and predjudice to deny them to ANY minority group of humans.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
General-Pryce
I agree marriage is not essential, but I think the right to get married is.
 
neilmarr
I'm with you guys all the way. Nothing against marriage. I guess, though, I might be against lingering pressures that may edge some people into a state-recognised condition they might otherwise feel irrelevant in a sound relationship.

I also forget, of course, that not all Western states are as advanced as France where Skovia and I many years ago had the option of 'concubinage' (ugly word, eh?).

This is simply officially registering with the local authorities as a couple, without even the hint of ceremony, religious or otherwise. You just fill in the legally binding forms as you might sign a lease to a new apartment or register your baby's birth. This way you have all the security of a state-recognised union without having to get drunk and make speeches.

Concubinage, by the way, has been available to gays for a heck of a long time, quietly and with no public song and dance. There are many ways in which France has been well ahead of its time in dealing with the private lives of its citizens.

Hoots. Neil
 
derF
Thanks for clarifying that for us Neil. Before you gave us the definition I thought I was pretty sure that I had tried concubinage soup at some point in time.

Cheers as well,

derF
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
neilmarr
France is quite advanced in its popular defence of personal privacy, Derf.

Much more than the legal restraints on paparazzi photography, etc, it's encouraging to see, for instance, how little general interest was shown in President Sarkozy's surprise divorce just after taking office and his iimmediate marriage to a pop singer or in the advanced pregnancy of our unmarried Minister of Justice, who's not even been pressed to name the baby's father.

Imagine the fuss the UK and US would make of those situations.

My self-defence when I often had to intrude on privacy as a reporter in years gone by was that it was 'in the public interest'; more accurately, but quite correctly, that it was what the peek-a-boo general public wanted to know about. There seems little public interest in private lives in France and, therefore, no call to see it laid bare in the press. That's healthy.

Hoots. Neil
 
neilmarr
This thread started to become bit off-beam and light when I introduced the question of the value of marriage in the first place. I apologise for that.

On the other hand, I've just been reading in today's New York Times that Obama opposes same-sex marriage purely and simply on religious grounds: http://www.nytime...?th&emc=th

So, perhaps I'm not too far from the mark in asking what significance should be placed on the institution of marriage itself.

For my part, I find 'holy matrimony' meaningless but in no way would argue the right of a couple (whatever their sexual or religious persuasion) having their union marked by public ceremony, according to tradition, and/or recognised in civil paperwork.

Perhaps if we were to employ new terminology to 'marriage' and 'wedding' ('declaration of life-union', perhaps? 'Public bonding'?) we would be able to see the wood for trees by removing any religious implication and freeing binding oaths from the strictures of scripture and restrictions of law.

As I mentioned before, the official French word 'concubinage' is a little ugly, but the state and condition of 'oficial' bonding in the eyes of society and of law that it represents is perfectly respectable, acceptable and workable.

To mark such a partnership with a ceremony, to exchange vows in public -- well, that's a couple's business ... and it would be nobody else's if we were to see a greater separation of church and the state of matrimony and more emphasis put on the civil partnership contract which, in fact, it is; demanding of each partner domestic and fiscal responsibility in return for recognition and equally shared benefits.

Marriage (union, partnership, love) may be 'sacred' (in the secular sense of the word), but there is no need for it to be 'holy' to be wonderful and binding and universally accepted.

In spite of two failed (well, that word is arguable in my case) marriages, I do respect marriage: But I hold it in no higer esteem than I do any other lasting relationship in which promises are made and kept.

Cheers. Neil
 
catman
I too have two 'failed' marriages. My second one, which lasted twelve years, was performed by a justice of the pace. The ex-wife in question and I are still on friendly terms and go to a movie together once in a while. I regard marriage as a legal convenience; other than that, it isn't much different than any other relationship, as neilmarr stated.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
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