Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unanswered Questions [to myself]

This is a response to this blog post. It got ridiculously long for a blog comment.

Alright, I'll bite. I'm not a lurker either... I comment. :)

The question is what say I on Prop 8. Well...

1) I didn't know anything about it until election day.

2) I didn't care anything about it until people got really upset at black folks coming out in mass numbers to vote for Obama AND Prop 8 which makes homosexual marriage constitutionally illegal. (Correct me if I'm wrong on that)

3) I wonder why it was put on the ballot. Who was behind it and what was their purpose? (Southern Baptists Convention probably, the same folks who took a mag cover with women clergy off it's stands and the same church into which I made a decision to be baptized into the Christian faith-I was a genius of a five years old, I'm trying to tell you-And the same church in which I still hold the foundation of my religious beliefs.)

4) The people in California spoke when they voted to legalize gay marriage and the people in California spoke again to make gay marriage unconstitutional. (this terrifies me about the people who are going to vote for and against Obama in his second term, but whatever) I know you may say I'm simplifying the issue, but legally, besides another proposition, what can be done to undo this? Can you argue that its unconstitutional? Possibly. (I'm no law buff, so I'm not sure).

5) I saw a sign that says "Marriage is a human right not a heterosexual privilege." Is that true? Is this a legal matter? Is this a religious matter? Is this a moral matter? As a person who has a different moral and/or religious belief than another person what is my legal obligation to that person as a citizen of the United States and a human being? What is my legal obligation to vote for or against something that is in contra to my religious and/or moral obligations?

6) If my moral and/or religious beliefs are in contra to yours, does that mean I hate you? If we disagree does it mean I hate you? If I vote for something that you don't agree with, does that make me a hateful creature?

7) Stacyann Chin said [yeah, I watched that long youtube clip) all oppression is related. If that's true then, as a heterosexual, whether I want to or not, I'm oppressing gays. As a Christian in the U.S.A., whether I want to or not, I'm oppressing other religions. White people get angry, I mean downright furious when you tell them that they are racist by nature because they are the majority race living in a racist society (Looked what I picked up at all those CoInTel meetings). Some men [just a few of 'em really] get mad when you say they are sexist just because they are the majority gender in a sexist society. Now, I can say of sort of understand the sentiment. It sucks to think that just because I'm one religions or one sexual preference or one [insert descriptive adjective here] that I'm oppressing everyone who isn't like me.

Given the definitions of oppression and the -isms, how does one in any majority group stop being a [blank]-ist, without actively advocating for the minority group? Is that a possibility?

8. As you can see by my questions [to myself] I'm torn on the issue. I know EXACTLY what my religious obligations are, but I'm not sure on my moral and legal obligations. I can say I'm happy this ballot didn't come up in Illinois because then I would have had to make a choice. Right now, I can comfortably sit on the sidelines and watch it all unfold. I don't need to form an opinion, because it doesn't directly affect me right now.

I'd be mad if a white person had said something like that at the height of the civil rights movement, but it's the truth.

I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.


Reese said...

sigh, this prop 8 thing is huge, but i think that it is about dollars and cents. Personally i dont care who marries who as long as you are happy, but look at marriage now as an institution it aint doing too damn well. 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. thats a daunting statistic.

But i digress, anyone who wants to marry anyone should be able to, i mean blacks weren't able to vote not too long ago and neither were women so look at that change.

my thoughts are a mess when it comes to all of this so i guess i will do some internet sleuthing and make a more informed addition to this dialogue

TatooTuesday said...

***Warning I speaking off emotion, that is what I do***

Ahhh yes Prop 8. I was hoping you would write about it before me. I wanted to write a facebook note about it but the backlash would've caused great arguments. If I went into the voting booth I would have voting against Prop 8 (Which would have been a vote to ALLOW Gay Marriage). I believe that if gays would like the right to marry, then give it to them. An estimated 70% of black voters voted against gay marriage. And I can see why the average black voter would vote against Prop 8. Our communities are fucked up, our family structure is in ruins (And our generation/social circle/economic class isn't doing much to help it either). And you expect us to vote to allow gays to marry and infiltrate our neighborhoods. You expect us to allow a family in our neighborhood that can essentially function better as a family than US. Hell NAW!
You are essentially asking us to change the world we live in. Now we have children asking questions at younger ages, like why does Stacy have two mama's? And while we used to say because what she is doing is wrong in God's eyes, NOW what do we say when they ask isn't it against the law for them to marry, then we say to them "no, it isn't." Then we have to tell the children that God & the law are not on the same side. It creates this religious & legal loophole in explanations to our children. Now we have to tell them the gov't says you can marry whoever you like but GOD said otherwise. And then when we take them to church the choir directors husband is sitting in the front row next to the first lady of the church. FUCK THAT! I know some people may read this and say that I'm pretty ignorant but real talk, I don't want to raise my kids in a world where they see same-sex couples as much as they see heterosexual couples. For people who think that shit won't change the world, or at least the United States, you have another thing coming. I dread the day our kids are in Kindergarten with a crush on another girl and shit like that.
But I'm also torn because I feel they should have the right to marry enjoy the same benefits as "regular" couples... Because as Maurice said, it is a business decision. I just don't want to see that shit.

antithesis said...

in my mind, there is no such thing as gay marriage. but that is from a religious standpoint. as far as allowing people the rights and benefits of heterosexual couples, i dont have a problem with that. i dont personally have a problem with someone being gay. i cant hate someone just because it goes against my religion. if that's the case, i would hate jewish people, buddhists, etc. im not here to judge people and i have no right to withhold something that i dont see affects me. if i saw that it directly and negatively affected me, then maybe id have something to say but really, i dont care.

Paris said...

I think one of the issues that I'm concerned with regarding Prop. 8 is why we didn't hear anything about it before Election Day. If the homosexual community wanted to ensure that Prop. 8 did not pass, then why wasn't there more educating their local residents about this law, and rallying and marching before hand. I'm wondering if they were too 'lax and thought there was no way "the state that allows gay marriage will now vote against it."

But another issue with California allowing gay marriage is that say that Joe and Bob, move to Georgia. Georgia, which is more than likely a state that does not recognize gay marriage, will challenge Joe and Bob's marriage and now there's a possibility of gay marriage being a federal (is that the right word?) issue rather than a state issue.

However, this makes me wonder about other issues such as abortion rights? If Prop 8 can pass in Cali (which is considered one of the most liberal states) then what about other issues...

identitycrisis said...

Thanks for giving me something to read/think about while stuck in traffic. I have a few thoughts/answers to some of your questions. Yes, I know they were to yourself.

#1 - I was in the dark about it until I saw "No on Prop 8" as people's facebook pics.
#3 - This is probably true but I think the Mormon church put a lot of money into getting this passed.
#4 - Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court found the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. So there really was no input/vote by the people. Prop 8 amended the California constitution. Some government official was on TV talking about this being the first time the constitution was used to TAKE AWAY rights. What do you think about that?
#5 - Marriage is an institution. I don't see it as a human right but if the government protects it for some, then why not all? As for voting based on your moral/religious beliefs... Kismet and I talked about this a couple of weeks ago. To me - I think the way people vote should be based on how something affects them. I don't think the law (and average folks and their moral/religious beliefs) should have a say in what I get to do if it doesn't directly affect them. For example - if someone TRULY believes that abortion is wrong, they won't get one even if there was a planned parenthood on every corner. If this person votes to ban abortion they are voting to control other people. (I understand that most, if not all, laws are meant to control people but they are meant to protect people from the actions of others.) Those who are against abortion can argue that they are protecting the unborn child. However, with marriage who are protecting? If you're not gay, you won't have a gay marriage. So voting against it is to control other people. I guess the question I have is should moral/religious beliefs be legislated?
#7 Good questions. To me the statement that all oppression is related means that its a slippery slope. For example, this could have been about interracial marriage (which was once illegal) or the right for black people to marry or people of a certain economic status, etc. (I know these are unlikely but the possibility increases because this law has been passed.) I think the first step in not being a -ist is recognizing how you benefit from -ism.

I'm heading to my second home to write more on the topic. This comment is long enough.

T said...

@ identitycrisis, given your analysis, I agree with Paris. They should have done more to educate people. Because if I'm in the ballot box and and I haven't analyzed the situation and I see a new question, I'm going to vote for what I think is right or wrong without analyzing it.

Now, some people, no matter the facts or the analysis would vote for Prop 8, but I believe if given enough info the liberal democratic Californians would have voted against Prop 8.

TatooTuesday said...

T... I will definitely have to disagree with your analysis on Prop 8. I do not believe that Cali would've have voted no to prop 8. Major money was put into advertising campaigns to get citizens to say NO to Prop 8...

Citizens in California were well versed on Prop 8 and what it meant...

Here are a two of the commercials that stood out to me that were forwarded to me by my Godmother before the election.

TatooTuesday said...

Prop 8 in plain English... This is very helpful

T said...

Dion, I disagree with you (surprise, surprise). Show me some commercials in support of Prop 8. If you only see one side, of course, you're more than likely going to agree with that side.

That's why political campaigns with the most money tend to win the election.

The way identitycrisis put it... that by voting yes, I'd be taking away another person's right and likening it to abortion (I don't agree with it, but I don't want to take away anyone's right to do it), gave me a new perspective.

By educated, I don't mean, hearing one-sided ads. I mean by listening to diverse perspectives on the issue.

TatooTuesday said...

For you bleeding heart liberals out here:

I feel that it is education. The second video told you what the law was about. It told you that the homosexual couples under the law have the same rights.
The gays have NO reason as to why we should support Prop 8 except that we're stripping them of their rights. I feel that is one thing wrong with the world and we're liberal as hell. We want everyone to have rights, as long as they have money they can have rights. So now my kids have to be taught read stories in school about King & King and we can't say anything about it. That is crazy as hell. MTV has people out here bad, like this is whats up. Our world is going to hell in a hand basket and we're approving it because we care about how the gays feel. That is crazy. You have Domestic Partnership which allows you the same rights and benefits that a heterosexual couple has. Without the title...
*** Tell 'em why you mad son***
And real talk if I hear another gay person compare themselves to the struggle for civil rights, I'm japping. Gay people are cool but why does everything have to so extreme! They can't get married, we hate them! If you vote yes to prop 8, you hate us! Fall back.

T said...

It was one-sided education, Dion. You can't even front like it wasn't. Nothing that comes to a conclusion at the end is just information. It had a clear point.

At the end of the day the yes on Prop 8 people did a better job of marketing their point than the no on Prop 8 people. And the yes on prop 8 people had an advantage because with no information at all, I think most people would have voted for the Proposition.

At the end of the day the better marketer won.

TatooTuesday said...

Tomato/Tomatoe... But personally I just think their arms were too short to box with GOD, lol

identitycrisis said...

@ tattoo tuesday. my thoughts keep changing on this issue but you raise some interesting points.
i'm not sure i'm ready to have king & king read in schools but the reality is that whether either of us are ready for it, it is happening. we might not have seen same-sex couples til high school but today it's happening in elementary schools. also, some kids have two moms or dads or two of each. i don't necessarily know if talking about princes and marriage is cool for elementary school at all but is it cool for gay kids to only hear stories about heterosexual couples? gay and lesbian teens have some of the highest suicide rates - feelings have a real impact. so if a book or a law or a club will reduce this, why not? is the choir director any less gay (and recognizable as such) because he isn't married? is there a way to teach acceptance (no teasing or bullying) without telling kids that it's right? or wrong? also good point on the domestic partnership issue. if it provides the same rights as marriage, does marriage then become more a religious than a legal institution? if so, is there a need to legislate?

ThummyB said...

I know that I'm late, but I wanted to add (and maybe re-state) a couple of items.

1. As has been mentioned before, Prop 8 was a huge issue in Cali prior to the election. It was not on the ballot in Illinois, so many voters here were not aware of it. However, that does not imply that voters in that state were severly uninformed, nor does it imply that lobbyist for each respective cause did not 'make their case to the ppl' to the best of their ability. There were a couple of statements that seeemed to imply that the level of awareness of individuals in this convo correlates to that of the voters in Cali.

2. The Mormon Church spent an estimated $20 million to campaign for Prop 8. That is a lot of money to compete against, and I'm not sure that it is fair to 'blame' opponents of Prop 8 for not having an equal amount of capital to get their message out there. Of course, they may have had a different turnout if they had more funds. However, I think that the implication of 'You don't deserve these rights b/c you didn't raise enough money to buy ppls attention and earnest consideration' is a bit backwards.

3. In general, while I don't believe in homosexuality, I do believe in separation of church and state and allowing God to be the ultimate judge of all men. Certainly, I don't want anyone else's religious prefereance dictating what is/isn't allowable in my life. So long as their actions are consensual and do not harm others, then I do not see a reason to allow the moral majority to rule (such as it does in the case of murder or pedophillia). As IdentityCrisis stated...those hard convos with your kids and uncomfortbale moments with your co-workers are going to happen regardless.

**sorry for typos**

T said...

"However, I think that the implication of 'You don't deserve these rights b/c you didn't raise enough money to buy ppls attention and earnest consideration' is a bit backwards."

@ thummyb, if you were referring to my comments, your quote is not what I'm saying. My point wasn't about deserving and not deserving. It's just a common-known political fact that the campaign with the most money wins. So if you're the Mormons and you have 20 million dollars and your opponents don't you're more than likely to win. There are exceptions to every rule, but money almost always wins in politics.

Kismet said...

Alright. I had to respond here because it was going to be WAYYYYYY too long.

Can't wait to have this fight in person T and Thummy B.

ThummyB said...

@ T: Your comment was "They should have done more to educate people." I could be wrong on your intention, but in my mind that statement says "This is the result that they deserve."

Kismet...I'll head over to your blog now AND don't be trying to start know I don't fight ;-)

T said...

"@ T: Your comment was "They should have done more to educate people." I could be wrong on your intention, but in my mind that statement says "This is the result that they deserve.""

Yeah, I didn't mean that all all. Given the original premise, that people were not educated well enough(which after all these comments, I don't know if that's the case), THEN the side that lost should have done more to educate people.

That's all I'm saying.

It's not my place to say who deserves what. I'm just trying to analyze what happened and why it happened and how (if at all) it affects me.

On a semi-related note, a lot of times when emotional or controversial issues come up, the biggest problem is getting the other side to listen to and understand your point. I still think communication is at the root of this problem. If I can compell a person to truly understand me through a marketing tool, then I have the power to change their minds. Maybe, maybe not.

Que.P said...

I would have definately voted AGAINST prop 8 (a vote to ban gay marriages). Why? Because my religious belief is that homosexuality is a sin, and I do not support it in any way.

However, Christianity also teaches that pre-marital sex is a is lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride, and even getting drunk off your behind. But those are all laws by which a Christian has to CHOOSE to live. And to govern this contry based on the laws of Christianity would take away the very thing God has given to all people - free will.

My question is, at what point did marriage become a legal institution? Because with it classified as a religious institution, homosexuals can get married in the Morman church all day (right?). Classified as a social institution, Adam and Steve can just exchange rings and move in together (right?).

Then I wanna know, where will it stop? Will gay marriages pave the way for...incestial marriages? What if, one day, it becomes legal to marry inanimate objects?

ThummyB said...

@ Que P...I believe a vote against Prop 8 would have been a vote to NOT ammend the constitution to ban gay marriage.

Also, marriage has been a legal institution within the U.S. since the birth of this nation and most likely long before that time. It has been a way to join families for the growth and accumulation of land and property for sometime, which is why arranged marriages reigned supreme for so long. Only more recently has it been viewed as a way for two individuals to join their hearts.

In regards to the Mormon Church, they are against gay marriage...hense the $20 million that they spent to get Prop 8 passed.

However, what's most important is the sort of slippery slope argument made at the end of your comment. Gay marriage paves the way for incestial marriage, beastiality, etc. The thing about that sort of thinking is that is goes both ways. As you mentioned earlier...there is a long list of sins. Shall we ammend the constitution to ban those practices as well? All you can eat buffet = illegal. I mean that would be an example of gluttony. If you're caught masterbating...$300 fine. No lusting allowed. Pre-marital sex? 1 year behind bars. In reality...using the potential for something ridiculous as a reasoning to prohibit something less extreme, doesn't hold as a very strong argument.

@Tea - I gotcha.

MSJNT said...

The wording in Prop 8 got everyone confused. I think that if the word "marriage" is the problem then don't use it. Gays want to be protect under the law so that if one of them dies or falls ill, none of the so called relatives can come, make medical decisions, pick your bones and leave your partner destitute. So under the protection of a "marriage" your property is automatically give to your spouse. Civil union so have the same protection as a marriage. And as a heterosexual, what have we done that marriage is so holy. My X cheat on me...I rest my case!