Rejecting bigotry

Voters in California and several other states will be asked on Tuesday to add enforced bigotry to their state constitutions. If you have an ounce of justice and liberty in your soul you will reject these radical attempts to install the distorted views of Biblical misinterpretation into a document intended to protect liberty for all.

Readers here have likely confronted this issue and formed an opinion about “gay marriage” and I have no interest in addressing that opinion. But if you look at the issue fairly any vote to prohibit two men or two women from entering into a legally recognized marriage is either bigotry or an attempt to fuse religion and law contravening bedrock American values.

The argument is made that allowing same gender marriage “undermines the institution of marriage.” Nonsense. With over 16,000 such marriages already in California alone it is clear that heterosexual marriage has not suffered one bit. In fact, gay marriage adds to the strength of the practice of marriage by encouraging people to form stable unions rather than “shack up and break up” at will.

I do not care if your Bible says that marriage is only between a man and a woman. That is of interest only to you, not me and certainly is not a matter that should be of interest to government. The First Amendment to the Constitution was added precisely to prevent your Bible from trumping my rights. For those who think otherwise, please add some books on American history to your reading list because you just don’t understand liberty.

Some claim that marriage has traditionally been reserved for a one man one woman union. First of all that is not at all true, but even if it were, there are many traditions that were upended by the American revolution and the slow but steady expansion of liberty ever since.

Some are just uneasy about the idea of homosexual alliances or practices at all. Fine, don’t engage in them. You have no right to enforce your lifestyle on me so quit the attempts and get on with making yourself a better person.

Some resent the fact that it took lawsuits and court decisions to force states to respect the rights of all their citizens to marry the person of their choice. Imagine if you were not allowed to marry who you love but rather could only choose off a state-approved list. How un-American, right? It is the role of courts in our system of government to be the final voice in the protection of liberty. It has been so since the founding of our nation, so why is this the issue upon which they are prevented from doing so?

Face it, anti-gay marriage ballot issues are the ultimate in hypocrisy, either by politicos who want the leverage for election campaigns or those who want to install a religious theocracy on American soil.

Do the right thing if your ballot raises the issue. Vote for liberty and freedom for all and reject theocracy and bigotry. Vote against any attempt to make gays second class citizens. Vote no on 8 in California and against any measure like it in your state.

17 Responses to "Rejecting bigotry"

  1. Phil Hoskins  November 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    It is possible to amend the California Constitution by initiative and in so doing overturn a prior court decision.

    There is a question about this initiative, however, in that the state Constitution also says that any initiative that changes a “fundamental” provision must be by 2/3 vote.

    Phil Hoskins

  2. f33dback  November 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    This is religion trying to run your life and your choices even if you are not gay.

    How can anyone in their right mind think passing some vague interpretation of bible verse into a law that affects all of us even, if we are outside of the said religion, is a good way to go.

    What next? Enforced dress code for the Rapture?

    This is why church and state must be separated or we come under the heel of ignorance, and believe it or not a country run by religion would be even worse than one run by Bush.

    IMO

  3. gazelle1929  November 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    So if it passes but by less than 2/3ds majority the fundamentalists will be in the unenviable position of arguing that the amendment isn’t fundamental.

    You gotta love the irony of that!

  4. jwritesel  November 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Seems I remember a while back California passed a proposition against illegal immigrants that had something to do with cutting off medical and maybe education benefits in that state. I am not sure as the memory is not what it used to be. Right after it got passed the people who were against it took it to court and the entire proposition got gutted making it a worthless effort. I hope the same can happen here. I never like when hard fought for rights are taken away.

  5. Malibu  October 30, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you Phil Hoskins. Our mutual friend flagged me on this issue this morning. In Arizona the ballot has Prop. 102 and we both are voting NO!

    Malcolm

  6. toggle  October 31, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Thank you. I live in Colorado, and we did pass a bigotry amendment, rejecting spousal privileges to gay couples. I voted against the ban. I am straight, and will be married in two weeks. I realize how easy it is for me to marry my partner of choice.

    I work with a gay fellow; he’s no different than any of my other co-workers, apart from he has a male partner of 25 years. He cannot marry his partner of choice. They have been together for 25 years. They will never have the same rights and freedoms that I have, for no other reason than they love each other and not women. That just seems wrong to me.

    The conservative people I know say gay marriage is a slippery slope to people marrying beasts and children. I’m too young to remember, but I wonder if the same type of fear tactics were trotted out when racial marriage barriers were dissolved.

    I fear the slippery slope falls the other way. Marginalizing a group of people because some other people disapprove of their private behavior . . . that’s a dangerous path to walk.

    So thank you for standing up for liberty and freedom and tolerance.

    In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. – George Orwell

  7. Rob Kezelis  October 31, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Phil, my local news reported that most of the money in favor of Prop 8 has come from Utah, morman groups and christian conservatives from as far away as Florida, while the Nay 8 funds have been gathered locally.

    Is that true, or can anyone really know what the truth is?

    pls keep us all advised about how the polls, voting, and crazy events sure to follow, are proceeding.

  8. Malibu  October 31, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Washington D.C. groups called Grassfire.net and Liberty Counsel have sent out millions of emails claiming that if Arizona does not firm up a Constitutional Amendment against same sex marriages, every marriage is in jeopardy. They are advertising in California, Florida and Arizona that everyone will be in danger unless this is banned not only in the State Constitutions but needed as an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    I received a copy of this email through Sandra Price who is banned here but is working very hard in both States to stop this insult to American values. I would bring the email here but she is out of town for the weekend and I would not do it without her permission.

    They make it sound as if the 51% of divorces are the result of gays marrying. I personally have no dog in this fight except human dignity and a sense of responsibility for American values.

    Malcolm

  9. Hal Brown  October 31, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I don’t want to distract from the essential points you make Phil, and those of the commenters above. These are certainly the reasons everyone should support same sex marriage.

    However, from a purely economic point of view, same sex marriage is good for business. The non-social conservative Republicans not blinded by ideology should know this.

    Here in Massachusetts our out of state tourist business benefited greatly from our being a gay and lesbian tourist mecca what with Boston and Provincetown and the Berkshires. Of course once we legalized same sex marriage we became THE state to come to where you could celebrate same sex lifetime legal commitment without having problems finding a gay friendly catterer for the wedding* and having problems finding a minister to marry you.

    Not only that, which is kind of obvious and easy to measure (we have friends who run a big business serving the tourist industry on outer Cape Cod), when it comes to recruitment all kinds of institutions, businesses and industries benefit from our being a liberal state to attract the best and brightest no matter what their sexual orientation is.

    I sure hope the bigots loose in California and Arizona and wherever else these bigoted measures are on the ballot. If some of them pass I wouldn’t be surprised we we see something of a gay and lesbian migration to Massachusetts.

    * One local wedding photographer refused our friends when they married and they put the word out in the gay and gay friendly community (the later is huge). I’d say there are at least two church congregations in our town where both gay and straight couples won’t use him now.

  10. gazelle1929  October 31, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I agree, Hal and Phil, but the one thing that has not changed and may not ever change without Supreme Court intervention is the IRS code that says that a marriage is between a man and a woman.

    This means, of course, that gay couples are legally precluded from taking advantage of the decrease in taxes which is automatic for a heterosexual couple.

    I haven’t heard how the ballot measure in California is faring, but I hope it is soundly defeated.

    Colorado has an interesting initiative, asking the State voters to approve a change to the State Constitution to define “personhood” as beginning at the moment of conception.

    The right to lifers are trying to make abortion into murder, but this could also impact those people who use birth control pills as a means of contraception. Technically they would be guilty of murder, since the pill prevents pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall, resulting in a miscarriage of sorts.

    Would this make doctors who write prescriptions for the pill accessories before, during, or after the fact? Probably not during, but you get the drift.

    How many women will forced to die because they could not abort a life-ending pregnancy? How many women will be forced to carry to term a zygote created by rape or incest?

    If I had my way the only people who would be allowed to vote in favor of such an amendment would be those who put up a $1,000,000 bond pledging to adopt children of such unwanted pregnancies.

  11. remoran  October 31, 2008 at 9:08 am

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

    Great article. Absolutely right on.

  12. Hal Brown  October 31, 2008 at 9:57 am

    IRS – disturbing – so I looked it up and this is what I found:

    Q: What IRS Code defines Married in Married filing joint?
    In: Income Taxes, Business Law

    A: It has always been a State function to define marriage. The Internal Revenue Code is, therefore, silent on the issue.

    However, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (PL 104-199) established the meaning of marriage, for Federal purposes, as only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.

    Therefore, any Internal Revenue Code references to marriage now fall under this definition, and it trumps any State changes.

    Link

  13. gazelle1929  October 31, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Thanks. You were able to read the little rags that are all that remain of my brain. I shoulda said Federal statute.

  14. pondering_it_all  October 31, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    Of course same-sex marriage threatens the existance of heterosexual marriage: Just think of all the millions of people stuck in a heterosexual marriage who will get divorced so they can marry a gay or lesbian partner. I’m sure this temptation must be the main concern of all those supporting a ban on same-sex marriage: If not for the legal restriction, they would all have to face their attraction to members of their own gender!

    To quote Senator Biden: “This is a joke, right?”

    Of course, that was probably the first reaction of the homosexuals the Nazis marched off to the death camps, too.

  15. DejaVuAllOver  November 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    What’s most amazing is that the Bible doesn’t address the gay question ANYWHYERE! If you have a really active (or arrogant) imagination, you may be able to justify your bigotry and hate with the writings of Leviticus, but barring that 1.2% ultra-twisted-stretch-of-the-band-until -it-breaks interpretation, the gay-haters are just making sh*& up, as is so usual for Christians.

  16. Hal Brown  November 2, 2008 at 7:45 am

    The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, an exhaustive work that is a good reference for this subject, has greatly expanded it’s section on homosexuality to include any passage that can be remotely construed to be a condemnation of homosexuality. Last time I looked it was mostly the vile Leviticus they referenced. Now there are new passages from other sections for those who base their homophobia on the Bible and use it to “justify” their obsessive fears of homosexuality.

    Make sure you click the links to the actual Bible passages to see how the haters stretch their interpretations.

    For example this:

    Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

    becomes this: The two angels that visit Lot wash their feet, eat, and are sexually irresistible to Sodomites.

    and

    this: 19:4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

    becomes this: “Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”
    Two angels are staying at Lot’s house when all the men of Sodom come to visit. They ask Lot to bring the angels out so that they can have sex with them.

    Read it here.

    I consider the Bible, at best, to be a flawed history of those times written by people who based what they wrote on tales passed down for one or more generations. What the Bible as an historical document tells us is that 2,000 years ago there were homosexuals and there were people who hated them, just as today.

    Just as today, they wanted to attribute their beliefs to their god.

    In many instances people attributed their better selves to their god or gods, but human nature being what it is, they also found ways to justify their fears and anger by interjecting it into how they intepreted their holy books.

    If the prophets preached love and acceptance, there were no fact checkers and editors in those day to make sure that those who wrote about them didn’t add their own slant. Call it the Fox News – Rush Limbaugh method of reporting.

  17. incog99  November 3, 2008 at 1:22 am

    If the California Supreme Court has already ruled on this isn’t an amendment to the constitution unconstitutional? Will it not be struck down in court again if the proposition passes? Or does an Amendment trump the Supreme Court?

    Confused.

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