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January 08, 2009

Comments

For those looking for more, I'd point people toward TNC's follow-up post stressing that black homophobia is a problem, even if it didn't pass Prop 8. On the other side is Thomas Kincaid's attack on the report's methodology.

From my own standpoint, I'd observe that blaming or crediting any particular subset of the electorate for a given outcome is generally a fool's errand. What if blacks did vote 70% against? It'd still be too simplistic to focus on that one community to the exclusion of all others. Prop 8 passed partially because its opponents were badly outspent, but mostly because they failed to make their case convincingly enough. If we're going to assign blame, that's where it belongs.

Okay, it's not blacks. But we must relentlessly hunt down those responsible for the passage of Prop 8 and expose them. Because a good person would focus on punishing those responsible.

Punishment is the best way to promote the cause.

I thought it was strange that people were blaming "blacks," because "blackness" doesn't denote any particular ideology at all. It's just a group people are born in to. Even if 100% voted yes on prop 8, the quality of blackness is pretty irrelevant. It's *Christianity* that is to blame, if anything; Christianity denotes quite specific ideologies. Even if most voting against prop 8 weren't Christians, blackness just has nothing to do with it. I feel like captain obvious saying this, but it doesn't seem like anyone else has made this argument.

I didn't think it was strange that we were getting a meme of "Blame black people for passing Prop8!"

First of all, racism; second of all, racism; third of all, racism.

It's much more headline-worthy for the media point at a minority group and target them as "they voted a specific way!" than it is to look at how the majority voted. White voters passed Prop8. But that's not news.

LGBT people are racist. Everybody is racist. White LGBT people have white privilege. Everybody white has white privilege. There were a lot of stupid things done and said by white LGBT people right after the media started doing their headline-grabbing thing of "Black voters passed Prop 8!" that made me cringe, as a white LGBT person, but that I would have hoped would enrage or embarrass any person with smarts/decency.

And of course there's the scapegoat factor. Who actually did the most to get Proposition 8 passed? The whitest of all white US churches, the Mormons; the Catholic church; and a bunch of other right-wing/semi-religious groups which tend to be overwhelmingly or wholly white. All of whom reacted to the criticism that followed the passing of Prop8 with a whine of self-pity and a demand that those nasty LGBT people attack someone else - hey, why not those black voters, standing right over there, not us respectable white people who were just exercising our democratic rights!

Yeah. Racism, racism, racism. Not surprising. Just ugly.

Was this seriously an issue?

I always thought much of the "anger" was manufactured by the rightwing media to try and start some sort of gay-vs-black brouhaha, but I never thought that all that many gay people were falling for it.

Was I wrong?

While I felt like some on the right were reveling in the aftermath of prop 8, but there was also some pretty heated rhetoric from gay folks directed at black people. Maybe I'm being too sensitive about all this (I'm black & I support gay marriage) but the way things were discussed, in relation to black folks, made me pretty angry.

"Was this seriously an issue?"

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/11/prop-8-and-the.html

Stealth antifeminist Caitlin Flanagan had a big NY Times op-ed about how it was black people's fault.

I await, with baited breath, for those who suggested that blacks did, in fact, destroy gay marriage to apologize.
'
*cough*Andrew Sullivan*cough*Dan Savage*cough*

And while they're apologizing, I'd just like to thank them for making it infinitely more difficult for progressives to persuade conservatives of the rightness of our cause by perpuating the us versus them myth.

Folks can attack the methodology of this report, but this is one of at least three reports I've read that come to the same conclusion.

California is a state without a racial majority any more, but blacks are a fairly small minority here. If we need to bash some non-whites we ought to look at Latinos instead, who also trend socially conservative.

The thinking seemed to be that the increase in black turnout due to Obama's candidacy provided the margin of Prop. 8's victory, but unfortunately the margin wasn't that small.

We might as well blame the low-information voters who thought that Prop. 8 would permit gay marriage, though I'm not aware of any study that would give us their numbers or which way they voted.

I can imagine how right-wingers love to use this as part of a divide et impera strategy.

That said, I am able to hold two allegedly but not actually conflicting thoughts in my head simultaneously. I am not a racist, neither is Coates when he says:

My position on scapegoating and prop 8, in no way means that those of us in the black community don't have a serious homophobia problem that we need to confront. Put in the most brutal and coldest terms, too many of us dying for us to not take up this fight. One can believe that media got it wrong on Prop 8 and still believe that we've got work to do. Religion explains a lot. History explains a lot. Education explains a lot. But nothing excuses it. We've got work to do. Having been wronged, doesn't automatically make you right.

"I await, with baited breath,"

Eeuw. Try "bated breath" instead; you'll get more kisses.

The next time Californians vote to restore their constitution to a pre-H8 state, the campaign needs to be directly and proudly making the case for same sex marriage. This one didn't.

The next campaign should put front and center the reality of the couples who have already married, and their families.

Couples who haven't married yet, but want to, can make a public declaration of their engagement. "The Long Engagement." That's what most struggles for freedom and equality are.

It's *Christianity* that is to blame, if anything; Christianity denotes quite specific ideologies.

The plural here is significant.

The awful truth is that you have a better chance of juggling sand than you do of drawing a crisp line around the "Christian ideology", at least as regards gay marriage.

Thanks -

I have to agree with triple-D Dave for once.

Prop. 8 supporter, Jose Nunez, 37, was brutally assaulted while waiting to distribute yard signs to other supporters of the initiative after church services at the St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto.
...
Rev. Jim Garlow says signs urging a "Yes" vote on Proposition 8 are being stolen, churches have been pelted with eggs, cars have been parked outside the homes of supporters bearing the message "Bigots live here," and some supporters have been physically assaulted. Garlow says a pastor even had the windows of his car shot out because he was displaying a "Yes on 8" sticker.
...
In a stunning reaction to the passage of state constitutional marriage protection amendments in California, Arizona and Florida, several self identified homosexuals on a number of homosexual blogs are advocating violence against Christians and other supporters of traditional marriage. Additionally, some homosexuals are calling for church burnings in response to yesterday’s three state referenda in defense of natural marriage.

Etc. Hundreds of stories like that. Individuals targeted, put out of work. Old lady roughed up. I’ve been a strong supporter of gay marriage, but the temper tantrums I saw after this sickened me. Way to convince people. Fire-bomb a few churches and I’m sure folks will change their minds…

"In a stunning reaction to the passage of state constitutional marriage protection amendments in California, Arizona and Florida, several self identified homosexuals on a number of homosexual blogs are advocating violence against Christians and other supporters of traditional marriage."

So what's being said is that out of tens of millions of people, a handful of them have said very angry things.

I'm shocked and dismayed. Shocked. And dismayed.

And shocked.

If all heterosexual marriages were suddenly dissolved by law, I'm sure such a thing would never happen.

Oh, and they've been saying these things on blogs.

Well. That's certainly unheard of. And unprecedented.

More than “said” Gary. Like I said, I’m a supporter of gay marriage. But crap like this makes me less enthusiastic about my support. Act like spoiled children and I’m going to treat you like spoiled children.

Additionally, some homosexuals are calling for church burnings

And some heterosexuals molest children. Make of that what you will.

"But crap like this makes me less enthusiastic about my support. Act like spoiled children and I’m going to treat you like spoiled children."

Oh, sure. Just like we blame all heterosexual people for whatever crimes and vile acts a smattering of extremist hets do. That makes perfect sense.

@OCSteve:

Sorry, but extraordinary claims require at least the semblance of evidence, such as links.

Old lady roughed up?
Calls for violence against churches?

Hundreds of stories "like that"? Like what -- people having other people yell "bigots!" at them, or people having their houses egged, or losing their jobs because of pressure by No on 8 supporters? The only example in which hundreds of instances is even conceivable is the yelling.

In which case I have a few score instances of my own from my time on the pavement since 2001, which I would never whine about. I was expressing views that were highly unpopular, then only somewhat unpopular, and then went mainstream -- though still highly unpopular with the 30 percenters.

Publicly expressing support for taking away existing rights gets people angry: what a shocker.

Boy, OCSteve, you're really not a fan of people who've been wronged fighting back, are you?

I mean, if some complete stranger went to court and found some way to negate my marriage, I might very well kick his ass for him. Wouldn't you?

I am also down with triple D (although it took me a moment to recognize the sarcasm; more coffee please).

Does anyone have an update on the court case, or a link? I always thought the legal basis for overturning Prop 8 was pretty solid:

1. It is the province of the California courts to interpret the California constitution.

2. The California courts interpreted the constitution to provide a right of gay marriage.

3. Therefore, gay marriage is a part of the California constitution unless and until (a) the relevant court decision is reversed or (b) the constitution is amended.

4. A proposition on a ballot is not a legally effective means of amending a constitution.

What am I missing?

"Spoiled children." For wanting their human rights recognized by law. Jesus wept.

This is what Jes is talking about when she talks about white privilege and straight privilege, btw. That you can characterize righteous anger and even the [i]possibility[/i] of violent struggle for rights as "acting like spoiled children" and "a tantrum" is ridiculous.

Would your human rights be worth violent struggle, OCSteve, if they were abruptly taken away from you?

Agentzero: I'm no expert on California law, but I'd guess you're going wrong with #4.

In Virginia, a popular vote is enough to amend the Commonwealth's constitution, but the bill placing the amending proposition on the ballot has to pass the state legislature twice before the voters get their say-so. We did so in 2005.

Righteous anger is not a "temper tantrum", but even the most righteous anger at bigotry and repression doesn't justify violence against persons, or advocating same. (Speaking for myself here only, not responding for OCSteve or anyone else.)

A temper tantrum is what people have over small, petty, or highly individual frustrations.

Democrats who were furious with Obama's abandonment of his promise to fight telcom immunity and further weakening of FISA were not having a temper tantrum.

Lesbians and gay men who are furious with 'yes on 8' voters, organizers, and advocates are not having a temper tantrum. They're angry at an injustice.

Some of them are venting that anger in ways that won't help move the cause forward. That's what happens when millions of people are told that they're not full citizens. Especially when they're told that in highly offensive ways by smug preachers.

Sorry, but extraordinary claims require at least the semblance of evidence, such as links.

Sorry I thought this was a pretty well known incident.


For wanting their human rights recognized by law. Jesus wept.

For acting like spoiled children. 17 churches vandalized, white powder mailed to 3 churches, etc. You really believe that behavior is justified because people voted for a ballot measure? Individuals should be targeted because they made a donation in support of a ballot measure?

I’m frankly amazed at the people here who would excuse this behavior. In terms of fighting for civil rights who was more effective: MLK or Bobby Seale?

Amending and revising the California Constitution:

[...] The constitution of California distinguishes between constitutional amendments and revisions, the latter of which is considered to be a "substantial change to the entire constitution, rather than ... a less extensive change in one or more of its provisions".[14]. Both require passage of a California ballot proposition by voters, but they also differ in how they may be proposed. An amendment may be placed on the ballot by either a two-thirds vote in the California State Legislature or signatures equal to 8% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, among the lowest thresholds for similar measures of any U.S. state.[15] As of 2008[update], this was 694,354 signatures[16] compared to an estimated 2007 population of 36,553,215.[17] Revisions originally required a constitutional convention but today may be passed with the approval of both two-thirds of the legislature and a majority of voters; while simplified since its beginnings, the revision process is considered more politically charged and difficult to successfully pass than an amendment.[18]

The exact distinction between an amendment and a revision has never been clear, as highlighted by Proposition 8 in 2008.[19] Passed as an initiative amendment in response to the California Supreme Court's finding that same-sex marriage was allowed under the constitution, the proposition defined marriage as between a man and a woman. However, there is an ongoing court battle over the constitutionality of the amendment, which opponents argue is a revision rather than an amendment.[20]

Incidentally: "From 1911, the height of the U.S. Progressive Era, to 1986, the California Constitution was amended or revised over 500 times."

"Sorry I thought this was a pretty well known incident."

Well, that consisted of an angry man yelling, and waving his finger, and then a crowd chanting "go home, go home," and then chanting "shame on you, shame on you."

And at the end, someone apparently pulls a big cross out of her hand, and tramples on it. Well, that's very rude, but she's waving the cross specifically as a symbol of being against gay marriage. It's crossing a small line, but it hardly amounts to assault.

People are going to be angry when their marriages are declared illegitimate, illegal, and their right to marry is taken away.

What of it? Have you never seen angry people before? Or do you feel anger shouldn't be displayed in public? Or do you feel their anger is something they aren't entitled to? Or what?

A right to marry isn't a privilege anyone should have to beg for from other people, is it, Steve?

Really, how would you react if other people dissolved your marriage for you? And took away your right to marry?

How do you think, say, Protestants would react if Catholics took away their right to marry, or vice versa? Or Christians would react if Jews or Muslims somehow were able to take away their right to legal marriage?

Not to mention that how can you possibly blame and hold responsible all gay people for the acts of a handful? Are all heterosexual people responsible for the murders committed by heterosexual people? Um, what?

How can you hold all people who share a characteristic responsible for the acts of a few? What's up with that? How is that just?

OCSteve, I'm picturing you in 1831 reading a Virginia broadsheet and seeing the story of Nat Turner, and saying, "Well, I support the emancipation of the Negroes, but if THIS is how they're going to act, forget it!"

For acting like spoiled children.

Again, this is straight privilege. If they don't have the same legal and human rights as you, how "spoiled" could they possibly be? Answer me honestly.

You really believe that behavior is justified because people voted for a ballot measure? Individuals should be targeted because they made a donation in support of a ballot measure?

Easy for you to characterize it as "just a ballot measure" when it doesn't affect you in any way.

What violations of your rights would cause you to react violently at its perpetrators, Steve?

4. A proposition on a ballot is not a legally effective means of amending a constitution.

Not exactly. You can amend the California constitution with a simple majority vote. What Prop 8 opponents are arguing is that you can't take away a constitutional right with a simple amendment. They say that doing so requires a "revision", which is a separate process that requires a 2/3 vote in the legislature and (IIRC) a supermajority vote in a popular election.

"In terms of fighting for civil rights who was more effective: MLK or Bobby Seale?"

Both. Peaceful protests had gone on for decades prior to the Sixties, Steve. Didn't get very far, did they?

Moreover, are you going to say that African-Americans had no right to display public anger by the late Sixties? That they had no right to use violent language?

Actual violence may not be right, or justifiable, but it's hardly difficult to understand if you're familiar with the way violence, and constant threats of violence, were directed at African-Americans from the 1870s through the entire next century.

"17 churches vandalized, white powder mailed to 3 churches, etc. You really believe that behavior is justified because people voted for a ballot measure?"

Who has said that? I wouldn't say it's justified, but how is blaming all gay people conceivably justified in response?

"Was this seriously an issue?"

Yes. Quite.

OCSteve: But crap like this makes me less enthusiastic about my support. Act like spoiled children and I’m going to treat you like spoiled children.

I'm addressing the rest of this directly to OCSteve because I want him to recognize that what he is saying he is saying to me, not to some random faceless "other."

To call your comments insulting is to trivialize them, because their effect is like that of a physical blow.

Occasional trolls aside, and even given that there are longstanding disagreements and dislikes amongst members of the community here, this feels like a punch to the gut from someone I almost feel I know, and whom I like and enjoy even though we so often don't agree. But this is just about the last straw for me in terms of what I see as your habit of cherry-picking unsupported examples of "the other" acting badly.

I eagerly await the day when you give us paragraph after italicized paragraph about things like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Howard_(murder_victim)>the death of Charlie Howard just a few years before I moved to Maine. I will be interested to read your indictment of heterosexuals as a group of spoiled brats because of what was done to Charlie. Maybe we should take marriage rights (or the right to walk the streets in safety) away from all heterosexuals, since some heterosexuals sometimes act badly.

I have no more control than you do over unwise or unpleasant people who happen to share a characteristic with me, and who may even have the gall, as many activists of all stripes do, to say they are acting in my name. (They are not.) As Gary says:

Oh, sure. Just like we blame all heterosexual people for whatever crimes and vile acts a smattering of extremist hets do. That makes perfect sense.

You have by implication called me a spoiled child. What do you think your own comments sound like? "I have supported you in the past, but some faceless unidentified person somewhere in America has done something stupid that I am holding you responsible for, so I'm going to rethink my support and call you nasty names."

Gah.

[This thread has moved far along since I first started to write a reply to Steve. I have an appointment I'm late for, so I can't read the rest right now, and I'm probably too angry and hurt to be coherent anyhow. Later. Thanks to all.]

"I mean, if some complete stranger went to court and found some way to negate my marriage, I might very well kick his ass for him. Wouldn't you?"

Of course -- but it's more effective, in the long run, in getting what you want, to kick the right people.

Or not, you know? Gandhi and King didn't preach nonviolence because it was natural, or easy, or guaranteed survival, even, but because it worked, because it demonstrated to the masses that you were better than your enemies.

It really is all about the public face of things. Nobody notices or is convinced by the peaceful majority when the handful is running amok. And it's the convincing that we're aiming for. And yes, it is infuriating. And no, it's not fair. Fair doesn't signify as much as effective does.

(I should point out that NONE of what I said affects my support for gay marriage at all. I am not "rethinking my support" in any way, shape, or form. Right is right, and just is just, whether or not a Dan Savage or two thinks I personally did him wrong because of my skin shade. I'll vote the right way when it comes up in my state -- or more accurately, fight to keep that shite off the ballot, since you don't VOTE on people's civil rights, arghh -- and will pay attention to "The Power" mailing list on Facebook, and donate to the proper causes, and so on. I have been more inclined, however, to do this discreetly from my home and not show up at rallies, though.)

Hurrying out the door, but this is something I have been wanting to say again and again: I don't have any control over other people. None. I never even figured out how to keep my kids from squabbling, much less how to convince (because there's convincing at all levels here) other people to campaign for our rights in a way that I would approve and consider to be most effective.

Change happens the way it happens. Gay people aren't any more saintly than straight people, darn, what a surprise.

But it is a little rich to be called a spoiled child given that I am a second-class citizen in my native land.

I think I got this from one of those day calendars with sayings once: "An idea isn't responsible for the people who espouse it." OCSteve: you are acting a lot like a spoiled child yourself to say that your support for gay marriage hinges on whether all gay people behave at all times in ways you approve of. If it's a good idea it's a good idea. If it's not, it's not. How many of your rights have ever been denied you because some heterosexuals (as if the only common quality that ever matters is sexual orientation) sometimes behave badly?

Gah again. I'm going to town for the rest of the day.

So OCSteve's a homophobe as well as an Islamophobe; somehow that in no way surprises me. Bigotry is bigotry.

Actually, to be scrupulously fair to OCSteve, just as "heterosexual privilege" well describes his assertion that when lesbian and gay people get angry, we are no longer entitled in his eyes to the same rights as straight people - including, I suppose, the right to get angry) is similiar in kind to the sort of privileged thinking OCSteve displays about Muslims. Either way, it doesn't surprise me - though that kind of thinking is literally the most painful kind of bigotry to encounter from a soon-to-be-ex friend,since you can know someone and like them and think they like you for quite some time before they come out with something like this and you discover that all along they thought of you as their inferior...

My ankle hurts me: I should quit blogging for the night. I lose some of the purity of rage when I have to think if I'm saying something because I am really, really angry, or just because my ankle really bloody hurts.

Yes, let's call OCSteve names, because that'll make him reconsider.

Apparently, the only thing that might make OCSteve "reconsider" (what, exactly, is he reconsidering?) is if everyone talks to him very nicely all the time, and all GLBT people act like complete angels all the time. If you ever say something mean or act out of anger or indiscriminately, you don't get invited to share the privileges of the straight white men club.

Not to jump on the bashing bandwagon, but I wanted to point out something about at least one of OCS's original quotations. Quoting OCSteve quoting a right wing blog:

"In a stunning reaction to the passage of state constitutional marriage protection amendments in California, Arizona and Florida, several self identified homosexuals on a number of homosexual blogs are advocating violence against Christians and other supporters of traditional marriage. Additionally, some homosexuals are calling for church burnings in response to yesterday’s three state referenda in defense of natural marriage."

Please look at the language there, and consider how reliable and unbiased you think that paragraph is. "self-identified homosexuals." "marriage protection." "Christians." "traditional marriage" "homosexuals." "defense of NATURAL MARRIAGE." You get the point. All buzz words, all loaded, all carrying the same conservative religious undertones. If you go and read the actual post, and read the quotations of real live angry "self-identified homosexuals" they provide, it looks (though, since they provide no direct links, it's hard to tell) like most of the quotations were posted Nov. 5 or 6, by people who were very angry and who were - surprise surprise - stooping to a bit of hyperbole. Nobody they quoted, I am willing to guarantee you, was actually advocating setting matches to church timbers.

//End of this particular beating of that particular dead horse.

Ah. That article was written Nov. 5. So yes, I'm sure every person he quoted was cool, calm, and collected, and had thought very carefully over the implications of their words, and meant them entirely seriously.

[And for any sarcasm-blind folks out there, my tongue is quite in my cheek right now].

Of course blacks didn't destroy gay marriage. I did. I don't have anyone to marry right now, so I decided to ruin it for everyone else!

In terms of fighting for civil rights who was more effective: MLK or Bobby Seale?

MLK.

But I don't see gays starting the Gay Panther Party for Self-Defense, or arming themselves, or calling for the violent overthrow of the heterosexual oppressor.

Nor do I see gays burning cities down in their frustration at being told, once again, to wait their turn.

What I see in all of the above is one guy getting punched in the eye, some irate blog posts, and some people yelling.

And I'm not making a criticism of the actions of blacks in the 60's either, I'm just pointing out that your analogy here is a little specious.

All in all, I'd say the threat of gay-on-heterosexual violence is pretty remote, especially compared to the other way around.

If the stuff you cite is enough to make you withdraw your support of gay marriage, then do what you need to do. Gays will, somehow, carry on without you.

Thanks -

I don't have anyone to marry right now, so I decided to ruin it for everyone else!

Damn your eyes, Sebastian! :)

Thanks -

If I marry you, Sebastian, can I get health insurance coverage?

I'm really very cute.

Like I said, I’m a supporter of gay marriage. But crap like this makes me less enthusiastic about my support. Act like spoiled children and I’m going to treat you like spoiled children.

Um. So you don't support equal access to marriage because it's fundamentally right, but rather because you'd like to do a good turn for those nice homosexuals?

Look, the proper response to injust means being applied in service of a just end is not to renounce the end. If some good cause has ill-behaved supporters, that doesn't implicate the rightness of the cause, only their particular approach and/or credibility.

To take the view that support of the underlying cause should be rethought because of actions undertaken by proponents thereof belies a certain petulance. It reduces a fairly basic civil rights issue to a cookie to be handed out for "good" behavior. What you cite could be taken as a fair reason to rethink support of particular groups and movements, but not the causes they strive for.

The Nat Turner jab above was painful apropos, to my eye.

[/pileon]

OK, so blacks' support for proposition 8 is explained by their church attendance. But blacks are also the most religious community in California. So, how does the above article show that the record black voter turnout from Obama didn't pass Prop 8? Was anyone really saying that skin color in and of itself was the reason that blacks voted for Prop 8? In the article I read, Dan Savage didn't make that point. All he said was that Prop 8 passed because of black turnout. So why should he or others--who I'm assuming made the same point--apologize?

To take the view that support of the underlying cause should be rethought because of actions undertaken by proponents thereof belies a certain petulance.

Thanks, Nombilisme Vide. I appreciate your message. With full recognition that blog comments aren't edited essays, and that "belie" might have been just the equivalent of a typo, I am now going to use your post as an excuse to get on my high horse and make a long overdue plea that people (not just you) remember the difference between "belie" and "imply."

From Merriam Webster online, the definition of "belie":

1 a: to give a false impression of b: to present an appearance not in agreement with
2 a: to show (something) to be false or wrong b: to run counter to : contradict

This confusion of the two words (at least that's my guess as to what's going on) is getting so common (no, I'm not going to provide cites; I only collect may/might cites, not belie/imply cites) that I wouldn't be surprised if in another 50 years the meaning of "belie" has flipped, as meanings sometimes do.

Back to our regularly scheduled topic....after supper.

I'm just glad this was cleared up before everyone and their grandmother went off half-cocked and said inflammatory stuff that led to even more resentment and distrust.

Bullet. Dodged.

For OCSteve, there are some direct questions a few lines below.

http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/news/local/4469865.html?com_full=1>Married male high school teacher pleads guilty ... to having a sexual relationship with a student.

I was going to list half a dozen cases like this (this one is familiar because it’s local), then ask my questions. But when I started looking for cites, I found that not only are there hundreds of such cases, there are websites that focus on nothing else. It was so depressing that I decided one example would make the point as well as hundreds.

Just so I remember not to exaggerate what you actually wrote, here it is again: I’m a supporter of gay marriage. But crap like this makes me less enthusiastic about my support. Act like spoiled children and I’m going to treat you like spoiled children.

Here are my questions:

In light of cases like the above, would you support (enthusiastically or not) the forced dissolution of the marriages of teachers who abuse their power over students?

Or if the teacher was unmarried, would you be less than enthusiastic about his/her right to marry at all?

But maybe we’re being too narrow here. You didn’t just get less enthusiastic about the marriage rights of people who threw eggs or threatened violence against churches, you apparently got less enthusiastic about the “gay marriage” in general, even for people who didn’t commit any of those offenses.

So, in light of cases like the above, are you getting less enthusiastic yet in your support of the right of heterosexual in general to marry?

*****

It seems to me that your reaction involves at least two big confusions. One is conflating one set of people with another, and the other is confusing what kind of punishment there should be for any given kind of offense or crime.

In getting less enthusiastic in your support for my marriage rights because someone threw an egg and someone else threatened a church (etc.), you seem not to realize that gay people are individuals, and are no more responsible for each other’s actions than straight people are responsible for other straight people’s actions.

If that’s not what’s happening here, then why are you holding your support for my marriage rights hostage to the good behavior of other gay people, when you (I assume) aren’t holding your support for the marriage rights of heterosexual teachers, or heterosexuals in general, hostage to the good behavior of other straight people?

To put it another way, are you going to treat all heterosexuals like “spoiled children” because a few of them behave like “spoiled children”?

The other confusion in your comment, it seems to me, concerns the relationship between the “crime” and the punishment.

If a straight person throws an egg at another person for some reason or other, or threatens to burn a church (or even burns a church), do you then decide to be less than enthusiastic about that person’s right to get married, much less about the rights of all heterosexuals to get married? (Even murderers can get married, last I heard.)

A big reason this all generates such a reaction in some of us is that some of us have been hearing this crap all our lives and are far beyond sick of it. As an example, I had been living in Maine for a few years when the city of Portland, in 1992, had a referendum about civil rights and sexual orientation. The filth that was printed in the newspaper and on TV about me, in effect, was breathtaking.

To my current point, the filth specifically included the thought that we can’t allow civil rights for gays (including the right not to be fired because you’re gay) because then -- gasp -- those people might end up teaching in our schools.

At the same time all this was going on in print and on the airwaves, there were several cases in the news -- a couple of them fairly local -- about teachers having sex with students of the opposite gender.

And yet it was the funniest damned thing, there was not one word about keeping straight people out of the schools, even though the stories in the news about straight teachers abusing their power over students were practically side by side with the suggestions that gay people should be prevented from being teachers because....well, you know.

Your comment was in the same vein in some ways, besides the fact that here on ObWi it feels all the more personal, as if it has never dawned on you that someone like me -- for in fact, whether you realize it are not you are talking about me -- is actually real, and not a figment of your imagination. Nor do I think you would take it kindly if I declared (I will omit the adverbial description of your tone, lest I be accused again of being inflammatory and nasty in return for nastiness) that I was going to start treating you like a spoiled child because of the teacher down the road who slept with his student.

It's the funniest damned thing.

Sigh.

I should have said (so that the point would be clear whether people followed the link or not) that the male high school teacher had an affair with a female student.

If anyone was to blame for the passage of Prop 8 it was the "No" campaign and everyone here (including me) who wanted it to fail. We lost a campaign we could probably have won through apathy and an tin-ear for the concerns of those who voted for it.

If we'd made the point that gay marriage is about children and families, and reassured people that their churches wouldn't be force to marry gay people and there was no requirement to teach anything in schools, we could have won.

Blaming the groups who voted in favour is just sad. The focus should be on winning next time.

SimonK: ... and there was no requirement to teach anything in schools....

The particular irony about that element of the Yes-on-H8 campaign was that:

Yes, Californian schools are required to teach kids that it's OK to be gay*.

No, Californian schools were not one whit affected either by the court decision making it illegal to ban same-sex marriage, or by Proposition 8.

It was already a requirement for public schools to teach kids it's OK to be gay before May 15th. It remains a requirement for public schools to teach kids it's OK to be gay after November 4th. Voting No or Yes on Prop8 didn't change that.

One of the key advantages the Yes on H8 campaign had, besides the unthinking heterosexual privilege that I'm sure informed many voters just like OCSteve, is that they didn't care what lies they told. I blogged about this back in October: They’re trying to “protect marriage” with this dreck?

One of the anti-marriage movement's key examples was from Ohio, where a senior human resources administrator was fired after due process, because she publicly declared her unalterable opposition to her employer's human resources policies giving same-sex couples similiar employee benefits to what a married couple would receive.

These people claimed they wanted to ban gay marriage in California because supporting gay marriage leads to "a black administrator was fired from the University of Toledo, Ohio, for objecting to the comparison of black discrimination to same-sex marriage" - but, in fact, Ohio had already banned gay marriage. What the administrator was objecting to was attempts by the government of Ohio to alleviate the discrimination faced by same-sex couples who could not marry.

Their whole campaign was based on a lie: the claim they wanted to protect marriage. They bolstered and supported their campaign with more lies.

Yes, the 'No' campaign should have been pro-active in providing basic information about what Prop8 was about. But they should also have directly countered every lie from the 'Yes' campaign - because the lies were what the 'Yes' campaign were all about.

*Whether all Californian schools actually do, I have no idea: but in recent years, a bunch of legislation has been passed that does, in fact, have that effect.

"So despite all the brouhaha after the election, it turns out that African-Americans' level of support for Prop 8 was not as high as reported, and is moreover almost entirely explained by their levels of church attendance."

The first part is more important than the second. It probably isn't very important to many that blacks who supported Prop 8 did so because of some sort of homophobic religion.

The opposition is what upsets them. And, and this really has to be included, people are bothered that a group that some think should be more sympathetic to inequality (see Mildred Loving) are - even by somewhat smaller numbers than portrayed -- supportive of inequality.

The Obama matter, including his opposition of state authorized same sex marriage, only makes this harder for some.

It simply is not racist to note that blacks in many areas are socially conservative on various matters, and if other factors aren't in place (such as the problems for Republican politicians for their interests overall), they very well -- more than others -- might support illiberal ends.

And, for the reason mentioned above, even if it wasn't like 70% for, this would rankle.

"Blaming the groups who voted in favour is just sad."

Well, maybe we can blame them just a tad? Seems okay to "blame" the people who vote for the winning side at least a little!

"Blaming the groups who voted in favour is just sad."

Well, maybe we can blame them just a tad? Seems okay to "blame" the people who vote for the winning side at least a little!

"Groups" and "people" are not identical sets.

Speaking as a Canuck, to call "Canada Free Press" a "right-wing blog" is to do a grave injustice to decent right-wing blogs and bloggers.

CFP is the wingnut equivalent to PrisonPlanet.com (srsly--they're too wingnutty for Free Republic).

As for Matt Barber, he's a flack for these clowns who, btw, have directly intervened in the Prop8 court battle (three guess which side they take).

Fair. And. Balanced.

Overall, what JanieM and Phil said. Anything else from yours truly would be far too ugly for the posting rules to survive intact. Jesus f*cking wept, Steve.

JanieM, Uncle Kvetch, matttbastard, Phil, and everyone else…

I apologize for my “spoiled children” remark. It’s the exact rhetoric issue I always complain about, so it was especially dumb for me to thoughtlessly say that. Consider me hoist by my own petard… My apologies with no qualifiers whatsoever…

Ah Hah! I had to clear cache before I could get the buttons to un-gray.

OCSteve -- Thank you.

Phil:

[...] Apparently, the only thing that might make OCSteve "reconsider" (what, exactly, is he reconsidering?)
OCSteve:
I apologize for my “spoiled children” remark.
That.

"Groups" and "people" are not identical sets.

Let me go by what was said. "Blaming the groups who voted in favour is just sad."

In response, I said "Well, maybe we can blame them just a tad? Seems okay to "blame" the people who vote for the winning side at least a little!

I did not blandly say "people." I said "them," after quoting the original comment. So, when I said "the people," I specifically was concerned with a certain group, namely the same "groups who voted in favour." This comes out in context, at least, imho.

So, I don't really see your point, as such.


I apologize for my “spoiled children” remark. It’s the exact rhetoric issue I always complain about, so it was especially dumb for me to thoughtlessly say that. Consider me hoist by my own petard… My apologies with no qualifiers whatsoever…

Apology accepted.

Now if only we had a similar number of Muslims posting here to make you see what's wrong with your Islamophobia, since it appears that only personal confrontation with the pain and anger your thoughtless language causes, will make you reconsider the privilege that leads you to make these comments.

Good on you, OCSteve. The apology is appreciated.

"So, I don't really see your point, as such."

My point was that blaming individuals is quite different from blaming a specific group that wasn't specifically more responsible than many other groups. If you agree with that, fine. If you're still arguing for blaming the set of African-Americans, I'm disagreeing.

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