Betrayal!

So it seems that not every Democrat is created equal alike.  While that seems comical to say, it would seem that there is a rift opening in the DNC’s ranks over the whole “gay rights” thing.  Firstly, bravo to the electorate of California in enforcing their will over the desire of the superior courts.  Secondly, did anybody notice how the news has kind of glossed over how Proposition 8 got passed?  In case you missed it, Proposition 8 passed because the African-American community and the Hispanics got up and voted for it.  In essence, Barack Obama, in searching for the minority vote to help him give McCain the political drubbing of his life, brought out the exact voters that would strike down the gay marriage agenda in California.  Oh what tangled webs we weave……

Source story for this post, curtesy of Yahoo.com: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081116/ap_on_re_us/gay_marriage#full

There are several things in this news story that I want to point out.  First off, the protesters are having to be very indirect in their protesting.  According to the exit polls, it was largely minorities that voted for Proposition 8.  What that means is that if you actually attack the people who voted for the actual proposition, you are setting back race relations by forty years (which happens to be the “main focus” of the DNC).  The solution that they have come up with?  Turn on those nasty religious bigots.  Now, the hatred of the homosexual community for those of strong faith (ie, those not giving room to that particular stripe of sexual immorality) is nothing new.  What IS new is the steps taken to voice that hatred and disrespect so directly.  Since they can’t point the finger (guess which!) at the black people, they are protesting outside of religious establishments.  So in the mind of the protesters, their non-Constitutional guaranteed “right” to marry is more important than my Constitutionally guaranteed right to the free practice of my religion.  What is the solution?  Prohibit people of faith from participating in the political process in any capacity?  While one blogger did get very creative and suggest that the government not issue marriage liscences of any kind to anyone (thus leaving “marriage” proper in the arms of the religious establishment, arguably where it belongs) and another suggested that it was time for a third political party (which would split the DNC power base pretty effectively), I think the solution is much easier than all that.  The church prays, people get saved, question answered.

However, this goes beyond a question of morality.  We are fully into a legal question now.  While I believe it was a usurpation of democracy, the judicial system (over)utilized their power to judge the merit of law to strike down the voter approved “Question 22” by declaring it “unconstitutional”.  The voters then fired back by exercising their democratic and constitutional rights to ammend the state constitution to fix the same issue that Question 22 sought to solve.  At this point, it is now a voter approved part of the California state Constitution.  If the Court overturns it now, it is a clear cut instance of the courts usurping the democratic power they are charged to protect.  To that end, fair or not, the State views marriage as a union between one man and one woman.  Unless the SCOTUS steps in to overturn the ammendment (which opens up a can of worms about state sovereignty) it should be a done issue.  To say it another way, mass protests in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oakland are pretty much pointless.

Secondly, did anybody notice the way that the organizers of these protests are trying to frame this argument?  While slogans such as “Gay is the new black” are quite evocative in their imagery, declaring that your “state says that I am not a person!” is really a stretch of the imagination… let alone my patience. 

One: Where, except social philosophy, is it declared that marriage is a basic human right?  “We hold these truthes to be self-evident, that all men are endowed with certain unalienable rights by their Creator, and among these are Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and making vows that they hold as worthless before a God they don’t believe exists…”  I DON’T THINK SO! 

Two: defining marriage does NOT define humanity as well.  Being single and “in forbidden love” does not mean that you are not human.  It means that the state views your relationship as a romantic escapade between two consenting adults.  That IS being human.

Three:  While the civil rights type rhetoric is very emotional, there is a distinct difference between the Gay rights group and the Civil Rights movement of Martin Luther King.  For the religious, it is not a sin to be black.  For the irreligious, no one is advocating “seperate but equal” education for those claiming a homosexual nature, no one is advocating taking the voting priveledges from the homosexual community, and it is already illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation in the workplace.  To say it differently, no one is threatening the existence of the homosexual community the way people were threatening the existence of the African American community.  That basic difference is precisely why rallies such as this are going to push the African Americans and the Homosexuals (as a whole) further and further apart.  To claim that you are, in this somewhat trivial struggle, working in the same vein as those who liberated an entire race of people from under the jackboot of Democrat elitism (it’s the reality of the 60’s, people), you manage to not only insult the memory of what Martin Luther King actually stood for, but the entire people group he fought for as well.  It will be interesting to see how this one plays out…

Adam

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~ by xristosdomini on November 16, 2008.

11 Responses to “Betrayal!”

  1. Before I start I need to say I am not trying to change your mind, you are allowed your opinion. I would like to give my side of the argument (and no I am not gay), and see your response. (If of course that is OK with you.)

    Since marriage is done with the government; for tax purposes, rights (such as getting to have a say in your spouses burial should they die), and other such legal and civil areas of the law isn’t it unequal treatment to have a law that bans one sexual orientation from a right given by the government? (Via the Constitution of the United States.)

    Now mind you I am of the mind that marriage should have NOTHING to do with the government, it should have stayed a religious act, and agreements with the government should be just that “agreements” not marriages. However, it seems to me that the basis for the arguments for unequal treatment are fair.

    Not saying I would equate it with the struggle of the blacks, but I would equate it with the struggle of women. (The liberation argument for the blacks were quite unique in my mind, but perhaps I am not in the majority on that one.)

    As for the voting issue, I am of the mind that unfortunately most people vote on propaganda alone,(or at least a lot of people), and I saw the anti-prop 8 propaganda. If I didn’t understand what was going on, I who support gay marriage would have voted for it. It suggested all sorts of things that were quite untrue, and for which the vast majority of mothers would take issue with.

  2. Some thoughts:

    (1) It is really important to differentiate between a “right” and a “benefit”. Every person should be able to designate any number of persons of either gender to entrust with life decisions as a matter of right. No couple has a “right” to adopt a child.

    (2) I think gay couples should be able to access benefits provided by government to married couples. That is equal justice under the law. Filing joint tax returns and having a dependent SS benefits are privileges for married couples and I can think of no good reason to deny the same to same-sex couples [but see below]. Adoption is not a benefit to a couple, but the legal creation or extension of a family that must must must consider the well being of the child first and foremost, by providing them a mother and a father.

    (3) I think no-fault-divorce is much more of a problem and threat to marraige than extending it to same sex couples. Marraige should not be cheaply entered or exited, and I think that people who violate marraige vows wrong their spouse and wrong society in a significant way that demands redress. If there are special benefits reserved for married people (as opposed to single), it is justice that if people voluntarily renounce or violate a “forever” marriage, that the corresponding benefits be also foregone forever. Isn’t that fair?

    Adam: I agree with you that the most significant result of the CA proposition was that the voters rebuked the court and overturned an unjust decision. It’s not really about marraige at this point so much as who makes the law – the voters or the court.

  3. I want to expand on my thoughts after reading what brianbeattie had to say. I would disagree with “banning” the privilege of same sex couples being able to adopt a child. The basis for my disagreement is as a mother that gave a child up for adoption, if I would have chose that life style for my child I feel that right should be up to me.

    I “kind of” agree with the idea that it is about voters or the court. We don’t really live in a democracy so much as a republic type government, and as such the decision (if it should hold to the voters or the government) should be addressed by the supreme court. If the court says that the proposition isn’t (as I see it) against the idea of equality, I would disagree but I would live with it. At the same token, if the court says that it is a matter of equality and therefore the law, is declared unconstitutional, then it shows that the state doesn’t have the power to decide that law… (Thus the voters can’t decide in one case, and they can in the other.)

  4. I’m always willing to explain my POV further, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.

    I would agree with you very much that marriage is more religious ritual than Government mandate. In that event, “marriage” should not be a Government topic. Unfortunately, the Government saw fit to afford certain considerations to married couples (as mentioned by Brian in his response). Among these are the ability to adopt children, file joint tax returns, and have sex as much as they want. I realize that is a major over-simplification, but the point is still valid.

    To get to the heart of this matter, I think people should have the right to tell the government that they are going to live in the same house and have a household tax return. Just as there are married couples who file seperate tax returns, homosexual couples should be able to file joint returns.

    Where does this get sticky for me? Marriage, as a religious institution, SHOULD NOT be defined by government. That is an offense to the First Amendment of the Constitution. It doesn’t particularly matter if Government defines marriage as between any number of persons of any gender, because marriage should be a religious rite. However, as a person of religious mindset, I have to be honest enough to say that Homosexuality is diameterically opposed to the Law that God laid forth in His book. Since God is the single best author to have never been given a pulitzer, I think His word is relatively authoritative. Based on this, the government, by defining marriages between homosexual couples as valid, would be invalidating any number of religious sensitivities. Since California already allowed for “civil unions”, what is the necessity of allowing them the religious title of “married” except to thumb the nose at religion? Since the Government is not allowed to make laws prohibiting the exercise of religion (which would mean their view of marriage as well) by something that is actually a part of the Constitution, they can’t actually make a law that mandates homosexual marriage.

    As for the adoption issue, it is highly naive to believe that upbringing does not influence sexuality. I’m sure that there are children in homosexual homes that “end up” straight, just as sure as I am that there are children in heterosexual homes that “end up” gay. However, why would we put unnecessary pressure on children to choose one way or the other? Why not have them recieve as close to a “normal” (whatever that means) childhood so that they can actually choose for themselves what they are? If people can be held up as intelligencia for suggesting that raising your children religiously is child abuse, the same should be true of those raising their children with a certain view on sexuality. However, if we follow that path to it’s logical end, we should, by rights, let our children raise themselves.

    As for the straight up (NPI) legal issue being faced, we have to take a look at the rational possibilities on either end of this spectrum. Let’s say that the court finds some way to overturn it as “unconstitutional”. First, you have to prove that it actually is unconstitutional and not just that it is “not nice”. While that is a tough sell under any circumstances (ie, if you actually love each other and enjoy having sex, who says you “have” to be married anymore?), we have to remember that this is more than just a law that was passed by the voters. Rather, this is an ammendment to the California state Constitution. To that end, either the Supreme Court can declare it unconstitutional according the Constitution of the United States (which would be the largest erosion of state sovereignty since the Civil War), or the 9th Circut can declare the ammendment itself invalid (which would be a major usurpation of democratic process, and enable the court to declare any part of the state constitution they didn’t like “unconstitutional”).

    Secondly, you need to show that the ammendment is actually discrimination. Personally, I don’t believe it is. Why? Anyone in California can get married to a single person of the opposite sex. Unless you can actually prove that there is a biogenetic difference between people who are straight and people who are gay FROM BIRTH, then it is not discriminatory. Basically, it would be like saying a law that prevents people who are legally blind from driving is discrimination. Every single driver’s manual I have ever seen stresses that driving is not a Right, but is a State afforded Priveledge. This leads to the third point…

    Third, is marriage a RIGHT, is it a PRIVELEDGE, or is it a RELIGIOUS SERVICE? I can guarantee you that it is not a “Right” proper, because it is not guaranteed anywhere in the US Constitution that Americans have the Right to Marry. While a hearty case can be made that it is a priveledge of adulthood, I would argue mostly that marriage is a religious service. As such, the definition of marriage is up to the churches (the vast majority of which would mirror Proposition 8). So, in short, I do not see it as an equality/inequality issue because we are not talking about rights… especially in California. Because of the Civil Union thing, all of the “perks” of marriage (ie, tax breaks, joint filing of returns, SS dependents) are already made available to couples of a homosexual nature. So Why do we need to change the traditional definition of marriage to include homosexuals? The answer: we have zero reason to.

    So, what it truly comes down to for me is that the voters spoke once about Gay marriage (Question 22) and the court struck it down, so the voters spoke again (Proposition 8), and now the court has to live with the fact that the constitution of the state tells them what marriage is.

  5. I will try to address all that you have addressed (which I appreciate by the way, it was quite respectful which isn’t something that I have seen much of in regards to this issue. So KUDOS from me.)

    I do agree with your assessment about marriage and the government, it shouldn’t have gone there. I am sure at the time it just seemed easy to not confuse peoples and it seemed like a good word to use gives those privileges (to use your terminology.)

    Perhaps I am “wrong” in this but it seems to me that to destroy the argument with marriage and not being able to define it against the churches, what if a church accepts and will allow a same sex couple to marry? Would it then trump prop 8? I am a bit confused on the thought process used for that argument. (Perhaps I am just being thick headed, and not getting the point – that does happen sometimes.)

    I was debating as to if I should address the issue with children and sexuality and being shaped by it from your parents. There are quasi-arguments that are compelling. However, I don’t buy it. The reason I don’t buy it – I live in Wyoming (known by many as the “gay bashing state”) and well I know about 5 kids that are teens (my daughter is 14) that are gay. I know a total of about 12 teen aged kids. Of those 5 kids that are gay, only one has told her parents. The others “know” better. (No my daughter isn’t gay.) Of those 5 kids 2 are female and 3 are male. If the parents found out they would be devastated. 4 of these children have a traditional family (mother and father that live together, go to church together, and so on.)

    On top of that, with the amount of single parents at an all time high? Well if that was the way it worked (in regards to sexuality) wouldn’t that make a difference in some way?

    I will give you this though, I would say that a child’s tolerance of gay people would be effected. If the parents were “good” the children would most likely be more tolerant of gay people, and a “bad” one would most likely do the opposite.

    My understanding is that civil unions don’t address all of the issues that marriage does. http://www.factcheck.org/what_is_a_civil_union.html

    I would agree that marriage isn’t a “right” but equal treatment is. I guess the part I question is if that equal right would include marriage since it has become an act of government (which I do not know the answer to that question.)

    I am not sure if a compromise would be “good enough” for the gay community, I don’t have that insight. Perhaps if all of the issues were addressed perhaps they wouldn’t need the actual term of marriage… Marriage is a evolving thing though, always remember that. It is a religious act, but that religious act was primarily a transfer of property, nothing more nothing less…

  6. Terra said: “The basis for my disagreement is as a mother that gave a child up for adoption, if I would have chose that life style for my child I feel that right should be up to me.”

    I respect your feeling, but strenuously disagree. Biological parents do not have an unlimited “right” to choose just any old lifestyle for their children. Society intervenes and takes custody of children when they are in situations that are unsafe or abusive. Children have been, in cases, protected from their parents as an expression of society’s role in asserting rights on behalf of the vulnerable and helpless. [Hyperbole follows for illustration purposes only] Children could not be made to live in the closet, or locked in the basement, or the dump. Children cannot be adopted by people who are likely to abuse them, such as pediphiles, or people who are unlikely to be able to take care of them, such as folks with diagnosed profound mental or emotional disorders. Children may not be subjected to medical experimentation. There are laws to protect children from forced labor, and even to regulate home education and compel basic medical care [end hyperbole]. Society has a consistent interest in providing for children to grow up in a healthy environment that respects their humanity, and that’s why adoption is a civilly-sanctioned action – it is a public legal transfer of custody of the child.

    Such a child is more than mere property to be shuttled between adults. Unfortunately, some children are victimized when the government forgets that.

    While granting that there are no perfect parents, and lots of desperately flawed parents, psychologists will universally agree that children do best when they have a mom and a dad. The most effiminent homosexual man cannot be a mom, and the most butch lesbian cannot be a dad. Lots of kids have to do without one or the other for lots of reasons, but it is not a lack without consequence.

    Terra also said: [Marriage] “… is a religious act, but that religious act was primarily a transfer of property, nothing more nothing less…”

    Marriage is the earliest human institution described in the Bible, before government, and churches, even tribes: Gen 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (NKJV). It’s not about property, it’s about producing an exclusive deep spiritual and physical connection – one that would hurt like amputation to break.
    I don’t see anyone in the gay community saying they even want the one-flesh thing.

  7. Society does sometimes step in, in the best interest of a child. However, the situations are normally dire before they do. A known drug addict can keep his or her child, a known sex offender can keep his or her child. My cousin, who has raped at least one person, and has otherwise abused others just adopted a baby girl last week. He and his wife were smart enough not to put my name, nor the name of most of my family into play to get around that little detail. Him having a baby that he adopted should outrage people, that he could have a baby without adoption if his wife was able should outrage you… The gay guy who just wants a family should make you happy.

    From my perspective making that argument makes my argument louder, not yours. Unless he does something horrible, despite his past he will get to raise that little girl. Oh and if that horrible thing is found out of course. That is the true way our system works.

    I hate to quote scripture as it can be done on all sides of an argument and both sides of the argument come out feeling as if theirs is correct. However, if you think for a moment that the one-flesh thing is the “original” way or that it means more than sex (which I do not) we have a difference of opinion. Exodus 22:16-17 Read them…

  8. Terra, I’ll agree that government generally does not do a great job of protecting children whose families are broken by divorce, or crime (convicted or not). I’m afraid that saying a gay man would probably be a better parent than a drug dealer or rapist doesn’t do much for me. I pity the child that has any of the above as their only mom, and I agree with your outrage.

    I am confused what you are suggesting with your scripture citation – surely you can’t mean that the remedy in the Law for extra-marital sex says anything about God’s intention for what married life is to be? This remedy in the Law for the crime of violating a womans virginity is a loving reaffirmation of her value. You don’t have to read much farther before you find in the same Law the consequences of unfidelity and the penalties for sexual deviance. The message of the Law is that God insists people respect themselves, each other, and intimate relationships as God designed them.

    I guess if you propose that marraige is only about sex, then you’re correct, we disagree.

  9. I am dropping this, but I want to clarify a couple of things before I do… The reason I advocate for the adoption is not for the babies, but for the slightly older children and much older children that end up being a ward to the state until adulthood… I see their position, and adoption hoops to be crazy. It is no life for a child, and allowing any decent person to adopt should be priority to me… It isn’t a “gay” thing for me, it is a child thing.

    As for marriage, it isn’t that I think that sex is all marriage is about, it is the scripture quoted only. (Not marriage in general). The scripture that I was pointed to is exactly as you say “loving reaffirmation of her value” I left in loving to be kind. Exactly her “value”

  10. Seeing as how we agree that marriage is a religious institution, you will have to pardon me if I give a religiously biased answer. According to the “Christian” God, the “Jewish God”, and the muslim god, if you are homosexual you are not married. In the eyes of the state, however, it is a different matter. To that effect, I can see the cleverness behind issuing “civil unions” to any couple willing to get one. As it is right now in California, thanks to Prop 8, Homosexual couples cannot recieve marriage liscenses from the state government. So realistically, if a church has no problem marrying homosexual couples, they need to do so realizing that the prospective couple cannot obtain a marriage liscense. That being said, most Christian churches wouldn’t marry a homosexual couple at all… but what has stopped is all of the homosexual couples getting married by a justice of the peace at City Hall. So in that sense, the church can view anyone as “married” proper however their religion defines marriage. What has changed is that the state has upheld the view that the religious definition of marriage is the correct one.

    Considering that homosexuality is not bound by state lines, it doesn’t surprise me that you know teenagers who are thinking of themselves as “gay”. The point I was getting at is that the parent’s outlook is going to dramatically imprint their child’s outlook on life. Not that they are going to be clones of their parents (because that is anything but true), but we have to notice that so much of our values, be they sexuality, crime, or religion, are actually values that we inherit from our upbringing. As one of the supervisors I used to work for once said about her then-15 year old daughter, “She’s fifteen… she doesn’t know what the hell she is.” That isn’t a detraction from her character, but rather a statement of the naivete, raging hormones and swinging emotions of teenagers. Here is my question… if teenagers have such an emotionally volitile experience going through puberty, don’t we owe it to them to give them the closest to “normal” upbringing that we can?

    It is true that “civil unions” don’t bear all the “weight” of a marriage… which is part of why I would advocate making all civil “marriages” as “civil unions”. Not only would that annhiliate the government’s role in defining a religious act, and it “should” remove the social conflict. However, this doesn’t change the moral problem that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of religion. So while it removes some of the social stigmatism, it is not going to heal the rift. To that effect, any compromise is not going to quell the fires that are raging.

    Personally, I think there is more to marriage than sex. Why? Because the Apostle Paul said that marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. Once again, this is getting into the religious argument, and very few people are going to enjoy my opinion in that arena. So here, we are looking at more than the legal issue of the “seperation of church and state” (which is not actually guaranteed in the Consitution, but the interpretation of it by the Court).

  11. Interesting thoughts, thank you for sharing… 🙂

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