November 07, 2008

How the Obama Campaign Assured the Passage of Proposition 8

We're all clear that high turnout among black and Latino voters killed gay marriage in the Golden State, right?

The best roundup on this is probably over at Eric Scheie's Classical Values:

Out Magazine editor Aaron Hicklin has a piece in the Guardian titled "The success of Proposition 8 in California was one negative consequence of Obama's victory" and he does into some detail discussing something that isn't getting much play in the American press—that black voters (many of whom were voting in unprecedently large numbers, thanks to Barack Obama) voted overwhelmingly (70% to 30%) in favor of Proposition 8 (to ban gay marriage in California).

The Prop 8 vote was 52% to 48% , and considering that blacks were 10% of the voters (yet 6.7% of the electorate), and far more in favor of the initiative than whites or Asians, it's quite likely that had Hillary Clinton been the nominee, Prop 8 would have been defeated.

My emphasis.

Well, that is an inconvenient truth. Scheie remarks:

As a libertarian I have had reservations from the start about the wisdom of bringing the state into the bedroom where I never thought it belonged, and I also think a good privacy argument can be made against gay marriage from a libertarian standpoint. To focus on it as a "right" overlooks its misuse as an arduous bludgeon, which could be deployed by vengeful lovers and blackmailers against partners who never sought to be married, just the way marriage laws can be for straight unmarried couples. But my position is a fringe one, as I freely admit. Soon we will all be wedded by and to the state, and all bedrooms will be subject to examination and scrutiny.

It may be a fringe position, but it is my very own. The state should not be in the business of certifying marriages. We might very well need a legal mechanism for creating economic communality—particularly between two people who are not blood relatives, such as two elderly women who live together but are not lovers—but we do not need the state to define the word marriage. We really don't.

In fact, most people seem to have their morality and logic inverted: all anyone should have is a "civil union." It is up to one's church and one's social circle to determine if and when these unions constitute a "marriage."

Via Insty, whom I suddenly realize I disagree with. Eric claims to have found Reynolds' original assertion about gays 'n' guns, but Glenn has reiterated the gist of it countless times. Insty:

It's often struck me that opposition to gay rights, and opposition to gun ownership, have a lot in common. Most people opposed to each are concerned as much with symbolism as with practical effects (you often hear comments prefaced with "I don't want to live in a country where people are allowed to do that") and it seems more an aspect of culture war than anything else.

Personally, I'd be delighted to live in a country where happily married gay couples had closets full of assault weapons.

I'd say "happily unioned," which is all any of us should be demanding of the State. The rest is just Humpty Dumpty-ism—an endless, unwinnable series of arguments about which words mean what, and to whom, and why.

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Well, wouldn't it? And if not, why not?

If you are with the person you love, and you enjoy the appropriate legal protections, what is it to you how others label it? I mean, it's annoying that they assign a different nomenclature, but surely that isn't something that a nice trip to the firing range won't fix, is it? Put some lead in the air; you'll feel much better afterward.

Posted by Attila Girl at November 7, 2008 09:32 AM | TrackBack

actually, you and I have very similar positions on this. I think the government should only be in the contract business, and the "marriage" should be up to the church or the society of the couple in question.

Posted by: caltechgirl at November 7, 2008 03:18 PM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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