November 10, 2008

And Yet More on Gay Marriage . . .

Dan Blatt of Gay Patriot, writing at PJ Media:

Whenever state courts mandate recognition of gay marriage, it leads to a backlash at the ballot box. By November 2004, not even a year after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the Bay State’s highest court) handed down the Goodridge decision finding it unconstitutional under the state constitution to limit marriage to different-sex couples, voters in thirteen states enacted constitutional provisions defining marriage by its traditional definition: the union of one man and one woman.

This year, after the California and Connecticut Supreme Courts handed down rulings similar to Goodridge, voters in Florida and Arizona joined those in California and amended their state constitutions.

Following the passage of Proposition 8, Jonathan Rauch, author of Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, wrote that gay marriage advocates need to rethink “the wisdom of mindlessly pushing lawsuits through the courts without adequately preparing the public.” Since state courts began mandating gay marriage, thirty states have amended their constitutions to define marriage so as to prohibit recognition of same-sex unions as marriage.

In only one state, Arizona in 2006, did voters defeat a popular initiative defining marriage, but that measure was rather draconian as it would have blocked civil unions as well. This past year, Arizona voters approved a less sweeping amendment, limited only to marriage.

It is thus clear that success for gay marriage in the courts leads to a popular backlash. Those serious about gay marriage need to spend more time trying to convince their fellow citizens of the merits of changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and less time making that case to unelected judges.

Thirty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court deprived citizens and our elected representatives of deciding how to regulate abortion, we are still debating the issue. The record of this past week shows that when state courts attempt to deprive citizens of the right to define marriage, citizens will act to overturn their decisions.

What Justice Ginsburg said about abortion applies to gay marriage as well. We need a dialogue with state legislators — and those who elect them. Such conversations may not yield gay marriage this year, or even next, but should lead to state recognition of same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships. This has already happened in such states as Connecticut, New Hampshire, Oregon, and even California.

If gay marriage advocates succeed in making a more persuasive case to the American people, then states will start calling those unions and partnerships marriage. It may not happen as rapidly as some would like, but when it does, it will not meet with the backlash that follows court decisions mandating marriage. Hearing a better case for gay marriage and seeing well-adjusted gay couples, Americans will slowly begin to accept a broader definition of this ancient institution.

Read the whole thing. (Just in case, here's the link for the Rauch quote.)

CalTech Girl was just a little more blunt:

You're here, you're queer, GET OVER YOURSELVES

For the record, I voted NO on Prop 8, folks.

Now that THAT's out of the way, let me get to my point. Last night's protest rallies in West Hollywood and elsewhere did NOTHING to help the No on 8 cause.

The election is OVER. The ballots have been counted. The "No on 8" side lost.

Sitting in a busy intersection, holding up traffic and waving signs from an election that's past now doesn't make people want to support you. It makes people think you are a bunch of whiny crybabies with nothing better to do than to hold them up in traffic. Which, as we L.A. folks ALL know, is shitty without protesters blocking up the main intersections.

So get over it. Wipe your tears. Get up and fight back. The RIGHT way. The SMART way. Don't make your opponents so upset that they resent you. That's no way to "win friends and influence people."

You looked like a bunch of sissies in front of a big bully last night. Seriously. Do you WANT to play to stereotypes? Do you think that's any way to bring people to your cause? Sure it rallies people who agree with you, but the majority of Californians (at least according to the vote) probably thought it was pathetic and predictable . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I feel your pain. I know, it's really sad. In some cases, it's devastating, and I know you want to be able to cry and rage together, but YOU CAN NOT DO IT in the middle of the street. Sure, it's your right to peaceably assemble, and I'm proud that 99% of folks last night WERE peaceful, but it's just not a smart strategy.

Acceptance of gay relationships has always been an uphill battle, so in order to get this changed, the strategy has to be smart and focus on getting the opposition to see gay people as simply PEOPLE. Not whiny, childish idiots. There's a lot of stereotype to get past. This kind of disruptive public display doesn't help.

From the MOMENT the polls closed on 11/4 and the first announcements showed 8 running behind, it was going to be a long and difficult campaign in the next election. But the goal, and what will END this endless cycle of "gay marriage propositions," should be acceptance and tolerance in general. By everyone. We should be working to help people come together across CA and the world.

Not just for or against one ballot proposal or another. Which it seems HAS been the strategy.

Wouldn't it be smarter (albeit harder, I admit) to work on people's thoughts and attitudes in a LONG TERM sense, rather than playing on their fears regarding their senses of self (e.g. "only bigots vote yes on 8"). People will vote their consciences. Help them understand what they fear.

And, as Sejanus pointed out on one of my earlier "gay marriage" threads, televising the Halloween parade and pride parades does not necessarily make homosexuality appear less threatening to the average person. I'm not sure what the solution is there, since I do think it's fair for drag queens to party in West Hollywood—there is, after all, the Beastie Boys principle to contend with—but it's a shame that there are cameras there, and maybe showing one's piercings on television isn't the way to go.

At the very least, it means that more outreach is needed, in part to make up for the lost ground.


Posted by Attila Girl at November 10, 2008 06:18 AM | TrackBack
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