As the aftermath of the passing of Proposition 8 in California, undoing the court decision that legalized same-sex marriage, continues to unfold, I find myself exceptionally amused at the antics. I think I find them so amusing because I have the benefit of distance — were this unfolding in my back yard, I think I’d be far more outraged.
What strikes me as particularly entertaining is how the opponents of the measure are acting. The screaming hypocricy of their deeds should drive any reasonable person to either fury or gales of laughter — and my doctor advises against letting myself get too infuriated too often.
First up, who cannot be entertained by all the people pinning their hopes on Barack Obama? They have convinced themselves that he will, indeed, see the justice of their cause and — with a wave of his hand — grant them all that they wish. To do so, they have to overlook his public statements opposing gay marriage and supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.
I have to admit, it’s darn fun to find myself holding a position that’s more liberal, more progressive, more enlightened, and more left-leaning than Barack Obama. After all, I’m on record numerous times in favor of legalizing gay marriage.
Next, there’s the way that the forces who proclaim themselves the champions of tolerance, of embracing diversity, of rejecting hate, demonstrating the very worst of their natures when they are confronted with those who disagree with them. People who donated money in favor of the Proposition have found themselves on a new Black List and are being hounded out of their jobs for merely expressing their First Amendment rights. And one little old lady who had the presumption to show up to one of their rallies bearing a cross had her crucifix taken from her and smashed.
Somewhere, a couple of old gay men have to be smiling. Despite the way history has treated them, their tactics have been ultimately embraced by their fellow homosexuals. Congratulations on your legacy, Senator Joe McCarthy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
The losers are also targeting the Mormon church, which spent a lot of money backing the proposition. This is the safe approach — Mormons are among the least likely people to respond to threats and intimidation forcefully. (It’s a pity the upset people couldn’t find enough Quakers to go after.) Funnily enough, I’d be willing to bet that the number of Mormons who actually voted in favor of Proposition 8 is dwarfed by both members of black and Hispanic churches, who also spoke out loudly for the measure. But those groups are, traditionally, a bit more boisterous and high-spirited, and wouldn’t take the bullying tactics quite so civilly as the Mormons.
Finally, there’s the always-predictable rejection of democracy. The people have spoken on this matter, and have said no to gay marriage. In fact, they have said no to it twice — a similar petition was approved a couple of years ago, and struck down by the same court that suddenly discovered the right to gay marriage was sneakily buried in California’s constitution, just waiting for the right clever people to find it.
As I said, I’m in favor of gay marriage. I think it’s coming, and I think that it will, overall, be a good thing for the nation. But I support it coming about by legislation, not litigation. Not only do I think that new laws and policies should come primarily from the legislative branches, but I think that bringing it about by such non-democratic means as judicial fiat will only galvanize the opponents and get them to push back as hard as possible — even, perhaps, to the point of repealing steps already made in the right direction.
Kind of like what’s happening in California right now.