Monday, October 27, 2008

CA: Proposition 8 "gay marriage" fight is attracting beaucoup $$$

Laurie Goodstein has an important story on p. A12 of the New York Times today (Oct. 27, 2008), under “National”, “California, a Line in the Sand For Same-Sex Marriage Foes”, link here.

California’s Proposition 8 has taken on huge psychological importance, overshadowing other amendments in Arizona and Florida. Remember, in Virginia the Marshall-Newman amendment passed in 2006.

Both sides are spending a lot of money, bringing in money from out-of-state, and enlisting support with rather childish or brainless email and form letter campaigns.

Social conservatives, as usual, call Chicken Little. They claim that the California Supreme Court ruling last May would lead to lawsuits against churches for refusing to perform same-sex marriage, or cause churches refusing them to lose tax-exempt status. Of course, the experience with issues like this is that churches have always been allowed to follow the tenets of their own religious beliefs without interference from government. As with the Boy Scout case, there is an issue once private religious or cultural entities want to use public spaces and public expense.

Again, I think there is something deeper here, with all these claims that the institution of marriage is so vulnerable if even less than 1% of marriages were for same-sex couples. The real problem is that the “institution” as we know it confers a lot of pampering an privilege, even to affect the lives of unmarried adults and demand subservience from them, and that privilege becomes integrated with what couples perceive as essential to long term marital sexual interest and commitment. To be perfectly blunt, they need to keep glbt people and the chidless and unmarried as second-class citizens, at their beckon and call, as social crises and changes (like eldercare) demand more sacrifice from everybody.

Update: Nov. 6

Alternet has an important story (Nov. 4) by Max Blumenthal from "The Daily Beast" on "The Man Behind Proposition 8", link here. The article particularly discusses Howard F. Ahmanson.

Believe it or not, one of the ads for the measure said "vote yes, restore traditional marriage." What, traditional marriages have stopped being formed or are falling apart because of gay marriage? People fall for this?

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