So here in California, where I am the palest of residents, we will soon be voting on the rights and status of a minority population. We love this stuff!

            You may think that California is all fun and games-coke, surfing, broccoli and meth farms, fields of weed and military bases. Well, you’d be in part right. We are all about fun here. But we also know how to get things done when it comes to calling into question the basic tenets of our country’s Constitution.

            More than a 110,000 Japanese ‘interned’ at our scenic getaways during the Second World War can tell you: California is a great place to live and an even better place to be scape-goated!

            Hey! You think that we’d be tuckered out with all this ‘economic crisis’? Pah!
            Bring it on.

            War, poverty, hunger, drought, environmental collapse, sickness, over stretched education system, jam packed prisons—We don’t even notice that shit anymore.

            Because we’ve got bigger fish to fry: Who’s loving who.

           

            So we’re ready to vote on Prop. 8!
            Thank Jesus for the California Family Council and their ilk.

           

            Now people will tell you that this whole thing is recalling the ‘tradition’ and ‘religion’ soaked arguments against interracial marriage.

            (Was that even illegal in America? That seems silly. Having so many caring Christians around, they wouldn’t have let that happen right?)

            Turns out that California dealt with the issue of interracial marriage back in 1948-

back when we still had God in our schools, God wasn’t mocked by Harry Potter, and our children felt horrible for masturbating.

 

            Here’s some highlights from Perez v. Lippold- a case over a Mexican American, Andrea Perez, wanting to marry African American Sylvester Davis…

           

            “The right to marry is as fundamental as the right to send one’s child to a particular school or the right to have offspring.”

           

            “Legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws.”
           

            “Since the right to marry is the right to join in marriage with the person of one’s choice, a statute that prohibits an individual from marrying a member of a race other than his own restricts the scope of his choice and thereby restricts his right to marry. It must therefore be determined whether the state can restrict that right on the basis of race alone without violating the equal protection of the laws clause of the United States Constitution.”

 

            “A state law prohibiting members of one race from marrying members of another race is not designed to meet a clear and present peril arising out of an emergency. In the absence of an emergency the state clearly cannot base a law impairing fundamental rights of individuals on general assumptions as to traits of racial groups.”

 

            Hmmmm….That Justice Traynor must have been a real activist judge enforcing his will upon the people. Radical elitist.

 

            So what were people saying back in the Good Old Days against interracial marriage? Here’s some great quotes gathered from www.vtfreetomarry.org

           

            “Allowing interracial marriages “necessarily involves the degradation” of

conventional marriage, an institution that “deserves admiration rather than

execration.’”

 

            “[A]t the very time the Constitution of the United States was being formulated,

miscegenation was considered inimical to the public good and was

frowned upon by the colonies, and continued to be so regarded and

prohibited in states having any substantial admixture of population at the time

the 14th amendment was adopted.”

 

            “Civilized society has the power of self-preservation, and, marriage being the

foundation of such society, most of the states in which the Negro forms an

element of any note have enacted laws inhibiting intermarriage between the

white and black races.”

 

            …….Tradition! Convention! Accepted throughout our Nation’s history! If only we had judges who were faithful to the Constitution of our founding fathers instead of radically ‘interpreting’ it….  

 

           

            Well, maybe things have changed. Maybe there’s more sense, equality, Constitutionality, care, patriotism and Christian charity happening now than before. Let’s take a look at the language being used on the voting information for Prop. 8 in the Official California Voter Information Guide as written by such gentle spirits as Ron Prentice of California Family Council, Bishop George McKinney, Jeralee Smith of the California Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays.

 

            1) They refer to the ‘gay lifestyle’ a number of times in their arguments. This is language that is more appropriate to the early 1980’s. It assumes, contrary to what science, experience, philosophy, and theology have been telling us for decades, that identity is an easily compartmentalized and categorized phenomena. I’m not even going to fall into the trap of the question of ‘is it a choice?’ or ‘are you born that way?’. Feminists, cognitive scientists, Queer Theorists, Theologians, and Christian Leaders have passed over that question a long time ago. Identity is fluid, porous….free. Hey, you mean that people are free to be who they want? That’s either American or common sense, but anyway you hack it, ‘gay lifestyle’ is a language trap that’s only appealing to the most out-of-touch or inconsiderate among us.

            2) They write that they are very fearful of ‘our children’ being taught that ‘gay marriage is okay.’ OKAY. What that exactly means, I’m not sure. Now, the freedom to marry who you want will in no way affect the education of children in public schools other than if they are to ask their teacher “do all people have equal treatment under law in their pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” the teacher can now honestly answer “Well, were at least working in that direction.”

            This is the best word that they could come up with? OKAY? You don’t want your kids to get the idea that ‘gay marriage is okay’? Do you mean ‘legal’? Do you mean ‘not sinful’? Acceptable? I wonder if they are meaning ‘moral’? Are some people seeking to enshrine their idea of morality in state law and validate their interpretation of their religion’s norms? It seems that America has a nasty way of coming to find (albeit sometimes slowly) that these appeals to Tradition and Old Time Religion are less than compelling.

 

            3) They recall the ‘definition of marriage’. Are we fighting over the use of a word, a religious sacrament, or a civil right? Words can and will be used in different ways, and unless we want a Linguistic Council established to further bloat our Big Brother government, we’ll have to probably settle on the fact that words and the ideas behind them change. Or is it the religious sacrament? As a Catholic, believe me: I’d love for a buncha people out there to stop baptizing all willy-nilly. Baptism had been long established by Tradition and Old Time Religion and now look around us! We got Mormons baptizing dead people, we got the Triple Dunk Style, Sprinkle, Single Dunk in a MegaChurch Style….Its ridiculous! We need to go back to the traditional definition of Baptism: “Babies in white gowns crying.” If it’s the American Right to live your life the way you want and arrange your family life the way you want, then that’s a definition of marriage that doesn’t really help the Yes on Prop. 8 crowd.

 

            No where in the arguments for Yes on Prop. 8 do they mention equal protection under the law. No where is there an appeal to the Constitution (national or state) as a document that grants the same rights to everyone.

            They claim that Prop. 8 restores “the meaning of marriage to what human history has understood it to be”. This is the most sick, fascist, and bigoted nonsense of their argument. It reveals exactly what they are talking about: Their petty little world that ignores the cultures, religions, historical periods that reveal that marriage, family, love, commitment, sacraments are very cultural and religious ideas that are varied and changing. Who are they including in ‘human history’? There you have it: the clearest revelation of their agenda-deciding who is less than worthy of human dignity.

 

            Who is California going to side with on Prop. 8?

            Who do you see as human? Inhuman? Who is ‘okay’ enough to be included in your definition of human?

 

            Vote NO on Prop. 8.

           

 

            Your Pale Californian, Ryan McGivern

 

www.vtfreetomarry.org

 

           

 

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