Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NO... !

I was so busy yesterday congratulating ourselves and the world on Obama's stunning victory that I passed over the one thing that thoroughly pissed me off: the passage of California's Proposition 8. Speaking of the undeserved power of a mean-spirited and now demonstrably diminished minority in this country, could there be clearer evidence that it still exists? What a blemish on the name of our otherwise moderately liberal- and fair-minded state, that we have allowed this hate-based measure to pass.

I expressed my anger about this to a gay friend at the gym, and he spoke glumly of the gay community as being "the most hated minority in America today." I actually find that hard to believe any more. Especially amongst the younger generation, such things as race and sexual orientation seem to have little interest or influence on the way they think or live their lives. My sense of this particular abomination--as Ellie rightly calls it--is that it was promoted and skillfully managed as a political issue by a very small minority of bigots, many of them Mormons, I've been led to believe.

Another friend--not gay--responded to my previous post about Prop. 8, before the election, begging fellow-Californians to join me in rejecting the initiative. "I vote 'no' to all Propositions, being a firm believer in representative vs. popular democracy," he wrote me, "and will continue to do so until presented with a proposition to end government by proposition, at which time I will happily vote 'yes'!" Nicely put. I came to much the same conclusion myself at the time of the passage of Proposition 13, the first public manifestation of what came to be called the "taxpayer revolt" that propelled Ronald Reagan into office and started the anti-tax landslide that continues to bury the possibility for responsible government until this day.

I trust that our Obama will lead us toward that "kinder, gentler" country promised by the first Bush, and that he will re-introduce a sense of responsibility and accountability not only to our society but to the government that is supposed to represent it.


robin andrea said...

It is shocking that a state that voted overwhelmingly for Obama also voted to ban gay marriage. I read that even Los Angeles County voted YES. How disappointing. Hopefully the court challenges will be swift and affirmed.

thailandchani said...

I recall this from some years back. When hate becomes unacceptable in one arena, those who choose to hate find something else to hate. It's simply unfathomable to me that anyone could be so spiteful as to pass a proposition like that.

That's how it feels. Spiteful.


deanna said...

I understand your friend's belief that gays are the most hated minority in the US today, but I somewhat disagree. I believe they are the most misunderstood minority, which can easily lead to acts that are hateful. I'm in CT, where we fortunately voted no to a constitutional convention, which would have allowed voters to reject the state Supreme Court's decision to allow gay marriage. Same-sex couples can now get married starting next week. There is hope for change across the nation, but it will take time and understanding.

They call him James Ure said...

I too was shocked to see one of the most liberal and accepting states in our union vote to ban gay marriage.

I agree with you that the younger generations will eventually change the discrimination. Amongst those of us like myself who are in Generation X and certainly the Millenials very much support gay rights.

They call him James Ure said...

Oh and I must say that we mentally ill are also a minority group much maligned. It seems that it is still acceptable to deny our rights and even to deny that we have a mental illness at all.

It is still a widely held view that it is o.k. to ignore us and to deny that psychology is even a science.

mandt said...

"---he spoke glumly of the gay community as being "the most hated minority in America today." I actually find that hard to believe anymore."---somewhat....thailandchandi is correct.
You have a good heart Peter, but I know the above to be true from 6 decades of experience. Gay will always be the new Black, until responsible consciousness replaces good intentions with action. No on 8, no to Hate! Bodhisattva's don't just meditate they are also Dharma warriors. :)

Lion's Share Media Group said...

Finally, California woke up and voted correctly!

Gays are living a lifestyle which is contrary to nature.

The whole point of a loving relationship between partners is procreation. This is how nature intended it to be. That is why 'boy parts' and 'girl parts' are different!

Sure, we may let our feelings tell us that we are committed to an individual, but the basic instinct is that we have an opportunity to replenish the earth for when we die.

I remember back in junior high, changing in the locker room with a bunch of other guys, and I had certain feelings towards a few of them. Did that mean I was gay? NO! It meant that I was going through a change that I needed to sort out, and left to myself, I did.

All it took was one teacher to say it was okay to feel that way. At this point, boys stopped searching for who they were to become, and settled for the farce that they were gay.

Try it! Leave a boy alone through puberty, and he will be straight, because he recognizes the role that he has in a union...the man!

Cardozo said...

lion's share:

I wonder what you think about this article from national geographic, citing evidence that lots of species engage in homosexual sex.

What does this tell you about "natural instinct?

National Geographic article

Bodhipaksa said...

Lion's Share Media Group: "The whole point of a loving relationship between partners is procreation."

You really think that marriage is just about procreating? Should those who are sterile be prevented from marrying? What about post-menopausal women? When I married my wife it was because we loved each other and wanted to spend our lives together. Children did not enter the picture. I presume you think our marriage is "unnatural"?

Also, as a former veterinarian, I can assure you that homosexual activity is common in nature. You're much mistaken in that regard. People used to use the same "it's against nature" argument to justify bans on inter-racial marriages.

MandT said...

"Leave a boy alone through puberty, and he will be straight" Fortunately, you seem to have gone to a junior high school spared of the temptations of diversity. But Lion, you have missed a significant portion of your biology lessons!"Gays are living a lifestyle which is contrary to nature." Same sexuality is common in nature----that is to say----mammals.What is not common to 'natural law' is marriage, although it is noted many species bond for life. "The whole point of a loving relationship between partners is procreation." There is no greater gift than loving partnerships or for that matter children. But, marriage is incidental to such engagements and procreation. Critical thinking often fails before the onslaught of fantastical religious tradition. And, there is no absolute more toxic than ignorance----the root of all suffering. Perhaps you might recall the great Christian philosopher, Pascal, who opined "That out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Peace

khengsiong said...

African Americans used to be 'hated minority' too, but now Obama has been elected the President. In another 10 years thing should be better for gays...

Catherine said...

Lion, I grew up in a single-parent household. My mother purposely chose to raise me as a single parent.

Does this mean I don't value family, or understand values associated with community?

Surely there are many models that constitute family, not only ones based around simple biology! The act of giving life is made up of much, much more than simply sperm and egg. Family is about community, sharing, support, and love. These things are not quantitative, nor are they genetic. They are human. And yes, they are divine at the same time.

I send you and everyone at your group love. You are also part of the community to which we aspire. The election of Obama stands as a symbol of that aspiration, but Prop 8 proves we, as humans, still face challenges. That's okay. Let's sit. Let's talk. Let's share.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments on this. I have a very personal story, particularly for "Lion's Share," which I'll post tomorrow. I trust that he will get to read it.