Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eight is Enough!

I want to start out by saying that this is not an indictment against those who are in support of gay-marriage. I have my own personal feelings about it, but due to the sensitive nature of the issue, I choose not to address those feelings at this time. Instead I'd like to talk about the reaction to California's passage of Proposition 8.

I'll be perfectly honest, going into Tuesday's election, I was mentally prepared that if Barack Obama lost the election, there may be some civil unrest in the streets. Protest for sure, slight rioting potentially. Thankfully, that scenario was unrealized. However when I turned on the television to watch the 10 o'clock news, reports rolled in from West Hollywood about protests relating to the, then, possible passage of Prop. 8. Instinctually, I knew that this couldn't be good. I mean, every city has their gay section of town: Chicago has Boystown, San Francisco has, well, San Francisco, and Los Angeles has West Hollywood. So there was no shortage of people in this section of town to draw out for the protest.

Let me give you a little background information on Proposition 8. California voted in 2000 to pass Proposition 22, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In the summer of 2008, the California courts declared that Proposition unconstitutional, clearing the way for 18,000 same sex couples to get married. Another Proposition was put on the November ballot, Proposition 8, which made an ammendment to the California constitution making it to where only marriages between one man and one woman would be recognized by the state.

The protest of election night didn't bother me at all. I mean, I understood. Here were people who poured their hearts and efforts into defeating a Proposition that they felt was a threat to their way of life. The protest was relatively peaceful, only 7 people arrested, so again it didn't bother me at all. The next morning as I awoke to read news about Obama's landslide victory, I stumbled across an article updating Proposition 8. At that point, it was still too close to call. However, with the NO on Prop. 8 side losing, Gay Rights groups were already preparing to challenge in the courts. I can't remember the exact quote, but the person they interviewed said something to this effect: "The people didn't have the legal right to pass the ban without the approval of the California legislature". My exact words were "What the Hell"? I mean, that makes absolutely no sense at all. How come the people don't have the legal right? A proposition was put forth on the ballot. The people came out in droves and voted to pass Prop 8. Which aspect of this process was illegal in this man's mind? The fact that it didn't have the backing of the California legislature was completely irrelevant. As a matter of fact, that proves that Politics is completely out of wack. The people who we vote and our representatives are supposed to do our will, not have their own personal agendas. So in this case, the people spoke for themselves instead of using a middle man/woman.

Since then, there have been many more protests across California. At some of these rallies, there have been signs and chants. One sign that I saw read "Blacks, Hispanics, if someone violates your civil rights, we don't want to hear it". This sign too made me say "What the Hell"? I understand that Gays are upset that 7 out of 10 blacks voted in favor of Prop. 8., and along with Hispanics, were instrumental in the passage of Prop. 8. But this sign exposed another problem that I have with the Gay Rights agenda. Too often, I've heard individuals compare the plight of Gays to that of Blacks. This in my opinion is Bullshit! The theory of are people born gay or make a choice has not been settled. (No matter what some people would have you to believe). I was absolutely born black. There was no choice made on my part. The science has definitely been settled on that on. Also, other than Michael Jackson, I can't think of too many people who were black, and are now something else. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who once lived a homosexual lifestyle, and now no longer do. So to make a correlation between the two is absolutely insulting to me and my ancestors.

I also heard a gentleman say that before, blacks and whites were banned from marrying. While I admit that this is the closest thing to a reasoned arguement that I have heard, I again have to respectfully disagree with them. Indeed, interracial marriage was illegal at one time. However, when those laws were overturned, the actual definition of marriage remained the same. A black man could marry a white woman, and a white man could marry a black woman. The essential components of what would constitute a marriage remained the same. So just as their earlier arguement didn't hold water, neither does this one.


The last thing that bothers me is how many of these protests are aimed at churches. The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) were intricately involved in the passage of Prop. 8. The members of the church gave money and time to the cause. They even coordinated with members in Black churches to pass Prop. 8. For that, they have been targeted by Gay Rights groups. To this issue, I say, "What would you expect for churches to do"? I mean, churches follow their respective bibles. I'm no biblical scholar, but the bible is the final word on particular issues for some people. Why would you expect the church to stand for something that they don't believe in? And you can't take that personally. I mean, I lean more Libertarian in my political beliefs. I'm not exactly the staunchest supporter of drug laws we have on the books. If Marijuana legalization was on the ballot, I would probably vote in favor of that proposition. Would I expect the church to come out in favor of it, of course not. I'm realistic. The church is going to follow what it says within it bible, and I don't believe Jesus is in favor of me grabbing a sack of Northern Lights to smoke on the weekends. Yes, if smoking weed is my thing, that's what I'm gonna do. But I would never expect that the church should necessarily sanction my behavior.

In an act that was truly despicable, an extreme Gay Rights group called Bash Back protested a church in Lansing, Michigan. They picketed outside the church chanting slogans such as "Jesus was a Homo". A few of their members blended in with regular churchgoers. During the services, those Bash Back members pulled a fire alarm, and stormed the church stage confronting members of the church and its leadership. Some members put up a banner that read "ITS OK TO BE GAY! BASH BACK!". I hope that, no matter what side of the argument you fall on, this kind of action offends. First off, Jesus was no homo. That's just ridiculous. (And blasphemous might add). Second, when you go into a person's house of worship, you treat it with the utmost respect. Whatever you feel should stay outside those church doors. If you disagree with them, don't bring that into the church. To me, this kind of protest is the most extreme.

I don't write this to "Bash" homosexuals. Honestly, I have members of my family who are gay. I Love them dearly. I even understand why those in the homosexual community want the right to marry. That's not my beef. My beef is that despite their desire for "rights", they still have to go about this in a responsible manner. Marching and protesting is cool. I just wish that some of the rhetoric that is used is less offensive the the members of my community. Just because people are not in favor of gay marriage doesn't mean that those very same individuals hate gays. You can support traditional marriage, and still want gays to be treated fairly. I just hope that we eventually can have an honest, and well reasoned debate on the issue. Everyone's point of view is valid on this issue.


-DrizaDre-

I hope that those who chose to read this were not offended. This was not written as an attack, but rather to address an issue from a mature and rational position.

14 comments:

ToshaRenelle said...

This was very well written and I agree with your point of view 100 percent!

The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

I won't touch the homosexuality subject either.
I will say that if 7 out of 10 black people voted against the prop. . .how many white people did too. I am sure more white people voted then black.

And once I had a discussion with a few people and this gay guy there also. So, we were talking about civil rights. This was many years before this prop thing. Many, many many years ago.
Anyway, I was saying that if a klansman saw me and a gay white guy standing on the same corner. Most likely they would attack me and not the gay white guy.
Why because unless he is flamboyant he looks just like them. . .white.
And the guy I was talking to who is black and gay said something . .I forgot what, but I asked him to be honest if him and the same gay guy were on the corner neither openly being gay who would the Klan attack he said him. I said why. He said because I am black.

There is a point to this. But, I lost it.
I hope you understand some of what I put in this long comment.

D'Amico said...

Nice work.
I agree that being gay is not the same as being black or being white. And the fact is that until you're in a situation where the majority (not me) has an opinion different than the minority (me) and they're making decisions for me based mostly on things I do not believe - you cannot understand. Though you might think you do.

I appreciated your attention to the details as that is where the real discussion and growth lies.

I am a man married to a man - and yes the KKK might have gone after someone first because they were black, but once they were done with the black guy they'd be back for the gay guy.

The tryanny of hetero assumptions about gay people is just as insidious as the tryanny of black peoples assumptions about white people and vice versa and so on. All restrictions of liberty are attacks on our freedom and our better understanding of humanity. Assuming I choose to be gay, how is that different from choosing to be christian or muslim or agnostic? Because I am gay I am human and because I am human I deserve respect and at the very least the same level of protections under the law.

So, perhaps anger at the church(s) is misdirected, and comparisons to the African American civil rights struggles come up short, but this is the next / ongoing rolling of history to include everyone in the family. And maybe the next blog entry should be about capturing a language that does describe this dilemma.

So one day we can all sit at the same table. I look forward to that day.

D'Amico said...

Nice work.
I agree that being gay is not the same as being black or being white. And the fact is that until you're in a situation where the majority (not me) has an opinion different than the minority (me) and they're making decisions for me based mostly on things I do not believe - you cannot understand. Though you might think you do.

I appreciated your attention to the details as that is where the real discussion and growth lies.

I am a man married to a man - and yes the KKK might have gone after someone first because they were black, but once they were done with the black guy they'd be back for the gay guy.

The tryanny of hetero assumptions about gay people is just as insidious as the tryanny of black peoples assumptions about white people and vice versa and so on. All restrictions of liberty are attacks on our freedom and our better understanding of humanity. Assuming I choose to be gay, how is that different from choosing to be christian or muslim or agnostic? Because I am gay I am human and because I am human I deserve respect and at the very least the same level of protections under the law.

So, perhaps anger at the church(s) is misdirected, and comparisons to the African American civil rights struggles come up short, but this is the next / ongoing rolling of history to include everyone in the family. And maybe the next blog entry should be about capturing a language that does describe this dilemma.

So one day we can all sit at the same table. I look forward to that day.

GMan said...

We have talked about this before. I completely agree and would even add. The Gays just cant go into a church and protest. Thats like the Chuirch coming into your bedroom and telling you what you shouldn't be doing. Kinda out of line... Great post though!!!1

Just Jasmine said...

Good Afternoon and Good post.

I will start my comment off by quoting the late great Dr. King
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."

I do not think being gay is the same as being black however while the protesting gay community you mentioned may have lacked tack in some of thier signs the core argument is true. Discrimination based on race and sexuality are inherently equivalent, both seek to deny someone human and civil rights. This country is not a church state and too often it has flipflopped on that decision when it became convenient. Because we are not a relgious state, there is no justification for the denial of gay marriage. It is a preference much the same as abortion. While some people may never agree with homosexuality, who are we to tell the next person what they can do with thier lives?

I can understand the angst that lies beneath such signs as Blacks, hispanics if your rights are denied, we don't want to hear it. How many people came out to protest the slaying of Sean Bell, white black, gay or not it was a human issue. As a black woman I am stunned and astounded that many of our community can stampede the pols in records numbers to support a dream deferred and stomp on the dreams of others in a manner that historically we have marched on, stood up against and sang about.
This is Irony. We have assumed the role of the Oppressor at the first chance.

Lastly had it not been for President Obama being on the ticket, this proposition would not have passed.

Just Jasmine said...

but i also agree there is a time and place for everything and protesting in a church is a no no.

Sexxy Luv said...

i don't feel like you bashed one bit. very interesting points made, i didn't even know this was going on. i love gay people and i feel as if they should be treated the exact same as everyone else, but these group of people need to go about it another way...i'm sure gay communities across the world don't agree with this type of behavior. smh

happy friday!

Bombchell said...

oh good gosh, drama.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

all i can say to them folk that care "its the econonmy stupid" James Carvell

MR. CHAP said...

Interesting post, Bro.

You probably want to start with Nancy Pelosi if you seek to find out what went wrong.

A Go Bytch said...

I didn't find anything about this post offensive. I think you did a great job!!!!

I'll be back. And you know I never even thought about the black and white marrying thing. I didn't know that existed.

HMMM pondering this one for my political post. LOL

Go B.

dejanae said...

whether or not they are justified, they feel that the African American community should understand their plight.That in of itself is a whole nother issue that i aint gone delve into.

Ill just say this
-separation of church and state

-seperate but equal was found to be inherently unequal

-some issues regarding estates, health insurance, custody are dependent on marrital status

-protection from tyranny of the majority (though it seems the tide is definitely shifting towards the allowance of gay marriage with the margin closing)

-first time the state constitution has been ammended to remove rights from a group

Now i think protesting the church aint really gon do anything

money talks
influence talks

work towards strengthening those ends

seSi said...

slightly off topic BUT found out today that Ford Motors offers health insurance to gay couples who live together but NOT to "straight" unwed couples.

I to an extent see the correlaztions protesters seek to draw with the blacks & Spanish comment--poorly stated on their part. Such statutes deprive the liberties are constituion claims to give all (wo)men. Placing limitations on one group grants permission to do it to others. I certainly understand your logic.

Like race and everything else that seeks to marginalize groups, "there is a bigger picture" which will takes years to be seen and even then the picture won't be clear.

First timer on the blog..heading to archives.