Yesterday's elections in the US were marred by the passing of Proposition 8 in California which changes that State's constitution to ban gay marriages. Since June of this year, California has been performing gay marriages and one wonders what the legal status will be of those who have been married since then?
Both the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and the Roman Catholic Church funded a rigourous campaign in favour of the Proposition. Whatever you think about 'mixing religion and politics' this basically means that tax-exempt dollars have been thrown at a proposition designed to make sure that gay couples don't have the same legal rights as straight couples. Wouldn't it be interesting if, in order to fund these campaigns, Churches had to ask specifically for donations earmarked for them? And wouldn't it be interesting if only money collected within a State were allowed to be spent on passing propositions designed to change State laws?
For those who doubt the power of Advertising and Public Relations the campaign in favour of Proposition 8 didn't mention denying rights to gay people. The whole slant was 'Vote for Proposition 8 in order to protect marriage and family.'
The funny thing is that this Proposition wasn't actually about giving or even maintaining anyone's rights. It was about making sure that the same people who have been discriminated against in law continue to be discriminated against.
Cecilia made a good point in her blog: How has love been served by the passing of Proposition 8? How as love been made to grow?
06 November 2008
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I read one analysis that said the record number of blacks and Hispanics who turned out to vote for Obama accounted for much of the vote that passed the proposition.
I'm not sure what to make of that other than a lot of racial and ethnic minorities do not see gay rights in the same light.
John - Interesting comment. Thanks for that; it makes some sense to m.
Here's what I wrote following the election. California Prop 8 was only one of four ballot homophobic ballot initiative that passed Nov. 4; a development that decidedly mars this historic election.
As for minorities - specifically blacks - being responsible for Prop 8, this diary at Daily Kos takes on the narrative using both math and logic to excellent effect.
In any event, laying the blame at the feet of ethnic minorities is one of many strategies that the dominant culture uses to divide and conquer. This narrative also ignores the obvious fact that many black (and also many Hispanics) are also part of the LGBT community.
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