So the Prop 8 Court decision came in a few weeks ago and along with the Birth Control Mandate helped push Rick Santorum up in the polls.
And the gay rights community rejoiced. Which I found odd, as usually, people don’t rejoice in their own downfall (ignoring the Obama inauguration and mythical behavior of Nero). Wait, ruling that a ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional is bad for gay rights? Yeah it is.
Let me explain since I know there must be some confusion.
Basic human psychology is that people hate being forced to do something. They really hate it. But when they think they’re doing it themselves they’ll embrace doing that thing that they hated only a minute ago and go even a step further. Think about the American Revolution, we started a war on a 2 cent tax on per metric ton of a breakfast beverage because it was forced on us but when it was our own representatives doing it, hell, let’s tax everything to death! (A little hyperbolic, I’ll admit, but I think you get the point). People are stubborn by nature, but Americans especially have a “bet me” attitude. Another example, when was alcohol consumption highest? When it was illegal. To this day when does the alcohol intake for most people drop radically? The day after they turn 21…when it’s no longer a chance to stick it to the man, it loses a little something.
So what does this have to do with gay rights? Well let me state a few things up front. I think it is safe to say that the idea of complete equality in civil unions (as you know I advocate for getting rid of marriage and having both gay and straight couples have civil unions because marriage is a religious concept and thus the government shouldn’t be involved) is not a question of “if” but a question of “when.” So long as Obama doesn’t finish the job of utterly destroying the world economy and sending us back a hundred years, I think it’s safe to say that in a hundred years gay rights battles will be an issues you read about in history books and occasionally hear Grandpa and Grandma (or any combination thereof) talk about. But a hundred years is about 4 generations from now and while the question is not “if”, it is a question of “when.” When? Will we have to wait those 4 generations or will it only be 1 generation? Well, if the gay rights movement keeps trying to use the courts it will be all 4, because, as I said people hate having thing forced on them, even if that thing is in itself reasonable.
Don’t believe me. Let’s look at some time lines:
1993 Hawaii Supreme Court finds that a statue limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is unconstitutional
Sept. 1996 Clinton signs Defense of Marriage Act
Dec 1996 Hawaiian judge rules in favor of marriage being applied to same-sex couples
Nov 1998 Hawaii and Alaska voters approve of constitutional amendments to limit marriage to opposite sex couples.
Dec 1999 Vermont Court rules same-sex couples can’t be denied benefits granted to opposite-sex couples
Nov 2000 Nebraska approves constitutional amendments to limit marriage to opposite sex couples.
Nov 2002 Nevada does the same
2003 Massachusetts declares legislature has to enact same-sex marriage (on a side note, between this and Romney’s dealings with the legislature…what the hell kind of constitution do they have in the commonwealth? The balance of powers seems completely out of whack)
2004 Massachusetts approves same-sex marriage (and San Francisco and Portland try to jump on the band wagon via fiat, but are shot down)
Aug 2004 Missouri joins the ranks of burdening their Constitution with silly marriage amendment
Sept 2004 Louisiana joins in the insanity
Nov 2004 Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, N. Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah join in the free for all.
April 2005 Kansas joins in the act
May 2005 District judge rules Nebraska version Unconstitutional (he is later overturned)
Nov 2005 Texas joins the club
June 2006 so does Alabama
Nov 2006 Colorado, Idaho, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin join in
May 2008 California Supreme Court rules the state ban is unconstitutional. Marriages start in June.
Sept 2010 New Hampshire judges also order same-sex marriage
Nov 2008 California (prop 8), Arizona, Florida put in Constitutional bans.
I could go over more but I think you get the drift. If you notice the way I group them every major act against gay rights and gay marriage is preceded by a court action in favor of gay rights. Every action has an opposite reaction, and in politics it is always an unequal reaction.
But guess what, you never see this reaction when a state by popular vote or by legislative vote expands the equality of same-sex couples or even votes in gay marriage. Because that is the will of the people, not legislation from the bench.
Think about it. California, possibly the most liberal state in the nation voted in Prop 8. Back in 1997 two-thirds of the state wanted an expansion of rights to gay couples. California where half a dozen laws passed by the legislature expanding the rights of gay couples met with nary a complaint except from the radical fringe. Yet this is the same California, that is 2008 voted to ban gay marriage by 52%. Did a mass of rejects from Rick Santorum’s congregation suddenly get voting rights in the most liberal state in the nation…or did we see people give a very predictable reaction to having a court shove something down their throat that they weren’t ready for.
Should there be perfect equality? Yeah. Are people who violently oppose gay rights idiots? Without question. But right, wrong, or indifferent these are beliefs that are based on religion and tradition and habit. They take time to change and forcing that change will only result in a violent backlash as we have seen with EVERY court decision in favor of gay rights.
The gay rights movement better pray that the Supreme Court takes the Prop 8 case and that they uphold Prop 8…because if they don’t, you will see a federal Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as a man and a woman clear both the House and the Senate without much debate and you will see it ratified by three-quarters of the states. If California is willing to pass such a ban, do you really think any of the other states will put up much of a fight? And it will take generations to get that stain of an amendment overturned.
Winning the Prop 8 case is Pyrrhic victory if it results in losing the war.
So am I suggesting that the gay rights movement just roll over? No. But fighting in the courts will only lead to disaster. So what should the movement be focused on? Well, for one stop trying to force the movement down people’s throats in other areas. California mandating that gay history be taught in public schools is insulting at the high school level (to single out people as being worthy of being mentioned for being a minority is just stupid no matter the minority, they’re either important to history or not, and if they are, usually their minority status is not important to what they did, and if it is, then that’s part of history and should be brought up)…but in elementary school it’s just insane. Most parents don’t want their elementary school children knowning heterosexual sex exists let alone gay sex, but go ahead make enemies of the middle class by forcing this into elementary schools. I’m sure that will work great long term.
Leave the courts and laws alone for the moment. It’s only going to breed negative reaction. It would be better to focus on science and the social aspect.
By science I mean looking into the real cause of homosexuality and bisexuality. I’ve searched, some studies I’ve seen suggest that the majority of humanity is bisexual and it’s just socialization that pushes a person one way or another (which would bizarrely give that stupid therapy shit some credence in a roundabout way, which no matter how silly the therapy is, you have to admit that would be ironic) and others that say it’s only a very small segment of society. And while there seems to be some leads on genetics for male homosexuality, the cause of female homosexuality is still elusive. From a scientific point of view, those are some friggin’ big gaps…ones that allow bigots to doubt (keep in mind these are the same people who can see fossils of 15 species that show a clear development over time but because number 16 is missing you can’t say 17 evolved from the others…I know they’re stupid, but fewer gaps you have the more of them you’ll peel off). Facts help your case (and also debunking some of the pseudoscience I found on the web saying that there is no genetic component…I’m not going to include links because I was screaming at the computer screen and for me gay rights is a minor issue in the grand scheme of thing…I can only imagine if you were drawn to this blog because you were interested in the topic). Facts will help win the middle which is what the movement needs.
And by social I mean, go with that “we’re just like you” campaign and get rid of the gay pride parades. Really, like the court cases, those parades aren’t doing anyone any favors. All those parades do is make the gay rights movement seem the counterbalance to the nutjobs from Westboro, it makes it seem to the general public that both sides are crazy. That is not helping. It needs to be clear Westboro Baptists=f’ing insane, gay rights movement=not insane people. Do that you win.
Look, just recently the general public is finally in favor of gay marriage, according to Gallup but it’s not a large margin. And if the movement continues demanding to force things before people are ready it will only result in those gains being temporarily destroyed. I understand wanting it now. I understand having to deal with the idiots who are close minded being infuriating. But it is what is. And not dealing in reality, showing a little patience (even if ethically you shouldn’t have to) will get you what you want sooner, then a tactical withdrawal is better than ruining everything, creating a federal amendment against your goals and giving idiots like Rick Santorum a platform to run on.