Proposition 8

As many of you heard, Connecticut’s supreme court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage today. Awesome.

However, next month Californians will be voting on prop 8, which seeks to eliminate same-sex marriage here. For the last couple of months, polls have been looking good, but earlier this week support for the proposition jumped by ten points. 47% of Californians are now in favor of eliminating same-sex marriage rights, with 42% opposing. If this proposition passes, it’ll reverse the supreme court’s decision and once again make same-sex marriage illegal. Now, the numbers are inexact, and pollsters are saying it’s still too close to call. But we need to pay attention to this.

A couple of quick notes: contrary to the lies supporters are spreading, the existence of same-sex marriage does not mean that officiants are now forced to perform these marriages. One thing you hear fairly often is that theoretically, people can now sue their places of worship if said place of worship won’t marry them. Sure, they could file a lawsuit – they could absolutely take the paperwork down to the courthouse and hand it to the clerk. But it’d be laughed out of court. Rabbis aren’t forced to marry Jews and non-Jews, even though that’s legal.

Also. This whole thing about forcing teachers to tell their students that homosexuality is okay? Please. The reasoning goes like this: since teachers sometimes talk about marriage in the classroom, teachers would theoretically be required to teach that same-sex marriage is just as good as hetero marriage. I actually wish that were the case, but no – the police aren’t going to break down the doors of classrooms in which teachers aren’t extolling same-sex marriage. It just isn’t going to happen.

My husband put it very nicely: supporters of prop 8 are framing all of their arguments as theoretical – as if Californians haven’t already been living with gay marriage (in our state, cities, neighborhoods, or homes) since June. They don’t want us to think about the fact that it’s a reality: first off, because that would call attention to the fact that they’re trying to take away actual rights, and secondly, because people might start to notice that civilization hasn’t crumbled to pieces yet.

And don’t get me started on that party-A-party-B-is-ruining-straight-marriage bullshit.

If you live in California, please volunteer to phone bank with the No On 8 campaign. And if you live in Connecticut, pay attention to this – the bigots are showing their cards.

Stay tuned for my diatribe against prop 4! Also opposition to prop 2, which people are claiming will force us to eat Mexican chickens. No, I’m not making this up.

(Cross-posted on Alas, A Blog)

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7 Responses

  1. The reasoning goes like this: since teachers sometimes talk about marriage in the classroom, teachers would theoretically be required to teach that same-sex marriage is just as good as hetero marriage. I actually wish that were the case,

    You wish it were the case? So you believe that public schools should require teachers to indoctrinate children as to what the proper moral view of homosexuality is?

    This is why conservatives fear that liberals are going to force their moral beliefs on them; your argument :

    Also. This whole thing about forcing teachers to tell their students that homosexuality is okay… no – the police aren’t going to break down the doors of classrooms in which teachers aren’t extolling same-sex marriage. It just isn’t going to happen.

    is not “no, that is not what we are trying to do.” What you are arguing is: “don’t worry, we don’t have the power to do it.” It’s not “we wouldn’t,” but “yeah, we would, but we can’t, so don’t worry about it.”

  2. OK, I think I’m officially glad I no longer live in CA. A friend of mine just got a sample ballot and said it will require 48 separate actions to fully participate. I think my palliative care boards will be shorter.

    Keep fighting the good fight…I’ll just stay here and field annoying automatic phone calls from politicians. Can you say “swing state”?

  3. You wish it were the case? So you believe that public schools should require teachers to indoctrinate children as to what the proper moral view of homosexuality is?

    If by “indoctrinate” you mean “end bigotry and oppression,” then yup, guilty as charged!

    I know it’s hard to understand, though, since conservatives have never tried to force their moral beliefs on liberals.

    Honestly, I try to be understanding when an issue is complex, but same-sex marriage is such a basic right that I find it hard to muster the energy to be delicate.

  4. If by “indoctrinate” you mean “end bigotry and oppression,” then yup, guilty as charged!

    Ah, using a flippant answer to avoid answering the question.

    Let me use a better phrasing.

    Do you believe that public school teachers should be required to teach students that there is nothing morally wrong with homosexuality and that any religious or other objections they may have to it are wrong? Do you believe that it should be the schools’ function to “correct” the beliefs of students who have moral objections to homosexuality? What about the rights of the children and parents to determine their own moral viewpoints? (Note: I am not suggesting that California is doing this, just trying to determine what you mean when you say it should).

    (Personally, I think that public schools ought to steer clear of making moral judgments on issues such as this in either direction. Private schools, of course, should have much more latitude. And I have no objection to teachers of older students expressing their own personal opinions, as long as their opinions are not presented as fact).

  5. How is “yup” not answering the question? You call it indoctrinating, I call it ending oppression.

    But, okay, I think I see what you’re getting at. Do I think schools should insert new curricula into their classrooms dealing with same-sex marriage? No. What I’m saying is this: if teachers are teaching about marriage already – which I’m not even sure they’re doing, but I guess there might be life skills courses or something – then yes, I think that curriculum should include same-sex marriage, because it’s a type of marriage. If we allow it but pretend it doesn’t exist and only teach straight marriage as “real” marriage, then we’re still oppressing gay and lesbian students.

    I took a world religions class in high school, and the teacher taught about Wicca in a respectful, non-judgmental way. At no point did he try to “correct” the moral beliefs of the Christian students – but, through the very act of teaching about it, he taught that there’s nothing wrong with it. It exists, so we learned about it.

    I hope that clarifies things. But, as I said in the post, the whole question is moot anyway because, since we don’t even know what curriculum prop 8 supporters are talking about, there’s no actual situation to examine.

  6. Okay, thank you. Your second response cleared that up. I’m sorry if I seemed a little flip in my second comment, but when you rephrased my question I wasn’t certain that you were actually saying “yup” to what I has asked.

    Apparently you were not, seeing as you appear to be saying that homosexuality should be discussed in a non-judgmental way, which essentially means that determinations of its moral rightness or wrongness are left up to the individual. My fear was that you wanted the teacher to explicitly take the position that there was nothing wrong with homoseuality, with the obvious implication that students with religious/moral beliefs at odds with this statement were wrong.

    I took a world religions class in high school, and the teacher taught about Wicca in a respectful, non-judgmental way. At no point did he try to “correct” the moral beliefs of the Christian students – but, through the very act of teaching about it, he taught that there’s nothing wrong with it.

    I agree that this would be the proper way to teach students about different religions. However, I would disagree with the conclusion in the second part of your second sentence. Teaching about something in a non-judgmental way does not teach that it is correct, rather it allows the students to use their own values to determine whether or not here is something wrong with it. This is okay, though, because that is the way it should be in a public school.

  7. Okay, thank you. Your second response cleared that up.

    Sure thing – sorry for the confusion.

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