Inner bigots come out of the closet and into the streets

When I wrote yesterday's post about the overwhelming black support for Prop 8, I had not read about the vile and sickening displays of racism displayed by gay demonstrators in Los Angeles.

So, when I clicked this morning on Glenn Reynolds' link from last night to Pam Spaulding's post -- "The N-bomb is dropped on black passersby at Prop 8 protests," I was shocked. I won't quote the epithets, but to see such awful hatred directed by people who obsessively claim to be against "hate" -- against members of a minority which has suffered more hate than any other group in American history -- forces me to ask some basic questions about tolerance, diversity, and humanity.

Sometimes I wonder whether the dirty little secret is that we all hate each other, and that what is often derided as "civilization" is the only thing that keeps us in line.

(Glenn has more today, including a link to this controversial statement by Dan Savage which Pam Spaulding condemns.)

By any standard, the conduct displayed by the bigoted gay demonstrators is outrageous, inexcusable, and indefensible. However, speaking as an individualist, I don't think it any more reflects on gays as a whole than it would reflect on blacks as a whole if some angry black demonstrators hurled epithets at gays or Jews. The people who do these things are the ones who do them. That they are in a crowd of demonstrators might reflect poorly on the other demonstrators, but the problem with extrapolating from angry demonstrators to the group they claim to "represent" is that they are rarely more than a small percentage of that population. So, if a half a dozen gay bigots use the N-word at a demonstration, it no more reflects on all gays than something shouted from a crowd at a McCain rally would reflect on all Republicans.

Where I must disagree with Pam Spaulding is with her view that these awful incidents somehow constitute an "escalation of the 'blame the blacks' meme that has been swirling about the blogosphere and the MSM." She also refers to "the desire to scapegoat blacks for Prop 8's defeat" as "not-so-latent racism in our movement." Well, at least she said "in our movement." Because, at least in my case, I don't see how observations based on a statistic can constitute a "blame the blacks meme."

Statistics are not memes. Saying that 70% of blacks voted for Prop 8 is no more a meme than saying that 30% of gays voted Republican. As far as blaming or scapegoating goes, while I'm against Prop 8, I'm more or less neutral where it comes to gay marriage, because I'm highly distrustful of government involvement in a minority lifestyle which, like it or not, goes to the heart of human privacy. Gay marriage advocacy is inextricably intertwined with forcing people out of what is called "the closet." The closet (as any regular reader of Andrew Sullivan knows) is said to be at the root of much evil. Therefore, closeted gays need to be liberated -- for their own good and for the good of society. Because of the nature of the hegemonic bureaucracy which surrounds family law, family courts, family services, once gay marriage is established it will inevitably have a spillover effect, and gays who want to live their lives in privacy will be unable to do so. Sure, there will continue to be sexual flings, but once lovers move in together, there will be no way to guarantee privacy, because the state will have created not merely a sense of entitlement, but legal rights of the same sort which customarily flow to heterosexuals thanks to the evolution of family law. There are many gays who want privacy and who live in the closet. While I realize that this is immoral to Andrew Sullivan's way of thinking, I think it's fair to ask, how would they opt out?

What are the implications to the right to simply to be left alone?

The closet being what it is, though, I don't think this concern is likely to be voiced. I mean, who's going to voice it other than a kooky libertarian theoretician? Angry, in-your-face, "in-the-closet-and-proud" activists. (What this means, of course, is that whatever the extent of the right to be "in the closet," it will remain largely undefended, no matter how many of its immorally discreet members are taking advantage of it. This leaves Andrew Sullivan and other activists are free to blame people who are in "the closet" for almost anything they can think of -- the latest being Prop 8.)

To return to the idea of the "blame the blacks" meme, I'm not sure blame is the right word to describe their numerical support of Prop 8. I doubt very much that supporters of the initiative would "blame the blacks"; more likely they'd say "credit the blacks." (The point of my post was not to blame or credit, but to highlight the anamoly and note that politics is all about strange bedfellows.)

But speaking of blame (and scapegoating), I noticed that in other posts, Pam Spaulding looks at Mormon and Catholic churches and sees them (unlike blacks or black churches) as proper targets of Prop 8 protests. While I don't know what she thinks of angry gay demonstrators chanting "Mormon scum!" (and I do not suggest that this compares to the use of the N-word), she does not hesitate to condemn the Mormons as bigoted:

The amount of hot air and vapid defensiveness from an institution that has a history of bigotry and oppression against black people has earned every second of this bad press brought on by this media exposure and demonstrations. That the Mormons have trained that bigotry onto gays and lesbians families only confirms that the LDS is what is erroneous and it is repeating that sorry history.
Both Catholics and Mormons are accused of calling for theocracy:
These extremist statements and positions are nothing less than a call to establish a theocracy. Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be moved to name this behavior of these institutions for what it is -- and question the tax-exempt status of these institutions.
By that logic, taking a religious position against abortion is also a call to establish theocracy. That is not what the word "theocracy" means.

And if it is "theocracy" to invoke a religious argument against gay marriage, then why isn't Barack Obama a theocrat, as Glenn Reynolds suggested? [In ironic imitation of the left's standard.] I don't think Barack Obama is a theocrat, any more than the Mormons or the Catholics are theocrats. But you can't just draw a line and say that Mormons and Catholics who voice religious objections to gay marriage are theocrats, but Democratic United Church of Christ members who voice the same objections are not.

There's altogether too much bigotry for comfort and too many double standards for comfort.

I can't help notice that completely left out of this debate are Muslims. While an LA Times article in April noted that "U.S. Muslims share friendship, similar values with Mormons" and that "the connection is based not on theology but on shared values and a sense of isolation from mainstream America." Can there be any doubt about the Muslim position on gay marriage? While there are no statistics on the Muslim vote, I would be flabbergasted if support for gay marriage mustered more than the single digits.

Yet Mormons have been singled out as bigots.

I'm wondering whether some bigots are more equal....

MORE: There's something else worth keeping in mind that some people are forgetting. Prop 8 was not a referendum on gay marriage, but on amending the California Constitution to prohibit it. Thus, it is entirely possible that there are people (I have no way of knowing how many) who might have reservations about gay marriage -- along with some who even oppose it -- but who nonetheless do not support the Constitution being amended over it.

What that means is that voting "NO" on 8 was not necessarily a vote in favor of gay marriage.

MORE: Glenn Reynolds links some words of wisdom from Joy McCann:

There will be equality between gays and straights; let's try not to burn too many bridges on our way there.
And there's a lot more in this must-read post:
Peace between the LGBT community and people of faith is on the way--but it requires each group to respect the other's right to exist, and a commitment to try to stay out of the other's face. Neither group has an exclusive claim upon the public square, and we are all Americans, with the right to live our own lives, free from harassment. I'm not making an argument for living in the closet, or straightening one's hair for reasons other than personal preference: just that we all calm down a bit and stop trying to force others to live according to our own moral codes.
It's kind of hard to argue credibly for "tolerance" if you cannot tolerate disagreements. Or "closets."

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link, and for quoting from this post.

Comments are always appreciated, agree or disagree.

MORE: Fascinatingly, I am being taken to task in the comments for (among other things) not condemning a threat to burn down churches by "the gay community."

Eric's "outrage" at gay racism is merely self-serving. That's why we didn't see any calls for tolerance when the gay community first called for the burning of Christian and Mormon buildings.
I replied that I condemn whoever said that, and I cited Michelle Malkin's post.

It turns out to have been an anonymous commenter at the JoeMyGod blog.

So, yes, of course I condemn the JoeMyGod commenter. But is he the "gay community"? He could be anyone.

This is a bit ridiculous. Like trying to identify a voice yelling in a crowd.

AND MORE: If I didn't know any better, I'd swear a lot of people don't want an alliance between libertarians and social conservatives.

MORE: Please bear in mind that there are plenty of statements floating around that I have not condemned. But my failure to condemn them does not mean I approve of them. This is a blog, and I write about things that occur to me, and occasional posts and news items of interest.

I can't believe I'm having to say this, but what I do not write about does not indicate anything about what I think about what I don't write about.

MORE: Via Glenn, Dale Carpenter notices the tendency of some religious people to confuse criticism with bigotry, which it is not:

Religious leaders and their adherents are of course free to oppose gay marriage. But when you enter the political fray, you are not exempt from public criticism and protest just because you are a religion or have religious reasons for your advocacy. It's not anti-religious bigotry to call attention, loudly and angrily, to what you have done.
He notes that while the protests have been mostly peaceful, targeting Mormons should stop:
Moreover, despite the focus on a few extremists whose words have indeed crossed the line into religious (and racist) bigotry over the past few days, the anti-Prop 8 rallies have been peaceful and mostly respectful. Frankly, if marriage had been denied to blacks, Mormons, Catholics, or almost any other group, it's hard to imagine the reaction would have been as mild as it's been.

Nevertheless, I am uncomfortable with pickets directed at specific places of worship like the Mormon church in Los Angeles. It's too easy for such protests to degenerate into the kinds of ugly religious intolerance this country has long endured. Mormons, in particular, have historically suffered rank prejudice and even violence.

[...]

Here's my advice to righteously furious gay-marriage supporters: Stop the focus on the Mormon Church. Stop it now. We just lost a ballot fight in which we were falsely but effectively portrayed as attacking religion. So now some of us attack a religion?

I couldn't agree more. If you are falsely accused of attacking religion, I can't think of anything more stupid to do than actually attack religion.

(Via Glenn Reynolds, who notes that protestors are marching against Rick Warren's church, which they wouldn't do if it were a mosque. No, they wouldn't. The double standards are appalling.)

MORE: Speaking of the double standard, check out the horrendous tactics displayed in these pictures. And the question. "How come no one is marching on this place?" (There's a picture of the King Fahd Mosque, and no one is marching, of course. For obvious reasons.)

Via Glenn Reynolds.

MORE: It seems obvious, but I think one last observation is in order. I think that the demonstrators who are abusing their First Amendment rights (as they damage their own cause) would do well to think about what would happen to angry gay demonstrators in Muslim countries. I mean, here we are, in a country where nearly half the voting public is cool with gay marriage, while in many Muslim countries, gays are routinely executed.

To say that these two cultures are not on the same page of history is an understatement.

Not even the same century.

posted by Eric on 11.08.08 at 12:43 PM










Comments

There certainly are well-intentioned believers of varied religious denominations who oppose legal recognition of certain policies (abortion, various civil rights) they feel are proscribed by sacred scriptures.
But Obama doesn't believe in the baby Jesus any more than I do. He's a member of that stupid pastor's church for political cover of his white half. He rejects gay marriage for the same reason. If black Americans decide they are OK with gay marriage, Obama will be the first to know. He will govern like Clinton, by weekly poll results.
For the American Left, the beliefs of their candidates can never be hypocritical.

I agree with little of GWB's policies, but there is no doubt he governs by his personal beliefs.

dr kill   ·  November 8, 2008 1:47 PM

The supporters of Prop 8 ran the most unethical and dishonest campaign I can ever recall in California. I received several recorded phone calls on the days before the election containing Obama's voice implying that he supported Prop 8, when in fact, he opposed it. The Prop 8 people ran TV commercials stating that unless Prop 8 passed, churches that refused to perform gay weddings would lost their tax-exempt status. That was untrue. The Prop 8 people did not run one honest TV ad.

chocolatier   ·  November 8, 2008 2:21 PM

This is so weird. The Latino vote was also "uhm, "anti-gay marriage" When are they going to be trashed by the "left gay professional activists?" This subject could end up damaging the Left Democrats as badly as the abortion issue did the "Social Conservatives" in the Republican party.
The basic fear seems that the majority of US is Jacksonian and does not want anyone sticking their nose into what they consider their private life or using law to impose religious or ideological beliefs on them. Fear of he future reigns.

toad   ·  November 8, 2008 3:59 PM

Don't you mean Prop 8's victory, not defeat?

Alan Kellogg   ·  November 8, 2008 6:48 PM

until Same-sex advocates stop calling people who question the wisdom of redefining marriage "anti-gay bigots" then, yes, this is going to go on.

Being against SSM is not being anti-gay. Period.

and chocolatier, funny but it wasn't the pro-8 side that ran the vicious anti-LDS ad of a couple of Mormons barging into a lesbian couples home and rampaging through their things and chuckling evilly and saying "what do we ban next?"

Darleen   ·  November 8, 2008 6:52 PM

Frankly, I was surprised at how unethical and dishonest the pro Prop 8 ads were, considering that this campaign was mainly paid for by conservative and highly moralistic churches. I guess they felt that any means are justified in "doing God's work."

chocolatier   ·  November 8, 2008 7:30 PM

"Can't we all just get along?"
Please excuse me a minute while I gag.
The religious right in California started the attack years ago with the Briggs Initiative that would have banned gays from teaching in public schools.
This latest inroad by the Mormon church is just one of many in the planning stage.

While Eric dreams of a libertarian/social conservative coalition, the religious right has its own agenda. It is epitomized by Mike Huckabee. The mistake was made years ago with the GOP southern strategy. It's going to end up with social conservatives in complete control of the party.

As to leaving the Mormons alone after this, and it will all just go away -- no it won't.
There is a basic conflict here:
I see it as part of a world wide jihad of religious fundamentalism. They want their religious views enforced by the state. And they are winning


Frank W.   ·  November 9, 2008 12:39 AM

Frank W

Was the Briggs initiative passed? Not only did that 1978 initiative fail, but it failed by a huge margin ... Many Republicans (including Reagan) opposed it. My own dad, to the right of Attila the Hun, was vocally against the initiative.

Again, Same-sex marriage doesn't have anything to do with being "anti-gay".

Darleen   ·  November 9, 2008 12:14 PM

Alan, your point is right, but the words I quoted were not mine:

http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8077

The backlash is upon us, and it's going to get uglier unless our organizations step forward and say something. The desire to scapegoat blacks for Prop 8's defeat has exposed the now not-so-latent racism in our movement.
She obviously meant victory.

(I misspeak that way a lot, and while I correct the errors when I see them, I always hope readers will understand my meaning anyway.)

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 12:51 PM

It seesm to me that there is one possibility everyone has chosen to overlook; people voted for Prop 8 because they are tired of the courts overruling their decisions. The people of California vored to prohibit gay marriage once before and the courts simply decided to ignore the will of the people. So, people vote to codify it in the Constitution to stop the court from ignoring them again.

Frankly I don't think its going to work. The people of California are going to wake up in the near future to find that the courts have overruled them yet again. And the people of the nation are going to find out that liberals really don't care what the people think about anything.

John Steele   ·  November 9, 2008 1:02 PM

Why no invective directed at the Muslim community????

Come now, you don't REALLY find that all that mystifying, do you???

BD57   ·  November 9, 2008 1:03 PM

There will be equality between gays and straights; let's try not to burn too many bridges on our way there.

Um, no there won't be equality between gays and straights, not now, not ever. It has something to do with biology, Eric. It turns out that feces and eggs aren't the same. You can play "let's pretend" 24/7, but they just aren't ever going to be equal. This is no different than playing "let's pretend" with health care and imagining that the nation can afford CAT scans for everyone. (See also: National Debt, your personal share of.)

Living in a fantasy world where gays and straights are equal and we can afford ponies for everyone is fine for schizophrenics, but it's a bit embarassing for someone who espouses "classical values."

K T Cat   ·  November 9, 2008 1:05 PM

Allah's (swt) law on homosexuality is well known. Man-made laws are irrelevant.

Renounce your false religions. Embrace Islam now and live in peace in submission to the will of Almighty Allah (swt).

Your grandchildren will be Muslim.

Allahu akbar!

American Muslim   ·  November 9, 2008 1:07 PM

How much money did muslims raise to get Prop 8 passed? I believe the reason mormons have been "singled out" is because of various articles floating around stating that mormons raised millions to get Prop 8 passed.

Jason   ·  November 9, 2008 1:26 PM

Identity politics being at the heart of leftism it is not surprising to see the heated invective and finger pointing. Even more rich is the highly selective finger pointing noted by some others (Latino vote, Islamic vote, etc.) The upshot of this is to perpetually link SSM with the far left agenda.

While I doubt that all, or even most, proponents of SSM seek it as a means to undermine all marriage, and as a wedge into dictating further aspects of public life (public education, freedom of religion) I cannot dismiss the likelihood that many of its supporters seek just that.

ThomasD   ·  November 9, 2008 1:44 PM

Jason is right. The reason Mormons are being singled out here is the huge influx of LDS money from outside California that found its way into pro-8 coffers. The Muslims may have donated as well, but not significantly.

Also, while it's true Hispanics voted "yes" as a group, it was a pretty slender margin (one or two points, I think). Blacks voted for the proposition at a 70-30 ratio, and this at a time when black turnout was very heavy.

Eric   ·  November 9, 2008 1:46 PM

" I was shocked."

Welcome to the real world.

Tim   ·  November 9, 2008 1:57 PM

I just went googling for better data on the vote breakdown. Couldn't find much on latinos, but did find this map.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-2008election-prop8prop22,0,333635.htmlstory

Look at the filters, and select 'vote separated by 10% or less.' That's not a whole heck of a lot of the State. Yes some are high population coastal counties, meaning they are the only reason it was even close.

ThomasD   ·  November 9, 2008 2:10 PM

So, as private citizens, the Mormons put their money where their mouth was and that's why the GLBT community has made them the focus of their ire. Big deal -- it's how the political process works and has always worked. But as individuals, they still only had a single vote on this issue like everybody else.

I'd be interested to see the numbers of registered Muslim voters versus registered Mormon voters and how they voted on the proposition -- they far outnumber the Mormons in California -- anyone able to dig those up? It's only my guess that the overwhelming majority (not to mention the huge numbers of faithful Californian Catholics) of that group required no convincing with Mormon-paid-for advertising.

So spending money to persuade others to vote with you is a greater offense than just showing up at the ballot box and voting your conscience? How much money did the GLBT community spend against the proposition and what percentage of California's population are they (and how does that stack up against the Mormons)? And where do the supporters of Prop 8 line up to picket the gross, anti-religious bigotry recently displayed by the GLBT activists on parade?

When the GLBT community stages it's next raucous protest in the middle of Compton or East LA rather than in front of an edifice venerated by a group of people who will not fight back in kind, I'll start to take their genuine commitment to "equal rights for all" a bit more seriously. THAT'S putting your money where your mouth is.

Nikko   ·  November 9, 2008 2:15 PM

Eric, et al.

If you go over to Pam's House Blend, you'll see my name in the comments here and there.

I tried to explain the "individual vs. group" thing, and was accused of supporting things like eugenics.

There appears to be an utter inability of many on the left to think of individuals in anything BUT the context of their group identity.

The terms "gay community", "black community", etc. are a symptom.

The religious right may want to use the government to force individuals to conform to certain norms.

However, the inability of many in their opposition to even understand the idea of individuals, individual actions, individual choices, and individual rights, seems to be paralyzing them -- and leading to this sort of hatred of whole groups of people by some.

Other gay posters there have a problem with being considered "deviants" or whatever. It seems that what they want is social acceptance by law -- which, while the outcome may be nominally libertarian in some cases, is just the other side of the religious right coin.

As a libertarian, I think there's nothing wrong with being a "deviant." All of us who are remotely interesting are "deviants", in that we don't always conform to social norms. I am straight, but I deviate from the norms around me in many ways, and those ways are always in flux.

Yes, homosexuality is deviant behavior. Most people aren't gay. Why is "deviant" bad, though? All it means to me is that one doesn't fall in the center of the bell curve.

As a libertarian, I see the goal as allowing deviance from norms. If nobody gets hurt involuntarily, let's ALLOW deviant behavior.

But good luck trying to explain it to the commenters on Pam's House Blend. There's not a lot of rational thought being displayed, even though the people the tend to be articulate.

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 2:16 PM

Eric, et al.

If you go over to Pam's House Blend, you'll see my name in the comments here and there.

I tried to explain the "individual vs. group" thing, and was accused of supporting things like eugenics.

There appears to be an utter inability of many on the left to think of individuals in anything BUT the context of their group identity.

The terms "gay community", "black community", etc. are a symptom.

The religious right may want to use the government to force individuals to conform to certain norms.

However, the inability of many in their opposition to even understand the idea of individuals, individual actions, individual choices, and individual rights, seems to be paralyzing them -- and leading to this sort of hatred of whole groups of people by some.

Other gay posters there have a problem with being considered "deviants" or whatever. It seems that what they want is social acceptance by law -- which, while the outcome may be nominally libertarian in some cases, is just the other side of the religious right coin.

As a libertarian, I think there's nothing wrong with being a "deviant." All of us who are remotely interesting are "deviants", in that we don't always conform to social norms. I am straight, but I deviate from the norms around me in many ways, and those ways are always in flux.

Yes, homosexuality is deviant behavior. Most people aren't gay. Why is "deviant" bad, though? All it means to me is that one doesn't fall in the center of the bell curve.

As a libertarian, I see the goal as allowing deviance from norms. If nobody gets hurt involuntarily, let's ALLOW deviant behavior.

But good luck trying to explain it to the commenters on Pam's House Blend. There's not a lot of rational thought being displayed, even though the people the tend to be articulate.

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 2:16 PM

The whole debate over Gay Marriage in California is so weird that it at times defies description. The gay community here is determined to be the persecuted minority, hopefully with the California Supreme Court telling the majority of Californians that they're closed-minded religious bigots who should shut up because their opinions are politically incorrect. This, apparently, would be a better result than convincing a majority of the population to vote in their favor. If you did that, there would be no chance to shout bigot at your opponents, and cap it with various racial epithets.

DavidsHat   ·  November 9, 2008 2:23 PM

>>> I received several recorded phone calls on the days before the election containing Obama's voice implying that he supported Prop 8, when in fact, he opposed it.

Hell, you can do that on every one of Obama's positions. He's against gay marriage but he is against Prop 8. He wants less abortions but wants getting an abortion to be easier (and hence, have more abortions). Obama is a two-faced Janus.

RM   ·  November 9, 2008 2:58 PM

>>>>As a libertarian, I see the goal as allowing deviance from norms. If nobody gets hurt involuntarily, let's ALLOW deviant behavior.

Thanks to persons of certain ideologies, the government pays spouses benefits. Do I care who you are married to? No. Do I care where my tax dollars are going? Hell yes.

RM   ·  November 9, 2008 3:02 PM

Thanks to persons of certain ideologies, the government pays spouses benefits. Do I care who you are married to? No. Do I care where my tax dollars are going? Hell yes.

Well, that's true.

But does who's putting what in which orifice have any particular bearing on that?

How about a proposal to change those benefits? (I can't think of many specific instances where tax dollars flow to a spouse where they wouldn't flow to the same person if single, but maybe I'm missing something big.)

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 3:09 PM

"Peace between the LGBT community and people of faith is on the way--but it requires each group to respect the other's right to exist, and a commitment to try to stay out of the other's face."

That's the balance. I shouldn't care less what two consenting adults do in their bedrooms. I should only care what they do in the public square. Marriage exists in society as a sacrament between man and woman... and every religion the world over recognizes marriage as a sacrament. So why not civil unions for the secular relationship? Why can't we all agree that civil union gives the equivalent civil rights, property rights, etc., without giving the sacerdotal language of marriage to it?


"Neither group has an exclusive claim upon the public square, and we are all Americans, with the right to live our own lives, free from harassment. I'm not making an argument for living in the closet, or straightening one's hair for reasons other than personal preference: just that we all calm down a bit and stop trying to force others to live according to our own moral codes."

And if marriage is allowed to be sane-sex, the next consequence will be churches, temples, and mosques sued for discrimination when they forbid a wedding ceremony... I don't think a criminal charge could ever be filed against such institutions, but I can see lawyers trying to bankrupt churches with litigation. Doesn't matter if they win, they can suck the coffers dry trying to force their beliefs-- that religious people don't have rights-- on those institutions.

servedcold   ·  November 9, 2008 3:09 PM

"And if marriage is allowed to be sane-sex, the next consequence will be churches, temples, and mosques sued for discrimination when they forbid a wedding ceremony... I don't think a criminal charge could ever be filed against such institutions, but I can see lawyers trying to bankrupt churches with litigation. Doesn't matter if they win, they can suck the coffers dry trying to force their beliefs-- that religious people don't have rights-- on those institutions."

Maybe so.

However, wouldn't it be better to add an amendment that would specifically protect the right of religious and other institutions to follow their own beliefs about marriage without fear of lawsuits?

Perhaps attorneys bringing such suits would be dismembered in public or something equally medieval, as a deterrent. ;-)

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 3:26 PM

"And if marriage is allowed to be sane-sex, the next consequence will be churches, temples, and mosques sued for discrimination when they forbid a wedding ceremony... I don't think a criminal charge could ever be filed against such institutions, but I can see lawyers trying to bankrupt churches with litigation. Doesn't matter if they win, they can suck the coffers dry trying to force their beliefs-- that religious people don't have rights-- on those institutions."

Maybe so.

However, wouldn't it be better to add an amendment that would specifically protect the right of religious and other institutions to follow their own beliefs about marriage without fear of lawsuits?

Perhaps attorneys bringing such suits would be dismembered in public or something equally medieval, as a deterrent. ;-)

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 3:26 PM

It wasn't about marriage. It was about normalizing a deviant lifestyle - which is OK as long as the community has a say in how the culture around them changes. If the Gay lobby had waited a few more years I think the state would have given them what they wanted, but they had to force the issue. The success of prop 8 is a win for democracy and the protection of societal norms that are not unreasonable.

Shane   ·  November 9, 2008 3:31 PM

Smell the Change

Mason   ·  November 9, 2008 3:33 PM

I'm enjoying these comments but where did I preach (or imply) equality between feces and eggs?

I'm using to having words stuffed in my mouth, but some things I cannot swallow!

Ugh!

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 3:44 PM

Gay marriage, which I believe you support (am I wrong?), is an act to equate heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships. They are not equal.

All children come from heterosexual relationships. No children come from homosexual relationships. They are not equivalent. Period. You can pretend anything you want with language or the law, but they are not nor will they ever be equivalent.

K T Cat   ·  November 9, 2008 4:07 PM

Strangely, I've seen ample news coverage of gays picketing in front of the Mormon temple on Wilshire Boulevard, but I haven't hear of them storming down into East LA and South Central to picket in front of the Latino Catholic and black Baptist churches. Why is that?

Dr. Kill -- Then why did Slow Joe Biden say he and Obama opposed gay marriage in his debate with Palin?

EXXO03   ·  November 9, 2008 4:10 PM

It is dishonest of our "tolerant" host to pretend to be upset at intrinsic gay bigotry when he not only expressed approval of gay bigotry toward Mormons, but also mocked Christian outrage at the gay community's anti-Christian hatefest.

Eric's "outrage" at gay racism is merely self-serving. That's why we didn't see any calls for tolerance when the gay community first called for the burning of Christian and Mormon buildings. It wasn't until the black community starting putting together the gay calls of "nigger" next to "church burnings" and read the writing on the wall. Only then, in the face of retaliatory action, did gay activists decide that church burning was not too bright an idea. Undoubtedly, the anti-Mormon campaign is still underway.

Mike Jackson   ·  November 9, 2008 4:15 PM


While a case can be made that anti-SSM ≠ anti-gay, the same superficial case can be made in favor of the separate but equal doctrine. The EFFECT of anti-SSM laws are undeniably anti-gay insofar as they don't affect non-gays while simultaneously having the potential to affect every homosexual adult.

And although I don't yet understand what gay marriage activist have against the Mormons, I can definitely understand their problem with African Americans. If the GLBT community organized, campaigned and voted more than 2 to 1 for a Muslim candidate or a Hispanic candidate only to see them vote in the same proportion against gay civil rights, the gay activists might be calling them names too.

peter jackson   ·  November 9, 2008 4:23 PM

Gay marriage, which I believe you support (am I wrong?), is an act to equate heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships. They are not equal.

First, I did not say I supported gay marriage. I explained some of my reservations in an earlier post:

http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2008/11/post_932.html

But whether I support it or not, equal rights or access to privileges under the law are not a reflection or a judgment that those being given the same rights are the same. That the right to vote is held equally does not imply that an uneducated and ignorant person is the equal of a Rhodes scholar. A lot of people share equal rights but are not equal.

All children come from heterosexual relationships. No children come from homosexual relationships. They are not equivalent. Period. You can pretend anything you want with language or the law, but they are not nor will they ever be equivalent.

It is accurate to say that children cannot come from homosexual relationships (although lesbians can have children with gay men or via insemination). But should the inability to have children be the limiting factor? By that standard, should sterile or elderly individuals be disallowed from marrying?

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 4:25 PM

By that standard, should sterile or elderly individuals be disallowed from marrying?

That's really the reason I figure we should have civil unions for everyone, including heterosexual couples.

If we intend to confer certain benefits on intact families with children, then why should they apply to BoBo DINK's, whether straight, gay, or platonic?

Perhaps it would make more sense to leave the word "marriage" to churches and individuals, offer standardized civil union contracts for anyone as a government function, and address families with children as a separate issue.

I believe that what many people are really thinking, when they come up with arguments about children, is, "But, but, gay marriage is SILLY! Why should the state sanction silliness?"

On a personal, emotional level, I'm there, too. As a straight, married man, I have the, "Man, that's just silly!" reaction, too.

I just don't think that there's any rational argument for having state law reflect someone's shallow emotional reactions, whether we're talking about banning those scary guns, banning gay marriage, or whatever.

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 4:43 PM

Oh, and I think, yes.

Protection from random slaughter by others, or the threat thereof, is really what justifies the costs of constructing and maintaining a civilization.

Sometimes I wonder whether the dirty little secret is that we all hate each other, and that what is often derided as "civilization" is the only thing that keeps us in line.

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 4:51 PM

Mike Jackson, you're stuffing words in my mouth. You give no example of how I "expressed approval of gay bigotry toward Mormons." (I never have.)

As to your complaint that I "mocked Christian outrage at the gay community's anti-Christian hatefest," are you suggesting that my disagreement with Matt Barber's contentions constituted "mocking Christian outrage"?

http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2007/12/post_545.html

I took issue with what I saw as a rather ridiculous lack of logic displayed by Matt Barber and the Americans for Truth website. I don't think it's accurate to characterize their statements as "Christian outrage" in the general sense -- any more than statements by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Individuals have every right to get outraged, but not to have that outrage speak for any Christians other than those who endorse it.

My "outrage" at gay racism is "merely self-serving"? How does it "serve" me? I'd love to know. What I'm doing is stating my opinion here.

I'll say this, though. Had "the gay community" called for "the burning of Christian and Mormon buildings," I would condemn it outright. In fact, I do condemn anyone who called for such a thing, although there are plenty of outrages that I never manage to blog about.

Looks like it was a blogger -- JoeMyGod -- who said that:

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/11/07/unhinged-losers-prop-8-opponents-threaten-mormons-and-catholics/

So, yes, of course I condemn JoeMyGod. But is he the "gay community"? (Every bit as much as Matt Barber is the Christian community.)

Personally, I think there's too much identity politics in all of this.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 4:59 PM

Live by the collectivist sword, die by the collectivist sword.

I mean, how clear can it get? LGBT activists have just found themselves impaled on the same sword that the Left loves to cheer on when the individual rights being stomped thereby are ones they don't like (self defense? Freedom of trade?)

The No campaign failed because it attempted to paint the issue as one of individual rights. The Left has ZERO credibility as a defender of such, and the Yes campaign capitalized on it. When I saw the tack the No campaign took when the Yes people came out with the ads catching that school official out in a lie -- that is, they ignored it -- I knew they were dead.

So what now for gay activists? Are they going to finally wake up and realize who their fellow travellers are -- and where their road leads? Will they realize just whose collectivist sword is in their guts? Will they realize that individual rights should not be subject to the vote?

Or will they simply continue letting the Left pull their strings, pull the sword out, and find some other collective to run through with it?

Sadly, on Friday, some of the LGBT community gave their answer. West Hollywood last Friday, was a brief, yet stark, preview of the world that lies at the end of the Left's road: endless war between the tribes.

Leftists worked overtime to direct (not defuse, mind you -- DIRECT) the anger towards the usual "rightist" targets -- in this case the Mormons -- but the voting info came out, and the anger came too fast and too readily for them to channel it completely... and thusly did the mask slip.

Gays: wake up. The Left is not your friend. The advocates of individual rights, such as myself, who rooted for Prop 8 to fail -- are.

Seerak   ·  November 9, 2008 5:08 PM

One last thought...

Maybe the fact that we have made it unacceptable to speak certain words or even ideas out loud doesn't change what people are thinking. When people feel pushed to their limits, the words come out.

Simply making certain words taboo in polite company, so that even innocuous humor is condemned as "racism", may just drive these thoughts and feelings underground. Perhaps a more open dialogue, with people trying to listen to each other, instead of trying desperately to take offense, would do more to actually defuse the racism that clearly lurks.

BarryD   ·  November 9, 2008 5:12 PM

Sorry, it wasn't JoeMyGod, but an anonymous commenter at the JoeMyGod blog.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 5:17 PM

Gay marriage advocacy is inextricably intertwined with forcing people out of what is called "the closet." The closet (as any regular reader of Andrew Sullivan knows) is said to be at the root of much evil. Therefore, closeted gays need to be liberated -- for their own good and for the good of society. Because of the nature of the hegemonic bureaucracy which surrounds family law, family courts, family services, once gay marriage is established it will inevitably have a spillover effect, and gays who want to live their lives in privacy will be unable to do so. Sure, there will continue to be sexual flings, but once lovers move in together, there will be no way to guarantee privacy, because the state will have created not merely a sense of entitlement, but legal rights of the same sort which customarily flow to heterosexuals thanks to the evolution of family law. There are many gays who want privacy and who live in the closet. While I realize that this is immoral to Andrew Sullivan's way of thinking, I think it's fair to ask, how would they opt out?

There's a lot to unpack here, but basically, this is an almost complete misreading of the notion of a "closet". The idea of "closeted" gay people has to do with fear. Fear of violence, of social rejection, of being mistreated and misunderstood; perversely, when few people "come out" of the closet, the effect of social stigma is heightened: when we are invisible, it is easier to denigrate, loathe and mis-define who we are.

As gay people, most of us would say, honestly, that we don't want to "force" closeted people to come out; those of us who are out, to whatever degree, encourage others to do the same because, well, it's freeing: it is easier, and simpler, to be ghonest about who you are, who you love, how you live your life than to pretend, to hde, and to lie. "Outing", which is often misused and misunderstood, usually happens when people who live especially hyocritical lives - such as Mark Foley - are forced to account for the difference between their public and private lives. I don't necessarily love the idea of outing... but as it related to our visibility during the AIDS crisis especially, I know why it was used as a tactic. When our very lives are at stake, those among us who pretend to a heterosexual life and condemn others who are gay are not just protecting themselves; they are injuring others.

Gay marriage isn't really about "the closet" - no one, really, who wants to announce their bond publically and formally is struggling with deciding whether or not to be open about their life. But as Sullivan argues, correctly (though I don't necessarily want marriage for myself), marriage simply acknowledges that a relationship between two loving people, whether of the same gender or opposite ones, is really not so different. Whether or not Prop 8 stands, we can't really go back - gay people are too out, too open... too present in the culture to pretend anymore. The old ideas of the closet, of hiding and shame, are really much less relevant than they ever were. And they cannot, wholesale, be reinstituted.

Eric is right on many fronts - we can'tdemonize all gays for the racist comments of a few; and we should, as gay people, consider that libertarians, when fighting for marriage rights, may be more allies than enemies. Most importantly, though, I don't think we can hide - as Pam tries - from that hard parts of a conversation about race and prejudice that we've tried not to have for a long, long time. There are reasons blacks went for Prop 8 in such lopsided numbers, and it's not just old time religious beliefs; it's a tension between the public vs. private sense of being openly gay as well. And it is about facing the notion that black people too carry prejudices and stereotypes that need to be discussed and challenged for progress to be made. Yes, this week's events have, on some level, been very disheartening, especially to "can't we all get along" liberals... but then, too, there is a discussion to be had here. And we shouldn't hide from it. Especially in those "closets."

weboy   ·  November 9, 2008 5:57 PM

PS, I should clarify one thing: I think it is entirely possible to be openly gay, and want a "private" life... including a promiscuous one, without a formal marriage. The idea of "being gay the way you want to" - which is certainly how I've lived my life, as have many of my friends - certainly has a libertarian core. The fact that I can see, for others in long term relationships, the legal and social need for marriage, doesn't mean "forcing" anyone to do anything, especially me; if it did, I'd probably look more askance at it. And as someone who's lived in a "post-marriage" gay Boston, while it's hard to find a boyfriend for all the "husbands" running around together - :) - I don't think anyone feels the "pressure" to be any more out than they've ever been. Gay marriage doesn't rob anyone - especially other gay people - of the right to a private life.

weboy   ·  November 9, 2008 6:08 PM

You are being dishonest, Eric. You enjoy tweeking the noses of Christians when they rightfully point out the double standards within the gay community (and Libertarian community, for that matter) and then claim that it was not your intention at all. Save it.

I'll post a rather easy example of your brand of honesty, Eric. In the link you provided (your puke post), you state:

"[T]he Folsom supper does not represent anyone to be Jesus or his disciples. The black man in the center does not look at all like Jesus, there's no food on the table, the vaulted interior is completely different architecturally from the da Vinci interior, and there also appear to be three women. It's an S&M-oriented scene, with potential players sitting around in poses suggestive of a Renaissance painting."

That's an example of your honesty and lack of anti-Christion bigotry, right? Because we all know that you would find a reasonable excuse for a poster of two men kissing with a tag, "Warning: Freaks are Loose" at your neighborhood Fair. It would merely be an admonition against two men's haircuts and clothing style, not against gays ("they don't even look gay").

What is it about libertarians that they tolerate anti-Christian and anti-Muslim bigotry at the same time that they are clearly quick to defend against anti-Semitism and homophobic remarks? That type of selective outrage is bigotry, something that the libertarian movement has become all too comfortably associated with.


Mike Jackson   ·  November 9, 2008 6:37 PM

Mike I think you've missed my numerous defenses of Christians and Mormons.

But if we stick to the post which offends you, it's fair to point out that what I disagreed with was the ridiculous charge (which reached my attention via an email to me from Matt Barber) of blasphemy.

Here's what I said (including what you quoted in part):

http://www.classicalvalues.com/archives/2007/12/post_545.html

***QUOTE***
Let's start with the allegedly blasphemous image:

[folsomBlasphemy.jpg]

Clearly, it's evocative of the Last Supper, which is one of the most famous paintings of all time. To a Muslim, the Last Supper would be blasphemous in itself, and it might be to certain Christians who might believe it constitutes a graven image.

But is a take-off on a Renaissance painting blasphemy? Should Nancy Pelosi condemn it? I don't know. Did she condemn the Mohammad cartoons?

Perhaps that's not a fair comparison, because the Folsom supper does not represent anyone to be Jesus or his disciples. The black man in the center does not look at all like Jesus, there's no food on the table, the vaulted interior is completely different architecturally from the da Vinci interior, and there also appear to be three women. It's an S&M-oriented scene, with potential players sitting around in poses suggestive of a Renaissance painting.

I checked into the blasphemy statutes, and I don't think any prosecutor would have much of a case....

***END QUOTE***

Sorry, but I'm not seeing anti-Christian bigotry in the above analysis. Just a rejection of the blasphemy charge.

If you think it's blasphemous, that's your right, but it's hardly "anti-Christian" to disagree with you -- any more than it would be "anti-Muslim" to disagree with a Muslim who claimed the Mohammad cartoons were blasphemous.

we all know that you would find a reasonable excuse for a poster of two men kissing with a tag, "Warning: Freaks are Loose" at your neighborhood Fair.

Sure I would. It's called the First Amendment!

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 7:19 PM

I don't think that it's appropriate to tar homosexuals as racial bigots either. But I do think that individuals who select to join identity groups - whether based on sexual orientation, gender, race or some other set of phenotypical traits - is more likely to be a bigot.

Whether they are a priori bigots, or bigots as the result of the indoctrination into the group is an open question. But the consequence is that those people who condemn bigotry against their group are probably more likely to be bigoted against other groups than someone with no such affiliations.

Moe   ·  November 9, 2008 8:16 PM

"Sorry, but I'm not seeing anti-Christian bigotry in the above analysis."

Sure.

And my selected poster isn't anti-gay!

Mike Jackson   ·  November 9, 2008 8:48 PM

Mike, I resent being called anti-Christian, because I am no more anti-Christian than I am anti-Muslim, anti-black, anti-Semitic, or anti-gay. Just as disagreeing with Barack Obama is not racist, disagreeing with Matt Barber or Jeremiah Wright is not anti-Christian. Nor is disagreeing with you, as no one speaks for all Christians. The biggest problem with your argument is that you are making assumptions and have not explained how it was "anti-Christian" for me to explain why the Last Supper satire poster is not blasphemous. (I didn't say I liked it or even that I approved of it; only that the blasphemy charge was ridiculous.)

Regarding your poster comparison, if it isn't anti-gay to call gays "freaks" in a poster, then I'm assuming it wouldn't be anti-Christian to call Christians "freaks" in a poster. I wouldn't do either, but I'd defend the first Amendment rights of both.

Once again, you stated that I "expressed approval of gay bigotry toward Mormons" without giving an example. Where did I do this?

Eric Scheie   ·  November 9, 2008 11:12 PM

Eric,

You claim to not be anti-Christian yet you had a laughing good time arguing that the street fair was not directed at the Christian faith and their iconic Last Supper of Christ, but instead at a Renaissance painting, simply oil on canvas and no more message than that.

That doesn't pass the laugh test, but somehow you are sensitive to being recognized as a bigot. Cry me a river.

I'm not going to waste energy or your bandwidth recalling other posts just so you can use the same mocking "logic" to excuse them.

" ...if it isn't anti-gay to call gays "freaks" in a poster, then I'm assuming it wouldn't be anti-Christian to call Christians "freaks" in a poster."

LMAO. You can't even understand the clear meaning in that. Unbelievable.

Mike Jackson   ·  November 9, 2008 11:42 PM

Mike, you say I had a "laughing good time arguing that the street fair was not directed at the Christian faith and their iconic Last Supper of Christ, but instead at a Renaissance painting, simply oil on canvas and no more message than that." Again, you're putting words in my mouth. Where did I argue that the poster wasn't directed against the Christian faith? I argued that the people who said it was blasphemy were being ridiculous, which they were. These two are not synonymous.

We are all bigots in one way or another, Mike, but I am not bigoted against Christians any more than I'm bigoted against any other group.

I'm not going to waste energy or your bandwidth recalling other posts just so you can use the same mocking "logic" to excuse them.

(Come on, who is engaged in mocking there?)

For the third time, you said that I "expressed approval of gay bigotry toward Mormons" without giving an example. Where did I do this?

Go ahead, waste my band width and show me.

Just don't say you're not mocking me. Of course you are.

" ...if it isn't anti-gay to call gays "freaks" in a poster, then I'm assuming it wouldn't be anti-Christian to call Christians "freaks" in a poster."

LMAO. You can't even understand the clear meaning in that. Unbelievable.

Explain, please. I'm using the standard you propounded, not mine.

How can I have a laughing good time when I'm crying a river?

WAAAAH!

:)

Mike, looking back I see that I even said that the poster might be disrespectful. And nauseating:

...suppose we assume the whole thing is disrespectful in the extreme. Nauseating, even.
What more would you have me do? Call for a blasphemy prosecution? I would hardly be sincere if I did, and I doubt it would satisify you, but I aim to please. Let me know what you want from me and I'll try to comply with your wishes... I only want you to be happy.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 10, 2008 12:08 AM

"If you are falsely accused of attacking religion, I can't think of anything more stupid to do than actually attack religion."

Right. But it's OK for religion to openly attack the civil rights of despised minorities.
Maybe attacking the Mormon church openly is stupid. We WOULDN'T want to throw their history of bigotry against black people in their lily white faces, would we?
And surely we wouldn't want to bring up their not-so-well concealed toleration of polygamy in the little towns of Utah today.
No, it would be shear folly to go after a wealthy church that has its hands in railroads, supermarket chains, and feeds the back pockets of chosen politicians.
Better we goes back to bein' good houseboys, who noes they place. We just "Jump Da Broom" when we wants to marry. That's it. An' we does it in the closet.

Frank W.   ·  November 10, 2008 12:28 AM

It was about normalizing a deviant lifestyle - which is OK as long as the community has a say in how the culture around them changes.

That doesn't sound like Liberty to me.

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jefferson

Get it: rights are individual.

The Right practices Cultural Socialism
The Left practices Economic Socialism

We are so screwed.

In any case it seems like the electorate prefers Cultural Liberty this election cycle. Socons are just going to have to suck it up.

Democrat Party is basically made up of victims of socon intolerance. Socons: get a clue.

M. Simon   ·  November 10, 2008 12:46 AM

Simon:
You are so right. And we are so screwed.

Frank W.   ·  November 10, 2008 1:09 AM

Well, well, well.

What more could the people behind things like Proposition 8 hope for than a chance to "show" that gays hate democracy, religion, and black people?

New Frontiersman   ·  November 10, 2008 1:58 AM

To those who make the libertarian sounding suggestion that we get the government out of the business of defining marriage, I say sure, no problem just as long as the government gets all the way out. That means that when I choose to extend some benefit only to those employees of mine I consider to be married, then like good libertarians you'll support my choice.

Too many libertopians take for granted that their libertopia will include having their favorite social and cultural norms enforced by a friendly-to-libertopians big government.

Anonymous   ·  November 10, 2008 5:19 PM

Actually, I would be fine with not compelling individuals to ignore their pet issue of whatever stripes. I would even allow store owners to have a no-blacks policy, even as I complained that they were idiotic racist *********. I actually believe in the concept of private property. I would also support, and possibly participate in street protests of any store doing that, I just wouldn't support government shutdown of said store. Note that I don't think anti-gay marriage ******** are as bad as racist *********, I just wanted to make it clear exactly how far my support for private property and individual rights actually extend.

Phlinn   ·  November 12, 2008 12:09 PM

Actually Allan Kellogg, Being against SSM is ALWAYS going to be anti-gay. Period.

You can delude yourself all you want, but you are and always will be a bigot as long as you hold that belief.

C   ·  November 13, 2008 1:35 AM

Actually, that comment goes to Darleen, since I didn't realize this comment section is kind of the reverse format of most other blogs.

C   ·  November 13, 2008 1:39 AM

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Joan Newman   ·  November 13, 2008 2:19 AM

wqpabkdnu ubfexoq qjifazs loux bqht hsjdzwlqi gplrakm

nrxlvbuef bzgp   ·  November 13, 2008 7:51 AM

wqpabkdnu ubfexoq qjifazs loux bqht hsjdzwlqi gplrakm

nrxlvbuef bzgp   ·  November 13, 2008 7:51 AM

First I am frankly sick to death of this whole debate. Why since they eschew the traditional roles of men and women do homosexuals seek to bind themselves in a religious ritual? If one does not proscribe to religion it is interesting that one would seek the validation of a lifestyle so violently opposed to that which the ritual seeks to impose.

Of course the argument made is that they only seek to be equal. If that is the case they have only to effect a civil partnership which will give them all the rights and privilages to which the aspire.

The fact is homosexuals want confirmation that the lifestyle they engage in is accepted and respected. That will never happen as long as people of faith believe in Creation, the Bible, Jesus Christ and morality. It is the antithesis of the plan that God began with the creation of ADAM and EVE.


Lastly (thank goodness)the Mormon church is the only religion in the history of this country that has had an "Extermination Order" put on it's people. This order was valid until 1974 when it was finally resinded. Members were forced out into the ice and snow, leaving anything they couldn't carry and left for dead. Their leaders were attacked while in government custody and two of them where murdered by a mob of 200 people with masked faces.

They know more than anyone about bigotry and hatred. Not until the Branch Davidians massacure has there been a worse treatment of American Citizens, through the auspices of a government bent on extermination. The Mormons were lucky I guess, the Branch Davidians were not.

seanmahair   ·  November 17, 2008 9:40 AM

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