While the battle over same-sex marriage has been all but invisible in the presidential race this year, it is raging like a wind-whipped wildfire in California.
Conservative religious leaders from across the country are pouring time, talent and millions of dollars into the state in support of Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage. They are hoping to reverse a California Supreme Court ruling in May that gave same-sex couples permission to marry, resulting in thousands of exultant same- sex weddings.
The presidential race won't be the only close vote here next week.
A constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman and deny recognition to any "substantial equivalent" has stirred pocketbook concerns among Florida's seniors and those with domestic partner benefits.
Voters in California and Arizona also will decide Nov. 4 whether to change their constitutions to prevent courts from overturning laws barring same-sex marriage.
The California Supreme Court threw out a ban on same-sex nuptials in May. Since then, more than 11,000 gay couples have wed, says UCLA's Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy. Polls show voters evenly divided.
If proposition 8 passes, all of us should start a movement nationwide involving, NGLTF, GLAAD, HRC, Empire State Pride Agenda and every equality organization across the country to demand the removal of tax-exempt status of overy faith-based or religious denomination that has been involved with this ballot initiative and others who will no doubt try to do the same in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Lets put them on notice, we can fight back and make their lives so uncomfortable they'll be sorry they ever started these hate campaigns. We too should publish their names and out them just as they are doing with business supporting our equality and let the country know who exactly the hater-mongers are along with their political party affiliation.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
10/27/2008 12:39 PM
Oh wait, I should point out that most liberals are terrified and incompetent when it comes to tackling the issue of religion, so... good luck!
posted by Eshto, at
10/27/2008 12:54 PM
I am a progressive and am not at all terrified about tackling religion. Religion is nonsense, plain and simple. It involves teaching undiscerning children silly, absurd fables as though they were actually true! It involves telling them (and vulnerable adults as well) that they'll be tortured for all eternity if they don't slaughter their intellect and acquiesce to a system of belief that is so laughable that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and has been proven flat-out wrong as an explanation for the world around us.
And yes, on a note closer to home, the vast overwhelming majority of religion also teaches that that unusual group of people who exist in the world, mostly known as "gays and lesbians" are an affront to God himself and, of course, to all that is decent and holy. Elevating bigotry to the level of spiritual goodness is precisely what makes these people the scoundrels that they are. They have no truth in them, and I know that they know THEY KNOW this based on the way they become unhinged when someone raises even the simplest questions about their nonsensical tales. And I also know that they have no love in them based upon the way they treat gays and lesbians.
A few months ago, my mom and I were in a cab and we were talking about the marriage battles. I looked at her and said, "Too bad the Bible doesn't say, 'thou shalt be decent', because maybe then these fundamentalists would have a shot at it." My mother looked at me and in her wisdom said, "No, because they would simply define 'decency' differently than the way normal people like you and I do." I couldn't have said it better myself.
posted by Chris L., at
10/27/2008 1:55 PM
Happy to hear it Chris.
I seem to find myself arguing a lot with queers about religion. Many of my friends are quick to jump to its defense, and quick to attack atheists like Richard Dawkins and Dan Barker and accuse them of being "just as bad as the fundamentalists".
Even though Dawkins and Barker routinely stand up for equality including gay rights, and they do so freely with a clear conscious, with absolutely no second-guessing or wrestling with their childhood beliefs or bending over backwards to reconcile stone age mythology with contemporary ethics.
I've also been characterized as "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim" because I criticize those religions. Goddamn right I criticize them. They both preach homophobia, sexism and intolerance toward non-believers (Islam demands death for anyone who leaves the religion).
And spare me the "oh not every believer is that extreme" argument. Religious moderates are only moderate because they've learned to IGNORE half their religion and its sacred books. And thank freaking god that they do!
But that's a compliment to the person maybe, that they've been able to break away from tradition just enough to come out as a halfway decent person and not a bigoted douchewad... but it sure isn't a compliment to the religion itself, now is it?
Imagine if they went all the way and discarded the fairy tales altogether?
Okay rant over. You may continue with the discussion.
I think the tax exempt status of these people should be challenged just on general principles. The churches have had a free ride for far too long now. If the churches wish to play politics, then let them pay taxes to do so.
I am sick to death of the Religious Wrong being allowed to interfere with the rights of others. They want to make life miserable for the LGBT community, then let's find ways to make their lives uncomfortable--not to mention a little poorer.
posted by Merlyn, at
10/27/2008 5:33 PM
Eshto: Attacks on Dawkins and Barker like the ones you mention are truly childish. People really need to grow up and realize that reason and evidence point away from all religious beliefs.
posted by libhom, at
10/27/2008 11:05 PM
Eshto....well...we're not doing anything about it but should. They need to be dealt with in exactly the same way they are dealing with us, only we have to do it with more impunity, really hurt them badly. Having serious, reasonable debate with them no longer works. We must hit back, only harder than they could possibly imagine.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
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