I am sick to my heart

I couldn't sleep last night.
a  thought kept jolting me awake.
were California's Prop 8 to pass, it will mark the first time in this country's history that rights granted to individuals have been taken away.*
taken away

just like that.
the trend has been that once the Rubicon is crossed, once rights are granted, they are not taken away.  take for example, once the US Supreme Court ruled anti-miscegenation laws illegal, there may have been grumbling, but there was not a concerted effort to reverse that decision.

it sickens me deeply to think that if Prop 8 passes, it will encourage similar efforts in Vermont and Massachussetts.  and I fear for what may come next.

teh SO, history major and US Civil War buff notes the above is not exactly true:  during the years leading to the War Between the States, there were several legal reversals dealing with the rights to emancipate one's slaves, the ability of a slave to buy their own freedom, etc.  my bad.

I'm listening to this while I write

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39 thoughts on “I am sick to my heart

  1. I have heard a lot about this movement. My question is: how was "permission" given in the first place? Was it put into place via government proposals and channels with no public input, so now that there's an election coming up, people against it want it voted on publicly? I know there are always lots of state-specific propositions at election time, but I've never really looked into how it all actually comes about.As for the link you provided: I love that the longest list of "no" proponents is the religious one. Also, the "fictions" on the fact/fiction page are just plain silly. They're about as believable as some of the crap that comes out of Republican mouths about Barack Obama.

  2. My question is: how was "permission" given in the first place? Was it
    put into place via government proposals and channels with no public
    input, so now that there's an election coming up, people against it
    want it voted on publicly?fine question. I don't know the answer, though. each state has its own processes. I do know that California has a particular affinity to have all sorts of propositions to be voted on in each election.it is heartening to see so many faith organizations for "no on prop 8". godspeed to them.

  3. At the beginning of our staff meeting Ms. Boss ordered each of us to vote – no exceptions: get out and vote.
    Then she added sotto voce, "and vote no on 8".

  4. As usual, I'd like to interject a bit of inappropriate humor. Every time I see the word miscegenated I think of that line from O Brother: "You's miscegenated! All you boys is miscegenated!"Here in the AR I am proud to say that we have an amendment on the ballot that will prevent "the gays" from fostering or adopting. Because there are SO MANY good homes out there for wards of the state. NOT.

  5. Thank you, mariser. And also, I must correct myself. I meant to say it was the longest list aside from the list of politicians.

  6. Here in the AR I am proud to say that we have an amendment on the ballot that will prevent "the gays" from fostering or adopting. ye gods. AR too? it'd be ridiculous if it wasn't so sad.

  7. aubs, go vote. lather, rinse, repeat.like they say 'round these parts: vote early and often.we are counting you and your awesome powers.ames, I couldn't believe it. y'all defeated that prop two years ago. :(

  8. I'm going to follow your inappropriate humor with an inappropriate LOL. That's what I heard in my head when I read that as well. I can honestly say O Brother was the first introduction to that word for me. I never had heard it before, although I knew what it was.
    I've been following a little about AR's amendment. Is it just gays or does it also include singles? I thought it was anyone who was not in a male/female marriage household would be excluded, but I can't remember exactly.

  9. The one two years ago also targeted benefits for unmarried domestic partners, so the senior citizen population (which is sizable in a warm state like ours) was up in arms.
    Now it's a straight (heh) shot at defining marriage as one man and one woman in our constitution. Because you know those activist judges love overturning laws like we already have on the books. My last blog post included a little rant about it, just the insanity of spending that much money on hate and fear, as opposed to something that could benefit society.
    Oh, and people are making the argument that marriage should be between people who can have babies. So what about the infertile among us? Or people past reproductive age? Or people who choose not to have babies? How are they going to keep all of them from getting married?
    *FUMES*

  10. Or people who choose not to have babies?[raises hand]I guess our 22+ years of married bliss ain't worth nothing.The one two years ago also targeted benefits for unmarried domestic
    partners, so the senior citizen population (which is sizable in a warm
    state like ours) was up in arms.this is interesting, especially as it relates to the discussion over in laurie's blog. it seems like the proponents of the amendment learned not to fuck with the seasoned citizens.

  11. At this point, the rules regarding marriage are determined by each state, no by the federal goverment.In CA, the fight really started with AB101 – a gay (equal) rights bill. It barely passed state senate then the govenor, who had promised to sign it, vetoed it instead. (And boy did we have some rallies!!)Since that point, individuals & couples have been suing various parties, escalating the issue. Similar issues were/are occurring in many other states. MA was the first state to legalize gay marriage. But they decided not
    to recognized gay marriages performed in other states (straight
    marriages, by law, are recognized in all states, regardless of where
    they occur).The mayor of San Fran decided to legalize gay marriage there. Then it
    was decided that he'd ovestepped his authority. So then everyone who
    got married has their marriages nullified. So it escalated again, finally to the State Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court ruled that "civil unions" are NOT the same as "marriage" and that is is illegal to discriminate against a select group of citizens… and gay marriage became legal in the state. And CA was the first to recognize marriages from any state AND perform them for residents of any state.Of note, this is GOVERNMENT recognition of marriage. It has no effect on recognition by religious institutions.But the freaked out straights freaked out again, and put yet another proposition – to make anything but a man/woman marriage illegal – on the ballot (all prior ones have lost)… thereby writing discrimiation into the state constituion (despite a federal bill of rights that states "all men are created equal").Then large religious groups (esp the Mormons – I don't know why) from other states started backing the California YES campaign (which would ban gay marriage and legalize discrimiation). And things have escalated insanely from there.What a lot of people don't realize is that Prop 8 does 2 things:1. Make gay marriage illegal2. Make discrimiation legal, even written into lawThe 2nd one has far larger ramifications that people realize. Who knows where it would be used next?

  12. my fallback hope is that should Prop 8 pass (which will piss me off to no end, cause I marched in those 1991 AB101 rallies I mentioned above!), it will expedite escalation to the FEDERAL Supreme Court.I wish more of my gay friends would come out to coworkers – so people would not longer be fearing "the gays" but, instead, realize they're voting to discriminate against Jill, and Fred, and Nancy, and their boss…

  13. *shakes finger and jowls at Mariser and Lord K*
    SINNERS! BLASPHEMERS! The Devil speaks through you!!!
    The Mormons believe that there are these little souls in heaven waiting to be brought to Earth and it's their duty to bring down as many as possible. I can't remember the Catholic reasoning behind no birth control but in my opinion, it's because the men who made the rules want to 1. control their women by keeping them knocked up and exhausted and 2. Populate the Earth with as many people they can control and also to guilt them into giving those in charge lots of money.
    For someone who loves going to (my) church, I sure have a lot of animosity toward organized religion. :-P

  14. [this is the clearest explanation ever]Leenda, thanks so much for explaining the process and timeline. well played, madam, well played.

  15. Thanks, Leenda – I much appreciate the explanation. I know bits and pieces just because, of course, it became an issue of US citizens coming here for their ceremonies. Also, I should have specified that I meant state government, not federal.It's just such an odd thought (to me, being in a different country) that a legislation can be brought in by government, who, gee, are supposed to represent the population, and then later put to a public ballot. We rarely have public ballots here (such as the various referendums that have happened in Quebec regarding separation). Off the top of my head, I can't recall ever having been required to vote on a legislation.And your point about Prop 8 doing two things is very important. It reminds me of how when the US federal government votes on various items, there are always "mini-items" attached to it. They pick a vote they know will go through and throw on these extras, knowing they will therefore pass as well. I don't think we do that either, although I could very well be wrong about that.

  16. Amy, your comment about birth control reminds me of a line from one of the vids I just posted about voting – one of the guys says something like "I've had 19 kids and never used abortion once" – cracked me up.

  17. Here is the gripe I have about all of these ads. I watched quite a few of them and I STILL didn't know exactly what Prop. 8 is. If I had the know-all I would be able to look it up and see the exact wording. (or the patience or fortitude). Now that I read the comments here, I see it is against gays. Yep. I dare them to come out and just SAY that. Ha. The problem is, why don't the "Vote No on Prop 8" people manage to convey what they are voting no on. I "guessed" by the "discrimination" comments that it was against gay marriage. And, I suppose (the reason I am NOT a diplomat) that they cannot just come right out and SAY "I am against a proposal banning marriage between two partners who do not wish to reproduce"….or "I am against a proposal banning marriage between two people who are not a man and a woman". The fact that the Mormons are supporting Prop 8 is enough for me to want it to fail. Ugh. People are idiots. Everyone can quote me on that.

  18. Lauri said "come out" twice – heeheeWhen I actually had US channels on my tv, I would see those ads, and now that you mention it, I remember that you almost never knew what exactly it was about because the ad was worded/presented as though watchers already knew. I guess you'd get bombarded with ads and material for props in your own state but obviously not other states, so the ones who should know kinda did?? Thank goodness for google nowadays, huh? The link mariser provides is good.

  19. I see it is against gays. Yep. I dare them to come out and just SAY that.
    Ha.I wish. they won't. it is so much harder to fight insinuations and innuendo.

  20. The silver lining might be Article IV of the U.S. Constitution:
    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public
    Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the
    Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts,
    Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.Some believe as long as 1 state allows same-sex marriage, Article IV requires all other states to recognize said marriage.Further more, if a state allows same-sex marriage, most likely they have to allow marriage by non-residents. Again Article IV
    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
    And then you have "Loving v. Virginia" arguments which could easily applied:Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to
    our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on
    so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in
    these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle
    of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to
    deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.
    The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry
    not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our
    Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another
    race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State

  21. arbed, I have yet to see a political ad that actually SAYS what it is "for or against". It's so frustrating.And thank goodness for knowledgeable friends. (mariser)!! :D

  22. Proposition 8:ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME-SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
    Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex
    couples to marry in California. Provides that only marriage between a
    man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact:
    Over next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes,
    totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local
    governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact on state and
    local governments.The change is:The Constitution, as amended, would add a new section (Section 7.5)
    to Article I, placing it between the state Equal Protection clause and nondiscrimination in business and the professions. This new section would read:

    Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.Most likely it can not be retroactive. Again refer to the U.S. Constitution. This time, ex post facto

  23. You are correct, ma'am! It's eloquently named: "An act providing that an individual who is cohabitating outside of a
    valid marriage may not adopt or be a foster parent of a child less than
    eighteen years old."But ain't nobuddy talkin' 'bout nuthin' but them homos…

  24. the reason there is, again, a proposition banning gay marriage is because the freaked out people believe the State Supreme Court overstepped its authority. The citizens vote on what they want. The supreme courts then decide whether or not the citizens' choice is actually legal. In May, they determined a prior approval by citizens was illegal. I am confident that someday, during my lifetime, the Federal Supreme Court will eventually designate discrimination against gays as illegal.

  25. Gay Marriage is currently legal in California.YES on Prop 8 = Ban gay marriage. Government will only recognize "marriage" as being between a man & woman. Write discrimination of gays into law. (no one is sure what will happen to the legal marriages already performed)NO on Prop 8 = Leave things the way they are right this minute. No change to anything.I need to blog that at some point. A coworker was also confused, thinking YES meant "let gays marry". I'm sure the anti-gay people are counting on that confusion.

  26. ps: The whole "gay marriage taught in school bit"….California already teaches gay/bi/trans/etc tolerance in school. Banning gay marriage will not change that, nor will it effect whether or not children are taught about gay marriage. Most likely, youngsters will not taught anything more than tolerance for differences. But teens will taught about gay marriage – because it's part of MA and CONN law and, therefore, social sciences.And as Papi Chulo pointed out a couple weeks ago, when it happened, that group of 1st graders that was taken to a gay wedding as a "teachable moment" (now part of the Yes ads) was taken there by a parent, NOT the school. The kids' parents had to give their permission first. And it was the wedding of their teacher.Many of the families of the kids in the ad are fighting to have their images removed because they did not approve use of them by the Yes on 8 people.I always come back to one fundamental perspective: Don't like the idea of gay marriage? Then don't have one!!

  27. thanks. it was easy cause I've lived it. oddly, that's part of the reason I'm not out campaigning now. I spent 17 years helping to lay the groundwork for gay marriage while watching very few gays participate. Now that they have the right, I feel that I did my share and it's up to them to step up and fight to keep it.

  28. See? Right there in black and white. I wish the politicos would speak so clearly. Thanks, Lord K!

  29. please don't stop. carry on, carry on.someone as knowledgeable and passionate on the subject as you are needs to have as wide as exposure as possible.thanks

  30. This makes me sick, as well. But I am confident that Cali will come through and tell these asshole to stuff it.

  31. last night I was thinking about the "civil unions give the same rights as marriage" argument and, setting aside the fact that is incorrect, how about if we let gays get "married" for awhile and the straights can all have "civil unions"?!? I mean, if "it's the same thing", they really don't have any reason to object, do they?

  32. I can't be bothered with "civil unions give the same rights as marriage" . it is the same concept as "separate but equal". it is wrong. way wrong. determined wrong by SCOTUS during Brown vs the Board of Educaton of Topeka Kansas
    "civil unions give the same rights as marriage" also marked the point that broke my heart during this election campaign: during the VP debate, after passionately defending the rights of teh gays Joe Biden turned around and said, "but not marriage"

  33. I was relieved when Biden said he's No on 8 (Ellen asked him), though still bothered by that other comment.And civil unions are not the same, as pointed out in a letter traveling the internet, because partners have to jump through hoops to adopt their partner's kids, and change their names, and all other manner of stuff that are automatic/easy under "marriage".

  34. I also got in a big argument with a coworker over "Well, if it's the same thing, then why not call it the same thing? Why give it a different name? Why are you so opposed to them using the word marriage?" She was defenseless.

  35. my preferred solution would be to remove all legal ramifications (adopt their partner's kids, change their names, inheritance rights, etc.) from "marriage" and leave it be as a purely ritual gesture. so those legal ramifications would have to be entered to in a contractual manner. for everyone. gay, straight, no matter.
    no more "automatic" rights. especially as they are now where they don't apply to all.

  36. Why is this on the ballot? Other than keeping track of marriages (for the sake of legal and tax reasons), it's not the business of the government (State or Federal).

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