Thursday, June 5, 2008

RightWing Roundup: The End is Nigh, Tyrannies, and Scared Men

1. Exaggeration of the Week

The anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) submitted a petition asking the California Supreme Court to stay its recent decision until after the November elections when voters decide whether to amend the California state constitution to ban same-sex couples from marrying. [PDF] Their reasoning?

"Permitting this decision to take effect immediately... risks legal havoc and uncertainty of immeasurable magnitude."


"Great public harm and mischief, as outlined herein, will result from permitting same-sex 'marriages' [sic] for a five-month period, only to later change the law by returning marriage to its traditional definition."

Those are strong words. Accordingly, I scoured the ADF's petition for the specific reasoning process and evidence for this alleged havoc, uncertainty, great public harm, and mischief. Disappointed, all I found was (a) an explanation as to how some clerks would issue marriage licenses after the decision and some would not, (b) an irrelevant lecture on how a civil rights issue should be decided "by the people," and (c) an exaggerated statement on how it would be super-duper confusing and wasteful if gay people were allowed to marry for a few months but then were no longer able to marry if the constitution was amended to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

That's it? That is what will cause Great Harm to society? Puh-lease.

See, this petition is a prime example of how anti-gay groups are unwilling to concede any victory no matter how large or small to gay people. With obsessive zeal, they do everything in their power to prevent us from having even a small taste of equality. A state-recognized marriage, after all, doesn't even guarantee a same-sex couple the numerous federal rights, benefits, and protections of marriage that opposite-sex couples enjoy. But groups like the ADF don't even want us to have that, do they?

What is also notable is that whenever anti-gays speak of the future harm that gay marriage will cause, it is always in vague unquantifiable terms. Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled against this petition, let's all grab a cold beverage, sit back, and watch all this havoc, mischief, uncertainty, and great public harm not occur.

Yet, playing a psychic and predicting with absolute certainty that some future harm is bound to happen can be a pretty good bet if one knows how to mis-use statistics. To make an anti-gay's prediction of harm "true" all one has to do is note any social ills that have occurred after gay marriage was legalized. Then, side-stepping the fact that Correlation Does Not Imply Causation, an anti-gay can say something like "Oh dear, California began experiencing a drought mere days after same-sex marriage was legalized in the state. Harm has occurred here. Now I'm not sayin' one caused the other but the relationship definitely needs to be looked at." Okay, sweet. But those of us who operate in reality will keep advocating for real solutions to problems.

Sometimes, I think that the intellectual standards of being an anti-gay are so low that it sorta makes me want to join the other side, where I would surely be some sort of genius.

2. The People Totally Have No Voice

Speaking of the California case, now that same-sex couples are allowed to marry it's time to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex couples from marrying. Proving that (phew!) the people actually do have a voice and the only tyranny in our nation is that of the majority, the California Secretary of State has approved a ballot initiative allegedly signed by 1.1 million Californians to put the civil rights of gay men and lesbians up for popular vote. Specifically, the measure to be voted on would amend the state constitution to "provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Let's watch how this most pressing issue to ever face our nation plays out in the '08 presidential elections!

3. The Will of Who?

In non-gay news, the Vatican has recently announced that women taking part in ordinations will be excommunicated. Darn

According to the article:

"The church does not feel authorized to change the will of its founder Jesus Christ," Amato said in an interview prepared for Vatican Radio that was released to reporters. The reference is to Christ's having chosen only men as his Apostles.

Thank you feminist religious scholars for giving us the tools to realize that the more likely explanation for the ban on women priests has more to do with the will of the men in charge than it does with the will of any supreme being.

Also, coming soon to a Breakable Bible Rule near you: How Christ also chose only Jewish men as his Apostles.

4. Who Are you Calling RightWing?

This is totally not a bit of rightwing news, but my latest addition to Stuff Lesbians Like is up.

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