Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mayors and Lesbos and Money Oh My!

During Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the "Big Bad" that Buffy had to overcome was an evil mayor. This mayor was a unique character in the Buffyverse. As the Wikipedia entry on the Mayor describes him:

"Unlike many villains featured on Buffy, he has quite a pleasant demeanor. A family man with an aversion to swearing, he almost always wears a smile on his face, and is obsessed with cleanliness."

As it turned out, however, the "kindly" mayor was really an evil sorceror with superpowers who was hell-bent on transforming into a demon who wished to use the human inhabitants of his town as demon food. What made this character intriguing was the juxtaposition of the nice-guy front who seemed completely unaware of the sinisterness of his eventual goal. This is a guy who, when angry, was only able to muster up a "gosh." He was a man who wanted to be righteous and who, lacking any semblance of self-awareness, probably believed himself to be merely because he had forsaken "sins" like uncleanliness and swearing. He just didn't get that, in the grand scheme of things, swearing is way less morally wrong than his supreme evil master plan.

Where am I going with this?

Well, when I read articles like this- articles that are nothing more than composed tattle-tale lists of alleged wrongs done by those who favor marriage equality- I am reminded of this mayor.

The organized Yes on 8 campaign presents a pleasant, family-focused, innocent-enough-looking demeanor. In fact, it is kind of endearing how these folks describe the "dirty tricks" of some gay rights activists and how these righteous "marriage defenders" conjure up moral outrage when describing how "a pregnant woman was 'flipped off' because she had a Yes on 8 bumper sticker on her car" and how "one [Yes on 8] sign that was left up had the word 'Yes' crossed off and replaced with 'No.'" I'm sympathetic if these people truly felt threatened, but I sincerely doubt the defacement of signage is the most trying tribulation a person has to endure in one's life.

Now, lest anyone get me wrong here, I certainly agree that trespass, threats, and property damage are wrong- both morally and legally. I understand the anger that fuels such behavior. But these angry behaviors are not acceptable. Those of us in favor of marriage equality should not feel as though we have to resort to such behavior in order to win. Besides, I sincerely doubt that these 32 listed instances of vandalism constitute a concerted conspiracy against Proposition 8. Rather, I'd be willing to bet that it's the actions of outraged citizens who are sick and tired of this election-year asininity which forces us all to devote time and resources, that could be better spent elsewhere by the way, to oppose this gay-baiting propagandistic movement that calls itself "marriage defense."

Most importantly though, let's look at this Mayor Wilkins-esque movement for what it is. Simply put, I think the Prop 8'ers are deluding themselves if they believe that reasonable people will look at their tabulated list of wrongs and forget for a minute that this is a movement steeped in dishonest propaganda for purposes of trying to write un-American discrimination into the constitution. Most people understand that there are different levels of wrong. While defacing signs and flipping people off are definitely rude behaviors, these actions are simply of a different scale than the concerted actions of the Proposition 8 movement.

This movement presents a kindly, pleasant demeanor to its mostly-Christian supporters. But those of us on the receiving end of the lies and propaganda see quite a different face.

Today, I'm joining my blogging Sapphic sisters in donating money to help metaphorically(!) slay the demon that is Proposition 8.


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