Why many of us angry about Proposition 8's passage is because, in our view, a bare majority voted to take away the rights of a minority group and circumvented the judiciary branch of our government. While some "marriage defenders" believe that the majority should always rule at all times, our democracy operates under a different concept- one in which an informed-about-things-like-constitutional-rights judicial branch exists to protect the rights of minorities.
Recognizing this principle, Terrance over at Pam's House Blend has reported that the NAACP has joined 4 other civil rights organizations in petitioning the California Supreme Court to have Proposition 8 overturned.
According to the brief [PDF], Proposition 8 has "set a precedent that could be used to undermine the rights of racial minorities." Specifically, "If a simple majority vote could carve out an exception to heightened scrutiny for one minority group, the rights of any group entitled to strict scrutiny under the California Constitution could be imperiled.....[If the initiative process] were to permit the use of simple majority politics to oppress historically disfavored minorities in such a fashion, then we would all be less safe."
In other words, as Terrance writes, "You may not be gay, but you may be next."
This is an interesting argument. Given our nation's past dealings with minority groups, it is not inconceivable that a small misguided majority would vote to take away the rights of a small group of people.
On that note, simple majority rule with respect to civil rights is problematic on so many levels. How many of those who voted for Prop 8 believed the innuendo and lies put out by the Yes on 8 campaign? How many of the pro-Prop 8 voters really didn't have a strong feeling either way but just marked "yes"? How many were misinformed about what the proposition would do? How many of these folks were just on power trips, basking in their power to take away people's rights behind a private curtain? How many really just don't like gay people?
Perhaps some Christians, whites, and heterosexuals would have a better understanding of what we're talking about it if they'd take a minute to imagine waking up in a nation in which they are in the minority. I would hope that then they would be a little nervous of the precedents they have set.
Conservative Obama-endorser (no it's not an oxymoron anymore) Kathleen Parker caused a small ruckus in the extreme rightwing blogosphere by acknowledging what liberals have known for years. Namely, that extreme fundamentalist Christians are ruining the Republican party. She writes:
"Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D....
To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh....
Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle."
Now, I grew up in a very "red" area of the country. To many libertarian-leaning Republicans I know, they are feeling marginalized from the current Bible-beating extremist incarnation of the Republican party that has co-opted what it means to be a "real American. My friends believe in Jesus and all that, but what drew them to the Republican party was military service or their belief in a small government. I think there are many people like this. And, I'd bet that if John McCain would have chosen a Goldwater Republican as his running mate, as opposed to his preaching-to-the-choir appeal to the Christianist base, come January he'd be the lucky inhabitant of 9 houses rather than 8.
But alas. It's their problem. They have 4 years to try to fix it.
On a random note, I love the phrase "oogedy boogedy" in describing some of the Christianist demagogues. Given their tendency to exaggerate virtually any social ill as a harbinger of The Destruction of Society and Total Collapse of Civilization, I think the label is apt.
3. $Our Town$
Speaking of oogedy boogedies, the American Family Association has recently released a new DVD entitled "They're Coming to Your Town." I bet you can guess who the "they're" refers to. Yep, that's right ThE hOmOsExUaLz. Apparently, this family-friendly Christian DVD "presents a look at how a handful of homosexual activists infiltrated the Eureka Springs, Arkansas government and changed the very moral fiber of the city."
Upon seeing this ad, I immediately wondered what offense these "homosexual activists" in Arkansas committed other than, you know, existing. Apparently, the AFA has serious issues with gays and lesbians serving their cities and legally participating in their government. You know, when Christians participate in the democratic process their service is honorable and admirable. When gay people do the same, it's sinister. That's why groups like the AFA have to make videos about how to stop it from happening.
Yet, not only does the AFA take issue with gay and lesbian representation in the political process, they also take issue with homosexualists bringing revenue into "their" "Christian" cities. In their own words, the AFA reports that the homosexualists began to "offer a 'registry' where homosexuals could register their unofficial 'marriage.'" And now, dun dun dun, "City Council member Joyce Zeller said the city will now be promoted, not as a Christian resort, but a city 'selling peace, relaxation, history, and sex.'"
You know, I knew that the American Family Association's version of Christianity was opposed to sex, but I didn't know that it was also opposed to cities promoting peace, relaxation, and history. How bizarre.
$$Purchase your copy now$$ Or, as the AFA recommends:
"Show it at home, in Sunday schools, Bible studies and community groups. Purchase your copy, or a 5 pack to share with others today, and spread the news - They're Coming To Your Town."
Okey-dokey. We'll get right on that.