Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yours in Horror

Anyone will tell you, I'm a paranoid person. But the election season makes it much, much worse. I've ended up on the list of every organization, and I get alarmist e-mails every day. What worries me most are the missives from No on 8. As you may know, 8 is the proposition that, if passed, would eliminate gay marriage in California. The fact that it might actually pass (and current polls support this) horrifies me. "Focus on the Family"-types from all over the country are mobilizing to donate money to Prop 8. Yesterday, I heard one of the Pro-8 ads, and was horrified all over again by the lies it contained-- stuff about churches and schools that aren't mentioned anywhere in the proposition. No on 8, a grassroots effort, doesn't have the money to compete (well, unless you donate, especially important if you don't live in CA). But since I have no money and no canvassing skills whatsoever, I feel completely helpless. Funny that I have a vote and still feel this way.

But it pisses me off to no end that elections are all about how much money you have. If I had my way, all campaign spending would be eliminated. Just let people read those booklets that come in their mailboxes and let that be the end of it. The truth gets lost under the fancy ad campaigns, and that saddens me immensely.

And, dude. As an asexual, it's hard enough to find a partner. We should at least be able to marry whatever gender of person we want. "Gay marriage" is for bisexual and asexual folk, too, but of course, you don't need to be queer to support it.

I thought that if Obama is elected, he might turn this all around and make the whole country have gay marriage! But as it turns out, Obama doesn't support gay marriage at all. He says "I personally believe that civil unions represent the best way to secure that equal treatment." Obama supports the status of marriage/unions being left up to the states, which is the same thing that McCain supports. What a cop-out. You could say that the difference between unions and marriage is just semantic, but asexuals know better. We're constantly told that marriage is the best thing ever (because tales or marital woe will probably turn us more asexual), and so we know that it holds a rarefied position that "unions" don't compete with. Besides, we really like the cake.

I think I need some consolation, a cupcake and probably a hug. If this "marriage is between a man and a woman" stuff gets written into our state constitution, it can be changed again, can't it?


Superquail said...

This whole election process is getting me completely depressed. I know that it's only three weeks away and that after that this will all be over, but I've been hurt before and I'm scared of getting hurt again. Do you remember Al Gore? Yeah, I totally thought that dude was going to win. And, technically speaking, that dude totally did win. But does that matter in the end? Apparently not.

Then, do you remember John Kerry? The exit polls (which are almost always right) said that he won. But then he didn't. My heart was broken! It still kind of is.

Now, I would be willing to agree that Obama will make a better president than either Kerry or Gore (not sure, but it's an argument I would by) but if he loses . . . fuck. I may just give up on democracy entirely!

How is it that a democracy can vote to deny people rights based on their sexual orientation? That's fucked up. Sex is private, the government should have nothing to do with it. Marriage is private, the government should have nothing to do with that, either. At the very least it shouldn't get into people's way if they want to form a lasting commitment to each other. That's everyone's right. If someone wants to form a lasting commitment to their lawnmower, that's their right, too. People need to stop trying to normalize the world, and just get over their personal issues.

Sorry about the rant. This is a very stressful election season.

Madeline said...

i hope it would be able to be changed...its not ur fault if ur gay and u should be able to marry whoever you want...
and if i was with you id give you a cupcake and a hug :-)

Hallu said...

In case it's any consolation, constitutional amendments ARE repealable. Federally, the Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the sale of alcohol (that's right, it was right in the constitution!) but was repealed later with the twenty-first. California has had more than 500 constitutional amendments, and although a quick Google search doesn't show me any immediately obvious ones that repeal others, I'm sure there must have been a few among the 500.

The Impossible K said...

Whether Prop 8 passes or not, I suspect it will only be a matter of time before same-sex marriage is allowed- just think, in the past month Connecticut legalized same-sex marriage. Connecticut isn't the first to do it, and it definitely won't be the last.
I agree with superquail though- if McCain somehow wins this election I'll be sick. I don't know how I could stand another 4 years with a Repugnican in the white house!
Oh, and for the record, the original Constitution does say that social/civil matters like marriage are up to each state to decide. So even though you may not agree with what Obama said, it's not like he's totally dismissing the possibility. He's just saying it should be left up to the states- which is totally in line with what the Constitution says.

Ily said...

Thanks for the consolation/commiseration...your fear is my fear. I said that if McCain wins I'd go to outerspace-- it's really a shame I get so motionsick, I doubt I'd survive. It does make me feel better to know that constitutions can change (and I'd forgotten about the alcohol thing). K, I'm glad you think it would be a matter of time. I've thought the same thing, but haven't been as sure lately. (And I take your cupcake! nom)

gatto said...


gatto said...

Okay... a couple of things about the U.S. Constitution. Yes, it can change, but it isn't easy. California's Constitution may have 300 amendments, which seems like a lot (many states have been through several Constitutions); the U.S. Constitution has been amended only 27 times since 1792. The eighteenth amendment (prohibition of alcohol) wasn't repealed for almost 15 years. People die while waiting for their rights.

It is true that defining marriage is a states prerogative; this is a longstanding interpretation of the Constitution (since the beginning). States do have an obligation under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment (not everyone knows this, but prior to the 14th amendment, states could limit practically any right that Congress could not. The Supreme Court has ruled on marriage with respect to to the 14th amendment, in the aptly named case of Loving v. Virginia, in which it ruled that prohibition of interracial marriage by states is unconstitutional. Obviously, there is precedent that could allow for prohibition of same sex marriage being ruled unconstitutional, by similar logic, but we cannot expect this from the current Supreme Court. So, it still is left to the states.

This is a good and bad thing at the same time. While it would be nice to have a federal ruling or law allowing for same sex marriages, we cannot expect this with the current political climate (which essentially reflects public opinion, in my opinion; public opinion can be very wrong, but what we have in government is something like democracy, let's say a cautious facsimile of it). At least, leaving it up to the states does allow for same sex marriage in certain states, states in which public opinion does tend to be on the progressive side compared to the nation as a whole. So a federal law or amendment requiring that states allow same sex marriage would be nice, but federal prohibition of same sex marriage would not be so nice. As it stands, the issue left to states to decide, you can at least be in a state where same sex marriage is legal, or on the table.

The legal issues around marriage are fairly easy to understand, which illustrates something interesting. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), contains the following language: "No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship." The absolute absurdity of that language is quite evident. It only restates what the interpretation of the constitution already states, that states can define marriage as they please. Why put that in a law? If that right of the states is already protected by the constitution, then the law isn't necessary; if it isn't constitutional, it isn't law. So it's obviously completely superfluous. So why did the law pass? It passed precisely because it made a large portion of voters happy. It passed with overwhelming support in both houses, because Senators and Congressmen found it to be a convenient way to show voters that they were on the voters' side, that they were doing something about an issue, when in fact, they were doing nothing. Most laws are passed for just about the same reason.

Yes, our government sucks, but there's an old saying that people get the government they deserve. It really does reflect the values of the people fairly well; the espoused values as well as the real values. If we want better government, then we need to want better citizens. It isn't always politically correct to tell citizens (especially those who vote) that they are wrong, that they are stupid, ignorant, that they are bad citizens. But that is exactly what a large portion of them are. It makes me very sad. What this country needs is education, cultural change, a change in the most deeply seated values people feel. That doesn't really happen overnight. Our best hope is that future generations will have more reasonable attitudes and thinking that previous generations. And we can work on doing our best to help see to it that they do.

I don't think any child should grow up without having seen or heard "Free To Be You and Me". And it doesn't have to end there. Sadly, I don't think very many kids are growing up learning the values that I would like. Not only are a lot of them not learning those values, a lot of them aren't even going to be aware that those values exist.

Sorry, I know this is long, but I thought I needed to say these things.

Ily said...

Please, Gatto (and anyone else), write as much as you'd like, that's what this is for. You've mentioned a lot of really thought-provoking things. I know that living in America is better than living in some countries, and that I'd rather live in a democracy than under a dictator (SCARY) or a monarchy. But, I think "we" (America as a unit) have a superiority complex that doesn't help us. There's still the idea that if you criticize America you don't care about it; in my mind it's the total opposite. There's parts of America that are like third-world countries. But it seems like we'll try to change everyone but ourselves. It makes me sad too, when I think about it.

gatto said...

Thanks, Ily.

Regarding the marriage issue, it so happens that I'm right now watching the newest episode of "In The Life", about marriage.