Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Modest Proposition

It seems that everywhere I look, someone has an opinion about California's "Prop 8." For those living under rocks, it's a proposal to change the state constitution to make sure homosexual couples will never, ever be legally married in this state. Since I'm an actual Californian who will actually be voting on this actual ballot initiative, I would like to weigh in on this thing myself.

Let me begin by saying that I detest ballot initiatives. I think they're a weak-kneed, cowardly device for an electorate that mostly can't be bothered to pay attention to what their elected representatives are up to. Here in California, we distrust 'em so much that we impose term limits and are never surprised when they can't manage to get anything done. I'm sure that some well-meaning person somewhere will tell me that it gets people more involved, but I think it's a major turnoff to sensible voters. This year's Voter Guide and attending Supplemental are enormous, and I resent being asked to do homework that should have been done by the elected representatives whose salaries we all pay. Stupid and busted. I hate ballot initiatives.

Which leads me right on to Prop 8. It's a sop to the "Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" crowd. Not only that, but this thing has been funded right along by groups that are largely based outside of CA. As a skirmish in the great "culture war," this looks a lot like James Dobson and his ilk counting coup. If Prop 8 passes, the hippiedippie Californians have been forced to behave for a change. If it fails, well, we all knew that California was home of wicked treehuggers and now can be hated with impunity.

In case it's not clear by this point, I think Prop 8 is hateful and disgusting. It's been 10 years since Matthew Sheppard was horrifically beaten and left to die on a fencepost in Wyoming. I can't believe that people still don't have anything better to do than imagine in detail what's going on in their neighbors' bedrooms. Who has time for that? Many of the people who seem most frightened of GAY MARRIAGE (booga booga!) seem to confuse homosexuality for pedophilia. Homosexual doesn't mean extra kinky, assaults precious snowflakes and is out to steal your husband or wife. It means human being who is sexually attracted to another human being of the same gender. Period.

As a society, we value individuals who come together for a common good. Think of our tax code. We give non-profits a tax break. We even give churches the benefit of the doubt and don't tax them, either. And, we tax-incent married people. As far as I'm concerned, a committed couple is a committed couple. It's not like better marriages get a better tax rate than crappy ones. I haven't liked some of the people that various friends have married over time. Their lives, their commitment.

This culture of fear we have here in the US is alive and well, and one has only to look at the expressions on the faces of the people in Prop 8 commercials. Parents heartbroken that their kid's teacher mentioned that sometimes men marry men, and women marry women. That's right kids, we want you thinking and asking questions in class, unless the very existence of something (or in this case, someone) makes us uncomfortable. There is also some convoluted nonsense about this being a free-speech issue, but it makes my head hurt so feel free to imagine what a homophobe couldn't possibly say if any gay person anywhere ever had rights equal to their own. Make it juicy, because it most likely would be. If Prop 8 fails, you will miss out on a lot of creative vitriol. Oh the humanity.

If you put lipstick on a bigot, they're still a bigot.

We've gotta have someone in the "out"group, otherwise I won't have any tasteless jokes to tell at public gatherings! First we couldn't make fun of black people, then they took away the respectability of hateful jokes about any brown people (yay 9/11-we got Arabs, Persians, Muslims and vaguely Middle-Easterney people back!), the handicapped are also off limits. I mean really, what else is there to talk about?!*

I suspect there exists the mistaken hope that a constitutional ban on marital equality will "cure" all of the world's homosexuals. All I can say is, given that national ban on drinking didn't rid our great country of alcoholics, I'm not holding my breath.

We here at Steingruebl World Enterprises value ALL families, and will therefore be doing our part to see that Prop 8 goes down in flames. Big, sparkly rainbow ones. Rest of the nation that wishes it were here, you're welcome.

*I made this up, but admit it, you were thinking of how to find out who said it so you could make fun of them, you Elitist Bastard you!


Jaya said...

We only have three ballot questions here. Dare I ask what your other seven are?

(Ours: 1. Abolish the state income tax?
2. Decriminalize possessing a small amount of cannabis?
3. Ban dog racing?)

Anonymous said...

I agree that term limits are horrible. I am considering an innitiative to get rid of Montana's term limits law.

I am not crazy about innitiatives but they do get ideas to the public that might not be heard otherwise. Cracked pots and cranks deserve a voice beyond the letters to the editor page.

Criminalizing homosexual relations is creepy. I remember watching a TV show when I was very young in which self-righteous cops busted and beat furtive "queers". I bet that the bulk of the supporters of Prop. 8 would be happy to go back to those good old days. After that they can go after people with dark skin or funny accents.

SWE said...

Hey Jaya! I wish we only had 7 more initiatives. Along with those are some with letters, so we have a LOT of reading to do before Tuesday. Grr.

And COG, there have been rotten TV cops beating "queers" even more recently than your childhood, and I'm glad they are no longer considered OK. We've come a long way!

A barista at my fave neighborhood coffee shop was wearing a cool button last week. When I commented on it, he offered me one of the extras they had sitting around! So now, whenever I'm out and about, you'll know me by my button that says:
"Can I vote on your marriage now?"