California’s Prop 8 and faux liberalism

Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, has been overturned by some judge yada yada, but it has a few more legal hoops to pass through before it’ll be irrevocable. And it may not make it, because the Prop 8 fan club will throw everything it’s got to keep gay rights away from what they see as a highly influential state. It’s really too early to start celebrating, in my humble opinion – the Prop 8 fan club has deep untaxed churchy pockets, and friends in high places.

You have to ask yourself: who voted for this prop in the first place? Isn’t California such a bastion of liberalism? Regular Hathor readers know better: the term “Californian” may encompass progressive San Franciscans, but it also encompasses people who think it’s funny to call British actors working in the US “white mexicans“, thinks it reflects badly on Sarah Palin that she has a child with Down Syndrome and thinks rape is okay as long as the rapist is a somebody and the victim is a nobody.

Mentalities like these don’t warm easily to the idea of others obtaining rights. They feel it devalues their rights. I mean, the more you can’t do, the more meaningful it is that they can do it, right? It’s a matter of self-esteem for them, and their self-esteem is far more important than your humanity. Combine them with mentalities that don’t even actually see most of the human race as human, and you’ve got one seriously bitter opponent.

Go ahead and celebrate. Just be aware of what’s to come and how uncool it’s likely to be.


  1. sbg says

    Mentalities like these don’t warm easily to the idea of others obtaining rights. They feel it devalues their rights. I mean, the more you can’t do, the more meaningful it is that they can do it, right?

    Thank you for explaining this. No, really, because I never really get why people think giving others rights will negatively impact them. It honestly doesn’t occur to me.

    I waded through the comment section on Yahoo! yesterday on this topic, and, aside from the stupendous, unsurprising amount of bigotry and hate, there were those decrying this as a ding against their own rights. “If this is overturned, that means that my right to teach my kids values has been infringed upon!” <–no lie, this is a paraphrase of something typed by a rather special individual.

    Though I admit, even with your explanation I'm still at a loss as to how Bill and Bob or Betty and Bev tying the knot in any way would impact the way a parent teaches values to his/her kids, except, unfortunately, to add pass that hatred along to another generation.

    • Shaun says

      I saw a lot of videos during Prop 8 (online, I don’t live in California anymore) about how if this remained, schools would be “forced” to teach kids about same-sex marriages. Basically these people didn’t even want their kids to come across the *concept* that this existed.

      • sbg says

        Do they think their kids will really live in a bubble their entire lives? Because there ain’t no escaping reality no matter how hard you want to.

        • Shaun says

          Probably the same people who think if they don’t teach their teenagers about sex their teenagers won’t know what it is.

          I tried to find the video I was referring to but watching Prop 8 videos has made me want to scrape my eyeballs out with a spoon, brb.

  2. Shaun says

    I was really excited until I realized that if this goes before the Supreme Court anytime in the foreseeable future, it’ll be judged on by 5 conservatives–

    Plus Elena Kagan, who is okay with sending gays to Iraq but not with letting them marry. *slow clap* Well done Mr. President.

  3. says

    Ed Brayton has listed the arguments of the pro-proposition camp. First, there was:

    1. Denial of marriage to same-sex couples preserves marriage;
    2. Denial of marriage to same-sex couples allows gays and lesbians to live privately without requiring others, including (perhaps especially) children, to recognize or acknowledge the existence of same-sex couples;
    3. Denial of marriage to same-sex couples protects children;
    4. The ideal child-rearing environment requires one male parent and one female parent;
    5. Marriage is different in nature depending on the sex of the spouses, and an opposite-sex couple’s marriage is superior to a same-sex couple’s marriage; and
    6. Same-sex couples’ marriages redefine opposite-sex couples’ marriages.

    Which became:

    1. Maintains California’s definition of marriage as excluding same-sex couples;
    2. Affirms the will of California citizens to exclude same- sex couples from marriage;
    3. Promotes stability in relationships between a man and a woman because they naturally (and at times unintentionally) produce children; and
    4. Promotes “statistically optimal” child-rearing households; that is, households in which children are raised by a man and a woman married to each other.

    Especially in the first, you can see how much of the arguments are about the effect of gay marriage to the “traditional family” (though not called that way). These people actually don’t see it as an issue of freedom, but as an attack on their way of life.

    Which is silly.

    And just like the comments I read about Christopher Hitchens’ cancer, ultimately I think these prop 8 commenters just make it obvious how bigoted they are, and therefore harm their chances with the younger generations (except those indoctrinated from early on). Because in the end, and how long it may – sadly – take, gay marriage will come and be regarded as normal. They are fighting a losing fight.

  4. Elee says

    I am aware, that the ruling is still not as binding as I would like it to be and that the Prop 8 supporters most certainly will appeal. Maybe I am too optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold the ruling, but the reason for it is because I think, that a judge may be as conservative as they come, when he/she is in a spotlight and has to make a decision pretty close to the exact wording of the law (whatever amendment it pertains), he/she will be hard pressed to reverse it into its opposite. And it is not all of California voting on the outcome, which gives me hope, because masses are usually stupid and bigoted. Though, I admit, it still could come either way. But I haven’t felt hope for humanity for a long time until I heard of the ruling so I’ll take every bit of cheer I can 😀

  5. Robin says

    I’m hopeful for California that this will stand. We over here in Massachusetts have had legal gay marriage for about 6 years now, and we’re doing just fine, thanks.

    I don’t have it in front of me at the moment, but the presiding judge wrote something to the effect of: Popular opinion doesn’t get to vote on basic human rights. For the sake of our society and the generations to come, I really hope that the rest of the people finalizing this decision agree.

    • says

      And that IS the only hope I see for this overturning standing through appeals all the way to the Supreme Court: that the court sees it as a human rights issue rather than the sort of issue the majority gets to decide. But there is room for interpretation either way. I can think of arguments for NOT seeing it as a human rights issue, and I’m not even going to state them here because I don’t want to provide anyone that fodder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *