The last time that I had inadvertently been in a location where California's Proposition 8 was being discussed and was unable to flee the room fast enough to avoid having to hear about it for the gazillionth time, the race was close and it seemed like the No vote would win. Just a reminder, Prop 8 is the one which would insert into the State Constitution an amendment that defines marriage as being between "one man and one woman", thus eliminating the possibility of polygamy, polyandry, people marrying dogs and gay marriage. Most of the people that are against this Prop are against it for the gay marriage part and not so much for the other ones that I mentioned. (I, of course, would still really like to see people marrying dogs. I think that would be hilarious. But once again, I think I'd be in the minority of people who believe that things should really be governed in whichever way seems more fun at the time.)
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As of my writing this, the Prop 8 issue has not been decided yet, as all of the votes have not been tallied. But even with polling in the days prior to the election seeming to indicate that Prop 8 could be defeated (again, that would allow for gay marriage, but still not people marrying dogs), for some reason it seems as if Prop 8 might actually get through. Seriously, just yesterday it was looking like a defeat for Prop 8, so for it to be so close on Election Day makes me wonder if something changed or happened to sway people's opinions. Well, I shall wonder no more! Something did happen. Something did change. I don't know if it was stupid enough or brazen enough, but it just might have been. After all, people are morons.
The folks over in the No on 8 camp (pro gay-marriage) made an interesting choice. On Election Day they aired their new ad which is supposed to make people want to side with them and vote NO on the Prop. They might have wanted to think that one through a little bit more before airing their ad which depicts Mormon missionaries enforcing a ban on gay marriage by going to the home of two married lesbians and, a la the style of a weapon-less home invasion or the execution of a search warrant, proceed to shred their marriage license and take their wedding rings, making sure to comment to each other on the way out how easy it was and what rights can they take from people next. Wait. Missionaries? Doing what? Wait.
Correct. The No on 8 folks seem to be pretty annoyed with the Mormon church and all of the money that the church has poured into the Yes on 8 fund. The Grand Poobah of the Mormon church had also made it a point to get the word out to its members that they should vote against gay marriages wherever they are. A couple of things about the Mormon church: They have a lot of members and they have a lot of money. One of the requirements of the LDS church is that its members tithe 10% of their income to the church. So it's a group of folks who are used to and, oddly enough, perfectly OK with their church telling them what to do with their money. Go figure.
The strange choice for a Day Of The Election ad is below. Said ad was paid for by the Courage Campaign Issues Committee, a group I had not heard of being involved in this issue until I saw the ad. Again, go figure. As you watch it, keep in mind these folks are the ones who are angry that people who want to pass Prop 8 are intolerant of gays and gay marriage. I'm not so sure that the ad portrays the No on Prop 8 folks as being overly tolerant either. No, it kind of screams, "Hello, kettle? This is the pot. You're black!"
Nice, eh? The thing is, the Mormon church has not been an overly vocal or outspoken component of this issue. Yes, they've encouraged their members to vote against gay marriage and yes they have donated a boatload of money. And because they have a boatload of members, that can equate to a bunch of opposing votes and a bunch of monetary support for the cause. However, keep in mind that it's not the church itself that is responsible for all of the money coming into the Yes on 8 camp. It is the members of the church who are donating as individuals and all of the individuals are considered as one group, that of the Mormon church. A more accurate statement would be "Members of the Mormon church have donated 20 million dollars to help pass Prop 8." It's not like the Grand Poobah of the Mormon church cut a 20 million dollar check to Yes on 8. But to turn the support of Prop 8 into a Mormon church issue seems strange to me, especially since the most vocal and visible supporter group of Prop 8 has been the ProtectMarriage.com
If they felt the need to go after an issue on the day OF the election, they should have gone after the Protect Marriage folks. They are shameful individuals who have twisted facts and portrayed hypotheticals as facts in order to frighten heterosexuals into believing that if gays were allowed to get married then every child in the public school system would be taught about gay marriage through sodomy courses. In Massachusetts, gay marriage is taught in public schools and parents in Massachusetts do not have the right to opt out of having their child receive that instruction. The Protect Marriage camp has vigorously gotten the word out that if Prop 8 fails, then gay marriage will be taught in schools and in Massachusetts the parents don't have a choice. See how they twist that? They have to because the California Education Code has a section which specifically DOES allow parents to opt out of having their child receive such instruction. So it's NOT the same as Massachusetts, but the Protect Marriage folks basically LIE and imply that it is. Nice. Nice tactic. Honestly, how do you people sleep at night? Very righteously, I'm sure.
Ads attacking churches with gestapo missionaries, Protect Marriage soft-heads lying and distorting facts, people stealing yard signs, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria has erupted, I tell you! What is wrong with you people? Have you all lost your teeny, tiny, soft-headed little minds? Can you not conduct yourself in a manner that is truthful and, yes, tolerant of the opposition even though you vehemently disagree with them? You folks that are so against the gay marriage thing, what are you afraid of? I understand that you're opposed to it, but I fail to see how it's any of your business, really.
And now I'm done and I still don't know how it turned out because they still haven't finished counting ballots yet, but from what it's looking like, it would seem that the Yes on Prop 8 folks are going to win and gay marriage will be banned in California via an amendment to the State Constitution. Oh, but don't worry. Prop 2, the one that makes it so that the chickens have room to move around, passed.
I had a brief conversation with a friend tonight whose 20-year old "politically conscious child that she raised" was rather upset about Prop 8 passing and sent my friend a text that said "It sucks that we care more about animals than people." (Which just goes to show that she not only raised a politically conscious child, she also raised a very smart and extremely insightful one.) She said that she explained to her that people are just really freaked out about redefining what a marriage is. (Which just goes to show where the kid got all the smarts and got all of the insight from.) The fact that something that seemed so complicated could be summed up in such a simple and accurate manner that was neither offensive nor intolerant amazed me because it's the first time I'd heard it put that way. This whole thing would have gone a lot smoother if both sides had taken a more straightforward, simple and logical look at it like my friend did and then just gone from there instead of trying to get the most shock value that they could at the expense of others.
Man, I'm glad I have smart friends. It restores what verrrrry little faith I have in the ability of the people to see things for what they are. Now if someone could just restore my faith in the ability of the people to act on those observations, then I'd feel a little bit better. But just the fact that the election is over, well, that alone makes me feel a whole lot better.