Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Gay marriage gains momentum, and its detractors fight back with inarticulate vagueness

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Originally published on on Thu, 04/09/2009 – 1:50pm

UPDATE: The outtakes from the commercial (reel 1 and reel 2) are the best part of this story. Watch them before they disappear.

The right’s silliness about gays has always seemed so uninformed. “Gays are recruiting your children.” “If I shake hands with a gay person, it might rub off on me.”

But if those on the right still believe gayness spreads like a virus, then they might think we’re in an epidemic right now. Sure, Proposition 8 passed in California, but it was a lot easier to vote “yes” on a bill than “no.”

“What a week for the gays,” they might think. First, Iowa steps in and allows for gay marriage. Then, the Washington, D.C. city council gave legal recognition to gay and lesbian residents who have been married elsewhere. Then, Vermont kicks in with its legislature saying to the governor, “We’re going over your head.”

New York Governor David Paterson plans to re-introduce legislation making same-sex marriage legal, though the state currently recognizes same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.

Even Rick Warren is pretending he’s not as concerned about gay marriage as he used to be.

There was something when California was fighting for this basic right that upset the conservatives. Perhaps it was because it was “left-leaning” California. Somehow, when Iowa and Vermont make their calls, suddenly the conservatives aren’t as intense.

And you can hear the snide tones when the right-wing media points out that Vermont is the first state to approve gay marriage through the legislature, as if Massachusetts, Iowa, and California (for a brief time) weren’t legitimate because the courts first figured it out. And the corporate media never calls on the conservatives’ hypocrisy that they only cry “activist judges” when they disagree with the ruling.

The tide has definitely shifted from 2004 when Karl Rove and his cronies utilized false fears to get anti-gay marriage amendments passed, and to draw more conservatives to the polls. I remember distinctly being in downtown Cincinnati in the summer of 2004, horrified at being asked to sign a petition getting an anti-gay marriage initiative on the ballot.

Then, and in California in 2008, I figured out that you can’t legislate away basic rights, no matter how hard the conservatives would try to do so.

Despite the advancements, especially this week, the conservatives are not giving up the fight. The ironically named National Organization for Marriage just spent $1.5 million to air a bogeyman ad, designed to scare and misinform.

The outtakes are especially wonderful — watching actors read this vague dialogue that speaks but doesn’t really say anything.

You would think if those who truly believe gay marriage is wrong, immoral, or evil spent money on a commercial, they would use the time to explain what really bothers them about gay marriage.

After all, they believe what they believe, and think their beliefs are more important than upholding basic rights to its citizens. I would expect Biblical verses and thorough explanations, extensively proving their case that great sorrow would come if gay marriage were made legal.

I wouldn’t want just a few verses from Leviticus — been there, done that. I want pillar of salt analogies, citing that God will strike down America if it allows gay marriage (I’ve actually heard this as an argument). Heck, if that were true, we might still be in trouble since God might strike down Canada, and we’re right next door.

These people spend money and time saying gay marriage is bad, but they never explain to a mainstream audience what they really feel. When slavery was up for dispute, the people who favored slavery offered up reasons and logic, even if ultimately their logic was seriously misguided. This generation would prefer to hide behind vagueness wrapped in an enigma.

In the early part of the 21st century, if you want to fight for taking away basic rights, you better have something substantial to back that up. Otherwise, get the hell out of the way.


Written by democracysoup

April 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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