November 8, 2008

Proposition 8: Religion and Homophobia

I have to admit that I was surprised when Proposition 8 passed in California. Proposition 8 amends the California Constitution to define marriage an an exclusively heterosexual act. My first thought was that if this could happen in California, it could happen anywhere (and probably will). I see no reason whatsoever that two consenting adults should be prevented from marrying each other if they so desire. I am not swayed by any "sanctity of marriage" argument because I recognize that nothing is sacred. Moreover, I fail to see how a gay couple marrying has any impact on heterosexual marriage. I think that those who seek to ban gay marriage are likely motivated by a combination of religion and homophobia.

Proponents of individual liberties everywhere were outraged at the news that California had passed Proposition 8. Given the large role of the Mormon church in funding the proposition, some called for boycotts on Mormon-owned businesses. Thousands turned out to protest in California and in front of the Mormon headquarters in Utah. It did not take both Mormons and Catholics to begin complaining that they were the target of these protests. What a tragedy when one is protested for one's bigotry!

Perhaps best of all, well-known Christian extremist group, the Family Research Council, is calling the protests "anti-family rioting." Yes, they're the victims here. How dare anyone protest their right to bigotry!

Anyone wanting to deny the role of religion in passing Proposition 8 only needs to look at the affiliations of those who funded the measure. The religious influence is undeniable here. As for the homophobia, well what else do we call someone wanting to deny the same rights the rest of us have to a group of people solely on the basis of their sexual orientation? Religious delusion plus fear means that some really nasty shit is about to happen.

I have one question for the fearful Christian extremists and their supporters - who's next? I can only assume that ending atheists' right to marry is on your list somewhere.

Gay marriage is a civil rights issue, and it is not going to go away. I was skeptical that I'd see an African American president in my lifetime, but I'm fairly confident that I will see gay marriage.