All Politics are local: Why Blacks voted for Prop 8
by xodus1914, Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:18:55 AM EST
by xodus1914, Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:18:55 AM EST
While I think you are about to get roundly smacked for this diary, I hope you don't.
In order for things to change there must be first an understanding of why people think and act they way that they do.
And while I totally disagree with your choice, if given the opportunity, to vote for Prop 8, at least we now have a place to start the discussion and start some mind changing on both sides.
So in the hopes that this diary starts a constructive dialogue I have recd it.
Civil Unions, the 21st century version of 'whites only' drinking fountains, public toilets and lunch counters.
Careful with that jerky knee, there.
There are two ways to do civil unions: One is to give them to gay couples and marriages to straight ones. The other is to have only civil unions, and get rid of state-sanctioned marriage altogether. Then it's up to the various churches to decide who they want to marry. This second approach makes a lot of sense to me -- why should the government be in the marriage business at all?
You and some other heterosexuals may 'buy' that as a reasonable outcome, but what makes you think the vast majority of Americans would allow the 'reinvention' of their most sacred institution just to accomodate gays?
Also, what dimension exists where in order to make everyone equal, you first have to make them over?
The problem is that "marriage" has both legal and religious meanings. I'm not sure the state should give any special benefits to two people living together with some paper commitment rather than without one, but we have chosen to do that, and have piggybacked on the religious idea of marriage.
The fundies are the ones who care so much about it, so I say give them the word "marriage," and come up with something else for the legal status. People who think it's "sacred" will probably be churchgoers anyways, so they can still be "married," and can take it up with their churches whether or not gays are allowed. Meanwhile, the rest of us can have the same legal benefits.
I don't understand your last question ("make them over"?).
refers to the often posed idea of retooling marriage into a civil documnent called a civil union that everyone would have to obtain secondary to any religious marriage ceremony. In ways, we do that already, but posed to ssociety as a whole you do realize that you are doing exactly what the fundies accuse us of doing, 'redefining' marriage, right?
It's so simple if folks would just understand that equal means equal. In order for gays to be equal to heterosexuals in the area of personal relationships, family and civil rights as regards to relationships, nothing needs to be done other than declare marriage open for all couples of marriage age who are consenting to the union.
How hard is that?
Something 'similar' or 'nearly the same' isn't ever 'the same'.
Why should one group of American taxpayers have rights others do not?
I think we'll have to agree to just shout at each other, but I'll try one more time...
you do realize that you are doing exactly what the fundies accuse us of doing, 'redefining' marriage, right?
Why should one group of American taxpayers have rights others do not?
It seems like a straightforward matter of separation of church and state. I don't think the state should give benefits based on a religious ceremony, or that religious should be forced to perform a ceremony by the state. How is this at all objectionable?
None of what you say is objectionable. The problem is having to retwist the pretzel in order for everyone to get one.
Why not just allow everyone to get a pretzel now?
Mainly because it's clearly not working -- "gay marriage" is getting voted down all over the place.
But it also corrects the long-standing mistake of conflating legal and religious marriage.
"Civil unions" and any contract that provides any of the benefits of marriage are getting voted down all over too, in case you missed it. Think about that, those constitutional ammendments already passed outlaw what you are proposing, and even go farther.
The same folks who vote down gay marriage are the same folks who will work tirelessly to defeat any change in the current system.
The only equal, moral, RIGHT answer for America to ensure that all her citizens have equality is to allow everyone the option of taking advantage of the existing system.
Anything else will be met with as much (or more) resistance from the 'haves' as any attempt to open the current system to everyone.
Imagine a system where one group of folks could have a driver's liscense, and a system was devised so the other group of folks could get something that looks like a driver's liscense, can be used like a driver's liscense, but in some way identifies as not a driver's liscense and thereby also identifies that group as not equal.
Would that be equality, or fair?
"Civil unions" and any contract that provides any of the benefits of marriage are getting voted down all over too, in case you missed it.
I really don't know what to say, since we agree on all the stuff that matters. The government's obligation for equality ends at legal equality, and civil unions provide that. Some people will keep believing that "God hates fags," and I'm just looking for a way to let God go on doing his hating while we improve civil society.
If we are going to call gay marriages "civil unions" then we must use the term legally to describe all the existing and future contracts between two people - straight or gay - who desire to share and build a life together. To do otherwise would be the legal equivalent of "separate but equal" and we all know how well that worked out.
I have no problem with referring to my current marriage as a civil union. I'm sure we'd survive the slight. However, I'm not so sure others would be as "tolerant."
Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes! Why do some people find this so hard to understand? If civil unions were granted automatically by religious marriages, people unlikely to be tolerant would probably not even notice the change.
Sorry, I have to disagree. The bible condemns eating pork, eating various shellfish, beef with cheese, etc. So if there were propositions to eliminate the selling of cheeseburgers, lobster and pork products, would you have voted for that too? How about a law banning divorce or criminalizing extramarital sex?
People are free to believe what they want but putting into law those beliefs to be forced onto others is unAmerican. The language being used to condemn is the same language that was used about race. The bible said slavery was OK, so treating blacks as slaves / second-class citizens was OK.
Was there ever a point in your life that you actually decided you prefer women to men? Do you really think it's a choice? You're waiting for some genetic proof? What if someone proposed a genetic test to see if blacks were different than whites. Would you be OK with that? I wouldn't. It's time we all learn that if people pay their taxes and don't break any laws, we have no right to tell them how to live their personal lives.
That said I think the word "marriage" is loaded. I think the government should get out of the marriage business. The government should have civil unions for all and leave the word marriage to churches, etc. But I'm guessing people would still argue that since they believe homosexuality is wrong, they should be able to prevent gays from getting the same rights and privileges as straights. That's how we know they're bigots.
What do you think?
I happen to know that a lot of African Americans who are Christian voted against prop 8. They viewed secular tolerance as most important, they'd been victims of so-called Christ based racism, there is always a way to defend one's prejudices in the Bible if you know where to look and what to ignore.
it's likely that a lot of the Democrats who voted for 8 would be happy Republicans if only the pugs weren't so racist.
What has been fascinating to me is that many of the same arguments that were used against interracial marriage were used against gay marriage including that it was unnatural, would hurt children and went against Scripture. The bible (or should I saw the flawed human interpretation of the bible) has been used to beat people up for generations.
On this note, should we prohibit re-marriage after divorce?
For those who aren't familiar, Luke 16:18 (see also Mark 10:11-12), Matthew 19:9 for other accounts of the same conversation):
Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
Committing a sin is bad, breaking commandments is worse. If we use a religious definition of marriage to prevent one group from marrying, shouldn't we be consistent in that ideal?
So, I guess all of the apologies for slavery should not have been made since the Bible is very clear that a slave should submit to his master!? Give me a break. I think that the problem is that blacks in California made it very clear that they feel civil rights are only for a chosen few.
Glad to see that you give white homophobes a free pass, and you choose to bash on a tiny minority, not because they actually affected the outcome, but because they're a minority.
Religious conservatism in minorities is a problem, but it's no different a problem than religious conservatism in white majorities.
You'll only convince me you aren't a racist, when you choose to focus on the actual problem, not on the race of the people having it.
sums up why i feel torn about this past election.
i am happy that obama has been elected, but i believe that many voters pulled the lever for him only because the other choice was so god-awful for them. the election of president obama does not represent a spontanious progressive enlightening of america, but was rather an act of despairation by many. florida and california, with their support of obama and their rejection of equal rights illustrates this point clearly.
Lets not the forget the nearly flawless campaign, and the three-quarters of a billion dollars spent to get him elected. Obama's team fought tooth and nail for his election, no one handed it to him.
I would be curious as to the outcome if Axelrod had managed the anti-prop 8 campaign. Barring management talent of that level, the two things (obama's election and prop 8 passing) have nothing in common.
I grew up in Alabama in one of the most racist enclaves of the south that you could imagine, during the Wallace terms of oppression of African Americans. It was ingrained in our culture, in our religion, and supported weekly from the pulpit by our pastor with admonitions from God as interpreted from readings of the word. Your folks were not allowed on the mountain where I grew up. I still hear words from my surviving relatives that I would never say, and that I wish they would cease using.
I have worked my entire adult life to view all people as equal. My hardshell rattlesnake handling religious upbringing didn't stop my evolving past the unchristian views of my ancestors. Why has yours?
I'm still Christian, but I'm also gay, and I know that Christ made no mention of homosexuality in his teachings. Even with that said, while I believe we are a Christian Nation, that foundation is NOT predicated on any one religion, and actually very rightly precludes the formation of any religion as a higher power over equality for all.
What makes you any different from George Wallace and his base ball bat?
Hey, what part of AL are you from? I've lived in AL all my life (sad, I know).
time to move.
just kidding. I'm from Arkansas and Oklahoma, but have lived also in NC and now NJ.
Aside from the crowding up here in the Northeast, I LOVE the greater tolerance here for differences, and I'm astounded at how different the south is whenever I return to visit family. Call me an elitist northeastern snob. But, while I love my southern roots, I can't stand the bigotry (and I'm a straight white male; I can't imagine what it's like for any minorities, sexually or racially).
Lookout Mountain, Fort Payne.
Little River Canyon, Weiss Lake and such ....
It's a nice heritage to have, adn ido miss parts of it. It molds us to who we are. I bought my first clock radio from Western Auto with money I made picking cotton.
I agree with everything said above. It's highly disappointing to see people explaining their anti-gay position with the same moral certitude that others used against them a couple generations ago.
And your title has nothing to do with this diary. I was thinking it might shed some light on some local/geographical political issues that would add some new wrinkle to the ongoing discussion of this issue. Instead, it's yet another morally certain exercise in circular logic: "The Bible says gays are bad, so stop questioning us." Yeah, yeah, whatever.
Glad people have progressed in their own civil-rights struggle to the point where that they can shit on the struggles of others.
1. the Bible also says that women shouldn't even be looked at during 'that time of the month.' It says women should be subservient to their husbands (and men in general). It says slaves should be subservient to their masters. In short, like others have said above, it says a lot of things I seriously doubt you would vote for were these things put into legislation.
2. The claim that blacks are opposed to gay marriage because blacks are short on male role models is a BS argument. First, if you ask blacks about this, you won't find this argument among the majority--it is simply an up-and-coming attempt at justifying bigotry. Second, there is no reason that black homosexual men can't be good role models: you presuppose they can't in making your argument.
3. The whole marriage vs. civil union discussion is a red herring. The state is intimately involved in the marriage business: I've been married once in a church and twice by justices-of-the-peace, who are state officials. Those who oppose gay marriage on the grounds that the state should stay out of the marriage business are simply trying to sweep under the rug the fact that state recognition of marriage confers certain rights. By voting against marriage for gays, one implicitly is rejecting the rights that go along with it. Consider this--prop 8 didn't say CA would eliminate marriage for gays BUT STILL AFFORD THEM THE RIGHTS THAT ACCOMPANY MARRIAGE. It said that the state wouldn't give them those rights.
4. There is no evidence whatsoever that homsexuality is caused by child abuse, rape, etc. This is just more evidence of trying to marginalize gays or otherwise paint the lifestyle as some lesser status.
5. You've hit the nail on the head when you talk about the dilemma of believing something while at the same time trying not to push your beliefs on others. The progressive solution is to believe what you want, allow others to do the same, and keep your beliefs out of policy.
1. The Bible clearly delineates what is a sin, ans what isn't. Second, let's try to keep it consistent here, huh? The religious group in question is Christians here, and Christ clearly didn't advocate slavery. Try to remember everything donein the name of Christianity across the ages wasn't necessarily Christian.
2. Are you Black? Have you worked with at risk Black teenagers who don't have a father and who desperately are crying out for a Black role model? Have you spoken to any Black single mothers lately, who are raising Black kids and want to show thier children what a Black male role model looks like, who is not an athelete or entertainer?
Whether you feel that Black gay men make good role models is irrelevant. The point I'm making here is that in the Black Community there is a noticable abscense of role models and Black gay men are not percioeved to be filling the void, (hence the negative feelings). Of course, neither are Black str8 men, but that's another story.
4. Wishful thinking buddy. Didn't a WNBA star just start dating women a few years ago after being married to a man? And once again, the Black community is quite familiar with ex-convicts who get 'turned out" in prison. Please spare me the outrage.
5. Yeah, we can agree on that. But as long as you put a person in a voting booth, and you are asking to them support something that they are against morally, what happened with Prop 8 will happen in less liberal states as well. Take my diary as a step toward reframing your arguement.
Going by Christ's teachings, there is no basis for this discrimination. None. At all. Discrimination and bigotry are written into the Old Testament, that's true, but, as others have argued, so is legal slavery, a ban on wearing more than one kind of fabric at a time, eating pork and shellfish, divorce, re-marriage, and adultery. If these are all, indeed, sins, then mankind will face God's judgment.
Bigotry, racism and prejudice have hidden behind faith for centuries. Pastors and ministers and priests and bishops have all preached hate in the name of Christ from the moment the bible was put to paper. But nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ is there a justification for hating your fellow man. Nowhere does He tolerate hatred or bigotry.
You don't want gays to be married because you believe that they are somehow fundamentally less human than you and are not deserving of the same rights. It is sacrilegious to claim that Jesus Christ shares your bigotry, as such bigotry exists only in the heart of mankind.
Even so, I can accept that you believe it is wrong for gays to marry. I believe it is wrong for people to drink soy milk. (It's against my faith. Period.) What I can not accept is how easily you are willing to impose your beliefs on others. When I see someone drinking soy milk, I shrug. When you see gay people getting married, you feel the need to stop it.
Why does this sin affect you, personally? So much so that you would intentionally vote to keep this from happening?
Tolerance means letting your beliefs BE your beliefs without cramming them down each other's throats. You are under no personal obligation to recognize that a marriage performed at city hall is sanctified in the eyes of God. So why go to any trouble at all to stop it from happening?
Going by Christ's teachings, there is no basis for this discrimination. None. At all. Discrimination and bigotry are written into the Old Testament, that's true, but, as others have argued, so is legal slavery, a ban on wearing more than one kind of fabric at a time, eating pork and shellfish, divorce, re-marriage, and adultery.
Only the "anti-gay" parts of the Bible should be taken literally. The stuff on pre-marital sex and divorce....God was just giving us advice. Didn't you get the memo?
with almost everything you wrote.
We worship 1 God.
Do you have any idea how many people all throughout history have used the bible excuse you are presenting to justify their agenda?
I follow no man, and no mans interpretation of the bible.
Try to think for yourself when you go to church for a change. If something feels wrong, it's b/c usually it is.
I heartily recommend the Bible quizzes at
Word of warning: whatever you may believe to be the actual Biblical interpretation is likely to be the complete reverse. Its good for a few yuks and for throwing in the face of the those who interpret literally each and every verse in the Bible.
I don't see how giving a civil marriage license to gays affects your life in any way shape or form. Nobody is forcing your church to marry gays, or Jewish people, or non-believers. The fact that you want to impose your religious beliefs the USA shows a genuine disregard for the first ammendment.
And please stop stereotyping gays. There are plenty of strong GAY male role models. The way you phrased it equated strong with straight. Gays make as good of role models for children as do heterosexuals. A gay male can be a good role model for a gay child. Many of my role models as a child were heterosexual.
People used the Bible to say it was "unnatural" in the 50's for blacks to marry whites in the south. You are doing the same today. Hope you enjoy the exculsivity of your civil rights movement, couched in the guise of sanctimoneous PLESSY VS. FERGESSEN (SEPERATE BUT EQUAL) sympathies.
The bottom line is that if gays pay taxes, and do not have the same rights as everyone else, thats TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION and that its because of such unfairness that the United States was formed in the first place.
Maybe gays should stop paying taxes. Why should gays pay for the tax breaks of heterosexuals? Plus the vast majority of gays do not have children so why should we pay for public schools, or any program that affects children.
It sure seems that heteros dont want to help us. Why should we help them anymore?
Very interesting Diary, and I appreciate you writing it here. Much food for thought.
Regarding what you wrote here:
In the Black community there is a serious lack of Black role models. Many fathers leave early and many Black children grow up not knowing firsthand what a Black man looks like, acts like and how a Black man is supposed to treat Black women.
Do you see this situation changing in the black community anytime soon? And if so, how?
I was going to let that portion of this diary slide, but you brought attention to it, so here are my questions for the diarist and those supporting his stance.
Exactly who is to blame for the problems you cite within the black community? What are the answers, and how specifically does keeping gay males on the 'down low' give any positives to your community? Who outside the black community can affect change here?
Great questions! Hope we'll see answers here or in another Diary.
While much of what you said certainly reflects the wider problem, I find it hard to see how someone can so easily self-reflect and yet not see the problem with imposing a self-described religious belief on someone else.
It is not government's job to police sin. It is government's job to make illegal those behaviors that are harmful to society to such an extent that it becomes necessary to reduce a freedom to protect the public good. I've seen not an iota of evidence to suggest that gay marriage is such a harmful behavior. Your religious beliefs were also recently used to prevent gay people from adopting children, and the advocates of that policy painted with so broad a religious brush that they also are preventing straight people from adopting, too, provided that they were not married. Perhaps we should consider taking all children away from single parents, since they're so unfit to be fathers or mothers?
I can appreciate the fact that your personal morality dictates a code of conduct to you. Fine. No problem. If you happen to be gay, you can self-impose a "no marriage" restriction. I haven't a single problem with that. But beyond you, your personal morality shouldn't apply in a country with freedom of and from religion.
To extend your logic, a Catholic could have justified voting for anti-Jewish laws, up until the time that the Vatican officially decreed that Jews were not responsible, as a people, for the death of Christ. How ludicrous and bigoted would such voting be?
For further reading: the 1st Amendment.
It is astonishing to see blacks parrot arguments one used against inter-racial marriage. The civil rights debate over gay marriage is about equality and the end of discrimination. I am sure millions of whites believed the Bible told them blacks are not equal, should not marry whites-- let alone eat with them-- and that they are inferior. Well, gee, you just proved them all wrong. Blacks can be as bigoted as any white can be. And what is more equal than that?
bitterness between you and the folks who are commenting negatively to this comment, what you bring out is very indicative of where the problem lies.
Folks who were once held back by the use of bible verse are now utilizing those same bible verses to hold back others in their struggle.
For those arguing with you based on their dislike for you, how can you possibly not see this one fact as the root of this problem?
I don't have to be literalistic to read the Bible and see the few stories where homosexuality is condemned. In the Bible it's a sin, just as premarital sex and adultery are sins. But homosexuality presents a unique challenge to society, because gays feel that they are not sinners.
But there are lots of sins, it just seems you religious folk pick and choose them whenever it's convenient. Don't pay attention to the Old Testament, except if it pertains to something we don't like.
And really, do people feel like they've sinned every time they get a divorce or eat shellfish?
And honestly, your entire post strikes me as written by someone too incurious to go beyond what the church teaches and find out for yourself that gay people are just like everyone else, they are human beings, and therefore deserving of the same rights as every other human being.
It would be nice if you would have read the whole diary before you posted.
"It's the ultimate test of a Christian because they must love someone who doesn't believe that they are a sinning. Obviously, most Christians are failing miserably in this aspect and it's getting worse. Homosexuality is being singled out and raised above all other sins, including the unforgivable sin of blasphemy. That's not Christianity."
And please, show some common sense when referring to what Christians believe. There are many things that Jesus said that superceded what is in the Old Testament, such as the ability to eat all things. However, condemnation of homosexuality is mentioned in Romans as well.
But you know, that wasn't even the point of my post. It's obvious you want to cherry pick, so by all means.....
So just because you believe I'm an abomination you think you should vote for laws that say my husband and I are not equal to your parents, and you shouldn't be blamed for your bigotry? nice logic. I'd like to point out that many people used to believe for religious reasons that interracial couples shouldn't be able to marry and that a very long time blacks were denied right to marry. So can you honestly say you have learned anything from history?
Once again, I wish people would read before they post.
"Now, I'm not so naive to believe that me supporting my beliefs don't infringe on how you want to live your life, when I vote. That's messed up, and I think it put every person who voted against Prop 8 in a very tough spot. But Gays can't be naive enough to believe that every person that voted for Prop 8, hates gays and want to keep them down. "
There is no condemnation of interracial marriages in the Bible, nor a particular justification of European dominated slavery under Christ.
And any Christian who thinks that Gay people are an abomination is a hypocrite. It's the act, that's a sin , not the sinner.
You know, both sides need to listen to each other here. It seem like gays want to use their own set of talking points, without actually understanding why people of faith struggle to come to terms with the exsistence of homosexuality. If more gays would crack a Bible and see what it says, maybe they could understand why Prop 8 passed in the most liberal state in the Union.
Thank you for putting in more honest words what the diarist was trying to write.