Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 Declared Unconstitutional

Today, California's Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge.

This blog was primarily started as a place to document my thoughts, feelings and research regarding this complicated issue.  A matter of fact, after Prop 8 passed, my wife was concerned that I wouldn't have anything to write about.

I've been asked several times today how I feel and this is my answer:

  • I'm happy for the people who fought for and wanted the recognition of same-sex marriage in California.
  • I'm sorry that the trial seemed "unfair" due to:

    The backers of Proposition 8 called only two witnesses, and both made concessions under cross-examination that helped the other side.

    The sponsors complained that Walker's pretrial rulings had been unfair and that some of their prospective witnesses decided not to testify out of fear for their safety.
  • I'm concerned that if this ruling stands, that this new "right" will be used as leverage to degrade aspects of our society: education, religion, etc. 
  • I hope that if this ruling stands, that it will not have a negative impact on our society
I am trying to deal with the psychological discomfort (no, not "hate" or "bigotry") that I feel towards homosexuality.   I know that if I knew more gays personally it would help.  My daughter mentioned that there was going to be a gay pride parade near her home.  I suggested she go so that she could form her own opinion.  She went.  She experienced severe "psychological discomfort".  If the gay community truly want more public acceptance, maybe they should be more selective in how they "expose" themselves to the public.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

(Note: this is not a polemic against anybody's position; this is a personal reflection - sometimes the nuances don't come out very well in written format.)

Maybe I was fortunate in knowing several gay people in college (both male and female, but mostly male). Maybe it was that coupled with not really knowing what homosexuality even was until my late teens - it just wasn't talked about in the mid '70s rural Midwest. Or maybe it was reading lots of science fiction (e.g., Robert Heinlein's work, including Stranger in a Strange Land) during that same formative period - the late teen years. But I've been fortunate (or the opposite, depending on how you look at it) to have never seen homosexuality as either a moral issue or a lifestyle issue - all of my gay friends always said they always knew that they were this way, even from childhood. All of the gay men and women I've known were good people, who wanted the same things that the heterosexual majority wanted - intellectual stimulation, personal affection, good friends and companions, and the chance to make a lifelong bond with a partner. These are the some of the reasons I support gay marriage.

Other reasons are largely found in my libertarian views on the power of the state and when it is and isn't OK to discriminate.

That being said, I have some serious issues with the ruling, as it seems overbroad to me right now. I'm still studying it and reading informed opinion from those I respect (see, for example, the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog, for details). And unfortunately I don't want to see the right thing done in the wrong way, because it creates the danger you discussed in your post - that the ruling can be used to justify truly bad things. We'll just have to see how it plays out...