Saturday, October 25, 2008

Exercising my constitutional rights

As I've said before, I believe that Proposition 8 is an important moral issue. For some though, morality is whatever they decide it means that day, so makeing arguments from a moral standpoint is useless, and so we need to find other arguments. Most of them have been rehashed over and over in the blogosphere, even in my own blogs.

In a letter to my cousin, who was asking about this, I said:
In a nutshell, the non-moral arguments are these:
  1. Saying gays have a "right" to marry under the equal protection clause of the constitution says that homosexuality is on the same footing as things like gender race and age. The problem is that anyone can claim to be homosexual -- there is no test for it -- and therefore, those that self identify have enormous political power over the rest of us.
  2. If sexual orientationis a discrimination class like the others, then they will invoke the decisions from other civil rights cases to:
    1. force churches and clergy to perform gay marriages or lose their tax exempt status.
    2. force photographers and other wedding service givers to give them service even if it conflicts with their religious beliefs and there are others willing to give the service.
    3. force religious adoption agencies to place children with same sex couples or close their doors entirely.
    4. preaching against homosexual behavior in church will become classified as "hate speech" and expose churches to lawsuits

  3. Gay marriage and gay sex will be taught in school diversity and sex ed classes on the same footing as traditional marriage, and parents will have no right to ask for their children to "opt out" of these lessons.

In the name of "civil rights for gays" which some judges find implied in the constitution, they are trying to take away our first amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion which are explicitly spelled out. That's why this issue is worth fighting for, even if you don't think it's a moral issue.

In the last few days, I've been exercising another of my constitutional rights -- the right of assembly. I attended a rally for the Yes on 8 bus tour. It was obviously staged as a media event, but I can find depressingly little news coverage of it. There was a professional photographer of some sort who took some photos of Elizabeth playing with my prop 8 sign. Since we're doing this for her, and other children like her, I thought I'd post my own photo of hope for the future.

Peter, Elizabeth and I also went to a sign waving event. They had people waving Yes on 8 signs on every major intersection of a main street in town. We were there for about an hour and a half, and got an interesting reception. The majority of cars just drove by with no response. Lots of cars honked. Many people waved, yelled encouragement, and gave us a happy thumbs up. A few gave us thumbs down or booed. A couple made obscene gestures and swore at us. If those proportions show the way people feel about Proposition 8 in our town, then there are more people who really care on the pro side than against.

I'm told that the manager of the F.Y.E. store across the street, where there were more sign wavers, called the police. Evidently several police cars showed up, but the cops told the manager that we had the right to assemble on the public sidewalk. They said that we were doing it peacefully and courteously, and there was no grounds for complaint. They told the sign wavers to be sure their cars weren't parked in that business's lot, and to stay off the grass, then the police gave them a thumbs up and drove off. This is one more instance where the people on the other side are trying to deprive us of our most basic constitutional rights because they don't like what we have to say. Luckily, in this case, the law is still on our side for now.

As a side note, I also have been seeing about the same proportions in my work calling voters for the campaign. Most don't answer the phone at all. Of those that do, most say, "Yes, I'm for 8 and traditional marriage." A few hang up or refuse to answer (which is totally within their rights), and only a very few say they are against it.

I have more hope for humanity today than I did before.

1 comment:

jesse said...

Karen, I enjoyed your blogpost, btw. What amazes me from an outside perspective is that both sides think the other hates them. I was talking to a friend earlier today who was one of those cursing at those with the signs, and he truly felt that those holding the signs hated Gay people. I have another friend who wrote a blog post talking about how she's appalled that people would bring their kids to these events, instilling hatred for Gay people.

At the same time, I hear the other side, talking about how they are receiving death threats from the anti-prop 8 people. I hear about all the other things you guys have told me about.

It seems like there is so much misunderstanding out there, amongst individuals of both sides.