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Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 6

January 28, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

To begin with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage might contribute over time to a decline in anti-gay prejudice as well as, more specifically, a reduction in anti-gay hate crimes.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would be a victory for the worthy ideas of tolerance and inclusion.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Same-sex marriage would meet the stated needs and desires of lesbian and gay couples who want to marry. In so doing, it would improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

Gay marriage would extend a wide range of the natural and practical benefits of marriage to many lesbian and gay couples and their children.

Was it:

(A) George W. Bush;
(B) Barack Obama;
(C) David Blackenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values;
(D) Joe Solmonese, President of HRC;
(E) Lady Gaga;
(F) Rachel Maddow?

The answer may just surprise you.  All of the above statements were part of David Blackenhorn’s book, The Future of Marriage.  Mr. Blackenhorn is an “expert” for the Defendants in the Proposition 8 trial – which means that he is against same-sex marriage in spite of all of the above statements being, in his opinion, true.

Therefore, it seems as though Mr. Blackenhorn would concur with the view that same-sex marriage will significantly benefit many gay couples (as well as many single LGBT people by way of reducing hate crimes and social stigma).  Unfortunately, Mr. Blackenhorn makes an amazing leap of logic from those points.

He then goes on to tell us, by way of his testimony in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case that he believes it is “almost certainly true” that:

…gay and lesbian couples and their children would benefit by having gay marriage.

In spite of all this, he does not support same-sex marriage because:

…the rights of gays and lesbians take second place to the needs of an existing social institution. *** I will choose marriage as a public good over the rights and needs of gay and lesbian adults and those same-sex couples who are raising children.

In other words, in spite of the fact that there are enormous benefits of marriage that are currently being denied to same-sex couples and their children, the rights of those people are secondary to those of heterosexual couples simply because same-sex marriage doesn’t provide a benefit to the public… or rather, it isn’t part of the public good.

Mr. Blackenhorn elaborates on what he means by public good, by stating that it, “serves important public purposes.”  By way of his agreements and statements on the benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples, he seems to contradict himself in asserting that such marriages won’t “serve an important public purpose.”

Look back to the quotes above and we can see those things that Mr. Blackenhorn believes don’t serve important public purposes:

  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have “fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to have a reduction of violent crimes (i.e. “anti-gay hate crimes“).
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to embrace the ideas of “tolerance and inclusion.”
  • According to Mr. Blackenhorn, it is not an important public service to “improve the happiness and well-being of many gay and lesbian individuals, couples, and family members.” [emphasis added]

It seems then that Mr. Blackenhorn’s testimony in the trial embraced the following as important public services: (1) to have more children growing up in state institutions; (2) to increase violent crimes; (3) to become intolerant and exclusionary; and (4) to diminish the happiness of a large percentage of American families.

Are those the “family values” they keep telling us about?

o being with, let’s take a brief quiz.  For each statement listed below, answer which person made the statement

By increasing the number of married couples who might be interested in adoption and foster care, same-sex marriage might well lead to fewer children growing up in state institutions and more growing up in loving adoptive and foster families.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 2

January 12, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Yesterday, the judge and lawyers assembled in the courtroom at 8:24 a.m. Pacific Time to debate, and ultimately decide, upon the rights of same-sex couples to marry.  The case, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, resulted after a “majority” of California voters decided that the judicial granting of equal marital rights to same-sex couples violated their sense of… uhm… of… well, ego.

Since the trial started (and even before) we’ve heard the opponent’s of equality claiming that the majority spoke and such majority rule must be honored.  In fact, the news keeps repeating an annoying little phrase whenever they talk about the case, referring to Proposition 8 as a “voter approved” measure.  Unless the manipulation of the vote allegations are true, then “voter approved” measure and “majority rule” are correct terms to use when referring to Proposition 8.  It is true that a small majority of voters decided to approve a measure that would stop recognizing a civil institution for some of the population.

Those that voted in favor of Proposition 8 have been bemoaning activists against the discriminatory measure and argue that, in a Democracy, majority rules.  Opponents of Proposition 8 retorted that majority rule over a minority results in tyranny (among other things), and that if majority had ruled with respect to interracial marriage, 90% of Americans would have denied the right based solely upon the race of those wishing to enter into marriage.  In other words, Barack Obama, being a mixed race man, would not be allowed to marry Michelle Obama, being that she is not mixed race if “majority” had ruled rather than the Supreme Court (presuming, of course, our President even came to being).

But that’s just a little clarification to bring us up to date.  The majority spoke again last week with regard to the televising of Proposition 8.  In fact, according to the Courage Campaign, 138,574 people, at Judge Vaughn Walker’s request, provided their vote with respect to the televising of the trial.  Of the 138,574 votes, 138,542 supported the trial being televised, 32 opposed.  (Note: The “for” votes do not include those that sent letters or called outside of the petition hosted by the Courage Campaign and CREDO Action, thus the numbers “for” televising the trial are likely substantially higher).

Those that have been arguing for majority rule lost… BIG TIME.  Unfortunately, in spite of this loss, the trial is not being televised.  The losers (those not in the majority) petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the televising of the trial.  The Court is set to rule tomorrow based upon the law – not the “majority opinion.”  Oh the hypocrisy.

So, today’s stupid thing people say about gays is, “majority rule.”  While not specific to LGBTQ people – it certainly is applicable in this instance.

[Another Note: The column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays (of which this post is part of) uses the term “Gay” inclusively.  It’s always been so and will always be so.  jaysays.com and all of its contributors strive to be fully inclusive and leave no freak behind.  More Stupid Things People Say About Gays can be found here.]

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 1

January 09, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

The trial that may repeal the disgustingly discriminatory Proposition 8 in California (which denies couples of the same sex from entering into the civil contract of marriage) begins January 11, 2010.  With that trial will come many “stupid things” that people say about gays.  The opposition will be presenting their ridiculous arguments (including one where they claim gay marriage will result in children having sexual fantasies about their same-sex friends).  Thus, it’s a proper time to start the Proposition 8 Series for Stupid Things People Say About Gays.

Let’s get things started (even before the trial begins): Hak-Shing William Tam intervened in the much talked about Perry v. Schwarzenegger case as an official litigant to defend Proposition 8 and continue to oppress same-sex couples.  After doing so, a sad thing purportedly happened, Tam’s family began receiving threats and had property vandalized.

Although I completely understand the urge to beat the living hell out of those that oppress any people, I disagree with actually doing it.  However, that’s a discussion for another time and place – we have to get to the stupid things people say about gays before I run out of typing space.

On Friday, Tam appeared in court and advised the justice:

Now that the subject lawsuit is going to trial, I fear I will get more publicity, be more recognizable and that the risk of harm to me and my family will increase. [emphasis added]

It sucks, doesn’t it Tam – to feel that people are targeting you and your family because you believe differently than they do or because you feel differently than they do?  It’s a sad way to have to live your life.  No one should ever feel their family is in danger because of their political opinions or social class.

In fact, I shouldn’t have to feel that way either.  Unfortunately, I’ve felt that way the bulk of my life. I can recall very specific situations where my sexual orientation has nearly killed me.  I can recall each and ever death threat, each hate email, and more particularly I recall the day I discovered the word “FAG” scrawled in the paint of my car door.  I live with that fear every day because of people like you who think you deserve more than I deserve.

Now, please accept my most sarcastic apology if your tyrannical behavior has caused you to feel, even for such a brief period of time, the way you  and those like you have made me feel since I was a young, scared little “sissy” boy.  But there is a key difference in what is happening to you and what has happened to me.  You have put yourself out there to attack and oppress a group of people; whereas, I just came out as a gay man.

Oh, and did I mention that Tam is the one making the claim that the kids will fantasize about their same-sex friends?

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

Justices Seek Public Comments Regarding Televising Proposition 8 Case

January 05, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Thought of the Gay

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is seeking public commentary regarding televising the Perry, et al. v. Schwarzenegger, et al. Proposition 8 trial (more commonly Oles/Boies).  A hearing will be held on January 6, 2010 to decide whether or not the Court will allow television cameras to broadcast the trial to the public.  I encourage you to share your comments with the Court.  You may mail your comments to:

Hon. Phyllis Hamilton
Chair of the Rules Committee
United States Courthouse
1301 Clay Street
Oakland, CA 94612

and

Hon. Vaughn Walker
Chief Judge
United States Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

****UPDATE****

Courage Campaign is now offering an online form for submission to the Court.  Please take a moment, at minimum, to complete the form.

Below is the text of the letter I have sent to help you in drafting your own.  Feel free to use it in whole or in part:

RE:     Televising Cause No. 3:09-CV-02292-VRW Perry, et al. v. Schwarzenegger, et al.; in the United States District Court, Northern District of California.

Dear Hon. Walker:

It is my understanding that the Court has requested public commentary with respect to webcasting and/or televising the January 11, 2010 trial in the above referenced cause.  Thank you for allowing the public, who have much to learn and lose from this case, to weigh in with respect to televising the proceedings.

As you know, last month the 9th Circuit joined the 2nd Circuit.  In responding to criticism, 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski stated, “The experiment is designed to help us find the right balance between the public’s right to access to the courts and the parties’ right to a fair and dignified proceeding.”  He further explained that allowing broadcasting of the proceedings would enhance confidence in the rule of law.

In Perry, there is a compelling public interest in the outcome as same-sex families throughout California and the United States lives hang by Lady Justice’s scales.  While the case may not be a prosecution of an individual, it is a prosecution of a people and we have the right, at minimum to hear the allegations of our prosecutors against our families.  This public interest cannot be ignored in deciding whether or not to broadcast the proceedings.

Very truly yours,

Jay Morris