Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Tried

(Originally posted on MySpace on Sunday, November 16, 2008)

Well, all I can say is that I tried.

I did manage to start putting together my report on our Buenos Aires trip. But after a visit from our friend Nate and the fact that I'm still trying to catch up with backlog from the trip, I'm really behind with everything, so you get another short rant about Proposition 8 once again.

What's happening with this Proposition is very important to me, so you're just going to have to tolerate me until I get that Argentina report done.

On that front, I will be out of town next week, so there will be no blog (although I may put up a short review on Thursday morning). I will be in San Francisco, where I'll be seeing Of Montreal and Blixa Bargeld in separate performances, as well as attending the best wine event in the state, Pinotfest. We'll also probably be visiting Lodi for a day of relaxation and wine tasting.

The week after that is Thanksgiving weekend and I hope to have at least a part of the Buenos Aires trip up by then. I might have to split it into two parts. And I promise to have at least one more Thin White Rope tour report up in December sometime.

So, thanks for your patience. Have a great couple of weeks and a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you celebrate that overstuffed holiday). I'll see you back here on November 30th.



I'm feeling a bit guilty about not being at the massive, international protest rally being held in opposition of the hateful Proposition 8 that passed by a small majority a few weeks ago. This proposition took the right to marry away from same-sex couples, a right they had been given to them just a few months before by the California State Supreme Court. Now it's going back to the courts, where it will hopefully be struck down as unconstitutional, as it should be.

I should be at the rally today, a rally that is expect to bring out millions of protesters throughout the United States and even in a few other countries that are protesting in sympathy. But I'm overwhelmed by lack of time and just plain exhaustion, so I'm leaving it to others to do my duty this time around. I'll watch it on the news, if the news covers anything else besides the fires that are burning down a major part of Southern California as I write.

In the meantime, I've been catching up on the news about the Proposition, which this week seems to be concentrating on the whining of the supporters of Proposition 8, who are claiming they are being harassed and threatened, much as they did to the opposition themselves during the election. I was watching "Larry King Live" with Joy Behar acting as guest host. She had on four panelists, two supporting 8 and two opposing it. The two supporting the proposition were Christian Preachers and I was appalled by them. One was a black man and he claimed that blacks shouldn't vote for gay rights because gays were more bigoted against blacks than other groups. When asked to back his claim, he said that if he was given an hour, he could come up with proof, but time constraints didn't give him the opportunity to come up with anything. This was much the same thing said when the white Preacher claimed that gay marriage harmed him. He couldn't come up with any reasons, but claimed if he had an hour, he could list many. In other words, both men were lying; something the religious conservative side seems to think they can do with their God's full support. The white preacher also said that Jesus fully supported keeping marriage between a man and a woman and used the Book of Genesis as support, conveniently "forgetting" that the Book of Genesis is in the Old Testament of the Bible and has nothing to do with Jesus' word. In fact, Jesus never said anything about marriage between a man and a woman or between a man and a man.

Both men also made claims that people were being denied their religious freedoms by protesters. For examples, they used two talked about cases. In Sacramento, a theatre director for the California Musical Theatre resigned after gay rights groups threatened a boycott of the theatre when they found out this theatre director, a Mormon, had contributed money to the "Yes on 8" campaign. In Hollywood, another boycott is being called for against the restaurant El Coyote after it was found that one of the owners, also a Mormon, contribute money in favor of the proposition.

Calling boycotts religious persecution is rather ludicrous, especially since the religious right uses boycotts all the time to persuade groups and businesses to side with them. They boycotted Disney for years and publicly threatened to boycott businesses and recall politicians who opposed 8. In fact, today I read a news article about letters being sent to the California Supreme Court justices threatening a major recall if they overturn the proposition. Why is it okay for these groups to use these tactics, but when the same tactics are used against them, they cry that it's religious persecution?

Just like them, I have every right to withhold my spending dollars from any group or business that I don't agree with. The owner of the restaurant claimed that a boycott would hurt her employees, many whom are gay positive, and I admit that would be a shame. But there's still the fact that a good portion of the dollars I might spend at this restaurant would go to the owner to use against me if she chooses and I have every right to decide not to give her that money.

Now, both of the so-called religious men on Larry King also claimed that people were being beaten up and harassed for being Mormon or Christian (or Black), and that certainly would be religious persecution and would be something I wouldn't support in any way. Of course, neither man could give examples of these things happening and it certainly hasn't been reported in the press, expect for this ill attempt at harassment that entailed sending white powder to Mormon temples, and that hasn't been proved to have anything to do with any gay group. (If it does, I hope that group is brought to justice. That act wasn't funny and it wasn't very bright. There have also been reports that patrons going to the El Coyote restaurant are being harassed by protesters. If this harassment involves anything stronger than passing out literature explaining the boycott, then I don't agree with it and it should be stopped. That kind of thing accomplishes nothing for our side except resentment.) I suspect that outside of a few small incidences, it's mostly just more lies to bring sympathy to their argument.

I also love how religious conservatives are claiming that the opposition to 8 lost and we should just accept that fact. They claim that all these protests and law suits are disgraceful. Yet, in Connecticut, where they tried to pass a resolution to overturn gay marriage there and lost to a majority vote, they're yelling and screaming and threatening lawsuits. Once again, it's okay for them to do this, but a disgrace for anyone else.

There is also the fact that in this country, what the majority wants is not always what is right. The founding fathers knew that and made sure that there were checks and balances to so that the majority couldn't impose their mob rule on a minority unfairly. If this country was run by a strict majority rule, women or blacks wouldn't be allowed to vote and mixed races still wouldn't be allowed to marry. When the Supreme Court struck down anti-mixed race marriage laws, 70% of the people in this country still supported them. A majority of the fair-minded people in this country supported sending Japanese-Americans into camps during the war. Did the majority make it right?

The fact of the matter is that they have lost this fight. They just don't know it. It may take 5, 10 or 20 years, but sooner or later, they're going to have to face that they have lost. History is on our side. Less than ten years ago, an anti-gay marriage bill passed in California by a majority of 22 percent. This election the proposition passed by only 4 percent. The public's perception is changing and the religious right knows it. It's only a matter of time before they are outnumbered. I just hope I live to see it.

These people need someone to hate. It makes their frightful little lives feel better to them. Many minorities have gone through it. So-called "religious" arguments have been used against women, Jews, blacks and immigrants (Hispanics). Ironically enough, they've even been used against the Mormons themselves. Right now, Homosexuals are the only minority that it is okay to say these things about. If the same people were saying the same things about blacks, and it wasn't too long ago that they were, they would be run out of the country. Eventually, it won't be okay to say these things about gays. That makes me wonder. They need to hate, so who will they hate next?

(And congratulations to comedian Wanda Sykes for finally coming out of the closet this week. More and more of the famous are finally doing this and I hope as the attacks on us continue, more and more will decide to follow. All our lives will be much easier because of it.)

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