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The Sore Losers of “No on 8”

Even though Proposition 8 passed, it did so with a margin considerably smaller than a similar ballot initiative in 2000.  Importantly, voters under 30 overwhelmingly rejected the initiative.

Had the state Supreme Court not mandated gay marriage back in May, we would see this as a sign of progress.  Indeed, many do.  But, alas, all too many opponents of the initiative, proponents of gay marriage, are behaving like children who just had a toy taken from them while they were playing with it (a toy, one cold argue to make the metaphor work, that they had not yet paid for).

Last night, protestors rallied in West Hollywood and San Francisco.  Perhaps were I not drained from my election coverage and saddened by my party’s loss, I might have headed to the former rally to observe.  I understand why people are upset.

But, I blame the court even more than the people who voted “Yes” on 8.  The justices gave false hope to gay marriage advocates.  They overturned a popular initiative, fully aware that the state constitution allows initiatives which could have overturned their decision.

And now, as if to further social divisions on this controversial subject, gay marriage advocates “filed a challenge to Proposition 8,” yesterday, “telling the State Supreme Court that the state’s ‘initiative procedure cannot be used to undermine the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone.‘”

I shake my head is disbelief.  A court decision caused a popular backlash.  And now they want to go back to the courts.

As I intend to address in subsequent post, despite a number of electoral advantages, including the ballot language and the citizens’ default reaction to ballot initiative (voting “No” when we’re certain), the “No” campaign committed some serious blunders.

We need address those blunders and put new leadership in place in the California gay advocacy groups as well in national gay marriage organizations to develop a new strategy.  It doesn’t help us to go through the courts.  More than anything right now, we need leaders who can better appeal to wary straight people, especially socially moderate citizens who respect, but are not beholden to, certain social conservative ideas about marriage and gender difference.

UPDATE:  As I was finishing this, a reader alerted me to Jonathan Rauch’s excellent post on the Independent Gay Forum where he offers similar thoughts:

Rethink, first, the wisdom of mindlessly pushing lawsuits through the courts without adequately preparing the public. The result is gay marriage in two states—one of which, Connecticut, would soon have had it anyway—at the cost of a backlash which has made the climb much steeper in dozens of other states, and which, in some states, has banned even civil unions. The California debacle is particularly stinging. We already had civil unions there, and we were only one Democratic governor away from seeing those converted legislatively, hence less controversially, to marriages. First rule of politics: if you’re winning anyway, don’t kick it away.

Rethink, second, the strategy of telling the public that we’re entitled to marriage by right and that anyone who disagrees is a discriminator or, by implication, a bigot.

It’s that last point which caused me to waver on voting “No.” As with anything by Jonathan Rauch, read the whole thing.

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42 Comments

  1. I’m still wondering when I get to barge into l-e-s-b-i-a-n-s houses and take their stuff like the ‘No on 8’ ad promised I could do if it won. I need new power tools, dammit!

    Comment by V the K — November 6, 2008 @ 1:03 pm - November 6, 2008

  2. And I need a toaster oven. 😉

    Seriously, it’s the threats of violence that worry me. Most of those photos on Fox of teh protest were anger, but the anti-Mormon signs concerned me.

    Comment by The Livewire — November 6, 2008 @ 1:50 pm - November 6, 2008

  3. You should be concerned, Livewire; there are people who are threatening to burn Mormon churches.

    And frankly, they are dumb enough to do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 6, 2008 @ 2:20 pm - November 6, 2008

  4. I shake my head is disbelief. A court decision caused a popular backlash. And now they want to go back to the courts.

    Some people never learn.

    What I don’t get, however, is this: How is it that Propsition 8 passed, but the parental notification proposition did not? That’s just … illogical.

    Comment by rightwingprof — November 6, 2008 @ 2:40 pm - November 6, 2008

  5. ‘No On 8’ might consider foolish statements such as “…treating people differently under the law is wrong” and using terms such as “descriminator” as epithets and change their minds about a few things. But that’s premised on the idea that they have minds.

    Comment by Ignatius — November 6, 2008 @ 2:50 pm - November 6, 2008

  6. I am more annoyed cause I bet a good chunk of those people did nothing to help stop this from passing, how many of them actually gave time and money to No on 8? The gay rights movement is pooly run and has gotten lazy by hoping just to win battles in courts.

    I just find it assuming that Republicans are considered bigots when one of the biggest and most powerful group in the Democratic party, African Americans, voted in a similar and nearly as lopsided fashion as Religious voters. They rely far too much on democrats to get their agenda across and it obviously didn’t help.

    Comment by Darkeyedresolve — November 6, 2008 @ 3:02 pm - November 6, 2008

  7. It’s little old straight guy me again… Hi… Just wanted to mention that I could care less what you guys/gals do or do not do or gay getting married or not… But, when the next Muslim attack comes, I expect you to stand and be counted… btw, as the absentee ballots get counted up here in Alaska, Fuanglada of http://fuanglada.wordpress.com/ & I did our part to hold off a filibuster proof Dem Senate with two votes for Ted Stevens… Btw2, we both support term limits for Senate, House, President & Supreme Court… 18 years seems about right for all of them… btw3, you DO KNOW that the Dems could change the number of votes needed for filibuster down to say… 55… or even 50… I am pretty sure I am right about this… [comment please]

    Comment by Maysman — November 6, 2008 @ 3:27 pm - November 6, 2008

  8. What is ironic is that if Prop 8 failed and the proponents were in the street and challenging this in the courts, the gay rights organizations would be screaming “dirty tricks!”

    The protesters marched about 30 feet from my window last night twice last night. It was exciting to see the number of people. However, the cockroaches (aka Communist Party USA) were out in full force taking advantage of the situation handing out their “Revolution” newsletter. So disgusting. I used it to light my candles last night 😉

    I think the Anti-Mormon signs are just as offensive as the “God Hate F-gs” signs. But, we live in a world of moral equivalence.

    One last point, I noticed how the local news last night practically blamed the passage of prop 8 on the African American vote. I guess with Republicans out of power they needed something to blame.

    Comment by OutliciousTV — November 6, 2008 @ 3:56 pm - November 6, 2008

  9. Perhaps it’s time to fight fire with fire.

    If marriage is a privilege, as it is so often claimed on this site, then the city of West Hollywood should revoke the privilege of marriage from heterosexuals and Mormons.

    Comment by Attmay — November 6, 2008 @ 4:14 pm - November 6, 2008

  10. California Courts Continue to Be a Catalyst of Social Division…

    And now, as if to further social divisions on this controversial subject, gay marriage advocates “filed a challenge to Proposition 8,” yesterday, “telling the State Supreme Court that the state’s ‘initiative procedure cannot be used to undermine the c…

    Trackback by ETC: Everyday Thoughts Collected — November 6, 2008 @ 4:41 pm - November 6, 2008

  11. If marriage is a privilege, as it is so often claimed on this site, then the city of West Hollywood should revoke the privilege of marriage from heterosexuals and Mormons.

    Go right ahead and give it a try. You can have a whole city full of spiteful, bitter queens passing law after law that reveals your anti-straight and antireligious bigotry.

    In fact, why stop there? Go burn some churches like your fellows want to do. Make sure to sing songs about how “tolerant” you are while you do it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 6, 2008 @ 4:51 pm - November 6, 2008

  12. I never claimed to be “tolerant.” I think tolerance is a sham. I’m a hetero-hater and I’m proud.

    I’m not going to commit felonies, but don’t expect me to show any civility if those Mormon missionaries come knocking at my door, and I will pray to God for the Prop 8 supporters to burn in Hell. And I will definitely support any movement to revoke tax-exempt status from any supporters of Prop H8.

    “Yes We Can…Strip Privileges From Gay People” – 70% of Blacks in California, most of whom undoubtedly voted for Obama.

    Comment by Attmay — November 6, 2008 @ 5:27 pm - November 6, 2008

  13. Too many people forget that Martin Luther King was a persuader, not a litigator, and that the real breakthroughs came through Congress, not courts.

    I have a confession to make. I’m Jonathan Rauch. (Not! 😉 )

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 6, 2008 @ 6:16 pm - November 6, 2008

  14. Meanwhile, Sully’s bubble of love for the One is bursting.

    I’m not going to pretend that the wound isn’t deep and personal, like an attack on my own family. It was meant to be. Many Obama supporters voted against our rights, and Obama himself opposes our full civil equality.

    Seems to me that when Bush endorsed DOMA that was the end of Sullivan being a conservative. So where does he go now?

    Or is this the moment of truth – he is a true lefty – and he’ll stick with Obama through thick and thin. Which is fine, but please don’t refer to him as a conservative ever again.

    Comment by Leah — November 6, 2008 @ 6:59 pm - November 6, 2008

  15. That’s the only remotely lucid thing Barebackius Maximus has said in years.

    Comment by Attmay — November 6, 2008 @ 7:38 pm - November 6, 2008

  16. I heard some tracking numbers out of the DOMA ballot initiatives in FL, CA and AZ on Sean Hannity’s show when I was driving with Hubby to lunch yesterday. It’s pretty telling – 70% of blacks in FL voted against their version of Prop 8. In CA, it was more like 75-80%.

    In fact, the Anglo and Hispanic votes in favor of Prop 8, had they been counted alone, would have passed the measure in all 3 states.

    Sean later played a clip of The Snob stating how he was against gay marriage but for civil unions.

    Hubby and I looked at each other and I sort of smirked and said, “Well, so much for how much The Snob likes our kind of people.”

    Let’s face some reality, girls – for starters, every single DOMA proposal in all states have been voted into law. Not a single one failed to win.

    Secondly, in all of these races, it is the black vote that strikes them all down. Here in Texas when DOMA was passed in 2004, over 80% of the blacks voted in favor of it.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that a lot of black ministers had a lot to do in getting their parishoners to vote for The Snob and against Prop 8. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons were against gays and lesbians. However, I doubt anyone in the Drive-By Obamamedia would care to research it.

    So who exactly are the bigots when it comes to same-sex equality? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — November 6, 2008 @ 7:38 pm - November 6, 2008

  17. #12 – “I never claimed to be “tolerant.” I think tolerance is a sham. I’m a hetero-hater and I’m proud.”

    All I can say is – these are the types of people we as conservatives are supposed to “reach out across the aisle” to help. Not anymore, kiddo.

    Second – it is a rant like this which gives the Pro-Choice crowd a reason to exist.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — November 6, 2008 @ 7:40 pm - November 6, 2008

  18. You’ll find a way to blame liberals any way you can. You’ve completely lost your sense of judgment.

    Stupid-ass religious and conservative voters are to blame for voting YES.

    It’s not about expectations, its about VOTES. And it’s about EXISTING RIGHTS having been REMOVED.

    Fuckheads.

    Comment by God of Biscuits — November 6, 2008 @ 8:24 pm - November 6, 2008

  19. #18 – Another Darwin Award winning candidate here.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — November 6, 2008 @ 9:04 pm - November 6, 2008

  20. #17: Heterosexuals certainly need help. Don’t make me bring up 50% divorce rates and infidelity. It makes me wonder what gays want with marriage sometimes.

    Secondly, in all of these races, it is the black vote that strikes them all down. Here in Texas when DOMA was passed in 2004, over 80% of the blacks voted in favor of it.

    Also, I’m pretty sure that a lot of black ministers had a lot to do in getting their parishoners to vote for The Snob and against Prop 8. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s sermons were against gays and lesbians. However, I doubt anyone in the Drive-By Obamamedia would care to research it.

    So who exactly are the bigots when it comes to same-sex equality? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    Is it the people like this:

    http://www.somethingawful.com/d/comedy-goldmine/yo-butt-aint.php

    Unlike the homophobes of all races, I have no intention of using my personal disgust over the heterosexual act as a basis for public policy.

    Comment by Attmay — November 6, 2008 @ 9:30 pm - November 6, 2008

  21. You mean bigots like the preacher in the audio file linked here:

    http://www.somethingawful.com/d/comedy-goldmine/yo-butt-aint.php

    Comment by Attmay — November 6, 2008 @ 9:31 pm - November 6, 2008

  22. Peter H., so the votes in favor of Prop 8 weren’t about votes?

    Prop 8 didn’t remove an existing right?

    Multiple choice: YES/YES, YES/NO, NO/YES, NO/NO

    Comment by God of Biscuits — November 6, 2008 @ 9:36 pm - November 6, 2008

  23. #12: “I never claimed to be “tolerant.” I think tolerance is a sham. I’m a hetero-hater and I’m proud. I’m not going to commit felonies, but don’t expect me to show any civility if those Mormon missionaries come knocking at my door, and I will pray to God for the Prop 8 supporters to burn in Hell. And I will definitely support any movement to revoke tax-exempt status from any supporters of Prop H8.”

    As the hours pass, the predominant question in this dispute is rapidly going from:

    Is it unconstitutional to exclude same sex couples from state laws governing marriage?

    To:

    Who the fu*k would marry these pathetic, obnoxious children?

    Comment by Sean A — November 7, 2008 @ 12:29 am - November 7, 2008

  24. So you believe that the Mormon church should be allowed to keep its tax-exempt status?

    Sean A:

    Who the fu*k would marry these pathetic, obnoxious children?

    Peter Hughes:

    Second – it is a rant like this which gives the Pro-Choice crowd a reason to exist.

    You don’t consider these sort of comments to be childish?

    Perhaps I was a little too hostile to heterosexuals. Some of them did vote against the amendment. But I am sick of having the heterosexual supremacist agenda shoved down my throat at every turn.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 1:06 am - November 7, 2008

  25. California: 61% Obama, 37% McCain

    Sorry libs, It was Obama supporters that banned gay marriage. Even if every Republican in the state voted for the proposition (they didn’t by a long shot) that would still only be 35% of the population. The proposition passed with over 52% support. Do the math.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 7, 2008 @ 1:17 am - November 7, 2008

  26. Just as a comment on strategy, if I were the “Yes on 8” campaign, I would now start working on changing CA law so it takes more than a majority vote to amend the constitution.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 7, 2008 @ 1:23 am - November 7, 2008

  27. […] The Sore Losers of “No on 8″ […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Gay People Behaving Badly — November 7, 2008 @ 1:37 am - November 7, 2008

  28. #23: “But I am sick of having the heterosexual supremacist agenda shoved down my throat at every turn.”

    Heterosexual supremacist agenda? Now THAT is one for the record books. Attmay, of course my comment was childish. You and your fellow crusaders should not and will not be taken seriously as long as you continue to fly further and further off the charts with these unbelievable histrionics. I thought the “second class citizens” rhetoric was the limit, but you’ve completely re-set that bar, Attmay.

    Heterosexual marriage is NOT an “agenda,” much less one being “shoved down your throat.” I have no doubt that elsewhere on this blog or on others you have passionately argued that same-sex marriage is not a “threat” to heterosexual marriage, but here you are, bitterly complaining about the sinister “agenda” of those terrifying freaks who practice the dark art of heterosexuality. You are not helping your cause. You are only revealing the vile, bigoted intentions behind all of these stupid protests and candlelight vigils. In fact, you sound like a complete fuc*king imbecile and I wouldn’t trust you with the responsibility of setting up my Tivo.

    Comment by Sean A — November 7, 2008 @ 2:11 am - November 7, 2008

  29. In fact, you sound like a complete fuc*king imbecile and I wouldn’t trust you with the responsibility of setting up my Tivo.

    Way to sound like an adult.

    These protests are not stupid. You think it’s “stupid” to fight back when attacked by bigots (which the Mormons are)? I am the only one here who has attacked heterosexuality per se. Not even the leftist moonbat trolls (you know who you are) had one bad word to say about the “straights”. And your calling me an imbecile is supposed to make me change my mind about you people?

    At every move, heterosexuality is promoted in every medium. There is no refuge from it. I came up with the phrase to mirror the paranoid religious wrong who claim there is a “homosexual agenda.” And it seems there is a heterosexual supremacist agenda, even from posters here who admit that they consider heterosexuality superior to homosexuality, and don’t even consider blended families or adopted children “real” families.

    My dislike of heterosexuality is limited to the sexual act itself. It grosses me out. But I would not use that disgust as a basis for public policy. However, I begrudgingly concede the fact that this is currently the best way to continue the species.

    Tivo sucks, BTW. Get your DVR from the cable company and get a 500GB DVR expander.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 2:29 am - November 7, 2008

  30. “At every move, heterosexuality is promoted in every medium. There is no refuge from it.”

    Yep. Complete fu*king imbecile.

    “I came up with the phrase to mirror the paranoid religious wrong who claim there is a ‘homosexual agenda.'”

    Yeah, I got that. However, a person that is not psychotic would typically use it as the basis for a parody. For example, “I don’t have anything against straight people as long as they act gay in public.” Ha ha. But you have made it unequivocally clear that you actually see the world as a place where you are assaulted daily by the offensive promotion of a lifestyle you find repugnant–the same one, in fact, that is responsible for your existence. That makes you a complete fu*king imbecile.

    “My dislike of heterosexuality is limited to the sexual act itself. It grosses me out.”

    Shocker.

    “However, I begrudgingly concede the fact that this is currently the best way to continue the species.”

    Begrudgingly concede? Well, I bet you put up a hell of a fight in that debate, you complete fu*king imbecile.

    “Get your DVR from the cable company and get a 500GB DVR expander.”

    Why would someone who complains of being unable to escape the promotion of the heterosexual agenda in every medium want to record 500GB of digital television? Oh yeah, I forgot. Complete fu*king imbecile.

    Comment by Sean A — November 7, 2008 @ 3:24 am - November 7, 2008

  31. Sean A,

    I have never insulted you personally, but you apparently feel the need to cast aspersions on me, my intelligence, my mental health. Would you care to go after my family next?

    Aren’t heterosexuals just the kindest, most wonderful people you ever knew?

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 3:40 am - November 7, 2008

  32. I may tolerate heterosexuals as individuals, but as a group I dislike them. And reading page after page of idiotic screeds justifying discrimination against us is a huge part of that reason.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 3:45 am - November 7, 2008

  33. #31: “I have never insulted you personally, but you apparently feel the need to cast aspersions on me, my intelligence, my mental health. Would you care to go after my family next?”

    Attmay, nothing I’ve written about your intelligence or mental health can be characterized as “aspersions.” They’re observations. And I would never dream of going after your family–I’m sure they’ve suffered enough.

    “Aren’t heterosexuals just the kindest, most wonderful people you ever knew?”

    Yes, they are. But more to the point, do you think I’m straight?! Oh, you poor thing. Were you under the gross misapprehension that only those mean ol’ straight people think your ideas and view of the world is fu*ked up? Let me assure you, I am as gay as the day is long, and I too think you’re a psychotic, bigoted nut bag. Your brand of crazy transcends sexuality.

    Comment by Sean A — November 7, 2008 @ 4:32 am - November 7, 2008

  34. Show me your credentials as a psychiatrist, boy.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 4:34 am - November 7, 2008

  35. Being called a “bigot” by people who try to curry favor with bigots is something I will wear as a badge of honor.

    Average Gay Joe was right. I renounce any tolerance I had for bigotry of any kind just because I hated the left. I will be changing my voter registration to Independent until the GOP gets its shit together and completely purges gay-bashers from the party. These people need to be totally ostracized by society the way that racists and anti-semites are.

    And unlike them, I will make an effort to tolerate non-bigoted heterosexuals from now on. I don’t enjoy hating. It can’t be much fun for homophobes and social “conservatives” (Christian Socialists is what they really are, and the sooner we kick them out of the party forever the better).

    Just remember, Al-Qaeda doesn’t support gay marriage, either.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 4:44 am - November 7, 2008

  36. Oh, please. Like I need a medical degree to spot an acute case of CRAZEE. Jesus, anyone who’s rented the Prince of Tides DVD is qualified to have you committed.

    Comment by Sean A — November 7, 2008 @ 4:59 am - November 7, 2008

  37. Who the fu*k would marry these pathetic, obnoxious children?

    Sean A, they can marry each other, and that’s the beauty of the marriage system. Let them fight at home.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 7, 2008 @ 11:54 am - November 7, 2008

  38. The problem with that theory, ILC, is that we then have to spend our precious tax dollars protecting them from each other, undoing the damage they do to any children that they manage to bring into their dysfunctional relationship, and then the monstrous pile of steaming dung that is unraveling the legal ties-that-bind.

    The state already has to do that on an epic scale for heterosexual couples. It doesn’t need to add more dysfunctionals. If anything, California should tighten the rules to require premarital counseling, as do most churches, and a waiting period for marriage licenses.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 7, 2008 @ 12:56 pm - November 7, 2008

  39. Jesus, anyone who’s rented the Prince of Tides DVD is qualified to have you should be committed.

    There, fixed it for ya.

    Comment by Attmay — November 7, 2008 @ 9:13 pm - November 7, 2008

  40. If anything, California should tighten the rules to require premarital counseling, as do most churches, and a waiting period for marriage licenses.

    Not a bad idea. I would also include in the counseling about the possibility that a couple could have a gay child. If deemed that the parents would not be able to accept a child’s homosexuality, the counselor should recommend that the couple not get married. This would eliminate a lot of dysfunction.

    Comment by Pat — November 8, 2008 @ 7:34 am - November 8, 2008

  41. Jesus, anyone who’s rented the Prince of Tides DVD should be committed.

    Uh oh, Attmay. Let me know when the next bus to the rubber room comes by.

    Comment by Pat — November 8, 2008 @ 7:35 am - November 8, 2008

  42. […] what they accomplish), here (favoring persuasion not protest), here (faulting protesters) and here (calling protesters sore […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Stop the Protests. Begin the Introspection. — November 12, 2008 @ 1:19 pm - November 12, 2008

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