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Why Prop 8 Passed

I just received yet another mass e-mail from Lorri L. Jean of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, whining about the “reprehensible role that the [Mormon] Church hierarchy played in directing members to fund the campaign of lies and deceit promoted by the Yes on 8 leaders.”

In her missive, she spent more time blaming her opponents’ campaign for its success than she did looking at her own team’s failures. Perhaps, she should take a gander at some of the sensible conservative blogs as we look with admiration on the Obama team’s amazing organization and take stock of the mistakes the McCain campaign made. Yeah, we’re bummed about the election, but we’re trying to figure out where our side went wrong.

That’s what Ms. Jean and other opponents should be doing now instead of venting at Mormons. Since they’re not going to look inward, let me try to do so for them.

First, their slogans just didn’t work. “Equality for All” doesn’t resonate with people outside social and political activist circles of the left. A later slogan, “Unfair and Wrong,” did little more than express anger at the initiative. It didn’t do anything to convince voters opposed to discrimination yet favoring the traditional understanding of marriage. If anything, it suggested people were wrong to believe that sexual difference is a defining aspect of marriage.

Indeed, I believe, the “No on 8″ campaign failed primarily because its leaders did not appreciate those who favor that traditional understanding not out of anti-gay animus but due to their belief that sexual difference is essential to marriage. Opponents of the initiative needed explain why we should expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and acknowledge that this expansion would indeed promote a social change.

Social change can be a good thing, but is frightening to some. You need to reassure those who might fear such change by showing how it is good for society and do so in a manner which shows respect for those who espouse the traditional understanding of marriage.

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State Recognition of Marriage: not a Fundamental Right

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 2:05 pm - November 7, 2008.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay Marriage,Legal Issues,Supreme Court

While I believe the U.S. Supreme Court got it right in Lawrence v. Texas when they overturned the Lone Star State’s sodomy laws (though I disagree with the court’s rationale, believing the majority should have used the Ninth Amendment), I think those state Supreme Courts (Massachusetts, California and Connecticut) mandating gay marriage got it wrong.

And the difference, as I see it, is between a liberty interest and a state benefit.

Those who read this blog carefully note that I repeatedly refer to state recognition of marriage as a benefit, not a right.  If marriage is a right, we already have it.  A right simply means the freedom to do something.  Gay people remain free to marry same-sex partners even if the state does not recognize our unions as such.

Even after Tuesday’s vote, couples who got married when the state recognized their unions will not be incarcerated or forced to leave the state should they continue to call their partnerships marriages.

Hence, the distinction between Lawrence and the various marriage cases.

Under Texas law (and that of a number of other states), before the decision was handed down, you could be arrested for engaging in consensual sex (as were the plaintiffs in that case).

With marriage, however, the issue is state recognition of the unions.  Voters of California did not strip gay people of a right, as some activists claim.  They merely voted to deny us the privilege of having the state call our unions “marriages.”  But, we remain free to call them whatever we want.

In the coming days, despite this vote, I will continue to call my gay and lesbian friends married if that is how they choose to define their unions.  And I highly doubt government officials will attempt to prosecute me for so speaking my mind.

The issue now is to make our case to California citizens why the state should call our unions marriages.  And angry protests demonizing various churches will do little to accomplish that goal.

As I’ve said repeatedly on this blog, state recognition of same-sex marriage represents a huge social change.  And social change can be a good thing.  It’s time to show why that is so.

The burden falls on those pushing the change.

Related: Classical Values: Keeping the news in the closet (Via Instapundit)

How conservatives and gay activists face defeat

It has kind of taken me by surprise how sad I feel about the results of the presidential election just concluded.  I mean, given John McCaIn’s great difficulty in articulating a coherent message on the chief issue in this campaign, the economy, his loss was to be expected.

Yet, media bias also contributed to his defeat, well at least to the margin of that loss.

So, maybe I should take a page from the gay activists storming the Mormon church and head downtown to protest the LA Times (much closer than the headquarters of its more biased counterpart in the Big Apple).

Dejected as we are by our loss, however, at least we conservatives accept the results of the election.  We’ll lick our wounds, congratulate the winners, critique our past strategy, take a break from politics, then start rebuilding for the future.

I suggest gay activists take a page from us.  The angry anti-Mormon rhetoric of the past two days does little to advance the cause they claim to support.  Indeed, it only serves to set them back.

On the whole, conservatives are handling Obama’s victory with grace as we should.  I suggest gay activists take a page from us and not their left-wing fellow travelers who had a different reaction to Bush’s reelection four years ago.

A Hopeful Thought for Despondent Republicans

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 1:12 pm - November 7, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Presidential Politics,American History

Twenty years ago, George H.W. Bush won the White House with a popular vote majority similar to that Barack Obama achieved this week, but with a much larger total in the electoral college.  Four years later, he was defeated with the smallest popular vote percentage of any incumbent president in U.S. history.

Gay Marriage and the 2008 election

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 12:33 pm - November 7, 2008.
Filed under: 2008 Elections,Gay America,Gay Marriage

The Washington Blade asked me to write an Op-ed on the results of the election just concluded.  So, bleary-eyed on Wednesday morning, I offered my thoughts, just in time for their deadline that day.  They have now posted it on their web-site.  I believe DC readers can find a dead-tree copy at news stands around the capital area.

Here’s a taste:

IF YOU LOOK at the election returns, it seems to have been a bad day for gay issues. Popular initiatives amending state constitutions to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, thus blocking recognition of same-sex marriage, passed in Arizona, California and Florida. Arkansas voters banned gay couples from adopting children.

But, look deeper at those numbers and at the two presidential campaigns and you see a sign of how far we’ve come. The demographic breakdown on Proposition 8 provides a key indicator of a very real social change. Voters under 30 opposed the initiative by margin of 3-2, the identical margin by which voters 65 and older favored it.

We can also measure our progress by comparing the results of this year’s initiative with a similar one in 2000. That year, 61 percent of Californians voted to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This week, only 52 percent did.

To read the rest, just click here.

McCain Increased Gay Vote Margin for GOP

Here’s some bright news for Republicans…. McCain brought in more gay votes than President Bush.  Patrick Sammon, Log Cabin Republican President sent out this email yesterday:

Losing hurts. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. We’re disappointed Sen. McCain lost.  We’re heartbroken Proposition 8 seems to have passed in California along with anti-marriage amendments in Florida and Arizona & a gay adoption ban in Arkansas.  And we’re sorry to see several Log Cabin allies lose their re-election campaign. But there is some good news from the election and there’s an opportunity for Log Cabin members to help build a new Republican majority.

Exit polls show Sen. John McCain received at least 1.3 million votes from gay and lesbian Americans—more than any other Republican Presidential candidate has ever received.  He garnered 27% of the LGBT vote, an increase from 19% support for President Bush four years ago.

According to the CNN exit polls, 4% of the American electorate self-identified as gay or lesbian.  That means about 4.8 million gays and lesbians voted on Tuesday.  That seems rather low and pathetic to me from a community that is so self-politicized.  Oh well.

And so McCain got 27% of the gay vote, or 1,310,893.  Up nearly 20% over 2004.  I like to think there are a lot of GayPatriot readers in that bunch.

We Gay Conservatives did our part on the Stop the Obama Express!  It was all of the other demographic groups that crapped out, apparently.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Gay People Behaving Badly

Thursday night, a friend and I went to dinner in Beverly Hills where we had a most civil discussion with our Obama-supporting waitress.  It was nice to talk politics with such civility.  And she agreed with my assessment of biased media coverage of Sarah Palin.

Soon after this pleasant exchange, however, we witnessed its opposite, some rather intemperate activists upset with the outcome of the voting on Proposition 8.  More sore losers.  We had to wait as police held traffic to allow a protest parade heading west likely toward toward the Mormons’ Los Angeles California Church on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood.

One protestor’s sign read, “Vile Mormons.”  They were protesting, as activists had earlier in the day, the part he Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints played in passing the proposition as had an angry crowd earlier in the day.

Yeah, such name-calling is a great way to convince others we’re ready to assume the responsibilities of marriage.

This is not the only time gay activists have badmouthed Mormons.  At the “No on 8″ Election Night party:

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said, “We’re not going to let a perversion of Christianity stop us.” He is referring to the major fund-raising roles played by the Mormon and Catholic churches, which donated tens of millions of dollars to the “Yes on 8” campaign.

If Mormons held a parade with signs proclaiming, “Vile Homosexuals,” we’d call it hate speech.

The language and tone of those protesting Prop 8′s passage mimics that of e-mails I received and diatribes I heard during the campaign against the proposition. It’s why i wavered before casting my vote against Prop 8.

I still believe I made the right choice in voting aginast that initiative. It’s just that I’d rather not be associated with some of the others who voted the same way.

UPDATE: My law school Federalist Society colleague Todd Zywicki agrees, “So let me get this right–those who are upset about the passage of Proposition 8 in California have decided that the thing to do is to pick on the Mormons? So one marginalized group decides that the way to go is to vent their outrage against another marginalized group in society? Unbelieveable.