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Stop the Protests. Begin the Introspection.

Welcome Instapundit Readers!  If this topic interests you, check out some other posts I penned, er, pixeled on the protests here (wondering what they accomplish), here (favoring persuasion not protest), here (faulting protesters) and here (calling protesters sore losers).

There are many things I would rather blog about than these persistent protests against Proposition 8, but it seems to have become the topic du jour in the gay world and, well, I’m a gay blogger for a gay political blog.  And I happen to live in Los Angeles which has been ground zero for these outbursts.

This reaction shows the worst of the gay community.  And because the protests are making the news, people across the nation are seeing this behavior.  Many of them may come to define gay people by the antics of a few.*  Not the best way to convince persuadable citizens that states should recognize same-sex unions, calling them marriage.

Instead of throwing public temper tantrums, those who are serious about gay marriage should be holding private (or semi-public) meetings to figure out why why Proposition 8 passed and what can be done to defeat similar initiatives in the future.

In short, we should be best considering how to promote gay marriage.  Protest is not the solution.  Intelligent advocacy is.

It would help if more gay marriage advocates actually understood (as Jonathan Rauch does) the purpose of marriage and could explain why we need preserve this ancient institution and extend its definition–and protection–to include same-sex couples.

But, they’d rather focus on the language of rights, when we need discuss responsibilities.

We might then be better served if the gay movement stop styling itself a civil rights movement and redefine itself as a social movement.  Perhaps then they’ll secure what they call their “rights.”  Once we make clear the need for social change and start making known many of us are already living those changes, people will come to respect our relationships and soon state legislatures will start recognizing them as a matter of course.

The key is simply to show that we “get” marriage.  And the leadership of the various gay organizations, particularly those devoted to promoting same-sex marriage haven’t done that.  Instead of venting their spleens in the public square about the failure of citizens to understand that, they need figure out why they’ve failed in the past, so they can better understand what they need do in the future to change minds.

——–
*It would be nice if a gay organization criticized these demonstrations.

UPDATE:  Back to blogging at the Malcontent, the ever adorable Robbie agrees:

When defeated at the polls, there are several potential courses of action. One can engage in endless recriminations and purify the movement (or as I like to call it, shallowing the political gene pool). On the other hand, if you’re a particularly reflective person, you could engage in a bit of self-criticism, use the data at hand to understand where you might have gone wrong, and vow to do better in the future

.Read the whole thing!

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67 Comments

  1. Look for the CA Supreme Court to strike down Prop 8, as it should.

    Why? Based on the law? Or based on what they think is the right thing to do? You people disgust me.

    Comment by RM — November 13, 2008 @ 1:33 pm - November 13, 2008

  2. The video history of these protests will RESURFACE if and when the referendum comes up in the future. In the future it won’t look good for the proponents of same sex marriage.

    This behavior is inexcusable now and always.

    As I see it most gay couples have not even taken advantage of civil unions. What will they do with marriage. Increase the divorce rate!!

    jeb

    Comment by Jeb — November 13, 2008 @ 1:54 pm - November 13, 2008

  3. “Or based on what they think is the right thing to do?”

    The California Supreme Court isn’t some rat pack of liberal activist judges; it’s generally considered to be conservative as most of the judges were Republican appointees (all but one in fact).

    So I’ll let you answer that question for yourself.

    “So if you’re going to use the hammer of witch hunts,”

    I never said anything about “witch hunts.” Don’t put words in my mouth.

    Comment by JMW — November 13, 2008 @ 2:21 pm - November 13, 2008

  4. @Jeb

    My partner and I have made a deliberate decision to forego civil unions and wait for marriage, rather than dignify the mockery of our relationship that a civil union would be. I highly doubt we would effect the divorce rate.

    Comment by Jamie — November 13, 2008 @ 3:03 pm - November 13, 2008

  5. The California Supreme Court isn’t some rat pack of liberal activist judges; it’s generally considered to be conservative as most of the judges were Republican appointees (all but one in fact).

    I guess that’s why Stevens and Souter are considered the most conservative of the Justices, right? Unfortunately, unlimited power and zero accountability tend to turn judges into liberals.

    In any case, I would assume that the CA supreme court would be similiar in ideology to the 9th Circuit. Maybe they will suprise me and not overturn Prop 8. I won’t hold my breath.

    Comment by RM — November 13, 2008 @ 7:46 pm - November 13, 2008

  6. RM is having trouble reading. I’ll perhaps reiterate my statement that the court is considered to be conservative.

    In fact, let me provide a source for that. Libertarian reason.org’s study on Prop 8:

    http://www.reason.org/pb76_marriage.pdf

    “The Court’s decision came as a surprise since it has a
    reputation for being conservative and six of the seven judges are Republican appointees.”

    But it’s OK, RM, if you’d like, we can certainly continue this discussion without letting the facts get in our way.

    Comment by JMW — November 13, 2008 @ 8:40 pm - November 13, 2008

  7. #40 “yeah, well rightbloggers should be doing everything possible to undermine and damage Obama. Demonize him. Disrespect him. Misquote him. Attribute slips of the lip or gaffes to stupidity and let’s get a “given” established that he’s dishonest, a cretin, traitorous, criminal and evil. Distort and invent quotes and urban legends to ridicule and discredit him.”

    When did they stop?

    Comment by a different Dave — November 13, 2008 @ 10:13 pm - November 13, 2008

  8. The g/l anger regarding Prop 8 is certainly understandable and reasonable. What is not reasonable is their focus on the Mormon Church. The frustration should be focused on the State. This is a constitutional issue not a voting issue. The Church has the same rights as everyone else in this country. Note – I am not Mormon. I simply ask that individual rights be respected. I don’t concur with their beliefs but they are entitled to their beliefs just as the g/l communities are entitled to theirs. Please read my blog concerning this issue:

    http://hope4equality.blogspot.com/2008/11/californias-prop-8.html

    Warmest Regards, Hope4Equality

    Comment by Hope4Equality — November 13, 2008 @ 10:38 pm - November 13, 2008

  9. One particular aspect that I think the leaders of the Gay Community need to grasp is that the Black community voted almost unanimously in support of Prop 8. What does that say about that way in which the Gay Community have classified their struggle in the likeness of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s? Do you think that might send the message that the Black Community doesn’t like the Gay Community co-opting part of their heritage? Like you said, they need to transform this into a social movement, not a civil rights movement. Then they might actually be able to make some headway with the Black Community, rather than just offending them.

    Comment by Meg — November 15, 2008 @ 1:16 pm - November 15, 2008

  10. […] Stop the protests. Begin the introspection. Posted in: Proposition 8 Send to a Friend Printer Friendly comments […]

    Pingback by Michelle Malkin » Restaurant bullied by anti-Prop. 8 mob offers up payment — November 17, 2008 @ 10:08 am - November 17, 2008

  11. […] Stop the protests. Begin the introspection. Posted in: Proposition 8 Send to a Friend Printer Friendly comments […]

    Pingback by Michelle Malkin » Restaurant bullied by anti-Prop. 8 mob offers up payment — November 17, 2008 @ 10:08 am - November 17, 2008

  12. Just FYI – congrats to Dan for having Michelle Malkin link your wonderful piece to her blog. Well done!

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — November 17, 2008 @ 10:18 am - November 17, 2008

  13. As has been mentioned upthread, I think the SSM supporters would have a lot more support if they could convince people that the push for it is more than an attack on religion. Two of the big reasons I voted for Prop 8 was anti-judicial activism and the very possible notion that this could lead to a lawsuit landslide against priests, pastors ect. if they would then refuse to perform same sex marriages. The fact that there are now assaults and other harassment happening to Mormons and other churches does little to ease those fears.
    I would welcome a dialogue on how we could appease both sides. I have no issues with a gay couple having the same rights afforded by the state or nation. Benefits, property law, taxes, whatever. Or let’s get the government out of the marriage business entirely and only have them issue civil union certs to any couple, gay or straight.
    It’s just that many of the people who I know voted yes did so because of the perception that this more about an attack on religion than the real desire for marriage unions (especially considering that some churches will perform same sex ceremonies already).

    Comment by Fran — November 17, 2008 @ 11:21 am - November 17, 2008

  14. We might then be better served if the gay movement stop styling itself a civil rights movement and redefine itself as a social movement.

    Hello….I’ve been saying this for years.

    Excellent post.

    Comment by The Ugly American — November 17, 2008 @ 3:12 pm - November 17, 2008

  15. […] Spreading this link can result in severe harassment – I’ve already been insulted in a threatening manner by a person on a site for sharing it. In case you’re curious about this issue, which I think is entirely independent of one’s views on Proposition 8 at this point, there’s an even more right-wing article – if you can stomach it – documenting the anti-8 crowd’s behavior incident-by-incident. Obviously, I am interested in balance, the issue for me is the climate of violence: if you find anything that smacks of discrimination against gays (besides 8 itself), let me know. […]

    Pingback by Links, 11/19/08 — November 19, 2008 @ 9:41 am - November 19, 2008

  16. […] So, after paging through these books, taking the boxes upstairs either to the garbage or to be set aside for a thrift store (depending on their condition), I wondered if absence of introspection were a characteristic of gay men in general of just our literary “representatives.”  And the heads of our political organizations. […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Bad Gay Fiction & the Absence of Introspection — November 30, 2008 @ 4:23 pm - November 30, 2008

  17. […] would be better served by shelving the impulsive lashing out so that energies can be focused on analyzing why the “No on 8″ campaign failed. Clearly it’s time for a new strategy, and here’s a hint: attacking Mormons? Not so […]

    Pingback by Prop 8 Protests Still Ineffective When Set to Music : Jenn Q. Public — December 4, 2008 @ 4:22 pm - December 4, 2008

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