While my rabbi differ on the result we’d prefer* from the California Supreme Court when it hands down its ruling Tuesday on Prop 8, she holds a few nearly identical to my own on how we should react should the court uphold that popular initiative. On Friday, she said, “we don’t need to finger point; we need to roll up our sleeves.”
Her views pretty much echo my April 1 post, “Should CA Supreme Court Uphold Prop 8 . . .”
. . . should the California Supreme Court uphold that proposition, as many court watchers expect it to do, that advocates of gay marriage use that setback to their advantage. I believe that if, in the immediate aftermath of that decision, these advocates conduct themselves responsibly, they will all but guarantee repeal, perhaps as soon as 2010, but definitely by 2012.
Simply put, they need react not angrily, but rationally, saying they understand this decision, acknowledging they need to convince many voters about the merits of the change they propose, something to the effect of “We have not done a good enough job in the past of making that case. We’ll do a better job next time.”
In short, instead of lashing out against the Court and proponents of Prop 8, acknowledge the task ahead. Don’t blame others, do acknowledge the magnitude of the change [being proposed] and the responsibility of those pushing such a change to act responsibly and to speak intelligently. With solid arguments and the right attitude, they can change their minds of some of those who last year voted for the successful ballot initiative.
It’s all a question of approach. And attitude.
The important thing to remember is that with the news coverage this decision receives, people will be paying close attention to how both sides react. Juvenile antics and name-calling will not endear proponents of gay marriage to citizens ambivalent and skeptical about changing the state definition of this ancient institution.
Let us hope that should the court uphold 8, when leaders of the movement begin strategizing on how to overturn the the constitutional provision defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, they should make sure to reach out to gay conservatives as they have not done in the post. They will also need to replace more partisan activists who hold positions of responsibility in gay organizations with those who capability of speaking to a broader audience.
There are many Republicans who would support state recognition of same-sex marriages, but need first be convinced that such recognition is a good thing and that it preserves the freedom of religious institutions to define marriage according to their creeds.
As I’ve said so many times before, gay marriage advocates need make a civil case for gay marriage. It accomplishes nothing, indeed, is quite counterproductive, to attack supporters of the status quo.
*She believes the court should overturn 8; I believe it should uphold the Proposition, but not annul the (same-sex) marriages conducted between the court’s decision last May mandating state recognition of same-sex marriage and the passage of the Proposition.
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