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Alas no more than a perfunctory post on gay marriage (just yet)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:09 pm - March 26, 2013.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Prop 8,Random Thoughts,Writing

I had hoped today to post something about gay marriage, given the oral arguments before the Supreme Court. I had even outlined the piece I’d like to write, addressing the issue of jurisdiction, believing, as I do, that this is an issue best left to the legislatures, but recognizing some of the constitutional concerns (i.e., standing) which could lead the court to overturning Prop 8 without granting a federal “right” to state recognition of same-sex marriage.

And I wanted to distinguish the liberty issue from the state recognition issue.  If the California constitutional provision (in question) deprived individuals of the freedom to marry rather than just one of state recognition of those unions, the court should strike down the law.  But, marriage can exists (indeed, long has existed) independently of the state.  And individuals can and do live as married couples without state recognition.  Indeed, in California, many gay couples call themselves married and live freely even without the state sanctioning their unions.

All that said, this are issues which I would rather address in a more thoughtful manner.  And since I have made writing my epic my top priority, I chose to work on that before turning to the blog.  That effort today was a bit more challenging than I had anticipated.  And I had to struggle with one section.  And I have a sense that this part may require significant revision–and perhaps a few changes in story line.

The point being that writing-wise, now I feel completely drained (even more so than I have on previous days when I put in a similar effort on the book).  And now I have to start preparing for a Seder tonight, so lack the time to give this issue the attention it deserves.  Will share with you though an exchange I just had with a Facebook friend when I replied a posting he offered just as I started writing this:

HE: Marriage equality [sic] seems pretty popular. Why wasn’t Prop 8 repeal on the ballot way back in 2012?
Unlike · · 17 minutes ago ·
You like this.

ME: My point exactly, well, except for calling it “marriage equality.”

ME: Even if the Court upholds Prop 8, [California] voters will overturn it in 2014. And it won’t even be close.

In other words, the state of California will recognize same-sex marriages, either in 2013 by judicial fiat — or, in 2014 via popular initiative.

As our readers surely have guessed, I would prefer the latter.

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64 Comments

  1. an objective person who is genuinely interested in helping [others] do better and progress and whose statements are made with that in mind.

    LOL. Is that how you view yourself? Explains a lot. ND30: Teacher, therapist. I didn’t realize class was in session. Changes everything. No wonder you use a nom de plume. From here on out, maybe I should refer to you as ND30, MFT.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 12:48 pm - March 28, 2013

  2. 110 Million Americans have STD’s. So, how’s that new left-wing morality working out?

    Maybe Bloomberg’s next act should be to make it illegal to have more the 16 sexual partners.

    Comment by V the K — March 28, 2013 @ 1:07 pm - March 28, 2013

  3. Nah, we’ll just rename partners as ‘bullets’ and beds as ‘clips’. V.

    Comment by The_Livewire — March 28, 2013 @ 2:03 pm - March 28, 2013

  4. LOL. Is that how you view yourself? Explains a lot. ND30: Teacher, therapist. I didn’t realize class was in session. Changes everything. No wonder you use a nom de plume. From here on out, maybe I should refer to you as ND30, MFT.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 12:48 pm – March 28, 2013

    Sorry Cinesnatch.

    Abusers like yourself know only one thing, and that is how to tear other people down by any means necessary.

    The key to breaking a cycle of abuse is seeing that the abuser is interested only in getting what they want out of the situation, and could care less about what happens to you in the process.

    So hence the point. You don’t say or do anything with the intention of building me up or creating a better situation; you say and do everything with the intention of tearing me and others down.

    Once you recognize that, it becomes even more liberating.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 28, 2013 @ 2:33 pm - March 28, 2013

  5. Actually, I thought some of your responses were clever on The Match Game. When are you going back on?

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 2:44 pm - March 28, 2013

  6. LOL.

    Abusers like yourself know only one thing, Cinesnatch, and that is how to tear other people down by any means necessary.

    The key to breaking a cycle of abuse is seeing that the abuser is interested only in getting what they want out of the situation, and could care less about what happens to you in the process.

    So hence the point. You don’t say or do anything with the intention of building me up or creating a better situation; you say and do everything with the intention of tearing me and others down.

    Fortunately, the vast majority of people who have ever interacted with you know that the only reason you’re being nice to someone is with the intention of using them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 28, 2013 @ 5:39 pm - March 28, 2013

  7. Again, ND30, I was surprised (shocked) how down to earth and amiable you sounded in The Match Game. It shifted how I perceive you and interacted with you in the past. I look forward to future broadcasts, as it helps me see the three-dimensional, thinking, and feeling person for who you are, rather than the anonymous internet character you present yourself to be (although, as that character, you have presented lessons I now have the opportunity to absorb before I comment in the future). And I will be reconsidering myself before each time I post at GP to weigh the effect of my words and to what (if any) purpose they serve. I probably won’t be interacting with you as much anymore, because I prefer listening to you on The Match Game. I hope that one of these days, however, we can find some common ground behind us. Feel free to bookmark this post and bring it to my attention in the future, as I want to be held accountable for these words. And, if I fail to do so, I’m hoping you will be there to lend a hand. Thank you, Dan.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 6:15 pm - March 28, 2013

  8. LOL.

    Abusers like yourself know only one thing, Cinesnatch, and that is how to tear other people down by any means necessary.

    The key to breaking a cycle of abuse is seeing that the abuser is interested only in getting what they want out of the situation, and could care less about what happens to you in the process.

    So hence the point. You don’t say or do anything with the intention of building me up or creating a better situation; you say and do everything with the intention of tearing me and others down.

    Fortunately, the vast majority of people who have ever interacted with you know that the only reason you’re being nice to someone is with the intention of using them. They’re also aware that your promises and statements are like your Barack Obama’s — every one comes with an expiration date.

    So yes, keep doing these pretend piety dances to make people think you are what you aren’t. The rest of us know that you’re on the morality level of a phishing site.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 28, 2013 @ 6:25 pm - March 28, 2013

  9. Thank you, Dan in San Francisco.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 6:32 pm - March 28, 2013

  10. LOL.

    Quelle surprise, Cinesnatch. You’re screaming and demanding that Bruce justify why he doesn’t want his family stalked and insist that he deserves to have it happen for daring to even think about running for office; your attempt to intimidate me with information is hardly novel.

    However, it does bring up an excellent point. You justify stalking, you justify blackmail, and you insist that you can do anything you want to hurt someone because you hate Republicans.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 28, 2013 @ 7:31 pm - March 28, 2013

  11. Merci beaucoup monsieur trente.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 28, 2013 @ 9:49 pm - March 28, 2013

  12. I can only imagine GP if it existed 25 – 30 years ago:

    VTK: Oh, look, ACTUP is whining again.
    RB: Oh, boy, THEY’RE at it again.
    NDT: Maybe if they’d close their legs, THEY wouldn’t be getting any diseases.
    TLW: Thanks to Darwin, they are.
    BDB: (Silence, of course)
    BC: (He’s on Twitter)
    ILC: I love how they think it’s all Reagan’s fault.
    CRS: I know I’m not even conceived yet, but they disgust me.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1988-01-26/local/me-38605_1_los-angeles-county/2

    Ah, Vince/Cinesnatch…thanks for the laff and the trip down memory lane.

    However, you make one fatal flaw in your attempt to make the current denizens of GP seem similar to the makeover targets of one of the “Caught in a time warp!” episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show where helmet-haired women and Grizzly Adams men in polyester suits are brought into the modern era with the small assistance of Queer Eye alumni and other experts in current day hipness.

    That flaw—also perpetuated by other minority dissenters around here—is assuming that life is static and that all or most of us can be described by a phrase in a Talking Heads song: “Same as it ever was!”

    The reality is at least a few of us were some of those historical happy warriors that you proudly hail as being trailblazers and forebears of ‘marriage equality’ by marching in public spaces and the like. Not that all of us were exactly “Out of the closets and into the streets!”, but we did our part and literally have been-there-done-that-got-the-t-shirt (many t-shirts, actually).

    You see, we too, once fumed because The Media focused on the drag queens at pride parades instead of focusing on the “normal, everyday people” at such events. [Only much later realizing that drag queens & cameras are like flies & feces: you can’t keep them apart—and that even normal everyday people somehow see pride events as one of the holy days of obligation in which they are required to get their exhibitionistic freak on.]

    We, too, once railed against politicians and elected officials perceived to be antigay, particularly non-liberal Republicans who we were sure were preparing those dreaded GOP concentration camps (you know—like the ones Mitt Romney had ready to roll out as soon as he was elected president). [Later we realized that we, as a community, didn’t give them much to go on in terms of being relatable as everyday people—see pride parade attendees above—and by constantly marching to the drumbeat of “coming out” never allowed them to see us as individuals first.]

    Some of us even crossed paths with names in the 1988 LAT story: Eric Rofes [RIP], who later went on to promote his very own version of “I’m-A-Sex-Positive-S&M/Leather-Daddy-And-You-Can-Be-Too (or a follower of one)!” workshops and lectures. Lynn Sheppod, who later went on to direct National Coming Out Day [before it was purchased and co-opted by HRC as yet another fundraising tool]. And the irrepressible Morris Kight [RIP], who spent part of his latter Golden Years promoting Gay Affirmative Action. (Hmmmm…I wonder what could possibly be next after ‘marriage equality’ becomes The Law Of The Land?)

    We also encountered such types as “Billy”, the Atlanta inner-city teacher who was part of the very first contingent to meet with a sitting President in the Oval Office and defended his decision to do so in everyday leather drag by saying “This is how I dress for work. Why should I dress any differently when I go to the White House?” (Um, because it’s a little different than your workplace, just for starters??)

    We attended planning for national events where attendees on the steering committee for same were offended by all—or perhaps any—of the duly-elected representatives with (naturally) white faces and (naturally) male body parts and henceforth demanded that any such votes be tempered by giving female members two votes and minority members three votes in order to deal with the “injustice”. (Thankfully, transsexuals-in-transition were not yet accustomed to attending the grievance circus and that issue didn’t see redress.) This was after early meetings in which the decision to allow groups such as Log Cabin Republicans to participate was discussed, with the rationale of “oh why not—at least they’re not NAM/BLA!” You know it’s bad when ever-tolerant & kind Michelangelo Signorile uses it in one of his books, and not in a complimentary way.

    Amidst all that eventually we realized, as John Lennon once said in song: life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Life, and shit, does indeed happen. Often, it does so in a way that is not reflective of a country that we are told “hates gays”. Not every one of life’s whammys involves open displays of intolerance and bigotry or an out-and-out gay bashing. But once you leave the gay ghetto (both the geographic and ideological one) you realize that it isn’t so bad after all, and that there is a life that doesn’t involve day-to-day contact with someone from the Rainbow Brigade and even injustices that occur to others which are much worse than those which reportedly happen to LGBTQXYZ people every day.

    So you’ll excuse me if I enjoy the humor in your supposition without buying into any of the stereotypes.

    And perhaps you’ll forgive those of us who fail to see the “suffering” caused by the failure to enact “marriage equality” (and yeah, we’ve even met Evan Wolfson—now with Freedom To Marry—who’s a long way from his native Billings MT). We don’t see 2013 as if it’s 1973, just four years post-Stonewall. We know we are better off as a community and aren’t pretending that the battles of the past are in any way similar to the manufactured troubles of today.

    That’s why we collectively eye-roll and respond to posts with appropriately-placed snark and hold the collective wisdom groupthink in high disdain. Because some of us have seen it all before: the wailing and whimpering, the gnashing of teeth, the pandering. We’ve seen this movie; we found we didn’t care for it the first time even when we were told it was a must-see, and the remake is no better. It’s like a bad circus: different performers, same tired old show.

    But enough rambling about ancient events to you whippersnappers who were learning about safer sex long after Dr C. Everett Koop [RIP] made it acceptable. It’s the last Friday of the month, and while in my once fabulously actively gay life it meant wondering what I was going to do for the weekend and what to wear out to the bars later on; now in the real world it means there are bills to pay and end-of-the-month reports to make.

    Comment by RSG — March 29, 2013 @ 10:48 am - March 29, 2013

  13. RSG, The post was in jest. Part of my (albeit ignorant) humor was that most of the guys I was lampooning weren’t even 21 when AIDS first hit (the majority of them anyway) and one of them is straight, so these “1980s counterparts” didn’t have a basis in reality. I’m glad you got a chuckle out of it, though.

    Thanks for sharing a little bit about your life. No, you are correct, this isn’t 1973. But the less than 45 years that have passed since Stonewall is a small fraction in the history of this country (and the world). As I already alluded in this thread, I received sex-ed during the Koop years. Perhaps old enough to know better, but young enough that I don’t want to be completely jaded towards The Gay Left. That’s just me. It sounds like your constitution is stronger than myself.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — March 29, 2013 @ 1:17 pm - March 29, 2013

  14. Nicely stated, RSG.

    Comment by Richard Bell — March 30, 2013 @ 9:08 am - March 30, 2013

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