Monday, March 2, 2009


It is naive, at best, to believe that appealing to "sweet reason," and the "better natures" of homophobic haters is going to do anything except make the marriage equality movement seem that much more pathetic.

For example, the following is the Courage Campaign's video, entitled Fidelitythat beseeches the California State Supreme Court to overturn the popular vote taken last May on Proposition 8.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

They come hat in hand to beseech the Supreme Court to support equality for same-sex couples, and although this is a laudatory goal, the method by which they seek to achieve that goal shows that they come from a position of weakness and relative powerlessness.

The California State Supreme Court knows full well the many social and legal implications of allowing the popular vote on Prop. 8 to stand; coming from an emotional position advocating "fairness" and "decency" hold no water in the Judicial arena.

Rather, reminders as to the danger of the tyranny of the majority in adjudicating the civil rights of any minority group; the legal and social implications of allowing a State Supreme Court's prior adjudication of the State's Constitution to be trumped by the will and whim of the electorate that is mightily affected by lies and deceit by those who would limit civil rights of any citizen, must be emphasized.

In stark contrast, Robin Tyler gets it! She is not merely talking to the Supreme Court, but to all who would consider themselves Gay rights activists who can learn a great deal from her:

Some people have said, "Well, you can always put your right to equality back on the ballot in 2010." Excuse me? Since when was it OK for people to vote on a group's rights to basic equality and civil rights? Equality isn't a popularity contest. It's the right of all California citizens.

Nobody's rights should ever be put to a popular vote. That's why we have a court system. And that's why Diane and I are confident the court will show the courage it did when it not only ruled for marriage equality for same-sex couples but also declared that lesbians and gays were a suspect class, a legitimate minority entitled to all rights.

If the court does rule for us, tens of thousands of us will be on the streets that night celebrating a great victory -- not just for us but for everyone.

But if we lose and Prop. 8 stands, even if the court rules to uphold existing same-sex marriages, hundreds of thousands of us will be on the streets, angrier than we have ever been.

The time for saying "please" is over.

Part of what I wrote to a friend of mine regarding this article by Robin Tyler follows:

No more wimpering and seeking to play nice with those who hate Gay people and seek to deny them Constitutional rights! Robin Tyler and those very few like her are speaking the truth, and that truth will resonate with everyone who seeks equal justice and equal rights for everyone.

I am very optimistic that the California State Supreme Court will overturn the vote taken last May on Prop. 8!

As I wrote to another friend of mine regarding this issue:

I'm optimistic that the vote on Prop. 8 will be overturned by the Supreme Court, as not to do so would set a chilling precedent that would affect both Gay people as well as all minority groups in California. As a Democratic Republic we cannot have a tyranny of the majority that can remove constitutionally approved rights as adjudicated by a Supreme Court. Last May, the Calif. Supreme Court said that to deny same-sex marriage to Gay couples was unconstitutional, and had always been unconstitutional. Therefore, for them to now say that the will of the electorate prevails regarding Prop. 8 would nullify their role in interpreting the Calif. Constitution; vitiate the role of the Calif. State Supreme Court in adjudicating constitutional matters; set a chilling precedent that would affect every other minority group; have implications for other states in regard to minority group rights.

I truly believe that the Calif. Supreme Court will nullify that vote on Prop. 8, as the jurists are not oblivious to the truths and fall-out that condoning that vote would mean. A Pandora's Box would be open, leaving all minority group rights up for grabs, depending on the will and whim of the electorate. Moreover, civil rights are never to be decided by majority vote, and that's one of the main reasons our country was founded as a Democratic Republic and not as a mere Democracy where a tyranny of the majority could and would determine such rights.

We need a whole lot more Robin Tylers out there, demanding equality in every facet of life, including that of the designation of "Marriage" and all of the rights and privileges that are enjoyed by heterosexuals who have chosen to partake of that institution!

And there is no need to pathetically go hat in hand to achieve that goal, as to do so shows vulnerability and weakness, and is counterproductive to the acquisition of full and equal civil rights!
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genevieve said...

A great article, Jerry. Robin is right on.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Genevieve. We need a whole lot more activists like her!


Jerry and Genevieve,

Some folks still don't get it. I just cross-posted my new essay, "The Dumb Dora Awards" at Pam's House Blend. My criticism of Marc Shaiman's Prop 8 mini-musical drew the immediate ire of one of Pam's "queer" blenders. This person accused me of not appreciating how much "fun" that musical is. I was tempted to ask this clown why it's OK to make fun out of American families being denied legal recognition, but I knew what lay at the end of that road, so I didn't bother. I'm afraid that, for all too many of us, full equality is an acquired taste we have no interest in acquiring. We'd rather giggle at satirical depictions of Bible bigots, simulating anal sex while they sing silly lyrics.