Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 1, now Day 2 of the Prop8 trial

Here we go again: Gay on Trial. Can you imagine how dehumanizing and hurtful this feels, straight people, for others to once AGAIN debate the most personal and intimate and tender aspects of our lives to decide if we are sufficiently human to deserve civil rights?

Based on the first day, we can see the trends.
1) THe defendants will focus on the role of marriage in the procreation of children (theChildren Question). It seems to me this can be challenged in several ways, principally:
  • We do not restrict marriage to fertile people, and nor do we require married people to reproduce. Therefore, marriage is uncoupled from procreation.
  • GLBT families are raising children, often their own biological children from former relationships, or from IVF, or adopted and fostered children. Therefore the status of marriage protects OUR kids too. or are they not worth protecting?
2) The defendants will focus on whether the presence of married gay people will affect what children are taught in schools (the education question). I would challenge this by saying
  • What children are taught in schools is the reality around them. There are already GLBT parents with kids in schools, just like there are single parents, divorced parents, or inter-racial parents. Whether or not we are married doesn't change the fact we are already present and children are ALREADY taught that.
  • Parents must already deal with the challenge of families and relationships they may religiously disapprove, for example, Catholics must contend with divorced/remarried families, or unwed parents.
  • You don't get to teach bias in schools. THey needn't approve to tolerate and coexist. That is the requirementof a pluralistic society.
3) The defendants will focus on being GLBT is immutable--if it's not, they will argue against "suspect class" status, as for race. I respond thus:
  • Whether it is changeable for some does not affect the reality that it is not changeable for all. Sexuality is on a gradient, that's well established. Along these lines, when did your average straight person choose to be straight, and why on EARTH would gay people choose to belong to a villified despise minority?
  • Religion is a choice. We do not allow discrimination on the basis of religion; we do not prevent Jews or Wiccans or Hindus from marrying just because they are a small minority.

4) The defendants will argue that if you let gay people marry, straight people won't, and how can you PROVE no harm?
  • You can't prove a negative, of course, and a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument is fallacious --it attempts to establish causality by coincidence. There is good evidence that marriage rates are declining in Europe regardless of marriage equality. But why let quantitative analysis get in the way of breathless hyperbole.
The bad guys are already saying the judge is prejudiced, that he has made up his mind, and that they can't get a fair trial. They are also accusing him of being gay himself. The mud they are flinging is quite remarkable.

I feel sick to be back on this merry go round again listening to the same vile lies and bigotry again. Let's face it, the two sides are talking past each other. There is no common ground: either you believe I'm a full citizen, entitled to the love and respect of any other, or you don't.


Karen said...


Yes, you are entitled to be a full citizen and the love and respect of any other. I wish there was another way to get from where we are to where we should be, but I don't know what it is.

My hope is that the airing of their lies and bigotry in this setting will show them for what they are.

IT said...

Thank you Karen. I have to say this is a deja vu all over again feeling!

Erika Baker said...

Prayers that this time round justice will prevail!