One of the more interesting kinds of hypocrisy is the kind you can predict before it even happens. In its official response to the May 26 California Supreme Court ruling upholding Proposition 8, ProtectMarriage.com, the official proponent of the new law (which I will henceforth refer to as ProtectReligionBasedHeteronormativity.com, since I think it's a more apt name for the organization), praised the court's decision:
“We commend the California Supreme Court for upholding the right of the people to define marriage in our constitution.... The Court recognized that the power to amend the constitution ultimately belongs to the people.... For the second time now, the people have decided that marriage is reserved for a man and a woman and the Court has appropriately respected their decision.”
Leaving aside the fact that they completely ignore that the court let stand the 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred during the window of legality (as if lying by omission isn't dishonest), the response is most remarkable in its embrace of the tyranny of the majority: The power to amend the state constitution belongs to the people? You really believe that? Because I don't know if you're aware of this, but Proposition 8 is toast! You might take comfort in a narrow majority (in both senses of the word) having twice voted to not let the state recognize same-sex married couples as married, but it's hard to imagine you'll be singing the same tune when the thing gets voted into oblivion.
The numbers are pretty clear, and they are fascinatingly consistent: 61 to 39. In the CNN exit polls from November, voters older than 65 voted for Prop. 8 by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent against. But with voters younger than 30, the results were exactly the opposite: 61 percent against, 39 percent for. Unless you're foolish enough to believe that as individual voters grow older, they become more homophobic, you have to realize that these statistics reveal that homophobic ways of thinking are literally dying.
Prop. 8 passed with only 52 percent in favor, during a year when progressive energies were largely focused on the historic presidential election. It is likely, given the drive of same-sex-marriage advocates like Rick Jacobs of the Courage Campaign and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, that a challenge to Prop. 8 will be back on the ballot next year and that the effort to overturn the mean-spirited legislation will be 10-fold.
So, claim all you want on your website that “support for gay marriage has declined while support for traditional marriage has increased,” but I'm calling bullshit on you.
Our LGBT sisters and brothers are soon going to be treated equally in every sense of the word by the state of California. Today's young Californians just don't share your fears, superstitions, selfishness or hang-ups about sex. As Ronald Reagan used to sing (assuming he was a Whitney Houston fan), “I believe the children are the future.”And I think you believe it, too.
“We will now turn our attention to public education and outreach,” says ProtectReligionBasedHeteronormativity.com executive committee chairman Ron Prentice. And any future efforts to repeal Prop. 8 will be “vigorously contested,” promises the organization's lawyer, Andrew Pugno.
If they were so certain that the battle had been won, they wouldn't be eyeing the future so nervously. And eye it nervously, they ought. The voting statistics are written on the wall.
And so are some other statistics that reveal the hopelessness of your cause, you protectors of opposite marriage exclusivity. Might as well get down on your knees and pray to your Mighty Zombie God to provide you with a new job and digs in Alabama, because the anti-same-sex-marriage movement will probably breathe its last American breath there, just as anti-interracial marriage laws were not removed from the Alabama state constitution until voters there officially amended it to remove “miscegenation” rules once-upon-a-time—in the year 2000.
Or perhaps you'd rather stay in California and prepare to perceive yourselves as an oppressed minority? I doubt you'll be singing the praises of the will of the majority of voters when it reflects the will of straight voters who actually respect the God-given rights of LGBT citizens.
The statistics I refer to are church-attendance statistics. Most recently, in a 2004 survey of Christian churches (evangelical, mainline and Catholic), Dave Olson, director of church planting for the Evangelical Covenant Church, determined that the percentage of Americans who regularly attend church is a mere 18.7 percent.
Olson's research led to a list of “12 Surprising facts about the American Church,” including the following:• The percentage of people attending a Christian church each weekend decreased significantly from 1990 to 2000. • New church growth provides less than half of the growth necessary to keep up with population growth. • If the present trends continue, the percentage of the population that attends church in 2050 will be almost half of what it is today.
In other words, the base of support for denying rights to same-sex couples is shrinking nationally. Even if it doesn't happen next year, LGBT marriage is coming to California, as it already has to Massachusetts and Connecticut—not to mention internationally (so far: Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, South Africa and Sweden).