Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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The beatings will resume

The LA Times has a story on a protest outside a Mormon temple in response to the Church of Latter Day Saints's co-ordinated "Yes on 8" money and efforts. It doesn't include things you can see over here, on YouTube, where you can see one police officer strike a gay protester hard enough to throw him head-first into a cement retaining wall before arresting him and his partner.

This is of course a very bad situation. The millions of dollars sent by Mormons at the behest of the Church were well publicised (and not just in California; see here), and there is now an effort to file political-action complaints against the Church with the IRS, with the intent specifically to cost it its tax-free status on the basis of political activity not allowed to tax-exempt organisations. I don't think this has any chance of getting anywhere - initiatives are not considered "partisan," even when they obviously and clearly are - but the situation has become volatile. Being forcibly excluded will trigger that.

In addition to the initiative's backers, Eugene Volkoh thinks that the plain language of the amendment effectively divorces all previously-married same-sex couples. California's Attorney General has ruled that it only applies to marriages going forward, but I have seen threats (sorry, no link, I lost it) of a lawsuit to force the state to revoke those licenses. The ACLU promises to fight any such lawsuit effort.

Matt Yglesias comments on the anti-gay "backlash" narrative, disputing it.

On a personal note, my friend Thom was arranging his marriage to his partner Jeff next year before this hit. He's an Obama supporter and wanted to be part of the celebrations last night, but, as he says: the midst of those moments, though, I kept being reminded that the promises inherent in an Obama presidency were not truly mine, as a gay person in America, to fully share. And while at the time I wrote that I was happy again to be an American, the truth is that by the next morning, recognizing the passage of California's Proposition 8, I no longer felt as though I truly were even considered an American by even half my adopted home state of California, much less by anywhere near half the country as a whole... Fifty-two percent of California voters Tuesday night... amended the state's constitution to strip a civil right from one group of people only. ... That same night, 70% of California voters voted to give additional rights to farm animals raised for food.

How am I supposed to feel now that a sizable percentage of the people I see on a daily basis in my neighborhood, at work, in stores and restaurants, not only believe that my life and my relationship are worth less than theirs, but vote to back up their personal religious beliefs with the force of the state?
Thom's not the only person to note that the same California voters who stripped rights from queer couples endorsed - strongly - additional legal protections for farm animals. Which is nice and all, but the contrast really, really lets us know exactly where we stand.
Tags: culture war, politics
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