I’m not going to ruin a perfectly nice seismic sea change in American history for long, but I don’t think it’s possible to take in the enormity of yesterday’s outcome without also being deeply disgusted and saddened by California’s decision to nullify the rights of married same-sex couples. Actually, saying “California” did it is something of an inaccurate synecdoche; it was really two groups of people: African American women and churches.
I suppose it’s the ultimate irony that Barack Obama inspired a huge number of black Americans to vote, and in doing so, also doomed hundreds of thousands of gay Americans. It’s further jaw-dropping that these particular demographics – such as black and Hispanic Californians – would vote so overwhelmingly to strip people of the same rights once denied to them. I simply can’t fathom it, but it leads unavoidably to…
Churches. Especially churches in the poor-income areas of California’s big cities, but particularly one church that looms 750 miles over the Sierra Nevadas: my ancestral homeland of Mormons. The Church of Latter Day Saints hates gays like gays were the eleventh Plague, nestled somewhere between Pestilence and Incurable Boils. They have no problem going door to door in nice neighborhoods spreading their cheery brand of homophobia disguised as doctrine.
When I saw the MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars coming down Interstate 15 to shove Proposition 8 (aka “Prop Hate”) through the system, I wondered why our side didn’t immediately blanket the airwaves with ads like “Are You Gonna Let the Mormons Tell You How To Vote?” and “California: Not Utah, and Damn Proud Of It” but frankly, I think the progressive community got blindsided.
The homophobes ran ads saying that gay marriage was going to be force-taught to 2nd graders, which was an outright lie – but before long, the “yes” numbers started to creep up, and last night, the gay-haters won down the stretch. I predicted this in May, right after same-sex marriage was legalized:
Inevitably – INEVITABLY – a bill will be put before the government, or a referendum on the ballot, that will declare same-sex marriage illegal, and it will be sponsored by some of the most morally-repugnant lowlifes in politics and organized religion. I have trouble fathoming most conservative and Republican behavior, but going after gays is truly sickening. It’s one thing if you truly believe in unprovoked war, or unfettered capitalism, or denying climate change… but there’s a special place in hell waiting for those who punish homosexuals for daring to get married. The vindictiveness is astonishing.
The fight isn’t over; it never is. The arc of the moral universe, plus a lot of lawyers, will see to that. But until then, two things need a reckoning: first, I have to come to grips with my extended family, because if I find out any of them helped fund this travesty, my enthusiasm for any more visits or reunions will be almost zilch.
Secondly, THE MORMON CHURCH NEEDS TO LOSE ITS TAX-EXEMPT STATUS. As does any church that donates millions of dollars of its own money to change governmental policy. If a preacher tells his congregation that voting for Obama will send them to hell, that’s fine, BUT REVOKE THAT CHURCH’S TAX-EXEMPT STATUS. I am absolutely disgusted that these institutions are allowed to take their members’ tithing, use it to violate the human rights of our fellow Americans, and then, in turn, NOT PAY ANY TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT THEY ARE TRYING TO CHANGE.
My gay friends are actually paying taxes to make up for the shortfall of church tax revenue, money which is instead used to demonize… my gay friends. They are paying money for the right of churches to strip them of their rights. In what way doesn’t this suck?
Is this what it has come to? Are homosexuals our last bogeymen? I know we had a huge victory yesterday, and pardon me for asking for too much, but how long do we have to wait for this shit to be over?