Mixed Results: Obama Wins, But Gay Marriage In California Is Banned

While we were getting our minds blown over Barack Obama becoming president-elect, in California others were getting their minds blown in the worst way.

Proposition 8, a measure amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage, passed.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows I’m a Liberal proponent for civil rights issues and I consider the acceptance and tolerance of homosexuals a civil rights issue. I’m pro-gay rights. What two consenting adults do is of no business of mine.

I was happy that gays were finally allowed to legally marry in my old state of residence. A pair of my good friends there, two Lesbians were getting “divorced” at the same time the court granted gays the right to marry and we joked about the irony. But now it isn’t funny. This is a constitutional amendment taking away someone’s rights to legally be bound to the person they love, to join as one family and all the state/federal rights that come with it.

I realize that not every one shares my views on homosexuality, especially within the black community which is amazingly intolerant when it comes to gays and lesbians. Many black ministers were looming figures during the Prop 8 fight. It’s sadly ironic when black people start talking about infringing upon the rights of others. It was not too long ago when it was a regular debate as to whether or not the Negro had a soul. If we were more than three-fifths of a person. If we could drink from the same water fountain. If we could marry outside our race without fear of lynching. If we were more than beasts of burden meant to serve our white masters. If we were the living contradictions of being too dumb, violent and docile to survive.

And you can pull out the Bible and turn to Leviticus, but I will feel nothing. There is so much in Leviticus we pick and choose to follow. Never mind that historically many used the same Bible to justify our enslavement. I believe the references and allusions to homosexuality in the Bible should be taken into context. They are a reaction to the Romans and Greeks of the time. Their elite, politicians, wealthy, philosophers and military leaders were notorious fornicators with everything, from young boys to animals. If you were a Jewish philosopher/religious leader being oppressed by the hedonists of the empire, you’d write rules against their behavior too. But there are gay people on this earth because God created gay people. Allowing them to marry doesn’t destroy marriage. Divorce is the number one and sole killer of marriage. All gay marriage does is further normalize and equalize homosexuality and that is what this is about.

Much as letting me drink from the same fountain or have a hamburger at the counter meant there was no difference between myself and the white woman sitting next to me. Letting gays marry means that homosexuality is not some one-dimensional, hedonistic, sinful rot based on nothing but illicit choices and prurient desires. No. It is so glaringly ordinary people courted each other, fell in love and and wanted to solidify that bond.

No church has to marry anyone they don’t want to marry, but the state has NO RIGHT to infringe on the rights of homosexuals and I don’t buy the false argument that this will open up some Pandora’s Box of men marrying their Doberman Pinschers and horses or polygamy. This is still marriage between two consenting adults. But I know that doesn’t matter to those who don’t want the normalization of homosexuality in the same way those did not want (and still don’t want) the equalization and normalization of black people.

Basically, “we” have a lot of nerve when we call for the limiting of someone else’s rights. Especially when there are so many black people who are gays and lesbian who don’t feel the love and support of our community. All because we are so wrapped up in one passage in Leviticus and not the numerous others we ignore (shellfish, anyone?), not the other parts of the Bible we ignore, not acknowledging that we cherry pick and interpret as we choose in an effort to do to others what was done to us.

Make us not human.

I’m not gay, but I know that it’s going to take straight people and others like me to shove this country into that “more perfect union” promise. I’m human, we’re human and homosexuals are humans and they’re not going anywhere. Proposition 8 was a setback, but change is coming. Like it or not. The AIDS crisis brought homosexuality out of the shadows and into the mainstream as a life or death matter. Now the movement continues as a matter of acceptance and dignity. I’m sorry. I can never identify with the regulator, the conservative, “the morality sex police” when it comes to a majority-minority fight. My heart is always with people being oppressed. It’s always with the underdog.

Change is coming and I have a feeling the tidal wave will not start with the states or the courts, but with the US military. We’re fighting two wars and suddenly leaders find themselves dancing around “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” because they can’t afford to lose a soldier or Marine. Despite the status quo fighting it, I don’t see that rule surviving the Obama Administration. And just as when Harry S. Truman integrated the military it eventually lead to the integration of the country.

Change is coming. Tuesday night was just another case of two steps forward.

One step back.

85 thoughts on “Mixed Results: Obama Wins, But Gay Marriage In California Is Banned

  1. I usually don’t comment on blogs, this is the most amazingly gogen argument that I have heard in a long time. Being a Black lesbian I get it on bothe sides. I even dated a woman that feltthe need to point out to me that our homosexuality was wrong according to the Bible. WTH? That ended quickly. I am amazed that intelligent people can make an argument against other’s having rights. Amazed but not surprised.

  2. Brilliant, Snob. You have written a lot of things I’ve been thinking. But this non-issue (it really isn’t an issue to me) of giving gays equal rights infuriates me. I thought that perhaps there was a chance that people would actually be decent human beings and say NO TO PROP 8! Ugh. Two steps forward and a HUGE step back. My family and I are absolutely pro-gay rights.I’m disgusted that this actually passed. Makes me sad, too.

  3. The passage of Prop 8 and similar measures in other states is the one thing that dulled my joy in the Obama victory. I know that this will eventually be overturned, but I’m appalled that it ever passed in the first place.

  4. Good for you Snob. It hurts me that none of my gay friends texted me any “WE DID IT!!” euphoric messages Nov 4. I know that means they feel punched in the gut right about now.I will turn my focus to the share of responsibility for this that falls on my fellow progressives, and why we didn’t try harder to fight this bigoted legislation. We could have all made some phone calls to voters in California. I cannot speak to black homophobia as I’m not of that community. I can only speak to the apathy and overconfidence that prevented more of my liberal friends from taking their power and defending the rights of fellow citizens like we should have, with political organizing. We took Obama’s message about taking nothing for granted to heart in regards to his candidacy. It’s a real shame on all of us who believe in equality that we didn’t do the same with Prop 8 in California.

  5. Hi Snob,I’m now officially embarrassed to be a Californian. I expect this kind of stuff from the fly-over states but California?This Prop 8 thing is one of the reasons I HATE religion. The world would be such a better place if public displays of religion were made illegal.There is hope though; a bunch of different organizations and City Attorneys are suing. So let’s hope the courts can correct this craziness.And one more thing: they are trying to blame the passage of Prop 8 on African Americans. Apparently (according to exist polls) 7 out of 10 African Americans voted for Prop 8. There is just one little problem though. African Americans only make up 6% of the total population so there is no way African Americans put this over the top. But ofcourse it is ever fashionable to blame bad things on us.

  6. monie: We’re a convenient scapegoat, but California has a history of being amazingly intolerant despite it’s Liberal/Democratic Party leanings. People tend to forget, not all of California is LA and the Bay Area. A lot of it is in the Inland Valley, Orange County and Kern County where I lived. A lot of those people are conservatives and/or Republicans. Fact is, the bigots were MOTIVATED to come out and stop what they thought was a threat on marriage. The non-gay, but gay-friendly left didn’t take the threat seriously. Heck, even some gay people didn’t take the threat as seriously, assuming the interest in the election would drum up enough support at the polls, but with Cali being such a solidly blue state there is a good chance a lot of progressives may have stayed at home, twiddling their thumbs, knowing an Obama victory in California was assured.The defeat of Prop 8 was not.

  7. I realize that I’m going to painting the proverbial target upon myself but here goes:Proposition 8, in no ways tells gay mean and lesbian women that they can’t be together, adopt children, or use other surrogates to bring children into this world. All it does is affirm the definition of what “Marriage” is. Look it up in the dictionary. By definition it is between a man and woman. Anything else is not marriage. Whether or not you approve of homosexuality should not mean that it’s okay to change the definition of marriage for everyone else.That being said. I think it is important to point out that the book of Leviticus was written a long time before the Roman and Greek Empires. Everything but a monogamous marriage between one man and one woman is discussed as being God’s perfect ideal. t is our choice to choose other arrangement and pay the consequences. Just look at the world to see what it is. we have so many divorces and broken families because we, as a culture and nation, don’t hold marriage as sacred anymore.Leviticus is in the Old Testament and it’s not the only book that has passages in the Bible that tells us not to live that way. By the way eating shellfish was never called a sin and we know now that the if you don’t properly store and prepare shellfish from the regions in which they lived, you can die if you eat it. How did they know it was bad for them to eat it? God told told them it would be “well with them” if they heeded Him. He is saying the same thing to us today.In addition, I realize that a lot of this a reaction to persecutions of Homosexuals. In no way can you honestly get that it’s okay to kill and persecute homosexuals or enslave anyone because you think you are better than them.According to scripture, homosexuality is no worse than any other sin (ie lying,stealing, murder) although sometimes we act like it is the worst possible thing. God may have called homosexuality an abominations ( remember the act not the person) He also said a liar will not tarry in his sight. And who has not told a lie? Sin is sin. and we are all struggling with something. Jesus is the only way to get free. God has a standard. I can’t look down on anyone because I’m trying to meet that standard – Jesus Christ is that standard.I don’t think its fair or right to equate homosexuality with being black. They are not the same thing and no one is saying that a gay person has to leave their lover, just don’t call it something it isn’t. In California, we have “domestic partnerships” which means they have the same rights as married people do – legally. There is no need to change our definition of marriage to give homosexual civil rights.I never saw such a push against a proposition before in all my 33 years. And it was close. To be that close I am sure some gay people voted for it too.

  8. Marcus:This argument has a lot of holes, the main one being that Christian belief is not the basis of secular American law. Marriage, as defined by local, state and federal governments, is about property rights, tax designations, and power of attorney. You can quote Leviticus and believe in it as vehemently as you want, but your beliefs about ultimate reality should have no bearing on anyone else’s legal property rights. I completely agree with snob here: my being a black man informs the way I see power relations between minority and majority groups. It’s would be mighty myopic for me to worry about discrimination against young black men and not concern myself with discrimination against women, or discrimination against gay people or discrimination against the poor.We gotta do better.

  9. First, let’s get a few things straight (no pun intended–you’re not going to hell because you’re gay. The glorious thing we were all given when we came into existence was freedom of choice. So if you like being gay, go ahead and enjoy it. Now here’s the tricky part. Basically, there’s polarity throughout the universe. Positive and negative, male and female. When our souls entered these bodies that we now have, we were suppose to fulfill the missions as partly designed by our bodies. I believe people are prohibited from doing this by two factors, which basically cause homosexuality. Spirits play a big role in our development on earth. Some of these spirits are negative in nature (demonic) and some of them used to be human and now are refusing to enter the light, based on fear or their own personal reasons. I think these spirits attach themselves to humans and live most of their time vicariously through them. When you see that guy on the bus talking to himself, you can bet he’s talking to a spirit. Although this used to be considered foolish superstitution, the old timers had it right long ago. Full possession by spirit is extremely rare. However, a spirit can actually influence someone to have sexual desires for the same sex. Secondly–and this is a school of belief– another way homosexuality develops is when a person still retains elements of a past life. For some people, remnants of a past life are particularly strong. A woman, for instance, can still identify with being a man in a previous incarnation and desire having sex with another woman. This is my opinion and it’s also shared by many. What to do then? Personally, I would try to fulfill my purpose of coming into my body and seek a professional to remove any attaching spirit or have past life regression therapy. Gay people shouldn’t be judged. They’re not sinners. If they want to marry, let them. Freedom of choice, remember. Perhaps one day America will give them that right, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to occur soon. And Snob, I would argue that cherry picking the Bible is a good idea because there are so many inaccuracies in it. There’s some light there, but you’ll have to wade through a lot of distortions. The reason I speak with confidence is because I encounter the spirit world regularly and I’m not crazy. Several years ago I went on a quest to learn more and I found many answers. I’m still looking for more.

  10. Marcus,First: was Leviticus talking about homosexuality or pedophilia? Do you even know? Most religious people are such lemmings that they are unable to read the bible and understand the context in which it was written.AND the bible has been tainted as it has been re-written an untold number of times. So basically if you, like all the other religious lemmings, follow the words of the bible you are adhering to the words of some goofball that re-wrote the bible to their own advantage.AND the definition of marriage at one point excluded African Americans. So the definition evolves over time as we hopefully as a the nation mature and we decide that everyone deserves rights.AND domestic partnerships DO NOT give same gender couples the same rights as opposite sex couples who are married. For instance spousal inheritance is not inherent in domestic partnerships. Also there are certain tax breaks that married couples can take advantage of the domestic partners cannot.

  11. Thank you for this post. Most of the arguments I’ve heard against gay marriage go back to religion and…that’s not okay. A lot of people seem unable to accept that we aren’t living in a theocracy. Until then, I’ll be living in a country that is convinced I must remain a second-class citizen. And to the proponents of civil unions and such? Separate but equal is inherently unequal in the eyes of the law. 🙂

  12. marcus: Well, thanks for the extra Biblical history. But I think it’s a mistake to get caught up in the “does racism = homophobia/bigotry” debate. They both involve ignorance and bigotry IF you believe gay people are persecuted.Obviously … I do.My point was that they both Jim Crow and this Prop 8 debacle involve other groups infringing on the rights of them making this a civil rights/human rights issue. And it does not change the fact that people have consistently used religion to defend their position. The Bible is also very explicit in the role of women (largely of women as property as that’s simply how it was for centuries when it came to marriage) and many other issues most people don’t even blink an eye at today. So I feel the comparison of slave owners using the Bible to justify the enslavement of blacks is apropos.Re: They read the Bible and saw what they wanted to see/believe. The Bible can be a Rorschach test for many believers. Some read it and focus on feeding the hungry. Others push Prop 8. Secondly, you are correct that the passing of the bill did not take away other rights gays in California have, but by saying they can’t get “married” continues to make the point that gays and lesbians are not like “us,” the so-called “normal people.” This is a “separate, but equal” situation. The government has NO right to say who cannot get married when it comes to consenting adults. To say, you can have marriage, but you can’t call it marriage and it can’t be like the marriage others enjoy is wrong. There’s this prevailing attitude that if we call it marriage we can’t say “you’re different” anymore to gays. Marriage is so “wholesome” and ritualistic and mundane. Characteristics not assigned to gays. But you can have domestic partnerships, something like it. It doesn’t have all the same protections as marriage, but … it’s something like it.How is that fair? How is that acceptance? It’s a way to keep the opposition from complaining, letting them keep a thin wall between them and those different from them, but a wall IS a wall.Like I wrote earlier, this proposition was really about fighting the continued normalization of homosexuality. That’s the issue and the real fear. Otherwise, why would they have bothered at all? The “it’s only semantics” argument cuts both ways. If it’s only semantics why do straight people care so much to define marriage as being between a man and a woman? Obviously semantics is huge and the word “marriage” means something bigger than simply “spouse.”It’s all about one side thinking homosexuality is immoral and should be marginalized and another side thinking homosexuality is a normal part of human sexuality and should be accepted. And once again, black people who are homosexual have to deal with racism and being gay. Black people need to stop talking about homosexuality as if it’s something white guys do on weekends. These laws affect OUR people too. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with discussing the Civil Rights movement along side any discussion of other human rights battles. They’re living and fighting both.Human rights are universal themes that go beyond race, gender and sexual orientation.And G.D., you totally got what I was saying. Black people need to realize when any minority group, ethnic, religious, whatever, is under fire we should be concerned. Nine-times-out-of-ten that either used to be us, could be us or IS us right now. Who are we to join in, pointing and snickering when tomorrow it could be all our heads?

  13. G. D., my argument has nothing to do with “Christian belief is not the basis of secular American law.” Grant it that the Bible does inform why I define “marriage” the way I do. But if you look up the definition in Webster’s dictionary and then tell me that we would not have to change the definition of marriage if Prop 8 did not passed. The question here: What is “marriage”? How is upholding the traditional definition of “marriage” discriminating against anyone if they still have the right to enter into binding “property rights”, “tax designations”, and give “power of attorney” to anyone they want. That is what we have in California. I know it’s not like that every where else. Is it discrimination to say that a four-sided quadrilateral cannot be called a “triangle”? No. It is a “rectangle”. No one is talking about discrimination or taking rights away. If gay people want to be in a “domestic partnership” (which is what we call it in California) fine. But it’s not “marriage” according to the traditional definition which the majority of California does not want to change.

  14. Draven, you come form a completely different world-view than I do, which why you and I disagree. We can both be wrong, but we both can’t be right. So rather than go back and forth, I would like to know why you think the Bible is full of inaccuracies? If you are right, then I’m willing to admit that your world may be valid because the Bible completely contradicts nearly everything you stated about what you believe. I’m more interested in why you believe what you believe.

  15. I do know that Leviticus was talking about homosexuality. (Leviticus 18:22 which says “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”) And it is not the only passage.Now i have a question: how do you know that the bible has been re-written? How do you know it’s tainted? If it truly is the word of our creator, shouldn’t we follow it? How do you know it isn’t? I’ve done lots of research and find it very reasonable to believe the God has made himself know to us through the scriptures. What have you read or studied that has led you to a different conclusion? Historically, the definition of marriage never excluded people on the basis of race. True, during slavery, some slaves were not allowed to get married, but that was how people misapplied it. Those who prohibited black people from being married didn’t think black people were human. It’s not the same thing.I have never studied the “domestic partnerships” laws in California let alone the rest of the union. But I do know they vary from state to state. In California, most if not all the legal rights of marriage is extended to homosexual couples. I shall have to study the issues in order to be more complete in spelling out what those issues are.]Again, even ignoring what the Bible says ask: What is marriage?

  16. Marcus Leviticus, I could go into a thousand reasons why the Bible is filled with errors and I’m sure you heard most of the stories. Firstly, the scriptures were usually written hundreds of years after the supposed events. Check any of the tons of books on this subject, and you’ll know that the Bible we have today was written by committees of people who decided what and what not to put into the Holy Book. The Dead Sea Scrolls also reveal some of the history of the Bible’s construction. If you a person who believes the book is completely inspired, then it’s really useless arguing any point with you. I was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist and you don’t get more legalistic and devout than that, so I know a little bit about The Word. Throughout my adult life, I was dissatisfied with what I had been taught because a lot of it didn’t make sense. I studied Buddhism and other spiritual teachings later until I reached the point where I’m at now. I believe in God, the afterlife, Heaven and Hell. I don’t believe in judgement nor that God sends people to hell. I think people can go there willingly and through trickery. And when they go there, it’s not permanent. One can always return to the Light, which isn’t always easy sometimes. Even the Light Beings that separated from God have the opportunity to return. Freedom of choice applies to everybody. I believe in reincarnation because energy never dies, it only changes form. Our purpose here is to experience things for ourselves, to create for ourselves and to evolve further and to know our true divinity nature once again. To boldly go where no man has ever gone before.

  17. deviant, without the Bible, how would you know it’s wrong to steal? Or kill? Why is it wrong to lie? Without the Bible, how else can you explain the “Declaration of Independence” and the thought that “all men are created equal…”. Where did they get that from? I already know that someone is going to think that Jefferson and company got it from European philosophers. Ok. Where did they get it from? True..this isn’t a theocracy. I’m not saying that it should be. The Bible doesn’t even say that the world should be a theocracy. I’m not appealing to religion or the bible…my basic point is asking “What are we going to define marriage to be?” And I hold to the traditional definition of marriage.

  18. BTW, you guys can beat your heads till the cows come home, making unwinnable arguments and you’ll never make any progress. If you adopt this way of thinking, we’ll enter the Age of Aquarius, trust me. It’s so simple and clear.

  19. Let me begin by saying I don’t give a shit what your bible says – stop trying to run MY LIFE with it. There is something called separation of church and state in this country. Second, let me say that if two people of the same sex choose to enter into a contract with each other under the same terms that a hetero couple would, they should be considered MARRIED. So my lesbian friends in CA who have been together for 25 yrs, served in the Gulf War and pay taxes are NOT good enough to be afforded the same rights as me? C’mon, get effin real. Stop trying to turn MY country into a theocracy and take away the rights of those who are “different” from you. Remember, YOU have been considered “different” since the first slave came over here and it’s taken how long for us to get where we got on Nov. 4? Keep injecting that judeo/christian/islamic morality into the law of the land. One day you’ll find yourself back on the plantation. Me? I’ll be in Canada waiting to help you cross the border to freedom.

  20. Draven, you are right i have heard many of the reasons to not trust the Bible. But let’s take the Old testament. Current scholarship shows that of the books of the old testament found in the caves around the Dead Sea, they are almost identical to the Old Testament texts we have today. I want to know where you got your information as to how the Bible came down to us. I’ve read two very good books. Dr. Jame White gives a good guide to how our English translations came about in his book “the King James Only Controversy”. I aslo reccomend Lee Strobel’s “The Case For Christ” where he interviews some of the greatest scholars alive today and asks them questions skeptics would ask about whether the Bible is valid and credible.The Bible is remarkable: 66 book, over 40 authors, 1500 years to write it, on 3 different continents, and all telling different parts of the same story. I see no inaccuracy or contradiction. If you do…tell me where you see them, or are you just going off the word of others. Have you really looked for yourself?

  21. Marcus, you can’t get me sucked into a Bible debate. And you’re using the straw argument on me. I never said the Bible was rewritten. I said things were put in and taken out. There’s proof of that and you’ll have to do a little homework to find out. If you can’t accept this fact, then that’s another thing. I think the Bible was man’s attempt to know the nature of God. Considering the times, some of the things weren’t too badly done. I don’t believe, however, that God would ever kill every man, woman and child, goat, sheep and cow because they worshipped some wooden idol. I don’t believe he’s jealous and goes into fits of rage and strikes down masses of people when they offend him. That he opened the earth or sea to swallow up people because they didn’t like his “chosen people.” I think God would never tell Abraham to go and kill his beloved son to prove his devotion, then send an angel to save the boy’s life at the last minute to scare the old man. I don’t believe God would kick us out of The Garden because Adam disobeyed him by eating a piece of fruit. I don’t think he would destroyed the entire world–save 8 people–to punish people for their wickedness, when he gave us the freedom of choice.

  22. Okay, Marcus Leviticus, we’ll respectfully disagree. Hold on dearly to your beliefs and we’ll one day see each other in the Light and you’ll remember everything that you forgot. Peace and light always

  23. I think that Black Snob has hit the nail on the head as to why homosexuals did not want Prop 8 to pass. If we define marriage in such a way to say that their relationship is a “marriage”, then homosexuality becomes mainstream. The thing is I voted for prop 8 not because I think I’m better than homosexuals. I’m not. They have every right to live as they see fit as I do. No more. No less. That being said…why should we change the standard? Why should legal definition of “marriage” change? Because we outgrew the traditional definition? I don’t think so.

  24. Marcus, I won’t argue with a true believer. I admire your faith. I also have my beliefs and they are firm. I can co-exist with anybody. The problem I find is that fundamentalists don’t allow people to see things differently. That’s why the world is at war with itself. Keep the faith, my brother.

  25. Snob. Thanks for writing this article. I was disappointed to hear that not only did Prop 8 pass, but that it was likely helped over the top by a record black turnout in CA that voted 69% to 31% in favor. I just infuriates me when what I feel is pure hypocrisy, tries to get justified by either the Bible or the dictionary (which is written by people and is not the infallible word of God).These same crappy arguments were being used against us not long ago. What is the threat anyway? White people were afraid if they let us learn to read, write, vote,own property etc., all hell would break loose. Not so much right.Heck if the institution of marriage can withstand Britney Spears’ drunken 55-hour union or Pamela Anderson’s many forays, I’m sure it can manage committed individuals who are so willing to be united in the eyes of the law that they’re willing to fight for it. I’m fine if certain churches don’t want to allow gay marriages in their religious institutions. Fine. That’s their prerogative. However, for the state to determine that some of its citizens aren’t due equal protection under the law is unconstitutional and runs counter to the American ideal.There is nothing other than ‘tradition’ that argues that marriage should be between people of different genders. And it’s an argument that breaks down pretty easily when subjected to logic and reason (which are not generally the favorite persuasion tactics of the religious fundamental set.)The good news is that even though Blacks disproportionately favored prop 8, the young across all spectrums voted against it by a healthy margin. So, it’s just a matter of time. The arc of history is long, but it does fortunately bend toward justice.

  26. Marcus,Can’t you see that every. single. argument. you’re using to justify your stance on marriage was used to keep us as second class citizens for years? Scripture, “Tradition”, Separate but equal. I invite you to go back through your posts and just substitute black for gay and tell me if it doesn’t sound familiar. I’m not asking you to change your mind, just do it as an academic exercise and let me know what you notice.

  27. Draven, I apologize for saying you said something you didn’t say. My mistake. However, you said that things were taken out and thing were put it. The burden of proof is on you. I’d like to know why you believe that. I’m not making any assertion. I’ve studied it and looked into it and I don’t see it. If you do, then you can give me an example. What do you mean when you say that? Establish it as a fact and i will accept it. As for the rest of your comment about how you don’t believe God did the things it says he did is a totally separate question. Let’s be careful and not mix terms. I think I’m reading you make the following arguments:1. The Bible is untrustworthy because it contains inaccuracies, contradictions.2. The Bible was written by men3. You don’t believe in a God that does what the Bible says He did?Do i have it right? This is why I’m splitting it up like that…if you are right, then there is no reason not change the definition of marriage. If the Bible is right, God set up marriage and we’d be stupid to mess with it. That is what it comes down to: What authority will you submit yourself to? God or you. If choosing God’s ways is a “theocracy” then so be it. I have addressed my reasons fo believing the Bible on my Blog and I’m sure I will be writing more in the future, but if you are going to assert it’s wrong, I’d like to know how came to that understanding other than, “I want to live the way I live without anyone else telling me what to do.”

  28. marcus: All I can say is times and definitions change in our law all the time. Just like they changed the three-fifths rule. Or how during Biblical times if you harmed a pregnant woman in a way that caused a miscarriage the worst you got was you paid a monetary fine. Or how for centuries (and this still happens in some places) if a man rapes another man’s wife or female relative, he can turn around and do the same to another female relative as retribution. The “All men are created equal” eventually included women. We still use the word “race” wrong. Race implies that blacks and whites are different types of humanoids rather than both being humans. Even marriage has changed. Marriage for centuries was about property rights. In some parts of the world it still is largely a financial decision with the woman as property. And numerous laws reflected the notion of woman as property. Many define marriage as an act between a man and several women. The original inception of the LDS church had to move to Utah because their lives were constantly under threat for this practice. I think you have the notion of a Christian, faith imbued marriage twisted up to the government version of it which has nothing to do with religion. Allowing gays to marry doesn’t change the Bible or what Christians believe or theology. It changes the law, which is to have no religious onus per the Constitution, to reflect the civil rights of homosexuals. That’s why I said the church has EVERY RIGHT to decide who they want to marry, but United States government and its laws, which are supposed to be goddless, cannot. This would change the law’s view of marriage NOT religion’s view of marriage. Religion can keep its view. It never has to change. Hell, the Catholic church still thinks all of us are going to burn because we belong to “false” churches.My larger point is how can you protect something that is only under threat by divorce and people who chose to live together rather than marry? That directly impacts marriage, the view of marriage, the opinion of marriage. Fewer people get married. More and more people get divorced. It takes away a lot of the seriousness of it all. Old lesbians getting hitched in Civil ceremonies is not the death of anything. But the fight against that gives the impression that millions want a religious perception to bleed into secular, civic life. I know my history and the history of this country and when religion and government get together someone gets hosed. Today the gays. Tomorrow … who knows? All I know is a long time ago a group of Calvinists and Puritans were so hosed they moved across the Atlantic and started a Revolution were separation between church and state was demanded out of FEAR that the government would no longer allow them to define their own lives.But we’re a relatively young nation, unscathed by a lot of the true ugly religious fundamentalism that plagues most the world. We’re a country of laws and a lot of talk, so no burning effigies. No fatwas. No inquisitions. So far we’ve only tap danced around religion and state. But it’s not good when people confuse rules of the state with rules of the Bible. Believe me, it wasn’t that long ago when people accused women who wore pants of cross dressing and thought 12 was an acceptable age to marry off your daughter.Our current definition of marriage “legally” doesn’t allow 12 year olds to marry with or without consent from parents.I just don’t buy the definition argument. Especially when times change, meanings change and it would be the meaning of the state NOT the church.Now if your church is considering Okaying gay marriage, then, I think you have a legitimate argument as that would directly impact your faith and dramatically alter the view of the church.

  29. Marcus, I would agree with each of those points in some degree. Still, it’s an exercise in futility in debating you on the Bible. You believed it’s totally inspired by God. I studied it enough to know that many biblical stories are echoes of other cultural stories in other lands. If you can read it critically, you’ll know it shouldn’t be strictly relied upon to the letter of the law. Again, I admire your zeal. Keep trusting and praying. Faith is very important. I have more than faith. I have a knowing. I just know things and I’m very comfortable with it. Peace always, my friend.

  30. The problem is that when scripture was used to deny black people person hood and human right…it was taken out of context and twisted beyond recognition. I have the perfect example slave masters loved to quote “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” from Ephesians 6:5. The problem is that they stopped. Look at the rest of the passage. Paul was not done with that thought.”Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” Ephesians 6:5-9Don’t you see? If the slave masters had followed scripture there is no way they could have done to us what they did. The argument that the Bible was used to keep us in chains is wrong. It was misused. They lied on God. More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other war. What do you call that? I call it judgement for the evils this nation perpetrated. Further the kind of slavery that Paul was writing about was not the same as the slavery our forebearers survived. They can’t be equated. In Greek, the word for “slave” and “servant” is the same. In Paul’s cultural context, some slaves were treated as property but not because they were not thought of as human. It was on the basis of economics not racism. The Bible tells masters to treat their slaves as joint heirs as brothers. Again he was talking to the church and to the whole Roman-Grecco world. America considered itself a God-fearing nation so it should have done what God said to do. At the time of Paul’s writing, the Roman Empire made no such claim.

  31. One last thing, Mr. Marcus. I would recommend that you tune into Joel Osteen. I read all his books and record his programs all the time. Although he’s a Christian minister, he mainly relies upon New Age beliefs and less on the Bible for inspiration. He’s a fantastic speaker and I always get something from him. It’s not for us to judge or dictate to others on how they should conduct their lives. Everyone has their own path to follow, so we should just let others be. You don’t have to believe what I said about the spirit world. The key thing to note is the true nature of God. He won’t get angry with you. He’s not a lesser God that you can offend and make jealous. And he won’t punish you for your sins. The spirit of God is infinite love and light. Peace always again.

  32. Dear Black Snob,You are so smart and I have enjoyed your blog. You also make a couple of great arguments as did Marcus. My main concern about allowing Homesexuals to “marry” Is what happens to the church. I could care less what people do in their private lives. I understand that I have no right to legislate that, but what happens to churches that oppose this? In New Jersey a church was taken to court for not allowing a lesbian couple to marry at their church facility. In Mass Catholic Charities had to get out of the adoption service. Thats not fair. Ideally giving others rights shouldn’t take away from the rights of others. Religous insitutions have the right to exercise their faith. Maybe I’m going to far but could pastors, priest , rabbis be jailed for preaching from scripture? True our country was started for religious freedom and we do have this priciple of “separation of church and state” (not found in the Constituion but in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote. He also made his own Bible) This separation of church and state was to keep the state from controlling the church but by no means should the church not influence the state. If we do change marriage to be between two consenting adults, which of course ingnores the Bible. Why can’t we redefine it as being a group of consenting adults? What grounds would we have to stand on? Why should we ban marriage between relatives? Redefining marriage opens up a lot of questions. One last thing, I believe that gays should have all the rights that heteros do . I’m not a legal scholar but I’m sure there are other ways too do this. As a black women I cringe at the comparison between the black struggle for equality to that of homosexuals. It just isn’t the same thing. At first glance it is known that I am black. Decades ago that would prohibit me from going to certain schools, restaurants, etc. That is not necessarily true for Homosexuals. They can’t say they have been discriminated in the same ways that black people have. I understand their need to want to normalize what they do , but that will require changing my faith and based upon the discussion between Marcus and the other commentor is not an easy thing to do.

  33. anonymous 6:22 p.m.: I’m pretty huge (HUGE) on the Bill of Rights so I’m for the rights of gays to marry. But I’m ANTI making the church do a damn thing.Religious beliefs are religious beliefs. Hell, beliefs are beliefs. You can not legislate human nature. And the nightmare scenario you’re mentioning should not happen simply because you can say all sorts of things people don’t like or even find inflammatory and offensive and not face any persecution because of the First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights.You can’t make a church marry anyone and why anyone would want to be married by a church who doesn’t want them is beyond me. It’s not quite the same thing but it’s almost like black people suing to join the Klan. It truly makes no sense. Now if the lawsuit is over renting the building, that’s a different story. I don’t know the legal issues ensnared there. But you can’t make a minister marry anyone and you can’t stop a church from preaching against homosexuality anymore than you can stop Rush Limbaugh from using “Hussein” over and over. You can’t use the law to “fix” your church. If you don’t like your church you have to fix it, from within, on your lonesome.The rights of the church are protected. Always have been.You will have members who may challenge the establishment (see the Anglican/Episcopal Church in America and their issues with ordaining women and homosexual priests), but those are IN CHURCH issues. No Anglican priest is taking the US church to court because they feel they were passed on a pastoralship due to gender or sexual orientation. The only thing churches are asked NOT to do is pick political candidates and tell their flock to vote for them.Other than that, the government can’t tell them what to do. Unless they’re breaking the law, they have nothing to worry about.

  34. Why is there a difference if the issue had to do with renting the building. It is still church property shouldn’t the church have the right to say who should or should not use it?

  35. anon: Well, that was my point. I don’t know. Property issue was the ONLY issue I could think of where the government would ever be involved. But I still don’t see how you could force the ceremony.But that was the only thing I could think, granted, I know next to NOTHING about property law.

  36. Your Snobness, if the hall is a public establishment, it can be sued for discrimination. Public restaurants, hotels and such are prohibited from using discrimination. If the enterprise is a private establishment, like a country club or dinner club not opened to the general public, it’s allowed to set up whatever discriminatory rules they want to set up. A private establishment can exclude Blacks, Jews and Scots who wear kilts, if they want.

  37. These Biblical debates will go on into infinity. People misinterpret and don’t place the proper context ALL THE TIME. Just for the record: JESUS did not say one thing AGAINST homosexuality. He DID tell us ALL to Love Your Neighbor As Yourself. Now when that day actually happens maybe He’ll come back!I live here in SF and I can tell you the No on 8 organizers did not do enough outreach, had a poor counterattack to the ads of the Yes on 8 argument and I know of no leadership in the No on 8 organization that had people of color at the table strategizing. Black people only make 7% of the entire CA population so it really pisses me off to have this same tired conversation about how bigoted Black people are.What about all the WHITE PEOPLE that voted Yes? You can’t show up in neighborhoods to convince people to help you on your issues when you otherwise ignore them except when you want something from them!There is a greater argument about the lack of support by the major Gay Rights orgs (run by white men) to poorer people of color who are gay and gay-friendly in getting jobs and housing and treatment. AKA the REAL ISSUES. At least in CA people still have Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships and can adopt children. If they want more then they are going to have to build alliances in a reciprocal relationship with everybody else or continue to face these battles. Not everyone who supports Yes is homophobic either – it may very well be their belief. You have to meet people where they are.

  38. (SIGH) I really don’t know how to answer the whole Jesus never said anything about Homosexual arguement.(with out going to deep in to the Bible) To say something like that is a gross misinterpretation of the Word of God. All of the Bible is important not just the words of Christ. Christ does speak about sexual immorality so that includes homosexuality. And I don’t hate gay people. I just don’t agree with the lifestyle. Again my main concern is the church.

  39. i’m saddened that prop 8 passed…a similar prop was on the arizona ballot…i voted for it but as you may know, it didn’t make it either…i just don’t get it…everyone should have the right to be happy, especially in this country…

  40. My, my, what a whirlwind of opposing views – good stuff! Snob, you nailed it… The Equal Protection Clause of our U.S. Constitution states: “no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Seems perfectly clear to me. The Theocrats of this country will be dragged kicking and screeming into the real world eventually – the sooner the better. As to biblical arguments on the subject, they are not relavent here. We are a nation formed by our constitution – not the Bible. Sorry to burst Marcus’ little bubble.RollieB

  41. I’m white and gay. It makes me uncomfortable to see the issue of Obama’s victory linked in anyway to an argument for gay marriage.Our nation’s struggles toward civil rights never have, and never will, come in one big leap. That doesn’t make each victory any less sweet.Those of us who want marriage equality will wake up tomorrow and keep fighting. And we’ll welcome all the help we can get. In the meantime… Can we just please go ga-ga with Obamatude?

  42. Snob:As someone who went to law school you are, at least in my interpretation of certain cases, correct that it could make a difference if the couple simply wanted to rent the church. I KNOW it would make a difference if it was a public school — but its possible it could make a difference with a church facility. I know if you let the Religious Conservative Right Prayer Group use your public school gym to pray, you MUST allow the Pagen Witches Coven to use the same facility. It would be a bit of interesting legal research to see what that Church case was based upon.That being said — thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking since Prop 8 passed. I think, as a Catholic, the church has the right to not marry a GLTBQ couple. However, I think as a lawyer that it is the States obligation to allow same sex couples the same chance at civil marriages/civil unions(aka marriage certificates) as heterosexual couples. It is a matter, legally, of contract rights. I, as a straight woman, can go see my husband(if I had one) in the hospital if he is sick and dying. My lesbian friend does not have that right. Its just a crappy mess honestly — and I can’t believe that people would want to deny folks those rights. From the biblical argument — I’m not quite sure that’s what Jesus the Community Organizer would do, in fact I’m pretty sure that is the exact opposite of what He would do. Two steps forward, one step back is exactly right.

  43. Where do I begin?…I hate the argument that uses the Bible as reasoning as to why ‘gays’ don’t deserve the same rights as others. Although using the Bible has in the past been the foundation of laws/government, one has to believe in the Bible first.I don’t. I don’t go to church. This is after being raised for over 20 yrs. in the Apostolic faith, having ministers in my family and having 2 generations believe in this doctrine.Gays should be allowed to marry, to adopt and to do whatever their preferences are. A sexual preference doesn’t make you better or worse.We’re making progress, but this results has pushed us back ages…

  44. I don’t think there is such a thing as a “sexual preference.” If you look at it that way it is easy to strip away people rights because you are viewing their behavior as wrong and also as a choice. If homosexuality is a strictly biological thing, then it is something that people have no control over, just like the pigment of their skin. How can you strip away someone’s rights to “be” just because they are not like you, and just because you view them as different? If you do this, then it is prejudice.

  45. ITA. So much.I can’t buy the religious argument because state definitions and laws are not based on the Bible. I’m borderline agnostic, so I really don’t pay mind to that argument in general.To deny rights to people because they’re different is basically calling them sub-human and not worthy of the rights of “regular” people and it’s completely wrong. I wish I could have gone to a rally.

  46. beautiful post snob. as always, eloquent, smart and fair. i spent the better part of my day reading all the comments (in between meeting) and i agree with you whole heartedly. there is something wrong with those who cannot see change and accept it within the rights that this nation was supposedly built on. the belief of equality IS what this nation was founded on (allegedly). thousands of people have suffered and died for this belief. and to allow that belief to be put into the cold hands of a simple vote is inhumane and unfair. i also would like to weigh in that African Americans who voted for prop should not be any more or less called out than a white person who did the same. It is way more complicated than the simple fact that we should “know better”. You are talking to voting blacks who are about 2 generations removed from the civil right era and slavery is a story. Out right prejudice is not a common factor. There are also numerous other cultural barriers within the black community when it come to homosexuality. Though not right, it is far more complex than simply “knowing better.” And to pick on a single group as the sole purpose of demise is ignorant. as for the religious points…church and state should be separate. Debating the validity of the bible is useless. Marriage “defined in the dictionary,” doesn’t mean a damn thing when it comes to human civil rights.you cannot change some one’s beliefs, as i believe the previous post have shown. the utter down fall of America is that this Proposition was put to a vote. The same voting that has given our nation a great name. And the same voting that has tore down our nation. People’s rights shouldn’t have to be put to a vote. It’s as simple as that. thanks snob. always a great read…every morning.

  47. nice post, snob. marriage is one area where theology and the government come together in a big sloppy mess. it’s my belief that all unions – gay or straight – should be civil unions with everyone receiving the same rights, and marriage should be solely used to describe religious unions that take place in a church.so if you want marriage to be just between a man and a woman and your church supports that? fine. if your church believes that marriage can apply to same-gendered relationships? fine. either way, one person’s religious beliefs shouldn’t have anything to do with my legal rights. and frankly, arguments regarding religious beliefs don’t hold any water with me when we’re talking about legal unions. because one has naught to do with the other.and marcus: this is the one thing i’ll say to you: i suggest that you do a little research on the rights and privileges afforded to heterosexual couples who are married versus same-gendered couples (and heterosexual couples) who aren’t. you are incorrect that domestic partnership offers the same rights.

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