Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

California, Prop 8 and the 'movement'

When the California Supreme Court ruled that the law setting up the two separate but equal systems of civil unions and marriages was unconstitutional, I was asked my opinion by a number of people. As someone that is heavily involved in the American Conservative Party, they sought to find out how I stood.

I read the opinion and it was clear that the concept of separate but equal was unconstitutional as far as California was concerned. (I suggested it would be equally unconstitutional at the national level.)

That said, the Prop 8 movement has also provoked questions concerning my opinion, both personally and as a leader at ACP. The ACP position was clear, we had no position on a state issue. My personal opinion was equally irrelevant - I don't live in California. But, what is going on after the election, concerns me - both as someone involved in ACP and as 1/2 of a gay relationship.

I think gays have the right to be pissed off. But I have been clear for months that Americans CAN use the ballot box to marginalize, even deny rights outright, to whatever group enough of them can agree on. That Prop 8 passed and overturned the California Supreme Court is an outcome perfectly consistent with the law.

I think gays can protest, but the response has gone well over the deep end. I have been an outspoken critic of things like Pride parades that showcase the most bizarre sides of a culture that is significantly in the minority virtually everywhere. Mainstreaming gays has been a longterm goal of the average gay and every time the outrageous happens, it sets back any advances. What is going on now, is setting gays back a decade or more as people who might have been somewhat willing to accept civil unions are getting slapped back.

I have supported civil unions for years and think that it resolves most of the issues raised by gays facing discrimination in legal matters related to couples. While I disagree strongly with the concept that gays getting married redefines marriage, it is clear - and it should be respected - that many people feel that way and are strongly opposed. Change is possible, but will not happen overnight, and the protests that are going on now will destroy ANY good will those of us that have tried to be rational proponents have gained over the last several years.

The gains made in civil unions will end here. Any attempt to get them on ballots or into laws in the near future will be held up as an attempt to force the same type of situation that is going on in California. Rather than face such an outcome, people - who would be willing to support civil unions - will turn it down.

Instead of showing people that Prop 8 was turning back the clock and marginalizing gays, the post election nightmare will give strength and support for FURTHER turning back the clock.

Once again, gays have overplayed the situation and failed to realize that they are a minority and acceptance has to be given, not taken. It is impossible to claim the Pro-Prop 8 supporters were disrespectful when every single action since has been disrespectful of the voters.

I will continue to make my arguments but it is clear whatever willingness to listen was available before will be in much shorter supply in the future. And THAT has been a defeat gays brought about themselves.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Voting process

I was talking with CJ this morning about not voting for someone when she sought some clarification, she asked:

"So, there are 4 boxes...Obama, McCain, Not Obama and Not McCain?"

So, here was her idea. You can vote for Obama or McCain, but if you vote for Not Obama or Not McCain, then one vote is deducted from the total.


Monday, November 03, 2008


Over the last year I have had numerous arguments/debates/discussions concerning individual rights. In every conversation that I discuss the idea that the individual is sovereign, I get complete agreement ... until....

The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

Until we to abortion. Then, the individual is not sovereign. The individual is a surrogate, a slave to the child. Everyone objects to that characterization, but if a mother's actions are limited to benefit another, against her will.

You can argue this point if you wish, but let me discuss some practicalities.

Human life amendment: can not be enforced as long as Roe v Wade stands. And overturning Roe v Wade would require several things - ONE of which I doubt anyone wants to have happen: overturning the right to privacy.

Overturning Roe v Wade will not be overturned without cases being brought before it. Eight conservative judges will not wake up on the first day of a session and say, 'hey, the past was wrong, we are just going to toss Roe v Wade out'. It will not happen. So, what kind of cases have to be brought? Privacy issues.

The alternate is that, so far, any attempt by a state to make abortion illegal that does not have a 'life or health of the mother' clause has been tossed by the court.

Remember a certain argument I made several months ago when first discussing here our rights. Any sufficiently large number of Americans, with purpose held long enough, can deny the rights of others. Slavery can reintroduced, free speech eliminated. It is possible for Americans to deny the rights of others. Legally.

One of the issues often raised by conservatives is consequences. What would be the consequences of making abortion illegal. Most that argue for that outcome are quick to point out that they will not make the mother criminal. How that position can be reconciled - IT CAN'T - with any support for a strong support for laws, is beyond my ability. Those that have argued with me have told me they would arrest the doctor for murder. RU-486 and other types of abortive drugs would be banned. Of course, we can not ban abortion or drug availability in other countries - but that doesn't bother some, anyone that leaves pregnant and comes back not is guilty...what punishment they want in those cases is usually left unstated.

If the mother can not be allowed to have an abortion, what about actions that could be reasonably thought to cause spontaneous abortion? No one wants to go there, but a few have suggested that overt acts should be illegal. In other words, actions that can cause abortion would be made illegal.

Overturn Roe v Wade, lose the right to privacy. Make abortion illegal, you significantly infringe upon the mother's rights. These seem to be irrelevant, and many will tell you that we would never go so far. Really? I doubt it. Because the same people (often) that will tell you that gay marriage is a slippery slope don't seem to think that banning abortion has a similar slope.

And finally, where are those that oppose abortion on adoption. There are 50,000 kids awaiting adoption in this country. There is no mass movement on the right to address this life issue. Victoria and I became foster parents. Of the 15 couples and women that were in our training group, 2 were 'conservative'.

I oppose abortion. I think it is wrong. I oppose smoking, most drinking and all illegal drug use. My opinion is not enough. The individual is sovereign. And until a child is viable, the ONLY individual we have is the mother.