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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Will The Culture War Go From Figurative to Literal

Today, the forces behind gay marriage organized at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. The crowd was rather large, an estimate of several thousand, and they were charged up. The counter protestors accounted for a handful. (My thoughts on the issue of gay marriage can be found here.)

Immediately, I engaged a supporter of gay marriage in a debate. I asked the protestor if they thought that marriage was a fundamental right. He said it was. I then asked him if it was my right to marry Carmen Electra. He replied by saying that marriage is only a right by consent. I then asked if polygamists had a right to get married. He said that polygamy was inherently unequal and thus shouldn't be legal. I then asked about swingers. He said that marriage in this country was only for two people, and demanded an end to our debate.

To me, this is where the argument for gay marriage falls apart. Here we have someone that went from calling marriage a fundamental right, to only a right with consent, to only a right for two people. That doesn't sound like anything near a right but rather a privilege.

I asked one of the counter protestors why the forces of gay marriage are so fired up after losing Prop 8. After all, gay marriage has lost nearly each and every time it has been on the ballot no matter how liberal the state is. He explained that Prop 8 is the first time that gay marriage was taken away as a right after it was declared as such by the courts. This is accurate. In California, for the first time, gay marriage was created as a right by the courts only to be taken away by a vote.

The philosophy of those in support of gay marriage was clear from listening to the speaker. First, many see this as a fundamental struggle for civil rights comparable to that of suffrage and the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Those two other movements for equality were invoked specifically. Furthermore, the forces behind gay marriage believe that denial of marriage to gays violates the fundamental principle of the constitution: the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That was also invoked during the protest.

The end game of this movement is also clear following listening to some of the speakers. One of the speakers talked about a friend of his who planned on going to California to get married only to have Prop 8 stop his plans. This friend had an adopted daughter. The speaker said that his friend was crushed that his FAMILY was not going to be recognized. The forces behind gay marriage aren't merely looking to redefine the instution of marriage. They are also looking to redefine the family unit. To me, two people that live together (and have sex) is a couple. The forces behind gay marriage want two people living together to be recognized as a family. The end game there is obvious as well, full and equal rights for gays to adopt. That which they can't do through biology, they want done through legislation.

Finally, their tactics going forward are also clear. One of the speakers mentioned that the proprietor of Landmark Century Theaters in Evanston (the home base of Northwestern University) gave $10,000 to help the effort to pass Proposition 8. As such, the same group sponsoring this rally will hold a boycott in front of that theater next Saturday at 5PM CST. This isn't the first time that forces behind Proposition 8 have held boycott rallies in front of those that showed support for Proposition 8. This sort of intimidation tactic is likely not to stop.

The battlelines will be drawn. If the passion and militancy at this particular rally is any indication, the culture war will become a lot more literal in the immediate future.


CKAinRedStateUSA said...

It already has.

Your question might better be: "Will the cultural war now go physically violent?"

Left to their own insensibilities and tempter tantrums, the ignorant intolerant homosexuals will move America into that.

They make a big miscalculation if they do that.

Given their arrogance and navel-gazing, they'll have to find that out for themselves, though.

Anonymous said...

The Right wing has already moved toward violence toward Gays. Blaming the vicitms won't change the facts. THe intolerance is also coming from the Right. Gay couples are simply demanding the same rights as straight couples. This is, in fact, a conservative position. Marriage is a conservative institution. There is no "gay agenda" as right wingers like to scream about. The agenda is to be treated equally under the law. No church has to sign up to marry gays. This straw man is B.S. as well. Right wingers also fought integration. And lost. You will lose this battle too - because Gays have seized the moral high ground.

mike volpe said...

The only rights that I recognize are those enumerated in the Constitution. There is no right to marry in the Constitution which then leaves such questions to the states, unless there is an amendment.

Gays already have the same rights as straight. What they are trying to do is to redefine an institution that's had a different definition for five thousand years. That's not asking for equal rights, but rather for a massive overhaul in our society.