The Pursuit of Happiness

Straight Guy,

I've had questions --from you, from friends, from readers here--about why I've not posted about the passage of Prop. 8 and how I feel about it. That's a question that I ask myself, too.

It's tiresome: Prop. 8 meant a lot to me and so its passage has some real sting to it. It's tiring to hear again that my feelings, my most profound feelings, don't really matter, aren't worthy of equal protection under law. That we gays don't get to follow "the pursuit of happiness" to its most logical and timeworn conclusion.

The passage of Prop. 8 is why civil rights shouldn't be decided by popular vote.

Readers, you've lucked out. I've read dozens, maybe hundreds, of essays and blog posts about Prop. 8, but here is the best. This essay on Prop. 8 by Anna Quindlen in the November 24 issue of Newsweek says it all, says it perfectly, and with warmth and grace. Plus it's just plain right.

I'm sad for my California friends. I expected better behavior from what is considered to be the most liberal behaving state in the U.S. My one chuckle in this all is remembering what a friend told about other friends, a gay couple who left California this summer to take new jobs elsewhere. This couple packed the car, waved goodbye, then stopped by City Hall to get married on their way out of town. Sort of like picking up dinner or checking the pressure in the tires. Or other stupid, boring things that married couples do.

--Gay Guy

Yes, yes, and yes, GG.

It's fine to stand by your convictions. But is no conservative ever swayed by the fact that, when it comes to discrimination and civil rights, the conservative side has NEVER been vindicated in the long term?

Jim Crow, women's sufferage, McCarthyism... the list is long and embarrassing for conservatives. Yes, religious conservatives, too. Though they haven't always been republicans, conservatives (for all of their bluster on privacy and state's rights) have often delayed the progress of civil rights. And here we are again.

Even Jonah Goldberg, of National Review agrees.
Conservatives should feel some embarrassment and shame that we are outraged at instances of racism, now that it is easy to be. Conservatives — though not Republicans — were often at best MIA on the issue of civil rights in the 1960s. Liberals were on the right side of history on the issue of race. And conservatives should probably admit that more often.

This is the strongest argument for moderation I can think of.

I'm sure some 1960s conservatives were fully convinced that they were on the right side, and God's side, in opposing the Civil Rights Act. Now we take it for granted that they were wrong, bordering on evil. Those who currently fight the progress of civil rights risk the same assessment.

Maybe they just can't see the end-game on the issue of gay marriage. I can. They will lose, and I hope, eventually, have some regrets. Even Strom Thurmond, the once segregationsist candidate for president, had to find some humility. Faced with his own mortality, he had to recalibrate his morality.

I don't expect that from every grumpy crank or religious crackpot. But is a "Whoops, my bad!" too much to ask from the multitudes who are currently wrong on this?

--Straight Guy

1 comment:

Straight in Upstate said...

This just in from California: In support of the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, Gov. Schwarzenneger has agreed to stop boning anything in a skirt and commit to a monogamous marriage with his wife. See, GG, a constitutional amendment makes all the difference.

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive