47 thoughts on “see, it’s really not that complicated”

  1. Your graph leaves out “rivers running red”, “plague of locusts”, and “fire and brimstone from the sky.”
    And, of course, “Dogs and cats, living together!” Although all of this could conceivably fall under “Judgement day begins.”

  2. I agree that current marriage law discriminates against gays, the law should be changed.
    I also agree that current marriage law discriminates against polygamists, so the law should be changed to accommodate them too.
    An aside: a lot of people (such as myself) are are in favor of gay marriage, but want it enacted by law, not by judicial decree. For that reason, I’d support prop 8 if I were a Calif. resident.

  3. Why do I have a feeling that if the Prop. 8 had been to allow gay marriages in an effort to reverse a court ruling blocking gay marriages, that you would support that? I don’t live in Cal., but I read the news and it seems the same people who want their voices heard are now pissed that the majority didn’t agree with their voices. Sorry, but isn’t that the democracy so many cheer for?

  4. I pretty much agree with that pie chart there…not sure why all the bigots are always bitching about it, its not like it will effect them. Fuck, its not really going to effect me. (I like the ladies just fine, thank you) I’m just tired of hearing every one fucking cry about it. Well, they are already gay, why not let them have a financial agreement, drama, divorce and all the other bullshit that comes with marriage? Hell, at least there’s no risk of having more kids that end up like me, (A sob story for later, I don’t feel the need to bore you with my problems). But anywho, fuck you bigots, shut the fuck up, you’re all a bunch of inbreed, bible thumping morons, leave me the fuck alone, go get herpes and die slowly.

  5. But… If gay people can get married then gay people can get divorced. Divorce destroys marriage. By preventing divorce we protect marriage.
    (I put way too many skill points in “spurious logic” to be useful.)

  6. A working democracy should have systems in place that protect minorities from the tyranny of a majority. Equal rights for all should trump the notion of one section of the population being able to vote to take rights away from another segment of the population.

  7. The only thing I have against gay marriage is that it will lead to gay divorce.
    That’s what destroys families, society, and apple pie. I don’t care what the graph says, soon afterward our young innocent teens will be holding up AK-47s and screaming “WOLVERINES”!
    After all, non of the conservative opponents to Prop 8 have ever been divorced, right…?

  8. Well, now, I dunno. The first gay wedding I attended last summer was between two women who wanted to be married so badly that they flew to California from Delaware, along with family and friends from all over the world. Thus making a small contribution to the ice caps melting.

  9. Re: The “not by judicial decree” argument – Oddly enough, just today I read some short-but-nicely-put observations on that subject, basically noting that things like desegregation and the rights of interracial couples to marry were also products not of majority vote, but of court decisions. Here’s the most succinct snippet: “The rights of minorities aren’t subject to extinction by the majority’s fiat.”
    Link’s here.

  10. I think that the fact that it was by election shows that most people (who voted) in California are against gay marriage. It IS Democracy in action… whatever their reasons.
    I would not have voted the same. I would have voted against it. I lived in California for a time, so I feel comfortable saying that.
    I think the pie chart is cute… but oversimplifies (like cute cartoons do) :)

  11. CarolynMichele: “Equal rights for all should trump the notion of one section of the population being able to vote to take rights away from another segment of the population.”
    So…would you have this apply to gays, immigrants, 18 year olds, and fetuses? All four are segments of society who have had rights taken away from them. (18 year olds used to be able to drink legally in many states.)
    As to the last in the series, personally, I believe the rights of the pregnant mother should trump the rights of the unborn fetus, but I know that some people disagree with me.
    The problem is that when the interests of multiple segments of society come into conflict, the only way to resolve the conflict is by a vote.
    A_C: “it seems the same people who want their voices heard are now pissed that the majority didn’t agree with their voices. Sorry, but isn’t that the democracy so many cheer for?”
    When one of those two segments loses the vote, their duty as citizens is not to roll over and shut up, but to continue to press their case. Which is what Wil and others are doing. Making the case for the next time a vote occurs.
    As Victor Hugo once said: “No army can resist an idea whose time has come.” But sometimes the idea marches more slowly than some would like.

  12. Say a law gets passed that gives total strangers to walk up and hit you in the face with a sledgehammer. Would you not think it a good idea to re-examine said law, even if it was passed by the majority?

  13. Sometimes Americans sure to baffle me. Thankfully gays have all the same rights in Canada as anyone else and it is in the constitution, hence why Gay marriage is finally legal here in all provinces, not just a select few, since the law against was constitutionally challenged.
    And why do people have to wait till 21 to drink there? They are old enough to have a say in how government is run but they can’t have a drink?
    And then for it to be allowed that special interest groups, that don’t even reside in the state in question, to be able to put something on a ballot that doesn’t even affect them in the state they do live in (Prop 8 brought forward by Mormon’s in Utah) it really baffles me to no end.
    I had thought that all people were equal under the law in the states, but I see I am mistaken. Marriage is a legality and for a couple to be discriminated against and not allowed to marry because of sexual orientation makes them a second class citizen. IMO its no better than segregation that took place in the states, or those of first nations in Canada being hauled off to residential school in order to have their language and culture beat and raped out of them.
    Craziness all over the place.
    /rant

  14. I saw this today on graphjam and showed it to my husband. His response was, “We can’t see the future. We don’t know if those aren’t true.”
    I wanted to SMACK HIM.
    My own fault for marrying a Republican.

  15. Jules made a comparison to segregation that I would like to expand upon.
    150 years ago slavery was legal in the United States. There were strong views on both sides and significant emotional energy invested eventually leading to war. The Emancipation Proclamation and the passing of the 13th Amendment were the results of that energy but the story does not end there. Four years later the 15th Amendment was passed to remove voting restrictions based on race. Almost 100 years later Martin Luther King Jr. was leading the fight for civil liberties and against segregation. A few weeks ago the results of all that energy made it possible for the United States to elect the first non-white President in the history of the country. A result that would have been unimaginable just 150 years ago.
    For your consideration I submit that the consequence of any legal decision made with significant emotional energy is momentum.

  16. I made an account just to respond to “An aside: a lot of people (such as myself) are are in favor of gay marriage, but want it enacted by law, not by judicial decree. For that reason, I’d support prop 8 if I were a Calif. resident.”
    Your logic hurts my brain, sir.
    You don’t like it that a court had to be the one to tell us that the discriminatory law was against the constitution, so you’d rather amend the constitution than let them tell us that?
    How about voting with what you believe to be right?
    Voting “yes” because voting “no” would be agreeing with the state constitution… ridiculous.

  17. Chris R
    Considering the fact that Arnold vetoed a gay marriage bill twice because he wanted a decision from the courts
    also it always safe asking the majority to take the rights of a minority courts are there to balance those aspects

  18. Those reading from outside California should keep in mind that the “majority” that voted for Prop 8 was 200,000 people more than the “minority” that voted against it. 200,000 people out of 10 million voters.
    I don’t call that “a majority”. I call that a squeak.
    In most states, as in the US, a constitutional amendment requires at least a 2/3 majority.
    Shame on California. :(
    Thanks Wil for your support.

  19. Jules,
    re: “And why do people have to wait till 21 to drink there? They are old enough to have a say in how government is run but they can’t have a drink?”
    I’ve said for years that if anyone wants to work toward evening this out by raising the voting age back to 21, I’ll gladly back them up. :) Raising the drinking age created the desired decline in drunk driving accidents among teens, so nearly as I’ve been able to tell from my reading. If the claims are true that binge drinking and its impact on the individual increased, all I can say to that is that at least that one hurts the one who drank, not innocents who happen to travel the same roadways. I was of drinking age when the law passed in Texas and suddenly I wasn’t … and I was just fine with that.

  20. Before someone yells at me, that’s 2% of voters, not necessarily 200,000 voters. Last I saw it was roughly 400,000 with ballots still uncounted. Probably Dec. till we know for sure. Still not a strong majority by any means.

  21. Point taken, John. Of course, I don’t see the situations as analogous. Lowering the drinking age could potentially result in a lot of young people doing things that make them a danger to themselves and others–I’m not saying I would or wouldn’t be against lowering the drinking age to 18, just saying that I can see logical reasons why one might argue against it–while I think all of the arguments about the dangers of gay marriage are pure poppycock. But that is just my opinion, and I suppose to many of those who voted in favor of Prop. 8, the dangers of gay marriage are terrifyingly real.
    In my humble opinion, those people are either bigots or morons, or both.

  22. @ProudTexasWoman I don’t think legal drinking age has anything to do with drinking and driving. Regardless if you are legal age to drink or not, people will drink and drive. Heaven knows that I went to school with people who as soon as they got their license in their hot little hands at 16, they were drinking and driving. I personally don’t think penalties in the States are tough enough on that issue. Here it is a federal offense to drink and drive.
    Personally I just find it so restrictive and people are not allowed to make their own choices for their own lives. They can go fight for their country and die, are expected to work and be productive members of society, go to university, grow up all that good stuff, but no they can’t be treated like an adult and be trusted to drink yet they are expected to be adults.
    It also runs the same with gay. They are expected to be productive members of society, vote all that good stuff yet they are not afforded the same rights and freedoms due to their sexual orientation that their vote is suppose to afford them. For a land that is suppose to be the land of freedoms, from an outsider looking in, it doesn’t look all that free to me. And I am not trying to be offensive, like I said before, it just baffles me and hopefully someone can shed some light on this for me so that I can better understand the thinking behind it.

  23. Anyone see the recent lawsuit brought by a gay man who sued eHarmony because it didn’t cater to gays? eHarmony had to fold, BTW.
    The LGBT defeat their own cause with militancy. They force, and they force, but you can’t change the way people think. The result? The backlash that is one of the most liberal states in the union taking the virtually unthinkable action of actually modifying its constitution.
    I am an atheist that in theory supports gay marriage but it’s hard to be anything but ambivalent in light of what is primarily a war against the mainstream and religion itself.

  24. Exposure is key. In Germany, and among other European countries, drinking is legal much younger than the American counterparts. These kids are exposed earlier in life. They primarily don’t take the same gambles as the kids here. (Though I’m sure the drug problems are much worse.) For one thing, it’s simply not as enticing to get a fake ID to a convenient store and drink and drive. Generally speaking, unless you’re from bumfrek USA, most kids are aware of the differences around them and have adjusted and complimented it well…I think they’ve seen their share of races, cultures and eccentricities just from cable and gaming alone.
    It’s ridiculous who screams that gay marriage ruins the sanctity of hetero marriage. How dim. Anyone who marries, please be aware of who and what you’re getting into…and if you want to preserve marriage so badly, then stop divorcing.

  25. On the same note you might like this article:
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/5ulsf8
    … in which the author has decided that his belief system no longer recognizes marriage, and he begins asking his married friends how their “partners” or “companions” are doing. The reactions are encouraging.
    On an unrelated note, I’m a leaf on the grapevine that connected Randall to your post about freaking out about meeting him at con. Did you guys ever get a chance to follow up on that? :)

  26. Heh heh, I like that:) So glad you are on our side Wil!
    And despite Prop 8, I still love California, everyone I have met is cool beyond belief (apart from the beardy guy in the massive truck who shouted at us for holding hands). This time next week I’ll be there! So excited!!
    !!!!!
    !

  27. Fantastic. And true. Go ahead. Watch “Red Dawn.” You don’t see a single married gay couple. Or gay couple. So perhaps the message is, if gays DON’T marry, Russia invades America.

  28. Thank you, Wil, for being awesome enough to post this. The last few weeks have been…. well, kinda shitty for those of us directly involved. We’re working our asses off to fix it all. And by “all”, I mean every state with hate built into its constitution. Viva la Homo Resistance! ;-)

  29. As a self proclaimed gay geek (we are a rare breed) I have to say that this graph is awesome. I’d also like to take a moment to point out that the job of the Judicial branch is to interpret laws. If a law is determined to be unconstitutional (as I have a feeling prop 8 will be) that is not legislating from the bench. It is doing exactly what the courts are supposed to do. Checks and balances folks!

  30. One of the various things about how this argument is being generally framed that really irks me -
    This isn’t “gays vs. religion.”
    Prop 8 was a disaster. The responses among some in the glbtq community have been a possibly even bigger disaster. In the midst of totally justified grief and anger, we’re attacking potential allies en-mass by treating “religion” as being by default our enemy. And we’re allowing the people who are our enemies to continue in their delusional claims that they speak as a united voice of Religious/Christian America.
    What about the churches who are condemning Prop 8, and who intend to continue blessing the marriages of same gender couples and considering them spiritually valid even if they aren’t legally recognized? The same churches that were performing these blessings for years before legal recognition in California was even a possibility?
    ‘Religion’ is not homogenous, or inherently incompatible with either dissent or gay marriage or secular government.
    We have friends and allies in the religious communities! We have gay people who are caught between a religious community they depend upon but which degrades them for their orientation, and a gay rights movement where they face alienation and degradation for their religion!
    The absolute last thing we need now is to alienate them further! *We have failed them.* We have failed to support and understand queer people for whom their church is an indispensable pillar in their life, and we have failed to build alliances with people in religious communities who empathize with us!
    To borrow a phrase from our enemies, this is a “love the sinner, hate the sin” moment. Damning religion and religious people en mass is wrong. Damn homophobia and heterosexism, and *find the people within these religious communities who condemn homophobia as well and help them already!*
    We need to go to Dignity Catholic and Affirmation Mormon, the splinter groups that have faced ridicule and shame and excommunication from their faith in their struggle to make a place of dignity and respect within them for queer people. We can reach out to the dissenters within the mainstream anti-gay churches, allies who would see this bigotry disappear but don’t know how to do it.
    We can work with he Episcopalians and the Unitarians, who have been blessing our marriages for years and who have just seen *their* religious freedom restricted by having these marriage blessings declared invalid.
    One of the worst thing the anti-gay Religious Right did to us was redefining the language of “religion” as being inherently anti-gay, to the point that opposition to gay marriage was treated as synonymous with “Christian values.” They are not and have never been an actual majority of Christians, they’re just the loudest and most aggressive.
    They have condemned us and they have alienated and silenced progressive Christians. And we have alienated and silenced progressive Christians by refusing to even talk with them, let alone making efforts towards our common goal of human dignity and basic rights.
    We have a chance right now to redefine American politics. And we can fuck it up if we don’t pull our collective heads out of our asses and address the very real and very serious problem of racism, classism, and anti-religious venom within the gay community.

  31. one of the most liberal states in the union taking the virtually unthinkable action of actually modifying its constitution.
    California modifies its constitution almost as often as they set their whole state on fire. It’s about as far from “unthinkable” as you can get.

  32. First, you’re right. It’s just not that complicated in terms of who/what is affected.
    But let’s not forget here, many of the commenters have spoken about “letting the voters speak” and “majority rule” and “democracy” — what they’ve NOT spoken about is that 4 out of every 5 dollars spent FOR Prop 8 came from The Morman Church in Utah who made a formal, concerted, pointed effort to pass this proposition (by they’re own public admission).
    Aside from bringing their tax exempt status into question — one can ask whether it’s the will of the people if it’s funded so heavily by outside interests.

  33. Human rights are rights, regardless of what kind of human is pursuing or enjoying them. I don’t believe that we, even as a democratic society, should be in the position to decide which groups of legal adults are provided with what basic rights that come with being a citizen of the US. Our country’s history is full of instances – from slavery to suffrage – of our denying certain sections of those “all men (and women) who were created equal” the rights and privileges that should have been due them. Few would argue that skin color should be deterministic of one human’s value over another or that sex should determine voting rights. It’s high, high time that history rights itself once more and closes the door on another shameful and painful lesson, in which we learn that we have denied our fellow humans the basic unalienable rights which they have been due.

  34. @Andrew:
    “…unthinkable action of modifying its constitution for non-material social commentary.”
    Elton John has a pretty good commentary on the subject (paraphrasing):
    “Let heteros have the word marriage; it’ll set a lot of people off if gays continue to go after it. Gays should go for civil unions – all the rights and privileges of a marriage without the word.”
    I tend to agree. Marriage in Western society has its roots in Abrahamic religion, which is codified in its non-acceptance of gays. The great majority of people approve of civil unions.
    Continuing to fight for a word shows that public at large that yes, it’s still a fight primarily against mainstream and religion.

  35. >>I tend to agree. Marriage in Western society has its roots in Abrahamic religion, which is codified in its non-acceptance of gays. The great majority of people approve of civil unions.<<
    But this isn’t true. There has never been any uniform consensus on any subject in either Abrahamic or any other large religious tradition, let alone one as complex as human sexual ethics and the perpetually changing institution of what constitutes “family”.
    It’s worth remembering that the “biblical basis for marriage” includes roots in the polygamous Patriarchs (Abraham, Solomon, etc), and that there’s strong evidence of various forms and levels of recognition of same gender couples as being divinely blessed, ranging from pre-Constantine through the early modern era.
    And here and now, a hell of a lot of those within the “Abrahamic Traditions” *don’t* restrict their marriage blessings exclusively to heterosexuals. Among others, the Episcopalians have been performing these blessings since before California legally recognized the relationships, and they have just seen their religious freedom restricted by imposing the standards of other churches through law.
    And on the 17th, the California Council of Churches issued a statement condemning Prop. 8 for specifically this purpose.

  36. @John: “So…would you have this apply to gays, immigrants, 18 year olds, and fetuses? All four are segments of society who have had rights taken away from them. (18 year olds used to be able to drink legally in many states.)”
    Yes, in the first three cases. The last one’s a pretty thorny one, since the basis of that debate is whether or not fetuses are people yet or not, so I don’t think it’s really fair to compare it with any of the others.
    But you are nevertheless raising something of a straw man argument here: the right for gays to marry could in no way realistically impact the lives of anyone save gays in any meaningful way–lying commercials to the contrary. Abridging the rights of a minority group by majority fiat is not the purpose of democratic government, and when it happens it is a perversion of that system. But when the rights abridged are taken solely out of prejudice, with no compelling purpose (the argument behind raising the drinking age was to protect young people who have not developed the maturity to drink responsibly, and the one for treating immigrants as a suspect class is that they might be terrorists–the reasoning behind both arguments is specious, but that’s a separate debate), it goes beyond perversion of democracy into mob rule. That’s what constitutional courts are FOR–to prevent that kind of thing from happening.

  37. I read on a friends blog that all his life he has not feel okay with being out and having a visible gay relationship. he moved to California when they allowed gay marriage. Not that it has been eliminated, doesn’t that mean that government has prevent him from being happy (bill of rights) and also is indirectly encouraging a non-monogamous life situation. In fact, one could argue that the new laws prevent people from being families. And if that is the case, government should be responsible for taking care of all gay people.
    If my parents were never allowed to get married, I figure my parents would not have been together 40 years later when my mom got cancers. Instead of my dad being her primary care giver, the state would have had to take care of her.
    Too bad people are too stupid to realize this just makes money for the attorneys and cost the tax payers more money in the end – regardless of how it ends.

  38. @Andrew:
    Marriage in Western society does indeed have its rooms in the Abrahmic faiths; primarily Christianity. This speaks nothing to the world history of marriage, how it is defined in the Bible, how it has evolved over the millennia relative (or not) to Christianity, or if some sects are now changing their tune.

  39. Opponents of gay marriage seem to think that civil unions have the gay community covered … with everything that a gay couple could want, except the label marriage.
    Am I silly, or does this reek of separate but equal?
    The two plausible objections to gay marriage tend to be (a) religious freedom (b) free speech.
    (a) If an exemption were written into a statute that codified the right of a religious organization to refuse to conduct a gay marriage due to religious reasons, this might go a long way towards acceptance.
    (b) Similarly, if an exemption were written into the laws that ensured that a religious leader would be permitted to express a point of view against gay marriage (due to religious objection) without being targeted for any forthcoming hate speech crime, this too, would go a long way towards acceptance.

  40. @frank (a) is how it is done here in Canada. Churches are not forced to perform a gay wedding ceremony. The only people bound to perform the ceremony are JPs.
    and as for (b) I don’t see why a statute should need to be made regarding that. I think the fact they will refuse to perform the ceremony is enough to say we don’t support gay marriage.
    However as I said on my show tonight as I was ranting about this, gay couples should just come to Canada to get married. If straight couples are allowed to get married out of country and the States still recognize the marriage as legal, why shouldn’t the same be for gay couples?

  41. See, though, one of the stupidest arguments that people used to make was that gay people could already get married, it’s just that they would have to marry someone of the opposite sex “like the rest of us!” they’d say.
    I prefer calling it same-sex marriage instead of ‘gay marriage’ because ‘same-sex marriage’ is more precise. Why does that added precision matter?
    Because once same-sex marriage is legal, you see, even *straight* people will have the added right to marry people of the same sex!
    So really, Prop 8 was expanding the rights of everyone, gay and straight.

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