What Marriage Is


I wish that Californians had understood what I knew in my heart. That when they voted yes on Prop 8, they weren’t voting about laws or rights or judicial activism or theology or lawyers or mayors or even tradition. They were taking daughters and sons and husbands and wives and sisters and brothers and uncles and nieces and aunts and nephews and grandparents and stepchildren and saying, “You. You over there. Not the other ones, just you. YOU ARE NOT A FAMILY. YOU NEVER WERE. YOU NEVER WILL BE.”

Because that’s what they did.

And so many of them still don’t even understand that.


9 thoughts on “What Marriage Is

  1. The Marriage Thing…
    I’m a straight married male who found the Prop 8 outcome to be a disappointment.
    Currently with straight couples having a near-monopoly on the “marriage” thing, the failure rate is about 50%. One advantage I see to opening “marriage” to gays and lesbians is that the new team members will probably improve “marriage”‘s batting average! 🙂
    If it is some consolation, time is on the side of gay marriage because American society generally has over time provided more rights to more people. Within my lifetime in some states marriage was not recognized when partners were of of different “races” – now that barrier has been so soundly defeated that I bet many people under 30 would be somewhat shocked to hear that the law was once that way.

  2. one can construct many insidious meanings of the ‘yes on hate’ result, but doing so does nothing to move solving the problem forward. Those siding with ‘yes on hate’ succumbed to their fears and insecurity, with the result being the bigotry they express. Its not the first nor the last time fear and insecurity won out.
    Getting more people to understand the enlightened notion of equality is what solves these problems. It remains a tragic condition affecting so many things that so many in the US (and across humanity) do not understand what equality means; that they do not understand or accept that all humans are equal among humans and therefore equally entitled to all of the benefits and obligations society engenders. Solve that problem and ‘yes on hate’ goes away.

  3. The single most eloquent speaker on Prop 8 and the damage that it is likely to do, now that it has passed, is John Scalzi. Have a look atthis post and then follow up by searching for ‘Prop 8’ or ‘Gay Marriage’ and see some of the things he said as soon as the amendment got enough signatures to be on the ballot.

  4. Of course they “understand” what they’re doing. They are hate-filled, small-minded, bigoted assholes. Haters hate. That’s what they do.

  5. Unfortunately, one of the changes of the last few decades is that hate has been institutionalized so that it can be a ballot initiative.
    Here in Missouri, was a ballot initiative that all govt meetings would be in English only. Passed overwhelmingly (something like 80 or 90 %).
    Everyone was all upset that a city council meeting might be in some furin language. Oddly enough, no one could point where that had been a problem, but folks could point to situations where someone who had trouble with English might not be at such a disadvantage if, say , the judge also spoke Spanish.

  6. Can the states change their laws to prevent out-of-staters from initiating and/or funding new ballot measures?
    I live in a state which is proud to allow citizen initiatives on the ballot. Having outsiders manipulate that system is both an insult and a nuisance. (e.g. The Mormon Church pouring $20 million on California’s Prop 8 at the last minute, and Oregon’s Bill Sizemore asking his milionaire BBF from Nevada to fund a long list of nuisance initiatives at every goddamn election). On top of the insult and nuisance, today’s GOP manipulates the system to fake national momentum.
    Hey. These are supposed to be citizen initiatives. It’s supposed to be about what one state wants and has the right to enact as law. The State Church of Utah just bought a California ballot measure. Let’s get the process back to the people.

  7. Kind of OT, but it would be nice if the media actually described prop 8 accurately. Prop 8 was a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT outlawing gay marriage, not just another law that bans gay marriage. We Californians already did the latter with Prop 22. Prop 8 was something entirely different and more isidious and I think the media did an amazing disservice to everyone by not descibing it accurately. I honestly don’t think many people understood that they were voting to enshrine discrimination and exclusion of a fundamental right in the state constitution.
    People keep telling me that we have made progress since Prop 22 what with Prop 8 passing by a smaller margin. I attribute that smaller margin to those that did understand it was a constitutional amendment and actually believed the consitution is meant to give rights, not take them away.
    Any which way, the whole thing disgusts me (as a straight, married man) and anyone who makes it known to me that they voted yes will get an earfull from me. Grrrr…

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