Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I do(n't)

Can we be honest?

We the People are not equipped to govern by popular vote.

Propositions, such as the gay marriage vote in Maine, prove the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, who established the United States as a republic, where the people's will is expressed through their elected representatives.

The best argument we have against democracy and for republican government is the State of California---now suffering fiscal and governmental chaos because state legislators cowardly abdicated their responsibilities and placed critical decisions about taxation and so much more in the hands of the people, where emotions and mobs rule the day.

This may be a needless repetition of Civics 101, but I think we progressives and LGBT activists may have learned our lesson in Maine and will be forced to adopt different tactics.

The best quote of the day's news after the Maine vote came from a representative of the LA office of Lamda Legal, who noted that these popular referenda for or against gay marriage are essentially "cruel" exercises where majority vote rules regardless of impact on less powerful minorities. This is precisely the outcome that our system is supposed to prevent.

At some point, however, we have to ask ourselves whether slow and steady pursuit of the popular or legislative process will achieve the goals of what is essentially a civil rights struggle. Not being a lawyer, I can't address intelligently what the legal issues are.


It seems to me that there are lessons to be heeded from the last three mass protest movements I was privileged to be witness to: the 1960s civil rights struggle, the anti-Vietnam war movement, and the AIDS crusade. At some point in the struggle, there is a call to arms. Not armaments, but linking the human chain of belief from one person to the next in acts of civil protest and, if need be, civil disobedience.

Is it time yet when gay and lesbian protesters should surround city and county marriage license offices and prevent others from entering in pursuit of the legal rights that have been denied us? Is it time to raise the banners and disrupt the normal course of government business to raise the bar of awareness? Is it time to get arrested and imprisoned for our cause? Is it time to organize tax revolts, or boycotts of businesses whose leaders contribute to the anti-marriage movement?

When is it time to just say 'no" to the cruelties of majority rule? I believe that time is near.


  1. Hello Darling-

    Ever since I was consciously homo, two things about my otherness in society made me very glad:

    1. I am not welcomed to serve in the military.
    2. My romances would never per norm nor per
    expectation lead to marriage.

    While I fervently support equal rights, I do believe that whatever political/economic clout we may have could be spent on more expansive issues that could benefit more people, rather than our right to get married just like straight people do.

  2. Puut-san:

    Good thought. Agree that, in some respects, gay marriage is a 'luxury issue' for us and many others, but not all. And there are indeed bigger and more consequential challenges we can and should take on. Yet, the military stuff, marriage, defense of marriage act etc all add up to a serious anti-gay movement in this country. That is troubling and can even become dangerous. Why can't the US behave like most of the rest of the advanced nations in its laws and protections re: LGBT's.

    I have no dog in this hunt, since my best prospect has decided to opt-out of marriage, but I am very unhappy with the broader sociopolitical issues.

    OK, enough high-mindedness. Princess, will you marry me?