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Pulp Friction: California SSC Rules in favor of Prop 8 by Cynthia Yockey May 26, 2009

Strange PathThe following article by Cynthia Yockey is cross posted at A Newly Conservative Lesbian.Com:

At his blog, Legal Insurrection, Cornell law professor William Jacobson has an even-handed analysis of today’s decision by the state Supreme Court of California upholding Prop. 8, which banned same-sex marriage by defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. (See here for the decision.) Prof. Jacobson writes, “The Court rejected the notion that the People, through Constitutional amendment, could not restrict the right to marry,” and quotes material that in essence says, “Homosexuals can have civil unions that are separate but equal to marriage, so we find that heterosexuals can reserve the word ‘marriage’ for themselves and define it to describe only their legal unions.”

Prof. Jacobson points out that this sends the matter back to the political arena where lesbians and gays must persuade the majority of Californians to repeal Prop. 8 if they want the word “marriage” to include same-sex civil unions.

Gay Patriot — specifically Gay Patriot West, who lives in California — approves of the decision and hopes that lesbians and gays who are disappointed will find ways to be civil toward the opponents of their equality to create grounds for persuading them to support marriage equality in the future. I am troubled by the court’s support of majority rule in limiting equality for minorities, but I agree we must be civil about it.

I don’t know what the response of the National Organization for Marriage is to the decision, but on their Web site, here’s is one of the talking points they recommend for defeating marriage equality for same-sex couples:

Language to avoid at all costs: ‘Ban same-sex marriage.’ Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM [same-sex marriage]. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. [Emphasis mine.] Don’t use it. Say we’re against ‘redefining marriage’ or in favor or ‘marriage as the union of husband and wife’ NEVER ‘banning same-sex marriage.’

Screen shot from the "Marriage Talking Points" page of the Web site for the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage equality.

Screen shot from the "Marriage Talking Points" page of the Web site for the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage equality.

The way I read this is that NOM and its allies know they can speak in code to defeat same-sex marriage AND civil unions and that they use this code-speak to win over people who would never otherwise deny equality to homosexuals. But their true intention is expressed in their words, ” ‘Ban same-sex marriage.’ Our base loves this wording.” They love it because that’s what they want to do. So I expect that they will not rest with their success on Prop. 8, but will use it as leverage for repealing same-sex civil unions.

I’ve read the statistic that 85 percent of blacks voted in favor of Prop. 8 in order to defeat same-sex marriage. It occurs to me that black opposition to same-sex marriage is a safe expression of an intense and virulent anti-white racism because the majority of people who are openly lesbian or gay are white. I suspect this anti-white/anti-gay hatred — if I am correct and it exists and is widespread — is founded in Black Liberation Theology. But whatever foundation it has, homosexuals are the safe white people to hate and the minority that can safely be denied equality. No good is going to come of either of those things.


What I hope that the organizations fighting for civil rights for homosexuals will do to win the hearts and minds of a majority of the electorate to vote in favor of equality for lesbians and gays is to work hard to make it safe for more people to come out to their families, friends, colleagues and church congregations. That will make it difficult-to-impossible to demonize us. And when people find out that people they already know and respect or care about — or who are their children or other relatives — are gay or lesbian, the case for denying us equality starts to melt away.

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We thank and welcome Cynthia Yockey as an ALS guest commentator. You can find more of her writings at her blog: A Newly Conservative Lesbian

According to Cynthia’s “about me page”:Never the same

I am a 55-year-old lesbian and over the course of the presidential campaign in 2008, my political views transformed from those of a lifelong liberal, Democrat and global warming believer to those of a fiscal conservative who rejects theories of anthropogenic climate change because we are so totally NOT more influential on the climate than the sun, sunspots, the ocean and ocean currents. (Ever the heretic wherever I go, even as a liberal, I wanted a nuclear power plant on every block, due to my love of cheap electricity and my aversion to freezing in the dark, so no change there.)

When I learned in November 2008 that Barack Obama had announced his intention to purge the Democratic party of everyone with common sense centrists, and because I’m not wishy-washy because I did not want to register as independent or undecided — plus I have had bitter experiences at the hands of liberal fascists when I tried to get them to observe their stated principles and figured a change of scene would do me good — I decided to try my fortunes among Republicans and registered as a Republican in December 2008.

I feel better already.

I am more than a little embarrassed that my liberal views were transformed into conservative ones by repeated encounters with facts and math. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in politics, I was. I grew up reading newspapers and news magazines and watching Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid! I read the columns of that prissy adulterous anti-gay hypocrite and gasbag respected conservative George Will. I was a small town newspaper reporter covering politics for the Harford Democrat from 1980 to 1982!

However, since all of my friends except Cuban Diva BFF are liberal Democrats, I knew I had to research my new point of view. I spent over 100 hours online researching Obama, Black Liberation Theology, global warming/climate change, liberalism and conservatism.

I finally saw that there is a tipping point in the amount of taxes you have to pay to support the federal, state and local governments after which you have lost ability to support yourself and your family, to create and grow your business as an entrepreneur, and the right to use your own money for yourself and the causes YOU want supported, which often are causes that never would be supported by government.

That was the moment I accepted fiscal conservatism as my personal lord and savior. – Cynthia Yockey


Guest Curator: On Being Gay and Conservative by Mel Maguire May 14, 2009

Gay rights activist Barbara Gittings at the first homosexual rights demonstration, Philadelphia, July 4, 1965. (image by Kay Tobin Lahusen)

Gay rights activist Barbara Gittings at the first homosexual rights demonstration, Philadelphia, July 4, 1965. (image by Kay Tobin Lahusen)

The following article by Mel Maguire is cross posted at The Gay

One of the things I want to discuss is the fact that I’ve been called a “deviant” by the gay community for my political views. The same group of people who decry as hatemongering Christians who call homosexuality “deviance” have taken the title and bestowed it upon those like me who espouse conservative politics. I don’t understand how any group can demand tolerance for their way of life and yet refuse to offer it–then turn around and attack anyone in their numbers who disagrees.

Late last year, I posted a vidblog entitled “gay hypocrisy.” Here it is for anyone who missed it:

Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele have both been labeled “Uncle Toms” by black liberals for being Republicans. Rice was labeled the “house nigga” by loony liberal cartoonist Ted Rall, a man who belongs to a party that demands abject humiliation for any white person caught using the N word (Dog the Bounty Hunter comes to mind). There’s hypocrisy everywhere, but I least understand it coming from my own community.

lGay Rights historical site of memory: Comptons Cafeteria Riot 40th Anniversary Commemoration, San Francisco

lGay Rights historical site of memory: Compton's Cafeteria Riot 40th Anniversary Commemoration, San Francisco

I refer to it as “my” community because, whether we agree and get along or not, we’re all gay. I’m not necessarily butch, but I’m not exactly femme, either. I can’t hide the fact that I’m a lesbian. Whenever the gay community takes any action, like it or not, we’re all seen as taking part in it. The whole “Day Without a Gay” thing? Everyone, and I do mean everyone in my office asked my why I hadn’t called in gay. I finally had to put up a sign over my desk saying, “I did not call in gay because I care about keeping my job!” In the same light, when the protests began in which gay people held signs saying “stop the Christian Taliban,” some of my Christian friends assumed that I agreed. I didn’t appreciate that, and I let them know it.

But what I appreciate even less is the gay community’s stunning about-face when it comes to my politics. When I realized I was gay, it was a major struggle for me. A lot of the readers here had supportive parents. I didn’t, and it still affects me. I nearly ate a bullet while I fought with myself over my sexual orientation. When I finally came to a place where I accepted that part of myself, the gay community was so happy. My gay friends would announce it in the bar and people would buy me shots to celebrate. It all stopped the minute I began admitting that I was still a believing social conservative.

The community that celebrated my coming-out suddenly turned colder than a polar bear’s backside. I still don’t understand how some of you can eviscerate your own simply for disagreeing. Don’t hand me that “Republicans hate us all” BS, either–the numbers showed that probably as many Democrats as Republicans voted for Prop 8 in California. As Steve has pointed out before, anti-gay sentiment is not a party problem; it’s a people problem. The refusal to accept homosexuals on completely equal footing as we see it knows no boundary, age, class or political ideal. Some of my black coworkers who voted for Obama have said before that they think it would be against the laws of nature to allow gay marriage. On the flip side, I have Republican friends who think gay marriage isn’t a big deal and voted against Prop 102 here in Arizona.

Gay Liberation Poster from the 1970s

Gay Liberation Poster from the 1970's

If you’re going to refuse to accept us and work with us, you’re going to have to come up with a better excuse than that. I have seen far more hatred from fellow gays and lesbians for being conservative than I have from conservatives for being gay. I can’t stress that enough, because there’s something seriously wrong with a community that can’t give as much as it expects to receive. We’re not your enemy. Believe it or not, we share some of the same ideals. We just have different opinions on the vehicle that should take us to where we want to go.

I’m tired of being dumped on because I won’t toe the party line. You’ll never wear me down to liberalism any more than I’ll ever talk you into conservatism. It is beyond hypocrisy to demand tolerance and yet refuse to give it. I’d say it’s bordering on hatred. Back when America was still just 13 colonies, before we declared independence from England, people fled Europe en masse because of religious persecution. Certain denominations of Christianity that the main Protestant church didn’t agree with experienced persecution on an intense level. After surviving Roman and Jewish persecution after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the church became the persecutor. Once in America, those who fled religious persecution for their freedom did the exact same thing: they became the persecutors. Those who differed with the local churches were jailed, tortured and executed. When they couldn’t be captured, church authorities did all they could to gag the dissenters.

We–the gay community–are exhibiting the same behavior. The only difference now is that the law forbids torturing and killing those we disagree with. Being gay and conservative is enough to make one a pariah because nobody is willing to calm down long enough to have a civilized conversation. It will, I promise you, lead to our demise.  Think hard before you write us off as self-loathing closet cases. Give us a chance and it’s likely you’d well be surprised.

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*Mel Maguire is an ALS guest commentator. You can find more of her writings at the Gay

Mel’s Bio:

My parents taught me from a young age to pay attention to what’s going on in the world around me and to really, genuinely care. I was raised in a very religious household; consequently, I learned early on that homosexuality was a big no-no. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I was gay. Everyone else knew it before I did! At first, I had to reconcile my orientation with my beliefs, and for a time I questioned those beliefs. But my politics haven’t changed: I’m quite conservative and I refuse to apologize for it, even with the gay community openly calling me a deviant for my politics. Today, my parents and I don’t necessarily agree on everything, but I dig and study every little thing before I make up my mind. I don’t believe that feelings should be considered so heavily when deciding what your position is, and I’ve seen too many brilliant people dragged down by their emotional reactions. I try to make purely intellectual conclusions and to really be open-minded, even if I don’t always succeed. I’m originally from Texas and currently working as a fraud investigator and an EMT in Arizona, hoping to eventually get back home (unless some amazing girl steals my heart here!).