Nothing changes when an anti-equality and anti-gay group adds family to their name, like the Massachusetts Family Institute. They are anti-family and we need to say that until others hear it.
Nothing is different when marriage-equality opponents phrase their nefarious aims as wanting to protect traditional marriage. They know as well as anyone that they are talking about specific churches' religious rituals, not civil marriage. They gleefully redefine civil marriage, the actual traditional marriage, in narrow religious terms. That excludes many and protects nothing. They are anti-marriage.
Marriage-equality champion, sex columnist and adoptive dad Dan Savage has picked up on the underlying contradiction of the anti folk. In his New York Times op-ed column, he focuses on the just-passed Arkansas ballot initiative banning homosexual couples from being adoptive or foster parents. The 57% of voters who approved that were not swayed by the solid evidence that same-sex couples make excellent parents nor that the need for both foster and adoptive parents has never been higher. Those pushing this ban are unquestionably anti-family and anti-child. We need to say it aloud.
Moreover, as Savage projects:
As all this goes on, a bitter, defensive bit of humor arises as Mormons, African Americans and others who as a group supported Prop. 8 say in effect, "Who, us?" The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints officials seem genuinely surprised at protests following their bankrolling the initiative and providing thousands of street and phone volunteers. The official statement from them says they were just doing their First Amendment protected civic duty, only to be unfairly singled out.
Most ominous, once “pro-family” groups start arguing that gay couples are unfit to raise children we might adopt, how long before they argue that we’re unfit to raise those we’ve already adopted? If lesbian couples are unfit to care for foster children, are they fit to care for their own biological children?The loss in California last week was heartbreaking. But what may be coming next is terrifying.
In a recent WGBH Greater Boston segment, Gary Daffin, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, discussed the 70% black voting in California for Prop. 8. He is black. He seems sure those voters went with their church position. He adds that Barack Obama among many others conflates civil marriage with church ritual. He believes Obama likely will get it in addition to his pre-election opposition to the ballot initiative.
On the role of black voters, theologian Rev. Irene Monroe writes in the current Black Commentator:
The blame of the passing of Proposition 8 should not be placed on the shoulders of blacks, Latinos or even religion, but rather the blame should rightly be placed on the shoulders of our government. To have framed our civil rights as a ballot question for a popular vote was both wrong-hearted and wrong-headed. If my enslaved ancestors had waited for their slaveholders to free them, predicated on a ballot vote we all wouldn’t be living in the America we know today. And Barack Obama would not be our president-elect.Her defense is fairly weak though. It relies on the we-weren't-the-only-ones reasoning. She does, however, call on some stereotypes that seem to have basis in reality. She figures both the GLBT community and the black one can get their acts together and work together. The GLBT side "needs to work on its racism, white privilege, and single-issue platform that thwart all efforts for coalition building with both straight and queer communities of color, the African-American community needs to work on its homophobia."
More communication and confrontation are in order here. As part of that, stripping the pro-family and pro-marriage cloaks from the anti-gay and anti-marriage equality folk is key. Denying marriage equality and rights to foster or adopt are anti-marriage, anti-family and anti-child. Say it.
Tags: massmarrier, Prop. 8, Black Communicator, California, same-sex marriage, civil rights, Mormons, Dan Savage