Musings on Prop 8

7 11 2008

California has voted to ban the provision of LGBT marriage, 52 to 48 percent, with Florida and Arizona passing similar propositions. It seems that the Evangelical Right, among other powerful pressure groups, has still enough sway to dominate. In Arkansas, singles, unmarried couples and LGBT couples were banned from adopting children.

If we relate these political facts to Brian at House of Inanna’s recent post about the dominance of the patriarchy over our sexuality, things begin to look quite grim for the free-thinkers out there. And given my recent rantings on the subject of encroachment by the Evangelical right even on our assumed freedom of speech over here on WordPress, I think there’s a larger problem extant; ignoring them and waiting for them to go away might not cut the mustard.

I feel the need to maintain a moderate stance and measured tone – hectoring isn’t going to get any of us anywhere. And perhaps unusually among my pagan brethren, I am all for interfaith discussion. I want that dialogue. I want any attempt at understanding and shared experience to be fully undertaken and experienced by all sides. It may not be useful in the short term, or even very pleasant – it may not be wanted or welcomed. I liked this post by mistyg over at Riverwood Wanderings, which shows willing to connect and to talk… this is what’s needed.

However, there’s no enlightenment in maintaining a rigid position in isolation. One of my interlocutors over the Samhain period accused me of being secretly attracted to Christianity and therefore afraid to hear any more about it in case I somehow got converted without meaning to! I was able to tell her that I had previously been Christian and had chosen to ‘turn my face away’, which is how they term it; a measured decision taken in a reasonable understanding of the subject matter.

It’s a pretty sad day when people of faith, whatever their stripe, are chucking vituperation at each other over the Net; it’s the same prickly and distrusting attitude that, when mixed with a dollop of absolute power and a military machine gets you ‘Holy’ wars and religious genocide.

Prop 8 is a sad day for the West – if we can’t deal with equality on something as fundamental to all of us as sexual enjoyment, if we can’t give it legal protection, then we haven’t really got a hope with religion. Faith and spiritual matters polarise more than sex, if this is possible; the vast majority have some sort of sex, but only a small majority have faith. So the Do’s and Don’ts collide, and then all the Do’s collide with each other as some Do more than others, differently to others…. a proper tangle. 

The way the legislation was framed, by the way, didn’t ban LGBT marriage; it sought to protect heterosexual marriage. Are we that scared that ‘our’ rights are going to be undermined? Aren’t they people too? Don’t LGBT citizens, taxpayers and responsible adults deserve the gravitas of a legally binding union? Simplistic questions, but with all the policial manoeuvring, they easily get lost. These are the questions that matter to me here, protecting my corner of my world in which I hold my faith and my sexuality.

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11 responses

7 11 2008
naufragiobella

Open sexuality, especially the gay and lesbian kind, is still quite stigmatized and not widely or openly accepted in the US. Men are still getting beaten to death in the street because some macho “dude” thinks he sways a bit too much when he walks, gay or not. They don’t bother to ask.

There are areas and states that do and so allow marriages of gays and lesbian couples but some states still don’t recognize it at all. There are those bible thumping, conservative states that hold on to the majority in those areas and so legislation follows their vein.

I also was Christian. Roman Catholic in fact. Ask the hard questions and even the religion teachers have no answer. They listen to the same sick regurgitation of scripture and quotes that even the most outspoken Evangelical activist spews in argument for lack of proper information, background and education in faith. They think not for themselves.

Even Jesus knew and spoke to Gentiles with respect and a gentle hand unless a firmness was required by necessity, even then he was rarely rude. Too bad Christians of today seem to lack that digression and understanding of honey and vinegar.

7 11 2008
The Green Witch

Your final paragraph says it all Nauf. I agree. Who are they using for their role-model if they’re not using the Son of God? Makes you think, doesn’t it?

9 11 2008
cloudia

Ah! How lovely to wander into this healing glade!
Your words and your intentions are the balm we all need to share.
I’m bookmarking your site and intend to visit often. You are most welcome to visit my blog Comfort Spiral.
Today I attended the memorial for William Woods, a noted activist citizen here in Honolulu who advocated for GLBT rights in every arena that arose here in the past 20 years, including tje first pride parade, the GLBT caucus of the state DEM party, the marriage war, anti-bullying rules in school – you name it!
Bill went to Vancouver to marry his husband Lance a few years ago- then they returned to figt the good fight here in Hawaii.
Today the last speaker at the memorial was a local religous-right type who fought Bill and all of us tooth and nail for years. She said mean things back then and fought like a harpy for discrimination. Today she spoke of how she and Bill & Lance had become friends in the past couple of years. When the local paper published a story about Bill’s life, this woman speaker was mentioned as his key enemy in the fight. Her daughter looked up from the paper in disbelef: “Mom, you were against uncle Bill & uncle Lance!? You need to explain that to me…”
That eulogy-story said it all.
Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack ran so our kids can FLY!
Today I rode past Baracks childhood apartment where his TuTu (Grandma) just died. I still can;t believe that the 8 year curse is lifted from our land. My homeboy is PRESIDENT elect! Equality is coming surely! Keep on living your truth!
Fond Aloha from Waikiki!

9 11 2008
The Green Witch

Cloudia, it’s lovely to see you here; bright day and well met!

I liked that eulogy story very much – we all hold prejudice of one sort or another but it has no power over us if we are able to be proved wrong through experience and greater knowledge. A great lesson for us all, there.

Blessings, TGW

10 11 2008
starofseshat

Yes, we’ve (mostly) all had a little sex, but with or without faith most people in our British society I would say have had sex under the covers of inherited guilt from Christianity. Even those merely brought up in nominally Christian households cannot help but be infected by this soul-destroying guilt and warped attitude to sex.
And yet the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church (my main experience) is galling to say the least. I know of a monastery where the monks have relations with each other, relations with women in the parish, and very few adhere to their vows of celibacy. This is not just heresay as I WAS one of those women having an affair with a monk!! (oh the irony! 🙂 )
I’ll stop now, because my opinions are definitely not of the “let’s hold hands and bridge the gap” kind, and I don’t want to sully TGW’s balanced and generous approach to others.
Hurumph. Ba-humbug. Grrr… Seshat wanders off in a funk (Americanism!) LOL

11 11 2008
The Green Witch

I applaud your willingness to be candid about your experience; my love, your ability to tell it like it is is most certainly welcomed here. We can hold hands and bridge the gap but honesty is the way forward, as always.

You’re right about inherited guilt. I was talking about this with a friend this evening and we decided that guilt, especially the inherited, Christian kind, is pointless; worse, it’s counter-productive. xxx

11 11 2008
starofseshat

Yeah, well. My “candidness” or “brutal honesty” (as others have called it) has got me into trouble before 😦 But unless we talk about all the crap that both sides sweep under the carpet then suspicion and mistrust will colour all our attempts at discourse.

12 11 2008
misttyg

I just wanted to say thank you for the kind words about my blog and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I find it very frustrating that there are so many people who think that allowing the same legal rights to same sex couples will undermine the institution of marriage. My thought is, if you are that worried about your marriage then you have other problems that have nothing to do with same sex couples. The other thing that bothers me is the insistence that marriage needs to be defined in the Constitution. I’m sorry, but a constitution is not meant to help define your religious principles and force them on everyone else. Anyway, I’ll shut up now and keep up the great posting!

12 11 2008
The Green Witch

You’re right about the constitution, misttyg. And there’s no reason at all that same sex union would destablise mixed sex marriage… it’s already pretty unstable all by itself!! 🙂

21 11 2008
Lune

News from a Californian lesbian — Just to let you know that the battle against Prop 8 (or Prop H8, as it is affectionately known) isn’t over. It has been challenged with three lawsuits that the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear. Primary among them is that the law makes such fundamental changes to the State Constitution that it is a revision, not an amendment, and therefore requires a 2/3 majority in the legislature. Which will never happen. Remember that the proposition just barely passed for a simple majority.

We expect a judgment on this in the Spring.

22 11 2008
The Green Witch

WONDERFUL news, Lune!! Goddess, I look forward to seeing this garbage chucked out. Thanks for letting us know!

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