I have a new proposition: Ban Mormonism
November 15, 2008 18 Comments
It’s been said again and again over the past few weeks, but the passage of Proposition 8 in California was a tremendous blight on the victory of a new, progressive coalition on the national stage.
This year, despite the tremendous Blue Wave that swept the nation, somehow voters in California, traditionally the most liberal state in the Union, passed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, as ridiculous as that seems for a state that went to the Dems with a 60.9% – 37.3% margin.
On Saturday, all across the country, protesters gathered in support of gay rights.
“People around the country were watching this very closely,” said Kellan Baker, a Washington, D.C., resident who is organizing today’s protest there. “For Californians to go to the ballot box to strip people of civil rights they had been enjoying is, I guess, the last straw.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “San Francisco city officials, joined by the city of Los Angeles and Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties, have petitioned the [state Supreme] court” to again declare the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. The LA Times reports that legal challenges include those brought by “groups including the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund” which “brings to four the number of lawsuits asking the court to overturn Proposition 8.”
The California Supreme court has overturned a gay marriage ban once before, earlier this year, setting off an economic boom and a legal recognition that in the government’s eyes, marriage is simply a legal contract between two consenting adults.
And a constitutionally protected right, something the California State Constitution vows to protect right off the top in its Declaration of Rights:
SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.
That’s Article I, Section 1.
“pursuing happiness and privacy.” That’s nice. I read on, but nowhere did I find, “unless you like the cock.”
and don’t think I didn’t look…
But Prop 8 is an amendment to the constitution, codifying the idea that marriage is only legal between a man and a woman. It is the first time I can recall that we have ever voted in this country to remove a right, to eliminate one of the very things we create governments to protect.
The very purpose of governments is to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority.
Just to make it clear, the title of Prop 8 was “Eliminate Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry.”
“Eliminate right.” Is that really what we’re about here in America?
One of the largest supporters and proponents of Prop 8 was the Mormon Church, whose top leadership – believed by the followers to be prophets from the Lord – dispatched letters to California churches urging followers to donate to and vote for the proposition.
I was thinking earlier today that there is a pretty crazy irony in the Mormons – a “religion” that was partially based on the idea of plural marriage – supporting so fervently the idea of marriage being defined as between one man and one woman.
Maybe they are just pissy because to get into our ‘religiously tolerant’ nation they had to abandon one of their basic religious principles.
I would be pissy too. Maybe if a country promising me religious freedom enforced their will on my religion, I might take it out on someone else too.
Of course, that wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do.
But then again, neither really is Mormonism, when you get right down to it…
So here’s what I propose. If the Mormons are this into taking away the rights of on group by amending the state constitution to force their religious views on the rest of us, let’s turn the tables on them.
I will bet that you can get 51 percent of Californians to ban Mormonism, and as long as they do it as a constitutional amendment, the religious freedom protections of said constitution would not apply anymore, just like the equal protection clause no longer applies to some people because someone else’s god says so.
So let’s get a proposition together that votes on whether Mormonism should be considered a real religion. and then let’s strip it of all its constitutional protections as a religion and ban it as a cult…
I’ll guarantee we can bring together a coalition of progressives with a sense of irony and the crazy fundies that voted for prop 8 in the first place to defeat the small minority of the population that are Mormons.
And until then, let’s do everything we can to squeeze the California economy. Not only do they estimate the losses to the marriage and tourism industries to cost the government a shit ton of money in ever more difficult economic times:
In June, the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, which studies sexual orientation and the law, estimated that legalizing same-sex ceremonies in the state would result in about $63.8 million in government tax and fee revenue over three years.
That’s a lot of money for a state with an $11.2 billion deficit.
The Republican Party used to be about small government and personal liberty, which should mean that they shouldn’t give a damn who or how you fuck or if you want to marry them. Somewhere along the line, however, the Christian fundamentalists crept in (I blame Bubba and his loose zipper) and the Republican Party became home to the right wing religious agenda too, which meant that somehow, gay people spending their lives together meant the end of America as we know it.
On the whole, Republicans have not seemed to have a problem with the whole hypocrisy of personal liberty clashing with telling people who they can marry, they may have gone too far this time, threatening businesses in an already tricky economy.
So again, the question is, how long can this marriage last between fundies and free marketer, fans of personal liberty and fans of forced religious intolerance (MY god doesn’t care if a dude marries a dude so step off my religious freedoms and let them marry…)?