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gender neutral marriage // politics - Lograh — LiveJournal

Friday, 09.Sep.2005

9:30 - gender neutral marriage // politics

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hrmm.. so, let me get this straight.. few years back, there was a ballot measure here in CA that declared marriage as strictly hetrosexual. I tried to motivate people against it, I voted against it, I don't think it's right or fair. I lost. It became law by a rather healthy margin (60something percent in favor of it -- yeah, "CA is liberal" my ass). I'm not happy about it, but that's the way mob rule *ahem* democracy works. I don't make the rules, I just have to live by them (somewhat).
Now, this week our "of the people, for the people" state government legislative branch passes a bill on to the governator that will go through the marriage code and remove any mention of "man and woman" and replace it with "two persons", making marriage gender-neutural.
Am I missing something?

Much though I support a gender-neutural marriage, and I'm happy to see our legislative body willing to pass such a bill (though just barely and in a highly-partisian manner -- something I don't like to see), I don't feel it's their place to pass bills that are in direct opposition to the express will of the people. I don't care how many pollsters are out there gathering accounts of how people have "changed their mind" since voting in favor of that prop so many years ago. It was passed by a majority of the popular vote. It stands in law as the express will of the California population. If they want to change it, there are only two ways they should be allowed to do so:
1) find it contrary to the state constitution
2) pass another proposition, by majority of the popular vote, recinding the previous one.

A few hundred people holed up in a single building should never be allowed to change the laws that were established by the population of the entire state.

most recent news I can find has our governator claiming he'll veto it, but I can't find any story saying he has so I guess it's still up in the air. I hope he does veto it. Sorry if you're upset by this. I assure you, I'm in favor of marriage equality and I feel it is terribly unfair and unjust that our state does not allow any two people who are in love to get married. However, as I mentioned above, this current restriction on marriage is something that over 60% of the state's population approved of. It should not be casually tossed aside by a few legislators and the governor. It is not our government's job to take laws the people pass, and then discard them and replace them with their own laws. American citizens have very little faith in our governmental system as it is, this won't help that situation any.

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From:macklinr
Date:18:00 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I disagree with you on this matter, but agree with you in general.
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From:lograh
Date:18:02 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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care to elaborate?
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From:macklinr
Date:18:19 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I originally was going to, but then I realized it was going to become one of those pointless debates between two people who believe in certain things too strongly to be swayed. That, and while I wouldn't mind a polite debate, I'm not in the mood anything more, as I'm still damned tired from not sleeping long enough last night to recup both days.

In general, I agree that the will of the people should be important.

In this instance, though, the "will of the people" is to continue legal oppression of a group. Sure, it's not slavery, but it's decreeing that a segment of a population does not have the same rights as a couple that others do.

I could go on further, but that's the essence of my belief -- personal freedoms. I don't mind being restricted in my personal freedom to kill, steal, rape, etc., because *everyone else* is equally restricted. An oversimplification? Perhaps, but it's where I stand.
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From:lograh
Date:19:07 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I thank you for making the assumption I'm incapable of having a rational discussion on this topic. further, I just asked for an elaboration. I had no intention on trying to sway your opinion, I just wanted to know what your opinion was.

I agree that this is an unfair restriction. It flies in the face of freedom and makes a mockery of what I perceive to be american ideals. I also understand that I am in the minority, but I'm used to that.

Point to consider: the law does restrict what everyone can do, it does not target any subset of the population. Men can only marry women (and women only men). Sure, there's a minor issue in that hetrosexual men only *want* to marry women, and so they don't mind the restriction, but it does still restrict them. Just like you don't mind being restricted in your freedom to rape, as you don't want to rape, but the restriction is still there. I imagine a rapist would be just as outraged at the laws against rape as a homosexual is at the law against homosexual marriage.
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From:macklinr
Date:21:12 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I thank you for making the assumption I'm incapable of having a rational discussion on this topic. further, I just asked for an elaboration. I had no intention on trying to sway your opinion, I just wanted to know what your opinion was.

You misunderstand my the intent of statement, but that's fair enough because I didn't communicate it well enough.

You have a valid point. However, given the fact that rape has a victim and two people marrying doesn't*, I cannot accept that generalization.

(*Okay, so, sometimes they do -- however, this potential victimization doesn't prefer heterosexual couples from marrying.)
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From:lograh
Date:22:21 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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fair enough, I just used rape as an example since you brought it up. I'm lazy and wanted to use your own example instead of making up a fresh one. :)

you get the point, though? The law does not expressly target any subset of the population. It's just that it's effects are only felt by a subset of the population. This is still equally unfair, in my opinion, and should never have been made a part of our legal code. And I still am strongly against it and I hope I live to see it struck down, but I don't think the legislature is the place the striking down should occur.

Nationally, slavery was struck down through an act of legislation rather than by a popular vote. To this very day we still have large ammounts of aggression on a national level as a result of this. Any time you have a highly divisive issue attempted to be resolved by a small group of the ruling class, rather than through slow social change in the minds of those whom it divides, you wind up with centuries of unresolved issues and ongoing anger and resentment. If we can have a popular vote where those in the loosing group can look and see that they are outnumbered, they are more likely to consider that perhaps they should rethink their position.

Particularly when the side that you want to loose is, today, beating and killing people for being on the other side. I never heard of homosexuals killing someone because they were hetrosexual, the other way arround is far too common. If the hetrosexuals are told they must endure homosexuals being treated as equals, after the popular vote saying otherwise, their enager and aggression will simply become more heated. If there can be a popular vote declaring that the majority of california feels homosexuals should be treated equally, they are more likely to just shut up about it and stop acting so violently.
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From:macklinr
Date:22:37 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I do get the point. I suppose one of the sticking points I have is that I don't *really* believe in democracy, for reasons like these. But, it's the best option available, it seems.

And I truly regret the validity and excellence of your point in those last two paragraphs.
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From:lograh
Date:19:17 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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You will never get 100% voter turnout in america. Does this mean that all laws passed by popular vote are invalid? No. We can't target just this law and say that it's not *really* a law since we have such shitty voter turnout, but all those other laws passed by the people are okay since all they do is raise taxes to help fund schools. We have to give all laws passed by popular vote equal strength and validity, regardles of the percentage of people that actually bothered to vote.

We elect politicians to make laws that are of minor enough importance that they don't need bother the public. For major laws, the public should be the deciding voice. If the oppressive assholes are more motivated than the open-minded peaceniks, then the peaceniks will end up being oppressed and they damn well deserve it. If people are too stupid to read the proposed laws and instead vote as the TV commercials tell them to, they they deserve to get stupid laws that oppress them.

Prop22 does deserve to be trashed, I'm in 100% agreement with you there. However, the way it needs to be trashed is by each and every one of us getting out and actually *talking* to the people around us. Communicating with them and showing them that it is unfair and anti-american. That, and motivating our fellows who believe similarly to actually get up off their lazy self-centered asses and take part in the system. Once we have done that, we can put another proposition on the ballot and have the populace strike down Prop22.

Oh, and guess what. That new prop that strikes down Prop22 will likely get an even lower percentage of the vote than Prop22 got (social change is never easy), making it even less "valid" of a law than Prop22 by your argument. But it will still pass, and will still be treated as a valid decision by the people.
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From:lograh
Date:18:58 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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my opinion is that if someone can't be arsed to get out and vote, they are agreeing to go along with any results that may come from the actions of those who did bother to vote. Not bothering to vote equates to being presented with "here's a potential new law, yes or no?" and responding with "eh, whatever".
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From:lograh
Date:22:07 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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A clarification, then, is in order (as I felt it did both).

Given that we cannot know the true intentions of those who choose not to vote, we are left to assume that they are comfortable with and accepting of any outcome of the voting. As a result, it can be stated that they, to some degree or another, approve of all possible outcomes of the voting. Couple that with the recorded approval rating of Prop22, as expressed in the voting records, and you can see that a majority of the population in fact does approve of the measure. Perhaps not 60%, but certainly a majority (at least, at the time of the voting -- things may well have changed now (as I certainly hope they have)).

Alternatively (and this was not addressed in my original comment):
Given that people are lazy in general, 'right' and 'left' combined, it can be claimed (and in fact, I would claim it) that the laziness is likely distributed more or less evenly across the political spectrum. As such, the percentages that are gathered from the voting results can be used to make some predictions about the attitudes of the population as a whole. I'm not making claims that this is in any way a representative survey on it's own or scientificlly accurate (self-selected sample vs. random sample and all that joy), but given that CA is known for being somewhat more 'liberal' than other parts of the country I feel we can rely on this to 'even out' whatever imbalance may have been generated at the polls by the far-right mobilization. As such, while the hard-fast number of 60% might be somewhat numerically inaccurate when applied to the population as a whole, it is significant enough for the sample size (which, depressingly small though it was, is still nothing to scoff at) that the population as a whole likely still had a majority in favor of Prop22.
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From:lograh
Date:22:51 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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I only make assumptions since I had nothing better to go with. I was unaware of this research, thank you for pointing it out.

Given that conservatives are more likely to vote (something I'll trust you on, you've spent far more time on the topic than I) and the fact that the far-right did launch a rather heavy mobilization campaign on Prop22 (something easilly noticed by anyone who lived here for it), I'll conceede that the passage of it was likely a skewed result and not indicative of the feelings of the general populace.

My initial claim, though, that I do not feel the legislative body should make laws contradictory to laws established by popular vote (no matter how skewed the voting results may have been, provided it was an accurate record of the voting), still stands. We'll just have to disagree on this, and that's fine.
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From:ox_number_10
Date:19:09 09.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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From what I have read and heard Arnold stands, or wishes to be precieved as standing, the same way you do. He said something to the effect that the courts should have a chance to review prop. 22 before action is taken.
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From:dotarvi
Date:3:36 10.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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My friend, agree or disagree with you on this one, I just want to say, thank you for bringing it up. I appreciate you for that.
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From:lograh
Date:6:19 10.Sep.2005 (UTC)
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glad to be appreciated. I'm used to people disagreeing with me, it's okay. :)
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