Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Medved's insipid Prop 8 distortions

The "film critic" Michael Medved has added his words of unwisdom to the discussion around Prop 8 in an article titled Insipid Prop 8 Distortions:

First, Proposition 8 “outlawed” nothing --- it “banned” nothing. The Proposition, echoing a prior decision of the voters of the state in Proposition 22 eight years ago, added 14 simple, unequivocal words to the state Constitution: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The “previously legal same sex ceremonies” (authorized by four justices of the state supreme court in a divided decision a mere five months ago) have not been “outlawed.” Contrary to the tenor of the report, no jack-booted state troopers will come crashing down doors to bust-up the tender and loving commitment ceremonies of same sex couples. Even before the court decision, civil unions were available with identical rights to marriage, and those civil unions are still available after Proposition 8. The voters cast their ballots to eliminate confusion in the Constitution (confusion introduced by meddling jurists), not to interfere with private behavior of any kind. It’s absurd and dishonest to suggest that the proposition “outlawed” anyone’s relationship or expressions of love.

Very enlightening, except that it is not true. Prop 8 didn't clear up any "confusion introduced by meddling jurists", but took away rights guaranteed by the California Supreme Court. We now have gays and lesbians who have been married in the last few months who can maintain their marriage (according to Attorney General Jerry Brown), but others who cannot now have a new marriage. Ah yes, that's avoiding confusion.

As far as "jack-booted state troopers . . . crashing down doors", what do you think would happen if Gavin Newsom started handing out marriage licenses to gays and lesbians again? The same as happened last time--he would be ordered by the courts to stop. And if he refused, he would probably risk going to jail.

Yes, Medved, civil unions are still available. Good point: the back of the bus is nice and clean, just like the front of the bus. Separate and equal, as they used to say--in the 19th century.

Finally, this is coming from the man who said that Brokeback Mountain losing the Oscar was because, "there's a growing backlash against the relentless promotion of homosexuality." So don't be confused by his "support" of civil unions. For Medved, it is a lesser-evil in order to keep people in the closet.


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