Politics

Hate, 8, and the Golden State

Proposition 8 supporters are being blacklisted. So what?

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With November's Proposition 8, Californians voted to amend the Golden State's constitution by adding a new section to the first of its 35 articles: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Gays and lesbians who had been legally marrying after a state Supreme Court decision in May, and California liberals generally, have not taken the referendum's success lightly. Rallies drew thousands of protestors in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. State Attorney General Jerry Brown argued that the amendment itself was unconstitutional. Composer Marc Shaiman lent the backlash some needed fabulousness by making a popular, though laugh-free, Prop. 8 musical comedy.

And then there was the blacklist. Contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign are reported in easily searchable public records. Sites such as AntiGayBlacklist.com soon began naming contributors and demanding they be held accountable. In Southern California, home to thousands of entertainment professionals, it was inevitable that the industry would comb its own ranks for closet homophobes.

Most of the outed supporters were not especially vulnerable to a backlash from movie stars and theater troupers. A district-by-district breakdown of the vote in Los Angeles (where Prop. 8 won a majority) shows the initiative failed wherever successful entertainment people were concentrated and passed everywhere else. This pattern held for contributions. Impoverished Compton, for example, generated more money for Prop. 8 than rich Beverly Hills.

But a few targets around the entertainment industry were turned up. Scott Eckern, director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento, left his job after being shunned by Shaiman and other prominent theater artists. Richard Raddon, director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, resigned under pressure, and there have been attempts to boycott the Cinemark theater chain over CEO Alan Stock's $9,999 donation. Steve Lopez, the gifted Los Angeles Times columnist who compensates for his indifferent reasoning skills with a heart as big as West Hollywood, wrote movingly of the decline in business at Beverly Boulevard's famed El Coyote restaurant, whose manager had given a sawbuck to Yes on 8.

Hollywood has built a secular religion around the McCarthy-era anti-communist blacklist that kept some writers, directors, and actors out of the movie industry for a decade or so. In that version of history, the blacklistees are uniformly virtuous, communist and socialist propaganda pictures such as Mission to Moscow and Tender Comrade never happened, and the victims' loss of film-industry income is an atrocity so profound that—well, let's just say there have been a lot more Hollywood movies about the blacklist than about Pol Pot's killing fields.

So once the narrative turned to what the conservative columnist Rod Dreher delicately termed "the lavender blacklist," Hollywood did what Hollywood does best: It chickened out. "I can't quite stomach the notion that you fire somebody because of what they believe," producer Christine Vachon told the L.A. Times. "It doesn't feel right to me." Marriage Equality USA spokeswoman Molly McKay told CBS, "I understand the anger, but I think we need to channel it." Even Shaiman said he was "deeply troubled" and warned that blacklisting "will not help our cause because we will be branded exactly as what we were trying to fight."

"Why does [the ouster of Scott Eckern] continue to vex?" asked the Brooklyn-based theater blogger Isaac Butler. "I think the…unsaid subtext of a lot of the commentary for and against the boycott is that, frankly, we're all taken aback that it worked."

This squeamishness about the consequences of one's own actions may seem disingenuous, but it is an honest expression of how people in the entertainment business think. During last year's strike by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the writers continually reacted to their tactical successes in ways that made them seem even more feeble, self-doubting, and apologetic than writers usually seem. Amid layoffs, stalled productions, and related casualties, the WGA, which you might have expected to bask in such demonstrations of its power, instead tried to focus press attention on all the side deals it was cutting to allow some writers to return to work.

There's certainly a principle at work—a belief that people shouldn't be punished for expressing themselves politically—in the reluctance to blacklist Prop. 8 supporters. Yet there's an equal measure of skittishness about holding power and influence. Having absorbed the Hollywood lesson that nothing matters, Prop. 8 opponents were surprised when they pulled a trigger and the weapon actually fired.

This raised one trivial question: Are the blacklisters as intolerant as Prop. 8's supporters? (Short answer: no.) It also raised a more interesting, if less asked, question: Has Hollywood blown the anti-red blacklist slightly out of proportion?

In their fun but error-ridden reference book Blacklisted, Paul Buhle and Dave Wagner concede that "the blacklist was never really 'The End.' For the lucky ones, it was only a dreadful interregnum." It was also a nominally voluntary boycott. The only use of force was by an overweening Congress that gave the movie industry a reason to avoid left-leaning talent. Opponents of campaign finance regulations could argue that requiring disclosure of contributions achieves the same effect today. But declining to give a person work is not the same as persecuting him.

That doesn't make blacklisting any less grotesque. The real horror of punishing speech may be the way it stigmatizes unpunished speech. (The actor Sterling Hayden later wrote about the "contempt" he felt for himself after his friendly HUAC testimony granted him "status as a sanitized cultural hero.") Anti-communism was gravely damaged by the '50s witch hunts, and the cause of gay marriage (which has been gaining acceptance in California since the much wider victory of another marriage-restrictive proposition in 2000) may suffer collateral damage from the Prop. 8 blacklist.

But those are strategic, not moral, concerns. A person agitating to use the power of the state to interfere with the domestic happiness of others (or, for that matter, an artist propagandizing on behalf of international worker solidarity) had better be willing to pay the price in lost work opportunities—and to face the people his opinions alienate. Blacklisters and blacklistees alike should be out and proud.

Contributing Editor Tim Cavanaugh is a Los Angeles-based writer.

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  1. “I like the pole and the hole, and right now I’m as moist as a snack cake down there. So, why don’t you come over to my crib after school, and I’ll make your pinky aaaall stinky.”

  2. Isn’t the obvious solution to repeal the campaign finance law that requires disclosure of contributors to a ballot initiative? Contibutions to politicans I understand, but why can’t supporters to a ballot proposal donate anonymously?

  3. Contibutions to politicans I understand…

    I don’t understand, please enlighten me.

  4. Full disclosure (which I support) makes it all possible. C’est la vie.

    When athletes ostracize a gay or gay friendly teammate, don’t bitch.

  5. Isn’t the obvious solution to repeal the campaign finance law that requires disclosure of contributors to a ballot initiative? Contibutions to politicans I understand, but why can’t supporters to a ballot proposal donate anonymously?

    Richard makes a good point. It’s real tough (though not impossible*) to get an initiative beholden to you.

    * The fuck story of Detroit casinos and subsequent lawsuits attests to that.

  6. The reports that this post would generate the ‘Is your man gay?’ auto-ad are greatly exagerated.

  7. This squeamishness about the consequences of one’s own actions may seem disingenuous, but it is an honest expression of how people in the entertainment business think.

    Years ago, Chrissie Hynde (a big PETA supporter) did something (I do not remember what) to support animals “rights” that had a very bad side effect — something to do with AIDS research. Her response was not an apology, instead she spoke to the honesty of her feelings. To an artist, feelings are what matters, they are are paid to project them. Results are what is written in the script.

  8. I’m fine with full disclosure too.

    Wanting to close Proposition contribution information to stop the contributors from being outed for bigotry is a bit like saying the solution to police beatings caught on video is to ban cell phones.

  9. One point I’d like to clarify. While the pollyanaish, black and white history of the blacklist I described is popular with centrist-liberal Hollywood, the story is much better understood by Hollywood’s harder left. In fact, the blacklistees themselves produced a substantial body of literature that is quite open about their CPUSA efforts, attempts to get progressive material onto the screen, enforcement of party discipline (amazingly successful under the circumstances), and loyalty to Stalin that, in some cases, outlasted even that of the Soviets.

  10. Publishing this info allows people to vote in the marketplace with their money. If you believe in something strongly enough to pay to take someone’s rights away you really shouldn’t have an issue dealing with the consequences.

  11. Contibutions to politicans I understand, but why can’t supporters to a ballot proposal donate anonymously?

    If you believe in something strongly enough to pay to take someone’s rights away you really shouldn’t have an issue dealing with the consequences.

    Isn’t this a general issue with full disclosure of contributions, whether it is for candidates or initiatives? Since they are analogous to political speech isn’t it reasonable to have anonymity?

    If I were in Venezuela, I would certainly want the ability to contribute anonymously.

  12. In the interest of full disclosure, shouldn’t Cavenaugh have pointed out that he is gay?

  13. Would the state of California feel the need to “do something about” ProGayMarriageBlacklist.com?

  14. Are the blacklisters as intolerant as Prop. 8’s supporters? (Short answer: no.)

    [citation needed]

  15. [citation needed]

    Blacklisters are retaliating as individuals against other individuals. Prop 8 supporters are using the state’s monopoly on violence against an undifferentiated class of people.

  16. This squeamishness about the consequences of one’s own actions may seem disingenuous, but it is an honest expression of how people in the entertainment business think.

    So you’re saying they’re idiots? Gotta agree with you there…

  17. Tim, c’mon: “Violence?” Really? Because the voters don’t think homosexual unions should be given the same legal status as heterosexual marriage? (Although California “civil unions” are pretty much “gay marriage” in all but name anyway, Prop 8 or no.) Help, help, I’m being oppressed!

    And all of you who favor “full disclosure” of contributors to Prop 8: Maybe we should get rid of the secret ballot altogther? As a condition of voting, you hereby consent to having your ballot posted on a searchable government database. What could possibly go wrong?

  18. Although California “civil unions” are pretty much “gay marriage” in all but name anyway, Prop 8 or no

    Tell it to the IRS.

  19. “And all of you who favor “full disclosure” of contributors to Prop 8: Maybe we should get rid of the secret ballot altogther? As a condition of voting, you hereby consent to having your ballot posted on a searchable government database. What could possibly go wrong?”

    It’s called Card Check. And Obama and Pelosi just love it.

  20. Help, help, I’m being oppressed!

    Which, ironically, is pretty much what the Prop 8 supporters said too. “Aaaigh! How can I possibly be expected to maintain my standard heterosexual marriage when I know gays can get hitched too? Traditional marriage is under attack! Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!”

  21. Gay people are to blame for the fact that I never could look at Tinky-Winky the Teletubby without having my mind fill with images of hot sweaty man-on-man action.

  22. “Tell it to the IRS.”

    That is the IRS’s problem to correct. Achieving income tax parity is one super stupid reason to permit gay marriage.

  23. Blacklisters are retaliating as individuals against other individuals. Prop 8 supporters are using the state’s monopoly on violence against an undifferentiated class of people.

    The world is not as black and white as you make it out. Had this proposition spelled out exactly what rights people would not be gaining, you might be correct. But as it was written it greatly appealed to traditionalists. Many people were voting for the status quo, rather than voting to impose new restrictions on others.

    That doesn’t mean I agree with Prop 8, I’m just pointing out that it’s supporters may not be the white-sheeted bogeymen you suggest.

  24. “Gay people are to blame for the fact that I never could look at Tinky-Winky the Teletubby without having my mind fill with images of hot sweaty man-on-man action.”

    Jerry,

    I think you mean hot sweaty man-on-purple man action or else hot sweaty purple man-on-man action.

  25. Although California “civil unions” are pretty much “gay marriage” in all but name anyway, Prop 8 or no

    “Pretty much” isn’t the same. As Tim says, there’s taxation, but also inheritance, visitation, etc. What the hell is the problem with treating homos like human beings, for fuck’s sake?

  26. What Jennifer said. Seriously, isn’t divorce more of an affront to heterosexual marriage than gay marriage could ever be?

  27. “What the hell is the problem with treating homos like human beings, for fuck’s sake?”

    Up the butt = down on marriage.

  28. Well, prop 8 isn’t singling anybody out. No man can marry another man.

    By your logic, with or without Prop 8 the state is using the state’s monopoly on violence against the undifferentiated class of people known as “single people.” Somehow.

    When will this violence get unleashed against a gay couple? When they… have to file their tax returns separately? I, as a single person, have to file my tax returns separately. *stomps feet*.

  29. Why does the state need to have any role in sanctioning marriage in the first place? Get rid of tax and other incentives for marriage and let it exist as an institution only in the context of private organizations such as a religious body.

  30. “I, as a single person, have to file my tax returns separately. *stomps feet*.”

    But as a straight person, you have a easy solution — just get married. That way, you can file jointly as a couple. Of course your spouse may demand that you still file separately, so maybe I need to rethink this…

  31. “Seriously, isn’t divorce more of an affront to heterosexual marriage than gay marriage could ever be?”

    I been savin’ this money for a gay divorce, if ever I got a gay husband!

  32. It is okay to persecute Christians for their beliefs because Christians are not part of the left-wing hand-holding love circle. Evil Christians got what they deserved for expressing their evil political preference.

  33. “Why does the state need to have any role in sanctioning marriage in the first place? ”

    Because in the real world, outside of libertopia, people don’t have the patience for your long-winded libertarian fantasies. In the real world, we modify the existing law at the margin.

  34. In the interest of fairness: I can see how maybe Ted Haggard’s wife might worry that legalized gay marriage would endanger her sacred holy heterosexual union. I wonder what sort of lingerie she has to wear to help Ted get it up? I suspect I am happier not knowing.

    By your logic, with or without Prop 8 the state is using the state’s monopoly on violence against the undifferentiated class of people known as “single people.”

    Not the same thing. I’m technically single, though I could marry my live-in partner at any time I chose. (That’s because where the naughty bits are concerned, I have an “innie” and he has an “outie.”) I do not, however, have to worry about Puritanical cowards who project their shortcomings onto me, by the belief that if I DID marry my live-in partner, our new relationship status would somehow degrade theirs.

    We’ll probably marry when we get older, so that when one of us drops dead the other doesn’t have to pay inheritance taxes.

  35. I’m technically single, though I could marry my live-in partner at any time I chose.

    Yes, but in CT, you can get domestic partner status! That’s how I got my ex-girlfriend’s excellent insurance benefits!

  36. What the hell is the problem with treating homos like human beings, for fuck’s sake?

    Homos do it in the butthole. It’s icky and they’re evil.

  37. Yes, but in CT, you can get domestic partner status! That’s how I got my ex-girlfriend’s excellent insurance benefits!

    This is true. In fact, today the majority of my colleagues are sitting through meetings concerning how health benefits work undder our new publisher; meanwhile, I’m basking in the glow of knowing I’m a “domestic partner” who gets kickass benefits via my boyfriend and the rich corporation he works for. Bwa ha ha.

    It’s weird filling out a legal document stating that you love your boyfriend, though.

  38. Randi | February 23, 2009, 2:28pm | #

    “I, as a single person, have to file my tax returns separately. *stomps feet*.”

    But as a straight person, you have a easy solution — just get married. That way, you can file jointly as a couple.

    You don’t understand. I’m single with no prospects, and/or I am single because I hate men and women and/or I’m a hermit and/or whatever. In other words, I have no significant other and don’t want one. Because men can marry women, the state is doing violence against me. Somehow. I haven’t quite figured out how yet, but Tim Cavanaugh said that if men can only marry women than violence is being done against those two dudes, so violence must be being done against me, logically.

  39. “I wonder what sort of lingerie she has to wear to help Ted get it up? I suspect I am happier not knowing.”

    He doesn’t need to get it up if she’s pegging him.

  40. Same boring argument once made by opponents of interracial marriage. “Blacks have the same freedom as whites do to marry someone the same race they are.” Zzzzz. Only difference now is, instead of the state requiring similarity, it’s the state disallowing it.

  41. All right, why did the Jerry Falwell joke name appear in my last post? I blame homosexuality.

  42. “I haven’t quite figured out how yet, but Tim Cavanaugh said…”

    It doesn’t matter what he said. Tim’s gay so on this issue, he can’t be objective.

  43. Homos do it in the butthole.

    Chicks have buttholes too. You should know this, seeing as it’s where I fucked your mom last night.

  44. “Chicks have buttholes too. You should know this, seeing as it’s where I fucked your mom last night.”

    You didn’t fuck her. You sodomized her.

  45. Many people were voting for the status quo, rather than voting to impose new restrictions on others.

    No, the courts had ruled gay marriage legal in California. Gay couples were getting married there. Prop. 8 outlawed a previously enjoyed freedom.

  46. so violence must be being done against me, logically.

    Does obtuseness come naturally to you or do you have to practice at it?

  47. Wanting to close Proposition contribution information to stop the contributors from being outed for bigotry is a bit like saying the solution to police beatings caught on video is to ban cell phones.

    WINNER

  48. “Up the butt = down on marriage.”

    Really? ‘Cause my wife and I often…

    Sorry, TMI.

  49. Some guy, again, it’s the voters who are the real “bigots,” I guess, so really, we should go with my idea of putting every voter’s name, address, and ballot on a searchable govenerment database. Full disclosure, right? Because voting against gay marriage is the same as a police beating. Geez.

    Tim, the IRS isn’t going to allow joint-filing even in a state that allows gay marriage. I assume you’ve heard of DOMA?

  50. Because voting against gay marriage is the same as a police beating.

    No, it just makes you a whiny bigot with a persecution complex who confuses schadenfreude with actual life improvements.

  51. Wanting to close Proposition contribution information to stop the contributors from being outed for bigotry is a bit like saying the solution to police beatings caught on video is to ban cell phones.

    WINNER

    you are an idiot. i often wonder about the people i read in comments sections. some are thoughtful. others…i wonder if they have thought about something for longer than the 10 seconds necessary to type a sentence.

    unintended consequences are real…no matter how much you want to believe that your opinions are the correct ones and could not possibly have any deleterious consequences.

  52. So those people who are in favor of ‘full disclosure’, would you have a problem with a Google Maps application that said: Gay people live in this house, blacks live in this house, people who buy dildos live in this house, etc.?

  53. “So those people who are in favor of ‘full disclosure’, would you have a problem with a Google Maps application that said: Gay people live in this house, blacks live in this house, people who buy dildos live in this house, etc.?”

    Ain’t that Google’s Master Plan?

  54. Aww, just kidding guys. You convinced me. Gay marriage and keeping creationists out of office are obviously the two most important issues of our time. Now I’m going to throw on my Obama/Che shirt and ride down to Dupont circle for some gender-neutral lovin.

  55. “Now I’m going to throw on my Obama/Che shirt and ride down to Dupont circle for some gender-neutral lovin.”

    Thank god THAT faggot finally left.

    Kiss, Kiss!
    – YFQ

  56. Prop 8 does not fly with the consitution.

    and if people wish to make a choice about where they dine and do bussiness, so be it. I havn’t stepped foot in a RiteAid in over 10 years for various moral and selfish reasons.

    If you want to make an impact with anything…

    Hit them in the wallet.

  57. State monopoly on violence = libertarian clich? I like to use, in part because the original sentiment comes from Baron George von Washington himself. Meaning = tax policies, inheritance laws, child custody regs, and all other laws of the land are ultimately rooted in the reality that the King’s Men have all the guns.

    Did not mean that gays are being subjected to violence.

    Sorry if I tempted you to make that inference and you found my come-on irresistable.

  58. ‘State monopoly on violence = libertarian clich? I like to use, in part because the original sentiment comes from Baron George von Washington himself.’

    With that poofy outfit and the wig, Washington probably supported gay marriage. Or at least he *should* have. At least he never said he didn’t.

  59. so that when one of us drops dead the other doesn’t have to pay inheritance taxes.

    Oooh? Is there something to inherit? Does one of you have a bit more he or she needs? Perhaps that should be looked into sooner rather than later. 🙂

  60. You don’t understand. I’m single with no prospects, and/or I am single because I hate men and women and/or I’m a hermit and/or whatever. In other words, I have no significant other and don’t want one.

    You raise a good point. Marriage does inherently discriminate against asexual and monosexual people.

    However, I’m personally not going to stop my efforts for gay marriage equality just because of that. Like the trans crowd you’re just going to have to wait your turn.

  61. No, it just makes you a whiny bigot with a persecution complex who confuses schadenfreude with actual life improvements.

    Jennifer, I was one of your harshest critics in the past, but you totally redeemed yourself with that. Brilliant.

  62. “‘State monopoly on violence = libertarian clich? I like to use, in part because the original sentiment comes from Baron George von Washington himself.’

    With that poofy outfit and the wig, Washington probably supported gay marriage. Or at least he *should* have. At least he never said he didn’t.”

    It’s a well known fact that Washington fucked the shit out of bears. So I think he would have been open-minded on alternative relationships.

  63. Why are those two guys grabbing Homer Simpson’s Johnson?

  64. “It’s a well known fact that Washington fucked the shit out of bears. So I think he would have been open-minded on alternative relationships.”

    Which one’s George?

    http://www.enkidumagazine.com/art/2007/100907/gay_bears_in_love_e_10094.jpg

  65. You raise a good point. Marriage does inherently discriminate against asexual and monosexual people.

    However, I’m personally not going to stop my efforts for gay marriage equality to get special treatment extended to even more people just because of that.

  66. I’m not sure what folks mean by “equal rights” when it comes to gay marriage, Do they really mean Equal right to have the government invade the privacy of two consenting adults as they do with the “hets”?

    That’s a very odd “right” to be fighting for.

    It’s the “het’s” that are second class citizens for this invasion of privacy and the gays are still free.

    Seems backwards to me to have a foundation that’s supposed to be for “free markets and Free minds” advocating government intervention in the privacy between two consenting adults.

    hey “let’s all get the govenment involved in our lives” Real smart folks…NOT.

    But hey Divourse attorney’s will see an increase in their revenue stream.

    And what’s up with this “short answer No”Crap, i’ve never known a libertarian that gives short anwsers to complex questions.
    Hate8, really tolerant.

    Yeah, set me free with government intervention in my life.
    totally un-libertarian.

  67. Do they really mean Equal right to have the government invade the privacy of two consenting adults as they do with the “hets”?

    That’s a very odd “right” to be fighting for.

    It’s the “het’s” that are second class citizens for this invasion of privacy and the gays are still free.

    No one is forcing straights to marry. But the government sees marriage as a legitimate public good and as such confers benefits onto married couples. As long as that’s the case, it’s a violation of equal protection to deny it to gay couples.

  68. It disturbs me to think that such a blacklist would tar me as a bigot because I oppose legal recognition of same sex “marriage” for non-bigoted reasons. For lumping people with various ideas in like that with bigots, the blacklisters sure are bigots.

    It so happens I recently read the novel The Pledge by Howard Fast. If there was anything that would give me a favorable impression of the anti-communist blacklist, it was that! I even felt sorry for poor old Tricky Dick for the way he was portrayed in that. The book was also dishonest in presenting a federal law against teaching the advisability of the overthrow of gov’t by illegal means to impose communism as a law that proscribed teaching about revolutionary communism.

  69. Did not mean that gays are being subjected to violence.

    Tim, you’re a scum-sucking motherfucker who deserves to have his hand slammed in a car door 100 times and salt poured in the resulting wounds.

    That’s just a cliche, so I’m not insulting you.

  70. the government sees marriage as a legitimate public good and as such confers benefits onto married couples.

    No, that’s not where the benefits came from. The benefits are a side effect of treating married couples as a unit for various legal purposes. There was never a time when legislators deliberating said, hey, marriage is a public good that we ought to encourage by providing benefits. Strangely enough, though, some are saying it now in a misguided attempt to justify a phenomenon that needed no such justif’n.

    In fact, progress was made when legislation began to “de-couple” couples for legal purposes by allowing wives to acquire property in their own name, which had not been the case under common, customary law.

  71. “Blacks have the same freedom as whites do to marry someone the same race they are.” Zzzzz. Only difference now is, instead of the state requiring similarity, it’s the state disallowing it.

    Bullshit. To prevent interracial marriage, there had to be a law against it. Gay “marriage” was never explicitly banned because it wasn’t ever viewed as a possibility. Not too much of an oversight, you’d think, since same-sex marriages are unprecedented in the seven milennia of recorded history.

  72. And although I’ve stated it elsewhere and elsewhen several times, I might as well state here that marriage pre-dates both church & state, and that redefinition of marriage by legislative or judicial fiat is, far from an advance for individual liberty, an advance for the state over language, custom, and the rule of law. Sometimes that’s a good thing, as in the de-coupling of property mentioned above (which I think was done legislatively), but usually, as in the case of defining marriage, is a bad thing. The judiciary should assent to the spontaneous order in determining for a 3rd party who a spouse is, not impose its own, or the legislature’s, or a plebsicite’s, terms.

  73. Gay “marriage” was never explicitly banned because it wasn’t ever viewed as a possibility.

    And now that it’s being viewed as a possibility, people are trying to ban it.

  74. Any issue with the word “gay” in it is a trivial way to filter out the Reds and pinkos from the self-proclaimed “libertarians”.

  75. What are we saying here? That I can fire anyone who disagrees with my views of politics? I can fire or boycott or intimidate anyone that didn’t vote the way I did? I can punish anyone economically and they should just suck it up and take it like a man?

    What happened after the prop 8 debate was bordering on a hate crime.. Mormon churches were vandalized spray painted with hate speech. There were bomb threats to local Mormon churches. Church members were asked to patrol church 24 hours a day. There was a white substance sent to a mormon temple a tactic similar to an anthrax attack 2001. Protesters were shouting racial slurs at blacks as they passed by.

    Prop 8 supporters feel that they are in the right side of history.. But that does not justify all of their actions. Which is precisely where this discussion is leading..

    From some of these submissions the impicit idea is well I am for gay marriage so what they did is ok…

    Prop 8 supporters didn’t write some Op-ed or voice their opinions in a private forum. Which would be subject to criticism. They voiced their support in a public forum they voted which is protected by law. Now people say its ok to intimidate voters?

  76. That I can fire anyone who disagrees with my views of politics? I can fire or boycott or intimidate anyone that didn’t vote the way I did? I can punish anyone economically and they should just suck it up and take it like a man?

    I would say yes to all of these, with the caveat that your intimidation has to stop short of violence or threats. You’re under no moral obligation to keep employing somebody you don’t like (though you may be under a legal obligation, depending on what state, province or prefecture you live in).

  77. Voting privacy is not the same thing as donating money. If they want a tax deduction, they have to submit it to the public, and if they are bigots, we will all know.

    Giving money to a cause dosn’t always mean you support it. ( it maybe what looks ‘good’)

  78. Why don’t the advocates for gay marriage solve this the other way? Protest to the government to disengage from discriminatory practices all together. “Married filed jointly” no longer provides benefits with the IRS. Hospitals and individuals are free to draw up contracts as to who is privy to medical information without fearing the governmennt is looking over their soldier?

    Instead of giving gays the same advantages as heterosexual couples, why not try to remove the advantages that heterosexual couples have? This approach would lead to a much more limited government.

  79. Instead of giving gays the same advantages as heterosexual couples, why not try to remove the advantages that heterosexual couples have? This approach would lead to a much more limited government.

    It may lead to a more limited gov’t, although certainly not by much, but I don’t think the abolition of gov’t recognition of family status would mean more individual liberty. For example, it would eliminate one reason a foreigner could stay legally in the USA (and probably most other countries, because I bet most allow families to stay together).

    BTW, above I was understating the antiquity of marriage. It goes back to before Homo, if you’ll pardon the pun. Lots of animals form families, and get recognition from others of their species that they in some sense belong or are attached to each other.

  80. What amazes me is that the exact same arguments that are marshalled in support of gay pseudomarriage can be used in support of legalizing polygamy and incestuous marriage (both of which have been considered valid in some human societies in the past). And the pro-pseudomarriage forces act as if it’s a terrible tragedy that the state would do “violence” to the “rights” of gays to get marriage certificates from the state, and that every day that goes by without double grooms and double brides is another day in bondage for their homosexual comrades.

    Yet NONE of them lift a finger to liberalize the laws against polygamy. How can they sleep at night, knowing that some poor Mormon guy can’t marry all three of the women he loves? One would almost be tempted to think that they’re just catching on to the latest political chic, unconcerned with whether they truly believe in the arguments they deploy in support of it. But I refuse to think that because I don’t judge other people’s intentions.

  81. A man who does not shrink from sticking his tongue into another man’s anus is capable of anything. Even murder.

  82. Tim is just a lavender thug.

  83. I would take all this “principled” opponents to gay marriage, who say the state should be involved, if they were at all vocal about that stance BEFORE gays were getting married. When it was just straights marrying I don’t remember anyone in the movement saying anything about it. Very quiet. So is it marriage or gays that bothers them?

    As for the “let’s get the state out” crowd. Fine and dandy, but until that happens what about gay couples? Should they be penalized on matters like filing taxes, inheritance, visitation rights, immigration rights, pensions, etc.? Do we really tell them that they must wait centuries until the libertarian utopia to arrive in order to have the same legal standing that all straight couples have? I can see what that won’t sell to gay people.

    As for whether a writer is gay when he writes on this topic it is immaterial. We don’t have “full disclosure” where people have to reveal if they are straight when they write an article about chiild rearing or that they are black when writing about the civil rights movement. What a bizarre double standard.

  84. I should also ask the morons who claim that Tim is gay: Do you know something his wife doesn’t? Or do you just make accusations routinely?

  85. Polygamists can go to hell, because they are right-wingers. The right wing is evil because they believe in God, and evil people don’t deserve equal rights.

  86. @ Tim (though you may be under a legal obligation, depending on what state, province or prefecture you live in).

    That is the point… Voter intimidation is illegal..

    This isn’t about marriage. According to state law co-habiting couples have the same rights as married couples. If they don’t those rights are easily granted.

    What this is really about is making gays a protected class like age race or gender. Any Person Religion organization or business that disagrees with homosexuality can be sued fined and possibly lose their tax exempt status. Which would result in the loss of religious liberties.

    New Mexico Human rights board fined a photographer 7000 dollars because she declined to take pictures at a gay wedding. Even though there were others photographers that would willingly do it.

  87. Thomas Sowell Affirmative Action and Gay Marriage November 5
    The question is not whether gays should be permitted to marry. Many gays have already married people of the opposite sex. Conversely, heterosexuals who might want to marry someone of the same sex in order to make some point will be forbidden to do so, just as gays are.

    The real issue is whether marriage should be redefined– and, if for gays, why not for polygamists? Why not for pedophiles?

    Despite heavy television advertising in California for “gay marriage,” showing blacks being set upon by police dogs during civil right marches, and implying that homosexuals face the same discrimination today, the analogy is completely false.

    Blacks had to sit in the back of the bus because they were black. They were doing exactly what white people were doing– riding a bus. That is what made it racial discrimination.

    Marriage is not a right but a set of legal obligations imposed because the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation.

    Gays were on their strongest ground when they said that what they did was nobody else’s business. Now they are asserting a right to other people’s approval, which is wholly different.

    None of us has a right to other people’s approval.

  88. I can see what that won’t sell to gay people.

    Then tough shit for them. Welcome to the real world, where being part of a 5% minority doesn’t grant you special privileges. If they want to gain the approval of the heterosexual majority in an organic way, by proving their worth as individuals, more power to them.

    It’s the part where they insist that such approval be granted via the blunt instrument of the law that I have a problem with.

  89. What the fuck does approval have to do with anything? Does the county clerk have the power to not grant a marriage license on the grounds of “well, I think she’s just wrong for him”?

    A marriage ceremony (secular or religious) is ideally a recognition of a relationship that exists with or without the piece of paper that makes it legal. Millions of same-sex couples are just that, COUPLES, and I don’t see how denying the validity of their relationships makes them invalid. Otherwise, I could just say that any one of you aren’t married by my rules, so it doesn’t count!

    For those of you who keep hyping about religious freedom, what about the religious freedom of people who believe that homosexuality is NOT sinful? Those Christian (and other) denominations that would be perfectly happy to perform legal as well as spiritual “commitment ceremonies”? Those people who don’t feel that your God is their god?

    If people want to discriminate against couples who are not married “their way”, then they are cowards for only talking about gay couples; because it’s easy to tell the difference. Maybe some of these groups should stop representing themselves as trying to help everyone.

    Polygamy is problematic for me when it involves coercion of minors. Y’all do remember the concept of “consenting adults (human)”, don’t you? I don’t believe that a parent should be able to consent to a marriage on behalf of a minor child.

    WAG about incest: my feeling is that most incestuous relationships are formed while one or more of the participants is still a minor, therefore removing the quality of consent.

  90. Blacklisters are retaliating as individuals against other individuals. Prop 8 supporters are using the state’s monopoly on violence against an undifferentiated class of people.

    *snicker*

    What does the state’s monopoly on violence have to do with this? In your article, you stated that not offering somebody work does not equate to oppressing them. But, somehow, you manage to equate a simple failure to grant recognition to violence?

  91. Different races can get married! What’s next? Polygamy? Bestiality? Pedophilia?

    Ever heard of the slippery slope fallacy?

    Two willing adults wanting to engage in a contractual (meaning legally sanctioned and protected) relationship should be able to.

    Pedophilia is not a willing adult partnership, and, at least historically–I would argue institutionally–neither is polygamy, which does not place men and women on equal footing.

    But I would have thought libertarian types would be against the state forbidding the marrying of goats.

  92. Simply put, the state is offering benefits to married couples. Whether or not that should be the case in the first place is certainly arguable. In fact, I would say that the state shouldn’t give any benefits to married couples whatsoever. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, this isn’t going to change. So, for the purposes of this debate, it is best to assume that the state’s involvement in marriage is legitimate.

    Since the state is involved in marriage, and is offering benefits to the population, it cannot discriminate against certain sections of the population. This is akin to segregation in schools. Once you have justified the state offering the benefit of education to the population, you couldn’t, say, keep gay kids out of public school. This is the reason why the state should recognize gay marriage, or civil union, or whatever name for the legal arrangement you want to call it, as the same thing as hetero marriage.

    As for the “full disclosure”, I think that it is in fact akin to voting in that we should allow anonymity and not force disclosure. If you get on T.V. and announce your bigot views, then yes, you should be boycotted and blacklisted and whatever other nasty non-force thing that can be done. If I donate money to any other form of organization, I can do so anonymously. I also may speak my opinions in my own home without being recorded. If I do not intend my opinions to be public knowledge, because of things like blacklisting and boycotting, then I should not be forced to make them so.

  93. The Medic

    If they want a tax deduction, they have to submit it to the public, and if they are bigots, we will all know.

    You don’t get tax deductions for political contributions.

    I agree that people should have the same right to keep their financial political support secret as they do their actual vote.

    And arguments against gay marriage have become so tiresome I can’t be bothered to get involved in them.

  94. While there is a lot to ponder in what Cavanaugh writes here, what is clear is that contributions to non-candidate committees, in other words both the “no” and “yes” on Prop 8 sides as well as any other measure, should not be required to be disclosed.

    Citizens of course should be ready to deal with the consequences of others finding out about their political preferences, but the government should have no role in “outing” citizens for their political beliefs. Yet that is exactly what mandatory disclosure does, discouraging many citizens from contributing to causes they believe in for fear their family, friends, colleagues, employers, and others will find out they harbor unpopular or controversial beliefs.

    All you have to know is the year and parties to one of the Supreme Court’s landmark disclosure cases to understand why mandatory disclosure is a threat to the First Amendment. 1958, NAACP v. State of Alabama.

    Sean Parnell
    President
    Center for Competitive Politics
    http://www.campaignfreedom.org
    sparnell@campaignfreedom.org

  95. CLS: “I would take all this “principled” opponents to gay marriage, who say the state should be involved, if they were at all vocal about that stance BEFORE gays were getting married. When it was just straights marrying I don’t remember anyone in the movement saying anything about it. Very quiet. So is it marriage or gays that bothers them?”

    I think what you meant to state is the “the state shouldn’t be involved”

    Anyway, normally I don’t pipe in, but libertarians are consistant at pointing out that the state shouldn’t be involved in most matters.

    Myself I realized how much I hated the state’s involvement in marriage when I was 15 and my “fucked in the head” baby boomer parents got divorced. All I wanted to do was to be left alone to deal with this new reality, but the state got involved, we all had to keep on picking the scab in Counseling, we went in as a family with wealth and came out flat broke, and me short one partent. Back then I didn’t have a computer cause perdy much no body had them so you didn’t here from me back then :^)

    I tend to think we should use the contract setup that’s available to gays and use that as the template for “hets”. It would of saved me a lot of emotional pain.

    Which is what the reason foundation is “supposed” to be about, getting the government out of lifes as much as possible, not accepting it and inviting more of it, even if the topic has “gay” in it. :^0, you goofy hetaphobe you. :^)

  96. All right, you Orwellian bigot traitor hypocrite totalitarian Tim Cavanaugh, let’s have your home address and phone number made public here and now so I can put you on every junk mailer list in the world and leave anonymous tips accusing you of being a drug dealer and sexually abusing your kids to the DEA and the SS, respectively.

    I’d also like to let every black Yes on Prop 8 voter (and there sure were a LOT of those) know where the guy lives that thinks they should all be classified as “haters” and “homophobes” and discriminated against by potential employers because they aren’t as *tolerant* and *enlightened* as all you racist “libertarian” pro-voter-intimidation types! (Yes, and let’s not forget how those quack experts in academia used to refer to these uppity runaway blacks as “drapetomaniacs” because like all wrong-thinking people, they obviously had to be clinically insane for not taking a properly pro-slavery political position.)

    Don’t worry, I’m sure none of those voters would ever contemplate anything so violent as burning down your house or doing a drive-by on you or planting a bomb in your car. After all, they’re blacks! Everybody knows a persecuted minority with a centuries-long history of grievances can do no wrong.

  97. Robbie | February 24, 2009, 10:21am | #
    Simply put, the state is offering benefits to married couples. Whether or not that should be the case in the first place is certainly arguable. In fact, I would say that the state shouldn’t give any benefits to married couples whatsoever. Right now, and for the foreseeable future, this isn’t going to change. So, for the purposes of this debate, it is best to assume that the state’s involvement in marriage is legitimate.

    Since the state is involved in marriage, and is offering benefits to the population, it cannot discriminate against certain sections of the population. This is akin to segregation in schools. Once you have justified the state offering the benefit of education to the population, you couldn’t, say, keep gay kids out of public school. This is the reason why the state should recognize gay marriage, or civil union, or whatever name for the legal arrangement you want to call it, as the same thing as hetero marriage.

    As for the “full disclosure”, I think that it is in fact akin to voting in that we should allow anonymity and not force disclosure. If you get on T.V. and announce your bigot views, then yes, you should be boycotted and blacklisted and whatever other nasty non-force thing that can be done. If I donate money to any other form of organization, I can do so anonymously. I also may speak my opinions in my own home without being recorded. If I do not intend my opinions to be public knowledge, because of things like blacklisting and boycotting, then I should not be forced to make them so.

    So eloquent, so correct I can do no better than copy it!

  98. OMG you guys, if gays were allowed to marry all sorts of idiots would make insane slippery slope arguments, leading to an exponential increase in sound energy in the atmosphere, heating the atmosphere so much that only trace amounts of oxygen is left behind. And who will be the only people left to breathe that oxygen? Gay people, polygamists, pedophiles, and your children!!!1 And if Tim Cavanaugh likes full disclosure so much, he should be willing to keep all of them in his house for the next sixty billionty years. Unless he’s some kind of racist hypocrite or something.

  99. It’s based on the slippery slope argument of outlawing polygamy that we’re in this gay marriage situation to begin with.

    The slippery slope progression is:
    polygamy gets outlawed ->
    women no longer treated as property ->
    women and men are on equal legal footing ->
    gay marriage

    So in essence gay marriage is a result of banning polygame, which means if we want to get as far from gay marriage as possible, we need to legalize polygame now!!

  100. No mention of the fact that prop 8 was a reaction to judicial activism? I dont support things like prop 8 but it seems to me that the libertarian view of things is that certain types of judicial activism are a-ok.

  101. “This squeamishness about the consequences of one’s own actions may seem disingenuous, but it is an honest expression of how people in the entertainment business think.”

    if you don’t support a liberal position, you should be destroyed, is what it comes to.

    Republicans did not try to ruin the livelihood of people who supported abortion. They did not feel the consequence of supporting abortion should be ruin of a livelihood.

    It’s a new way of doing politics. It is not enough that we are on different sides. We will follow you home and burn down your house.

  102. I’m so tired of people who don’t understand that ‘slippery slope’ is a legitimate form of argument and that the only fallacy is in not applying it correctly.

    The same arguments meant to justify gay marriage apply equally in every way to polygamy and incest. I don’t think any single person could come up with a reason why I should be able to marry my best friend but not my brother. So until the gay marriage lobby is willing to include all other forms of consensual adult marriages as part of their effort, they’re nothing but ‘me too’ hypocrites who want the approval of the state and the public schools and want to shove their views on the children of parents who can’t afford to send their kids to private school.

  103. Dan, you are somewhat correct. There *isn’t* any justification for disallowing polygamy and incest, as far as a “marriage” standpoint goes. I think there might be an argument to be made regarding incestual marriages producing children, who have a much higher rate of having different defects, since that involves the safety of another individual, the child. However, say three different races, A, B, and C, were banned from a school. To say that A shouldn’t argue for A’s admittance without both arguing on behalf of B and C is absurd. You are under no obligation to campaign on the behalf of others. If group A campaigned AGAINST B or C, then there would be a completely different issue. So when I see gay petitions, protests and rallies calling for the continued ban on polygamy, I’ll agree with your assessment.

    The first half of what you said makes a bit of sense, where the last sentence is simply ridiculous. How are the children of those parents not “shoving their views” on gay people? Or, maybe you should understand that in a “public” school, you are subject to whatever non-hostile views anyone else has. This is called freedom of speech. This is without bringing up the fact that being gay isn’t a “view”, its a biological fact. I suppose you have a problem with blacks shoving their black views on the rest of the white kids too, hmm?

  104. Incest isn’t even criminalized in most states (rightly so), so denying them marriage makes no sense if you are going to redefine it.

    As a gun rights advocate, I don’t actively campaign against the rights of 18-year-olds in order to advance the rights of 21-year-olds.

    As far as public schools go, I simply don’t like the idea of having the government decide what values to teach our children and then use the law to mandate that our children go into their indoctrination camps. It’s especially a problem in California where the state is incredibly hostile to homeschooling. Even racist sexist homophobes should have the right to educate their own children.

  105. So, if you supported prop 8, it is OK to be blacklisted. If you are gay and opposed prop 8, any kind of blacklisting violates antidiscrimination laws. Am I missing something here?

  106. All of this gay rights talk is disingenuous.

    Civil marriage is not a right. Let me say that again. Civil marriage is not a right. It is a license to subsidy of a particular lifestyle choice by government. The original and current reasons for the subsidy (indludindg income taxation, inheritance without taxation, etc.) may be valid or not, but subsidy it is.

    If it is your position that government can’t subsidize some lifestyle choices without subsidizing them all … then the entire tax code must go.

    Want a tax credit for buying a hybrid car? No dice, not unless you subsidize all other cars. Want a tax credit for children? No dice, can’t subside that lifestyle in favor over childlessness.

    I personally would like to see government out of the marriage business and return it to religious practices backed by civil contracts. But if you want the government encouraging SOME life choices, you can’t claim that having government favor heterosexual marriage is a problem.

    The gay marriage movement does not demand tolerance, they demand subsidy.

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