Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Problems with Prop 8

Firstly, I don't remember what the correct answer to Prop 8 is. I know that it concerns gay marriage - but I don't know whether the correct answer is "yes" or "no". If you support gay marriage, do you have to vote "yes" or "no"? It's confusing. Wonder how many people were as confused as I am right now. Is there even a minor chance that it tipped the election one way or the other? Or did these votes cancel out?

But my real problem with all the hullabaloo about prop 8 is that the whose issue is merely token. Besides the symbolic "right" of getting married, there was little else at stake. Current civil unions in most US states are pretty much as good as marriages, legally. Homosexuals are not being persecuted in America - even in extremely conservative Texas. Spending vast amounts of money on campaigning for this largely token and symbolic right (of little practical value) when actual homosexuals are being stoned to death in the muslim world; being harassed for bribes by corrupt policemen in India is a shame.

Gay rights groups are being selfish. They are fighting for a luxury in this country when they could spend the same money on actual gay rights (and human rights, for that matter) around the world.

I expect that my viewpoint is unique in that it has a more international perspective considering that I am not an American citizen. I don't blame American liberals for not sharing this with me - being raised in the most prosperous society on the planet does blind and insulate one from actual ground realities around the rest of the planet.

2 comments:

liberaltexan said...

I understand you unique international perspective, and in that regard you offer a very valid and very important point. However, marriage is not just a token right. There are about 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the United States, about 1,000 federal rights and it depends on what state you live in but in average about 400 state rights. The majority of these rights cannot be duplicated with civil unions; most of these rights are specific to marriage. So, while the persecution of homosexuals around the world should be more than just a blip on the GLBT community’s radar, the struggle for civil rights for the GLBT community in the United States is far from over.

If you are interested in supporting the GLBT community you should visit http://allies.tamu.edu/ and become an Aggie Ally.

Rap said...

I do confess I went ranting off without doing my research on what rights exactly are conferred on marrying couples. (I also confess that the wife and self are not married officially in the US - just in India - and are unlikely to reap those 400 benifits!).

Which raises a question - Hypothetically, if all the 400 rights unique to married couples were conferred upon gay couples, without calling them married, would it be enough?

I do in principle support the right of homosexuals to marry. All humans are equal, and if they think they would be happier being married - then the state in a developed country ought not stop it.

That being said, I do think the issue is more trivial than a lot of other issues - because no one is actually being harmed by not marrying.

Campaigning for this, therefore, in my opinion, would be more of a misallocation of resources.

I do expect this will work next time around, as the more conservative people play with this idea and get comfortable with it.