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US: Equal marriage in Washington delayed, set to be decided by referendum

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  1. Both gay and straight people say that the long string of losses we’ve faced in US polls around marriage equality are really our own fault; our community pushed too hard and too fast. They have said that we have failed to “educate” the public about who we really are and get beyond the stereotypes of leather people, butch dykes, cropped tops and drag queens – and that it is now our obligation to reintroduce ourselves to society. They say that that it’s up to us to reframe the terms of the debate away from “moral values” to simpler concepts, such as fairness, which polls indicate resonate most with the public.

    I disagree. This is nothing more than the blame-the-victim mentality afflicting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement.

    Rather than reframing the debate away from moral values, we must embrace them. Or more precisely, the utter immorality of the escalating attacks against LGBT people. And, equally, the utter immorality in the failure of so many people of

    1. good will to stand with us. It is time for us to seize the moral high ground and state unambiguously that anti-gay discrimination in any form is immoral.

      Discrimination is defined as “unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.” By any measure, LGBT people are targets of discrimination in many forms in many nations. In the USA statistics show that more people are being murdered because of their sexual orientation than for any other bias reason. Young LGBT people are still routinely bullied in schools. The examples of injustices in the area of partner and family recognition are too many to list. No thinking or feeling person can deny these realities.

      Mainstream media and churches are largely silent to our opponents’ lies. Most progressive organizations and political campaigns, meanwhile, steer clear. There have been sterling exceptions, but they have been few and far between.

      Many people who see themselves as supporters of equal rights for all tolerate this

    2. because they believe prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation is profoundly different than that based on race or religion – that it comes from an understandable disapproval of our behavior – not on some “immutable characteristic.” Homosexual behavior, they feel, is “unnatural” (doesn’t the Bible say so?). Pundits say there is an “ick” factor – that the thought of gay sex revolts non-gay people, and that this seemingly innate reaction is proof there is something wrong with homosexuality.

      This rationale is hardly unique to gay people. Scholars point to comparable “ick” sentiments about Irish immigrants in the 1880s, and describe how in preceding generations sexual ideology was used to strengthen control over slaves and to justify the taking of Native American or Aboriginal lands, and that for centuries Jews were associated with disease and urban degeneration.

      Fact is, there is no justification for anti-gay prejudice; the “justifications” for it are as unfounded as those used to

    3. support the second-class treatment of other minorities in past generations.

      So, what needs to be done?

      First, everyone must realize that when straight people say gay people should not have the freedom to marry, they are saying we are not as good or deserving as they are. It’s that simple, no matter how one attempts to sugarcoat it.

      This is unacceptable – and it is immoral.

      Second, while we should talk to straight people honestly about our lives, we must flatly reject the notion that we are somehow to blame for all of this because we have not effectively communicated our “stories” to others. Fundamentally, it is not our job to prove to others that we can be good neighbours, good parents, and that we’re actually people too.

      Third, equality will remain elusive if we keep relying on intellectualized arguments.

      The other side goes for the gut; it’s now our turn.

      In this vein, we must put others on the spot to stand up and fight for us. As the cascade of lies pours forth from the

    4. the Anti-Gay Industry, morality demands that non-gay people speak out with the same vehemence as they would if it was another minority under attack. Ministers and rabbis must be challenged with the question, “Where is your voice?” Elected officials who meet with and attend events of the Anti-Gay Industry, must be met with the challenge, “How can you do that!? How is that public service?”

      The orchestrated campaign to deny us equality, fairness, recognition of our families, access to services etc. is immoral. Silently bearing witness to this discrimination is immoral.

      We are in the midst of another ugly chapter in its struggle with the forces of bigotry. People of good will can either rise up to speak for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgendered people, or look back upon themselves 20 years from now with deserved shame.

  2. B L Z Bub 6 Jun 2012, 9:07pm


    In all terms they must be told that they are wrong.

    Their bible says nothing of this.

    How dare they reduce me and mine to a vote.

    It is time we take charge an rid this planet of these fools.

    FFS our airports are unusable as one religion deems supercendence against another.

    Bishops. Pope, Priests. Vicars, ArchBishops. Imams, etc etc..

    Get rid of the bloody lot.

    There only purpose is to perpetuate themselves and their illogical ideologies.

    The one thing that holds humanity back.


    KILL IT NOW. Before it kills anyone else.

  3. Homer Simpson is the maximum representation of American society, So we know how will vote. So I wouldn’t trade the UK, for nothing, Europe will always be Europe.While the future America will be just another power that fell, joining Persia, the Greek and Roman Empire

    1. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 6:51am

      Who is your idea of the perfect American family?
      The Waltons, nice bunch but maybe too conservative.
      The Simpsons. Doh!
      Or The Modern Family – now they seem to be a breath of fresh air!

  4. Robert in S. Kensington 6 Jun 2012, 9:18pm

    This the sort of thing C4M and the Christian Institute would love to impose on the equal marriage consultation. Thank goodness, we live in a country where referenda on civil rights never happens.

    American states might as well abolish the legislatures if laws passed there by the representatives of the states who are elected by the people can easiliy be overturned by mob rule. It makes a mockery of democracy. Again, thank goodness we don’t have that sort of system in the UK.

  5. Referenda on an issue of civil rights is immoral and inhumane.

  6. Sounds like a flawed municipal government to me. Being able to call a referendum on any piece of state legislation (particularly one which has already been ratified) on the strength of a referendum undermines the rule of law.

  7. Lumi Bast 6 Jun 2012, 9:39pm

    God damn it, our rights shouldn’t be voted on or decided by politicians, whatever, they should be guaranteed. There’s no reason same sex marriage should be illegal in a country with freedom of religion. I f’ing despise religion.

  8. It’s horrific that a minority’s civil rights can be subject to a popular vote.

  9. Cardinal Capone 7 Jun 2012, 1:03am

    Is it a coincidence that the timing of this, being at the same time as the presidential election, is the same as happened in California? I hope it doesn’t have the same effect.

  10. Interesting tactic here… 54% supported Civil Unions… If Washington State tried to ban Equal Marriage it becomes an issue of Anti/Pro, lets have a referendum!

    Same issue different tactic! hopefully Washington State if the liberal State we are lead to understand it is and the pro equality voters come out en mass!

    If it gets voted against… every one saves face because the vote was not to ban!

    Here’s hoping it passes… but if it doesn’t I wonder how it would play out in the courts… after all the vote was not to “ban!” so the whole unconstitutional defense might take a very different twist!

    Maybe I am just naturally suspicious!

    1. They realise they can not stop equality – so now it is just a case of trying to repeatedly put obstacles in the way to delay it.

  11. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 6:49am

    No doubt it’s going to be another stitch-up.

    1. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 5:52pm

      A thumbs down? Sometimes it is nice for me to be wrong about certain issues but sadly I often get proved right. Was I wrong when I said that the Arab Spring would lead to worse conditions for gay people in those countries?

      1. However, the experience in Washington is that when the electorate get to vote on equal rights they vote for equal and fair civil rights.

  12. Preserve Marriage Washington is another unfair homophobic slippery slope scaremongering campaign which compares same sex marriage with polygamy exactly the same tactic as the unfair homophobic Coalition for Marriage campaign over here in UK, it’s no coincidence.

  13. None of these ‘protect marriage’ freaks are campaigning to ban divorce.

    Strange that, considering that divorce is a far greater ‘threat’ to marriage, than same-sex marriage is.

    Then again these ‘protect marriage’ freaks are not actually about ‘protecting marriage’ – they are simply about hating gayfolk.

    1. de Villiers 7 Jun 2012, 12:22pm

      I agree with your final paragraph – a large number, perhaps not the most, of the persons against gay-marriage are against gay relationships and gay activity. However, individual rights have always been subject to a vote and political action.

      1. Not a referendum though.

        1. GingerlyColors 7 Jun 2012, 6:00pm

          Unfortunately in democratic countries many things have to be approved through general consensus whether it is through parliament or referendum. While I believe that no country should have to decriminalise homosexuality – even the Iranians should allow consensual acts in privacy – I think it is nice if we can have the majority of people on our side.
          America and other countries could take a leaf out of South Africa’s book where although they enjoy marriage equality most people there still hold homophobic views but thanks to that country’s progressive legislation attitudes are improving.

  14. Washington state was the first in the US to approve recognition akin to marriage for same-sex couples (in this case called “domestic partnerships”) by voter acclaim, rather than [just] by legislative or judicial decree.

    I have no doubt Washintonians will again go to the ballot boxes with the same sense of humanity this November.

    So Mr Joseph Backholm, your petition is cruel beyond words, but you do not now – and I trust you will not ever – speak for the majority of the people of the Pacific Northwest.

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