May 26, 2009

"Prop. 8 will go down, San Francisco (is a) big queer town."

Screams screamed in San Francisco today, as Prop. 8 did not go down.
[W]ord of the court's ruling filtered through the crowd at about 10:05 a.m., and within minutes about 50 broke off and marched to Van Ness Avenue, where they formed a ring in the roadway at Grove Street, blocking the city's major north south artery.

Soon more than 150 protesters had linked hands in the middle of the avenue and chanted "Marriage is a civil right" while dozens more looked on. Ministers with the group blessed each protester on the head as blocked cars, trucks and buses honked at the group.

Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a long-time gay activist group, walked through the crowd smearing glitter on the foreheads of demonstrators. Two trumpeters and an accordion player filled the air with zydeco music.

187 comments:

Palladian said...

"Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a long-time gay activist group, walked through the crowd smearing glitter on the foreheads of demonstrators. Two trumpeters and an accordion player filled the air with zydeco music."

That'll teach those straights!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh NO!! Not zydeco music.

Palladian said...

San Francisco should secede from California.

Hell, it should secede from the United States.

Everyone will be happier.

Palladian said...

Nancy Pelosi could be Queen of the Nation of San Francisco.

Jeremy said...

A lesser known civil right: getting about town without being impeded by jackasses playing ring-around-the-rosie.

-The Other Jeremy

Jason (the commenter) said...

I think they should be spending some of their energy getting signatures for the next election. What was done with the ballot box can be undone with the ballot box. We knew it was going to come down to that anyway.

Synova said...

Blocking traffic is a *fabulous* way to get people on your side.

Palladian said...

"What was done with the ballot box can be undone with the ballot box. We knew it was going to come down to that anyway."

Screaming and singing and putting on make-up is more fun. And this is all about fun, apparently.

chickenlittle said...

Blocking traffic is a *fabulous* way to get people on your side.

Especially the next generation.

Treacle said...

Prop. 8 will go down but not before San Francisco goes down on Prop 8. After all, nothing's hotter than a straight-acting guy!

Michael said...

OK - I get it. Readers of your blog, Ann, dismiss street demonstrations. Still, don't underestimate the cartharsis of such action.

More alarming is that America's bounty - our freedom to express and the time to do it - is squandered on whether we can agree on defining "marraige".

Balfegor said...

What was done with the ballot box can be undone with the ballot box. We knew it was going to come down to that anyway.

Did we? I think it's pretty clear the protesters thought it wasn't going to come down to that, that the judges were instead going to substitute their own preferences for the popular will.

OK - I get it. Readers of your blog, Ann, dismiss street demonstrations. Still, don't underestimate the cartharsis of such action.

Oh sure, it's cathartic. But so is throwing yourself on the ground and having a toddler-fit, or playing one of those violent video games where you slaughter people with a chaingun or whatever. Most of those cathartic activities don't have the effect of blocking traffic and pissing off your fellow citizens.

Jack said...

LOL, obviously no one on this hate-filled blog has any gay friends or family.

And if they do, they are as morally depraved as their comments and blog posts would suggest.

Hate is not an attractive quality, and it's the leading reason the Republican Party appeals to so few Americans.

Pogo said...

"Hate is not an attractive quality"

I suppose it isn't.
When you run into some hate around here, be sure to point it out, all right?

Or might you be referring to the gay activist group blocking traffic?

Treacle said...

Oh, Jackie. Hate has sustained gays since December 12, 2000 when the Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore. It's oxygen. Every gay pride parade for the last 8 years has been wall-to-wall hate.

cryptical said...

Jack said: Hate is not an attractive quality, and it's the leading reason the Republican Party appeals to so few Americans.

So do you get paid per talking point insertion, or just by the post?

Fen said...

Jack: LOL, obviously no one on this hate-filled blog has any gay friends or family.

And if they do, they are as morally depraved as their comments and blog posts would suggest.


Riiight. Because people oppose gay marriage out of hatred. You're just brilliant.


Hate is not an attractive quality, and it's the leading reason the Republican Party appeals to so few Americans.

Oooh lookie, the Lefty Brownshirt is scapegoating Jews again. What would do Jack, without someone to blame everything on?

Maybe Obama will point you at Rush again, distracting you from the fact that Obama is also a "hatefilled" homophobe.

michael farris said...

"Blocking traffic is a *fabulous* way to get people on your side."

Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Here is Zydeco, Americana, Love, gratuetous dogs, good looking girls and old pick up truck. Wrapping up the day.And now I'm off to harvest some shallots and elephant garlic that are just about to burst into bloom, plant tomatoes, basil, oregano and sweet italian peppers.

Palladian said...

"LOL, obviously no one on this hate-filled blog has any gay friends or family."

I've sucked a lot more cock than your mother, honey.

"And if they do, they are as morally depraved as their comments and blog posts would suggest."

You don't know the half of it. If you did, you'd wish you didn't.

"Hate is not an attractive quality, and it's the leading reason the Republican Party appeals to so few Americans."

LOL. Weak. Very weak. I give it a D minus. You'll have to do a little better than that around here.

Palladian said...

"Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?"

Does anyone remember Dr King anointing people with glitter in the middle of the road? I don't.

Marriage is not a right. It's a misguided religious/romantic/economic institution that the State wrongly thinks it should regulate.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

michael farris said...
""Blocking traffic is a *fabulous* way to get people on your side."

Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights"?

Sometimes the courts will give a group what it wants, sometimes they don't. In the latter case, being agreeable & etc. may not be the funnest tactic, but it is the only one with a chance of working.

Methadras said...

"Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh NO!! Not zydeco music."

Buckwheat Zydeco I bet.

Revenant said...

Still, don't underestimate the cartharsis of such action.

I don't think anyone is denying that protests make the *protesters* feel better about themselves. What's being disputed is that they actually help the people who are protesting.

I'm sure there are plenty of businessmen who would feel great personal satisfaction at telling their customers to go jump off a bridge. But it probably wouldn't actually help them in the long run. :)

Revenant said...

Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?

Martin Luther King is an obvious example, and Gandhi is another.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

Putting glitter on people in the road.

That is hilarious. We showed them.

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence-I do love that name though. Aren't they usually on roller skates? The glitter was probably not even applied evenly.

The good news about this for those of us that support gay marriage, is that a smaller percentage of blacks and hispanics will likely be voting for this in 2010 than in 2008.

Blacks and Hispanics don't care much for the mos. Blacks and hispanics don't get along well with each other either. There is tension between the blacks and the jews too. And all the jews did for the blacks. Ingrateful bitches, those blacks.

Gays and Jews though (for the most part) are a match made in heaven. I know not all Jews like the gay.

San Francisco very bad city though.

NKVD said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Indians were in a majority in India then. Now, too.

Revenant said...

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Indians were in a majority in India then. Now, too.

Heh, good point.

paul a'barge said...

And the hits just keep on coming ...

Diamondhead said...

"Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?"

In certain cases - pogroms, enslavement - extreme action might be required (yes to the glitter). In other cases - a temporary setback at the ballot box followed by a temporarily effective court decision - a modicum of restraint might be more effective (leave your glitter at home).

Jeremy said...

Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?I can think of numerous examples where being ill-behaved and obnoxious has been unhelpful.

I know, I know - squeeky wheel gets the grease. But sometimes, if the wheel gets really squeeky you just get sick of it and buy a new one.

-The Other Jeremy

Peter V. Bella said...

"Hate is not an attractive quality, and it's the leading reason the Republican Party appeals to so few Americans."

Um, you have not paid attention to the Democrats, Moveon.Org, the Kos kids, the DD, Olbermann, and others for the past eight years?

Have you lived in a vaccum? The Democrat Party is the party of hatred.

Eric said...

Riiight. Because people oppose gay marriage out of hatred. You're just brilliant.

I can see both sides of this SSM thing, but one thing I think undeniable is SSM advocates have badly bungled the politics. They don't even understand why people oppose it, and they don't care to find out, preferring one-dimensional caricatures of opponents.

To win you have to fight the right war. See the opponent you respect, not the enemy you despise.

wordsprite said...

I can't say that I really care all that much- but I will say this: if we want to allow individual freedoms and rights, we need to allow everyone individual freedoms and rights. That's something this country was foundeded on, even more than "morals."

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring. If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything. I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight. If you're in California, go here to find the nearest rally and then get off the computer and march!

Eric said...

I can't say that I really care all that much- but I will say this: if we want to allow individual freedoms and rights, we need to allow everyone individual freedoms and rights. That's something this country was foundeded on, even more than "morals."

That's a pretty facile treatment of the subject. Let me guess, you're against war and hunger as well?

Diamondhead said...

"Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring."

Reduction.

Jason (the commenter) said...

CAC : If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything.

Well, you could try converting them to your opinion, like people do in a Democracy.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a long-time gay activist group, walked through the crowd smearing glitter on the foreheads of demonstrators.

Someone tell me when they start burning Obama in effigy, then I'll be impressed.

Revenant said...

Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring.

The reason for not doing these sorts of protests is that they upset people who aren't committed to one side or another yet.

Say there's some contentious issue, X, at stake. I personally don't particularly care about X one way or the other. But while pro-X crowd makes its case with commercials, essays, articles, and non-disruptive rallies, the anti-X crowd makes its case by making me sit in traffic for an hour while they wave huge paper-mache puppets in the middle of the street.

Well, now I *still* don't care about X, but I know that X is opposed by a bunch of self-absorbed fuckwits who think their concerns give them the right to disrupt my life. Guess what? I'm voting for X. Not because I support X, but because X is backed by the group that *hasn't* pissed me off yet.

Cedarford said...

Chris Althouse Cohen said...
Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring. If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything.
.



Thanks, Chris! I try to do my part with the Transnational Jewish Progressives.

Palladian said...

"Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring. If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything."

Ah, youth!

"I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight."

How brave of you! I'm sure it will be like a freedom ride in Birmingham in 1961! Do take care of yourself! Try to keep a drag queen between you and the KKK mobs and the police at all times.

hawkeyedjb said...

"I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight." I don't think it would be 'protesting' in West Hollywood. More like 'agreeing with pretty much everyone around me.'

Palladian said...

"Well, you could try converting them to your opinion, like people do in a Democracy."

That's not fun, Jason! This is about having fun! It's totally awesome, you know, being part of a movement! Going to a protest march! Man, it's like really empowering! Think about it! When is the last time YOU were able to say "I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight"?! Doesn't that sound so cool and righteous?! And there will probably be lots of cute guys there, and probably drinks afterwards. I mean that's fun! Who cares about convincing a bunch of ignorant breeders and black people and Mexicans? Orange County is SO NOT FABULOUS. Who wants to be nice to those pigs? We're TAKING IT TO THE STREETS! We're going to SMASH THE STRAIGHTS. Fuck those nasty Mormons! The US Government should have tried harder to wipe them out back in the 1800s! That was the one non-evil thing the US government ever did. This is not about the bigots in Orange County and the rest of the backwaters. This is about the important parts of California, San Francisco and L.A. Fuck the rest of the bigoted state!

Anyway, I have to go, I've got to get to WEST HOLLYWOOD for the PROTEST. What shoes should I wear to the PROTEST? Hmmm...

Jason (the commenter) said...

Some advice to the COUNTER-protesters: try screaming "Obama, Obama, Obama" because he doesn't support gay marriage and agrees with you.

Revenant said...

I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight.

Talk about preaching to the choir.

holdfast said...

"Chris Althouse Cohen said...
Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring. If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything.."

But when you are pissing of neutrals and potential supporters, then you are not doing anything useful.

Also, it is always most effective to argue for inclusion in the sacrament of marriage while wearing assless chaps!

David said...

Jack said...
LOL, obviously no one on this hate-filled blog has any gay friends or family.
Jack, Jack, you ignorant slut. I have at least a half dozen family members in my generation or my children's who are gay, and more gay friends than I can count.

This does not change my view that society should get to choose, by the ballot box, what its policies on central issues like marriage should be.

Judges should not make that choice.

The event in San Francisco may be a demonstration but it is also a giant hissy fit. Have at it, hissy fitters. Then see if you can find a way to persuade the voters of California to change their mind.

If you don't act like spoiled brats, you should get your win within a few years. The tide is running your way.

garage mahal said...

Maobama! Socialist! Obamahitler! Show us your birth certificate! What teabag earrings should I wear the PROTEST? Hmmmm......

Wrong protest thread, sorry!

Palladian said...

It's almost touching in a sad sort of way when garage tries to be sarcastically funny.

Palladian said...

"Also, it is always most effective to argue for inclusion in the sacrament of marriage while wearing assless chaps!"

ASSLESS CHAPS ARE A HUMAN RIGHT!

Eric said...

If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything.

If you are upsetting people who disagree with you you're giving up any opportunity to ever change their minds. You'd be far better off "not doing anything".

This is the kind of political bungling I was talking about. Prop 8 passed by a pretty small margin, and much of its support was from people who aren't necessarily against SSM but wanted to take the issue out of the courts.

The "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" create Prop 8 type voters everywhere they go.

EnigmatiCore said...

"If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything."

So, let's say I disagree with you. In order for me to do something I would have to upset you?

That's a pretty childish worldview, actually.

EnigmatiCore said...

And I will further add- upsetting random people without any knowledge as to if they agree or disagree with you, as blocking traffic does, is not just childish, but it is monumentally counterproductive.

I thereby heartily encourage anyone who holds views contrary to my own to adopt such tactics. After all, if you aren't annoying the hell out of someone, you aren't doing anything!

Palladian said...

"The "Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence" create Prop 8 type voters everywhere they go."

There's a not-insignificant number of gay men who like to cause revulsion and hatred, they like to be outsiders, they try to repulse anyone "normal". It's a fascinating bit of psychology I'm sure. I always assumed that it was similar to the way people internalize abuse and inflict the abuse upon themselves after a while. I suppose the philosophy is that if you already gross some people out by your mere existence, then why not really gross them out? It's a puerile and disordered way of being in the world, but it definitely afflicts a lot of people. The problem is that it afflicts those who don't want to live that way. There are plenty of regular guys who happen to be gay who aren't interested in this sort of "theater of the grotesque". And they are told, in no uncertain terms: if you don't like it, get the fuck out of the way you self-loating little faggot. I've personally seen it happen. It's hard enough to get along as a gay man without having to submit to the farcical Grand Guignol version of social organization offered by radical queers, which is twice as rigorously confining and hierarchical and moralistic as anything you'll encounter in the "straight" world.

But of course no one hears from any of the regular folks. The screaming, glitter-tossing freaks make for better television, so their version is the only one people hear. If you're not willing to march behind them, or to accept public nudity with leather straps and scrotal inflation, then march right the fuck back into the closet, cause you'll get upstaged every time.

Quayle said...

"If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything."

Note that the presumption is conflict.

And conflict is important because it masks that empty feeling you have when you aren't doing anything.

jeff said...

"Those of you who think people shouldn't do street protests because it might bother those on the other side are lame and boring. If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything. I will be protesting in West Hollywood tonight."

Good luck in West Hollywood tonight. Be careful of the tear gas, the fire hose and Bull Conner's dogs. We stand head bowed by your bravery. Now that that's out of the way, what do you suppose the advantage is to upsetting people who agree with you but would like to get home or to work or just get around? How does that factor in your equation? Which is more likely to get you more votes? Screeching in your glitter in the middle of the road, or showcasing numerous, committed, long term relationships of normal people who happen to be gay who are not allowed to symbolize their relationship like everyone else?

MadisonMan said...

If you're in California, go here to find the nearest rally and then get off the computer and march!

An interesting exercise would be to map the rally locations with the Prop. 8 vote tallies. Are these marchers all preaching to choirs?

kentuckyliz said...

Protesting whom? The judges, or the majority of voting Californians that passed Prop 8?

They massively voted for Hope 'N' Change and against That Kind Of Change That Dare Not File At The County Clerk's Office.

Probably because they live so close to the gay community that protests that it doesn't want to get married really, it's an archaic religious institution that treats women like property and monogamy is outdated and gay monogamy permits occasional fun bits on the side....

So they voted expertly on the issue.

F15C said...

Madison Man: "An interesting exercise would be to map the rally locations with the Prop. 8 vote tallies. Are these marchers all preaching to choirs?"

Speaking live from here in CA, from our local TV news coverage, they are most assuredly preaching to the choir. San Francisco, Los Angeles, West Hollywood.

One measure of a protestor's belief in their cause is how far they are willing to drive in order to annoy the other side.

West Hollywood for cripes sakes. The choir can't get any gayer than that.

PatCA said...

"Maybe you could give examples of when being well-behaved and agreeable has helped any unpopular minority in fighting for its rights?"

Well, Palladian beat me to it. Try reading about MLK if you want an example of protest that is for real and not theatrical purposes.

I do believe these protests have jumped the shark, even an exquisitely ritualized one like this. Or perhaps protestism has become a religion, or an identity as Palladian mentioned. They may be fun for the participants, but "the whole world is [not] watching."

lyssalovelyredhead said...

"There's a not-insignificant number of gay men who like to cause revulsion and hatred, they like to be outsiders, they try to repulse anyone "normal". It's a fascinating bit of psychology I'm sure."

That's a segment of the population hardly limited to gay men. It's just that most people are expected to pretty much outgrow it by the time they reach their mid-teens.

Beta Conservative said...

Will CNN be in West Hollywood tonight questioning the motives of the protesters?

David said...

JAC is taking a pelting for his West Hollywood guerilla action bravado, and Mom is keeping the School of Hard Knocks in session. No censorship here. Althouse Blog, the Darwinian edition.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

I am not an activist mo.

None of my friends are activist mos.

We are just mos.

Thank you.

Palladian said...

"JAC is taking a pelting for his West Hollywood guerilla action bravado,"

Not JAC, CAC.

Even though we're being hard on him, we love him just the same, I hope he realizes.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

Activists mos have some some good things though like speeding the HIV drugs to market.

Larry Kraemer, who is a cranky old activist mo whom I love, has done some great work on behalf of us non activists mos.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

I don't think of California as that much of a liberal state either. It is liberal and blue along the entire coasts but the other part of the state is red. Yes, the coasts have a majority of the population but in the eastern part of the state it is rather conservative.

The Northeast. That's where they are fucking liberal. And urban. Massachusetts especially. Let's get rid of Massachusetts. As a result mos are getting married through much of the Northeast.

Palladian said...

And further, I understand why Christopher is going to the protest, and support his idealism, if not his methods. I dislike and distrust protests in most instances. I think it's far more effective to be an individual and protest with writing and positive action rather than be part of a chanting, glitter-slathered mob. But I was young once and went to enough "protests" to be entirely disillusioned by them. CAC needs to get it out of his system. He's smart enough to realize, eventually, that there are better, more relevant and more effective ways to make yourself heard and persuasive. Cheers to him and everyone else on any side of this silly issue.

Big Mike said...

I used to think that there was room for compromise on this issue, probably something along the lines of civil unions -- all the legal protections of a marriage (not to mention divorce, alimony and child support), but without the M-word. It appears to me, speaking as an atheist, that the point of insisting on the M-word is to stick it to those Christians for whom marriage is a sacrament.

So when you get the M-word, what do you plan to fuss over next? Because, as Palladian pointed out back at 8:14, there are too many of you who've turned into media whores, and you can't stop yourselves. I suppose legalizing NAMBLA is next after the M-word?

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

I am glad too the mos in California seem to be galvanized by this. I think their organizing efforts sucked before the original vote. Maybe this will kick them in the ass and they can actually do some good work. They seemed complacent before the orignal vote and assumed gay marriage was going to pass. Because it's California and we are so cool!!! Well the cooler Northeast states and even Iowa beat you to it.

This will happen in California just like it is happening in the rest of the U.S.


Granted, not in the south for a long time, but what do you expect, it's the south? And how many gays really live in the south? Gross, and they all move up north if they know what's good for them.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

I have no interest in supporting NAMBLA and I don't know any of my friends that do. I find that gross.

Why do straight men think gay men support boy/man relationships?

What about all the breeder men that molest little girls. Do you straighties support them?


I want to be with a man not a boy.

TMink said...

CAC, I think you meant to say "If you're upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything productive."

Yeah, Dr. King sure pissed off the whole nation, so much so that the racists who ran the country capitulated.

You are spouting liberal romanticism. But, I certainly do support your right to protest. Just be safe.

Trey

Issob Morocco said...

C.A.C. The only thing more lame than your 'street protest' blog post is the rationale behind it.

Just following your advice....

Lem said...

It's a dark day for America today..

Red Sox are loosing in the 9th..
heheheh.

TMink said...

Palladian wrote: "I always assumed that it was similar to the way people internalize abuse and inflict the abuse upon themselves after a while."

I have noticed that as well, I wonder if those folks are really untreated abuse survivors. I think about 30% of the gay community are. What do you think Palladian?

Trey

Maxine Weiss said...

" the history of all civil rights movements:
if justice cannot be achieved through peaceful legal means, people will and should take to the streets."

____________________________


There's absolutely no proof that taking to the streets speeds up civil rights whatsoever.

The evidence shows that these types of demonstrations, riots and bombs have the exact opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.

Jennifer said...

Nothing wrong with glitter.

Palladian said...

"I want to be with a man not a boy."

mmm, me too. Almost time for my big, hairy, muscular uncut boyfriend to get home...

Seven Machos said...

Perhaps the protesters should bar the schoolhouse door.

Donald Douglas said...

It depends on the meaning of "going down." See, "Gay Sex in the City! Kissing Demonstrators Block Traffic!"

Beth said...

I wonder how many of the folks laughing at the idea of street protests were all gung-ho for the teabaggers last month.

Beth said...

I suppose legalizing NAMBLA is next after the M-word?I think NAMBLA is pretty much the un-supported "Nazi!" accusation of gay topics. Why would you think NAMBLA is an issue for gay people, like marriage is?

Palladian said...

"I wonder how many of the folks laughing at the idea of street protests were all gung-ho for the teabaggers last month."

One was a protest of the illegitimacy of federal government waste, the other is a protest of a correct state supreme court decision. They're different, don't you think?

I mean, there's nothing braver than a gay rights protest in San Francisco or West Hollywood.

But you're right, the "teabaggers" protest (as you knowingly, sarcastically call them) was probably as useless and ineffectual as the actual ball-sucker's little protests tonight.

Beth said...

Of course, I'm also much like Palladian, in that I don't really ally myself with the drama and look-at-me crowds in the streets. I do think the images of hundreds and thousands of couples in long-term relationships is much more persuasive.

I'm reminded of how much I didn't like the movie Milk because of the whole attitude that a bunch of guys running out of the bars and into the streets of Castro liberated gay people around America. No, it was the rest of us in our Southern and Midwest and Northeastern small towns and cities, living our lives in public, that made the differences in our own communities.

But still, I understand tonight, the desire to be angry, and be loud. Go for it, Chris.

Palladian said...

"But still, I understand tonight, the desire to be angry, and be loud. Go for it, Chris."

As I said, me too. But I also hope these little faggots realize that they have to do better if they want to change anything.

Beth said...

Palladian, nope, no difference. The tea baggers were about as unfocused as any crowd made up of different interests can be. Here's someone opposed to the bailout, there's someone opposed to government in general, there's a Paultard or two, and there's a few folks who don't know much other than they don't like that Obama guy. Good for them for acting on their constitional right to gather and protest - it didn't take any more balls to gather in the heavily Republican suburb west of me in front of the mall than it does to run out in West Hollywood, either. Neither group is facing water cannons and dogs in Selma.

jeff said...

Perhaps Beth is correct. I probably missed the tea protest that "...more than 150 protesters had linked hands in the middle of the avenue and chanted ..... while dozens more looked on. Ministers with the group blessed each protester on the head as blocked cars, trucks and buses honked at the group."

Where and when exactly did you see that?

Palladian said...

not that there's anything wrong with ball-sucking, by the way. I hate that some people on the left reflexively reach for gay sex related terms when they're looking to insult their opposition.

Beth said...

Palladian, they walked into it, waving their little bags. It's a silly image when compared with the original tea party. Sometimes one's choice of symbolism goes awry. They should buck up and stop whining about it.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

"A lesser known civil right: getting about town without being impeded by jackasses playing ring-around-the-rosie."

At least three circuits have recognized a right to intrastate travel under the federal Constitution, and at least one of those circuits implies it's enforceable against the interference of private parties. Someone ought to take them to court and see what the Ninth Circuit has to say about that.

Anyway, when losing a referendum by a narrow margin, the better option is not to do everything in your power to piss off all voters indiscriminately, as that will do nothing to get more support and could erode what you already have. Given the strong opposition of blacks and Hispanics, it seems like outreach to those communities would be a wiser course of action.

Beth said...

I tend to agree on blocking traffic - if you're looking for new voters, or for switch voters, irritating them so directly is a poor strategy.

Maxine Weiss said...

Is there anybody over 35 at these protests ?

It looks to me like these screaming mimis are nothing but a bunch of punk kids.

Ralph said...

And how many gays really live in the south? Gross, and they all move up north if they know what's good for them.
Sectional bigot! Regionalism! Confedaphobic!

Half the men who comment here are queer, and the other one is marrying Althouse.

Ralph said...

The protests are just a cruising oppurtunity.

Penny said...

"Half the men who comment here are queer, and the other one is marrying Althouse."

Um hm. Now that we got that squared away, would you care to comment?

D-Day said...

What a waste of time. This movement is turning into: "If you don't think in lockstep with us, you're evil." Even if you're right, who is going to be receptive to that argument?

You know what would be cathartic? Go rip another cardboard cross out of an old lady's hands and stomp on it.

The more you protest, the better it is for your opponents.

Revenant said...

Palladian, they walked into it, waving their little bags. It's a silly image when compared with the original tea party. Sometimes one's choice of symbolism goes awry. They should buck up and stop whining about it.

I can't say that I've noticed any of them whining about it. It is a bit like calling NAACP staff "coloreds" -- amusing at some level because of their name, but not the kind of thing a classy person would do.

Anyway -- "when compared to the original tea party"? What does that even mean? The British government behavior that prompted the original "tea party" was egregious for its time, but pretty trivial compared to some of the things the government has done in the last year. Hell, for the last 80 years. The hopeful thing about the tea parties is that they mark the first time in a very, very long time that the hard-working, productive middle class of this country has taken up picket signs to demand THEIR rights.

Revenant said...

One other thing:

I wonder how many of the folks laughing at the idea of street protests were all gung-ho for the teabaggers last month.

I'm not familiar with all of the protests, but the ones my friends and family have attended weren't street protests. They were held in parks or outside government buildings, so as not to be disruptive.

And no, they didn't do any good. But really, what other choice do the people have? If you're black, you've got politicians willing to kiss your ass. Same if you're rich, poor, criminal, in big business, or interested in advancing your ethnic grievances. But if you're an ordinary middle-class American who lives within the law, doesn't demand special rights and treatment, behaves responsibly, and tries to do right by his family? You don't HAVE any representation in Washington. There isn't a single person in power in Washington in either party who truly stands up for the idea of living within your means, behaving responsibly, and working for what you receive.

A dumbass who borrows $250,000 he can't repay has representation. A dumbass who LENDS $250,000 to somebody who can't repay has representation. A person who makes worthless cars nobody wants to buy has representation. Anyone who lives off the government tit has representation. The real backbone of the economy just gets taken for granted. Who can blame them for getting mad? Unlike literally every other grievance group you see taking to the streets in this country, they really ARE being oppressed by the government, and have been for a long time.

Darcy said...

Excellent comments on the tea pary protesters, Revenant. I do think they'll get more organized and more focused. I think these protests were and are a lot more impressive than people give them credit for.

I laughed at Beth's "... they walked into it, waving their little bags...", though. I couldn't help myself.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I wonder how many of the folks laughing at the idea of street protests were all gung-ho for the teabaggers last month."

Were you trying to be as clever as Anderson Cooper, only not as original? Not exactly a worthy ambition.

As for the Tea Party protests, I was ambivalent, as I would be about these protests, excepting for a particular attitude that these protesters seem to embrace. The attitude was summed up well above--"If you're not upsetting people who disagree with you, you're not doing anything." It is also exhibited by doing thinks like "link[ing] hands in the middle of the avenue".

Pogo said...

"The real backbone of the economy just gets taken for granted."

"The Forgotten Man"
By William Graham Sumner

"...the characteristic of all social doctors is, that they fix their minds on some man or group of men whose case appeals to the sympathies and the imagination, and they plan remedies addressed to the particular trouble; they do not understand that all the parts of society hold together.... They therefore ignore entirely the source from which they must draw all the energy which they employ in their remedies, and they ignore all the effects on other members of society than the ones they have in view. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and, forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion - that the State cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.

...There always are two parties. The second one is always the Forgotten Man, and any one who wants to truly understand the matter in question must go and search for the Forgotten Man. He will be found to be worthy, industrious, independent, and self-supporting. He is not, technically, "poor" or "weak"; he minds his own business, and makes no complaint. Consequently the philanthropists never think of him, and trample on him.

He passes by and is never noticed, because he has behaved himself, fulfilled his contracts, and asked for nothing. ...and as soon as he is drawn from his obscurity we see that he is just what each one of us ought to be."

gaywrites said...

From the comments I've been reading to this post, it seems as if many of the people here are outraged that protesters stopped traffic (the right to drive, a lesser known civil right). However, I have a feeling that if protesters had reacted to the prop. 8 decision with the violence and mayhem that characterized the protests following the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone the comments would have been equally if not more outrageous at the behavior of the protesters. What did you want them to do, shrug their shoulders, drop their signs and head home? These people have no right to protest? I thought this blog was the bastion of free speech and expression, free from unnecessary government regulation or interference. Apparently not.

Pogo said...

"What did you want them to do, shrug their shoulders, drop their signs and head home?"

False choice. They could have protested without disrupting anything.

"These people have no right to protest?"
False choice. They can protest in myriad ways, They chose one of the more disruptive methods because they are like bratty children.

...free speech and expression"
Your right to express your protest by swinging your fist ends where it meets my nose. That's what these protesters have done.

bearbee said...

Palladian said...
Marriage is not a right. It's a misguided religious/romantic/economic institution that the State wrongly thinks it should regulate..

I agree the state has no business in regulating.

Do you view marriage as having no societal benefits and as purely a ritual without which families would still continue and flourish?

re: tea parties, I think they do have an impact, conveying to Congress Critters and the Administration that people are fed up with fiscal irresponsibility.

I hope mid-term elections succeed in driving home the point.

I also hope term-limits makes it way onto the populous agenda.

Fen said...

So when you get the M-word, what do you plan to fuss over next?

For an idea, there was a newly gay married couple in Europe that started a stink because the gov office they went to for their marriage paperwork had a portrait of a hetereo couple in the office.

It was "offensive" and had to be taken down.

Fen said...

it seems as if many of the people here are outraged that protesters stopped traffic (the right to drive, a lesser known civil right). However, I have a feeling that if protesters had reacted to the prop. 8 decision with the violence and mayhem that characterized the protests following the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone the comments would have been equally if not more outrageous at the behavior of the protesters.

You should be pleased that I only torched your car. My first instinct was to gut you, but I held back. No harm no foul.

Pogo said...

And, subsequently, any free speech directed against gay marriages, even in churches, will be forbidden. As has happened in Canada.

goesh said...

- I hope they all aren't gnashing their teeth on their partner's genitals

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Re Beth: "I do think the images of hundreds and thousands of couples in long-term relationships is much more persuasive.... it was the rest of us in our Southern and Midwest and Northeastern small towns and cities, living our lives in public, that made the differences in our own communities. "

See, this is what I wish, wish, wish that the gay marriage supporters would push. Marriage (stable, supportive, good marriages, at least) is good for everyone- married people are generally healthier, happier, less of a burden on society, more productive, and so on. There's no reason in the world that this wouldn't be true for gays as well. Push the idea that folks just want to live normally and be alone for it, most people on the against side will shrug their shoulders and realize it has no effect on them. Run around in the street pissing people off and confirming every possible negative stereotype, it's easy for folks to vote no.

MadisonMan said...

Can I say that I always enjoy the back and forth between Beth and Palladian? If those two haven't met, they definitely should.

gaywrites said...

What characteristics of a protester is analogous to bratty children? Disruption? Don't all protests disrupt? Isn't that the point? Name a social movement in this country that has succeeded without being disruptive. Or maybe you see this particular protest as whiny, a common characteristic of a brat. In that case, any protester that complains about something YOU don't believe they ought to have is being a brat? How paternalistic.

From what I can tell, the reason people are upset over the protests are characterized by the style of protest (flamboyance, music, whatever) and the disruptive nature of the protest (blocking traffic). Essentially, what I'm hearing is the people in power saying to the people trying to gain power, "Be quiet, stay in your place, act the way we want you to act, and maybe, if you're lucky, you'll get what you want." Again, I challenge you, name a social movement in history that has succeeded by staying quiet.

traditionalguy said...

Protests that sing and march are a public reminder of real grievances identified by signs carried and give a chance for supporters outside the movement to join in with a public appearance. The Riots-R-Us approach showing no restraint stops that dynamic. It is dangerous and discourages joiners. The violence that human groups commit during true riots are not a wise thing to imitate.

holdfast said...

"Why would you think NAMBLA is an issue for gay people, like marriage is?"

Because they have the same civil rights absolutist loony supporters like the ACLU? Because for many
"progressives" it is never enough, no matter how much we concede. If not NAMBLA, then polygomy (Mormons & Muslims?) or polyamory? Bestiality perhaps? Certainly the of eventual banning as "hate speech" any criticism whatsoever of gay lifestyle or agenda. You don't need to be a psychic - you just need to look to Canada or the EU.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

After careful analysis of Sonia CumInMyEar's opinions I have decided that I am unable to support her candidacy for the Supreme Court.

I find her opinions to be light, not well thought out and a little on the dykish side.

Thank you.

Fen said...

Essentially, what I'm hearing is the people in power saying to the people trying to gain power, "Be quiet, stay in your place, act the way we want you to act, and maybe, if you're lucky, you'll get what you want."

Then get your hearing checked. People here are saying that making an asshat of yourself by antagonizing the voting public is not good marketing. Neither is parading downtown in S&M gear.

Try a more civil and rational approach. I was against gay marriage until the gays here took that approach with me. I could no longer hold to a subjective position that it undermines society when confronted with the very real pain and suffering inflicted on good people who just want access to a "normal" life.

Pogo said...

"Don't all protests disrupt? Isn't that the point?"

Your form of protest is a call for fascist disruption whenever you don't get your way. People have had scheduled parades, mall gatherings and appearances at state legislatures that were protests without getting in everyone's face.

Alinsky tactics and sixties era temper tantrums aren't the only way to change society, it's just the only thing you can think of, exposing a lack of knowledge.

Pogo said...

Mostly, I don't understand what merited a protest, especially one that intended to disrupt not the blacks and hispanics who voted against them, but the liberal whites who agree.

That ain't a protest, it's crying and stamping your feet, or vaudeville.

TMink said...

Beth wrote: "The tea baggers were about as unfocused as any crowd made up of different interests can be."

Beth, I was going to characterize the protests in Kali with offensive language that I thought would be similarly offensive, but honestly, I did not want to write it. It was too crude and insulting and it felt wrong to write like a homophobe. Especially on this blog, where so many of the people I respect and enjoy reading are gay and lesbian.

But I can ask you as a friend to drop the tes bagging stuff. I understand and support your not agreeing with us, but for some reason, I find the whole tea bagging thing enormously offensive and crass.

Please, criticize us into a puddle, but using insulting language just begs for retaliation and minimizes the chance of debate.

Take care.

Trey

TMink said...

NAMBLA is to gay rights what Fred Phelps is to Christianity. Both are offensive outliers that are pulled up to smear the group in question.

Trey

Ann Althouse said...

You know what deserves a protest? A state constitution that allows itself to be amended, even with respect to individual rights, with a majority referendum vote. Frankly, it's despicable. Imagine if the federal Constitution were amendable like that! See the problem?

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

Althouse, I likey your fiestiness today. Makes me very excited. You go girl.

You are our friend.

Titusisfeelinggreatthankyouforasking said...

Thank you Trey for putting it that way about the NAMBLA thing.

gaywrites said...

Of course Alinsky tactics and sixties era temper tantrums aren't the only way to change society, but weren't we discussing protests? Rules for Radicals aside (though I don't remember stopping traffic being included) I would be careful when characterizing 60s era protests as temper tantrums. Those happen to be the most effective and successful protests in the last century. As you may recall, though you might not, but I wouldn't presume that you lack knowledge as you did to me, MLK (the leader of those temper tantrums) was present at the signing of the civil rights act of 1964.

Also, since when have people that wanted to a "normal" life been the only ones entitled to rights and priveleges? I know plenty of wacky married people and no one said to them when they went to the get married, "sorry, you don't appeal to me as someone that ought to get married. Remember in 1987 when you showed your tits at Mardi Gras? Yeah, you're not normal enough for marriage."

I know hundreds of people I don't consider "normal" or "just like me" or "someone I want to be my neighbor" but I would never use that as justification to strip them of rights the state constitution ensured that they were entitled. If voters are going to be more likely to vote against gay marriage because they had to sit in traffic waiting for a protest or the protesters were wearing leather chaps or feather boas, that doesn't bode well for an argument in support of ballot initiatives, especially when other people's rights are on the line. Nor does it explain why gay people ought to appease people that make decisions for such absurd reasons.

Palladian said...

"Frankly, it's despicable. Imagine if the federal Constitution were amendable like that! See the problem?"

It's amendable enough to ban alcohol apparently.

"Nor does it explain why gay people ought to appease people that make decisions for such absurd reasons."

Them's the breaks when you're playing politics, sugar. Deal with it. Image matters. This is a political battle. You lose when you approach it impoliticly.

Fen said...

If voters are going to be more likely to vote against gay marriage because they had to sit in traffic waiting for a protest or the protesters were wearing leather chaps or feather boas, that doesn't bode well for an argument in support of ballot initiatives, especially when other people's rights are on the line

So in short: you ignorantly believe that marriage is a civil right, and blame the voters for being too ignorant to determine the issue democratically. Do you not see the irony of it?

Fen said...

But hey, now we have a new Justice on SCOTUS who will rule against the laws because she feels sorry for you. So your troubles are over. Or just beginning, depending how you look at it.


I'm ruling for the plantiff, not because of the facts of the case, but because she reminds me of a tabledancer I used to date who worked her way through the streets to become a parole officer.

Jiggle them again for me baby and I might consider awarding your more than you requested.

Fen said...

Beth, I was going to characterize the protests in Kali with offensive language that I thought would be similarly offensive, but honestly, I did not want to write it.

No worries. I can now freely associate tea-bagging with Beth.

Hey Beth, can you jiggle them for me while you suck? Mmmmm. More of that, you hungry little bitch.

/you opened this door. Thanks.

gaywrites said...

I didn't ignorantly believe gay marriage is a civil right, the Constitution of the State of California espoused that. Read the case. In re Marriage Cases 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008). That's what Prop. 8 changed; not a statute, the CONSTITUTION. Don't call people ignorant before you understand the procedural posture yourself.

Fen said...

This is the part where "Teabagger Beth" complains about the hostile tone on this blog and runs away for a week.

Like clockwork.

Hey Beth, you know any other tricks besides tea-bagging?

Big Mike said...

@Trey, sorry you're pissed at my mentioning NAMBLA, but the organization does exist, they have their own web site, and, quite frankly it's by no means up to me to determine whether NAMBLA is an outlier or represents mainstream male homosexual preferences. If NAMBLA is not part of 21st century mainstream male homosexuality, then that's your job to fix, and Palladian's, and a bunch of other gay commenters on this thread.

Don't bother trying to tell me that they're an outlier, and don't bother trying to tell me about male heterosexuals who molest little girls. I know of no organization devoted to heterosexual pedophilia, and the response of male heterosexuals to child molestation can be gauged by the treatment delivered to "short eyes" convicts in prison.

By contrast, the response of the male homosexual community to pederasty seems to be something on the order of "oh, well, it happens."

Don't bother to tell me that it's otherwise; demonstrate that it's otherwise.

Really, I have no idea why lesbians let themselves be shackled to gay males on the issue of marriage. I know of several lesbian couples and every one of them is a stable, monogamous relationship that is very much like an ideal heterosexual marriage. By contrast I know of no gay male relationship that isn't like a seriously pathological marriage. Craig Wilson writing his column in USA Today seems to be the exception. Any other gay male relationships that can be characterized as long-term, stable, monogamous relationships? That's what you need to show. Not that you can sprinkle glitter, block traffic, and play zydeco.

Big Mike said...

@Professor, FWIW you're squarely on point with your comment at 9:30.

Ann Althouse said...

The state constitution was interpreted by the state's authoritative interpreter, the state supreme court, to afford a particular right. Because that constitution also makes itself easy to amend, that right was subsequently removed from the constitution. It isn't much of a constitution if it works like that.

The federal constitution is amended only by a very difficult supermajoritarian process. Try taking away a right like that. If only one legislative house of 17 states votes no, the Constitution is not amended.

I wonder how many rights we'd have left if you could just have a big national referendum on any right and 50% + 1 vote would take that right away. These are real rights. This is a Constitution worthy of the name.

Pogo said...

I wonder how many rights we'd have left if you could just have a big national referendum on any right and 50% + 1 vote would take that right away.Given that judges can take away those rights without a referendum at all, big deal.

PatCA said...

I watched coverage of the LA protests last night, and I have to commend NBC for spotlighting the leaders of the pro-8 group, a black man and a Hispanic man. It doesn't fit "teh narrative" but the Mormon church is not gay marriage's only problem, and they were the only station I saw that reported that.

Jeremy said...

Question: Any counter-proposition that gay activists get on the ballot next year will need 2/3 majority, won't it? I'm assuming that a counter-prop would be a "change" to the State Constitution instead of an ammendment.

-The Other Jeremy

Chase said...

The state constitution was interpreted by the state's authoritative interpreter, the state supreme court, to afford a particular right.

---

And that's the problem isn't it, Ann?

A court - actually only a majority of people on a court - found a right that hadn't previously existed, and was certainly not tin the thought of those who framed that Constitution. And that gives you comfort!?

What if a future court takes away a right that you cherish? was the first court right? Or the second court?

How do YOU resolve that?

bagoh20 said...

Back in the day, I was mostly supportive of gay rights. Then the court overruled the people (who's rights I also support). For Prop 8, I was mostly ambivalent, but voted for it mostly to overrule the courts over-reach. After Prop 8, I saw the hatred, cruelty and selfishness of the gay activists. Now I'm leaning anti-gay, I can't stomach helping people who treat their fellow citizens like props in their private show. Unfortunately, the gays I like have also lost my support since they seem to be fine with this type of activism. I suspect a lot of votes for Prop 8 are like mine, simply anti gay activist. Well done, girls.

gaywrites said...

Chase, I'm afraid you have this backwards. The California Supreme Court did not take away any rights that already existed, it only applied a pre-existing constitutional right (equal protection) to the context of marriage and found that under an existing constitutional principle a statute had violated the constitution AS IT WAS WRITTEN. That's neither a creation of a right, nor the removal of someone else's right.

What the people of California have done is to remove a right that existed, something the court did not do. So if you're so concerned about judges taking away rights, why do you not have any concern for a majority doing the same thing?

Ralph said...

very much like an ideal heterosexual marriage
From a woman's point of view, yes. Lots of talk and hot baths with candles and very little sex.

Pogo said...

More beatings than among heteros, actually, FWIW.

TMink said...

Titus, you are most welcome. It felt like the right and Christian thing to do. Thanks for noticing. I appreciate what you wrote pal.

Trey

bagoh20 said...

"So if you're so concerned about judges taking away rights, why do you not have any concern for a majority doing the same thing?"

Yea, what is the point of all this voting stuff? Let the court pick the next American Idol too!

TMink said...

Fen, Beth is a friend of mine. Please do not treat her in that fashion, she is a person of substance and kindness. I see your point, but she did not personally insult or attack anyone. She is good that way. And many other ways.

Trey

TMink said...

Big Mike wrote: "@Trey, sorry you're pissed at my mentioning NAMBLA,"

I am sorry, I was not clear. I was not pissed or offended, I just see the two approaches as similar. I gotta go, I will read the rest of your post later, but thanks for being kind and considerate. But no harm no foul, I just disagreed with the rhetorical device, no offense involved. Even when people compare me to Phelps!

Peace bro.

Trey

Palladian said...

"I gotta go, I will read the rest of your post later, but thanks for being kind and considerate."

Don't bother. He just ends up basically saying that gay men are guilty of condoning pederasty until they prove themselves innocent, then goes on to call gay male relationships "pathological" because he doesn't know of any that aren't. The usual bullshit from a Neanderthal.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

What did you want them to do, shrug their shoulders, drop their signs and head home? These people have no right to protest?

They have the right to protest. They also have the right to call Barack Obama "a stupid nigger". Would you respect or praise them if they did that? I think you've confused HAVING the right to do something with it BEING right to do it.

These people have the right to protest. They have chosen to use that right to make other people's lives unpleasant -- and for no rational reason, as no rational person can seriously believe that a person stuck in traffic is influenced to support the people blocking his car.

Beth said...

Revenant (and Palladian) - I'm all for the tea party people doing their thing. My poking a little fun at that was intended to remind people that public protest - whether nice, polite tea parties in public parks, or louder, glitter-enabled queers in the streets - are part of the political process. If people have their panties in a wad over the gays in the streets, but are full of patriotic pride in the tea bag wavers, they're being a bit selective. They may say they're opposing the gay marchers' methods, but I suspect many just oppose their issue.

I'm not fully swayed by the tea bag movement, though, because of the lack of coherence I've seen in the gatherings, much as many here were not swayed by anti-Iraq war marches festooned with signs from every conceivable left-wing cause. But that is a topic for another day. I have absolutely no objection to the tea bag gatherings, and I support their right to gather and protest.

(Trey - edited to accommodate your very fair request. -Beth)

Revenant said...

You know what deserves a protest? A state constitution that allows itself to be amended, even with respect to individual rights, with a majority referendum vote. Frankly, it's despicable. Imagine if the federal Constitution were amendable like that! See the problem?

A handful of judges amended the California constitution to restrict the voting rights of Californians, specifically by forbidding them from denying recognition to gay marriage. That was a far more egregious act than Proposition 8 was.

Besides, I think you're ignoring the (to me) obvious fact that the United States Constitution is potentially easier to amend than the California one is. After all, amending the California constitution requires majority voter support. In contrast, it is possible for Congress and the state legislatures to amend the Constitution even if the majority of registered voters are vehemently opposed to doing so. All you need to amend the Constitution is a supermajority of the political class, which doesn't translate to a supermajority of the people.

Beth said...

Great analogy, Trey. You must have aced the GRE.

Thanks, all around.

Revenant said...

If people have their panties in a wad over the gays in the streets, but are full of patriotic pride in the tea bag wavers, they're being a bit selective.

My complaint about the gay rally in question is that it was in the street, Beth. Blocking traffic is not part of the political process; it is a dick move.

The tea parties I am aware of didn't involve marching or inconveniencing other people. That's because the tea parties are trying to rally support, while the rallies last night were about throwing a temper tantrum in public. If they had gone out of their way to be assholes to their fellow citizens and showed their dissatisfaction but blocking traffic, I'd have loudly criticized them for (a) being assholes and (b) hurting a cause I believe in. But they didn't, so I didn't.

They may say they're opposing the gay marchers' methods, but I suspect many just oppose their issue.

Obviously many of them oppose gay marriage too. But what's that got to do with anything? Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that protests are a valuable part of the political process (I think they're worthless, but whatever). Well, it doesn't follow that each and every protest is a valuable part of the political process. Freedom of the press is valuable, but that doesn't mean Michael Moore and Ann Coulter are. There's nothing hypocritical about deriding one protest while praising another.

I'm not fully swayed by the tea bag movement, though, because of the lack of coherence I've seen in the gatherings.

The fact that you call it "the tea bag movement" makes me doubt you've any familiarity with it. But in any case, the reason for the lack of coherence is that it is a genuine grassroots movement of the disenfranchised. They've got a lot of grievances, not all of them universally shared.

Big Mike said...

@Palladian, you know I've only ever read one gay man who had negative things to say about NAMBLA and its members? Andrew Sullivan, back before he got obsessed about Sarah Palin's children.

I see I've hit a sore spot and perhaps come closer to the truth than you'd like, because you are one of the more articulate commenters here and yet your only response is to call names. That's not your normal style, is it?

Your side has work to do, and you don't like that. Sorry.

Beth said...

Revenant, we're not really far apart on this. I think the traffic blocking is stupid; people aren't thinking strategically, they're venting anger, and ultimately, they're going to have to win votes.

Beth said...

Big Mike, you're not reading enough, then. Don't blame Palladian, or me for that matter, for your lack of familiarity with an issue. NAMBLA isn't an ally of gay people, so why should gay people be responsible for repudiating it? NAMBLA tried to hitch onto the emerging gay movement in the 70s, and didn't succeed.

Palladian said...

"I see I've hit a sore spot and perhaps come closer to the truth than you'd like, because you are one of the more articulate commenters here and yet your only response is to call names. That's not your normal style, is it?"

You implied that I was tolerant of pedophilia and now you seem to be actually accusing me of being a secret pedophile and you expect me to respond decently to you? You have got to be kidding.

"Your side has work to do, and you don't like that. Sorry."

Go fuck yourself.

Big Mike said...

@Beth, much earlier in this thread you asked "Why would you think NAMBLA is an issue for gay people, like marriage is?" I see that while I was typing this message you provided more material in your 2:11 post, but I do beg to differ. Isn't NAMBLA composed entirely of gay men?

The problem isn't what is an issue for gay people. The problem is, what are the issues for the rest of us.

I'm not able to speak for more than myself, but there are two things I'm wrestling with on SSM. The first concerns the question of what constitutes a marriage. In my own case, my wife and I have been married for almost 35 years. I think I'm married to my best friend. I've been absolutely monogamous since the day I met her because (1) I love her, and (2) I'd rather die painfully than hurt in any way shape or form. This is a stronger marriage than many, I recognize, but surely it's true that a marriage, to be meaningful, is more than just two people sharing the same bed.

So how does this apply to gay people? Well, my perception is that lesbians are saying something along the lines of "Hey! That describes my partner and myself." And in my limited experience it does. But for gay men? Back when Andrew Sullivan was almost the only gay male pushing for gay marriage his blog posts read something along the lines of "Hey! There are heterosexual relationsips that are officially regarded as marriages but which are deeply flawed, so you should allow us the same rights." Do you see my problem? If not, then that's okay but we won't be seeing eye to eye anytime soon. Shouldn't gay men, if they really want SSM, be trying to show that their intention is to legitimatize long-term, mongamous relationships?

The second problem I have with SSM concerns tactics, and I see that you already get my point. During the civil rights demonstrations of the 1960's people had a chance to decide whether they were on the side of well-groomed people peacefully marching for rights that the rest of us took for granted, or on the side of the KKK, and Bull Connor with his fire hoses in Birmingham, and the Alabama State Troopers at Pettus Bridge in Selma. Not even close.

Now let's look at the Prop. 8 demonstrations. Whose side should I be supporting? The people just trying to drive some place or the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence? People who expressed themselves peacefully at the ballot box, or the 6+ footer who thought it was right and proper to assault a 69 year old woman daring to exercise her right to free speech in the Castro disttrict?

Getting back to NAMBLA, I'm bothered that it exists. Are there any comparable organizations that exist to support women molesting underage children of either gender? Didn't think so. Are there any organizations that openly promote heterosexual rights to engage in sexual relations with underage girls? Didn't think so. So why the implied tolerance for NAMBLA by the gay male community? Even Palladian cannot muster up enough gumption to denounce it -- my raising the question makes me the more fun target.

You and he and other gay commenters are foolish if you try to tell us that NAMBLA is our problem to get over. It's for gay men to deal with.

Big Mike said...

@Palladian, I didn't mean to imply that you yourself are a secret pederast, and I apologize for not trying to be more careful with my wording.

As for the rest, you can't seem to muster enough indignation to denounce NAMBLA. Is that because the people behind it are sufficiently powerful within the gay community that it would be very uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for you to do so? Or is it because you dont' think it's such a big deal?

As for your final remark directed towards me, alas for my poor wife, I'm not nearly long enough.

gaywrites said...

How many gay couples do you know big Mike? And have you ever read the news stories about the countless male, gay couples that have been committed for decades? The gay men that don't take their relationships seriously are not the ones fighting for marriage. However, I'm pretty sure there's some divorced straight people out there that still don't want gays to get married. You can't tell an entire group of people they have to prove they're able to get married just because you don't know any that live up to your standard of marriage. Half of marriages end in divorce. People are able to get married and divorced as many times as they like, with no judgment by the government on whether they are committed to their partners. Many people who are not in love get married because they feel cultural pressure. People get married because they are pregnant. People get married for many reasons, marriage means many things to many people, and the only group of people being asked to prove their worth is gay people? That's the epitome of unfairness.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Street protests and marches have played a huge, important role in every civil rights movement. It is of utmost importance that people see large numbers of people demonstrating the amount of passion there is for the cause. Visibility won Obama the presidency. Without the public displays and the news stories, and the images of thousands and thousands of people marching together, you don't have a movement. It could not be more critical. Without it, all you have are a couple of pundits yammering about on CNN. Actually, without it, you probably wouldn't even have that, because the issue would seem utterly unimportant. As far as somehow pissing off people in the center, the only people who would have been pissed off by these protests would be homophobic people. This was a completely peaceful protest with thousands of people walking a 7-mile route chanting about equal rights. Totally and completely inoffensive. If you find that upsetting, I think it's most likely that that comes from homophobia (even if you are, yourself, gay).

gaywrites said...

Oh, and NAMBLA. What a joke. The membership of that organization in its heyday barely topped 1,000 members. It is a fringe group, and it has been denounced by gay people and gay advocacy organizations for decades. Here is the Human Rights Campaign's position on NAMBLA: "NAMBLA is not a gay organization ... They are not part of our community and we thoroughly reject their efforts to insinuate that pedophilia is an issue related to gay and lesbian civil rights." Here is GLAAD's position on NAMBLA: GLAAD "deplores the North American Man Boy Love Association's (NAMBLA) goals, which include advocacy for sex between adult men and boys and the removal of legal protections for children. These goals constitute a form of child abuse and are repugnant to GLAAD." And the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's position: "NGLTF condemns all abuse of minors, both sexual and any other kind, perpetrated by adults. Accordingly, NGLTF condemns the organizational goals of NAMBLA and any other such organization."

The gay community has dealt with NAMBLA, so I'm not sure I see your point.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

gaywrites thoroughly and completely deals with the ridiculous, bigoted introduction of NAMBLA to this thread, and no further comment on that issue is needed by anyone.

Big Mike said...

@gay, in response to your 3:45 post. There are seven lesbian couples I know of, and all appear to be long-term, monogamous relationships. The only gay male relationship like that I know of is Craig Wilson's in USA Today. Perhaps my male colleagues who are in long-term, monogamous gay relationships are still in the closet or otherwise quiet about their personal life. I don't know. I'm just saying what I'd want to see before I changed my mind on SSM. You'll have to take my word for it that my mind really is changeable, but folks throwing accusations of unfairness, fecal matter and/or FU's in my general direction ain't gonna cut it.

As for the 2nd part of your post, you're falling into Andrew Sullivan's trap. Yes, the divorce rate is high -- much too high IMAO. 25% would be too high, considering the impact of divorce on children and the difficulties women face raising children as a single parent. Many of us heteros are concerned about that, but for whatever reason American society has been afraid to do any sort of root cause analysis, so it's not clear how to fix things. What we don't need is another raft of bad marriages piling on our ration of shit. So don't bother telling me that I'm unfair. Unfair is the impact of high divorce rates on society.

And in response to your 3:57 post, I'm glad to see that the gay community has "dealt with NAMBLA." But this is the first I'd read of it -- and it's the gay community's responsibility to let us heteros know, not our responsibility to go hunt it out.

Don't any of you get it?

Big Mike said...

@CAC, you are simply wrong as a statement of fact on the civil rights demonstrations. What was key was the Southern response to them. I know, because I was a college student during the 1960's and joined some civil rights demonstrations myself. If opposition to civil rights meant siding with the KKK and with Bull Connors, no one wanted to be part of that. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" is one of the finest documents ever produced in the United State.

The anti-war demonstrations of the 1960's, believe it or not, did nothing to stop the war. What stopped the war in the end was Nixon's recognition that he would have a tough time against McGovern in 1972 unless he forced the North Vietnamese to sign the Peace Accords, so he bombed the bloody hell out of Hanoi and ordered the mining of Haiphong. That convinced the North Vietnamese leadership that he'd kill every man, woman, and child if that's what it took to "win" the war, and so they signed, giving the US a fig leaf that we took gladly.

I was watching on TV when LBJ said "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President." I was there. This is what happened.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed your demonstration. It doubt it will accomplish anything, but who knows?

Revenant said...

Palladian, you know I've only ever read one gay man who had negative things to say about NAMBLA and its members?

Which proves nothing more than that you seldom listen to gay men. Given the content of your posts this is a somewhat less than completely shocking revelation. :)

Revenant said...

Street protests and marches have played a huge, important role in every civil rights movement.

No, they haven't. They didn't even play a huge and important role in the American civil rights movement. They were just the most photogenic part of the movement.

It is of utmost importance that people see large numbers of people demonstrating the amount of passion there is for the cause.

No, it isn't, because everyone in modern America knows it is no real trick to get large crowds to people to air their grievances in public. "Oh look, the gays are whining about the Prop 8 ruling. There's a fuckin' surprise". If it had gone the other way you'd have religious conservatives marching and yelling in the streets instead. Yawn.

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

@Rev, or perhaps I don't know very many gay men who are out of the closet. I don't know. I read Craig Wilson's column regularly but I haven't bothering with Sullivan since he lost his marbles over Sarah Palin.

I think I've been clear that I'm prepared to learn that things aren't what they seem, but as I said to gaywrites, it is manifesly not my responsibility to go hunting for information.

Oh, screw it. Let's just all hate each other in mutual ignorance if that's what you'd rather do.

Palladian said...

"Street protests and marches have played a huge, important role in every civil rights movement. It is of utmost importance that people see large numbers of people demonstrating the amount of passion there is for the cause."

Many people don't respond to "passion". This is something you're going to have to lose a few more times to learn.

"Visibility won Obama the presidency."

It sure did. Visibility granted by an almost completely complicit media running positive propaganda 24 hours a day. Also people got damp panties listening to his deep voice give sing-song speeches full of candy. That's always good for some votes. Sarah Palin got a lot of visibility. All it won her was the media's collective speculum in her uterus.

"Without the public displays and the news stories, and the images of thousands and thousands of people marching together, you don't have a movement. It could not be more critical."

Mobs of "thousands and thousands if people marching together" are rarely critical. Mob mentality doesn't induce critical thinking.

"Without it, all you have are a couple of pundits yammering about on CNN."

To millions of viewers, without blocking traffic or wearing fright wigs.

"Actually, without it, you probably wouldn't even have that, because the issue would seem utterly unimportant."

Any issue featuring men in nun outfits, drag queens, ministers anointing people with glitter and so forth is usually utterly unimportant.

"As far as somehow pissing off people in the center, the only people who would have been pissed off by these protests would be homophobic people."

I was "pissed off" by these protests (actually just mildly annoyed, but I'll play along). Am I "homophobic", Dr Althouse? What's your diagnosis? I've had gay sex in the last 24 hours, does that count for anything? Probably not. I'm sure you'll just pronounce me "self-loating".

"This was a completely peaceful protest with thousands of people walking a 7-mile route chanting about equal rights. Totally and completely inoffensive."

I find thousands of people walking and chanting about anything offensive, not to mention creepy and depersonalizing. What were you chanting, "Fuck the homophobic negroes and spics!"? "Kill the Mormons"? "Fuck the rule of Law and the will of the People"? I'm sure it had to rhyme. You can't have a REAL AWESOME PROTEST MARCH without rhyming.So did you get laid last night? That's the real question. I bet the jizz was really flying at the FUCK THE NEGROES, MORMONS, SPICS AND HOMOPHOBES MARCH afterparty.

"If you find that upsetting, I think it's most likely that that comes from homophobia (even if you are, yourself, gay)."

Ah, I knew it was coming! The dread SELF-LOATING HOMOSEXUAL slur!

Fuck you very much, you little twerp.

Palladian said...

"Hi! I'm Palladian! I'm a homosexual and I'd like to take this opportunity to denounce, abjure, and disassociate myself from pederasts, pedophiles and any organization advocating or practicing pederasty or pedophilia in any form, with a slight exception for the Roman Catholic Church. What's your name?"

Man, I'd be a hit at cocktail parties I'm sure!

"Oh, screw it. Let's just all hate each other in mutual ignorance if that's what you'd rather do."

I would rather do. Fuck off!

Big Mike said...

@Palladian, well I guess I could go hate you in mutual ignorance, but actually I you seem like a nice guy. In some ways.

You don't need to make an exception for the Catholic church.

And you don't need to make the announcement at a cocktail party. If I don't enough gay men then I'm guessing you don't know enough straights. To you our concerns smack of bigotry, but maybe there needs to be more communication.

Revenant said...

I think I've been clear that I'm prepared to learn that things aren't what they seem, but as I said to gaywrites, it is manifesly not my responsibility to go hunting for information.

It is not your responsibility to cease being ignorant, certainly. It isn't even your responsibility to cease displaying your ignorance in public.

But neither is it anyone else's job to educate you. If you would prefer to remain ignorant, go right on ahead and be ignorant. Your loss.

Ralph said...

Are there any comparable organizations that exist to support women molesting underage children of either gender?
The schools?
Sorry, couldn't resist.

Big Mike said...

@Rev, it is, however, my responsibility to change my position when I learn new facts or learn that I have based my earlier positions on incomplete facts or facts that are outright wrong.

But so far only gaywrites has bothered to push anything like a contrary fact in my direction. Everybody else if responding with the one-fingered salute.

If SSM really is something that gay men want, then one-fingered salutes aren't how you will get it.

But I've read numerous comments by you, Revnant, and by Palladian. You aren't stupid. I'm certain you already know that. Okay, I'll figure out what's going on eventually.

Revenant said...

But so far only gaywrites has bothered to push anything like a contrary fact in my direction.

That's because, like I said before, I don't care that you're ignorant. It only hurts you, and if you don't care enough to take action then why should I? Once upon a time your sort represented an actual threat to gay people. But we're long past the point where a person can say nonsense like "legalizing pedophilia is the next step after legalizing gay marriage" without people thinking he's anything other than an idiot.

Since I don't care that people think you're an idiot, I'm not going to fix the problem. :)

TragicAgingHipster said...

"Because that constitution also makes itself easy to amend, that right was subsequently removed from the constitution. It isn't much of a constitution if it works like that."


---Ann Althouse

_______________________________


The State Constitution worked just fine for Prop. 13.

And, it it's so easy to remove a right, than it's probably just as easy to reinstate it during the next general election.

But it also requires clever and competitive campaigning. The tepid ---"We're your neighbors"--- campaign from last year, obviously, wasn't compelling enough to sway a majority.

And, screaming in the streets won't do it either.

Beth said...

Isn't NAMBLA composed entirely of gay men?No, NAMBLA is composed entirely of men who want to have sex will male children. Gay men have sex with adult men. People who have sex with children do not share anything with the rest of us; that their targets are either of their own gender or the opposite means nothing. I don't think straight men who rape little girls have anything in common with you, but if you insist, I'll start saying that straight men tolerate girl-rapists. It's not something I believe, but I'm willing to be educated.

Beth said...

Shouldn't gay men, if they really want SSM, be trying to show that their intention is to legitimatize long-term, mongamous relationships?As much as straight people do; why hold us to a higher standard?

Beth said...

So why the implied tolerance for NAMBLA by the gay male community? Where is that implied tolerance? You're raising questions on false assumptions. NAMBLA is not a gay group, and gay men have no more or less responsibility than anyone else to condemn it.

Beth said...

Is that because the people behind it are sufficiently powerful within the gay community that it would be very uncomfortable, if not dangerous, for you to do so?Oh for the love of Mike (no pun intended.) Sweet Jesus. No! There's no secret pedophile power cabal!

Revenant said...

There's no secret pedophile power cabal!

Unless you count the Catholic Church. :)

Beth said...

Revenant, you're bad. If we're ever at a party, sit next to me.

Beth said...

Big Mike, my last comment: it certainly IS your responsibility to educate yourself as you form your opinions, and of course I mean to apply that to all of us.

Take your assumptions, turn them into questions, and do a little research. Rather than assume gay men have said nothing to repudiate NAMBLA, try asking instead "What do gay rights organizations say about NAMBLA?" and google it. Voila!

Or you can ask me - but don't expect any daily updates on my own volition. There's no gay agenda that we email around, full of fun and education facts for straight people. But as a friend, I'm happy to be a resource.

Big Mike said...

@Beth, much obliged.

Big Mike said...

Chagrined, but obliged.