Thursday, November 6, 2008

8 Is Enough

The Common Man has been recovering from his long, dark night of the blogging soul, and catching up on some work in the past day or so. His excitement over the Obama victory (and there was a good deal of excitement), however, was tempered by his disappointment over California voters' decision to ban gay marriage. Proposition 8, which sought to amend the state constitution to codify a marriage as a union of a man and a woman, won by a 52-48 percent margin, undoing a California Supreme Court ruling from last year that made gay marriage legal. The Common Man has people he loves and cares about who are gay, and he feels very sad that they are not afforded the same opportunity as their straight brethren.

This election highlights just how unacceptable the general public of this country finds gay marriage. Indeed, if a state as liberal as California can't turn out enough voters to defeat such a ridiculous amendment, no state can. Anyway, The Common Man wants supporters of equal marriage rights to know he is with them, and so presents of all the reasons supporting gay marriage is manly, or at least not not manly:

1) You are secure in your masculinity and your marriage. You understand that your marriage is not in jeopardy because Adam and Steve can now tie the knot. Adam and Steve have their own problems to worry about, without looking for ways to undermine the sanctity of your union. And just because they have the option to walk down the aisle doesn't mean you are suddenly going to put on short-shorts, buy a Shih-Tzu, and go looking for a James Gandolfini-look-a-like in San Francisco's Bear Bars. Indeed, your sexuality is your own. And your marriage is your own. And they will both thrive or fail based on your ability to be a man, not on the influence of some outside force. The only reason to feel threatened is because you feel afraid, afraid like a girly scaredy man.

2) Fairness is manly. Sure, life isn't fair sometimes. Nor should it be. But as a society, America should always strive to make opportunities equal for all. In some instances (school busing policies, for examples), the best overall way to promote fairness of opportunity isn't crystal clear. In this case, however, it is. Gay people are being denied a right that straight people have. If marriage is a right (and its inclusion in state constitutions suggests that it is), then it is a right that should be extended to all peoples. Besides, who says marriage is a benefit? Lyndon Johnson said about Affirmative Action, "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, `You are free to compete with an the others,' and still justly believe that you have been completely fair." If marriage is a ball and chain around the feet of straight men everywhere, The Common Man welcomes putting that same chain around the limbs of gay couples. Let's even the playing field.

3) Choice is manly. Men crave the ability to control their own destiny. Whether that is owning their own businesses or driving the car. It's the American dream to be able to make the choices that shape who you are and what you will do. This goes for the associations men keep as well. Men don't like to be told who to date or who to be friends with, who to like and who to hate. Indeed, when states ban gay marriage, they are essentially limiting choice. These states are saying that they don't think you have the ability to make the choices about your life that are best for you. Conservatives often complain about a big government, and getting that government off of citizens' backs. The Common Man has a hard time imagining a more intrusive government than one that won't even allow its citizens choose how they will be associated with the people they choose to associate with.

So grow a pair, support gay marriage and denounce Prop 8. You know it's the right thing to do.


BM said...

Word. Ashamed of my state, proud of my country.

BillP said...


Know what else? If you can amend your constitution by a simple plurality vote, it's not a constitution. Kind of the whole purpose of those things is to protect people's rights from garbage exactly like this.

Kevin (ReturnToManliness) said...

Not sure where I fall out on this. I remain unaffiliated, but vote almost all D on everything. I am for gay marriage, however, I do appreciate the State's right to rule on this until there is a US amendment. I don't think this will ever happen, but I also didn't think our country was ready for a President of color. I hope I am wrong on the former as I was on the latter.

That being said, the State voted and we have to respect the vote. Since this was voted the same way in 3 other states this time around, it tells me our country is not quite ready for it. It was pretty close vote in all of those elections, but still not quite there.

My thoughts are aligned with Biden on this one. I am for same sex rights across the board. I have no opinion on the marriage question right now, but since several state's votes the same way, it is clear the majority is not ready to take it all the way...

The Common Man said...

@ bm

Well, the country isn't doing much better when it comes to gay marriage bm. But The Common Man knows what you meant, and concurs.


Great point. The Common Man hadn't even thought about the purpose of the constitution, as a document that by definition has to be difficult to change. Just think how easy it was to get 50% of the people to decide George Bush had done a good job between 2001 and 2004.

@ kevin

The Common Man understands your desire to respect California's sovereign right to decide its own destiny (though that didn't stop prominent Mormon officials from doing the same thing). And Biden's solution has merit, but only if the government gets out of the marriage game entirely. Indeed, why are judges and justices of the peace allowed to marry people anyway? Marriage should be and generally is a spiritual institution, not a secular one. Perhaps the notions of marriage and domestic partnership need to exist side by side for all in this country.

Erasmus said...

Sorry for the lateness of the response. I don't read the Common Man as often as I should.

Without comment on either, it occurs to me that the argument in favor of gay marriage is identical to the argument in favor of polygamy.

Does the Common Man draw the line anywhere on the consenting adults union continuum?

Yes I appreciate the irony that most polygamists are against gay marriage. :)

BikeMonkey said...

hmm, thought I posted something on this already...

anyhoo, kevin my man the point is this. we have a tripartite system of government, state and fed, for a reason. Sometimes gutter democracy gets it wrong and the courts can fix us up. agreed that part of the tipping point on this one may just have been a small anti-court vote that didn't necessarily feel strongly pro8 otherwise. a sad misunderstanding of our system in my view.