Gay Hypocrites and the Liberals That Front for Their Asses

Californian squabbles for and against gay marriage have turned into an utter and complete pisshap.  Surprisingly to the rest of the world (and infuriatingly for many a native), California has proven to be a veritable Mississippi when it comes to gay rights.  And the strident anti-gayness is hardly limited to “set the air on internal circulation” stretches of middle California. It is true even for Hollywood where everyone, from prostiboot-wearing clubsters to mild-mannered office workers in programmers’ tans, took to the streets to celebrate last week’s ruling that Proposition 8, which outlawed Californian same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional.

Hollywood is a microcosm of California in general.  Why?  Because of the inherent contradiction that it presents. It attempts to project a progressive image but frequently the only things willing to come out of the closet are dinosaur skeletons with anachronistic agendas aimed at placating homophobic heartland audiences.

“Hollywood celebrities are notoriously liberal, losing no opportunity to endorse Left-wing causes or trumpet their support of Barack Obama,” says British writer Toby Young, “yet the entire showbiz community conspires to protect the carefully cultivated straight identities of its gay members, terrified that if word gets out their fans will turn on them.”  Young names a few of these late bloomers: Barry Diller, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Hayes and Ricky Martin.

As much as rainbow flags look perfectly in their element in the liberal mecca that is Hollywood, there is a hypocritical, traditionalist streak that would make Ann Coulter blush in the Hollywood machine.  Think about it — why do in-the-closet celebrities take so painfully long to come out to the world?  It’s because perpetuating American norms of the heartland pays serious financial dividends.  While it may be fashionable to pay lip service to gay rights and include the occasional hilarious gay protagonist in a show or movie, real stabs at equality often escape the industry.

Much to the chagrin of the progressive world, duplicity is true for the state as a whole as well. Worldwide, California has a reputation of being a haven for enlightenment (especially in the larger cities) and yet the state manages to not just slow, but actually dial back progress even on issues of basic human equality.  It is unbelievable.  After the ban on gay marriage was overturned in May of 2008, California voters famously created ballot initiative Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry Act.  The amendment passed, shocking both California and the rest of the world.

The fact that this unfortunate knee-jerk reaction by California’s social conservatives was overturned as unconstitutional by Judge Vaughn Walker last week does not indicate that California has made much progress, however.  Proposition 8 passed with a 52% majority in 2008 so it is hard to know for sure what voters are thinking now.

So what should be done? Liberals cannot underestimated the depth of conservative entrenchment and investment in maintaining the status quo.  As we have seen, even in the midst of the huge liberal victory that was the 2008 election, conservatives are scrappy and will do all they can to sabotage the fight for gay rights. As it currently stands, Walker has put a stay on the ruling until August 18, giving opponents of his decision the chance at appeal.  When his stay on the ruling expires, same-sex marriage will be possible again.  But nobody can really breathe a sigh of relief.  Opponents to last week’s ruling have already filed an emergency appeal with the 9th Circuit court and chances are the case will go as far as the Supreme Court.

California is a fickle state and you learn that things are often not as they appear.  Avoid putting the bubbly on ice just yet … unless you want to get corkscrewed.

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Bjorn Karlman

30 thoughts on “Gay Hypocrites and the Liberals That Front for Their Asses”

  1. Hey, don’t get greedy. You already have the most backward immigration legislation in the nation… one step at a time, Mr AZ:)

  2. So you are telling me you are foaming at the mouth with hate and drag your knuckles to some hate club you attend once a week?

  3. Most backward immigration legislation besides the federal government you mean…

    I find your marriage value system frivolous. You find mine frivolous. I guess it is a wash.

  4. The federal government has a long way to go.. fair point. not sure that I find your marriage value system frivolous.. I am planning my own very hetero marriage for March next year..

  5. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either, but that is what people say about those who oppose gay marriage…why not say the same about people who oppose other types of marriage?

  6. well… the hate club rhetoric is just lazy liberal babble…

    But I don’t think gay rights activists oppose other forms of marriage.. they just think marriage should be possible for everyone.

  7. I got the impression that you thought keeping marriage one man one woman was frivolous. I think extending the rights to gays, and not other groups is frivolous.

  8. I am all for marriage – whether it be hetero or gay. Generally speaking, I think that commitment of marriage is a good thing regardless of your orientation

  9. Help me understand something. It wasn’t so long that being homosexual was just not socially acceptable. Yet over the last couple of decades we have gotten to the point where seeing homosexual relationships on the screen, on the street or even among our own friends has become perfectly acceptable. In the age where the heterosexual marriages are not what they used to be, with a large percentage being live-ins or civil unions, why the big push for gay MARRIAGE? It seems that the real issue is no longer that I accept and am tolerant of gay relationships, but in order not to be called out as a hater, bigot, homophobe or worse I have to ENDORSE it and say that it is OK, that it is good and desirable, in violation of my own rights of freedom of opinion and speech. Which makes me wonder – is that what is going on? Is the movement for “tolerance” actually intolerant towards those not of the same opinion? And do we by “tolerance” mean out and out endorsement of the behavior? Why this need for affirmation? Is there a feeling, way down deep in the psyche of the gay community, that what they are doing is actually not right, and so there is this relentless push for the society at large to not only accept it, but endorse it; to affirm them and say that it is okay?

  10. Hi Bjorn,

    I’ll just say that I do not believe homosexuality to be a people group that the Constitution can protect. They are a behaviour group. We can’t buy into the notion that people have not choice in how they behave and therefore must allow them to behave however they want. Sexual orientation is a myth, nothing more. Yes, it’s a struggle for many, but the fact is that many have been able to change, and no one has to have sex to live. We can’t make sex into something that controls us. Human beings must control it. We must control how it is used. If our laws teach that people just have no choice in their sexual behavior, then God help us.

  11. Bjorn, I like your article. Bill Maher talked about something similar to this when prop 8 came up. I think that what this gets to is that we Americans have an over simplified view of liberal and conservative. There are many issues that people can be liberal on while at the same time being conservative on others. Breaking down the demographics of California, African and Latin Americans being liberal on a variety of political issues tend to be very conservative on social issues (remember that most Latino/as are still quite Catholic). The results of prop 8 clearly indicate this. However, I think if the ballot issue did not come up, most of the people who voted for it would not scream and cry about gay marriage like those in the Bible belt would. Anyway, in conclusion, I think the whole liberal/conservative mindset of America’s current political discourse is about as retarded as team Jacob v. team Edward. It has become too schematic and not a true representation of how people actually think and view issues. No one in the news or political world seems to be willing to break thinks down and see issues or bills/acts of congress for what they really are. It is much easier to think in Black and White, which is a real shame.

  12. While the same folks who inflicted upon us the recall and the guvernator, namely, well-healed conservatives and their bigoted lackeys from red inner California, certainly contributed to Prop 8, the directive from Salt Lake City cannot be ignored. The well-oiled LDS machine, which not only commanded each of its members in the voice of God’s earthly incarnation [the Prophet], but also provided a handy garden sign and a phone list to each of its minions is largely responsible for the travesty that was Prop 8.
    As an aside, LDS church embraced racism as doctrine until their Prophet experienced a politically timely “revelation” in 1978.

  13. Dave, although you and I seem to fundamentally disagree on the issue of gay marriage, I certainly can sympathize with your feeling that any diversion from en vogue sentiment can get you branded a bigot. The intriguing thing is that those that back the gay rights lobby are hardly a majority in America and for that reason, for example, Alexis de Toqueville’s thoughts of the “tyranny of the majority” do not apply. My support for gay marriage comes less from a moral argument and more for Walker’s own rationale in his ruling:

    “The evidence shows that the tradition of restricting an individual’s choice of spouse based on gender does not rationally further a state interest despite its ‘ancient lineage.”

    “Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians…and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.”
    ” Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.”

  14. Thanks for your thoughts Jonathan. I see where you are coming from but I think we work from fairly different assumptions. While I don’t believe behavior is forced on humans, I don’t think that sexual orientation is a choice. And I agree, sex is not a life necessity. But legislating rules of sexual conduct or marital possibility is not, in my opinion, necessary or right.

  15. Agreed, Tristan, I was almost cringing at my own use of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” in this article. Reality is obviously far more nuanced and you are right that Prop 8 originally passed with a lot of help from – ugghghh… here we go again – liberals.

  16. I am all for bashing the LDS, but the fact that a majority of Californians voted in favor of it does say something to the complexity of the diverse electorate that resides in the state. It was a tragedy, but a very interesting one.

  17. mmm. the terms pigeonhole people a bit too much. It is a fault of the two party system, and unfortunately it is used to gain political control (ie. poor family farmers in mid-west who are socially conservative voting against their own livelihood and economic interests). Very sad… perhaps the growth of localism might mix things up a bit.

  18. It’s not my intention to bash the LDS church as a whole, although, let’s face it, with a central prophet called “Moron [i]” it’s more than tempting. My problem is with ideocracy and doctrinal intolerance. I do believe that the Utah interference in CA tipped the scales—such a narrow victory. Utah’s activism also galvanized fundamentalist and black churches to mobilize to legislate the human rights of a minority population.
    There has been some interesting and commendable Mormon backlash:
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/11/a-mormon-agains.html

  19. As impressed as I have been with the LDS community on a number of issues (holistic lifestyle, strong emphasis on (albeit VERY traditional) families, interesting leaders – Stephen Covey and Jon Huntsman Jr, our damn sharp Ambassador to China), I was bummed and disappointed with how they, a healthy cross-section of evangelicals and even a decent smattering of high church voices helped support Prop 8. The blurring of the separation of Church and State has always bothered me.

    Some encouraging signs?

    LDS moms against Prop 8: http://www.abc4.com/content/news/top stories/story/LDS-moms-hold-vigil-against-Prop-8/E81cQC526UaEWdX1G9N40A.cspx

    Seventh-day Adventists against Prop 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90ANZiOK0o0 (my pastor (Ryan Bell) features in this one)

    Christian leftists against Prop 8: http://www.mormontimes.com/article/9043/Obama-names-Gov-Huntsman-ambassador-to-China

  20. cool, I hadn’t come across The Atlantic article… I think that this kind of counter-activism is going to emerge more and more in conservative congregations as the post modern and post post modern generations become more vocal. They (and I’ll include my Adventist self in this) value the community they were raised in, warts and all. Gay intolerance, while rampant, is something that I hope future generations will fight from within religious communities rather than simply fueling further separation of the wheat and the chaff.

  21. yeah, I’d be interested in more of your thoughts on localism… liberals and conservatives seem to be taking to it with equal enthusiasm…

    On a related note, I love the line in “The Kids are Alright” where one of “Moms”, Nic, says about the organic fad: “”If I hear one more person say how much they love heirloom tomatoes, I’m going to punch them right in the face.” It was beautiful. Kind of like the “FXXX Martha Stewart” line in Fight Club… so satisfying somehow.

  22. There are all kinds of state interests in legislating on sexual conduct, from public health, to decency, morality, family, etc. I wish there were more

    See Bjorn, I don’t see this as a church-state issue. Morality and religion are related but not the same thing. A free society allows the majority to determine it’s moral values and laws rather than a group of elites. The constitution simply gave boundaries to the majority by protecting the rights of minority people groups and religious expression. It does not protect all behaviour and cannot.

    It would be perfectly constitutional to outlaw homosexuality period, which was the case for most of American history. I don’t even think it would be wrong, so long as we were consistent and also outlawed adultery.

    God certainly doesn’t seem to think it is wrong to outlaw it since He did in the Old Testament. There’s all kinds of state interest in outlawing it, from public health, to decency, to morality.

    It is therefore definatlely legit for the majority to decide which marriages are acceptable and which are not. We’re all born sinners. And we all have to control that somehow as we live in a society.

  23. Jonathan, as much as I agree that there is an inevitable blurring of the lines between Christian and American values, I shudder at the mere thought of your suggestion that OT governance should guide legislation today.

    Why not make a solid case for Sharia law while we are at it? Jehovah seems pretty OK with dramatic episodes of genocide and stoning really bad guys as well… why not incorporate that?.. it would certainly cut down on the costs of imprisonment.

    Anyway, back to the case at hand. Yes, homosexuality was outlawed for much of American history. I am sure that you agree that this alone doesn’t make a return to such backwardness a good idea… there were other less than flattering aspects of legislation back in the day – slavery and far-less-than-universal suffrage

    I think we are all happy that America has evolved from these blatant injustices… here’s some of Walker’s language around his decision… I found this interesting:

    “The evidence shows that the movement of marriage away from a gendered institution and toward an institution free from state-mandated gender roles reflects an evolution in the understanding of gender rather than a change in marriage. The exclusion [of gays from marriage] exists as an artifact of a time when the genders were seen as having distinct roles in society and in marriage. That time has passed.”

    “Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians…The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples.”

  24. Taken in context, the OT does not endorse genocide. The slaughter of the Canaanites was a Divine judgment on a deeply depraved population. As for capital punishment, I’m all for it. It’s ludicrous how much money our society spends on criminals. And for what, our crime rate is consistently on the rise. We are robbing people who need and deserve these resources to house and feed predators, murderers and thieves.

    What if God is actually smarter than you? has that possibility ever crossed your mind? Just asking.

    I’m not saying I want to impose the OT on our society. I’m just saying that such legislation would not be wrong per se, only that that imposing it on an unwilling population would.

    Adventists walk a fine balance as conservatives who believe that the Bible is 0 inspired by God and reliable in all aspects of life, yet at the same time recognizing that God does not desire forced obedience and therefore does not want his laws imposed on a society.

    Therefore we are not against the laws of the Old Testament being passed, only against them being imposed. We believe in democracy as the best system available until Jesus returns.

    I’ve struggled with this for some time, trying to figure out how to shape my political views in light of this. I’ve come to the conclusion that the constitution got it right. Let the majority decide what acceptable behaviour is (through laws enacted through the elected branches of government), so long as it is not discriminatory towards people groups or religious expression. (Which the un-elected judiciary has a warrant to protect)

    As inconsistent as it may seem to you and I, considering how just about anything else goes in California, the people of California decided that they were not ready to accept gay marriage. They had every right to do that and a judge Walker overstepped his bounds when he overturned Proposition 8.

    think about it. Sharia law is an elite minority imposing moral laws on the majority, rather than letting the people decide through elected officials and referendums. Who’s guilty of that right now?

  25. Thanks Jonathan, I appreciate the discussion. And I am relieved that you don’t think Old Testament law for nomads should be imposed on the US in 2010. And I’m with you, democracy rocks. But if, as you said, you respect the constitution, then civil rights and equality are little gems too:)

  26. Hey Bjorn,

    I think this post is a little mixed up. Respecting the views and values of “heartland” America (or the of the American majority as a whole, California included as per your post – & don’t forget Barack Obama or the Clintons) is a separate chore from calling on the majority to *respect* the freedoms of the minority. As a matter-of-fact many of us hope to have these “conservative” views on marriage shared by even more Americans as time goes by, I just don’t think we should use the ballot box as the method of furthering that objective.

  27. Hey, I read your post today. Boy do you have some smart readers and comment makers on both sides of the issue.

    I had this discussion the other day with my co-worker. He said to me “I don’t care what they do in their bedrooms, let them have a boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, buy why do they have to get married, and have children? I don’t like this, I would not vote for this”

    I asked him. “What is wrong with wanting to build a life for yourself with your partner and being treated equally under the law of the land?”

    This is more than just being able to declare your love for one another to the world and having it validated by law. It has many legal implications and rights associated with it. There are certain rights that are extended to married people that are not given to unmarried people. For example:

    * being able to file taxes jointly and federal tax cuts for married people. (Gays are denied this because they CANNOT get married)

    *Joint insurance policies for health benefits through work often times requires you to be married or a family member

    *The right to visit their significant other in the hospital. Imagine being denied access to your life partner because you are of the same sex? imagine not being able to make the decision to resuscitate, keep alive or pull plug? Not having power of estate after being together for how many years in an emergency?

    *Right to adopt children. I get this is a hot button issue.

    Sidebar: I personally don’t believe that homosexuality is a choice or is caused by environment {except in extreme cases like sexual/psychological abuse, which alters the natural course during developmental stages). I believe that I am heterosexual because that is what I am biologically pre-disposed to be. There is no amount of sexual pressure, enticement, schooling, therapy, money, alcohol, drugs or what-have you that will make me be gay. That being said, I believe those who are homosexual feel the same way, many of my friends are gay and I have asked them about it on more than one occasion, and of course they always answer, “I don’t know MEL! When did you know you were straight?” in an annoyed tone. Most of the gay friends I know have straight parents and the only gay couple I know has a straight child (now 25 years old), co-incidence? I think not. But I digress.

    Imagine an America where women are not allowed to vote, hold property, have a buisness, be equally educated or own a buisness? What if those same people were Black americans? How about an America where interracial marriage is illegal? How about an America where a civil marriage is not valid? or a marriage not performed with the same vows or under a Christian god, what if that wasn’t valid? Ask yourself “why?” and then get back to me.

    Okay here are some quotes regarding civil rights. You may agree or disagree!

    The Declaration Of Independence
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,[72] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    Thomas Jefferson quotes (American 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826)
    “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
    Lyndon B. Johnson: “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” Speech, Washington D.C. 6th August 1965
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy: “We are confronted primarily with a moral issue… whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.” Referring to race riots in Alabama in a radio broadcast 11th June 1963.
    Harry S. Truman: “Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.” Speech to Congress 6th September 1945.
    Senator John Kerry quotes (American Senator, b.1943) “We need to guarantee equal rights and civil rights and say that, here in America, workers have the right to organize – women have the right to choose – and justice belongs to everyone regardless of race or gender or sexual orientation.”
    Thomas Jefferson quotes (American 3rd US President (1801-09). Author of the Declaration of Independence. 1762-1826) “Those who sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither.”

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