Proposition 8

This is NOT a political blog.

(It’s a blog run by a thoroughly irresponsible guy who can’t remember to update often enough and overcompensates by making “comeback” posts about hot-button news topics, but NOT a political blog.)

Which is why I generally don’t do political posts unless they have something to say “on topic.” But, given that the major political story of the moment is now starting to spill over into the entertainment/film biz, I think I have some wiggle room to say something on this that doesn’t sound like just me using my soapbox to foist my opinions upon my readers/visitors. Although – and listen carefully here – I’m not going to give you MY opinion on this matter, because I’m not really interested in the philosophical debate… I’m interested in the very REAL clash thats going on in the wake of it.

Just so we’re all up to speed: Earlier in the year, the California Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples had the right to enter into legal marriages in the state. A contingent of anti-gay activists, primarily backed up by the financial clout of the Mormon Church, lobbied successfully to get a constitutional amendment which would effectively ban such marriages – thus eliminating the newly-legalized right – added to the ballot in the recent elections. In a close vote of 52% to 48%, the measure passed banning same-sex marriage in the state.

Anyway, as one can imagine people are pretty heated about this on both sides, and this week it started getting REALLY ugly. Protests outside of churches are turning aggressive, and enterprising activists have taken to “outing” supporters of the ban. That last part has begun to hit the entertainment industry hard since, let’s face it… Hollywood ain’t a place where you want people to know you’ve got something against gays.

This sort of thing, of course, has thoughtful people – particularly thoughtful people who SUPPORT same-sex marriage, in this case – feeling slightly uneasy. Here’s Jeffery Wells of “Hollywood Elsewhere,” a vocal supporter of the cause, voicing his conflicted feelings on the story of Rich Raddon, the well-liked director of the FIND L.A. Film Festival who has found himself the target of a pending boycott after it was revealed that he donated $1500 to the “Yes on 8” effort:

Naturally, a controversial topic is going to lead people to reevaluate their opinions toward folks they “thought they knew” upon learning that they differ on such a profound issue… but NO ONE worth taking seriously likes the idea of people being shunned at work or “outed” for political beliefs. It’s the sort of thing that brings to mind words like “witch hunt” or “McCarthyism.” And, of course, it goes without saying that the folks who are becoming violent or intolerant in their anger toward Prop8 supporters should be condemned ESPECIALLY if one agrees with their stance, since they do their “side” no favors by acting this way.

BUT… here’s the thing, and here’s where I come down on the matter: This ISN’T just a simple matter of people offering a different opinion. Proposition 8 WASN’T an opinion poll of how you feel on the issue of equal-rights-for-homosexuals – it was an amendment to the constitution. It changed a law. It had a real, tangible effect. If you voted for it, you did NOT merely vote to register your moral opposition to homosexuality… you voted to take something away from people. Right or wrong, people tend to get MAD when that happens to them. You would if it happened to you.

I’m not here to condemn you if you support Prop 8 either in actuality (i.e. you’re in CA and voted for it) or just philosophically. I don’t really care, that’s your business. What I WILL say to you if you fall into one of those camps and are now feeling bad that people are angry at you: Grow a pair. This ceased to be a nice debate among fellow citizens the moment YOU started spending money and effort NOT merely to voice your opinion but to literally take a right away from a fellow citizen. It’s unreasonable for you to expect that the people you worked to take a right from wouldn’t be angry at you. This is no longer about philosophy or academic disagreement – it’s about very real concepts of tangible loss and gain – it’s a FIGHT… and the principal consequence of getting into a fight is that you might get knocked around a bit. If that’s not what you wanted, you never should’ve put on the gloves, never should’ve stepped into the ring and NEVER should’ve punched the other guy first.

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