Gay Rights: A Setback in California

Well, the votes have finally been tallied and California’s Proposition 8, a citizens’ referendum banning gay marriage, has been approved.

This is bad news indeed. As readers of this blog may know, I’m not gay, but I believe lesbians and gays deserve the same rights as other Americans. I view their struggle for respect and recognition in our society in the same light that I viewed the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Why the sudden reversal in California, where 18,000 same-sex marriages already have taken place, and where back in May, the California Supreme Court overturned a previous voter-approved ban on gay marriage?

The opposition of Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces, which was exact yesterday, was tied to the Virgo Sun of the California statehood chart.

On a geographic level, the Saturn/Uranus opposition could also stir up wildfire activity and trigger earthquakes in California. There have been quite a few minor ones in the state lately, as this map shows.

I’m not making any predictions because I don’t have the quantitative chops to do the work required for earthquake forecasting. (In my next life, I’ll go to MIT or Berkeley.) Having said that, I don’t like the early morning of Nov. 9 in Southern California for a variety of reasons. Just be alert, O.K.?

With Saturn on California’s Sun right now, voters are feeling conservative and the state faces a $7 billion budget shortfall. I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t some class antagonism being reflected in the approval of Proposition 8, in addition to far-right religious fervor.

Gays and lesbians are prominent in California’s prosperous entertainment and technology industries, perhaps leading some voters to conclude that all gays are “rich,” a stereotype long associated with Jews because of their success in the creative, legal, and financial professions.

Of course, with Pluto in class-conscious Virgo, I tend to see things through the prism of class. I think gay rights organizations need to broaden their ranks and incorporate lower-middle class voters and Hispanics in their struggle if they are to prevail in the Golden State.

As gays know, there is tremendous resistance against homosexuals, particularly men, within the Latin culture, which celebrates machismo.

Evidently African-Americans, who know what it’s like to face prejudice, were big supporters of Proposal 8, with an overwhelming majority of California’s black voters favoring the discriminatory measure. There’s irony for you!

I don’t know enough about the referendum process in California to know what happens when voters approve a ban that was previously overturned by the State Supreme Court. Can it face legal appeal? SFMike at Civic Center, I’m depending on you to educate me.

Speaking of SFMike, I was just reading his coverage of the election and I was struck by his observation that the Mormons, who have been victims of discrimination because of their belief in polygamy, spent big bucks to get the anti-gay marriage vote out in California.

I still think the better off folks are financially, the more tolerant that they tend to be of lifestyles that differ from their own. When people are struggling to fill their gas tanks, pay their toxic mortgages, and make the minimum credit-card payment on time so their interest rate doesn’t get jacked up to 30%, they are in a bind.

When your mobility is limited, then you want to make sure everybody else is toeing the line and following the rules you believe in, regardless of what “good book” you found them in, whether it be the Talmud, the Bible, or the Koran. Anyway, that’s the way I see it. I’m not saying I believe religion is the opiate of the masses, but I do think money and class figure into this equation.

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day


8 comments on “Gay Rights: A Setback in California

  1. Monica,

    the voter approved ban overturned a couple of years ago by the California State Supreme Court was not a constitutional amendment. If I understood the issue correctly, the previous ban was ruled unconstitutional because the statute created as result of that vote violated the state’s Constitution which must have had some phrasing regarding discrimination. Approval of Proposition 8 will make the ban of gay marriage a part of the state’s constitution. It may be possible for a court to overturn this as unconstitutional but it would probably be a long, drawn out fight.

    You indicated class as an issue but there also could be some blow-back against the CA Supreme Court who could have been perceived as “legislating” from the bench rather than just ruling on the constitutionality of the previous ban on gay marriage.

  2. Those are some astute observations about class and race vis a vis Prop 8. I watched legions of young, overwhelmingly white gay people in San Francisco running around electioneering for No on 8, and it was charming to witness, but when I asked them where they were canvassing voters, it was usually in neighborhoods where they were mostly preaching to the choir. “Have you visited the black neighborhoods of Bayview/Hunter’s Point or the Hispanic neighborhoods of the Outer Mission?” and the answer would always be no.

    As for the legal ramifications and the California initiative process, I’m not the person who should be commenting because I wouldn’t know what I’d be talking about. There’s a blog in San Francisco called “Sweet Melissa” written by a corporate lawyer working for Bechtel who has leftish views and she can explain complex legalese quite brilliantly and simply. I’ll send a link when she takes up the subject.

    Having said all that, I think we need to separate “religious” marriage from “legal” marriage. You know, that old separation of church and state concept in our Constitution? Religions could make up any old rule they wanted for marrying in their temples/churches but the marriage wouldn’t be legal for Social Security and other purposes until one had gone through the secular process, which should be available to anyone who wants to legally join their life with another person.

  3. Hooray to the people of California for voting in favor of common sense! After all, homosexuality is not a moral issue; it is a matter of common sense. Take three continents completely surrounded by water with no transportation to or from either of these islands. Place all male gays on one continent, lesbians on a second, and heterosexuals on the third. After 100 years, which of these civilizations will still be in existence? Exactly!

  4. Eric — I don’t think you understand what we’re talking about here. We’re looking for equal rights for heterosexuals, gays, and lesbians here on one Continent, as envisioned by the Founders in the Bill of Rights. Best, Monica

  5. Anybody dare to predict a GOP comeback with a Reagan landslide in 2012?
    Sarah Palin with a natural US born Hispanic male(possibly Mario Diaz-Baralt) will take back Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania…and maybe Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and why not? New York, New Jersey and California. Latinos gave Obama this elections, but with a Latino on the GOP ticket this voting group will support this ticket at 80%. A Reagan landslide!

  6. Hi Monica, I’m very surprised about the results as well.

    California is much less conservative than it was when I was growing up but is still very conservative, except maybe for matters having to do with Health and Environment and Science, a Virgo thing. People here don’t really like art or culture, hence Hollywood. There’s probably less Middle Class here than anywhere else and you really don’t know who has money and who doesn’t.

    The media is out of touch with the types of people who live here, except for a few pockets on the coast. The Ku Klux Klan has a headquarters here. We have the Military, much less now, but still strong in Southern California. We have hoards of transplants from the Midwest who just want to tell everyone else how to live. A lot of people from the South moved here during the Depression and stayed. The Immigrants are extremely conservative and openly bigoted and rude. It’s not a class thing because California is so expensive to live in. Most Beach type people here couldn’t care less about politics and don’t vote.

    Unlike most places, the Rednecks here are wealthy and extremely hateful. How do you think that whole thing with Schwarzenegger happened? The Gays themselves never leave their own little communities and really aren’t all that friendly. People here don’t talk with each other like they do in New York; they sort of just beatch about others behind their backs, pretty Virgo I guess. That’s my opinions about the thing.

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