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