Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why Is God Injected Into The Gay Rights Equation?

I've been hearing so much about the mess that is prop 8 (in California). This proposition to ban gay marriage remains controversial, and I feel disappointed that people are conflating legal rights with religious beliefs.

After all, we're not all Christians right? What about the Californian atheists, Buddhists, and so on? Why is it prop 8 is considered legal when it is born out of beliefs specific to a kind of religion? They're not trying to force churches to marry them, people, they are trying to gain the right to be recognized as monogamous married couples! Who wants a "domestic partnership?" It doesn't carry the same social message that "marriage" does.

It's not about God, it's about rights and recognition! Ayayay!

I know it's a bit annoying to see the kid being fed his lines and such, but you get the picture. What they say is very enlightening.[side note: yes they have my last name, that's how I found the video on youtube because, well, I like to google my name now and again]. Yeah, moving on...

A friend of mine shared this interesting piece about protests against the newly implemented proposition 8 in California, which bans gay marriage.
"Scott Eckern, artistic director for the California Musical Theatre, resigned Wednesday as a growing number of artists threatened to boycott the organization because of his $1,000 donation to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California.

[...]Los Angeles-based and Tony Award-winning composer Marc Shaiman ("Hairspray") wrote a blog saying he would never allow any of his shows to again be licensed or performed by California Musical Theatre while Eckern was employed there."

The way I see it is that just as Mr. Eckern has the right to express support for policies he believes in, others have the right to withhold their support of Mr. Eckern--specifically because he supported a change in California's constitution that they do not agree with, and a change in the constitution affects everybody.

For example, Marc Shaiman refused to have any of his shows be performed at the California Musical Theater while Eckern was still employed. Those shows are his. He has the right to prevent Eckern from making money off Shaiman's work. Why would Shaiman want to continue contributing to the earnings of Eckern who has directly donated money to a political cause that Shaiman is firmly opposed to?

Shaiman has the right to cut the flow of capital from his work to Eckern, and I think it is just for Shaiman to deny Eckern profit from his work when Eckern is trying to deny gays their legal rights based on his religious beliefs.

In sum, Mr. Eckern, in donating the thousand, made a political statement. A political statement is meant to be heard. He made it clear that he did not support gay marriage rights, and many people decided to take a stand against him.

Finally, why does God and Gay have to be mutually exclusive? It's ridiculous to believe they don't mix, when they do.


  1. What I don't understand is why religion (especially the Christianity) has gained ownership of the social institution of marriage. It's not as if Christianity created marriage. Marriage has been a social institution for over thousands of years, and now religion has claimed ownership of it. This is very dangerous, very very dangerous. Personally I think religion is a double edged sword, created to keep masses with hope in a despair-filled life, but ultimately being the cause of so many conflicts, deaths, and human pain, that it has ultimately overshadowed any of its benefits to begin with. Well I don't want to rant, so I'm going to stop there.

  2. Thank you for your comment, JDR, you make a very important point. I agree, it is greatly unfortunate that people believe that the institution of marriage belongs to religion, primarily Christianity. I am a Catholic, but I view marriage as a social bond that extends beyond one's beliefs--it is a part of societal organization and expression. I am tired of religious people claiming it as theirs (thereby excluding people who don't agree). No, it is "ours," that is, it belongs to everyone despite religion. All of us. Not some of us.

    And unfortunately yes, religion does often function as a tool of conflict just as much as a tool of peace. I agree. Thank you.