Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Prop 8

I've held off commenting mainly because I've been busy with other adventures, but as it seems to this wild-eyed libertarian....

The various folks who contributed to Prop 8 had every right to do so, and to participate in the political process. I may disagree with them, some of them I may specifically dislike, but that really doesn't have anything to do with their rights.

Similarly, the various folks who donated to the No On 8 campaign had every right to donate to the campaign *they* believed in.

HOWEVER, just because an election is over, doesn't mean there is some divine commandment to "shut up now and take your medicine". Neither is there such a commandment along the lines of "those who donated to victorious campaigns against you and yours are immune from law-abiding acts of retribution". Finally, there seems to be a distinct lack of divine instructions about "thou shalt not go to court over initatives victorious at the polls that thou findeth obnoxious".

So, guess what? For good or ill, LGBT folks and their friends have *every right* to take to the streets, wave signs, engage in creative protest and litigation, and refuse to hire or do business with those they perceive as having done us serious harm.

Just as would the "Pro-8" forces would have every right to do so should a constitutional amendment be passed to deny them the right to marry and to invalidate their existing marriages.

The *most compelling* argument I've heard against massive LGBT protests, blacklists, and boycotts is not "the voters have spoken, shut up". It is "backlash sucks, lets fight this in a year or two, we have Conneticut after all, let's not piss off the fence-sitters and those who barring our pissing them off, just don't give a damn about LGBT folks one way or another." And that argument I don't find especially compelling.

What I would suggest, however, is that there is a *line* in protesting that the wise activist DOES NOT CROSS. It's pretty basic, really - the swiftest way for any activist group or individual to completely undermine their own cause is to injure folks (or scare the crap out of them with envelopes of white powder, in this day and age...) or damage property (arson is tacky, don't ya know).

There are exceptions, including ones where armed insurrection is wholly justified. But they are, thankfully, damned rare and almost always involve someone on the other side getting somebody in our community dead or injured. Most other things can be fixed with time and litigation.

That still leaves an AWFUL lot of room to express dismay with vast and mighty creativity...without setting ourselves up to face former allies and potential allies turned at best substantially less friendly towards us.

In short, even without Gay Marriage (a laudable goal I believe we'll see in the next few years), when we look at the 50's, the 70's, or even the 90's - we've really got a pretty good thing going as a community, and while progress is desireable and good - so is not screwing up the relatively decent situation we've got.

That's my take...

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