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Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Something to Be Ashamed of
posted by Bathus

To: The Editorial Board of the Houston Chronicle
From: Bathus
Date: November 15, 2005
Re: Texas Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

The Chronicle's editorial board would have us believe that the recently-approved state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was unnecessary, "mean-spirited," and an "embarrassment":
However satisfying this amendment is to its many supporters, its passage is no victory for Texas. Its presence on the ballot was as unnecessary as it was mean-spirited. Texas law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and Texas does not recognize same-sex unions recognized in other states.

* * * *

Not only was there no legal or practical need to elevate current state prohibitions to constitutional writ, but doing so came across as a direct attack on gays and on their struggle for a measure of legal equality. Besides being an embarrassment, the amendment sends the wrong signal to businesses that thrive on intellectual capital and creativity.

Inner city black voters in Harris County, many of whom have long experience with the denial of civil rights, favored the marriage amendment by an even higher majority than the general Harris County voting population. Black discomfort with homosexual marriage is rooted less in conscious discrimination than in religious belief, but support for the amendment brought blacks into incongruous accord with members of the Ku Klux Klan, whose members rallied in Austin in support of Proposition 2.
As to the necessity of the amendment, even though an existing Texas statute already prohibited gay marriage, that state statute could have been superseded by a pronouncement of the state supreme court, exactly as happened last year in Massachusetts. If Massachusetts voters had enacted a similar amendment to that state's constitution, the Massachusetts Supreme Court would not have been able to impose gay marriage by judicial fiat. Therefore, to remove the question of gay marriage permanently from the hands of the Texas judiciary, a state constitutional amendment was indeed necessary.

As to the implication that the three-quarters of Texas voters who approved the amendment are mean-spirited and an embarrassment, does the Chronicle's editorial board believe that gratuitous insults will shame its readers into adopting a more enlightened view?

Does the editorial board believe that black readers will not notice the presumptuous condescension with which the Chronicle's editorial writer (who must have worked hours to find what he thought were just the right words) implies that black voters' disapproval of gay marriage must be (ever-so-gently) excused as a product of "religious belief" rather than "conscious discrimination"? With its insinuation that religious belief is, among blacks, a peculiar cause of unconscious discrimination, the Chronicle's editorial manages to impugn blacks both for possessing inordinately unsophisticated religious beliefs and for lacking ordinary intellectual acuity.

Aghast that such an overwhelming majority of blacks voters has escaped from the white liberal plantation, the editorial finally tries to "Uncle Tom" them back into submission with a rhetorically unimaginative observation that the Ku Klux Klan had also demonstrated in favor of the amendment. The only way the Chronicle's editorial writer could have made that last observation more patently disgusting would be to append to it the equally irrelevant remark that the majority of KKK'ers also enjoys fried chicken and watermelon.

The Chronicle editorial board's insulting and condescending attitude toward Texas voters, particularly black Texas voters, on this and a host of other issues is one of the reasons the paper's daily paid circulation declined last year at a rate twice the national average.

Now there's a real embarrassment.

posted by Bathus | 11/16/2005 12:25:00 AM
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Blogger Theway2k said...

The only embarrassment is the liberal media's abandonment of Judeo/Christian morality. Someone should get a clue at the Chronicle. Indeed lower circulation is an indication of its readership. Time to get a new editorial staff their. :-)

9:22 AM, December 01, 2005  
Blogger Steamboat Lion said...

Tyranny of the majority is still tyranny. It's one thing to have views about morality and apply them to one's own behaviour, but why be concerned about applying them to others when their behaviour has no impact on you?

What is the state's legitimate interest in sanctioning some forms of marriage and not others? And don't say "morality" or "family values" because that's circular reasoning and amounts to the majority using the state to oppress those who are different.

The state could have a legitimate interest in providing special status to a man and a woman who have children together given the benefits to society as a whole of bearing and raising children, but given that it does not restrict the privileges so (my wife and I obtain all the benefits without any intention to procreate) the discrimination is arbitrary and yes, mean spirited.

10:19 PM, January 11, 2006  
Blogger Bathus said...

Steamboat Lion, I disagree with your premise that state sanctioning of gay marriage would have "no impact" on me and (obviously more importantly) no impact on the rest of society.

In answer to your rhetorical question, "What is the state's legitimate interest in sanctioning some forms of marriage and not others?" I would point you to my previous post: Gay Marriage: What's So Special About the Number 2?.

Simply put, sanctioning of gay marriage would undermine the most important societal funtion of marriage, which is the begetting and well-rearing of children. Yes, I know that reality sticks in the craw of those like you, who have chosen to remain childless. But my earlier post explains why the example of childless couples (even those who remain childless by choice--an exceptional, strange, and sad choice, by the way) does not alter the fundamental reality.

10:51 PM, January 11, 2006  

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