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Prop 8

November 10, 2008

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about who’s to blame for Proposition 8 passing in California and killing marriage rights there, but I find it all a bit distasteful. The Mormon Church gave a ton of money, other minorities didn’t see any similarity to their own past struggles and voted mostly in favor of it, and a ton of straight white people did what they’ve been doing for ages. There’s plenty of blame to go around, so I think it’s obvious what the serious thinkers among us need to focus on: Those poor straight couples who suffered so during the six months marriage was legal in California!

These people think their rights are under siege. They're just plain wrong.

These people think their rights are under siege. They're just plain wrong, and they look rather smug about it.

In what reads like a brilliant story from The Onion, but sadly it’s something a real newspaper actually covered. Self-described “traditionalists” Rachel Bird and Gideon Codding were offended by the replacement of “bride” and “groom” with “party A” and “party B,” so they crossed out the new terms and wrote the old ones. When they were informed you can’t do that (much like you can’t change any of the other words in a legal document!), they gave up and only got married religiously, not legally. Now they’re having some problems (quotes rearranged for clarity):

On Sept. 3, the couple received a letter from the Placer County Clerk-Recorder Registrar of Voters informing them that their license did not comply with California law and that the state did not accept licenses that had been altered. The couple had 10 days to complete a duplicate form.

The couple say they have no intention of signing the forms. …

Because their marriage is not registered with the state, Bird cannot sign up for Codding’s medical benefits or legally take his name. They are now exploring their options. …

“We just feel that our rights have been violated,” (Bird) said.

I can’t make this stuff up.

For those of you not paying attention, their predicament is exactly that of gay couples all over the country. Except, of course, for that fact that they could have gotten married any time they wanted to, they just didn’t. I don’t think there’s enough sarcasm in the world for me to describe how I feel about their plight, but let’s just say that I don’t pity them.

Luckily for me, I can’t help but see the hilarity of it as well. If you swapped a gender, this story would read exactly the way it is for many people with no legal recourse. But wow, it sure must have been hard for Bird and Codding. Picking up that pen is so difficult!

“We feel that some things are worth fighting for,” said Gideon Codding, 29.

Some things are indeed. Fight for the majority! Don’t let that pesky equal protection get you down!

(For the record, I’m white, mostly Germanic, and I studied German for five semesters. But just because I think it’s nifty. And I like French much better.)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Shawna S permalink
    November 10, 2008 1:21 am

    Just when I can finally be proud of my country, I have to start apologizing for my state (at least I could be mildly humorous about the Governator. This is just plain inexcusable). It’s makes it harder to understand because the only Yes on 8 signs we saw were all held by one church group. Otherwise, San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley were seemingly uniformly for No. I can only say we haven’t given up and we’re going to keep fighting over here. California just can’t stand for inequality for too much longer – we won’t let it!

    My only response to the video is a big ol’ “WTF?”

  2. November 10, 2008 1:53 am

    LOLLLL you know what’s hilarious? I heard about Prussian Blue years ago and I remember that video. Then I largely forgot about them until just two days ago when I was like “hey, I wonder what they’re up to these days” and looked them up again. They’re hard to even recognize anymore, what with growing up and puberty…. though it brought up an interesting thought. At which point is it okay to start calling them assholes? I mean, when they were kids, they were just written off as products of racist parenting… but as they mature and become adults, they eventually start carrying responsibility for their beliefs. I just wonder what the cutoff age for that would be.

    At least one thing hasn’t changed: They still can’t sing for shit.

  3. Sharon ("mo") permalink
    November 10, 2008 3:25 pm

    I hate that Prop 8 passed here in CA, too, and I agree with you that any kind of fingerpointing is largely counterproductive. It is a setback, but it will be dealt with as all setbacks are – by continuing to fight for what we believe to be right. Also keep in mind that there was an extraordinary level of confusion (carefully cultivated) over the ballot initiative – a significant percentage of people believed that by voting “Yes” on Prop 8 they were *supporting* gay marriage. Take that as you will, but even our conservative Republican Govenator is disappointed that they measure passed, hopes the courts will overturn it, and encourages those in favor of gay marriage to keep fighting for equality for all.

  4. Nori permalink
    November 11, 2008 2:59 am

    Damn, they beat me to my experiment, and they used it for evil!!! I was considering pursuing a domestic partnership with whichever one of my straight male friends would have been willing, and then documenting the experience and how it was so very different from having an actual marriage, in terms of rights and legalities. So people could see that differences do exist, and allowing people marriages DOES matter. Because, y’know, when stuff happens to STRAIGHT people, it suddenly matters, goodness gracious!

    On a related note, did you hear how Arkansas banned adoption and foster care rights to all unwed couples (primarily homosexual couples)? I mean the obvious solution is for all those dangerous unwed couples to get married right??? OH WAIT IT CAN’T HAPPEN OOPS.

    Sometimes, Geoff, we are so backwards that we’re running eternal circles.

    Otherwise, GOBAMA!!!

  5. Nori permalink
    November 11, 2008 3:05 am

    Also, I can’t not say it. Watching Prussian Blue in that video, could they not pass for a young lesbian couple with their underagely-obtained child? Albeit a young racist lesbian couple.

    ‘s’all I’m sayin. In my own offensive Nori way.

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