Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting Busted for Marriage

Posted May 27th, 2009 by David Alex Nahmod

I did more than March for Marriage on the day the California state Supreme Court issued its Prop 8 ruling: I got arrested for it.

Right after the lopsided ruling was announced, I went up to a Yes on 8 church group. A boy of no more than 15 was holding up an anti-gay sign that would have been worthy of Nazi Germany. I asked him if he was aware that the kind of negativity his signage promoted was driving people to suicide. “Do you even care?” I asked.

“No,” was the reply.

I asked him about things the church had supported in the past, like the Salem witch trials, slavery, and the slaughter of Native Americans. “Do you have any remorse about those things?” I asked.

He laughed.

Only 15 years old, and already his church had taught him to hate. And so, I went out into the middle of Van Ness Avenue, in front of the San Francisco Opera House, where hundreds were already seated, blocking traffic.

“Room for one more?” I asked, as I sat down. A lesbian rabbi, two lesbian pastors, and a Buddhist monk all welcomed me.

Two police officers, one a lesbian, the other a gay man, told us they agreed with our action. Volunteers brought coffee, water, bagels & donuts to the protesters. 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(Weekly Column)

Having watched the court proceedings on television, I was pretty certain that the California Supreme Court was going to uphold Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to overturn an earlier court ruling allowing gay couples the freedom to marry.

Still, knowing that a punch to the gut is coming does not make it hurt any less. The 6-1 ruling was degrading, humiliating and a shameful day that will live in infamy. The decision upheld tyranny of the majority and promoted the idiotic idea of mob rule.

What next?

Can the voters of California now decide whether I can eat bacon and eggs for breakfast? Are they able to choose if I can own a cat or a dog? May they regulate my weight or pick what career I choose?

These are serious questions. The fact is, banning my potential marriage is more an imposition and hardship than if the voters had chosen to enact the above examples. Any non-biased person would agree that the idea of the public banning the possibility of their marriage would be both invasive and traumatizing. Yet, the voters of California, backed by the Supreme Court, upheld this Orwellian idea.

Really, what are the limits to such insanity? Are we unique individuals with inalienable rights or public property with provisional rights granted or eliminated by the whims of the fickle electorate?

In his dissent, Justice Carlos Moreno was correct to write
"Denying gays and lesbians the right to marry, by wrenching minority rights away from judicial protection and subjecting them instead to a majority vote, attacks the very core of the equal protection principle."

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