Saturday, November 15, 2008

What will anti-8 protests accomplish?

This post may shock my friends, but I am sort of in agreement with this sentence in the LA Times today on today's nationwide protests against anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives such as California's Prop. 8:
And it remains uncertain whether the aggressive tactics ultimately advance the activists' goal: Either having the California Supreme Court throw out Proposition 8 or persuading voters in a new election that gay marriage should be legal in the state.
Right, there is already a lawsuit trying to stop the implementation of Prop. 8, so exactly what are the protests going to accomplish? Of course it's fine to give people an emotional outlet. But I think the reason why people are going to these demonstrations is -- for some of them -- guilt that they didn't do more to stop Prop. 8 before the election.

As I grow older, I look on street protests more and more as simply being theater. And there's nothing wrong with theater, to the extent that it motivates people to do something more than go to demonstrations. But if I were one of the people behind Prop. 8 -- a Catholic bishop, a Republican activist, a Mormon panjandrum -- I might look at the demonstrations and simply smirk. Just as Obama supporters are now feeling a good deal of smugness.

I also wonder: if Prop. 8 had been defeated and anti-abortion Prop. 4 won, would there be these nationwide demonstrations? And why not?

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