Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8 fall out - Stop whining and stand behind your donations

There is a lot of fallout over the Proposition 8 vote. Those who did donate to pass that awful referendum are now facing the consequences of their actions. This is one that you no doubt already heard about:

California Musical Theatre's artistic director, Scott Eckern, resigned from his post today amid controversy over a donation he made to the Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage.

Eckern gave $1,000 in support of Proposition 8, a donation that sparked criticism from theater workers and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

"We have released a statement that Scott resigned," said Chris McSwain, community affairs director for the theater company. He declined to comment further. . .

Eckern also released a statement today saying that he quit "after prayerful consideration to protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theatre-going and creative community."

To put it nicely, Eckern pissed off a lot of people, including Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and Marc Shaiman (Hairspray).

No doubt we will be inudated by the religious right who will wax about evil intolerant gay folks but please spare us your usual twists in logic.

You are the same folks who boycotted McDonalds and Ford Auto because of their supposed support of the "gay agenda."

I can only hope that in this juncture, the religious right won't be their usual hypocritical selves.

Eckern obviously thought that he could have it both ways; he can donate to a referendum that denies lgbts basic human rights but can also make money from the efforts of lgbts.

It's a classic case of what we learn as children about making choices. It was Eckern's right to make his donation but with his donations, like all things, there are consequences.

And in a general sense, I have no pity for anyone who suffers repercussions (albeit rational and logical repercussions) over their donations to Proposition 8.

If you as a business owner donated to Proposition 8, then you don't have the right to force angry lgbts to continue to cater to your business.

And you don't have a right to tell them that they cannot launch a boycott.

You only have the right to man up and stand by your donation.

If you can't then maybe you shouldn't have made said donation in the first place.
Thank you Nate Silver for saying what needs to be said

Certainly, the No on 8 folks might have done a better job of outreach to California's black and Latino communities. But the notion that Prop 8 passed because of the Obama turnout surge is silly. Exit polls suggest that first-time voters -- the vast majority of whom were driven to turn out by Obama (he won 83 percent [!] of their votes) -- voted against Prop 8 by a 62-38 margin.

More experienced voters voted for the measure 56-44, however, providing for its passage.Now, it's true that if new voters had voted against Prop 8 at the same rates that they voted for Obama, the measure probably would have failed. But that does not mean that the new voters were harmful on balance -- they were helpful on balance. If California's electorate had been the same as it was in 2004, Prop 8 would have passed by a wider margin.Furthermore, it would be premature to say that new Latino and black voters were responsible for Prop 8's passage.

Latinos aged 18-29 (not strictly the same as 'new' voters, but the closest available proxy) voted against Prop 8 by a 59-41 margin. These figures are not available for young black voters, but it would surprise me if their votes weren't fairly close to the 50-50 mark.

More here

Arkansas anti-gay adoption referendum may reap more problems than we realize

But while Californians march and gay activists contemplate a national boycott of Utah — the Mormon Church largely bankrolled Proposition 8 — an even more ominous new law in Arkansas has drawn little notice.

That state’s Proposed Initiative Act No. 1, approved by nearly 57 percent of voters last week, bans people who are “cohabitating outside a valid marriage” from serving as foster parents or adopting children. While the measure bans both gay and straight members of cohabitating couples as foster or adoptive parents, the Arkansas Family Council wrote it expressly to thwart “the gay agenda.” Right now, there are 3,700 other children across Arkansas in state custody; 1,000 of them are available for adoption. The overwhelming majority of these children have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their heterosexual parents.

Even before the law passed, the state estimated that it had only about a quarter of the foster parents it needed. Beginning on Jan. 1, a grandmother in Arkansas cohabitating with her opposite-sex partner because marrying might reduce their pension benefits is barred from taking in her own grandchild; a gay man living with his male partner cannot adopt his deceased sister’s children.

Social conservatives are threatening to roll out Arkansas-style adoption bans in other states. And the timing couldn’t be worse: in tough economic times, the numbers of abused and neglected children in need of foster care rises. But good times or bad, no movement that would turn away qualified parents and condemn children to a broken foster care system should be considered “pro-family.”

Most ominous, once “pro-family” groups start arguing that gay couples are unfit to raise children we might adopt, how long before they argue that we’re unfit to raise those we’ve already adopted? If lesbian couples are unfit to care for foster children, are they fit to care for their own biological children?

More here