If You Vote Yes

« October 2012 »

Memo to potential "YES" voters: HEAR ME OUT.

As you know, or should know, in November, Minnesota will vote on a referendum to embed straight marriage as the only marriage into the state's constitution. I, of course, will be voting "no" on this, but some people will be voting "yes", and I'd like to speak to some of them for a moment.

If you're voting "yes" because you know Jesus won't let you into heaven unless you make gay people miserable, this missive isn't for you. This missive is for the mushy middle. You know who you are.

You grew up when being gay was a shameful, hidden thing. You grew up when the norm was to hit your early 20s, opposite-marry whoever you were in love with at the time, have a couple of kids, and live in the suburbs. You're not super-religious, but you're probably one of the standard Christian denominations in the Midwest and you probably go a couple of times a year. And you're kind of uncomfortable with gay people marrying because that's not how you were raised.

I get that. Really, I do. So I thought I'd let you know what your vote on the amendment means on a slightly larger scale.

If you vote "no", and enough other people do the same, gay marriage will still be illegal in Minnesota. But let's not fool ourselves. Sometime in the next two to five years, a court will hear a case, or a sympathetic legislature will come into office, and then, gay marriage will be legal in Minnesota.

And when that happens, you will feel uncomfortable for a total of five weeks, split into two chunks. The first chunk will be the three weeks after the decision is made or the law is passed, and everyone's talking about gay people getting married. After about three weeks, people will stop talking about it and you'll stop being uncomfortable.

And then, sometime after that, the decision will go into effect after the appeals have been exhausted, or the law will take effect, and a bunch of gay people will get married and you'll see it on the news. And then you're going to be uncomfortable for about another two weeks until that goes away, too.

And that's it. That's how gay marriage will affect you unless you really hate gay people. Just ask anyone in Massachussetts or Canada. So that's what happens if you vote "no".

If you vote "yes", and enough people also do the same, you're still going to feel uncomfortable for about five weeks, in about two chunks, but it's going to happen another five or so years later, because the amendment will have to be repealed. So, yes, voting "yes" on the gay marriage amendment will buy you some time.

Unfortunately, it will also place you, politically, with a certain group of people. It will strengthen, politically, the power of a certain group of people. I'm not going to say mean things about them (today), but I am going to let you know what they think. If you're more comfortable throwing your lot in with these people than you are with two dudes getting married, then by all means, vote for the amendment. But if these quotes trouble you? If these quotes disturb you? Then don't vote "yes". Because all the people I'm about to quote? They want you to vote "yes".

As is my tradition... ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"But now there are new predators on the scene, for whom we do not have a script. There are new characters eager to exploit our daughters’ bodies, who enjoy unsullied reputations, passing detection even as they blatantly hunt for eggs and wombs with checkbooks in hand. And historically they have been the people women should fear the least. These new players vying for access to young women’s bodies are older or infertile women, and gay men—quite often our friends and members of our family." - Alana S. Newman, "The New Sexual Predators".

"Indeed, some might find this is a hard saying by many of Jesus’ teachings were likewise received as such. I urge you to reconsider the position that you expressed in your letter. Your eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic." - Minnesota archbishop John Nienstedt, responding to a mother who wanted advice on accepting her gay son.

"There should be very little doubt that the vast majority of churches with members will support the amendment. And the marriage amendment campaign focused on turning them out. Amendment opponents will have to find a whole lot of atheists if they want (to) win." - Chuck Darrell, communications director, Minnesotans For Marriage.

"Parents need to understand that this is about pressuring public schools and students in public schools to accept homosexuality as a normal healthy alternative to heterosexuality. You know, it’s interesting to me that they’re doing this October 30, the day before Halloween, and what this problem is, it’s like poisoned Halloween candy. Somebody takes a candy bar, injects it with cyanide, the label looks fine, it looks innocuous, it looks fine — it’s not until you internalize it that you realize how toxic it is. - The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, on a program to encourage students to break up their cliques.

"That would make God mad. God made the rules. He made a man and woman's bodies fit together, he made the Ten Commandments." - former SNL star Victoria Jackson.

"Your business and taxes fund homosexual relationships. Your freedom of speech is gagged. And your religious freedom is overruled." - The National Organization for Marriage, explaining what happens every time gay marriage is legalized.

These are the people who want you to vote "yes". They sound a lot nicer when they're asking you to vote "yes", because they know you're probably not a horrible person like they are. They know you don't actually think that gay people are sexual predators, poisoning kids' candy bars and stealing the eggs of nubile young women.

But they do, and because they do, they're voting "yes". So, you know. You do the math.