Friday, August 6, 2010

Your Words are the Only Words

Before and shortly after Proposition 8 passed, facebook was my own personal hell because of the awful things my friends at BYU and elsewhere said about the Proposition, about homosexuality, and about marriage. My newsfeed was a charged minefield, so this week when the Proposition was overturned, I braced myself for the onslaught of negative comments, statuses, and notes. It never came.

There was only one note a friend posted that was an unreasonably negative reaction, and it was from someone I don't know very well who lived in a ward I served in California on my mission. I have since removed him as a facebook contact. Nothing else clogged my newsfeed. There were occasional rebuttals to wall posts celebrating the decision, but nothing like the slew of hatred splattered across the Internet before and after the November 2008 election.

At first I wondered if maybe my friends who oppose gay marriage blocked me from their statuses and notes because I am married and they didn't want to offend me. I appreciate the consideration if that's the case, but I don't think people really think their statuses through that carefully. Perhaps my marriage has actually helped to change their mind on Proposition 8--but I shouldn't flatter myself.

I don't think the trend is just on my facebook wall (did anyone else notice a difference?). Rachel Maddow commented last night on the silence from politicians on the right who she expected to react in outrage. The Huffington Post reported an analysis of twitter updates in the wake of Judge Walker's ruling and found that only 17% of related tweets were negative, the remaining 83% supported or celebrated the decision. Here's the twitter breakdown:
So why aren't the conservative majority of Americans or even Californians mourning their loss? I believe it is because they never had anything to lose. Gay people are the only ones who ever had anything at stake in the Prop 8 battle. If Prop 8 proponents had lost in 2008, they would have lost nothing--nothing would have changed for them, but because it passed, gay people suffered great losses. Now that the tables are being reversed (though not yet permanently), gay people are recovering their losses, and the proponents still lose nothing. Nothing will change for them. And that's why there is no outrage.

In any event, I am glad that facebook is a pleasant place for me this week when I didn't think it would be.


Abelard Enigma said...

Our local newspaper had an editorial yesterday questioning why our Texas state governor nor any of our legislators have made any public comments about the prop 8 ruling.

If this ruling is upheld by the appellate court and, ultimately, the US Supreme court, it will invalidate ALL state laws and constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, including Texas - so, it is curious that there isn't more public outrage by conservative elected officials.

I suppose being an election year probably has something to do with it - but, that suggests that they are afraid taking a stand against the ruling will not be popular amongst their constituents - even in a very red state like Texas.

Anonymous said...

As a conservative person opposed to gay marriage, I didn't see Judge Walker's ruling as a surprise. And more importantly, it does not mean much since it is being appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and then likely to the Supreme Court. If the US Supreme Court hears the case, it will not matter much what Walker or the Ninth Circuit determined. I think outrage - or celebration - would be premature right now.

Trevor said...

I think that many people aren't paying attention to California and this ruling. Yes the media makes a national holiday out of it, but the media is a politically left cheerleader.

Most people are more concerned with putting food on their table right now. Does that mean they all the sudden support gay marriage? I doubt it.

As to Aberlard, I am beginning to think the US Supreme Court wont hear this case. They will say its a state issue. At least that is my current thinking.

Abelard Enigma said...

the US Supreme Court wont hear this case.

I think it depends on how the Ninth Circuit court rules. If they reverse Judge Walkers ruling then I agree that the Supremes will probably not hear the case. But, if the Ninth Circuit court upholds Judge Walkers ruling then I think their hand will be forced to take the case.

Just my $0.02 - only time will tell.