Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Statement by Bishop Bruno on Prop 8

I call upon Californians who supported Proposition 8 to make an honest and dedicated effort to learn more about the lives and experiences of lesbian and gay humanity whose constitutional rights are unfairly targeted by this measure. Look carefully at scriptural interpretations, and remember that the Bible was once used to justify slavery, among other forms of oppression.

It is important that we understand that we are a state that lives with freedom of religion – and freedom from religious oppression.

In my view, and in that of many Episcopalians, Proposition 8 is a lamentable expression of fear-based discrimination that attempts to deny the constitutional rights of some Californians on the basis of sexual orientation. It is only a matter of time before its narrow constraints are ultimately nullified by the courts and our citizens’ own increasing knowledge about the diversity of God’s creation.

Too often the road to justice is made deeply painful by setbacks such as Proposition 8, which nearly half of California voters rejected. But as our new President-elect has said, “…let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.”

7 comments:

Hiram said...

Bp Bruno:
"It is important that we understand that we are a state that lives with freedom of religion – and freedom from religious oppression."

People are entitled to their opinions, regardless of the source of those opinions. Bp Bruno would probably say that his opinion on same-sex marriages comes out of his faith. So why should his faith-based opinion override someone else's faith-based opinion? Or even their fact and research-based opinion?

Bp Bruno:
"In my view, and in that of many Episcopalians, Proposition 8 is a lamentable expression of fear-based discrimination that attempts to deny the constitutional rights of some Californians on the basis of sexual orientation. It is only a matter of time before its narrow constraints are ultimately nullified by the courts and our citizens’ own increasing knowledge about the diversity of God’s creation."

How does he know that opposition to same-sex marriage is "fear-based"? Did he go out and psychoanalyze a sufficiently large sample of opponents to same-sex marriage?

And if the state constitution of California has provisions for amendments to that constitution to be made, and an amendment and proposed and passes according to the proper procedures, that amendment is, inherently, constitutional.

His final sentence in this statement is again a faith-based statement: "our citizens’ own increasing knowledge about the diversity of God’s creation." People have known about the diversity of sexual attractions for a long time. Some people now, for any number of reasons, believe that the differences do not make a difference. Others of us believe that they do make a difference, and that the historic definition of marriage is the proper one, and that to change the definition will weaken marriage and (overall, although not in every case) harm the families and children of our society.

john said...

I love +Jon Bruno, but really, does he seriously believe that this will make any difference at all?

"I call upon Californians who supported Proposition 8 to make an honest and dedicated effort to learn more about the lives and experiences of lesbian and gay humanity whose constitutional rights are unfairly targeted by this measure."

If there is one lesson we should have taken from the post-'98 Lambeth experience, it is that those people DON'T CARE about our lives and experiences and they are perfectly happy to see us persecuted and marginalized.

I am only with the greatest amount of difficulty able to continue to call myself a Christian or to be interested in Christ's teachings, since so few self-proclaimed Christians are.

I don't want to get into dialog with the bunch of scum that supported Prop Hate, I want to DESTROY them.

Ann Marie said...

Hiram,

Considering that a number of the Pro 8 ads I saw promoted a sense of fear I would say the Bishop Bruno hit the nail on the head. Truth was stretched and reality twisted in order to scare people into voting no. Any time people use a non-existant threat to children to win, they are hoping to get a knee jerk reaction based on fear.

Marriage is not weakened by two people of the same sex getting married but rather by narrow definitions where getting married is soley based on the sex of the people getting married rather than on the health and love present in the relationship. It is not same sex couples that threaten the sanctity of marriage but we ourselves. We won't allow two people who want the life long commitment supported by community get married but we will insist that two children in lust, who happen to be pregnant, get married even knowing the chances of that marriage lasting are low.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

IT said...

The California constitution may be amended by a simple majority. However, a ReVISION requires that the legislature put the ballot before the people as an Initiative (I think that's what they call it) rather than a PRoposition.

Targeting one class of people to deny them rights is a pretty hefty revision of the Constitution. So yes, Prop8 MAY be unconstitutional as a proposition.

Your right to oppose gay marriage, hiram, ends at the time it affects my right to marry.

More thoughts at Bigotry wins.

IT

Hiram said...

One of the questions that has to be dealt with in discussing same-sex marriage is what marriage is. Ann Marie, you seem to be working with the definition that marriage is the legal union (which grants certain privileges and responsibility) of two people who love each other.

Historically speaking, and looking at all cultures, marriage (at its most essential foundation) has meant not simply the union of two people who love each other, but the union of a man and a woman. Marriage as it has been historically understood has an objective dimension to it: male and female. Of course, marriage has had some variations on that objective reality; some cultures allow or encourage polygamy. In some cultures, the couple is chosen for one another by the parents, so that love does not develop until some time after the wedding. In ancient Greece (and I think Rome as well), marriage was to insure legally recognized heirs. Members of the upper class got married – but they also had paramours, of either or both sexes, “on the side.” In more modern times marriages among the wealthy might be more business partnerships than love matches. Nobility and royalty might contract marriages for political purposes.

Marriage has taken a number of forms over the millennia. Some of these forms might well seem hideous to us; to modern hearts, a marriage as a way to cement political or economic ties seems cold-blooded. But whatever the subjective element might be, the objective aspect has always been male and female. Biologically, this makes sense: it takes a male and a female to produce offspring. It takes a mother and a father to raise a child. (Yes, some families are single-parent, and the children raised in many of these are psychologically healthy and well-adjusted. And some household have two adults of the same sex, who may raise healthy children – although it required at least one other person to bring a child into that household.)

What you and other proponents of same-sex marriage propose to do is to remove the objective foundation from the meaning of marriage. You may not have even considered that objective aspect of marriage important. You may have thought that male and female was merely custom, not a part of the essence of marriage. But marriage is a relationship based on both objective (male and female) and subjective (love) elements.

If you remove the objective aspect of marriage, what you have left is the subjective. Affectional preference is the determinant factor. When all you have left is the subjective, you have an extremely unstable foundation. Two women are sexually attracted to each other and have a deep love for one another. Why not marriage for them? But if you have made the subjective aspect – affectional preference – the basis for marriage, then what do you do about all the other affectional preferences that exist? Why is “two” the magic number? Why not three, four, or more? Why not father and daughter? Why not an adult male and an eight-year-old boy? Why not siblings? Why not the living and the dead? Why not affection for animals? If all you have to base marriage on is affectional preference, you have no reason to exclude any affectional preference?

By making the subjective element the sole element for marriage, you have destroyed the very idea of marriage. There are no longer any boundaries. A man or woman may say, “I cannot help it. The only place I find any sense of joy or fulfillment is in brief encounters. Why cannot I have a wife/husband for a week and then move on to someone new?”

You will not destroy my marriage of course. I know what marriage really is, and my wife and I are committed to that God-given ideal. But if, according to law, any and all relationships can be called marriage in the world my grandchildren grow up in, they will be surrounded by instability, and they will not know what it means to be committed to a person for life. They will be given the ideal by law (and quite likely by the educational system, if things continue as they have been going) that only affectional preference matters. And mere emotion, which is so variable, is no foundation for a life. We will have societal chaos that will make our current instability look like “the good old days.”

IT said...

Hiram,
It's quite offensive that you assume that there is anything less than permanent in my marriage than in yours, simply because of the gender of my beloved.

OUr society has long since removed procreation from the reason for CIVIL marriage. Unless you plan to impose a rule of fecundity, your argument is not supported for civil marriage.

The bigotry of this may arise from fear, ignorance, or hatred, or some combination thereof.

But denying my faithful, long term relationship the benefits and responsibilities of civil marriage is simple bigotry.

Either way, whether you deprive us of the piece of paper or not, we're married in reality. You can't stop that.

We are your neighbors. We teach your children. We work in your office. We are your doctor, your lawyer, your grocery clerk, your taxi driver. My wife's picture is on my desk, and mine on hers.

We are in the PTA. We go to the supermarket and kids' soccer games together. We hold hands. Our children are friends with yours. And many of us even go to church, and stand next to you there.

In the face of all your bigotry and attempt to marginalize us, we are here, bearing the witness of what marriage is, through better or worse, in sickness or in health, as long as we both shall live.

Oh my, Hiram, can you imagine the degree of commitment to marriage that endures despite of ignorant and insulting bile from people like you? Despite every effort you make to tear us apart, and still we rise.

It makes you rather small, doesn't it? Bigotry generally has that effect.

IT

Hiram said...

IT, did I say that your relationship was not permanent? I am not talking about any particular relationship. I am talking about the very concept and identity of marriage.

Labeling my argument as bigotry does not answer it.