by Jeremy Young | 11/06/2008 04:01:00 PM
Obama won. Voters in a bunch of states grew their brains back. Two states still have bone stupid voters: California, which passed the hateful Prop. 8 and set back gay rights in this country by a generation, and Alaska, which appears to have elected a convicted felon to the Senate (though the race is far from called at this point). Sarah Palin and a convicted felon? Gosh, you guys are stupid. (Sorry, non-stupid Alaskans, for lumping you in with your stupid neighbors.)

I got my Master's degree yesterday. Hooray for me!

What's on your mind?

[Update] ProgressiveHistorians blogfriend Ed Blum has a new essay up at Religion Dispatches on the dangers involved in viewing Obama as a messianic figure. It's a must-read.

[Update II] And Rob MacDougall has what may be an even better post.

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12 Comments:


Blogger Ross on 11/06/2008 8:56 PM:

If it makes you feel better, only 31% of voters in California vote yes on Prop 8 (about 50% of a 62% turnout).

And Alaska elected Mike Gravel, so at least the old people there are intelligent.

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/06/2008 11:37 PM:

If only they would elect Mike Gravel again, then I might forgive them for electing a convicted felon (assuming the result holds).

 

Blogger Gordon Taylor on 11/07/2008 1:40 AM:

Congratulations, Maestro Jeremy!

Re. Prop. 8, I am reminded of a quote that I dimly remember, by a black intellectual (Cornel West, perhaps) during a meeting of African-American leaders sometime during the '90s. They were talking about affirmative action, pro and con, and West (I think it was) said, "Why would we want to rely on something that white folks could vote out of existence in an afternoon?" I think of the same thing when we talk about gay marriage. The fact is, gay people have made enormous progress in this country, and they're going to continue to make more. But gay marriage is a slender thread to hang one's hopes on. In any state of the Union, as has just been proven, it can be voted out of existence in an afternoon. This the opinion of a hopelessly hetero WASP .

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/07/2008 11:05 AM:

Gordon, you're right -- which is why I think we need a federal law mandating it.

 

Blogger mark on 11/07/2008 8:12 PM:

How could a Federal law mandate gay marriage anywhere except the District of Columbia or on military bases ( which given the military policy on homosexuality, would be an ironic contradiction)?

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/07/2008 10:49 PM:

Leaving aside the merits of doing so, on which you and I disagree, I'm pretty sure there would be a way. First (symbolic) step would be to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Second step would be to declare marriage a fundamental right -- or, alternatively, to abolish the institution of marriage as recognized by the federal government, replacing it with some system of civil unions. That would probably also be a largely symbolic step. However, federal hate crimes legislation could be passed, and denying marriage to a couple on the basis of sexual orientation could be declared a hate crime. Or marriage could be determined to be equivalent to employment and an equivalent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act could be passed.

Which is a long way of saying, I don't know exactly how. But I'd bet that if Obam and/or Congress really wanted to do it, he could find a way.

 

Blogger Ross on 11/07/2008 11:30 PM:

Why should the government have anything to do with marriage? I really don't get it.

 

Anonymous Ralph Luker on 11/08/2008 1:30 AM:

Marriage is a sacrament in Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity. Sacraments are *not* mediated, mandated, or prohibited by civil law. That is why it is very foolish for those who are concerned about civil law to insist on gay marriage. The state has *no* business even considering anything other than civil unions. Marriage is the business of religious communities and ought to be left to their decision-making.

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2008 2:28 AM:

Ross and Ralph, I agree completely and utterly with you. All I'm trying to say is that if we're going to offer marriage as a government service, it needs to be a universal right, and we need to pass laws to that effect at the federal level. My preference would be a federal law abolishing the institution of marriage as a government prerogative, creating a universal system of civil unions, and leaving marriage to people's individual faiths.

 

Blogger idiosynchronic on 11/08/2008 7:52 AM:

You WHAT??

Master's Degree in one year?? Or am I missing somthing?

Congratulations!

 

Blogger mark on 11/08/2008 9:59 AM:

Hi Jeremy

"Leaving aside the merits of doing so, on which you and I disagree..."

You're making an assumption that we disagree, I have never expressed an opinion on the subject. Gay marriage is not an issue I much care about but to the extent to which I do, civil unions appear to me to be the appropriate governmental position
and religious matters ( can gays get married)be left to individuals and their particular religious institutions ( Episcopalian churches say yes, Catholic churches say no etc.)

I'd have to see the text of The Defense of the Marriage Act but I suspect it does not technically prohibit any state from permitting gay marriage as I don't think the Congress has such powers. Most Federal mandates are really about witholding funds related to the activity unless there is compliance

 

Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2008 1:56 PM:

Id, a year and a half, which is standard for this program/department. Thanks for the congratulations! (Remember when I was just a struggling young professional trying desperately to get into grad school?)

Mark, I was clear as mud in my comment, but I wasn't actually assuming you were against gay marriage. I was assuming you were against the expansive program of federal regulation over state marriage laws I was proposing, seeing as how you're fairly libertarian-inflected. Was that an appropriate assumption?