Yesterday’s decision by the California Supreme Court not to overturn Proposition 8, which amended the state’s constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman, is proving unpopular with celebrities.
First, as most people are aware, a big part of blogging is offering an opinion. And I’m not going to pretend I don’t have one on this subject. But rather than stand on a soapbox and preach, I’ll let these people speak for those of us who are waiting our turn for equality. And whether they’re gay or straight, they’re angry and determined to be heard.
Some of the artists with opinions on the subject will come as no surprise. Like comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, whose marriage to partner Portia De Rossi is one of 18,000 the court declared to still be valid.
Margaret Cho, who’s made a career of being blunt about her opinion, tweeted simply:
“I blame miss california.”
Sir Elton John, who has been in a British civil partnership with David Furnish since 2005, told AccessHollywood:
“When you see places like Iowa saying yes, there’s now five states in America (where same-sex marriage is legal). California is supposed to be a progressive state. It defies logic to me. I’m very disappointed.”
DeGeneres made a prediction with her tweet:
“One day, when everyone is treated with full equality, we’ll look back and realize how wrong this was.”
Kathy Griffin, whose relationship with her 89-year-old mother is hilariously documented on her show “My Life on the D List,” announced via Twitter the pair would be joining protesters in West Hollywood.
Melissa Etheridge was in a particularly garrulous mood, telling Reuters she and partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, with whom she had a commitment ceremony in 2003, felt like second-class citizens living in legal limbo:
“My wife and I consider ourselves to be married, we would like that to be recognized some day civically. What if this was the 1960s and it was like, ‘OK these interracial marriages can be married but these can’t.’ You can’t put this back in the bottle.”
Not content to stop there, the singer issued a statement taunting Prop 8 supporters:
“Those full of hate and fear will surely be disappointed that 18,000 same sex couples will be living in wedded bliss, kissing their spouses goodnight, checking off those little ‘married’ boxes on all those forms we fill out nowadays. That’s really going to drive them crazy. I am hopeful as I see more and more states turn to the inevitable future of equality, California will get there. Change takes time.”
But perhaps the most vocal critic of the court’s decision so far is Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, who took to Huffington Post to express his support for homosexuals (“I’m a straight man with a big gay chip on my shoulder”) and then blasted those who would hide behind the church to support their opposition to same-sex marriage by providing a little history lesson:
I believe that America is a great nation of even greater people. I also believe that anyone who says that this is a "Christian nation" has RHS, or revisionist history syndrome, and doesn't realize that most of our founding fathers were either atheist or at least could see, even in the 1700s, that all through Europe at the time, religion was the cause of so much persecution that they needed to put into their brand new constitution a SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE so that the ideals of a group of people could never be forced onto the whole.
(I also find it funny when people point out to me that it says "one nation under god" in our pledge of allegiance, not realizing that this was an addition made in 1954 during the communism scare of the McCarthy era. It's not surprising, however, knowing that these same people would punch me in the mouth if I called Jesus a Jew.)
Actually, the founding fathers were deists, but you get the point. Thomas then calls on others outside the LGBT community to stand with him:
But this isn’t a paper about religion. How could it be? Since we clearly have a separation of church and state, how could a conversation about laws have anything to do with religion at all? I’m writing about basic civil rights. We’ve been here before, fighting for the rights of African Americans or women to vote, or the rights of Jewish Americans to worship as they see fit. And, just as whites fought for African Americans, or Christians for Jewish Americans, straight people must stand up and be a voice for gay people.
Strong stuff. Although I’ve gotta say, while there’s no question Thomas’ intentions are sincere, that last part feels like it needs some kind of inspirational music behind it.
Whatever your opinion on this topic, one thing is for certain: you’d better get used to hearing about it because both sides are gearing up for a colossal battle that’s not likely to be over soon.
Read Rob Thomas’ anti-Prop 8 blog on HuffingtonPost.com.