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Olbermann on Proposition 8

Earlier this week, Keith Olbermann delivered the best commentary I've ever heard from him, a passionate piece on the injustice of California's Proposition 8 (text available here). He seemed almost on the verge of tears at some points, even though, as he pointed out, he has no personal investment in the issue.

For me, the core of Olbermann's argument came here:

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

We've redefined marriage to allow minorities to marry. We've redefined marriage to allow minorities to marry white people. We've redefined marriage to allow divorce.

But let's not let the facts of history get in the way of human rights.

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Comments

Maybe I missed all the press on this from before the election - but it's a real shame that it only seems to be getting a lot of focus NOW, when it's too late. Well too late in the short-term in any event. I understand why the election would be more important, but it's disappointing there wasn't more of a public-opinion push against it when the push could have done some good.

I do hope your posts are working again now.

You're right, of course. I donated to the Obama campaign but not to the anti-Proposition 8 campaign. Partly it was because it was in California and so didn't seem like "my" issue, and partly it was because it was hard for me to believe that Californians were really going to walk into their voting booths and take away that right from their fellow citizens. How wrong I was.

And comments do seem to be working, though I can't say that I did anything that I thought specifically fixed them. Ah well... I won't look this gift horse in the mouth for now.

Yer. I understand completely. Still - one thing that surprised me when I was in California in September - and then later, watching some of Arnie's talks - is that there seems almost to be two Californias. A conservative - and quite conservative California, and then those that are well, really quite way out. Its possibly a balance thing. Still - who would have thought that the State with San Francisco in it would have voted against gay marriage? Not sure if you watch the Colbert report - but a couple of days ago, he did a great interview with Dan Savage on this. Very funny if you haven't seen it (http://www.colbertnation.com/video/tag/Dan+Savage)

I know I've already commented on this - but I was thinking some more on it and wanted to rant a little further on it.....I was thinking that typically the main reason people give for being against gay marriage is because they say it is against God. But seriously - I really think these people ought to read their bibles a little better. There is absolutely nowhere in the bible where marriage is defined in any context - and certainly nowhere where it is defined as being between a man and a woman. If you try and look up a christian definition of marriage, they point to a verse in Genesis where God didn't want man to be alone so he created women. But nowhere in that reference does it even mention the word marriage. Marriage is most definitely not defined in the bible, and where it is mentioned, most of the references are considered outdated now and a part of the custom of the time (eg. multiple wives, wives submitting to their husbands). All this does is prove that the rules concerning marriage are fairly and squarely man-made. And as such - we can choose to change them to suit our own needs.

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