In honor of the passing of Proposition 8

In honor of the passing of California Proposition 8, I’ve asked former Vice President, Alexander H. Stephens to give a speech of congratulations for the failure of same-sex marriage in California. Here is some of what Mr. Stephens had to say:
Our new laws are founded upon exactly the opposite idea; their foundations are laid, their cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that homosexuals are not equal to heterosexuals; that inequality – subordination to our superior morals – is the natural and normal condition for gay people. And now, for the first time in California’s history, laws are based upon this great physical, philosophical and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics.

All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind—from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the pro-homosexual fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that gay people are equal, and hence conclude that they are entitled to equal privileges and rights with heterosexual people. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just—but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.

I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of California would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of homosexuality, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining that homosexuality is a sin, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

4 comments:

Robin said...

I've been waiting to see your post on this. My heart broke a little for California.

Mojoey said...

I am happy today, and sad at the same time. We have hope in a new president, but Prop 8 passing just pisses me off.

R. Moore said...

Brilliant!

S said...

Like your speech illustrates, if younger generations are ashamed of slavery, future generations will be ashamed at sexual discrimination. At least the pain of most of today's injustices won't be as burdensome to bear as the genocide of Native Americans and slavery have been.