In his acceptance speech Sean Penn said the following:
I think it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.You can watch a video clip of it here:
Frank Schubert, Campaign Manager of ProtectMarriage.com, made the following observations about the Oscars:
...viewers weren’t two categories into the awards show when a gay screen writer bashed the Mormon Church, as much as said that supporters of Prop 8 are hateful bigots and promised that, soon, gays would have the right to marry. He even promised that the Obama Administration would make sure gays could marry “federally.” That brought a big round of applause.Frank Schubert is right. Myths die hard in Hollywood. This particular myth which is so prevalent is the myth of "equal rights." This is the myth that says the issue of same-sex marriage is about equal rights and that homosexuals are being discriminated against. Nothing could be further from the truth. I addressed this issue a few months ago in two different blogs: the first part is here and the second part here. The two main related points were as follows:
It is perhaps not surprising that Hollywood liberals would use their “awards” show to campaign in favor of gay marriage. After all, many of these same liberals donated or raised millions of dollars to attempt to defeat Proposition 8.
What is perhaps surprising is their brazen attempt to influence public opinion against traditional marriage by manipulating people into thinking that this is a “human rights” issue, or a “civil rights” issue, or even an “equal rights” issue. What they don’t tell people is that gay couples in domestic partnerships in California already have equal rights! Gay domestic partners in California enjoy the same legal rights as married spouses.
The same-sex marriage debate has absolutely nothing to do with civil rights, especially here in California due to California Family Code 297.5. Same-sex couples are afforded the same rights, benefits, and protections under California law. It's just not called "marriage." And that brings us to what this debate is really about. This is not about civil rights. It is about a piece of paper called a "Marriage Certificate" which the gay community desperately wants in order to have their lifestyle legitimized and validated in the eyes of the government and society. It is about redefining marriage. But no one person or society has the right to redefine this institution based on their own personal desires. Same-sex relationships will never be equal to monogamous, long-term, committed, heterosexual relationships, no matter how hard one might try to make them. Simply redefining the word "marriage" to include your relationship doesn't make it a marriage. Marriage is something in particular. And it cannot be redefined to include unnatural relationships any more than one can redefine the nature of a carburetor to include a water pump and expect the two to function equally for the same task.These two observations alone completely destroy the myth of "equal rights." I have yet to hear any proponent of same-sex marriage adequately address these points. Yet the "equal rights" myth is continually perpetrated by agenda-driven individuals, organizations, and Hollywood, in an attempt to indoctrinate the naive and vilify critics. It is understandable why supporters of same-sex marriage want to make this an issue of "equal rights." The public is much more likely to be sympathetic toward the cause if they feel there is unfair treatment. Frank Schubert notes:
Even without this California Family Code, same-sex couples would still have equal rights. There is NO unequal protection under the law. The same definition of marriage applies to all, regardless of your sexual preference. Homosexuals CAN get married. They just can't marry someone of the same sex. And neither can a heterosexual. The same law applies to all equally. This point seems to be completely missed by same-sex marriage advocates.
Liberal Hollywood activists like Sean Penn know a thing or two about reaching audiences. They make millions – tens of millions – learning how to connect with an audience. One audience they no doubt hoped to influence on Sunday night was the California Supreme Court, which is hearing challenges to invalidate Prop 8 in just ten days. Another audience probably watched the show from the upstairs of the White House in Washington. Still another audience is made up of voters here in California, enough of the 7 million of whom they hope to shame into repudiating their votes cast in favor of traditional marriage the next time the issue is on the ballot. Traditional marriage has served society well, and there are many sound reasons why people support one man, one woman marriage – including continuing the best institution to give children both a mother and a father. Prop 8 wasn’t an attack on gay couples, it was an affirmation of traditional marriage – but you didn’t hear that at the Academy Awards.Again, Frank Schubert is right. Notice how Hollywood attempts to win the debate. Hollywood doesn't say, "We believe so strongly that supporting same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior is the morally superior and intellectually defensible position that we are going to sponsor 100 national debates in an attempt to persuade the public through sound reasoning and argumentation." No, instead, Hollywood spends millions of dollars creating sitcoms and movies which constantly portray homosexual characters and the homosexual lifestyle in a positive light. Think of shows like Will and Grace, The L Word, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Boy Meets Boy. After our celebrity-obsessed society has watched these programs for several years they have formed emotional attachments and bonds with the characters. They begin to associate the homosexual lifestyle with the easy-going, fun-loving homosexual character portrayed on their television.
In other words, I have noticed that people often reach a moral conclusion regarding homosexual behavior based on how they perceive the individual practicing that lifestyle. If the individual is a decent, hard-working, "nice" person, these positive caricatures are often carried over and applied to homosexuality itself. Never mind the facts or inherent dangers associated with the lifestyle. Our culture has essentially been indoctrinated through slick rhetoric. And when you combine this type of emotion-filled rhetoric with the prevalent philosophy of moral relativism (which says there are no moral absolutes that apply to all people, in all places, at all times) you have a recipe for disaster. This was no more evident then in my discussions with supporters of same-sex marriage this last election year. I asked one relative why she supports same-sex marriage. Her response: "I have friends who are gay." The implication was that having gay friends somehow morally justifies the homosexual lifestyle and warrants the redefinition of marriage. This is the kind of sloppy thinking that results when you give up reason and morality for rhetoric and relativism.
Conclusion: Whenever someone says that same-sex marriage is about "equal rights" you can be sure of one thing: that person has no idea what this issue is really about. Furthermore, we need to be aware of how Hollywood portrays this debate in an attempt to persuade our society, especially younger generations. Ironically, for all his talk about "shame," it is actually Sean Penn who should be ashamed. Shame on you Mr. Penn. Shame on you for misleading the public and continuing in willful ignorance regarding what this debate is really about.