Thank you, everyone, for your responses to my last post. I especially appreciate Dave's comment.
So when women were refused the vote - they should have just accepted the rule of law and just shut up? Black people should have been happy with slavery because the law demanded it? Repression leads to protest ... bigotry to outrage ... that TOO is part of the democratic process.
I agree with you that it's a good thing women have the vote, and human rights don't hang on the color of skin. (Understatement reigns supreme. ;o) I'm not one to champion the tyrranical nature of democracy in the least. If memory serves, it was Benjamin Franklin who said "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner." Tyrrany of the majority it is, and that's why America began as a republic.
(Btw . . . did I miss something? I don't remember championing bigotry or prejudice . . . if someone would point out how I managed to do that, I'd be happy to edit and revise, as that wasn't my goal.)
I completely agree with Dave's closing comment: protest and outrage have been, and continue to be, a part of the democratic process. They are a normal and often healthy human response to events in the world. I completely accept that as true. I don't accept that vandalism or violence against peaceful people is a necessary part of democracy.
I endeavored to say that I wish the vandalism, intimidation, and hateful screaming by protesters would stop. Those in opposition to Prop 8 have destroyed property, shouted epithets and picked fights with those whom they believed to have supported Prop 8. I'm sure there have been some of the Prop 8 supporters, as well, who have been less than peaceful . . . but I have yet to hear about more than one . . . and he was covered in spittle with a damaged truck before he finally gave one of the male spitters a bloody nose. The current legal climate does a good job of keeping them in check (which is a good end to that means, imho).
My cry is simply for decency . . . for respect . . . and for rational behavior. Destruction and anger only leads to more of the same. Peaceful protest is excellent--it raises awareness, and opens the doors for education and dialogue. A number of the protests surrounding the outcome of the Prop 8 vote (those I've seen video and heard accounts of) are a far cry from that.
Add to that the unsettling thought that protests and rallies in history which have used anger and mob politics to fuel their cause have been linked to miserably failed political/economic systems, (USSR, anyone?), and this situation surely gives one pause.
All of the fighting and conflict over this makes one wonder whether or not government should have anything to do with marriage at all.